Philip Underwood, a member of the Hambledon Ramblers, contributed the Sunday Reflection this week.
I must confess to an addiction, one that I have had for over 20 years. It is to see as much as I can of the Purple Emperor, a butterfly affectionately known as “His Majesty”. It was because of this addiction that I missed the first of the Rambler’s short walks since lockdown.
That day, whilst in the middle of the Chiddingfold Forest, sitting on my little seat, I started thinking. This was nature at its best. It was hot, very sunny and I was surrounded by Wood Whites, White Admirals and Silver Washed Fritillaries. All I wanted was a Purple Emperor to appear…and I am happy to say that it did, some 3 times.
But sitting on my seat I realised how much I was missing our monthly rambles.
It is not the same going for a walk by yourself or with your dog. I am missing being shown new areas of countryside even close to home. Our walking is social walking and at lunchtime we always end up at a pub. I am still seeing new ones, tucked away in the hills of the South Downs. Writing this has made me think of pub beer, the highlight of any walk, and of all the chatter and reminiscences across the years since Hambledon Ramblers was started by Derek Miller. Then we often walked 11-13 miles; now it is about 6-7 miles on the long walk, with nothing after lunch. We are getting older and lunch finishes us off.
We shall be starting the long walks again shortly so please come and join us. New faces are always welcome and you might like an excuse to share a drink with us.