stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Time for tea

Well, we did it last year and had a good time. So it seemed natural to do it again, only with more thought this time. The Crocus Walk for Breakthrough (the breast cancer charity) is a gentle version of a sponsored walk or run, and definitely more gentle than my eldest daughter running the London Marathon in a few weeks! Rebecca registers the walk, organises us, hands out the forms, and researches a suitable route. The main prerequisite is that the walk ends up somewhere that serves excellent tea and cakes!

This year there were ten of us (nine ladies and Lesley's husband, Russel) and the chosen day was a typical April day - sunshine, with a cool breeze that meant that the showers were sharp, but brief. It was an easy walk that started in the valley of the River Frome, which is where Thomas Hardy lived for many years.

You can see how flat it is from the photo. I dont think it's typical of Dorset, and feel vaguely uncomfortable in the wide river plain. I was glad when we headed back into the hills and Puddletown Forest. Its a managed area, which means that some of the woods are quite young, and some areas look totally devastated to the untrained eye. I really enjoyed that part of the walk the best. The path was quite narrow and animal trails went off left and right, and I was sorely tempted to deviate from the path and follow them into the unknown, but I happily followed Lesley. It was much warmer in the shelter of the trees and we were lulled into shedding layers , until the next shower came along!

We went quite close to Thomas Hardy's birthplace - an interesting thatched cottage owned now by the National Trust. But the lure of cream teas was too strong, and we were magnetically pulled to our destination - Pine Lodge Tea Room. This is on a farm that is owned by some ex-neighbours of ours. And, like many farmers these days, they have diversified into other ventures. They serve not only wonderful cream teas but an excellent lunches too.

A good time was had by all (thats me at the back in front of the curtains). The scones and cakes were amazing.

I was inspired during the walk to go and buy a new daysack today. The one I used was twelve years old, falling to bits, and wasnt mine to start with! Now I want to get my boots on and go and try it out. Its got all sorts of pockets and useful looking straps.

I am sorry, the other Val, but the ground was really too soggy after all the recent rain for me to lie down and take the traditional photo of the aforementioned boots! I did think about it, but common sense prevailed - this time at least!


At 12:25 pm, Blogger Val said...

You are totally excused from lying down on soggy ground to take photo of hiking boots! Thoroughly enjoyed the photos you did take, especially the one of the group in the tea room. Looks very cosy and inviting.

At 6:52 am, Blogger vishwa said...

Val, it must've been a great experience, walking by the countyside amidst nature and ending it up with tasty tea. And to be in the company of close friends only adds to the enjoyment, as it happened to me on the recent trip.

At 10:17 pm, Blogger Tabor said...

All women and one very cool male. Sounds like a really, really, lovely time. I want to pave my way through life with experiences like this!

At 4:28 am, Blogger Kerri said...

Sounds like wonderful fun. Mmmmm, especially the scones and cakes. Did they serve the scones with jam and cream. My mouth is watering :) Looks like a very pretty place to walk. Love your new backpack.


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