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Saturday, 5 April 2014

An unexpected meeting with Arthur

A bit of tantalisation first of all.

Unless any new unexpected obstacles impede (I have had a few recently) I hope to set off on another long walk around 26/27th April. No more details yet except to say it will start from my front door, and I don't mean walking to the station. For me there is a massive  attraction to that concept, and I suspect it is one of those things some will empathise with, and those that don't would never have a hope of doing so.

My knees (both) are still questionable so the outcome is in the balance and I may be back within a week, which is one reason why I feel reluctant to publicise the complete itinerary. I may just blog daily and let readers try and guess where I am headed. My target is to walk about 16 miles per day, and to complete the whole trip would take around two months, so watch this space.

Thursday walks continue. This week Pete had a minor affliction and we scaled down to just over four miles, but the Rusland valley, to the west of Windermere and south of Grizedale is one of the most attractive and less known parts of our Lake District national park, and with a few geocaches thrown in, a nostalgic association with one of the greatest influences of my childhood, and time to dawdle and soak up the signs of emerging spring, this walk scored  high on the scale.



Wood anemones

St. Paul's Church, Rusland. Arthur Ransome's resting place - he was author of Swallows and Amazons and other celebrated children's stories set in The Lakes and The Broads and massively influential for many. I did not know of his grave here until details for a geocache in the churchyard  informed me, so this provided a memorable bit of serendipity which places this walk into a special file in the memory bank.

"Arthur Ransome - 18th Jan. 1884 to 6th June 1967
and his wife,
Evgenia - 10th April 1894 to 19th March 1973"

I am no expert on plants - not sure about this one. *

How about this for a view from your conservatory - not sure about the pooches?

Grizedale Beck splits above Force Mills and tumbles down the hillside in dramatic fashion- well worth a visit when in spate

I think this is Butterbur
*I would like to take more interest in identifying plants but find the system of classification difficult to follow and with 5000 or so species in the UK it is hard work trawling through the reference book compared with the much easier task with birds. I have the superb seminal work on the subject: Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland - Marjorie Blamey, Richard Fiitter and Alastair Fitter. It is interesting to read about the publication of this lifetime's work by Marjorie.


The Crow said...

Vinca minor is the name of the blue-flowered vine. A common name around here is creeping myrtle; also, periwinkle. I was told this plant is a native of the Mediterranean region, and contains compounds useful in medicines, though it is highly toxic. It makes a good, if somewhat invasive, groundcover.

It grows in my yard but seems to stay under the trees along my fence line.

Sounds like quite a hike you're planning for yourself.

welshpaddler said...

Looking forward to your travels


Phreerunner said...

Yes, Butterbur and Lesser Periwinkle. Good luck with that project, Conrad. From your mileage estimate I assume it's a fairly low level route?!

afootinthehills said...

We also have a long walk planned straight from the front door but decided to delay it until next year to allow for thorough testing of my knee this year.

I look forward to following you on your mystery route.

Sir Hugh said...

The Crow - Thanks for that Martha. I had seen the periwinkle in my book, but there were others similar, so I was not sure.


Welshpaddler - I hope I can oblige over the whole of the planned period.


Phreerunner - Hi Martin, yes, very low level for the most part.


afoot - That demonstrates lots of patience. I bet you were strongly motivated to set off regardless.

afootinthehills said...

I was very, very tempted and I'm regretting the decision already Conrad, but didn't want to get a week into a walk and have to pack it in - unfair on Lynne also. Still, shorter trips with the tent are planned so all is not lost.

mike M said...

Change Arthur's birth date back into the 19th century and I'll buy it! Cheers! Excited to hear about the big walk!

Sir Hugh said...

Mike M - thanks for that. Error corrected.

Is Ransome known in your parts?

mike M said...

I'd never heard the word. Comes up as a machinery company in Pennsylvania. I imagine the excavation people hereabouts are more familiar with it.

Lucy said...

Ah, Nancy and Peggy and Captain Flint, 'better drowned than duffers if not duffers won't drown', an excellent maxim for child rearing if ever there was!

The long walk from the door is a deeply appealing idea, one day I might even do it. Good luck!