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JC’s July – All beer ‘n’ footy…

Although July was a busy month, it is so easy to sum it all up: drinking and World Cup Football!

Just like a Big Country song, each occasion was enjoyable in itself but pretty much the same thing over again – either going to the pub to watch a game, or getting a few tinnies in to watch a match without some drunken dullard spiraling in front of the screen (sorry about that, everyone!)

Dire England performances aside, it was a great time – and we even had Wimbledon too! Watched the epic Germany versus Brazil 7-1 mauling with a German and a Brazilian – which, as euphemisms go, wasn’t one!

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When not in front of a big screen or necking a few beers, I managed a little trudge over in the Cotswolds with the Fell-walkers.

 

I’ll let Paul Hands give you the lowdown (this is going to be a super-short blog – I promise to do better next time!)

I’ll include the all of the directions so as to fluff it out a bit…

 

Parking:

Lane side verges on minor road (988276)

Maps:

 

Outdoor Leisure 45, Explorer 179 & 190

 

The walk: 

This is a picturesque walk on the edge of the Cotswolds with several good viewpoints along the way. We will see steam engines on the GWSR and plenty of wild flowers on the slopes of Langley Hill. It does involve some hill climbing, unfortunately, the longest being during the final section after the pub (Jeez – it was knackering!). The pub is the Shutters at Gotherington, approximately two thirds of the way round. They do a full range of nosh and a couple of beers. I found them very friendly and they are dog friendly with water bowls and free dog biscuits!

The route:

From the lane we head east via Rushbury House and Cockbury Butts then north-east onto Stanley Mount & Langley Hill before descending north to Gretton. West via Stanley Pontlarge and Dixton to Woolstone Hill Farm and on to Gotherington and pub. From here it is a relatively short section back to the cars but involves a steepish climb up Nottingham Hill.

Rest

 

Walk

 

This month I’ve been mostly reading:

Books by Birmingham author Charlie Hill – a tidy little read with an interesting and original plot (I’m great at these book reviews).

I usually have several books on the go and have just finished reading Heart of Darkness – a book I’ve struggled with in the past despite it being so short a novel. There’s no denying it has some nice phrasing but I don’t get the overall gist and, for me, it is not such an easy read.

I tried Mrs. Dalloway once and found that similarly vexing (the book was quite trying as well) so I have some serious literary training to do to get into this stuff.

Anyway, this poem by John Clare featured in one of the early chapters of Books. So, in the blogger’s spirit of sharing – I thought I’d share it!

First Love

I ne’er was struck before that hour

With love so sudden and so sweet,

Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower

   And stole my heart away complete.

My face turned pale as deadly pale,

   My legs refused to walk away,

And when she looked, what could I ail?

   My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face

   And took my eyesight quite away,

The trees and bushes round the place

   Seemed midnight at noonday.

I could not see a single thing,

   Words from my eyes did start—

They spoke as chords do from the string,

   And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter’s choice?

   Is love’s bed always snow?

She seemed to hear my silent voice,

   Not love’s appeals to know.

I never saw so sweet a face

   As that I stood before.

My heart has left its dwelling-place

   And can return no more.

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