I love walking. I could walk all day and have. Consequently my recent little health-scare bugged me no end. On leaving hospital it took about a week just to be able to walk down the road, never mind anything else. But the body is a miracle in progress and stamina develops. Ten days later I was able to walk the one and a half miles to Waitrose with many stops and some strategic panting. The Waitrose free coffee for Waitrose Card holders made it almost worthwhile. I remember I tried a latte for the first time instead of my usual black and haven't looked back. Perhaps the collapsed lung subtly altered my tastebuds - I can live with that.
This week I took my first non-stop (apart from the photo-stops) reasonably brisk walk to Waitrose without losing breath. Not a pant or a gasp. And it was magic. For those who like the English countryside (Monmouthshire slid into Wales by an inadvertant slip of the pen in the early 1970's) I hope the photos show what a privilege it is to be walking these lanes and what I have been recently missing.
The magical lane. One direction leads into country. The other direction takes you to Monmouth.
This is the final stretch of Vauxhall Field that fringes Monmouth.
I stop and look back and around. Our house is a distant spec.Sometimes caravans use these fields. There
are steam fairs, more often cows getting fat.
The sun cooperated. Ahead is St Mary's spire. A few minutes later clouds covered the sun.
I have a river to cross - the Monnow - which gives its name to Monmouth.
As you cross the iron bridge you can see the old abbatoir. The blood and guts would run into the river.
You can see the abbatoir more clearly here - ie between the arches.
At at last Monmouth itself. Ahead is the Shire Hall. The camp little man just below the clock is Henry V.
The white building to the right is the King's Head. Perhaps a celebratory drink is called for.
Looking down the main street. Destination near.
Waitrose is unseen - just to the left. Directly ahead is the C13th Gate House and a little beyond that
the country again.
Coffee or Beer? Whatever - best of all my lungs are clear and as sound as a bell!