A Windy Walk

Saturday didn’t start too well. On a routine trip to the shed, to get a fresh light bulb, I noticed that almost half of the floor was under water, once again. Presumably, the recent torrential rain has raised the level of the ground water, and it is finding its way inside, though it is impossible to work out how. This meant a complete evacuation of all the stuff stored out there, to gain access to the floor, so as to be able to ascertain the extent of the small flood. Sodden cardboard packaging had to be thrown out, and numerous things re-packaged, in plastic containers that will resist the worst of the water. Many items had to be found a place in the adjacent garage, which is now almost full, with only a narrow access passage left.

Once the space had been cleared, the mopping up process could begin, using any old towels, dust sheets, and paper. When the area was dry again, I resolved not to put anything back there that could be damaged, so a complete sort out was necessary. I know that this is insignificant, when compared to the devastation caused by severe floods in the South-West of the UK, but when it is in your shed, and causing a nuisance, it still seems like a big deal. After almost two hours of this chore, it was time to get ready to take Ollie out, for his later than usual walk. I decided to reward his patience, with a walk along the Wensum Way, to the back of the large pig farms, and around the plum orchards.

After ploughing through some muddy paths in Mill Lane, we emerged into the large area of open fields, home to a large plantation of recently pruned blackcurrant bushes. It was here that I discovered a new ‘enemy’ of the dog walker. Wind. Not a breeze, you understand, nor even something described as ‘blustery’, or ‘windy’. This was serious wind, a north-westerly coming at us like the back-draft of a jet engine. Flattening my long parka against my body, and whipping up stones and twigs, which clattered into and around me, as if hurled by some unseen poltergeist. Forward movement felt constrained, as if wading through deep water, and my eyes were soon streaming too. Turning my back for a brief respite, I felt that it would almost support my weight, if I leaned into it.

Ollie was oblivious, as he usually is. No extremes of weather ever seem to faze him, and his demeanour is the same, whether in torrential rain, or thick snow. If he noticed this wind, he certainly didn’t display any reaction to it, and carried on looking for rabbits, peeing up bushes, and trotting around, as if on a mission, only known to him. When he got thirsty, he took a drink from one of the pond-like puddles, and he ran on far ahead, sometimes looking back, to check that I was still there. When we reached the pigs, they sauntered over to the fence, no doubt hoping that I was a farm employee, bringing them more food. They all lined up to look directly at me, as their huge ears point forwards, and shade their peripheral vision, like blinkers on a horse.

When we finally arrived at Gingerbread Corner, I took the opportunity of a break. There is a large copse of tall trees, and they stop the wind from having the same effect that it enjoys across the open fields. Retracing the route towards home, I at least had the wind in my back, and this made walking much easier. I arrived home, pleased to be away from the constant buffeting. One hundred minutes seemed so much longer, when it was hard to hear yourself think, and each step felt like I was wearing diving boots. I am looking forward to a time of less extremes, ‘normal’ days, windy, or otherwise. The good walks will return, their time is just around the corner.

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11 thoughts on “A Windy Walk

  1. Oh dear, seems like you are experiencing my daily dog walk, though on occasion, my two take exception to the wind and rain and lie down in ditches the evade it, lucky, no danger from trees, twigs, etc here though. I bet the walk you describe is delightful on a balmy summer day. One of my neighbours has a few pigs and they always trot up to me hopefully when I pass them on my regular run. Quite endearing, and delicious 🙂

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    1. Thanks Tracey. These are not a ‘few pigs’ unfortunately, but a pig camp as large as a small town. I love it when the piglets are born though, hundreds of them running around, and squealing! It is lovely in the summer, with the fruit orchards laden with blackcurrants and plums.
      Regards as always, Pete.

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  2. Great, GREAT reading, Pete!! I got absolutely absorbed, this is very well written, take a bow!
    First of all, Pete, I’m so sorry for not having so much time as I really want to, to look into all your texts, but life is something half crazy with work and living in two countries.
    Terribly sorry about your silly garden shed, what a nuisance! You have my sympathy. Klausbernd and myself are planning to build a garden shed this summer, I’m glad I’m only responsible for holding, bringing, steading and things like that, my… Your are obviously inn for a good garage cleaning in the spring, oh dear! 🙂
    I chuckled as I read about your walk, sorry. It reminded me about a similar walk after Christmas. The wind and the rain blew all my good spirits and my humour far, far away. No way could I wrap my feelings in words like you have done, this is seriously good. I know those pigs!
    Very glad to read that poor Ollie is doing so much, much better! What a relief, after such a long time.
    Have a lovely evening and a good start in the new week, all three of you.
    Best regards from the Rhine Valley
    Dina

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    1. Not to worry Dina, I know only too well how busy your life is. Any of your ‘appearances’ on my blog are always cherished, and your kind comments warm my old heart!
      Love from me and Ollie. X

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    1. Thanks Sophie, I have had the wind and rain together, and it is forecast for next week again. On balance, I would just take the wind, as the rain has been so relentless, I have run out of words to describe how sick I am of seeing rain.
      As ever, Pete. XX

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  3. You are going to have to clear out that garage some time Pete! Hope you tracked down the cause of the flooding. Maybe it is underground water. We once lived in a house with a ‘dry’ cellar which apparently doesn’t mean it is totally dry! And we discovered that there was an underground water source below!

    If you lived here you would be walking in horizontal rain today!
    Jude xx

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  4. That was a good one, Pete — what a transformed person from your urban self, with now your easy familiarity with plum trees and pig behaviour! and nature has certainly got into your soul, this time via the elements of water, then air.

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