Teach Yourself Hiking. The Adventures of a Norfolk Pensioner 3

Teach Yourself Hiking

A perfect day with crystal clear sky’s and uninterrupted views that go on for ever. Each one would fit comfortable on a ‘Welcome To’ postcard.

Harebells in Cumbria

A gentle wind blew across the fields, warm and sweet smelling. Harebells gently nodded their tiny blue heads as we walked passed.

Wild Mint gave up its delicate perfume when we brushed against it. Yes, A perfect day. My walking boots glistened under fresh polish and my new pink coat stood out crease-less and sparkly clean. We were so different from the other hikers we had passed on the way. They wore dull, worn, mud covered boots and brown coats and trousers. These other walkers with their Nordic Sticks disappeared as we set off across the field, only a distant dog walker spoilt the dream we were living that we were indeed the only humans for miles. No, not one Nordic Stick for us, no not one. I’m not old, much, so don’t need them of no no no.

Suddenly my intentions of writing a nice sensible blog disappeared. The tone was lowered and from that moment continued downhill.

We found the public footpath, Intake Bottom? This sounded more like we must breath in to fit down that path. Hold your breath, and intake bottom. Perhaps it led to a health spar or plastic surgeon.

The camera was immediately taken out and a candid photo was taken of Charlie’s Bottom while taking a photo of Intake Bottom .

Like all well equipped and superbly prepared hikers we followed the direction on the map. Yes, we had a map. Written by a guy in a pub on the back of a fag packet or beer mat.But it was published and sold in the corner shop on nice glossy paper. What could go wrong? I had exams in map reading.

A puff of wind, a purple haze and whoosh we were transported into an Ian Livingstone adventure book. The Hikers of Doom was instantly published. For those who do not know these books, you move through the adventure through pages and use dice to fight. You meet monsters of various types and strengths and are constantly sent to different page numbers of the book where another challenge is waiting. Will we survive?

We opened the map at page 1, Do you go North Or South? turn to page 126. You must cross several stiles that have been designed for large, strong, 6 foot men. Next you must go to the brow of the hill to find the old Ash tree….What? Which hill?

Within seconds we were lost. We stood at the brow of a hill looking around. This was the brow but was it the correct brow? What kind of brow? Bushy eyebrow type brow or pencilled and plucked? If this was a Denis Healey eyebrow where we were standing would be bushy, pointed and wild with an Ash tree in the middle. But if it was the delicately plucked brow then it would have short grass and a dead tree in the middle. But there were several such brows.

Part of the instructions/clues were to keep walking with the barn to your right. So walk left of the barn….but which barn? There were 3 barns!!

Cunningly disguised geese really evil monsters with a strength of 10.

The first was guarded by evil monsters with a point value of 10. Oh yes to the untrained eye they were just geese. No, don’t fall for that they were just cunningly disguised as geese.

To even get passed this challenge there was a whole field of evil Orks disguised as sheep. We knew they were waiting to charge as each carried a weapon including Pipe wrenches and spanners.

The leader from a tree top, only had to shout to start a charge.

Do you stand your ground and fight? (Page 350) or go back (Page 300)

Luckily from the bushy undergrowth of the brow came a good Night on a bright red charger. He jumped down with the chargers engine still running and told us to go to the valley with a flowing river then look for the stiles (page 200). He told us he had to rescue many adventurers after they had read the map. Some were miles off track looking for an sycamore tree that was chopped down 20 years ago. He jumped back onto the red charger and disappeared towards one the barns we shouldn’t have even been near!

Hang on!! Valley?? Where did the brows come into this? Brows are above valleys and we were now walking back down towards the valley.

A gate disguised as a stile

After a month of walking we found the stiles cunningly disguised as gates and the other 3 barns. Stood on a hill we looked down and saw the other hikers walking down the road…..ROAD!!! Where did that come in?

I think what happened was that pages 2 to 100 where missing.

Boots still nearly clean having avoided sheep dip, cow pats and a raging river we joined the road and luckily unnoticed walked into the village.

Many thanks to the handsome sheep farmer and his red tractor who rescued us:)

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Squirrels never share. The Adventures of a Norfolk Pensioner 2

Squirrels never share.

