Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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My lunchtime walk

I really should be out doing my lunchtime walk instead of writing about it, but, firstly, I thought this might take more than just my 15 minute afternoon teabreak and, secondly, I've had an invitation to go out with G (husband) to visit his peat bog tomorrow. (It's "his" peat bog in the sense that it's one of the places where he's taking readings for his Ph.D. project.) This will give me quite a sufficiency of exercise tomorrow to make up for not exercising today.

Firstly an apology for the quality of the pictures. They were taken with the tiny digital camera, so they're about as good as you can expect from a camera the size of a matchbox which cost a mere 30 quid.

My lunchtime walk begins...

...by slipping round the back of the admin building and out of the side gate onto the narrow lane that climbs up behind the college. I'm not sure how far the college land extends, but I assume that all the surrounding fields for quite a distance around are ours.

A brisk pull up the long hill with the scent of damp hedgerows and the whiff of wild garlic as you following the shady upwards. At first I had to slow to catch my breath, but now I can walk briskly right to the top where the views open out a bit on the right.

The lane near the top of the hill.

Looking over the hedge to the right.

Turning left at the Y junction at the very top of the hill the road levels off. Further West, in Snowdonia, there are dramatic craggy mountains, but here the hills are small and green. Looking to the north east, you can see Vale of Clywyd.

Next comes the open level part of the walk. For some reason this always makes me think of H.G. Well's The History of Mr Polly and parts of the C.S. Lewis SF series, where people went off on walking holidays; by which I mean they went tramping around the little lanes and by-ways, not seeking out the wild moorland and mountain places like walkers tend to do now. It's here that, on a fine day, I wish I was going on and on, not just doing a quick circuit before returning to work.

"And he would go off along the white road that led to Garchester, and on to Crogate and so to Tunbridge Wells, where there was a Toad Rock he had heard of, but never seen. (It seemed to him this must needs be a marvel.) And so to other towns and cities. He would walk and loiter by the way, and sleep in inns at night, and get an odd job here and there and talk to strange people." (H.G. Wells, The History of Mr Polly

And when I reach the next bit, I'm always reminded that though these little back lanes are mostly traffic free, they're not suitable for horse riding because there is barely room for a car to pass a pedestrian. Just thinking about the problems of encountering a tractor while mounted is enough to remind me of one of the reasons I gave up keeping a horse.

And here's another reason. These dogs are friendly enough, but I never knew how a dog would behave when I rode past, especially as my horse didn't like dogs, but something snarling and barking right at its heels will upset even a placid horse.

The road now begins to descend towards the little village of Pentrecelyn, which consists of about a dozen houses and a little primary school. Once through the village, it's more or less level all the way back past meadows with hedges and mature oaks and horse chestnut and so finally back to the main road into Ruthin.

One of my husband's adult students once told him that as a child she'd confused Ruthin and Rufain (the Welsh name for Rome) in the old saying. So it's now one of our family jokes that "All roads lead to Ruthin".

After a couple of hundred yards along the main road, it's back in through the college gates.

Some of the college cows.

The admin block and student hostel.

Every since I started work, whenever I can I've popped out for a lunctime walk, but this one has to be about the prettiest.

And now I'd better get back to work...


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