Old memories old ground 

Stella at my side, walking boots on, fuelled by subway burnt ends, (which is amazjng) i leave Lou worth her sister and step out. 

Halstead, the town I grew up in hadn’t changed much

The Ramsey school tower block still punches it’s self into the skyline of Halstead and I’m over a mile into what maybe a 5 mile walk. 

Unlike Colchester, walking around the lanes of Halstead you nearly always see the town. 

Turning from the land onto a grass path I note virtual silence apart from a couple of songbirds chirruping from somewhere in the distance. 

The ditches are lined with yellows, whites and blues as I walk down the side of 2 corn fields. 

Memories of my childhood interupt my mind hiding in the long grass, playing cowboys and Indians. 

It’s new ground for Stella who sticks close by but sniffs and meanders and ambles along. 

The estate on which I grew up now breaks the skyline, as I descend the hill to where I’ve a Decision to make but it’s easy I’ll skirt the cricket pitch and turn across the bottom of the old estate I lived on. 

For the first time Halstead is completely out of view. 

A magpie takes to the air with stella almost upon it. The sound of the cricketers briefly fills the air, appealing for a catch or lbw, doesn’t sound successful. 




There’s only one thing I like more than walking with my little mate Stella, and that’s fishing. But thats another story and for now I’ll content myself with walking. 

It’s 7am on Sunday morning and I’m turning, into the woods, from where I’ll soon be away from the noises of the main Berechurch Hall Rd. 

A crow or Rook craws above me somewhere, I’m suddenly aware that I’m vulnerable to being bombed, not sure whether accidental or targeted, as it’s happened before. 

The noise of car engines is quieter now, the soundscape is dominated by birdsong, a stoat runs across our path, unnoticed by stella. 

A pigeon coos nearby, and the latter part of the dawn chorus is a choir of many birds who’s identity I’ve no clue of. 

The sky is white, so white that if it were winter is expect snow, I recognise the oak trees and the odd evergreen pine but again my knowledge of the arborial diversity is equally weak. 

Warnings that we’re in military training grounds and not to touch any discarded ordnance punches it’s mechanical firm into an otherwise perfectly natural view. 

To my right, tall pine trees with very little foliage, except the last couple of metres of the top making a canopy. 

A cyclist speeds passed, uttering a “good morning” as I seek to stop stella wandering into his path. 

I cannot help but wonder at what some of these mighty oaks have seen in what is almost certainly a long lifetime. 

Even this, that fell during the storm in February clings to life.

A lone call in the sky that I still have no clue as to it’s identity, my footfall and stellas trip trap as she trots ahead of me, snorting like a young pig. 

The white of cowslip and blue or violet of the bluebells punches it’s way into the green scape. I turn, and ahead I see a locked gate which us designed to stop motorbikes getting into the woods unless they have the key, but unfortunately it fails on many occasions. 

I take a new path  Now, which runs parallel to the normal track, I’m in a field to my left trees and bushes, to my right the nearest tree at least 100M. 

Stella changed her approach, still ahead but not so far, and turns every 10 or 20M to check I’m still close by. 

The odd ssssww×www×@÷×wwe÷×@@aaapit of rain now awakens my senses but there’s little cover. A rabbit runs for cover, I’m uncertain if from the rain or more likely the approach of the descendent of the wolf, stella. 

A cow pat, reminds me that there are or soon wìll be cows nearby. 

The rain amounts to nothing really, light enough to not really soak but heavy enough to let you know of its presence. 

I’m back on my normal track now, stella has the scent of something but still stops to nite I’m nearby and following. 

A couple of dog owners make me pause my writing to get Stella back on her lead as she loves people but has a staffs defensive aggression towards other dogs except her beloved Rocky a golden retriever of a similar age.  

The end of my 2.5 mile walk draws close as a magpie takes to the sky, obviously aware of Stellas rep. Now a rabbit shepherds it’s young into cover for similar reason. 

