Because I can II

At the back end of August
with pause to regale
thoughts turned to the hills
and the much followed trail

So I put best foot forward
and headed out there
knowing it always
has much more to share

No selfishness here
it has so much to give
and for these Sussex hills
there’s reason to live

And not just to live
but a ‘je ne sais quoi’
for this is abundance
a ‘four to the bar’

Joie de vivre, enrichment
the making of man
so I’ll take advantage
right here as I can

©Jemverse

Photo – the Sussex trail – Jempics

Best foot forward

With best foot forward
I take to the hills
following each chalky trail
It’s different each time
and abundantly fine
bring joy every time without fail

With best foot forward
I find rhythm in step
humming a song in my head
The Sussex air clear
in these hills always near
on these paths that I often tread

With best foot forward
I pause for a rest
taking in the view all around
The beauty sublime
is here to my mind
the best which in Sussex I’ve found

With best foot forward
I carry on to my goal
The reward my view of the Weald
then it’s back down the hill
with several miles still
through woodland and cross open field

With best foot forward
home comes into view
as footsore I break into smile
A magical day
in every which way
this pleasure every once in a while

©Jemverse

Photo – the Sussex Weald from Chanctonbury Ring – Jempics

Bringing joy

Never fails the trail
regardless of the time
that I have traced my steps up here
when the weather’s fine
Well trod chalk the wayside flower
the blue sky and the sun
combine here in God’s country
bringing joy whene’er I come

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Circular

It’s around about six miles
twelve thousand steps or so
a circle up above the town
where to the hills I go
It works in both directions
but the better one I think
is via the park up to Slonk Hill
with pause to take a drink

And then it’s straight to chalky trail
carved through the Sussex hill
which every time I walk up there
still gives me quite a thrill
For here I’m in my element
God’s country to the fore
with peace and beauty here within
surroundings I adore

My circle takes me onward
through Erringham to Mill
where when I reach the summit
I can see the channel still
And then it’s back to Shoreham
down Mill Lane to my front door
my six-mile circuit done today
until I’m back for more

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Happy Place

I’ve found again my happy place
I’ve been away too long
but pleased that I was back again
my heart was filled with song
and beaming as I found my gait
with rhythm in my stride
I laughed and grinned with pleasure there
in Sussex countryside

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Of Beacons and Mud

Went for a walk for a birthday
All of us met at the Star
heading off to the Beacon
via Falmer so not all that far
Up through the woods over Stanmer
frolicking under the trees
rained a lot here so the mud was
quite frequently up to our knees

The sunshine made an appearance
and the rain kept away for the day
replaced with wind that was boisterous
and with us for most of the day
But we found our way to the Beacon
and took pictures there of the Weald
before heading downwards to Ditchling
down steep paths and more muddy yield

The Bull was packed and was heaving
but we found a table where we
could sit for a while with a pint and a laugh
by the window when it became free
And then it was all back to Shoreham
legs aching and needing a rest
safe in the knowledge that days like these
are always the absolute best

©Jemverse

My eldest daughter – Emily Rose (forefront right) – hosts a traditional walk every year for her birthday. This year we walked from Falmer to Ditchling via Stanmer Woods. Photo – Jempics

South Harting

8 of 8 in the Jemverse series ‘Circular Sussex’

Up on Harting Down
I saw the folly to the West
It’s lovely here this morning
in bright sunshine, just the best

Then I walked in woodland
sunlight filtered through the trees
Birdsong all around me
Blue sky between the leaves

Followed little byways
Down the hillside to South Harting
and the White Hart in the village
just as lunchtime it was starting

©Jemverse

Photo – The ruins of the ‘Vandalian Tower’ folly on Tower Hill, just west of Harting Down in West Sussex. The folly was built in 1774 to celebrate the founding of the American settlement of Vandalia, a proposed British colony that never grew beyond its initial founders. As a part of the American War of Independence, the small colony was hung out to dry and while they proposed becoming a state by the name of “Westsylvania,” the fresh American government scoffed at the idea and the territory was subsumed by the states now known as West Virginia and Kentucky.  – Jempics.

[Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go out for a week’s walking. This year we took in a series of circular walks based around our favourite long-distance trail – the South Downs Way through Hampshire and Sussex]

East Meon

6 of 8 in the Jemverse series ‘Circular Sussex’

We climbed back up old Butser Hill
East Meon in the valley
Went west along the hill line
and we didn’t dilly-dally

Walked along the South Downs Way
past ‘Dead Woman’s Gate’
I slowed down a little then
but Dave, he didn’t wait

Round Salt Hill and Welter Down
Coombe Cross, Halnaker Lane
Until we came full circle
back to East Meon again

©Jemverse

Photo – East Meon, Hampshire, UK – Jempics.

[Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go out for a week’s walking. This year we took in a series of circular walks based around our favourite long-distance trail – the South Downs Way through Hampshire and Sussex]

Itchen Abbas

4 of 8 in the Jemverse ‘Circular Sussex’ series

So we’ve walked in field of violets
and through hawthorn twitters long
to the Plough at Itchen Abbas
where Charles Kingsley wrote a song
“The Water Babies” was his opus
and he stayed here as he wrote
This village here in Hampshire
very quaint and quite remote

©Jemverse

Photo – violet fields above Itchen Abbas, Hampshire, UK – Jempics.

[Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go out for a week’s walking. This year we took in a series of circular walks based around our favourite long-distance trail – the South Downs Way through Hampshire and Sussex]

Charles Kingsley wrote the final manuscipt for “The Water Babies’ during a stay at ‘The Plough Inn’ at Itchen Abbas in 1862-63

The Bishop on the Bridge

2 of 8 in the Jemverse series ‘Circular Sussex’

The Bishop on the Bridge
in Winchester town
the Itchen flows swiftly by
And we sit with a beer
in the garden out back
my brother David and I

When we were here last
three years ago now
so expensive we thought was the beer
So returning again
we needed to come
and have another one here

©Jemverse

Photo – the river Itchen from the back of ‘The Bishop on the Bridge’ pub in Winchester – Jempics.

[Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go out for a week’s walking. This year we took in a series of circular walks based around our favourite long-distance trail – the South Downs Way through Hampshire and Sussex]

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