Monday, 22 February 2010

A Bridge Too Far

With increasing age you find, somewhat depressingly, that things ain't what they used to be.
  • Memory for one, but that was dealt with in an earlier post.
  • Slim, trim figures. Sigh. It's not going well on the belly front; it has to be said.
  • Judgement.  You would have thought that with age would come a bit of wisdom. Oh dear on that one too...
  • Eye Sight. Now there's a good one - so let's stick with that for a moment.
Miss Whiplash, Lord Elpus and I meet up at a cracking little pub in the middle of sod all - the Maid's Head at Wicken. It has a fine selection of real ales and so we feel duty bound to sample them all between us. Miss W won't let us sample all of them on our own as we have miles to walk and she is determined that this time we will actually leave the pub.
So it's off out into the freezing Fenland Air. We start our route at a giddy 6.0m above sea level and promptly set off down the side of the Fenland Ridge, down, down onto the Fen to be met by an unusual sight; a herd of Polish ponies:
Polish Ponies
They are more interested in chewing the trees and we continue to another pub - this time really in the middle of nowhere as it proclaims to be "Five Miles From Anywhere." Another new to me Ale is tried and found to be excellent.
Now then, the next two pictures are for Phil - they are to be an aide-memoire for future walks in the Fens.
Cockup Bridge
Fenland Bridge
It's just that at the second pub Phil chooses a route after a great deal of peering and straining at the map that should make a nice circle back to our start point. After a great deal of slithering and sliding along the dyke's newly raised and incredibly muddy banks we arrive at the point where the dyke is mightily deep and wide and cold and where there is, in fact, no bridge. So is it down to dodgy ageing eyesight or does the man truly believe we can walk on water?
We slog back to the second pub but Miss W does not allow us respite for refreshment. No - she whips our sorry backsides along the other side of the bank to continue our murderous training regime. We know we will thank her for this in May...

Ooh Deary Me...

We spot a cormorant, barn owls, heron and zillions of ducks (more than Darren) and have a jolly time in the faint warmth of the setting Fenland sunshine.


Fenland Reeds


  1. Oddly, now I come to think of it, I discounted that route variation the first time that we (me & Miss W) were in this neck of the woods on the basis that there was no bridge, although I thought there should have been one there - obvious place etc.

    Quite how, after a couple of pints the thought that there ought to be a bridge transformed itself into the firm belief that there IS a bridge I'm not really sure.

    It has to be said, though, that the bridge we eventually found had a very appropriate name!

    Hey! you didn't mention those highland cattle, contentedly grazing below sea level. Curious place, the Fens.

  2. I've been appointed chief navigator on Sunday for our monthly girly walk. I'm hoping we don't take the really scenic route...
    anghtsh: perhaps how I'll be feeling Saturday night after a little dutch courage?

  3. You clearly thought there WASN'T a bridge 'cos you appear to be having a quick kip....mind you, a man does need to take a rest when on a long walk.

    Word: hooka



  4. Phil: No explanations are necessary amongst friends. Its quite alright. Honest it is. Yes. And the beer was lovely. Highland Cows? Below Sea Level? What was it you were drinking?

    Louise: Chief Navigator eh? Get in touch with Lord Elpus for tips on taking flak...

    JJ: Hooka - Hmmm that and the two pints of Scruttocks Dirigible might just explain the failing eyesight...


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