The extraordinary Rhyhall walk 16 May 2024. Part the second


By Tony Attwood

Pictures and commentary by one who got rather carried away with the whole notion of being on a walk for the first time in quite a while.   Part one of this remarkable series is here.   You will be pleased to learn there is NO part three.

But since first posting this I have received one more picture, so here it is


I commented previously on how wonderful it felt to be able to walk in the pouring rain once more, as all around, the green and fertile land was, well, not to put too fine a point on it, green and fertile.

Conversation however was harder to come by in the earlier stages of the walk because of the precipitation, but nonetheless, we ventured forth, and after a while even tried fifth, but the higher gears were unreliable because of the conditions underfoot.

But nevertheless, your venerable camera person (as one has to be known these days) decided to move from venturing forth (etc) and got far enough ahead of the walking ensemble to take a picture of them from the front,  as it were.

I did request that everyone remove their head coverings so that they could all be seen, but sadly my lack of recent walking experience reduced the influence that I naturally expect to have when I am a-waving a cameratistic apparatus around. Sadly there just seems to be no respect for technological experts these days.   I blame the younger generation.

And so we marched forth, in ones and twos and threes, determined not to look back, not to notice the downpour and indeed not to notice the valiant cameraman either, since no one ventured to stand still and smile with a wave of the hand (nor indeed a quick jig on the grass. ) “It wasn’t like this in my day,” I ventured and we moved on.

But then there was relief and verily it was twofold for first we were allowed to stop and take in our situation (our leader firmly suggesting we were on course although refusing to take responsibility for the rain).  Why were we here, we asked, but there were no philosophers in the group to help us answer that one.

But having missed months of Rambling, it is clear to me that the whole point of it is walking.  And conversation.  And exploring. The weather, if I may make so bold as to comment, is a sideshow. It is as nothing compared to the fact that there is a real living world all around, and as this picture shows, a lot of the time the mud is below subsistence level.  (Actually I am not sure subsistence is the right word, but I am sure you know what I mean).

So anyway, we stopped, took in the sights (greenery for the most part) and then ventured onwards one more time.

And you can tell just how good it felt to be out of the rain, by the looks on the faces of the walkers.   There is a twinkle in the eyes, and, may I add, perchance a smile upon the face, although I did hear the occasional comment of the “just ignore him he’ll go away.”

But lo! I fought against their dastardly plans by staying amidst the ensemble.  Now I must admit that by this time with the number of “pictures” (as we professionals call them) I was taking had got beyond 250, there was some negativity around, but I ventured fifth, before realising everyone else was venturing forth at which point I found them hiding in the bushes.   And then I saw why.

For here was a secret cavern, an unexpected hideaway, a place beyond of hidden treasure.  As the official photographer of the unit I of course could only go in behind the main body of the group as they explored within, but they somehow felt that I should go first and take the photos of whatever was within, undisturbed.

On this issue we failed to agree, and so this ancient tomb, or hidden treasure location, or whatever it was, was left undisturbed, ready for whomsoever comes hereafter (as it were).

But lo!  And indeed behold!   For that was not the end of the excitement for no sooner had we passed by the unexplored cave of delights, we were attacked by a massive snake.

Of course as a photographer I laugh in the face of massive snakes, and took this “snap” before running off at full speed tp find if the rest of the ensemble were indeed honouring their commitment to “wait for me in the next field.”

They were there, but were seemingly rather surprised to find me returning from my meeting with the snake.

But there we are, us photographers brook no interference with our art.

And so the sun finally shone through, seeing that all the attempts of the rain to put us off our designated task were as nought to the valiant band.

Thus and hithertofore, within moments we were back to where we had parked the cars, and lo and behold all were there exactly as we left them.

It was, as I said in the previous edition, a wonderful moment for me to be able to walk again for the first time since before Christmas.  I fear I may have got a little carried away with my commentary, but I am sure you’ll get the gist.  It was a bit wet, but that didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves.

And above is an additional picture from “Aquirist” which rather symbolises the day.

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