THE city of Chester is a lovely place to amble about in on a crisp January morning, whilst stuffing one’s face with delicious but unhealthy goodies bought from an old-fashioned sweet shop. Trust me, I speak from experience (the actual speech may be muffled on account of the mouthful of sweets).
MY MOST recent walk was neither particularly long nor particularly coastal, involving as it did an amble alongside the River Dee as far as Chester, which is not on the coast. But what Chester lacks in coast it makes up for in being absolutely lovely and that was justification enough.
WHEN I awoke in Beaumaris, I found that the glorious sunshine that had accompanied the previous two days had quite vanished; the skies were grey and clouded and the weather forecast confirmed that rain would arrive sometime around mid afternoon. This called for drastic action, if unpacking my waterproof jacket from the bottom of my bag can be called ‘drastic’, which it probably can’t.
It could rain if it liked, I was going to walk anyway.
THE plan was simple. Get up at the crack of dawn and leave before breakfast, giving myself plenty of time to amble slowly and leisurely around the coast to Strumble Head. And then, if time still allowed, to continue on to Goodwick. It was a good plan. It was doomed.
The enemy, contact with whom no battle plan survives, was in this case me. As evidenced by my getting up somewhat later than intended and then taking time out for breakfast.
TODAY 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.
OVER the weekend it started to occur to me that I might not be entirely well, a development that threatened my further perambulation around Kent.
I first suspected on Saturday when I was wrapped up in a jumper and coat and still shivering, while others passed me in t-shirts enjoying a balmy evening. Given that I normally am impervious to cold, this was a bad sign. Waking up on Sunday morning drenched in sweat after a night of surreal, feverish and oddly disturbing dreams (involving my OS map of North Kent, characters from the original Swedish series of Wallander and Harry Lime’s theme from The Third Man) was pretty much the icing on the cake.