Week 9 day 64 – Tuesday 26th May

  • 25 minutes level 14 (bike 1)
  • Max heart rate = 162
  • Calories = 261 (total so far 21676)
  • Distance covered = 7.75 miles
  • Incline bench and abs
  • Total distance so far = 818.37

Bruce Springstein can be guaranteed to provide some good up-tempo numbers and he kept me going today, although I did have my own version of Born to Ride playing in my head!

I continue travelling south west and soon come to yet another AONB, the Blackdown Hills. On the way we pass through several pretty villages; Bickenhall, Curland and Hatch Beauchamp with the beautiful Hatch Court, before reaching our stop for the day – Blackwater.

Slightly to the east of Blackwater is Buckland St Mary, where someone has gone to great lengths to research the history of the village. It starts off with a lovely, fanciful tale:

  • There is a legend which tells that Buckland St. Mary was the last place in Somerset where the red-coated Fairies were seen, and that they fought a great battle with the Pixies who wore Green. The outcome was victory for the latter, which must be regarded as unfortunate, as according to Somerset Folklore the Pixies were red-headed, with pointed ears, short faces, turned up noses and often cross-eyed. To establish the truth is beyond our skill, but there is little doubt that this area of the Blackdown Hills was fought over more than once in times long past, by Early Britons, Romans, and Saxons in their day.

and contains all manner of parish and domestic details, affording a great insight into bygone times in a Somerset village; well worth dipping into if you have a couple of hours to spare. Take a look here.

If you are looking for some great views over the vale of Taunton towards the Quantock Hills and Exmoor, it would be worth stopping off for a walk at Castle Neroche. The castle is long gone but there is a majestic forest and the earthen ramparts where an Iron-Age hillfort and Norman Castle once stood.  It’s a strange name and thought to be derived from the Old English nierra and rechich or rachich, meaning the ‘camp where hunting dogs were kept’.

And so amazingly, we reach the end of week 9 – and nearly the end of our epic journey. We have been stuck in a strange time warp, where very little seems to change from day to day, but at the same time we have learnt to make changes, whether it’s learning to live at a slower pace or taking advantage of the situation to learn new skills. Gradually, a return to ‘normal’ is beginning to take place. Some will embrace it; some will be reluctant or hesitant to, and life is going to be very different.

But we also have to accept that despite the improvements to the quality of life this lockdown may have introduced, we need to return to some form of normality and we will need to adapt to a different way of life as we do.

And finally, as always, here is the latest update on the tree. What a long way we have come in all senses of the word since those early buds back in March. The blossom is thinning now but the tree is still looking fresh and green – lots more summer to enjoy.

Rosalind’s fundraiser has now reached a fantastic £1,801.75 including gift aid. Help us reach £2000.00 before she reaches the end. Donate today!