Saturday, 3 March 2012

Big Girls' Sleep-over.

"Wow! You're going to stay at Kate's all night!" said Donny. "It'll be a big girls' sleep-over! How cool!"

And indeed it was. I went over to Kate's for mushroom risotto, wine and The King's Speech. Nick had refused to get out the video as it was a load of Royalist Rubbish, apparently. This is coming from the man that obsessively reads about the Tudor period and knows the details of Elizabeth I's love life. Am I missing something? Anyway, the King's Speech was an excellent movie, superbly acted by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.

In the morning, we went and fed the ducks and a whopping great swan over at the wildlife reserve behind her house.

Arley, Areley and Helpful People (Not)

Despite just getting over the cold from hell, I decided I needed to do a bit of a walk. The trek to K2 is coming up really soon and I'm starting to freak out about my lack of fitness. Nick had given me a book of local walks for Christmas, so I picked one out of there. It starts off in Arley near the Severn Valley Railway station and heads through the forest, across the road at Button Oak, further through the forest, across the road at Callow Hill, then loops back past the golf course and Mum's house to the SVR station in Bewdley. I reckoned if I followed the route as far as Mum's, then it would be about a six mile jaunt.
Nick dropped Pal and me off. It was a lovely day. As before, there were a few points in the guide that were not exactly clear unless you knew the route, but somehow I didn't make a mistake. I saw a few people, but mostly these were at the Button Oak car-park. The rest of the forest was empty. Pal ran up and down, doing at least three times the distance I did.

Somewhere near the back of Uncllys Farm, Pal flushed out a magnificent stag, which bounded unhurriedly away through the oak trees. Pal bounded after him and I didn't see him again for twenty minutes... but he came back, as always. He can follow my trail for miles and find me again.

Not long after that, I stopped for lunch. Pal lay down by my feet for most of it, only wandering off just before I was ready to leave. I packed up, thinking he couldn't have gone far. I whistled and whistled, but he didn't come. Eventually, I carried on, thinking he would catch me up when he was ready. This usually works, but today it didn't. When I got to the main road I realised I had a problem. Pal couldn't follow my trail across the main road.

There was nothing for it. I called Nick to come and get me in the car so we could go and look for the dog. We drove up and down that track with no luck and then went to the visitor's centre at Callow Hill. Yup, there was Pal tied up. Someone had helpfully caught my dog and taken him to the centre (which wasn't on my route at all). They must have grabbed him when I was eating my sandwiches. I know they were trying to be a good citizen and all that, but it was a right pain in the backside. That was the end of that walk, but hey, there's always another one.

Close to Mum's is a place called Areley (yes, it is spelt differently but said the same). Dave has his workshop in the woods down there. A couple of days after the Arley walk, I went on a walk round Areley. Dave wanted me to sort out the NVC status for each compartment in the woods, so I wandered round with the dog looking at the different trees. I took a few photos to share with you. The woods are really peaceful - a lime pollard and a walk up through the conifers.