Today I travelled to Warminster, a Wiltshire town famous for its Iron Age hill forts, for being the birthplace in 1841 of John Wallis Titt (famous for designing large wind pumps), and for its U.F.O. sightings, of which there were many in the 1960s. The U.F.O. drivers haven’t been back since then though probably because they, like me today, discovered there’s not a right lot there.
If last week’s trek through the Brecon Beacons was my favourite so far since getting into this ramble malarkey, then today was probably my least favourite. The start of the walk was promising, high up on the Downland from Heytesbury passing through Iron Age earthworks at Battlesbury Camp and Scratchbury Camp. But from then on there was a bit too much road, Warminster, litter, flat bits, modern housing and railway sidings. And we ate our lunch on benches in a sad little seen-better-days little park on the outskirts of the town, watching people freeze their Titts off as they struggled against the cold Easter Day wind to navigate their pedalos around the boating lake. The greyness of the day didn’t help matters.
But thank you to Dave for arranging the walk and thank you to everyone else that turned up and chatted to me on the way round. I really don’t want to sound ungrateful but I’ve got to say that today’s wasn’t the prettiest of walks.
Simon, who lives near me in everybody's favourite sleepy Chippenham suburb, came with me today and it was he I spoke to the most, discussing every topic in the world and our friend Ramblin' Ray's world. We even went for pint together in Heytesbury after the boots were off. Simon’s a grand bloke who, in his formative years, braved a degree course at Teesside Poly and has lived and worked in Yorkshire and Lancashire. I’ve got on very well with him since we sort of first met on a walk about eighteen months ago but he reminded me today that we really first met approximately seven years ago when we had both volunteered to work as car park stewards at our sons’ football club's five-a-side tournament in Castle Combe. I remembered having a good old natter with someone that day but I hadn’t realised that it had been Simon. How peculiar! Any road, the conversation has moved on a lot since then and today we were planning future walks in more craggy places than Warminster and more like last week’s gorgeous Brecon Beacons. The Yorkshire Dales were right up there near the top of our wish list . . . fantastico!
When I got home I felt a bit ropey. For three weeks now I’ve had that catchy little feeling in the back of my throat that suggests the advent of a cold and this evening the ailment decided to manifest itself with achiness, shivering and a full on sore throat. I hate colds. This is bound to muck up my Peru training and my work as well as being plain uncomfortable and messy. But at least if I have a cold in April I shouldn’t have to worry about having one in May when I'm away. I’m having a vaccination as a precaution against Yellow Fever on my travels but they can’t do anything about my cold. Pah!
In my febrile state, this evening became one of those exceedingly rare occasions when I sat down and watched whatever old crap came up on the telly. Second born sat there with me so, if he had been any sort of a son at all, he would have made me turn over to another channel when the film, Holiday On The Buses came on. I only watched it because its title suggested a travel theme.
I 'ate you Butler!