Walk #23: Friends and family

With: Friends and family, aged 3-70.

Date: 23 July 2016

Where: Radnage, Chilterns

I had been intending to scope out with Anne on the Friday a suitable 2-3 hour circular walk to do with everybody on the Saturday, but that hadn't happened. So, armed with some internet print-outs kindly provided by Paul, we finally herded most of the cats down the footpath to begin what turned out to be a highly memorable and rather hot circuit of Radnage. Adrian was still on a conference call and a few stragglers had yet to arrive, so I suggested we stop for our pot-luck picnic after about 500m to allow them to catch up! We sat in a large circle under a tree where we were fortuitously discovered by Rachel who had cycled uphill from the nearest branchline station. By the time everyone who was planning to join the walk had done so, the full list of walkers was: me, Ben and Luc, Mum and David, Tessa and Rich, Russell E and Ed F, Stephen, Anne and Paul, Paul G and Russell K, Adrian, Anna, Gina, Meg-John, Uri and Noa, and Rachel. What a thoroughly lovely group of people! (Equally lovely, Craig, Dad and Jean, Kate and Dom, Gabe and Rob, Rosa, Chris and Ed L all met us at the pub afterwards.)

Walking across a large field I ran ahead and managed to take a wonderful series of photos of everybody walking towards me. Tragically I lost all of my photos from that weekend due to a SD card failure, but thankfully not before I'd uploaded a few pictures to Facebook including the one above.

Realising a wedding was in progress we were very grown-up and tiptoed silently through a churchyard.

In the next field I was carrying Luc on my shoulders when I realised a frisbee was coming hurtling towards us at roughly the height of his head. Dropping awkwardly to my knees (he's not light anymore!) I hoped I had not lowered Luc's face right into the path of the disk.

Soon after that I told a few folks around me that Mum used to 'gate-vault'. I said 'I'd better not mention it because she won't be able to help herself', but somehow I couldn't help myself and as predicted nor could she. Russell K managed to capture on video the memorable sight of my 69-year-old Mum vaulting over a gate! I believe a well-deserved round of applause followed.

Another memorable moment was when Luc (aged three) observed that muscle-bound, 6' Russell in his diminutive vest was 'a little bit naked'.

At some point the leaders decided to take a short cut across a cropped field in order to get to the pub more quickly. Methinks they had not read their Country Code recently. I managed to persuade them that continuing the planned route through a strip of lovely old trees would actually be cooler and more pleasant than walking straight uphill via the lane. Nevertheless, the Crown could not reappear into sight soon enough, particularly as it was extremely hot and we hadn't really taken any water with us.

I should probably mention that all these walk reports have been checked by the participants before publishing, apart from this one.