That time of year again – best foot forward in the walking boots and off for an amble around Wivenhoe Wood.
And so what has changed in the twelve months since @AnnaJCowen and I last went playing Cowboys and Indians underneath the hyperlocal canopy / copping off place?
Um – we didn’t cop off, for sure…
Coppicing meanwhile remains an acceptable practise around these North Essex estuary wilds. The Wivenhoe Wood Working Party is ALWAYS the highlight of any Wivenhoe Town Council monthly meeting. Coppicing continues, as does sadly some petty vandalism of the public picnic benches.
We were slightly earlier in our autumnal walk than the year previous. Twelve months ago and it was all about chopping down tress and making industrial sized cardboard boxes as part of the Great Escape.
Acorns from the old oaks rained down upon us from above. It was like a Made in Essex scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, swashbuckling the fallout from above, and pretending that you are a rugged Hollywood star with two days of bearded growth.
And that was just The Girl.
Any walk in Wivenhoe Wood leaves you with a tardis feel for the great outdoors. As the 9:23 pulls out of Wivenhoe Station, you’ve barely got time to read the leader column in The Telegraph before you hit upon the Hythe.
A wood? Pah. More like a collection of oversized twigs.
But once removed from the Monday – Friday commute, and with a whole afternoon in which to lose yourself (and possibly your wood companion…) and Wivenhoe Wood is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.
We stumbled across a number of young families, picnicking away, hidden away but most definitely not playing away. There’s room for half the town to hide out in there, as was plainly evident during May Fair…
Predictably we became lost, just as Songs of Praise was calling. A short cut following the toke trail delivered us back to the boundary of the KGV. A couple of kids were playing football, and soon I found the ball at my feet.
“Don’t embarrass yourself” came the call from @AnnaJCowen.
A pedestrian shimmy, a slip on the sacred KGV turf and soon I was arse bound in the great outdoors.
We headed back into Wivenhoe Wood where The Girl ritually humiliated me for failing to dazzle Yoof with my footballing skills. I was strip naked, tied to a great oak and had a sharp pair of studs pressed firmly against my now throbbing nipple flesh.
Just another Sunday afternoon.
Same again next year.
Full flickr feed over here.