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Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Glorious Mud!

After the heights of the Pennine Way we descended to sea level this Sunday for a walk by the River Deben in Suffolk. Much more Phil’s cup of tea I think, what with pubs and tea shops close at hand, and not to much tiring uphill stuff. A doddle in fact.

Well, that’s the way it started. We parked by the village hall at Newbourne and set off to Hemley and the pleasant lanes and paths to Waldringfield. Arthur Ransome, the children’s author used to sail from here. Today, however, there were very few boats on the water – a far cry from the bustle of high summer – and most were drawn up ashore waiting for the spring. It’s a lovely place to dawdle and admire the variety of craft (lots of pre war wooden yachts here in the summer) so we dawdled and then set off along the old flood bank to our next destination – Martlesham Creek.

Yachts at WaldringfieldYachts at Waldringfield ready for the spring

As you go away from Waldringfield, the Boden clad families out walking begin to thin out and before long you will have the sky and the marshes to yourself. Wonderful. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed the sunshine and the peace, with just the sound of the wind and the occasional cries of Oystercatchers. This is a perfect day, I thought.

View over the marshesView over the marshes to Woodbridge

But this won’t get us to Martlesham Creek, so off we went, and almost immediately came across this sign – “No Through Route due to Natural Erosion”. Phil looked at his map and decided to re route and go inland. I disagreed.

“It’s probably just so the council won’t get sued – what are you, Man or Mouse?”

sign saying no through routePhil responded with his usual “Eeek, but we continued, hopping over a small inlet and a bit of boggy ground, and then the old sea wall picked up again.

“There, I told you that would be easy”, I said.

The path got surprisingly narrower and less trodden, not a soul around – and then we saw it. Not a small breach but a yawning gap about twenty yards wide and full of ominous looking mud. I really didn’t like the look of it. We could try a run across, but once stuck you wouldn’t come out in a hurry, and it looked awfully deep. We turned back.

And then it happened. Phil hopped across the small inlet first. I followed but the ground gave way under me and I slid straight into the glistening ooze. Deeper, deeper and deeper I went and then started to tip backwards. Oh no – my lovely jacket and trousers I thought, and then how cold and wet the walk back was going to be, covered in mud. My hands went back to break my fall – anything to stop me going in up to my waist.

It was then that I looked up to see Phil doubled over with laughter. He reached for his pocket and I realised that he was looking for his camera …just let him dare, I thought.

“Take my hand” I shouted

“I’m a stranger in paradise…” sang Phil, and had another fit of the giggles.

But he forgot about the camera and helped me out. Apart from my gloves, where the ooze had somehow got inside I wasn’t in bad shape, and I was relieved to see that both boots had remained on my feet.

Grrrrrrrr. Natural erosion. A pathetic euphemism for ‘we couldn’t be bothered to do any maintenance’. What next? If I report potholes in the road, will the council just say, “Ah, that’s natural erosion madam, nothing we can do”.

But the rest of the walk was just fine as went through the Newbourne Springs nature reserve and back to the car. Apart from the ‘incident’ it had indeed been a perfect afternoon’s walk. under huge sunlit skies. So close to the ports of Ipswich and Felixstowe but somehow remote from the 21st century bustle.

Long may it stay that way.



Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Oh Good Lord!

Phil has just designed our route for this Sunday's walk! Please don't let it be as gloopy as this one!

January 21, 2009 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger Alan Sloman said...

It WAS just like that last picture. Nothing changes then...

January 30, 2009 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

I think it was worse! Feet carrying great dinnerplates of Cambridgeshire clay, intermittent rain and leaden skies.

Fair makes your spirits soar, eh?


January 30, 2009 at 5:27 PM  

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