XXIII – Bournemouth to Swanage

Hasteful MammalALTHOUGH I very much wanted to do another walk yesterday, my finances are dwindling and so I was in some doubt as to whether I should. Imagine my surprise then, when I found that by buying advance tickets (which restrict you to travelling on a specific train) I could travel First Class more cheaply than Standard Class.

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XXI – Southampton to Lymington

Hasteful MammalMONDAY’S walk is perhaps best characterised by ‘fun and failure’, which, if it wasn’t a phrase before, might well become my walking motto.

Failure number one was on the part of South West Trains, whose service over the bank holiday weekend was looking to be less than Sterling.

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XIX – Emsworth to Portsmouth

Hasteful MammalYESTERDAY saw what I now consider a ‘short’ walk even though not that long ago I would have considered it a sizeable distance, i.e. twelve miles. The length of the walk was determined by a moment of unexpected synchronicity – it just so happened that I would reach a handy station (Portsmouth Harbour) twelve miles on from Emsworth and that twelve miles from Emsworth would, quite coincidentally, also be my three hundredth mile.

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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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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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VIII – Dover to Sandling

Hasteful MammalFOLLOWING 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.

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VII – Sandwich to Dover

Hasteful MammalTODAY 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.

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