Blog from Sheree: “First walk as Leader”

“It was New Year’s Day (or maybe Boxing Day). On the programme it was described as the “Hair of the Dog” by Syd.
8 of us rolled up, Margaret, Barbara, Jackie (& 2 of her Christmas guests) and my very good friend Dot. It was one of those years when we had considerable snowfall. We assembled promptly at Bishop’s Lydeard village hall and made our way to Cothelstone House and circled back. We covered approximately 5.5 miles. A walk many will know as I’ve led it several times since. I got everybody back safe and well that day and didn’t get lost; I’d like to say that its always been the case since, but it really hasn’t!

It remains to this day one of myfavourite routes. It doesn’t matter how many times I do the walk the landscape is different, the colours and textures under foot, the dodgy stiles and stuck gates! The route runs along the Quantocks and enables terrific views. It is remote and very peaceful. Many of the paddocks house racehorses. Clearly some are so successful they barely acknowledge your presence being far too important; others are far less lofty and very happy to trot alongside and don’t mind a nose scratch. Finally, I dare anyone to undertake the walk and skip a visit to the Cothelstone Church. I could write an entire essay on the beauty of this structure but won’t. Take my word for it when I say it is a picture of joy.
Two strong memories spring to mind from that first walk as Leader. Firstly, we had to traipse across a very large and exposed field, much to our amusement and fascination our trousers froze solidly from the ankle to the knee. Secondly, we walked down a long narrow lane, hedges growing on either side, the weight of the snow caused the hedges to sag and it was as if we were actually walking through a snow tunnel. I hadn’t experienced it before, nor since. It was very quiet and really quite beautiful.
The run up to the walk and the preparation for that walk was stressful. I walked the route several times and carefuly documented each turn in writing and by pictures on my phone. Of course my confidence has surged since that first walk; some might say that confidence is misplaced and verging on delusional.” Sheree Pavey

Not I Sheree! I know how popular your walks are and indeed how much effort you put into creating a walk for our members. I shall look out for when you next offer this walk. It sounds quite delightful. Thank you. Woody: Editor

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