Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bucket! My feet ache!

Today, I decided to take a walk around the area where my brother lives – near Guildford.  I started off on a public footpath just 20 yards from his front door. After 100 yards of paved pathway, it turns right and becomes a gravelly path behind the bottom of his garden. Another 100 yards and it becomes a narrow muddy and brambly path, which can be avoided by walking through an adjacent field, but it was also quite wet from the rain over the weekend.

I decided to change my plans – which would have taken me on more muddy footpaths and had me back at the house after less than two miles. Instead, I opted to stick to the paved footpaths along the main roads that loop around the area.

That route enabled me to check out a local pub – The Cricketers, on Aldershot Road. It had just what I needed for tomorrow; WiFi, a good looking lunch menu and a nice atmosphere.

I plan to walk there tomorrow and, God willing, post this and the bucket-blogs of the past 2 days. My brother doesn’t have WiFi and there seems to be a problem with his system precluding me downloading my photos to the blog. Crossed-fingers (not good for typing, of course) will be the order of the day.

A little further on, I cut back sharp right towards Wood Street Village, an unimposing collection of houses that contained a Post Office; just what I needed! I had promised to mail an adapter plug to Iain, in Llanelli. He had graciously loaned me one when I was there – almost three weeks ago. My - how time flies when you are carrying a bucket. I no longer had need of the borrowed plug because Barry had given me one when I stayed with him in Swansea. The borrowed plug is now on its way back to Wales. Before the Post Office was another pub – the Hare and Hounds, but it appears that it may have morphed into a ‘curry shop’ – an Indian Restaurant.

Not far from where Broad Street makes a sharp turn northwards, where it becomes called Frog Grove Lane, is a nice, but disconcerting place – a frog pond.

Nobody should ever use such a word in the presence of someone on a ‘Bucket-List Trip’, but that bend in the road is called ‘Croaker’s Corner’!

I trudged on, munching a bar of Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut to give me energy for what was becoming a grueling walk – and it was only about half through at this time – and no shortcut to take – except across muddy fields and trails. I had to admire the workmanship the owner had undertaken to bend and weave (pleatching) living beech tree branches to form a most unusual fence in front of his house. He also arranged the thin 3-foot long cuttings in patterns on his lawn. 

Frog Grove Lane, it seems, is populated with some very rich people judging by the houses and cars parked in the large graveled driveways. Opulence was no use to me! My feet were beginning to ache and I felt the need to hear a beer can popping open. Although most houses along on that road were quite nice, there was one that must have housed someone a little ‘off-kilter’, judging by the masonry of its outer wall.

A right turn brought me back to Aldershot Road and another half-mile or more of sidewalks to pound before entering my brother’s housing estate - that’s UK-speak for ‘subdivision’. For some dumb-ass reason, when I was within a 1,000 yards of his house, I decided to wander along a public footpath that I knew would end up right behind his back garden. The problem soon became apparent, that I had made a poor choice. That route turned out to become progressively wetter – and a little muddy; plus it was more circuitous, such that I landed at his house with aching feet, that were now wet too! I had completed a walk of more than 4 miles, but I didn’t compute that until after I had popped than beer and taken an equally welcomed bath.

To be continued.       

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