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    CHICCHANTAL   27,408
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Brass monkey weather

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Saturday, December 01, 2012

It's very very cold today in Epping Forest. I know, cos I was there. So was Stonecot. She's currently mid-curry. With beer.

I'm blogging.

We meet up at Epping station, stomp up the road, get to Bell Common which precedes the forest proper. Brightish but greyish day. My new boots mean I don't have to avoid the muddy bits which is good because it's all one muddy bit though much of it is frozen, including the pond.

Get to the forest, trudge along. One thing about having company for your walk, the time really flies. The 'shrooms have mostly gone, we find a black frosted remnant on a log that was covered a couple of weeks ago, and a few bracket fungus on another log, but the cold has got to most of them.

It's now a winter landscape.

Ice everywhere, no leaves on the trees, little undergrowth. Holly bushes everywhere, though few berries. We see some great tits and robins and loads of magpies, not much else. Interestingly, we both of us like the winter forest, there's a feeling of stillness you don't get when there are leaves rustling, and also you can see a long way through the trees because the greenery has died back. Getting lost in this would be far less scary.

Frankly I'm not keen to test it out, because it is cold. Bone-welding, knee-empurpling cold. We are walking pretty briskly, because standing around you'd get very cold very quickly.

We have a look at Ambresbury Fort and I realise how close the road is on the other side of it. You can now see cars passing along in the distance, and hear them. We have a debate about which Age 2,500 years ago is and I say Stone Age and then realise that's hopelessly out, and Stonecot says Bronze Age and in fact it's Iron Age and when you look on the net in fact the 'age' thing isn't very accurate because it happened in different places at different times.

Anyway, we finish our visit and walk on and squelch through the boggy bit just beyond it.

Which is very boggy. I am glad of my boots.

At Furze Ground my favourite bit, we stop and admire the view and take pictures.

As we walk, we start to see more and more horses, all sort of Christmasified. There are orange markers on the trees telling the riders which way to go.

and organised by the Essex Bridleways Association

Stonecot points out to me that some of the horses have deer antlers, which gives me a moment's pause but it turns out they are only little red felt ones. There's also tinsel round bridles etc. At one point a rider loses a gold foil crown topped with tinsel and I pick it up and give it to the next rider who promises to return it. Well in fact I wanted to hang on to it, I've always fancied myself in a crown but the rider wanted it back.

I get us safely to the log for lunch and we have lunch sitting on it although it's damp because everywhere else is sodden. I eat three courses (vegetable soup, egg sarnies, banana) and Stonecot eats about a quarter of the calories I do because she's booked an Indian for dinner tonight.

We're now on the last leg and leave the path so I can show Stonecot the other Iron Age camp, Loughton Fort. This is set back a couple of hundred meters from the path, and Stonecot agrees with me that once the path is out of sight if you turned round twice, you wouldn't know which way you'd come. It does all look the same. As I've been in this bit before, I know how to find the way out: you look for cycle ruts for the path, and the backs of the wooden marker posts, and there's a sawn off tree, then the treetrunk where I have breakfast or tea, depending on which way I'm coming.

Even since last time I was here, there are a lot more pools of standing water.

Loughton Brook has more water in it than I've ever seen (although no dogs this week).

By now, the sun is getting quite low although it's only about 1pm and I badly need a pee, so we're pleased to get back to Loughton where there's a loo. Or at least I am. My mother used to call me dry-cleaned, but five hours is about my limit these days.

The title is a reference to one of my mother's favourite sayings. You can read it on Wiki.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
KHALIA2 12/2/2012 6:49PM

  emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 12/2/2012 6:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon blog & pictures

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ALIDOSHA 12/2/2012 5:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 12/2/2012 4:44PM


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GRAYGRANNY 12/2/2012 4:41PM

The title of the blog.........have heard it, and have said it many a time here in the winter......LOL

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BARBARASDIET 12/2/2012 4:20PM

    Lovely, as always!

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4KWALK 12/2/2012 4:10PM

    Love your travalogues.

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PMFISH 12/2/2012 3:38PM

    This is about as close as I would get to your walk, but I do enjoy you sharing it with us. I am very happy sittting here in 75 degree weather in Florida. My body just does not respond well to coldeness.

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KACEYSW 12/2/2012 3:27PM

    I love you Epping Forest jaunts. My husband would run away there as a child. He told me tales of wondrous adventures there.

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JANETTEB553 12/2/2012 3:05PM

    Summer is here.. Sun is shining... do not envy you the cold emoticon

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IAMWINNING 12/2/2012 2:37PM

    I hate it when it gets so cold (and yeah, 41 degrees F is cold) but I do love the winter scenery. I hope you're able to stay warm encough to continue your walks a good bit longer into the winter - I so much enjoy reading about your walks. How selfish of me!

