XVIII – Bosham to Emsworth

Hasteful MammalFRIDAY’S walk was mostly enhanced by the colour yellow (narcissi, celandines and gorse flowers) and the smell of coconut (gorse flowers smell of it. Although, since gorse is native to Great Britain and coconut is not, surely from a British perspective coconut should smell of gorse?). Less delightful ‘enhancements’ involved becoming festooned with the webs of what seemed like every single spider in West Sussex, the occasional aroma of decomposing seaweed and an extremely unwelcome case of sunburn.

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XVII – West Wittering to Bosham

Hasteful MammalTODAY I found myself looking back on yesterday’s walk in a reflective mood, glad that I have the luxury to sit about and contemplate. I spent the day ambling along the edge of Chichester Harbour at a leisurely pace, enjoying warm weather and the gentle ripple-waves of an incoming tide.

‘Oh how I love the sea,’ I thought. And I do. Even those parts of it that sit tamely within harbours, quietly and gently going splishy-splash.

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XVI – Bognor Regis to West Wittering

Hasteful MammalIF LAST week’s walk was brought to you by the words ‘flat’ and ‘dull’ then yesterday’s walk was sponsored by the noises ‘brrr’ and ‘thud-clang!’ The latter is of course the sound of a metal alloy simian undergoing meteorological castration. The Met Office had promised, more or less, that the day would be bright and sunny but only sunny enough that the ‘brisk’ wind (their adjective) would elicit surprise as one’s sunglasses froze to one’s face.

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XV – Worthing to Bognor Regis

Hasteful MammalFOR yesterday’s walk, I once again stayed up all night to ensure that I could catch the earliest possible train without having to worry about snoozing through my alarm or anything. And indeed I could have caught that train had I not been distracted by something else in my tired, slightly trancelike state.

Fortunately I am no stranger to starting a walk half an hour behind schedule, my schedules being nominal at best and designed to accommodate an ambling pace. It should perhaps be no surprise then that I eventually finished my walk before sunset and a good forty minutes ahead.

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XIV – Newhaven to Worthing

Hasteful MammalMY CUNNING plan for my fourteenth coastal walk was to walk from Newhaven to Shoreham on Saturday. Indeed this plan was so cunning it mutated to keep everyone guessing.

In truth, the weather forecast for Saturday was one of bucketing rain, which didn’t sound a bundle of laughs. The best day this week, according to the Met Office, was yesterday (Thursday). So yesterday I went.

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XIII – Eastbourne to Newhaven

Hasteful MammalON FRIDAY night I decided that I needed to boot up Cleopatra, the old Windows 98 machine that lives in a corner of my bedroom, because I needed something on her hard drive. Perhaps because she is ancient in computing terms, or perhaps because she is still sulking over her replacement, Pandora, she repeatedly refused to boot up. But I am a stubborn mammal, and helpful, and eventually I got my way.

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XII – Hastings to Eastbourne

Hasteful MammalI HAVE to admit that, as I lay awake at night listening to the wind drive intermittent sleet against my bedroom window, I wondered if the Met Office’s forecast of ‘sunny intervals’ was perhaps a tad optimistic and that maybe I shouldn’t get up early to catch a train back to Hastings.

It was admittedly still bitterly cold when I did catch that train, and indeed had not stopped being so by the time I got to Hastings at around 9 am.

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XI – Rye to Hastings

Hasteful MammalYESTERDAY, I awoke at an ungodly hour and thought back to this time last year, when I was surrounded by friends and family, all dressed as pirates on a boat on the Thames. This year I opted to be more downscale and spent the day ambling about on my own. When I wasn’t unexpectedly recumbent in several inches of mud, that is…

If I had to sum up today’s walk in one word, that word would have to be ‘windswept’. And ‘muddy’. My two words would be ‘windswept’ and ‘muddy’. And ‘grey’. I’ll start again…

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X – Dungeness to Rye

Hasteful MammalIT’S been a few months since my last coastal perambulation and several things got in the way, not least of which were snow and Christmas. I’ve realised though that I’m spending too much time sat on my sofa in front of my computer. Thoughts along these lines were then greatly exacerbated by two visitations of pain, likely related:

Firstly, I did something to the muscles in my spine, an unpleasant development probably not unconnected with the fact that my battered old sofa has become less an item of furniture and more a torture device.

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