I finally manage to go for a long walk, the first since coming back from India. It has been drizzling all morning but the sky eventually clears by lunchtime and I clear some of my pending work.
The roads, paths and pavements are littered with fallen leaves mainly from maple, horse chestnut and oak trees. Our previous house had a horse chestnut tree overlooking the back garden and we used to collect the conkers. The conkers game is a traditional children’s game and Kavitha used to take it to school to play with her friends.
It’s quite difficult to keep the gardens tidy at this time of the year. As soon as you’ve swept up the leaves the next flutter of leaves fall as a gust of wind hits them. So it’s a bit of a losing game till all the leaves have fallen, but they need to be cleared up regularly.
The flowers are giving us their final displays before they take their well earned rest and winter sets in. Some gardens are still looking pretty but most are starting to give up the fight against the change in weather. I listen to my music and try to avoid the puddles as I walk my usual walk, past St Mary’s Church, the Old King’s Head pub and Kavitha’s old school. At the corner I turn right and walk past the paddock.
As I turn the corner I come face to face with one of the biggest oak trees in Chigwell. It will take at least three of me to give the tree a hug and that too with outstretched arms. It is a magnificent sight. Surely Charles Dickens must have walked past it when he visited the ‘Old Kings Head’’. The paddock is empty and I haven’t seen any of the horses for a while. I wonder what’s happened to them.
As I make my way past the fields, I smile as I remember my friend warning me about being safe when walking these deserted paths. I also think of all the kind gifts that my friends have showered on me in the past year. It’s been a good year and it’s nice to remember that I have kind and caring friends. I feel a warm glow surround me. Then it starts feeling uncomfortable. Crikey, it’s a hot flush and of all the times to feel one. Especially when I have all these warm layers on me to keep the cold out. It’s ok to feel a hot flush when I’m in a cold pool, but not when I’m trying to take a brisk walk. Well it is ‘world menopause day’ after all and so I should be kind towards it I guess. So I walk it off and try to forget about it as I start getting drenched in sweat.