June has proved to be a stormy month, but our St
Ives walk was blessed with beautiful sunshine. The walk took in the mighty
River Great Ouse and the bird life flourishing in the flooded former gravel
pits along the way, before returning to the welcoming scones and ice cream of
the National Trust tea shop at Houghton Mill. Needless to say we also managed
to squeeze in a trip to the pub too.
Sunburn was less of an issue in Scotland, but we still had plenty to keep us busy. See Tom’s rap below for the
No Yellow Tabard Required
(with apologies to Phil
A good number of us assembled at Mill Green on a beautiful sunny
evening, ready to head off for a few hours ambling through the quiet Essex fields and lanes…or so we thought! After 30 minutes of peaceful walking, there
suddenly appeared over the brow of the field ahead, a large army led by
generals in yellow-tabards. They were coming our way and, bravely, Mike faced
them only to discover they were not to be feared but were in fact a large group
of fellow walkers from another walking group. After some deliberation we decided to let
them pass ahead of us, rather than having 30-odd walkers breathing down our
necks for the rest of our walk.
There then followed a very pleasant hours walking when even the
biting flies could not get us down as we waited in line for the aforementioned
30 walkers to cross a single style. Some came prepared with various
insect-defeating potions while others flailed their hands around in futile
attempts to ward the critters off.
Stopping to admire the local church (with the best stone tower in
Essex!) we inched our way through the crowds of Brentwood walkers who had
assembled in the churchyard. Not 30 minutes had passed before the yellow
generals ordered us step aside and allow their army to pass. As there were more
of them than of us we dutifully obeyed.
Nearing the end, Helen got overly excited about seeing her car in
the car park, other more sensible types got more excited about the cold beers
offered by the Cricketers pub over the road and duly headed off to quench their
thirsts. Big thanks are due to both Mike and Cressida who needed no bright yellow
tabards to lead a truly splendid evening’s walk.
The Ratagan Rap
There’s a rap in the kitchen, what are we
No hot water in the showers, No paper in
There’s all mod cons, internet and telly
and a room full of clothes all wet and
The sound of the men’s dorm is never borin’.
singin’, talkin’, a symphony of snorin’
Fergus’ boots were facin’ doom
so he left ‘em behind in the drying room
The Aonach Eagach ridge was narrow and
so they tied a rope around John’s… No
Such a long walk was rather foolish.
while the rest of us were eating in a pub
The haggis and black puddin’ were supplied
and emissions of wind were incredibly loud.
From the top of the hill Cress sounded a
a major contribution to global warming.
The South Glenshiel ridge is a very long
way and six started out on 31st May
Seven Munros those are the statistics but
someone made a mess of logistics.
Some came down by the light of the moon
and we finished washin’ up on 1st
Robert and The Hairy One were out one day
and Dave P made close friends with a tick
The midges were bad and the paths eroded
and 3 days later Mike’s foot exploded.
Postcard from Scotland
Read our giant postcard from Scotland (click to enlarge)
And also, Dave's pictures.