By Jane Hogg
“Every time I heard the ping from the Whatsapp group in the morning I thought, oh no! they’re cancelling the walk!”
Comment from one of the group of seven stalwarts who joined me for our walk from Longthorpe church this week
“Fantastic walk today and at a very good pace too. We all enjoyed it tremendously and I for one feel totally uplifted. Thank you so much.” Message from another of the group afterwards.
Shall we, shan’t we? We watched the weather forecast anxiously. Who is more likely to be right: the Met Office (favoured by golfers) or the BBC (which was more optimistic). We were lucky to have chosen Longthorpe church as our starting point.
Once the snow forecast disappeared it was just rain to contend with. We knew from the recce that our chosen walk through the meadows alongside the Nene, already muddy on Monday, would be waterlogged after a morning of steady rain.
But Ferry Meadows has hard paths, and a nice loo as well. Let’s remind ourselves of the maxim that there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.
Our group outside St Botolph’s Church, Longthorpe
Our numbers had reduced from 17 to 8 by the time we set out. Very understandable. Anyone with health concerns needs to be careful, but I had a feeling that some people would be up for the walk no matter what. And I was right. It is true that we went at a good pace – that was to get home before we were soaked, but we had a laugh and a good chat on the way.
We rediscovered our inner toddler as we splashed in the puddles.
And one walker looked around enough to spot some nature: and some history.
Left to right and below (or below, below and below if you are looking on a mobile phone): An owl? (spoiler alert: it’s a sculpture); a real live pheasant; and the story of the legion of the ninth who camped where the golf course is now – and then disappeared….