Occasionally, just occasionally, one has to ask the question: WHY? On a beautiful, leafy junction of three paths near to Ditchling Common, the Council has gone to the effort of installing a steel signpost clarifying that each of the paths is a Public Bridleway. No other information is proffered and I am bewildered as to whom this sign has been erected for.
Clearly not the locals who enjoy the route to get away from signs of the nearby urban area. Nor anyone with a map. Of other possible folk who need to know that these paths are bridleways, anyone reliant on signage would get into trouble a couple of minutes later where the path splits again without the benefit of a sign. If there is a rational reason for this particular sign, I would really like to hear it: if it’s a good one, I will happily eat humble pie.
This morning was grey, but the sun snuck a peek under the clouds for a while and filtered gently through the trees. Nick is currently under the weather (I wonder if he’s been snogging a recuperating Cliff) so I decided to make a run for it on my own.
I went out past the post above, keeping to the bridleway until I turned off onto a path marked with a more subtle device. This was clearly not a bridle-path as I had to clamber over a stile… I’m sure that my keen observational skills are a benefit of having been a Boy Scout in my youth.
This mere footpath was not so much to my liking as the stinging nettles were waist high and I was wearing my shorts. Still, I thought as a plunged on through them, at least it’ll keep my hay-fever at bay!
I passed the beautiful old church behind the Royal Oak, crossed into Hundred Acre Wood, went up through the new wood that the Best Brothers are growing (they use simple, home-made footpath signs here for their twisty, fast-narrowing paths) and came out onto Hundred Acre Lane.
Further on I passed Lew’s place… if you read this Lew, MAN I love the contemporary structure in your garden. The whole idea of placing a shed without a roof in the middle of a garage without a roof really appeals to my sense of artistic space! Tracey Eminen would be proud of you.
From there I ran along the magical path, passing the evolution of the once peaceful St Georges Hall into what I can only imagine will be a metropolis for the silver-haired.
As I finally beat a path home, so I had a hair-raising moment… my hat was quite literally lifted, rather gently actually, from my head. It took a few moments to register before I turned and reached for the camera.
Strangely, having taken the photo, I almost ran off without it!
The distance is still to be calculated (no fancy wizardry on my wrist) but the time was one hour and two minutes and despite not having run for a week, I feel pretty good, thank you very much for asking!