Sunday, 17 May 2009

Walking The Wolds

The Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival is on again and I did the first walk of a few planned for this year yesterday. I headed out with Rachael for a 10am start at Binbrook with fingers crossed that the weather would hold.
It was just a 6 mile walk, nothing too strenuous but there were a few hills, the majority of them of the steep variety, but one was of the long and winding variety that went on and on and on. There's something disheartening about climbing a hill that has no visible end.
We toured round deserted medieval villages, of which little remains but small mounds, but it's still fascinating to think of people living in these places, especially as evidence suggests that we were tramping along the exact same paths that they would have travelled.
The walk leader, a retired history teacher, was relating her feelings that it was a shame that none of this area had been subject to any excavation. She then went on to say that as far as she was able to ascertain no excavation had ever been done of any nunneries. Apparently it was believed we had 153 nunneries and of those, the exact location of 100 are known. But out of that 100 absolutely none have been excavated. It would seem that the archaeological/scientific worlds see no interest in sites which relate only to women.
I'm actually a little appalled that this is the case.

The records of those years aren't even able to state how many nuns were living in the nunneries, it would seem the same is not true for the monks.
What a great shame.

We stopped off at a couple of the small churches along the way, in the second one it was decided to have a snack. I'd eaten most of my flask of soup at lunch, when I'd realised most of my lentils appeared to have jammed themselves immovably into the flask, but when we stopped in the church I thought I'd have a go and shaking them loose. Rachael held the mug and I shook the flask. Result! Lentil evacuation!
I started upon my lentils and promptly started to choke. I was in a church, I was down a pew, there was no swift exit to go cough quietly outside. I tried to cough quietly but realised this was not dislodging damn lentil. I motioned to Rachael and only managed to utter the word "water" whilst waving my hand to try and indicate my water bottle was empty. She dove into my bad, held up my bottle and told me it was empty. I nodded furiously, coughing copiously and the gentleman in the pew behind said "easy, love". Which didn't help.

Rachael finally handed me water, my eyes were streaming, my throat burning. After a swallow of water I managed to say that I needed to get out of the church so I could really cough.
I might be an atheist, but a coughing fit still seems really inappropriate in a church!
It's safe to say I did not need the heimlich, but my goodness my throat was sore right through till when I went to bed!

This morning Rachael and I headed out to Wragby to walk another 6 miles around the Lincolnshire Limewoods and out to Goltho which is the site of another medieval village - in fact in the overhead photo in the link, you can clearly see the outlines of the village near the chapel in the centre of the picture.
I somehow managed to hurt my back yesterday, the ground was uneven and I think I twisted it, so it was really nice to have a walk on the flat today, although I hadn't anticipated the level of mud! At one point my feet were cloaked in it!
This was another walk with plenty of stops for information on the area. The Limewoods project is working with ancient woodlands and has actually purchased land and planted enormous numbers of trees in an effort to join the patches of woodland together. They are planting only native species and also making sure they are native to the area as well as the country.

There is something gratifying in seeing so much green land and not just that, but green land which is solely for the growth of trees. When it seems that so much land is being taken over by the need for housing I'm awed to see acre upon acre given totally to nature. Absolutely wonderful!

Less wonderful is the sunkissed neck I am currently sporting. It was windy so I tied up my hair, neglecting to realise this would leave my neck mighty naked and now it is a shade that matches the scarlet of my hair.

Speaking of which, I discovered that my car, Jeff, had a flat tyre this morning, so after the walk, I rang for the breakdown fellow to come and help me. It's not that I'm not capable of changing a tyre, but I was parked right up against the kerb and I actually had no idea how I was supposed to release the spare tyre from underneath the car as I'm completely without a manual! Anyway, the lovely man from the RAC arrived, rang me to say he was outside and I popped out to meet him. He climbed out of his van, pointed at me and said "Fantastic hair!" How very kind! Naturally he's right of course!

Whilst I was wandering around the woodlands I got a call from Dad to say he was being readmitted to the hospital, bless him. His sister, Rosemary, is staying at the moment and was able to sit with him as I was out in the middle of a field/wood, so once Jeff had a new wheel and the old tyre was declared ruined by the nail within it, I headed up to the hospital. Dad seems to be doing ok, but mightily fed up. I can't say I blame him, I'd hate the constant toing and froing, so hopefully, hopefully, hopefully this will be the last trip and they'll finally establish what is causing him to live with pain every day...

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