30th March At last we choose the correct day to go for a walk. Saturday turns out to be beautiful! Today, walking Tottenhoe's green lanes is an opportunity to leave it all behind and just enjoy the moment. We leave the lanes as we cross the A5 and we're out onto the Bedfordshire flatlands. Here, only a couple of weeks ago, we disturbed boxing hares. No sign of them today. We skirt Tebworth and, at Hockliffe, cross Watling Street. The northward march of Roman legions have long been replaced by an on-rushing stream of juggernauts and white vans. Getting across we take our lives in our hands...but survive!
23rd March Search as hard as you like, it's difficult to find anything of note to say about this part of Bedfordshire...Barton-le-Clay, Hexton, Higham Gobion, Wrest Park, Silsoe and Pulloxhill should all be names to conjure a multitude of interesting stories...but nothing! Literally nothing! Perhaps the landscape has inadvertently influenced the attitudes of those who've lived around here. People around here prefer to blend in than stand out...and there's nothing wrong with that, I'd like to add!
16th March It's that time of year when, once again, I find I'm younger than I thought I was...for most a good experience...however it does mean retiring, and doing what I really want to do, is further away than I'd hoped...that thought always spoils the day. To overcome the disappointment we select another walk in our slow encirclement of Luton. The first part of our walk reprises the previous Toddington 'not one of your better walks' route, before emerging the other side of Toddington into Alma Farm.
23rd February A resumption of my 'Luton' obsession. Since September we've been walking our way around Luton. There's not much to see in Bedfordshire so it's my way to make it interesting. We're up and out early. Indeed the first part of the walk is in the early morning gloom which is enjoyably atmospheric today. Starting from the village green at Toddington we splash our way west, across muddy fields still shrouded in mist. Our only company on the paths are lycra-clad runners. Milton Bryan is slumbering quietly as we trudge through. Its hard to believe this quiet Bedfordshire village was once the home to WW2 black ops! Hidden away here, in the heart of rural England, Churchill established a propaganda radio station that encouraged German soldiers to surrender, shared misleading instructions with civilians and played Jewish music that Mr Goebbels couldn't stand.
13th January This goes down in family history as 'Not one of your better walks!' Sue has years of teaching experience on which to drawn when summing up disappointment...and this was her damning conclusion to this afternoon's walk. To be fair, it's hard to argue.
7th October A really enjoyable stroll on a glorious Autumnal afternoon. We picked this walk to explore the woods around Checkendon and, given that we'd started to notice the change of the seasons over the last few weeks, we had hoped for some rich browns, yellows and oranges. As it happens, the leaves are still holding on and deep inside the woods the predominant colour is still green.
29th September Looking back, it was almost exactly 13 months ago that we were here last and, although not so warm, it's just as sunny. The paths across the Estate are busy...we're not the only ones enjoying the autumn sun. As we cross Berryend Plantation we meet an early morning photographer on his way home. Enormous camera lens slung from his hip, he was out at 5am this morning, hoping for wildlife pictures in the early mist. He has left disappointed this morning but I suspect his standards are higher than ours!