Children on Their Birthdays

Trip Start Oct 10, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, January 4, 2013

Mean old Mum. Donny and Mel had their 13th birthday today and did I pamper them and cater to their every whim? Nope, I made them climb a particularly steep hill and walk through mud for a couple of hours. It amused me, anyway.

The idea was to fit in a quick four mile walk before taking Mel to have his braces fitted. The walk I planned from the internet looked quite good on screen, but went downhill within a few minutes of setting off. From the starting point it said "go down hill", which is fine, but there were two down hills to choose from. We picked the most likely, which with hindsight was probably the right one, and headed off.

Taking the second star on the left and carrying on until morning meant we climbed into a bog-like field full of curious horses and squelched across it, gaining more and more weight as the gloop soaked into our boots / trainers / trousers / socks / souls. The helpful instruction to 'pass a house' would have been more useful if there had been anything other than a church to pass. Consequently, after about 15 minutes of wading through ankle deep muck, we reversed our trajectory and clomped back to the starting point.

The second attempt was slightly better, as we had a path to follow. It did also have great swathes of mud, but at least the mud had edges, and delicate side-shuffling through the flanking brambles meant we could avoid sinking into the worst excesses of the mud-fest.

We followed the path up hill and steps to the top of Abberley Hill, where there was a decent enough view across to the Abberley Clock Tower. Calculating the distance vs the time available before we had to get back to the orthodontist, meant we couldn't do the whole Abberley circuit. After getting most of the way along the ridge, we had to turn back.

My watch showed we had enough time to get there and change our boots and trousers for the clean ones in the car, so long as we kept walking at a steady pace and didn't get lost. When we finally made it back to the car, however, the time on my watch was 15 minutes less than reality. Total panic ensued and we screeched into the dentists 10 minutes late, covered in mud from head to foot, trying to look like we hadn't just come in from rolling in the local marsh.

Happy birthday, kids. :o)
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