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Walk report 2019 Dec 20

Wet wet wet for solstice walk

A hardy band from the choir walking group endured a sodden start to their winter solstice walk today, 20 December.  Not long after leaving the Wattenden Arms in Kenley, the eight walkers encountered this mini-lake which required them to walk  around it or (in Banner's case) over it.  

Banners shows the way  (photo John Parker)

The solstice walk traditionally takes place on the closest date to mid-winter, 21 December.  It also marks the dramatic events of December 2015, when tenor Martin Perkins fractured his ankle by slipping on wet ground.  Martin was gamely among the group walking today.

Before too long, however, the  rain gave way to sun, bathing the walkers in the low solstice light as they headed across the fields for the half-time stop at the Fox, Coulsdon.

Clouds gave way to sun (photo: Banners)

Once at the Fox, the walkers conducted self-medical examinations and concluded that they were suffering from trench foot.  "We'e sodden," George Taylor said graphically.   Martin Perkins, survivor of the 2015 incident, hoped that Ted Mouat would collect him, but so far Ted was nowhere to be seen.

A cheery group at the Fox attempting to dry out

Soon afterwards however, in a dramatic phone call, Ted conveyed the news that he would be arriving at the Fox within half an hour, bringing immense relief to Martin who vowed to wait there while the remaining seven walkers set off on the homeward leg.

Seven of the valiant Wattenden eight (photo John Parker)

Once back at the pub, where they were joined by Peter Gillman, most of the group were content to graze in the bargain £6 lunch menu, still on offer at 4pm.  John Marshall, by contrast, went large on the main menu, ordering lobster, rib-eye steak, crumble and an entire bottle of red wine.  He explained that he had eaten breakfast early and it would be several hours before he could get home for his dinner. His colleagues were impressed.

Reaching for the sky at Kenley airfield

The evening ended with the group serenading the two delightful bar ladies, who appeared suitably flattered, with Can't Help Falling in Love.   The group dispersed, already talking of new challenges on and off the concert stage in the New Year.

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