Skip to main content

Comments on a walk

"I love going for a walk," said Theo, "It's so beautiful."

A few minutes later, both boys' legs looked like this.



Beautiful is NOT the word.

However muddy it might have been underfoot, though, our surroundings merited Theo's description.  We wove our way between rocky walls where tufts of grass grew like floppy hair, and moss-covered trees dripped rain down our necks.  Then came a narrow path with grassy slopes rearing up on either side.



Slipping on damp limestone, we reached a cave with a square mouth narrowing down rapidly "to a miners' tunnel," said Toby excitedly, and he bounded straight in to explore.


Emerging from the darkness, we discovered that the sun had come out and Lathkill Dale was opening out before us.  It was the perfect time for a picnic.



We trekked on a little further, to the place where water quietly rose up between the grass and creeping plants, and formed the beginning of the River Lathkill.  A few metres on, it was big enough to have a footbridge over it.  It was starting to turn into a proper river.

But the pace of Theo's short legs, and the endless pauses to inspect rocks, sticks, caterpillars and cowpats, was becoming wearisome.  We decided to turn back.



The valley, which had been silent that morning, had got much busier.  We passed a group of students carrying enormous backpacks, a dog which neatly swiped Theo's cheese sandwich, and finally, a family with older children than ours.  The mum gave us an encouraging grin, and said, "Don't worry - it gets easier!"

That's undoubtedly true.  For now, we were happy to get our mud-plastered children back to the car just as the rain came pouring down again.  From a parent's point of view, the walk had had its frustrations.  But Toby leaned back contentedly in his seat and said, "That was just like Wallace and Gromit."

"What?" we said.

 "It was A Grand Day Out."


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk: Lees to Derby

These final two Bonnie Prince Charlie walks were quite a contrast: the first across empty fields and along quiet roads; the second crossing from country into city as I walked into Derby. I started both walks at the Great Northern Greenway car park, just off Station Road in Mickleover.  Walk 1 In order to keep walking the Bonnie Prince Charlie way in the right direction, I first found my way back to Lees by an alternative route. The first section, along the cycle path, was well paved. After that it quickly got very muddy. At least it's a popular walk from Mickleover to Radbourne, so it was easy to find the path.  St Andrew's, Radbourne, is rather dominated by memorials. It looks as if the preacher would be hemmed in by tombs!      I liked this bench outside, with the text, "The thoughtful soul to solitude retires". Writing this, I only just realised it was a quote. Turns out it's from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam . The rest of the walk certainly provided solitude,

A Place at the Table: Spiritual Formation Book 12

"God has ordained in his great wisdom and goodness that eating, and especially eating in company, should be one of the most profound and pleasurable aspects of being human." Miranda Harris had been intending to write a book for years. She'd got as far as a folder full of notes when she died suddenly in a car accident in 2019. When her daughter, Jo Swinney, found the notes, she decided to bring her mum's dream to fruition. A Place at the Table was the result. I thought this was going to be a nice friendly book about having people over for dinner. In one sense it is, but it's pretty hard-hitting as well. Miranda and her husband Peter co-founded the environmental charity A Rocha, so the book doesn't shy away from considering the environmental aspects of what we eat and how we live. They also travelled widely and encountered hunger at close quarters; the tension between seeing such poverty and believing in a generous God comes out clearly in A Place at the Table.

Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk: Longford to Lees and BONUS walk

The walk from Longford to Lees didn't include any churches. That was frankly not on. So I found an extra walk which included not one, not two, but three churches. Also it was shorter, because I didn't have time to fit in a longer walk that week. The next week I managed the churchless section of the Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk. It was a little more adventurous than I expected! Walk 1 (Three Churches) For this route I followed the directions given by Dave Welford on his very useful blog . As soon as I parked up by Sutton-on-the-Hill church, I heard the bleating of lambs. Spring must be coming. number 11 mum and baby   I crossed a field full of numbered lambs and ewes and came out in the middle of Sutton village. Turning left by the village preschool, I picked up another footpath to take me across the fields to Dalbury. A ruined cottage stood crumbling lonesomely - the Gamekeeper's Cottage, apparently.  I was amused by Dave Welford's comments about the miserable farmer who