Friday, 18 May 2007

We couldn't have got any wetter!!

Cathy and Liz met Carol in Bewdley under a very cloudy sky. John (Liz’s cousin) took a photo of us by the river; just as well because there would be no way of getting another photo for the rest of the day, but more about that later. As we stood by the river we asked what all the metal bits in the ground were and John told us they were flood barriers, how apt! We then got dropped off at the Kinfyre Bar and Bistro where Carol had finished her walk the previous day. As we set off towards Pattingham there was a light drizzle which we could cope with and kept reassuring each other that it might brighten up!
However, as we walked on our way more rain came down and more and more and it was by now apparent that actually it wasn’t going to brighten up at all and we were just going to get very, very wet. Especially when a 4x4 driver took great delight in deliberately driving as close to us through a puddle as he could. Most of the roads were more like rivers, especially the smaller country lanes; we just had to wade through. Surely soon we would find some sort of shelter to stop and eat our sandwiches but there was just nothing to be found and in desperation the only shelter we could find was a public loo in the middle of nowhere and there we were standing in the doorway eating our sandwiches, that must be a first! This is when we got the only other photos of the day and also the quote of the day: “What’s that pink thing in the way”? “It’s your finger in front of the lens”, was the reply. Oh well the brain was rather soggy by now. Needless to say we didn’t hang around long and were soon on our way again.
By now we just wanted to keep going until we reached our destination, we just couldn’t get any wetter and we even tried singing to keep our spirits up. By the time we reached Pattingham we were so distracted by dreams of a hot bath and an aga to dry our clothes, we thought we had reached the B&B before we actually had. We gaily trudged up the garden path of some poor unsuspecting family and called out to a very bemused young lady, “we are here and we are very wet”. She immediately called for assistance from her dad who quickly donned coat and boots and walked a little way to point us in the right direction. Just an example of the kindness and help we were going to receive over the next couple of days.
Our prayers were answered, as we trudged up the lane with the farmhouse in sight, Gill the landlady came rushing out and ushered us into her kitchen and we couldn’t believe it but there before us was an aga. So, there we were, three sodden bodies dripping all over the kitchen of our hosts Gill and Roger. They couldn’t have been kinder and insisted we got out of our wet things and go straight up and have hot baths and showers. When we returned to the kitchen all our clothes had been put on the aga and our boots stuffed with paper. We were given tea and home made cake in the conservatory which had heated flooring, just what we needed. The farmhouse was surrounded by a beautiful garden and fields with horses and there were peacocks and chickens and a lovely view of the Wrekin Hills. The next problem was, that having dried ourselves off and got comfortable, we needed to get ourselves to the local pub for an evening meal. Again Gill came to the rescue and in borrowed clothes and shoes from our host, as our change of clothes were also wet through, she drove us to the pub where we had a good meal and a much needed glass of wine and then insisted that we phone her when we were finished and she would fetch us.
We went to bed hoping that we would wake up to find a better day. At first we were disappointed as it appeared to be much the same as the day before but Roger had checked the weather forecast and said if we hang around a bit it would brighten up. We finally set off under a dull sky and headed off towards Brewood. The sun came out and the day was warm. We found somewhere more comfortable for our lunch today, a dry bench just outside a pretty village church. This time we didn’t need to stick to the roads and made our way across the Staffordshire Way, a very beautiful setting of countryside and fields with horses, sheep and geese. This was more like it. We finished our walk just along the canal into Brewood. Oh and we saw David Bowie (well ok it was just a look-alike). After a quick cup of tea we were taken back to the B&B. We took advantage of the nice evening and walked to the pub for our evening meal. In the morning John fetched us and we said our goodbyes to Gill and Roger of Pattingham and thanked them for all they had done for us. We took Carol back to Brewood to resume her walk and waved goodbye.