Spring Time

I had the loveliest time with my brother today at our local nature reserve, which is only a five minute drive away. My intention was to get a load of walking done because I hardly moved last week, and to see if I could photograph any signs of spring. I’m happy to report that the mission was a success on both counts.

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We began at our usual starting point but we’re starting to become a little too familiar with the various routes available to us now. After saying hello to the sheep I had a look at the map and realised that we’d only ever explored half of the park. There’s a busy road that runs right through the centre of it, and we’d been stopping when we got there. I had no idea the park continued on after the road. Well today was the day to explore new ground! I also only recently found out that the park has a visitor centre, which escaped my attention until now despite being on a road I have driven down literally hundreds of times. It would seem that I’m not the most observant person in the world…

At first the other side of the park didn’t seem very interesting, but as we got to the bottom of an enormous hill the view opened up. We were still pretty high up though – we were high enough and the day was clear enough that we could see Canary Wharf. Not that it’s a particularly nice sight in itself, but in this setting it was just fine. Unfortunately you can’t tell any of that from my picture, but you can see what a nice day it was. It was overcast for a lot of the time but it was lovely and warm and the sun even came out every now and then.

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See, real signs of spring! I’d like to take a moment right now to show you a little ‘behind the scenes’ photo. This is what it takes for me to get a shot like that:

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If there were people around I probably wouldn’t have got down on the floor and probably would have forsaken my lovely picture, which is something I really need to work on. I wish I didn’t care so much about what people think. She says, as she puts a picture of her behind on the internet for all to see…

Anyway, moving on! There wasn’t much to see between there and the visitor centre but when we got there it was totally worth it. They have a nice little café that’s run by volunteers so my brother bought himself a wrap and a sugary drink and treated me to a black coffee, which was really good considering it came out of a machine. After a little rest we checked out some of the sights around the visitor centre. Some bits and bobs are still in progress but I reckon by the summer it’s going to be beautiful. They have an orchard that looks newly planted so the trees are very young, but once it gets going it’s going to be lovely, especially in spring when all the blossom comes out. They have cherry trees, several different varieties of apple trees, gages and some others that I can’t remember. There’s a little garden with a platform overlooking a pond, and a Beatrix Potter trail where you can go looking for characters from her books. As a kid Jemima Puddleduck was my favourite, and I found her at the end of the Duck Walk trail.

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Also at the end of the trail was a nice big lake with geese and ducks, and while we were there the sun made another appearance so I could get a shot of some sparkles on the water.

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After checking out a few more sights we headed back to the car. I’m not even sure how long we were out but I clocked up nearly 20,000 steps and am just a tad away from 10 miles. I can’t leave it like that so I’ll walk around the living room until everything is rounded up to nice even numbers!

I have a feeling I’m going to get an early night tonight, which is good because the sooner it’s tomorrow the sooner we’re another day towards weigh day. I’m excited this week because I know I’ve been 100%. As ever there’s no guarantee that this will translate to a decent loss, but I know I’ve done the very best I could which is more than I can say for last week! No matter what happens I’ve had a truly fantastic week, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Hayley x

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