Saturday, June 30

Bless the Weather?

"Bless the weather that brought you to me; Curse the storm that takes you home" Bless The Weather - John Martyn

Well perhaps not always Mr Martyn.

A Saturday afternoon meander in the New Forest. Heavy rain and a couple of dogs for company; Or was it an excuse?

After a few VERY late nights, and a week of technological challenges with a new laptop for home, I needed some peace and quiet.

A relaxed late coffee/breakfast had been interrupted in town by a Lay Preacher evangelising. A spirited rendition of "Amazing Grace" plus accompanying considerations. In turn this was met by competition from the local eccentric competing with "I Was Born Under a Wandering Star" from the opposite end of the square.


A return home then - to grab a break in the garden between showers. But time for a neighbour to start a pavement cutting saw at full belt.

I've no problem with any of this, but today I needed some silent reflection to recharge my mental batteries that felt like they were running on reserve.

Parking the car prior to the walk, the intermittent rain became a deluge. So on with full waterproofs and head down as I trotted off away from the roads.

Now one of the benefits of being a seasoned hill walker is the easy access to a variety of high quality gear. Especially wet weather gear (after all I've bought it with Lakeland rain foremost in mind - now that's what I call proper rain)

So starting out in wet conditions at least there's no worry about it coming on to rain later to spoil the walk.

No trouble on that score today. It never stopped. But it did mean I had the tracks to myself, save for a bedraggled DOE group carrying packs twice their size near the end of my wander.

Along the way the dwindling forest pools have been refilling rapidly, but could still do with a couple more weeks to bring their levels back up. But to be honest they're probably fuller now than at the same time last year. Poor sods.

I collected moisture high up on my leggings as I passed through the summer high grass, but stayed toasty dry inside.

And suddenly a moment of clarity. A sense of peacefulness came upon me as a walked towards a small hill leading back towards the car. No special location or set of circumstances. But the same feeling of quietude I'd left behind in the Lakes a couple of weeks before. The movement through the landscape once again working its redoubtable magic.

So yes. By all means bless the weather. It's not the rain that gets you down. It's more the state of mind with which it is received.

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I was in the Forest for a couple of hours early Saturday (8:00am!). The rain was fairly constant but not too heavy, and none got through my Paramo Fuera Peak windproof. I'm really pleased with this as it is so much more breathable than a waterproof, and seems to resist anything but a continuous downpour. I don't think I have worn my waterproof once in the last few weeks rain.

On the way home I found myself passing Barkers of Ringwood. I popped in, but managed to get out without opening my wallet.
You foolhardy man- next time leave the wallet and temptation at home
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