Tuesday, 10 November 2009

A Walk in Autumn

The rewards of a 14km walk with the group are:
* Socialisation and company.
* Improvement of conversational skills in French and English. We persist in speaking poorly produced grammar and they want to practice theirs! Great learning experience and fun!
*Fresh air and sunlight to create seratonin. Opportunity to walk in rain showers and witness a rainbow, though not the crock of gold!
*A feast of beauty for the eyes of Autumnal vegetational colour.

*Foraging opportunity for mushrooms and sloes.
But don't eat this one as the Fly Agarica is poisonous.
*Exercise, aching joints, development of stamina, endurance and persistence. Well, it’s not Everest I know and although I would love a real mountain to climb, I have my own small ones to master!
*A feast of warm cider served with a chocolate ginger apple and prune cake that French Annie called pudding.
*See new places, architecture, scenery.

We passed two sites which we love. They are....
- The Pinail Nature Reserve a natural man-assisted creation of moor and heathland consisting of 3,000 ponds, rare flora and fauna including the harrier and 48 species of dragonflies. which was the result of quarrying millstone.
- The site of the Battle of Poitiers at the Plain of Moussais where Charles Martel and the Muslim-Arab Army in 732 A.D. fought a relentless battle for ownership of the region. A giant chessboard and display boards recount the story. Listen to the cries on the battlefield! Read in English and Arabic. "Whoever you are and wherever you come from you have your own ideas and thoughts to the North, East, West and South and you are a friend!" How I love those sentiments. We are all immigrants or our ancestors have been so. We are all required to celebrate humanity.

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