Walking Days

Around about this time of year
in ones now in the past
my mind has turned to walking
with my brother for a blast
Together we have wandered
many miles o'er many hills
mostly here in Sussex
with the pleasure all that fills

And there will be a time again
when we venture out once more
to follow paths we know so well
and have traversed before
My heart is there a-hankering
for those happy days again
when I can go out walking
with my brother and my friend

But I'm also quite content to wait
until it's safe and free
when we can walk with confidence
my brother Dave and me
And that will be very special
something to look forward to
Once more out there walking
doing what we love to do

 

©Jemverse

Photo – Jem and Dave Croucher on the South Downs Way, Sussex, UK

Walking and Uno

This week accommodation
was booked for us in May
when my brother Dave and I
have our walking holiday
Once more the South Downs beckon
here in Sussex where we live
And we’ll be out there walking
as they have so much to give

We’ll revisit hills we’ve been to
many times before
But it’s always worth returning
as we’re always up for more
And when we’re done with walking
we’ll find a place that’s near
for some hearty conversation
over Uno¹ and a beer

©Jemverse

¹ My brother Dave and I have the same game of Uno running (albeit with some of our own rules) which we started three years ago. We play it in the pub throughout the year and every May when we go for a week’s walking. Scores are currently running at 195,249 (me) v 205,184 (Dave)!

Photos – Jempics

Two Rings

Two rings on the final day
Familiarity
A walk which we have made our own
my brother Dave and me
A circle of eight miles
chalky trails beneath our feet
The sunshine smiling once again
to make the week complete

Starting down at Cisbury
then climbing through the fields
Up to Chanctonbury Ring and
views of Sussex Weald
It’s been a week of calm and joy
up on the South Downs Way
A brother’s walk together
on day by perfect day

©Jemverse

Photo – The Sussex Weald looking north from Chanctonbury Ring, West Sussex – Jempics

Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go for a week-long walk. We’ve been elsewhere but most times, the draw of the wonderful South Downs Way – out there on our doorstep – keeps us close to home. Day 5 took us back to a circular walk we developed ourselves. Called  ‘The Two Rings Circle’, it takes in both Cisbury and Chanctonbury Rings in Sussex.

The South Downs Way

To the South Downs Way
the brothers return again
retreading their steps

©Jemverse

Photo – from Jemverse on Instagram, May 2018 – Jempics

Every year, at the beginning of May, my younger brother and I go for a week’s walk somewhere. We’ve been elsewhere but, as a large part of both of our hearts is embedded in Sussex where we live, the 100 mile South Downs Way has a special attraction for us. Today marks the start of the third time for us.

Long awaited

A day long awaited
arrives and I’m ready
Gear is all packed
and weather looks steady
Dry bags for the rain
if it comes just in case
But I’m hoping that they
will remain in their place

And the trail lies before us
the chalk and the loam
of the South Downs way
in Sussex, our home
Two brothers off doing
the thing they love most
Walking the Downs on
the hills by the coast

©Jemverse

 

Completion

And then to cap it all we walked
along to Amberley
a circuit of some sixteen miles
My brother Dave and me

From Washington in full sunshine
up to the South Downs Way
following those ancient trials
on this perfect summer’s day

A cooling breeze from the South East
Those stunning downland views
Finishing with a welcome pint
and an early evening snooze.

©Jemverse

 

Sixty miles

Sixty miles we’ve walked this week
The legs are tired as are the feet
But it has really been a blast
and we’ve walked the Downs Link trail at last

The weather’s been it’s fickle self
the rain and shine all good for health
Two days of sun and one of rain
But on this the fourth the sun again

We’ve walked by rivers, forded streams
seen bluebells woods with long sunbeams
We’ve followed maps and found our way
Along the Downs Link bridleway

Passed through stations trains long gone
Lapped up history, wandered on
Traversed from North Downs on to South
Along the trail to river’s mouth

And today we’ll be back by the sea
End of the line quite naturally
Four days of walking, sixty miles
It’s been the best and we’re all smiles!

©Jemverse

The ‘Downs Link’ trail covers the 37 miles between the North Downs in Surrey and the South Downs in Sussex. Much of it follows the old trackbed of the railway lines which linked so many small villages before being so brutally axed by the Beeching cuts in 1966. Known as the ‘Hundred Years Railway’, the line opened in 1865 and closed in June 1966. Over the last four days, my brother and I have walked its entire length and some bits in between (mostly to pubs along the route). By the time we finish on the Sussex coast this evening, we’ll have racked up over sixty miles on foot in four days

Out there

Saw the Adur valley
from the top deck of a bus
It looked ever so inviting
and more so today because
At last with backpacks on
my brother Dave and I
are finally out there walking
‘neath a promising blue sky

Today we’ve twenty miles
to traverse before we’re done
but the weather has been kind to us
and has brought the warming sun
A hearty breakfast now awaits
In Shoreham’s ‘greasy spoon’
But after that a-walking
we will be very soon

©Jemverse

Walkies

This week we will be out in this
Every single day
Bring on the sunshine, warm and bright
For the middle days of May

Out we’ll be two brothers
Walking bridle paths
Thirty-seven miles through Sussex
‘Cos we don’t do things by halves

We have wet weather gear
But we’d rather be in shorts
So we’re hoping that the weather
Will live up to its reports

©Jemverse

Getting wet

Like peas in a pod, my brother and I
Stand out in the rain whilst others keep dry
‘That seems really strange’ I hear you all cry
But you’ve not yet heard the reasoning why

For we both like walking and have all the gear
So getting wet in the rain is nothing we fear
‘Well that’s understandable’ I hear you all cheer
‘We hope it rains on you in your walking this year!’

©Jemverse

 

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