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THOMS1 12/2/2012 2:28PM

    Another great hike! emoticon

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SIMOFDIM 12/2/2012 1:46PM

    Thanks for taking us on another lovely walk!

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MIRFA71 12/2/2012 1:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MOMMY445 12/2/2012 1:14PM

    beautiful pictures! thanks for sharing!

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JOANNHUNT 12/2/2012 1:14PM

    emoticon pics emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 12/2/2012 1:07PM

  emoticon for my morning walk with you. You never fail to enrich and amuse.

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GARDENCHRIS 12/2/2012 12:56PM

    thanks so much for the walking tour! very nice..... here in the USA it is a VERY rare 60 degree day for Dec. we usually have snow on the ground by now.

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FATBASTICH 12/2/2012 12:40PM

    amazing as always

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RAINBOWMF 12/2/2012 12:31PM

    Nice, thanks for sharing.


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KIMBOLEAN 12/2/2012 12:04PM


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RONNIEHUEY 12/2/2012 12:00PM

    I wish I could hike with you!

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MIMIDOT 12/2/2012 11:42AM

    You're lucky to have someone to walk with you. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and great blog. I always enjoy reading your blogs!

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NEWMOM20121 12/2/2012 11:36AM

    thank you

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TURNINGTABLES21 12/2/2012 11:33AM


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KARRENLYNN 12/2/2012 11:33AM

    Thanks for taking me on your walk, I always enjoy the pictures too.

Have a great holiday season!

Karen emoticon

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GIRLINMOTION 12/2/2012 11:25AM

    It is nice to have someone to share a beautiful day with you. I so hate it when I am enjoying wonderful things and there is no one (friends/family) with me to enjoy it or the moment.

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NOTSOFLUFFYDAD 12/2/2012 11:25AM

    Another great mental hike through the forest, Thank You!

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INGMARIE 12/2/2012 11:24AM

    Nice, thank you for sharing ,beautiful pix too. emoticon

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BESCATS 12/2/2012 11:19AM

    Beautiful photos, and so glad you can share them while I sit in my nice warm house glad that I'm not freezing with you. emoticon At my age, I'm really not fond of the extreme cold anymore. I hope you enjoyed your walk, and all that beauty. emoticon

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LSIG14 12/2/2012 11:17AM

    I really enjoyed your virtual walk since I can no longer walk outside in the cold - I miss my winter walks. (Also loved the reference to brass monkeys, one of my Dad's favorite expressions!)

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JUNEAU2010 12/2/2012 10:58AM

    Having lived in Alaska and the rarified high altitude of the southwestern US, I have no desire to feel that degree of cold again. On the other hand, the walk looks fabulous! Here, it is raining so hard and has been for days that I think the earth must be scoured and there would be no mud. (yeah, right!).

What will you do when it's too icy to walk?

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WALLINMW 12/2/2012 10:55AM

  Great blog!

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DJSHIP46 12/2/2012 10:44AM

    Another lovely walk... Thanks for sharing :)

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MZ33842 12/2/2012 10:34AM

    I love to take pictures as I walk too. I enjoyed reading your blog and looking at the photos. Thank you! emoticon

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HYATTI1 12/2/2012 10:33AM

    I love the photos...they are beautiful but yet a touch of sadness with all the bare trees and isolation. Thanks for sharing.


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HEALTHY-SPARK 12/2/2012 10:33AM


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LOLAJO54 12/2/2012 10:32AM

    great walk through the woods --love the pictures too!


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HARLEYGAL55 12/2/2012 10:29AM

    Thank you for letting me experience your walk though Epping Forest with you. It was delightful! :)

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DR1939 12/2/2012 10:25AM

    Love the pictures! Wish I were there to walk with you. I, too, love a winter forest.

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BDH1970 12/2/2012 10:21AM

    Beautiful Pictures, and great commentary - thanks!

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JUNETTA2002 12/2/2012 10:13AM

    awesome I love the pictures

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JUDYD207 12/2/2012 10:09AM

    Wonderful photos of a great walk.

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NIKKIJ55 12/2/2012 9:49AM

    Wish I could be walking today, but it is pouring rain now!!

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GAILRUU 12/2/2012 9:47AM

    It sounds lovely. I enjoy walking outdoors.

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PINK-SOLDIER 12/2/2012 9:41AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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60NLOVINIT2 12/2/2012 9:40AM

    always enjoy your pics.. its a pleasure to see such beauty

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TDEMAIO2 12/2/2012 9:21AM

    Thank you for another beautiful walk- I also would like to pat you on the back for walking while it is SO cold :O I not sure I would do that? I am glad you did because of the pictures you take are SO beautiful :D

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BLACK741 12/2/2012 9:19AM

    thanks love your walks!

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YAFENELRA 12/2/2012 9:18AM

    Looks beautiful regardless of the weather.

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