Wendover - the one in which I got brave

>>  Monday, June 17, 2019

Well I've been a member of the hill walking club now for 18 months and I finally plucked up the courage to go with the 'long walk' group.

It was a planned 16 miles, which I've done on a walk day before but I know this group  is always at a fast pace.

It was in the Chilterns which have more rolling hills than the steep climbs of the peaks so being as the weather was good (dry and overcast, if a little muggy) I decided to go for it as did a few others that have never been in 'top set' before.

We started at Stokenchurch, you can see from the blur of my first photo the  pace got going straight away!

And I was pretty much unable to stop to get my phone out at all, but then this is a comfortable England down here it doesn't have the stunning views of further north.

I couldn't quite believe this barn with a London double decker stashed away in it though.
We marched on,  I realised I was spending a lot of time looking at the ground about 4 feet ahead of me and not really very aware of my environment.

I've had a few people say that about the reason why they don't do the longer walks with the club, there's no time to stop and stare.
There were red kites all along the route though and I love them.  Although when hot, tired, hungry and wanting a break I was getting the feeling of buzzards circling to pick me off!
There's a lot of paths here.  Good terrain but easy to navigate to a wrong one with so many.
Lacey Green was interesting with a Victorian bus shelter
and a smock windmill
The woodland we walked through was ancient (dogs mercury) and beautiful.  Note the blur, no chance to stop!

We stopped for a quick drink mid-morning and a wee behind a bush, when I realised that whilst I was behind a bush the bush was behind a golf course - so maybe not as private as I first thought!!
This oak (and presumably bench) was planted in 1952 for the coronation, it was lovely.

We finished at Wendover. with 17 miles walked.

I'm really pleased I did it, it's a tick off achievement but I suspect I many be one of the band that chooses to do the shorter walks just to get time to stand and stare.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


Wild Cooking (Have Adventures Camp Stage 5) and Campfire Cookout (Guiding Traditions UMA)

>>  Tuesday, June 11, 2019

 I always know we are in for a good night when the amount of equipment I need is in piles everywhere.
 Although the popcorn maker and the Gillie were only out as a 'just in case'
 I like it when my fire box comes out, it is a true treasure trove to me.
 I have a brand new fire pit to play with too.
 I don't have many photos of the 'process' as I was the only leader supervising 2 sets of fires, the oven making process, dough making etc.  I needed eyes in the back of my head!

But I showed them (again!) how to start a decent fire:

 Build a square of sticks, put your tinder (tumble dryer fluff for us) in the centre then a small wigwam of kindling (twigs) over it. 

Light the centre tinder.  Keep adding kindling slowly increasing it in size until it all takes then put bigger sticks on until you are adding logs.

This was the fire for the dampers
 The oven to be used for the wild cooking was a small deposable BBQ,   4 empty beer cans (thank you HWMBO) and a grill.

 You completely cover a cardboard box inside and out with silver foil.  We used duct tape to stick it where necessary.

You cover it twice with the shiny side outwards.

They mixed up a ready made pizza dough with warm water.  I hate using ready made anything because I think it teaches the girls nothing but it really is the cheapest way to do it when you only need small quantities.  Kneaded the dough in their (washed) hands and made flat rounds about the size of their palms.

Added tomato puree and grated cheese.

The pizza went onto the grill and the box popped over the top with a stone propping up the corner.
 They were left for about 15 mins until I could smell them.  I lifted the box off and they were cooked.  They looked 'interesting' they tasted great.

Lessons learnt:  Use a stronger grill and weight the cans.  make the box at least 2 inches bigger than the grill all round to give you wiggle room lifting it on and off.

The girls mixed up a damper dough:
500g self raising flour
75g caster sugar
200ml water

and kneaded it a little. take a ball and roll it out in your (washed) hands and wrap it around a foil covered stick without any gaps

and twirl it over a fire whilst chatting about exams, being dumped by boyfriends, pets, future plans, camps you remember

when cooked slide the damper off the stick and fill it with jam or chocolate spread whilst remembering if you didn't wrap it over the end of your stick then you have a hole both ends and the jam goes all the way through and will land in your lap!

Remember to leave a small hole in your tummy for a smore

The Rangers were clearly running high on school and college stress and the night really did them some good.  Sometimes you've just got to sit and chew the fat around a fire with a cat on your lap to find your inner peace.

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