Heading to London on Sunday for a few nights. Then stepping onto the train heading to Amsterdam will signify an end to our time in England.
It has been a stupendous last month of summer in which we have enjoyed relativity warmish weather and lashings of rain. Come to think about it, we were wondering what season we were experiencing for a week or more.
Enough said about the weather and onto what really mattered.
The reason for us being in a small hamlet within the Shroud Valley. Is too care for Barty the dog and Possum the cat, plus keep an eye on their quaint, lovely cottage that they all call home. To view these two and more head over to HERE.
Now, what have we been up to during August?
If I had to choose one descriptive word for an activity that took up most of our time, it would be undoubtedly walking. Up and down the hills [mostly done by me], some with quite a bit more than a 10% gradient, yes, I got the Squire to measure one hill, via a mathematical equation.
It was just out of curiosity as it did feel quite steep.
What I love the most about walking around this area are the tree-lined lanes, public footpaths across fields and quiet countryside roads which makes a walk on a warmish day much more pleasant.
Even on days when I became engrossed in other tasks, such as ongoing travel arrangements and other “stuff”, a walk could be done at any time of the day. I loved that I had a more extended period in which I could relieve myself of energy. Those trees did such a great job of absorbing my body heat. I was tempted on more than one occasion to hug them, then thought better of it, as someone passed me by.
Never to be unappreciated by me those trees that stand tall alongside the countryside lanes.
One early afternoon walk, I took myself down a farm track, one that wasn’t accessible or very pleasant on our last visit due to mud and puddles. My good find for the day apart from the new walking track was the numerous blackberry patches lining my walking path, by the time I reached the end of that path, those blackberry bushes had fewer berries attached.
I made a mental note to let the Squire know so we could go back for more.
Luckily for us, I remembered as the foraging of blackberries became a regular activity every morning, for us both. Everyone needs another reason to motivate themselves out the door for a walk before breakfast. Then back to home base with a container of freshly picked fruit for breakfast with a bunch of other goodness in a bowl.
With every pleasure, there does seem to be some sort of obstacle just to make it sweeter. In the case of blackberry picking its the Stinging Nettle. I will be quite pleased if I never see or touch that plant ever again. Dreadful plant!
UPDATE: Geoff from TanGental commented on the positive side of Stinging Nettle, it was worth including in the body of the post in case it is missed in the comment section.
The upside of stinging nettles is that they are food stuff to some of our most beautiful native butterflies, the peacock, red admiral small tortoiseshell and comma. So it’s a necessary pain to keep them I fear!
Apart from the enjoyment of foraging, our walking challenge has had a few positive outcomes for us. I am feeling much fitter, and so is the Squire. It has been a relaxing place in which to discuss future plans which needed much discussion without any distractions. More on that subject at a later stage, once “things” are finalised.
Back to where we both gained another level of fitness, and, not so much about a loss of kilos. I blame the seduction of that fine English cheddar cheese.
Miles without Stiles
Most Saturday mornings we managed to go to the Stroud Farmers Market, quite a famous market and quite rightly so, it has to be one of the best we have visited for a while. Sometimes we parked the car outside of town and walked to the market, earning ourselves a more justified calorie-laden deliciousness for lunch.
My only wish when shopping at local markets is that the price was lower. Perhaps then most products would be sold at the end of the market? Just a thought.
Througham to Miserden
This was one where we discovered muscles that had been put to sleep for a while. They were undoubtedly long overdue to be woken and taken out! It was a cloudy morning with a small glimpse of sunshine, a perfect day for a long walk.
An old river bed, hills, paddocks, country lanes and a road or two made up this walk through this part of the Cotswold countryside. Even managed to pass a local cricket field. Now that a surprise to find in between grain fields and paddocks. It was worth the climb to enjoy the vista over the hills back to where we had started.
This walk did not include the gardens nor a cafe, it was all about walking, enjoying the scenery and foraging for blackberries along the way.
Usually, our four-legged friend Barty would have been our companion. Unfortunately for Barty and for us, his walking adventures have been curtailed with a leg injury.
Miles with Stiles
With some walks, I was fortunate or unfortunate depending on how you view it. Of having fun venturing over stiles and up hills that literally took my breath away. The thought of achieving buns of steel and other delights was my motivation. Mostly those other delights like personal satisfaction and a handful of blackberries were my reward rather than the elusive firm buttocks.
You can’t win them all though I did have fun trying.
Then there were the strolls that required no exertion just a few steps outside to enjoy the star-spangled night skies.
All in all a wonderful time kicking back in a small area of The Cotswolds.
To check out more photographs of our walks – Instagram
To read previous posts on this area: