Making the most of it….. 26/7

It has been a strange few weeks, hence a little bit of radio silence. My dad had a fall just over three weeks ago and has unfortunately gone downhill since then, spending a couple of weeks in hospital and is now under 24 hour care. Although we all knew it was going to happen at some point, it was still a shock to all of us how quickly he went from walking with a frame and having an incredibly healthy appetite, to needing help to stand – let alone walk – and eat. I am not the kind of person who would normally share this kind of information as we are a very close family but I wanted to take a moment to share and how important it is to make the most out of every day and create those memories as you just don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

Although it is a little unsettled at the moment we did manage a few days in Bath catching up with some friends and we have just got back from three days in a little CL just outside Tring, Hertfordshire. (Ballers, Vicarage Road, Wigginton, Tring. £6 a night).

With the exception of a caravan that looked like it had to come to the field to die, we were the first to arrive – however by about 6pm the field was full of its five caravans and motorhomes of various sizes.

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Keith picked the CL in Tring as it was close to the Ridgeway which is a path that goes from Ivinghoe to West Kenner in Wiltshire – roughly 87 miles, little did he know that my dad used to have offices in Tring in the late 80’s, so it was quite nice to have a trip down memory lane!

Despite the weather being a bit changeable we popped into Tring on Sunday afternoon which is a half an hour walk down (…. and I do mean down for those who aren’t keen on hills) through Tring park. The reminiscent tour was reasonably quick – it isn’t a big place – ending at the overflow of the natural history museum which is – and always was -situated just across the road from my dads old office. Tring is a small, commuter town which hasn’t changed much over the years, unfortunately being left behind where places like Berkhempstead have profited…although it did still have the ever important hardware store to keep it going!

After a wet night, Monday morning was still a bit soggy although I still set off for a run along the ridgeway but thankfully missed the turning and ended up on a small, winding, hilly road … a nice way to start the day! We later set off cladded in wet gear to walk the Ridgeway in the same direction so Keith kindly pointed out where I had gone wrong …. it was muddy – I was happy with my running route!

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The walk was lovely and actually, although wet under foot, it didn’t rain. We changed the route slightly and ended up in Wendover, finding a beautiful house at the end of the Ridgeway path with fruit trees galore in the garden which would happily keep us fed for a while, just a shame that they weren’t quite ready for the picking!

Tuesday was drier, so after the morning exercise routine we set off Eastwards to Ivinghoe a slightly rougher trail but equally as beautiful.

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As it was drier under foot we did a circular route coming back through Aldbury park – a lovely 23km round trip…. with some fantastic Blackberry bushes, more wild raspberries and fields upon fields of peas which we are guessing had been left to dry out as they hadn’t been cultivated yet and were past their due date!

Surprisingly we arrived back to find that the caravan that looked like it had been left to die had disappeared. As we hadn’t witnessed the event we can’t be sure as to whether it was towed, lifted or spontaneously combusted…. but it kindly left space for a new motorhome to join us!

Not bad for another little field with lots of blackberries and many a route to walk… there was even a nice little pub about half a mile down the road so we may just be back soon!