Hambledon to Portsdown Hill – Wayfarers Walk – Weekend Walk 68

 

From the downland village of Hambledon, through Denmead and the eastern edge of the Forest of Bere, the path then slowly climbs the north side of Portsdown Hill near Widely.

 

Unfortunately my camera didn’t record the views from the hop overlooking Portsea Island, so I used a couple of pics found online to illustrate the hazy scene that day.

Advertisements

170612 To the hobbit trail and back again

Woke with the birds and dozed until 0530

Yoga nidra, the long one that goes through the different layers of being, from physical to blissful.

A tangible sense of calming down throughout, accelerated by touching upon true feeling.

Interesting how after a night of rest I can wake stressed, scattered. Sleep is not enough to allow change. I get the sense I’m much the same in sleep as awake. So moments of stillness and connection in awareness become all the more necessary.

Half an hour browsing, reading an extract from Creatures of a Day by Irvin Yalom as recommended by Derren Brown. Facebook can be all right.

Sitting. Head shaking rapidly, jaw realeasing, then when everything is still, that buzz of fear in the lower chest. Why have I spent so much time avoiding this, repelled by it? Where might feeling it fully take me? It is a powerful force but it’s not supreme.

After work, walked along the lane under the copper beeches now liquorice. Turned into the ancient woodland and onto my favourite local path, a singletrack that winds through the trees where it gets too muddy, taking those routes even when dry. Out into the head height ferns, chopping the path clear with a whipping stick. They are still unfurling.


Over the style that’s got no plank into the horse meadow, crows cawing overhead. Why? Then I see. A young ‘un in the long grass, unable to fly. It hops away as best it can. I catch up with it to see if there’s something I could free it from. Twine? Plastic? But there’s nothing so I leave it be. I briefly think of the bird man who once lived over the road and who would rescue needy birds. He had a huge snowy owl that the local owls would come to talk to in the night. The crows still circled, warning me off. I continued towards the Meon lane. A friendly spaniel and a smiling but apologetic wealthy lady. People always apologise for their dogs. Then along the bridleway and following the track downhill, where it becomes hobbity, sunken below complex roots and earth banks. 

Suddenly a view. East towards Meon Hut.


I turned back when I got to the yard with the bad vibes and old cars. There was no sign of the young crow back in the meadow and then there were more ferns to slice.

Weekend Walk – Bishops Sutton and Gundleton

Scenes during a walk in late autumn, from Bishops Sutton near Alresford, to Gundleton and back.

 

An old granary at the northern edge of Bishops Sutton, perched on staddlestones to keep it drier and relatively rodent-proof:

 

Granary

 

 

A new house (Southview) built next to the Watercress Line. This is looking west:Watercress Line, Bishops Sutton

 

Watercress line from Bighton Lane, looking east:Watercress Line, Bishops Sutton

A dovecote in a scruffy garden near the railway: Dovecote, Bishops Sutton

View from Bighton Lane to Northside Farm and Sutton Wood:Bighton Lane

Geese and cows at Cliveden Farm, Gundleton:Geese at Cliveden, Gundleton

Cliveden. And I thought all of this part of Hampshire was super-expensive:Cliveden, Gundleton

Feeding the horses near Gundleton. They were very hungry. C fetched them fresh grass and I pushed the fallen hay to their side of the fence: Feeding the horses

Into an autumnal Sutton Wood:

Sutton Beech Wood, Gundleton

Out of the wood, looking west. The familiar landmark of Great Clump, Cheesfoot Head in the distance:Northside Farm, Gundleton

Looking south from Northside Lane to Park Dale and the woods of Bramdean Common:

Towards Park Dale and Bramdean Common

Back under the Watercress Line (ex Mid Hants Railway). Railway Bridge, Bishops Sutton, Watercress Line

The bridge arch. Always interesting patterns of decay on these bridges. This bridge would have been made around 1865. Just visible top right is one of two small trees we saw somehow growing from between the bricks:Railway Bridge, Bishops Sutton, Watercress Line

The site of the source of the short River Alre, which springs from east of Bishops Sutton and flows a few miles before joining the Itchen near Alresford. Source of the River Alre

Lots of crows! They were all on the field before we came.A Murder, Horde, Parcel, or Storytelling of Crows

Not quite *the* Alresford but a another Alres-ford (dry) at Water Lane, Bishops Sutton:Ford near Bishops Sutton

Milestone at Bishops Sutton. Apparently Winton is an abbreviation of Wintoniensis, the meaning of Winchester. Tasker is a 19th Century ironworks company.Milestone Bishops Sutton Winton 8

A typical row of Hampshire flint cottages, at Bishops Sutton.Flint cottages, Bishops Sutton

And the rather more fancy Sutton ManorSutton Manor

A glimpse of Bishops Sutton Church, with its high weathervane:Bishops Sutton Church

And right at the end of the walk we saw a bird of prey swoop across the road into the hedge. We stood and watched for a while before it went deeper in to eat its prey. Later we identified it as a kestrel:Kestrel with rat

Six years ago, I took a similar walk. Here is the video.

