By: Blonde Two
One of the lovely things about this time of year is seeing a multitude of families out enjoying the hills together. Blonde One saw lots of people up on Dartmoor yesterday and things were no different where I was on the Malvern Hills.
My sister and I had a Sunday lunchtime appointment with some important parsnips so we elected for a quick assault on the Worcestershire Beacon from the Wyche Cutting. No witches here – see previous blog post for an explanation http://wp.me/s2OiIR-meadow
The concrete paths (an odd concept for a Dartmoor bog plodder) were sparkling and slippery with a thick frost, very beautiful but I decided to engage four-leg-drive and use my walking poles. I had had my first 4WD experience in Mr B2’s truck on the way up there and was feeling quite proud of myself.
We saw people of all shapes and sizes as we climbed the hill. There was one whole family looking a bit chilly in colourful onsies and wellies whilst a guy in desert camouflage watched them in a rather stern way as they descended (safely) past a quarry. The winner of the “best dressed group” award had to be the runners (and limpers) in their Christmas florescents (I have heard that Santa is considering these for next year as a gesture towards health and safety). If they stopped for long at the top, this lot would also have been the winners of the “closest to hypothermia” competition. There were rucksack carriers and fellow walking-polers. There were hordes of very happy looking dogs and lots of cheery hellos. One chappy took great pains to warn us about that well known potential hazard, the rabbit hole whilst we were making our way up a particularly slippery slope. He had suspiciously long ears and claimed to be “born and bred on these hills” so maybe he knew more about rabbits than he should have done.
It would appear that, since I moved away, the variety of methods of transportation on the Malverns has increased. I like this, in the olden days, you were in risk of having your big toes cut off if you so much as touched your bicycle wheel on the hallowed turf. Yesterday, there were mountain bikes swooping down from the heights, a sight to see as it was clear that stopping in the ice would be impossible. On the way back down, we saw another, rather surprising, mode of wheeled transport; two young ladies were making their way steadily up the hill on a pair of unicycles. I would have loved to have stayed to watch them come back down again but the parsnips were calling.