Friday, 8 June 2012

The Dream and The Reality

As think I mentioned a few weeks ago, what I would really like to do for my birthday was to walk some of the South Downs Way. A proper lovely long walk, possibly with me taking some nice photos along the way, with hopefully my new camera.

So lovely hubby planned it all out. We would have one night away, in Littlehampton.  (I have been to Littlehampton four times, but always on the same school trip, so I also had the idea that it would be nice to go there and see more of the town.) Then we would drive to Chichester, leave the car, and get a bus to Cocking. Then a fairly long walk for us (11 miles), to Amberley, where we would get a train back to Chichester.

The Dream

The weather forecast was not great, but when we set off it was quite pleasant, and we thought if we could get most of the walk done before the rain set in, it would not be too bad. And how many times is the forecast wrong, anyway?

I'm not sure I should go into all the gory details: the nettle stings on my legs, the field of bullocks, and then when the rain did begin the field of rape our path took us through that meant our lower halves got instantly soaked. After about six miles we got to a road with a bus stop, but the "flexible Sunday service" meant we had no choice but to walk on to Amberley. 

Has anyone ever died of exposure on the South Downs in June? This is the only photo that got taken that day. We still had about 2 miles to go, but we were nearly back in civilisation, and found a kiosk with some hot chocolate. I do realize that we should have been better prepared. When we got back to Chichester we got changed into our pyjamas in the car, as we were all so wet and cold. I do hope that didn't get caught on cctv.

On the car drive home my little one said "You won't make me have a treat like that on my birthday, will you Mum?".


  1. Oh shame, sorry that it didn't turn out quite like your dream, I must admit though that I did have quite a giggle at the comment of your little one - what must have gone through her mind?

  2. It's so nice to see someone else enjoying the glorious British summer! This story gave me flashbacks to walking with my parents when I was your little one's age - my parents were hard core hikers, for them to abandon a walk because of rain people would have to be building arks...I do hope you get out and about again once the weather perks up!

  3. Sometimes it seems like the most enjoyment you get out of a trip or special day is in the planning and in the looking forward to and anticipation of the day, not the actual day itself. So often the special day is not what we had planned, but more joy was had leading up to it. Boy, what a family photo though! I think your kids won't soon forget this walk!

  4. haha that reality picture made me laugh! sorry your walk didn't work out, but I admire you trying in that weather! =)

  5. I am inviting you to come and be part of my blog hop:

    1. That's really nice of you. Do you mind what kind of things I link to your site? Usually my stuff is knitting or sewing, but sometimes I just have photos, or kids things.

  6. ha! That reality photo is the best. We plan and dream of something spectacular but the reality typically includes rain and bullocks yet somehow we pull it together and create a memory that we won't forget...and it always includes something the child says.

    Happy Birthday!

  7. Oh, children do have a way, don't they? Despite the wet and cold you made some memories. A couple of years from now it will make for a great story for all to retell many times. How was the hot chocolate? Happy Birthday!

  8. I read this aloud to my husband and I am still laughing. "YOu won't make me have a treat like this?" Oh, how wonderful a thing to have said. What a miserable time - SIX MILES. With all that water, you'd either end up looking like a fresh, plumped out daisy or a soaked cat. Soaked cat is what I'd be. How terrible, but thank you for the laugh, my dear. I feel so happy now.

  9. What a sorry tale, but wait and see, it will go down in family folklore ... "remember that birthday when we all set out for a long walk on the South Downs, and how wet we all got, and changed into our pyjamas in the car ..."

  10. Oh dear! I must admit I had a very sympathetic smile on my face as I read - oh that photo at the end! I do hope you'll venture to the Downs for a walk again one day - but I'll be on call with the car and some treats in case you get hit with bad weather again! And oh, your child's birthday request at the end - priceless. Chrissie x