Today is my first born’s 21st birthday and I am not able to celebrate with him because of this stupid virus and I’m a little bit gutted. (A lot). 21 years ago… just about at this time in the morning… life changed and, well… if you have kids of your own you know exactly what I mean. I really miss him today and I am just so proud of the man he’s becoming. Really, he’s quite awesome, and I really want to give him a hug.
Instead, I’m going to show you the beginning of a fabulous walk I did yesterday – only the beginning because I wasn’t feeling up to do the whole shebang… in fact I probably walked too far as it was and paid the price for it in the afternoon. In a fit of cabin fever, I grabbed the map from the sideboard, where it had been teasing me for a few days, called the dog and got in the car. The aim was to spend sometime outdoors, away from people and soak some vitamin D.
I have already done one of the two Poet Paths in the area (I’ll tell you about it soon), but I was really interested in checking the Daffodil Way as the season is definitively in full swing. It was my first time using a ‘Yellow Walk Map‘ and I was quite impressed. I’m making an effort not to rely too much on my phone to guide me. It’s too easy to simply follow the blue dot on the All Trails app… but there is something a bit more genuine and adventurous in reading a map. It’s more fun!
Anyway, we left the car in front of the St Mary’s Church (didn’t go in… see Covid..) and walked through the village till the sign that said ‘Daffodil Way’. We turned left (could have gone right across the road… but left looked good so…)….
…and Murphy was off…
… straight into a puddle. An orange puddle. You can image the state of him afterward…
Get a dog, they said. It’ll be fun they said…
"I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils" (William Wordsworth)
And then I saw more and more and it was magical…
I can’t vouch for the whole of the walk, but these first three km were lovely.
… such a beautiful old orchard.
There is a bit of road walking and this field was deceptively soggy. Looks alright, don’t you think? Nope, it was more like a swamp! No wonder there were no people around, they must have known.
Allums Grove is beautiful though, not completely maintained so you can only really walk on the path, but full of flowers. Lots of primroses and violets too, and the tall trees are magnificent.
We turned back at the end of the woods, but it was tempting to carry on and finish… I must go back as soon as I get better.
On the way back we set the sat nav to ‘short route’ rather than ‘fast’, and driving through the small country roads we stumbled upon this absolute gem:
It is St Mary the Virgin in Upleadon, built in Norman times (shortly after the time of William the Conqueror – brain explodes) and the tower is Tudor…
How gorgeous is it?
Inside is cute too, in the understated, calm way that country churches often are.
And you can tell it is a placed much loved and looked after, on every bench there are hand embroidered seat pads (or knee pads?)
(don’t worry, it was empty, I was wearing a mask and didn’t touch anything)
And then we went home. And Murphy got de-mudded.
It was a good morning.
For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.