Not such a good start!! The walk to Frank’s Bridge was good, then my daughter (Charlie) found out to her horror that her camera battery was flat and where was the spare? Back at the cottage where I had left it:( Back I went leaving Charlie in charge of my camera, several Chaffinches and baby Goldfinches. Her job was to try and break up the fight that had started among them.

Quick run back a mile down the road, then horror!! Back at the cottage I could not, no matter what I did unlock the door. After 10 minutes a wonderful click announced my success. In, grab the battery and while in civilisation a trip to the toilet. Quickly out and lock the door……NO, not a movement, it refused to move.Back in with a brilliant idea, lock it from the inside and go out the back door. NO!!! The front door wouldn’t lock from either side. On close inspection both top and bottom hooked toggles on this damn plastic door were stuck outwards. Percussion technology was called for. Ignoring the constant beep of my phone knowing full well it would be a worried text from Charlie, I gave the thing a sharp thumping. Yes, a wonderful cur-plunk. Hurriedly back outside holding the handle up, key in, turn and a successful lock. Now a quick run back to where I had left the now pacing Charlie. I will omit the tale of getting lost on the way back to her:)

One hour wasted and we are on the hazelnut lined path heading towards the Vortex Dragons Lair (Story of that up soon).

A flash of RED!

Distracted again from our main quest of getting from A to B in the quickest time. There is yet another flash of red. I am now determined to catch the little blighter, Yes, even if I have to stay here all week. Um, thinks, that’s what I have already done.

I could see him running far ahead of me, sometimes going up the left bank of tasty trees next a quick turn and up the right bank. Another quick turn and up the left bank. First runs left then a blur then right

One after the other I added another distant and blurry image to my collection.He ran forward, I stopped, he ran back. Always he was the same distance away from me. Too far for a good photo. Then things changed, he ran forward and forward then forward again as I stood my ground and hastily clicked to take picture after picture. On he came, faster and faster. Then a screech of tiny red paws as he realised what he had done, standing at my feet looking up at me.

I will not share.

I had won:) With him firmly in my lens he just stood refusing to drop his treasured nut. I had won:) I finally captured a squirrel.

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How to Track A Squirrel. The Adventures of a Norfolk Pensioner 1


 How to Track A Squirrel

The sun was shining so the light for taking photos was perfect.
I had dressed correctly with dark green tights and a dress covered in nice flowers, maroon shoes and matching socks. This would make sure I remained part of the countryside. Perfume was correctly applied to smell of roses. The finishing touch was added, that of a bright pink coat, nothing would spot me.                                                                                          Now all I had to do was follow the instructions from my 100 year old copy of Squirrel Tracking for Dummies.


  1. Make sure to breath heavily and loudly when walking up hill. The odd loud wheeze is ideal.
  2. Stand on every twig and small branch.
  3. The occasional sneeze, or large fart works wonders to attract wildlife.
  4. Don’t forget to shout loudly the day greetings to every local you see, no matter how far away they are.
  5. Announce every other wildlife species you encounter using the yodel voice you learned whilst tracking Yeti. A SHEEEEEEEEP! A DOG!! A RABBIT!!! etc etc etc
  6. The use of the Nordic Walker ‘tappy’ stick is perfect.

All this will guarantee countless pictures of fuzzy, blurry, totally out of focus, squirrels. You can then show them all to your friends, and all the poor souls on social media. 

The pictures may need labelling:
‘Red Fuzz’ = Red Squirrel or Autumn Leaf
‘Grey Fuzz’ = Grey Squirrel or Wolf
‘Brown Fuzz’ = Rabbit or Someone’s Hair
‘White Fuzz’ = Sheep or Polar Bear

All will be perfect.

All Action Squirrel – Camera not on Sports Mode.


Is it a Bear? Is it a Squirrel? Is it a Moldy Ant Eater? Is it Trump’s Toupee?


Managed to Capture the ‘Back End’ of that action shot.

Will we succeed? Will the camera go on sports mode? Find out next time on ‘Adventures of a Norfolk Pensioner’!!

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