I do hope that everyone has had a great Christmas so far. I don’t like to think of it as being ‘all over’, even two-days after the main event but 2014 is only moving closer. Despite not feeling at all ‘festive’ in the run up and not desiring anything more than the usual additions to my annual chocolate stash; for me personally, this has been one of the best Christmases. In a word, it has been UNIQUE
My first visit to Westonbirt Arboretum was back in August 2008 over the bank holiday weekend, to experience their annual woodworking show (now known as Treefest) for the first time. It was only the second show of its kind that I’d been to and it blew me away with all it had to offer – put it this way; we spent so much of the day walking around to see each and every stall that we didn’t have enough time left to explore the arboretum. I’m not sure how the show may have changed in the years since but it still attracts a large following.
Since then, I’d been wanting to revisit and my intention has always been to return during the autumn season, after having seen everyone else’s photos (on Facebook, etc.) of the leaves in all their vibrant, autumnal glory. Fear of going alone is all that has really held me back until now (not to mention wasting a lot of time last year ‘waiting’ for someone…). But I’ve made a few really good friends in the last year and one of them didn’t hesitate to say yes to the prospect of going last weekend.
Apparently, some parts of the UK are in receipt of some of the worst weather we’ve had for three decades… In my part of the south-west (more like the westcountry), I can say that I haven’t yet seem any uprooted trees or car-embedded buildings. I have heard tragic news of a small number of deaths further east and people in Bristol have suffered power loss and shortages but I feel inclined to say we’ve seen the worst now.
I’ve had one of those rare weekends where I didn’t go for a walk anywhere. Nope, not even locally and we cancelled plans to go out on Sunday with all the severe weather warnings. So, I thought this might be a nice time to reflect on my second walk from last week where, on Wednesday, I continued my search for autumn with a trip to Oldbury Court to the north of Bristol.
Sunday was a day I’d been anticipated for just over three whole months. It’s great when you meet someone who has shared interests. It’s rare that I meet another walker but I’m grateful to have met several people in the last year who are also passionate about walking and the outdoors. It was one of these friends who first let me know about the annual Circuit of Bath Walk, which is a fund-raising even of up to 20-miles of walking. It’s all in aid of Julian House; a charity who provide food, shelter and support to people living rough on the streets of Bath.
My fund-raising page was setup about a month in advance and I managed to raise a small amount which has already been received by the charity. I’ll remain open until the end of December so, if you are feeling generous, small donations are always welcome.
I did say at the start of this year that I’d be making more of an effort to update this blog with more ‘generalised’ content from my life in order to fill the voids where I’m unable to spend much time in the workshop. Today presents to the perfect opportunity to tell you about a walk I’ve been on with friends. Not only has this been Easter Sunday but it’s also been a day of celebration for my 28th birthday!
I think that I’ll spend some time this evening simply writing about the walk and the day itself. Presents, gifts and cards can come in another post tomorrow, or else this post could easily end up twice its length!