My first proper walk in 2014 in East Sheen

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My First Proper Walk of the Year 2014 – East Sheen – Jan

Yes, I have to confess due to various reasons and reasonable ones, today I took my first proper walk of 2014, it was of course in East Sheen being my home place and it would only be honorary to take my first steps here, in the vicinity of Palewell Common.

I’ve been sheltering indoors hiding from the rain, the thought of coming home with sodden feet and dripping layers too much.  I must be a fair weather walker, not entirely but it’s all a state of mind and that is where mine has been of late.

But this morning the sun was shining like a bright spring day, its rays luring me with beckoning fingers to go bask in its gloriousness. I got reeled in and took the bait, donned my new trainers, scarf, gillet and fingerless mitts, not forgetting of course Iphone with entrusted selection of appropriate music and sunnies.

I will say, I overdressed, scarf came off by the end of the walk as did gloves and yes a horrible dribble of sweat ensued down my back taunting me the silent words of “Miss sweaty might become Miss stinky now”

It was bliss to walk past the budding magnolia trees.  This tree became an obsession of mine last year, determined to get one in my front garden.  There is one down the street where I live which literally makes me stop walking every time, once in full bloom, just to take in its radiant pinks and silken looking petals.

A little further Palewell Common was looking rather like a mud quagmire but did this stop the dog walkers?  Indeed not, they were out in full force, I would say  more professional walkers than otherwise judging by the amount of dogs per person, unless East Sheen has taken to owning 7 dogs per household.  I shudder to think of the smells and chaos that would create, I have two and that is certainly enough to make a pungent house of doggy smells.

I had to smile seeing a small gathering of nursery children out on the grass, the activity seemingly being to run from one adult to another, I did rather question how long they would stay upright running on such wet mud strewn ground.  I expect lots of dirty knees and if not faces would have been had by the end of it had I not moved on.  It doesn’t really pay in this day and age to stand and watch children, much as a joy it is, it can gather you odd looks if you are on your own.

The allotments seemed uncharacteristically quiet; I enjoy seeing how these develop over the weeks so many visual treats to come.

Last year I started to forage, yes forage.  You might raise your eyebrows and think alright, time to stop reading now; this is a very nerdy woman.  But I will have you know that this hobby is becoming increasingly popular, so much so there are organised walks for people to learn about foraging and books in numerous quantities on the subject.

Apart from this there is a wealth of You Tube clips on what to do with these wondrous berries, leaves etc that one has spent hours picking, leaping to get, scratching oneself to bits to acquire.  Suffice to say, I probably had one success in about 10 attempts of trying to make jellies, jams, pickles and chutneys.  Will I give it another go this year, probably, yes, but I have enough experience to know what I definitely won’t try again.  Will I tell you what that is?  Hell, no (grins), that’s part of the fun to find out for yourself!

More on foraging another time.  Do I hear a yay?

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