Weekend Walk No. 65 – Camden to Little Venice – Regent’s Canal

From Camden in London, west along Regent’s Canal path to Little Venice at Maida Vale. The path soon leads to Regent’s Park, where the canal cuts trough the zoo, and the back gardens of some stately homes side by side along its banks. Then there’s a tunnel, so one has to re enter London streets a while, before the busy but tranquil Lisson Grove moorings and Little Venice itself. After an unusual request, I walked a little way along the Grand Union Canal, to Paddington Station.

Weekend Walk 63 – Mill Barrow Down to Soberton – Wayfarers Walk

A proper South Downs Walk. Continuing along the long distance path from the downs south of Kilmeston, along a bit of the South Downs Way before cutting south past Lomer, Preshaw, the legendary Betty Mundy’s Bottom and Corhampton Down, noisy that day with the shooting. The path then heads in a more easterly direction past Corhampton golf course and onto Fir Down above Droxford. After the village we cross the River Meon and follow the water meadows to the small village of Soberton. Outside the White Lion pub I met a white cat, who I was told is deaf and blind.

Weekend Walk 62 – Alresford to Kilmeston Down – Wayfarers Walk

Into the South Downs National Park after heading south from the market town of New Alresford (my new home town). The Wayfarers Walk then passes through Tichborne, across the small at this stage River Itchen, Cheriton, Hinton Ampner, Kilmeston and then up onto Kilmeston Down for a spot of sheep herding, and Mill Barrow Down.

Weekend Walk 61 – Brown Candover to Alresford – Wayfarers Walk

Hampshire in the spring. A walk I took in April continuing the long distance path through the low downs of central Hampshire, nine miles or so from the Candover Valley to Alresford. The walk crosses the same stream many times, and passes by the villages of Totford, Northington and Abbotstone. The stream enters the very short river Arle which we see at the end of the walk with its ducks, swans (building a nest), geese and trout. Apologies for the wind noise.

Weekend Walk 60

It’s hard to believe I’ve made 60 walking videos! This one is a little different from the usual countryside walks:

A walk from Camden to Hackney Wick along the towpath of the Regents and Hertford Union Canals. The walk goes through or near Kentish Town, Islington, Hoxton, Haggerston, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, before branching off to the north east and Hackney Wick, towards the Olympic Park. A quieter alternative to walking in London by road, this took about three hours.

More London walking videos to follow later this year I expect.

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge – Day 6

Today’s smoothie: Healthy Orange Julius. Ingredients: Orange, spinach, banana, lime, almond milk. So good! Really zingy and enlivening. I had to look up what an Orange Julius is and apparently it’s a US chain selling less healthy versions of a similar drink. Drank it in the car on the way for a winter walk on Harting Down:

During the walk I tested my new Narrative Clip (used to be called Memoto but they ran into trouble with Motorola). You wear the tiny camera and it takes a photo every 30 seconds. The above was taken this way and here’s a few more from the South Downs:

IMG_0018 IMG_0019 IMG_0020 IMG_0021 IMG_0022 IMG_0023 IMG_0024 IMG_0025 IMG_0026

Deane to Dummer – Wayfarers Walk – Weekend Walk 56

The fourth stage of my Wayfarers Walk hike. This walk is a loop, with the first half on the long distance path to Dummer, then back to Deane via North Waltham, Steventon, and Ashe. The source of the River Test is at Ashe. The walk crosses the mainline railway, the M3 and the A30.

Weekend Walk 54 – Highclere to Watership Down – Wayferers Walk

Here’s a video I made during the second stage of walking the 70 mile route across Hampshire. A high downs section with great views passing south of the Highclere Estate, home of Downton Abbey; Beacon Hill; Great Litchfield Down, Ladle Hill, leaving the long distance path at Watership Down, of book and film fame, for Sydmonton and Old Burghclere.

Weekend Walk 53 – Inkpen Beacon to Highclere – Wayfarer’s Walk 1

The first five miles of the 70-mile Wayfarer’s Walk long distance path. This hike is high on the North Wessex Downs, starting near Walbury Hill, the highest point in Southern England at nearly 300m. The path leads south east from Berkshire into Hampshire, past West Woodhay Down, Eastwick and Highclere, where I turned back. Half way back I left the Wayfarer’s Walk for Combe and around from the south to Combe Gibbet and Inkpen Hill. Features a view of Highclere Castle, location for Downton Abbey and fine views north. Filmed last Saturday.

Weekend Walk 52 – Winchester and Hockley Viaduct

A circular walk along the River Itchen and the Itchen Navigation, from St Cross south to Hockley Viaduct, now open for walkers and cyclists, back north to Winchester city centre, cathedral and college before returning through the water meadows. Calves, newborn lambs and views of St Catherine’s hill.

