My hidden way

Took myself back round the Circle
starting with Mill Hill
heading to the chalky Slonk
my boots with joy to fill
Said hello to rabbits
and horses in the field
Took in long the valley view
across the Sussex Weald

Found my path, my secret
trod here so many days
known only to myself I think
these hidden Sussex ways
For this it is my happy place
and here I am my own
so pleased that I can come here
as it’s so close to my home

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Together

We all went up to Bignor Hill
the six of us as one
It wasn’t actually raining
but there wasn’t any sun
Yet none of us we cared one jot
as this was perfect weather
for a long walk in the countryside
the six of us together

©Jemverse

Photo – The Croucher tackle the ‘Bignor Hill Circle’ – June 2020 – 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

Ditchling Down

Ditchling Down
the path so steep
and us all slippy-sliding
In squelchy mud
unbalanced from
the frigid winds all hiding

Ditchling Down
with Weald below
the distant view confiding
as we struggle
down the gradient
quite often all colliding

Ditching Down
the village there
sheltered and presiding
Each of us
a respite from
our finished walk providing

©Jemverse

Photo – Ditchling Down, Sussex – 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

Thoughts of walking

My brother sent a text
reminding me to book
some dates in May when
we’ll take another look
and with a best foot forward
and packs and beating heart
we’ll head into the Sussex hills
another walk to start

These are for days of talking
and taking in the view
of muddying our boots
and the walking things we do
These are for camaraderie
and sheltering from the rain
and walking with my brother
in the Sussex hills again

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Tottington Wood

To Tottington Wood
in the mud and the rain
resolute and determined
we seven we came
And with best foot forward
we entered the trees
squelching through mud
which came up to our knees

The rain was incessant
and got in everywhere
but we all had fun
and didn’t much care
Because we are the Crouchers
for ever and ever
with fun times and frolics
as family together

©Jemverse

Photo – Emily Rose Croucher

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