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"End to End via the Margins"
-the diary of a walk.


Parts of Dulverton looked like pantomime fairyland: cottages with low walls, tall roofs and high, high chimneys. And the landscape seemed to change some more on today's long and hilly trek. Looking down on Wiveliscombe and the Vale of Taunton beyond seemed to my untutored eye like looking down on any town in downland southern England. The rocks and earth changed from time to time as well. For much of the day they were a purplish brownish greyish colour, but towards the end I was seeing more red.

High up where the road passed the woods, I met a man and a van. This is not the first time a journey such as this has included an encounter with a mobile library. The man had stopped to eat lunch and modify a shelf. I asked if he had internet. He said he had, but it often doesn't work. It's hard to get a signal in the little villages up in these hills. In any case, a lot of the people here are elderly and aren't very interested. Later I wondered what kinds of books they liked to read. Was it racy ones, or was it books about gardening, or was it racy books about gardening? But it would have been intrusive to ask anyway.

This high route I had been following, a mixture of road and footpath, must at one time have been a single road, for it was lined the whole way with old trees, many if not all beeches.

I had a lot of trouble finding footpaths. Sometimes it was because they weren't there. Later in the day, between Gaulden Manor and Handy Cross, I took a wrong turning entirely of my own making. If I'd taken my glasses off when looking at the map (presbyopia comes to us all) I'd have seen clearly where the path went. I didn't and I didn't and I ended up on somebody's lawn. Anyway, the people whose lawn it was were very civilised about it. From then on I felt a bit disreputable, which is no bad thing, because the moral high ground is a dangerous place to be.

Pictures from today...
Somerset library van with librarian
What was it Ray Mears ("Extrene Survival") said on the television last night about crossing rivers?...
...I think I'll use the bridge instead
God guide us we pray.
Even when the path is not the obvious one,
show us the way.
When we find the going hard,
hold our hands.
Give guidance to those who are uncertain of the way.
Give humility to those
who are too certain that they are right.

© Bob Warwicker. The words here may be reproduced freely, but not for gain, or without attribution. All alterations must have the permission of the author.