Well first of all it’s a Saturday isn’t it? On Friday it was raining sideways round here. And though we can and have walked in torrential rain we don’t actively go out looking and hoping for it. So we stayed dry in the house and got on with other non-work pursuits. It was still a Friday after all.
And today we’re returning to our meditative walk of the year, to do it once more, but also to look back on how much the lanes and the land and the shore change over the seasons.
But we start with an interlude. In nearby Royden Park we know there are miniature trains, but they’re not there on Fridays. In fact they’re usually Sundays only, but we know today they are doing an extra day. So we stop off and have a look.
We also have a look in the walled garden, which we haven’t found open before. This used to be the kitchen garden of Hill Bark, the adjacent fairy tale wedding hotel you’ve heard us complaining about, back when it was a nob-house.
Our new favourite café, the ‘Barking Mad’ was also specially open. Usually its just Wednesday to Friday.
So, finally, we’re ready for the day’s walk.
At this point we stopped for a chilly lunch looking out over the estuary. Three o’clock now and the light beginning to go.
We may yet be back to the Dee Estuary during 2012, but this will be our final walk around the Shining Shore at Thurstaston this year. And perfect it has been, to quietly observe one small area of land and littoral so closely through all of the seasons.
Mostly the place is at peace of course. Sleeping now as part of the natural cycle of life and death. But we are worried about the cliffs and the whole of the hillside behind them. Wetter than we’ve known them in all the several years we’ve been coming here. So sodden that the cliffs have changed colour, and are running with new streams. The whole hillside feeling so wet and oozing that it might be sliding into the estuary. We hope not. But we can only hope, watch and bear witness to this precious place, the Shining Shore. Thank you for having us.
So for anyone who’s counting, (Hello Sarah) that’s eleven times this walk’s been done this year, a couple of times as part of a longer walk. And never tired of for a second.