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CHICCHANTAL
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Muddy but unbowed

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Well the boots get their inaugural walk today and it goes very well which is fortunate as I certainly can't take them back to the shop the state they are in now.

I get the bus up to the 'Eaf (Hampstead Heath to the posh). Trudge along leafy lanes, literally leafy lanes, it's squidgy underfoot with wet leaves. Boots are happy but yearning for Real Mud. 'Worry not,' I assure them, 'Real Mud you shall have.'




Indeed yes. We start as we mean to go on, with a muddle. Muddy puddle. I trust my new footwear but am a little bit reluctant to spoil their pristineness. However my qualms vanish quickly as it becomes clear that staggering through mud is going to be the order of the day.

We stop by Dog Bathing Pond which only has one dog in it today. There's usually a convocation all galumphing around but being Friday it's that bit quieter.


It's getting sunnier by the moment but has clearly rained a lot in the night.


Most of the trees have no leaves to speak of left, but are very picturesque even so.



Trudge on, not so much lost as mildly mislaid and emerge from woodland about a quarter mile from Kenwood House.




Walk round the back to the cafe and sit OUTSIDE and drink cold lemonade (105 calories).



Examine boots. Muddy but my feet are dry and although I've slithered a lot I haven't felt I was in danger of slipping over.



Set off back across open landscape. Stop to take photo of triffic view. My camera really cant do this sort of shot very well.


Walk down the hill to the stream and there is a woman with a very small dog of the fancy lapdog variety trying to make her way across a quagmire in a pair of black Converses or similar. She's making heavy weather of it. The dog, tiny, shaved but with a feathery tail, just thinks of itself as a dog of course, and isn't the least bit worried, simply patters across. I squelch. There seems to be a four-inch layer of mud over the top of a fairly firm path and there's actually a rivulet of water coming down the hill behind me as well as a stream at the bottom.


Anyway, the boots and I cross this very easily. If I'd been wearing trainers I would have had to have gone back and found another way.

Slither up the slope the other side of the stream and take photos of some 'shrooms. I haven't seen many on the 'Eaf, just three of the bracket variety.




Tramp along a grassy field observing the extreme variety of the dogs, all of which seem to have brought out their owners now that it's sunny. There's a very small scruffy Jack Russell crossed with something else that is making 'will you be my friend?' advances on a St Bernard and it's hilarious to watch, the difference in size is so huge. It eventually settles for chasing this one round and round but as it's faster and more manoeuvreable it ran out of shot before I pressed the shutter.


Get back to the bus stop and wait so long for a bus that I give up and get the train instead.

Arrive home and remove boots from feet. Feet are clean and more or less dry (slightly sweaty, but that's my feet for you, can't blame the boots for that). Two hours' walking, no blisters, wearing double layer sports socks I already had.

A triumph.
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