9 February 2015

Plodding

Yesterday northern England enjoyed dawn till dusk sunshine. I made a map of a country area that was previously unknown to me and Shirley and I set off eastwards in the car. Past Worksop and Retford - out into the North Nottinghamshire countryside.
Through North Wheatley we came to its sister village - South Wheatley where I noticed a church tower poking up through the trees. It was the tower of a church that had been abandoned in 1883 when the two villages were amalgamated within the same parish. The Norman chancel arch framed a slightly discordant view of West Burton Power Station.
Onwards to Sturton-le-Steeple with its fine medieval church and a pub called rather strangely - "The Reindeer Inn". The church tower was also quite unusual with twelve stone pinnacles atop the tower. Back in the car, we headed for North Leverton where we parked and got our boots on ready for a six or seven mile walk. I felt good - healthy. No bronchitis. No gout. No bad knee. It's something I have really missed - setting out on a country walk in previously unknown territory and feeling healthy.
Soon we came to North Leverton windmill to the west of the village. It is still able to grind corn into flour and is one of the precious survivors of a time when most English villages of reasonable size had their own windmills for grinding the local crop.

Along muddy Retford Gate track to Caddow Wood. A couple of dogs jumped up at Shirley and muddied her jacket. No apology from the dog walkers. Some are so ignorant in their doggy worlds. I have come across that before. "Oh he'll not hurt you!" - as a barking hound's paws wallop your crotch. At least you can eat sheep and cattle.
Over the fields to Cowsland Farm. Good name for a farm that. Better than Dogsland. Then down towards Sheds Farm with Cottam Power Station beyond sending plumes of steam into the bright February air. And along to South Leverton where we saw a fat cat on a wall. I have always been a cat person. You don't get cat walkers on muddy tracks. The cats wouldn't stand for it and they wouldn't bark aggressively at innocent ramblers either. "Oh don't worry love! He just likes the sound of his own voice!" Charming.
We paused in All Saints churchyard in South Leverton before following the road back to North Leverton and there we treated ourselves to drinks and a bag of plain crisps in "The Royal Oak". It had been a lovely walk and a pleasure to discover a little corner of England that we will probably never see again. And more than this the vehicle I call my body purred like a well-oiled machine. I hope that there will be many more walks like this - but you never know. You should probably relish every one.
"The Royal Oak" in North Leverton

24 comments:

  1. Reindeer Inn... You don't think old St Nicholas, after a necessarily swift round robin on Christmas Eve is going to miss the chance of a relaxing round in God's county before he goes home do you?

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    1. Errr.... God's county is NOT Nottinghamshire, it's Yorkshire and this may come as news to you Cap'n Gowans but Santa Claus does not exist! Sorry to say it so brutally but I couldn't think of a kinder way to let you know.

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    2. Sorry mate! You know what it is like for the rest of us, anything north of Leicester Forest East...

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    3. ****ing southerners!..And Angola is way way south! Even further than Aldershot!

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  2. Glad to hear you're back in good health....and you're right we need to "seize the day" . You never know what lies ahead.

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    1. "Carpe diem" said Horace. "Carpe diem". Bul wouldn't it be tiresome to seize every day? Sometimes you just need to rest.

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  3. I'm so pleased that you share your walks around England with us in words and photographs that make me feel I've been there too.

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    1. I think you would have loved to have been in St Helen's churchyard Bob - with its Norman chancel arch and tower and snowdrops starting to peep through amidst the old gravestones. I hope to take you to some other places soon.

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  4. Be thankful you don't have a chronic illness like arthritis which could prevent you from having any more long walks for quite a while - perhaps ever. Give me an acute illness every time. And, yes, seize the moment. I lost a former colleague to cancer last year: one minute fine and the next dead. Now one of my closest and longest standing friends is in the same boat. Make every minute of every walk count YP. It's being so cheery wot keeps me going.

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    1. Your reflections are wise ones Graham.

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  5. It's great that you're feeling in top form again. Those long walks do us a lot of good.

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    1. Beats sitting on one's backside Red.

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  6. I love the archway pic.....sort of a Narnian feeling in reverse...leaving the ancient way behind and walking toward the future. Cool.
    Love the cat & brickwork, too.
    Out of curiosity (as opposed to just plain nosiness, I guess), what are 'plain crisps'? Potato chips?

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    1. Hilly - In England we call deep fried potatoes (French fries) CHIPS and we call what Americans call chips - CRISPS. Plain crisps are unflavoured.
      I am pleased you had that same Narnia sensation that I felt regarding the arch and the power station.

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  7. Welcome back to making your readers happy with great pictures and descriptions of your wonderful country walks!! So pleased to know you felt well throughout (and afterwards, it seems).
    Can't wait for it to warm up here a little bit so that I feel like going for a walk again, too.

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    1. Thank you Ambassador and happy walking to you too!

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  8. I enjoyed the first image it's the contrast between ancient and modern.

    Good to hear you are mended.

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    1. My photographic heart raced when I saw that arch and the power station beyond it.

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  9. Lovely photos as always, YP. Please to hear that you are in better form these days. Long may it continue but you are right, it is good to make the most of every day.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by again Jenny.

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  10. Long walks are the best kind of exercise! And what great photos. Thanks for sharing them and giving us a chance to see your beautiful little bit of the planet!

    Oh, and what a pretty cat! I guess one could call me a dog person since I have two of them, plus I'm severely allergic to cats, but the truth is I'm just an all around animal lover. If not for my allergies I'd probably have a cat. I've been known to feed a and get vet care for strays, though.

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    1. I thought that people fell into two categories - cat people and dog people but you Jennifer appear to be a cog person or maybe a dat person - an entirely different category.

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  11. Cats have more sense! I think I caught a glimpse of Jonathan Creek at the top left window of that mill.

    I'm keeping this short and sweet. For an explanation read my response to your response to my response in your previous post! :)

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    1. You are the real Cat Woman Lee! Miaaaow!

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