I would like to have had a little traditional walk on New Year's Day but the weather was not on my side yesterday. Even less on my side was my entire body and brain which was crashing and throwing up for a second day running. It was a pretty disastrous New Year for me. However, today was much improved - I finally woke without pain (though my knose and sinuses are still clogged) and the weather was stunning, crisp and sunny. I started slowly with some general cleaning and sorting and removal of the various vomit receptacle I'd appropriated over the previous couple of days. This cleaning was also a sort of pre-emptive DIY procrastination which I find myself doing when I have more than one project to achieve. It results in me only just starting various tasks in the hope that having started them I'll have broken the back of the effort and the rest is simply finishing off. (For example, two of the kitchen cupboard doors are now without their failing wood-effect skin).
After lunch I finally mustered enough motivation to get outside into the glorious day - yet another warm new year, warm enough to eat al fresco as it happens. I took the car out north to to hunt for a source of horse manure that I'd caught wind of - the Bridge Farm Riding School. I found it north of Cottenham and, after helping the owner locate a rogue chicken, I was shown a veritable quagmire of horse poo. "Take as much as you want, come morning, noon and night, tell all your friends" was the rather encouraging instructions. I loaded two bags of the driest materials into my boot and headed north again to a potential walk I'd seen on the map.
So here we are at the walk. Starting from the Twentypence Marina I walked East atop the levy on the north bank of the Great Ouse. I'd suggest the 'Great' is debatable - more a disappointing Cam. It was only about two kilometres to the A10 which I used to cross over the river to the South bank's levy and back along another public footpath. It was a nice walk, reminiscent of those along the River Severn, and in glorious winter sun which thankfully stayed aloft all the way back.
PS. Something went funny with my phone camera as I took the first photo, which has turned out rather like an historical artefact.
The levy along the Great Ouse, C. 1900
The Ouse, not as great as the Severn, only just about flowing
In a flat landscape you can't see for miles - those trees on the horizon are Wilburton only 3 km away.
I came across an scattering of these shells, I assume fresh water shellfish collected by birds.
Self portrait against the levy (which was dry)
Much of the local architecture can best be described as "demoralising"
These pony/donkey/horses were somewhere between friendly and incredibly menacing