Within range 

Stella and I are walking around the back of the ranges in Colchester Essex. It’s a beautiful sunny evening and we’ve walked around 2 miles so far.

I really am lucky where I live as within minutes I can be in the middle of nowhere, if you didn’t no better you d think you were miles from anywhere. 

Walking off my pasta dinner is motivation enough and the looming weigh in tomorrow morning. 

I’ve just over a mile to go, and stella 

Still has plenty of energy. 

My glutes are starting to complain but then this is the second distance walk of the day. 

For a nearly 9 year old stella is doing great for her chicken and rice with weetabix dinners as she has an irritable stomach and I can rarely out walk her as she always has plenty left when I’m ready to give up.

Colchester is (as far as I’m aware) the largest garrison town in the uk and I love seeing the ah64 apaches doing their drills in the woods  

First distance walk of 2017 

First personal post for a while, but there a growing trend of sugar free February, I dont normally follow trends but I thought this might kick start my plans for 2017 bit yesterday stepping on the scales gave me a shock. 15st 8, not very pleased but it’s somewhere to start from. 

So step 1 is no more than 8 spoons of sugar per day, 9 is the rda for a man. First part is easy no sugar in tea, coffee or on my morning breakfast however the rest of that plan isn’t so easy,  my staple of baked beans is high in sugar, as are a lot of things. So I’m continuing to have no crisps or chocolate and intend to raise my veg intake carrots, swede, peas and runner beans. 

Also as the daylight grows longer I can increase my walking and running, as I write this I’m in the middle of a   5 or 6 mile walk with Stella 

As I’ve said before I’m lucky in that I live virtually on top if some of the most wonderful woods in the UK, Friday woods in colchester. OK you have to watch out for Red flags denoting live firing on the ranges otherwise you’re free to ramble as the heart takes you. 

Also it’s a great way to evade the anxieties of life as I take a look around there’s only Stella and I, in sight. 

Sense of duty 

Those jobs that are embedded in your computer, you know, without a doubt you’ve got to do, I’m my case this evening even though I’m full of a cold, Stella still needs her walk.

But then I guess that’s when you really should do it, when you don’t want too, eh Emma.  

It’s hard to motivate yourself when your just ill so I daren’t  imagine what’s it’s like if your truly depressed, which I want to be clear, I think I was approaching depression but I don’t think I was ever truly depressed.

Nothing quite like it 

For those of you who haven’t the pleasure, this Stella,  Staffordshire Bull Terrier, friend and confident. 

But there’s nothing quite coming home to her excitable tail going so fast it’s a blur. 

I’ve grown up with dogs all my life,  although she’s only my second dog she’s my eighth in my household.my family have always, with one exception buster, had cross breeds. strangely enough buster was a  Cocker spaniel, he was also schizophrenic which as an 6yr old you’ve no understanding of, he was also so interbred his father was his grandfather, and his mother his elder sister. 

I digress, but if I have to be either a dog or cat person, I’m very definitely a dog person (how many times have you seen a cat on a lead) The therapeutic side of dog walking is great, disappearing into the woods, the field or whatever route you have available,  especially now with mobile phones (who’s signals die when not too far from civilisation) taking over the world. 

the times between having a dog are weird, it’s like somethings missing, the ever loyal companion is no longer there. Yes you replace the dog, but you have to learn it’s quirks, character and teach it your rules all over again

5 minutes 

5 minutes  is all it takes to disappear and but for the noise you wouldn’t realise your near a sprawling urban town. 

As I’ve blogged quite often, Stella is probably my third therapist, if by some form if Harry Potter trickery she were able to speak I’d be toast, the amount I confide in her. 

Friday woods are a mixture of evergreen, brown gold and red, as the leaves die off into winter. 

As I blogged in me time I can’t think of much more relaxing than putting Stella on the lead, weather allowing. it’s easy to disappear for a couple of hours covering 5 or 6 miles.