IF 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.Continue reading “XVI – Bognor Regis to West Wittering”
FOR 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.Continue reading “XV – Worthing to Bognor Regis”
MY 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.Continue reading “XIV – Newhaven to Worthing”
ON 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.Continue reading “XIII – Eastbourne to Newhaven”
I 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.Continue reading “XII – Hastings to Eastbourne”
YESTERDAY, 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…Continue reading “XI – Rye to Hastings”
IT’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.Continue reading “X – Dungeness to Rye”
BETWEEN one thing and the other (one being some writing and the other being a vomiting bug of the most spectacular awfulness), it’s been about a fortnight since I last went traipsing round the coast. This is, of course, a scurrilous state of affairs.
I rectified it by the simple expedient of getting up at some unfeasible hour before dawn and jumping on a train back to Sandling, in the parish of Saltwood, where my last perambulatory episode finished up.Continue reading “IX – Sandling to Dungeness”
FOLLOWING last Saturday’s fun and games, in which I came interestingly close to not so much shuffling off this mortal coil as slipping from it, I decided that I would continue my excursion around the Kentish coast. After all, the weather forecast was ‘sunny intervals with rain later’ and I still had more lovely cliffs to walk, with their slippery-when-wet clay topsoil.
As it happened, the rain didn’t even try to make a showing until after I’d come down from the cliffs and for this I was glad because one or two of them were quite scary enough as it was (I don’t like heights all that much and at a couple of points there was about a foot and half between the edge of the path and a very long way down.Continue reading “VIII – Dover to Sandling”
TODAY I learned a terribly important lesson about the White Cliffs of Dover…
Do not walk them in the rain.
I also learned that while the Met Office is one of the world’s best weather forecasters, and not at all the running joke it was when I was little, they are still not always right. Today’s forecast for Kent was mostly for ‘sunny intervals’ giving way to rain tonight. What we actually got was intermittent showers giving way to rain by about four o’clock.Continue reading “VII – Sandwich to Dover”