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Tuesday 1 May 2012

A day off on the Downs

With Monday looking to be the sunny jewel in the weekly weather crown I decided to take a day off with Handsome Hubby.  This turned into a complete electronic free day: no laptop, no email and no Twitter.  Scary but wonderful too!  We also decided to leave the car behind and take the bus into Worthing.  Walking to Sainsburys we fortified ourselves with a hearty breakfast (mine was the Meatfree special) and then set-off to walk back to our village across the Downs, approximately 10 miles.

The sun stayed out and even with a brazing breeze on the ups it was a truly wonderful day.  We spied squealing buzzards, hovering kestrels and chunky lambs (almost as big as their mums now).  On the last stretch for home we stopped for a welcome break at the Wiston Tea Gardens.  A quaint tea room with plenty of free range ducks, geese and chickens to feed or giggle at.  A man appeared with a wheel barrow, presumably full of grain, at the top of the field, which set the chickens off into a wild sprint.  "It's the chicken Olympics," quipped hubby.  But I thought the dashing hens looked more like matronly Victorian ladies hitching up their petticoats to hurry through the puddles. 

As we trudged the final mile, or rather paddled through the swampy paths, we came across a flush of bluebells.  All the woods around our village are now drowning in blue flowers.  And then we heard the first cuckoo - a bit late, but truly it's the first one we've heard this year.

Walking is a great way to stimulate your right brain.  It always seems to work for me and yesterday the final pieces of a story all came together.  So sometimes taking a day off can work wonders.


  1. I had a cheeky day off on Monday, too. I went to dear old Skegness, which lived up to its reputation and was ' so bracing'! But the sky was blue and the sun was out and there was hardly anyone there (school term time and a work day for 'normal' people). Definitely recharged my batteries.

  2. Sounds wonderful Julia and there's something invigorating about being by the seaside isn't there? Today I went for short run along Worthing prom, bit breezy but no rain and it felt so good to be outside.

  3. I too heard my first cuckoo on Monday! Very welcome even though it means there's some dodgy nest squatting going on somewhere... Loved your description of the way chickens walk. They do strut like imagined Victorian matrons.

  4. Learned recently that cuckoos lay eggs which closely resemble (in colour) those of the birds they squat with - and in different regions cuckoos squat with different birds and so the colour of cuckoo eggs can vary across the country.