Weekend Walk 50 – Ovington to Winchester – Allan King’s Way

The final stage of the King’s Way, along the Itchen Valley to Winchester, via Avington, Martyr Worthy, Kings Worthy, and Abbots Barton. The Itchen Valley always makes for a beautiful walk. Today’s was enhanced by meeting a couple of pigs. Many churches along the way, and I rested in some of them. I entered the Winchester from the north, via Hyde Gate and Parchment Street, the residential area seamlessly meeting the city centre. It’s always interesting arriving at a town or city on foot. The King’s Way ends at the Cathedral, after 45 miles in total.

18 Aug 2013

New routine:

Up 05:50-0600. Wash.

Meditation 06:10-07:10

Walk 07:30-08:30

Work by 09:00

Lunch 13:00-15:00

Work 15:00-18:00

Yoga 18:15-19:15

This worked really nicely for me today. The main change in the above is switching yoga from morning to evening. After my neck injury last week, I realised that it is safer to stretch later in the day. And I enjoyed the walk before work, energising me for the morning after lying down for one song. Total time to myself, without any spiritual discipline, just me and the world waking up, with the rhythm of walking.

Meditation. Yesterday:

Learning to back off and observe more cleanly. Notice the steering and controlling and naturally step away, yet still entirely aware of what’s happening. As learning takes place, a different quality washes over the brain, one of space, freedom and often blissful energy. But not fantasy – this is very real, as real as all the gritty struggles and torments one is used to.

Today:

Unsteady foundations, like the floor of Bath Abbey built on thousands of graves. In sitting still, there can’t help but be an exposure of this wobbliness, and in the awareness of it, it dissipates. On going back to the breath each time, an intermediate stage was discovered. One of rejection or criticism. ‘I don’t want to think about that,’ therefore: back to the breath. This isn’t right practice. Yet right practice exposes this wrong practice. Then, once things are smoother and steadier, move to the body. This took ages to move very far. As soon as attention moved to sensations around the head, more unstableness was apparent. Then a thought loop, then back to the sensation, instability gone, until on a new area. By moving slowly, eventually I got to the injury recovered neck. So tight! Before the time was over, I’d skimmed down the arms but by this time I was wondering about the US Open and Federer’s form. Could sleep and sleep after but going for a walk.

Only on the way back I started to notice them. Slugs. Every one or two meters a couple more, most of them were the little white ones. The road was damp after the night’s rain so probably they would be able to get across without dehydrating. I rescued one or two of them with small sticks and put them in the grass. And yet there were too many of them to save them all. It was very warm in the direct sunshine, at 8 a.m., a quiet Sunday morning except for the main road, cars firing along, Red Bull cans along the verges. I picked a couple of them up that had been left in the lane. The walk today, down past the old farm shop, past the cottage with the Aston Martin along Riversdown Road (a lane), then across the A272 towards Woodlands. In the half hour out I almost got as far as the old school. A kind of steamy air, and slightly misty along the straight road at Brockwood Bottom, the sun rays coming through the trees and the mist. Glad to be out, and be able to be out, before work. Stepping on acorns and hazelnuts, crunching satisfactorily underfoot, kicking fallen sticks off of the road, dead wood fallen during quite a stormy night, the wind up. This morning, much stiller and the summer drawing to an end.

Worked on organising Spanish translated books all day. The architect of the Krishnamurti Centre, Keith Critchlow, gave a tour of the building to guests and visitors. I joined the group for a while. He said that Krishnamurti said that if he were a visitor, he would sit in the quiet library and listen to the sounds of the fountain in the courtyard. Thanks to donations, the fountain will soon be restored after years of not working.

Evening yoga, the first since the injury. Was able to do a short headstand without a problem, and otherwise going steady and gently. Pauses between poses, rushes of energy making me yawn and sometimes scrunch my face up. At one point my arm shook like in meditation.

A clear, aware, grounded day, once the foundations had been set early on.

Walk: Ropley / Gilbert Street

Today we walked for an hour, maybe an hour and a half in the area of Gilbert Street, just north of the South Downs National Park. Gilbert Street sounds like a street. It isn’t, just part of the loosely connected settlements in the Ropley/Monkwood/North Street area, southwest of Alton.

From Ropely we crossed a vast hayfield to towards Lyewood House:

Hay Field, Round BalesDon’t play on the round bales we were told on their introduction in the 1980s. I preferred the rectangular ones we could build dens with.

Each field a whole other scene:Ropley area

Golden Barley Field

Views to the west, climbing higherHampshire view

In Little Down woodPond near Ropley

P1020982

Near Lyeway FarmNear Lyeway Farm

Cottage at Swelling HillCottage at Swelling Hill

Into Old Down WoodOld Down Wood

Down the hill to Gilbert StreetTowards Gilbert Street

On St Swithuns Way, passing sheep and horsesMale Sheep Horse Paddock

And back to the start at RopleyRopley Hampshire

 

A good walk with many changes of countryside within quite a small area.