Monday, 9 January 2012

 Do you fancy coming for a lunchtime run with me on this grey and gloomy day??  Well, tough, you're coming anyway!!  I chose the least muddy route I could think of given the massive rainfall we have had recently.

We start at Hope on the lane leading to the cemetary.  Given it's sad connotations, it is a lovely spot just outside the village.  I have never seen so many birds thronging the hedgerows!  I couldn't catch any of them on film though as it was too dark and they flew too fast.  The dogs don't aid this endeavour with their running and barking.

Below is a new addition to the landscape since I last walked this way - a school wildlife garden.  How very fancy.  I don't remember anything like that back in MY day but applaud it heartily.

Past the conservation area, we turn up hill and under the railway bridge.  Puff pant...

Glance left and you'll see one of my favourite houses up on the hill.  I would love a view like that....

But, assuming that I'm not going to be affording that house any time soon, how about this tiny, secluded and very pretty caravan site(the fenced area just ahead)?  Normally I find caravan sites quite uninspiring but this one is lovely and within walking distance of the village too so pubs and takeaways handy-ish.

This is the view from the caravan site.  It really is a gloomy day today isn't it?

Did I mention that it is WET?!  Every tiny trickle of a stream is gushing.  I hear that the reservoirs are full after only a couple of weeks having been dangerously low for months. 

Minty found a stray late Father Christmas.  She approached with caution but he didn't attack (and neither did she, amazingly!).

Now we turn off the track onto the road and up hill (again)

While I'm dragging my sorry backside up the hills, the dogs have more important matters to deal with - sticks!!  Shelagh is a past mistress of camera avoidance but Minty always happy to oblige as a model.  It was deadly serious. 

Sticks had to be carried for as long as possible and then buried in a secure location.  If either dogs thinks I might have observed the burial spot they may (depending on how good the stick is presumably) be forced to abort and find another spot.  I therefore have to take photographs covertly and on zoom, hence the poor quality!

Here they are "fully loaded" but on the leads so burial is thwarted....panic mode ensues...

Now we're on the quiet lane leading to Aston.  It feels so ancient, as if the road has dug itself into the hillside like a stream (which it looks like much of the time).  I wonder how long those trees have been hanging on with their roots becoming ever more exposed and precarious?

But plenty of people live up here.  I would find it too quiet and remote but it is very pretty.
Now we turn back - yay!!  Although it is an out-and-back run, I make a small loop at the far end for the sake of variety and to nose at another one of my favourite houses in the Valley which is pictured below.  It's for sale!  I looked it up to discover that it's available for a cool £750k but, alas, under offer.  Who says properties aren't moving?!
Gorgeous views eh?? And the weather is finally improving too.

Minty gets really busy on the burying front....stick after stick plunged into the undergrowth never to be seen again.  Do you think dogs have a role in environmental recycling - a bit like dung beatles or something??
Now we're back on the track returning to the cemetary and the sun is really making an effort now.  I've forgotten to be tired, only partly because I've stopped so many times to take photos (and wait while they bury sticks) that I'm not really that tired!!

For the sake of variety (and because I was getting carried away), I decided to brave the mud and struck off to the left across the fields.  It was VERY wet.  But a nice view through the railway tunnel.

Yes, I fell over - I was wondering how I was going to get over an impromptu stream which had appeared from nowhere and failed to stay upright. 

Give us a hand??
So, back to the car muddy and very happy and having run off a few calories.  Not the most energetic of runs but a fun one which might stop me dreading the idea of running in never know! 
Thanks for joining me.


Love Cat said...

What a lovely run. I am jealous. At the moment it's all very urban for me as I discover my new city. Even though I was in the city center in the last place - 5 mins running and I was in a big park and along a canal too.

You are sounding very chipper and positive. Very lovely. x

murgatroidgerow said...

It's wonderful to sit in bed in California and read about your amazing English countryside. Do you need to wash the dogs after each run? I'd love to swap houses with you for a bit. So beautiful.

Seren said...

How gorgeous - is it just me or does the English countryside often look nicer in the damp and grey. And look at you with your lunchtime runs - much respect! ;)


Claire said...

Only exercise I'm getting at the moment! I am noting the routes for later kiddy walking. Apparently you are supposed to treat them like puppies and walk daily! I shall be asking for suggestions x

Peridot said...

Of course I would never actually run but it looks a lovely route! And much respect for you running it.


Hetty said...

Ooh this really made me want to go running, even though I'd already been! What a good idea and a lovely route. I'll show you mine if I ever manage to go far enough for the scenery to change! :)