Tomorrow morning, at 2am to be precise, our clocks in the United Kingdom go back an hour. For another year, it marks the end of British Summer Time (BST) and the beginning of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) . Providing us with an extra hour in bed – should we wish to avail ourselves of it – it makes the early mornings a little lighter, a little more bearable, for a while at least.
I’m a self-confessed spring-summer individual; not someone who looks forward, gleefully, to long evenings, dark mornings or the damp, grey chill so typical of our winters. If only I could summon up Danish hygge; conjure crisp frosty mornings to tempt me outside then return home and drape myself in a blanket whilst sitting by an open fire and nursing a cup of hot chocolate laced with some delicious spirit or other. (By the way, I do know hygge is more than the above but my description is how it’s represented in the Sunday Supplements and glossy magazines).
Contrary to the impression I may have given, I’m neither gloomy by nature nor do I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I simply prefer the hopefulness of spring and the longer days of summer. Meanwhile I shall knit, make soups and walk regularly. Talking of which…
Weather-watching I’d selected yesterday for a coastal walk. With no other day-time commitments I assigned the decision about precisely where to Eric – a taste of his own medicine as he excels at decision-delegation these days. The weather was as forecast and while I assembled our packed lunch, Eric threw boots, maps and rucksacks in the car.
With a fair percentage of the South West Coast Path under our belt, it’s hard to find new stretches – especially close to home – but this walk ticked that box too. We parked the car at Moor Wood then took the Rugged Coast Path uphill and down-combe via North Hill to Selworthy Beacon at which point we returned by the less-Rugged Coast Path. We walked eight miles in total. The description of this section of the coast path as challenging with a number of significant descents/ascents is not an exaggeration!
Walking in the countryside is rarely without visual reward. The exceptional views along the Bristol Channel coast and to Exmoor are obvious but there is also some interesting WWII evidence, earthworks from Iron and Bronze-Ages and the ruins of a 15th century hermitage known as Burgundy Chapel.
In terms of wildlife, within minutes of parking the car Eric spotted a magnificent red stag up on the far hilltop. Unfortunately it was too far away to be photographed but we had plenty of time to admire him through the binoculars before he stalked off through the bracken. The Belted Galloway, on the other hand, appeared more than happy to pose for a photo. Finally, and by way of a farewell, whilst taking off my boots at the end of the walk I looked up into the tree and there as bold as brass was a spotted woodpecker, busy drilling.