It is behind us! A new year is born and, while I’m looking forward to whatever may lie ahead, I’d like to reflect briefly on the final month of 2020 and tally up my mileage for the year.
06/12 – 6.25 miles – Goblin Combe and King’s Wood
14/12 – 8.5 miles – Dolebury Warren and Sandford Wood
16/12 – 2 mile run – St. Georges, W-s-M
17/12 – 2 mile run – St. Georges
20/12 – 4.5 mile run – Wick St. Lawrence
21/12 – 9.75 miles – Mendip Hills
26/12 – 2.5 mile run – St. Georges
27/12 – 8 miles – Dundry, North Somerset
28/12 – 5.5 miles – Bleadon, North Somerset (WsW)
29/12 – 2.5 mile run – St. Georges
30/12 – 6 miles – Puxton, North Somerset (WsW)
31/12 – 6 miles – Burrington and Blagdon, NS.
Total for December 2020 = 63.5 miles
It’s fair to say that I’ve almost exhausted the Mendip Hills AONB – or at least, within the Tier 3 boundary that I find myself plotting walks within. For a few days, North Somerset was ‘relaxed’ in to a Tier 2 heading… Only for that plug to be pulled, as 75% of the UK fell in to the Tier 4 band (and I don’t doubt that we’ll join them within a fortnight).
I’ve had a decent month. Mentally, I had a minor blip shortly before Christmas but I seem to have dealt with that, thanks in part to the time off work. Being less able to freely see people than we were in February, I was going to do anything less than to spend most of my time outside! Whether that’s walking up hills or running locally – and, in spite of a persistent shin injury, I’ve made a decent effort of getting back in to that.
Mud was a constant throughout December. So much so that, in the week prior to Christmas itself, I drove down to Taunton (while living in Tier 2) and ended up coming home with a pair of brand-new leather boots!
I’ll write about them another time. Having worn them (not pictured) for most of this week, I can only say that I’m both pleased and impressed. My La Sportiva TX4 boots (above) were comfortable… But not nearly waterproof enough for a British winter. Neither were they as easy to clean as leather.
We saw a sharp drop in temperature before the end of the month. Some on higher ground had even seen snow settling, a few days before this.
In my part of the UK (westcountry/south west), we don’t often see a decent snowfall (it’s been almost two years, by my reckoning). So, I like and try to make the most of any frosty mornings. Get up and out early; beat the tourists before it all begins to thaw and create a mess.
I’m pleased to have been able to resume my local group walks with Weston-super-Walkers. As long as we’re walking in groups of no more than six people, staying within North Somerset and ensuring that all attendees live within the same county… I believe we are abiding by the rules of living under Tier 3 restrictions.
It’s been good to get out with different people, if only for a few short morning walks. If/when we do reach Tier 4 though, this will have to be paused again.
On the day of the Winter Solstice, I was grateful to not be in work and decided, of course, to make something of the limited daylight hours.
Along the way, I discovered the Yeo Valley Way – a newly-formed walk from Sue Gearing and Les Davies MBE; allowing permissive access to woods of the Hazel Manor estate. When more information is available, I’d like to head back and explore it properly.
Total for 2020…
I’ve often said that my average for a year’s walking should be around six-hundred miles. Given that this year has been anything BUT average, I am very pleased with that total. I’ve been away from Somerset just ONCE this year and that trip was only for five nights. No doubt, the short runs here and there have also helped.
Thanks for reading and
Happy New Year!