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A Bracing New Year’s Day Walk with the Mrs at Chew Lake

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 1 January 2014

The last time we drove out to the reservoir at Chew Magna it was a placid little puddle nestling in the Somerset hills – barely a ripple on its surface. So it was an idea place for a bracing New Year’s Day walk we thought. Okay there is a bit of wind and rain but we are hardy folk.

I think that the rain beating down on the windshield so that you could see barely twenty yards ahead should have been a clue. As we arrived all the ducks and seagulls were huddling looking rather cold behind a wall well off the water. That should have been another hint for the Mrs and I. 

The wind was so strong that this small reservoir suddenly looked like the North Sea. Swollen by the recent rains the waves were crashing on the dam and rolling well past the normal waterline. The water fir thirty yards closes to shore was a sandy brown as the waves tore away at the land and tress that had mistakenly planted themselves within reach. 

We tried to go for a brief walk. I was thinking “Cannot I suggest we go home for a bit of mindless TV?” but was not prepared to blink first and concede that I was too much of a wimp for the “bracing walk” that we had carefully planned. 

So I soldiered on. At one point the wind was so fierce and drove rain straight into our faces so bitterly that we simply had to stand there with our backs to the gale. At that point the Mrs blinked and suggested we go home to watch some mindless TV. I conceded that I was of a similar mind.

All this global warming...I blame Thatcher.


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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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