Sunday, 14 December 2008

Beating The Bounds

It was a fine but bitterly cold day last Wednesday when the Hampstead Ramblers undertook a 7 mile circular walk around the perimeter of our "home" Heath.

The walk was led by June Craig, right-centre, with Mollie the Labradoodle.

There were 9 in the party at the beginning, with a tenth joining at the lunch stop, the historic toll-gate and pub the Spaniards Inn.

The warming lunch-stop was needed; some of the ponds had partially frozen over, somewhat puzzling the ducks.

The route back from the Spaniards provided splendid views back to Athlone House through the trees.

The walk concluded by passing the Ladies Bathing Pond. Jane Rosoux, the HR walks organiser who kindly took the photos above and below, comments

"I felt it impolitick to take the lady who went for a dip in the pond while we were there. In addition to a bathing costume she wore a hat and ear muffs on her head and rubber gloves on her hands!" We will have to leave that picture to our imaginations.

The view below shows the mirror-still bathing pond reflecting the trees above.

June and her granddaughters rounded off an excellent day's walking by providing tea, cakes and mince pies with clotted cream at June's house just a stones throw from the Heath.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

And the Rain, it Raineth...

A drizzly night gave way to an even more drizzly day for today's circular walk around Wendover. A group of ten (including some Wendoveran "locals") made their increasingly muddy way around the Hampdens, both Little and Great. The Hampden Arms provided some welcome (and welcoming) warmth at the lunch stop. Some days sandwiches in the bus stop just don't seem that attractive!

Our walk was led by Michael Lunn, pictured below.

The Chilterns are usually very walker friendly, but I doubt if this low wall would win any prizes from the local tourist promotion board.

The drizzle hummed as it ionised on the power cables above our heads. Visibility could be best described as "variable"

A personal highlight for me was seeing my first Red Kite hovering over woodland near Great Hampden.

All-in-all though, these Mallard were probably best equipped for the day's weather.

Try as I might though, I couldn't find this fellow in my Shell Guide to British Birds...

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Home James!

Last Saturday saw a rare "home" walk for the Hampstead Ramblers; we are more likely to be found in the Chilterns than on our eponymous Heath.

Ably led by Walks Organiser Jane Rosoux, a dozen of us enjoyed a moderate-pace walk from Golders Green via Hill Garden and Kenwood to Parliament Hill. This walk was slightly shorter than usual to allow for our 25th Annual General Meeting.

Our thanks go out to Margaret Harvey (our Chairman) and Maija Roberts (our Treasurer) for their sterling work in providing a splendid lunch, culminating with warm mincemeat turnovers and hot drinks.

A.G.M. business was conducted in a good spirit. We are already planning events for the 2009/10 Christmas holiday! One thing to watch out for next year will be our 25th Anniversary celebrations.

Stay tuned for more details.......

Friday, 28 November 2008

Rambling On - The Blog!!!

It may be that The Rambler's Association still has a bobble-hat and worsteds sort of image. This blog will hopefully show that Ramblers can be as up-to-date as any Gore-tex clad city type clutching a Blackberry!

I will aim to make this blog useful, interactive, entertaining and campaigning. To do any of this, I need people to get involved. I will provide the backbone, the structure, but it is the Ramblers out there in the real world who need to get involved.

What Can You Do?
I'm glad you asked that... I would welcome any input. Any Ramblers are positively encouraged to suggest features for the blog.

Walk reviews and photos will be gratefully received. To email me privately, just click on the Email Me link to the right of this post and an email form will open up. Please note that individual names and email adresses will not be shown on the blog unless specifically requested.

If you wish to add a comment to any posts on this blog, just click on the comments box below the post. Comments may be anonymous, or you can leave your name, or a nickname or a link to your own website.

To protect the good reputation of this site, comments will only appear after I have approved them, so there will be a delay between readers submitting comments and seeing them on the blog.

My wife and I are members of the Hampstead Group of the Rambler's Association, but welcome input from anyone who shares our belief that walking is good for the soul....