Little Boots and I have been planning a journey, an adventure. Actually that’s the wrong tense as we have already completed the first stage. You see, it’s a trip that we aim to cover in stages. I am recording it in a journal which, like the journey, will probably be long and boring in parts. It’s not my intention to post it up here in its entirety, but I will be blogging some bits.

Here then is part of part one:

It was a Monday and a faintly spontaneous adventure was about to begin.

Little Boots had an army webbing belt, with a camouflage pouch containing camera, walkie-talkie and sunglasses. Attached to a loop on blue Beaver-Scout shorts is a small compass. With a khaki Lego cap on at a jaunty angle, no six-year old ever looked more of an adventurer.

I was carrying everything else and looked like a podgy packhorse. Listed amongst the essential items were a notebook and pencil (for Little Boots not me), map, binoculars and provisions.

While we waited for the train that would take us on the first leg of our journey. Little Boots passed the time by taking photos of such exciting things as the train track, the railings and the CCTV cameras. At this rate the batteries would be flat by eleven.

I was just grumpy because my camera died 2 weeks ago and I can’t afford another.

The train tooks us to our local market town. Little Boots passed the time voraciously gnawing at Digestive biscuits, while I sketched out a report I had to have done for work at the end of the week. I thought I was having the whole week off, but it’s actually just M, W,Th, which is probably just as well as I have more than a week’s work to fit in during Tuesday and Friday – hence scribbling down notes on days off.

At the station the simple act of buying a ticket was rendered ridiculous by a woman behaving like Molly Weir on ketamine. Trailed by her impressively spotty son, she raced from machine to machine in an attempt to pick-up some prepaid tickets. After pressing a single button she would announce “No!”, swear and move onto the next machine, ignoring pleas from her teenage child that it was possible to pick up tickets from the vacated machine. Thus by repeating this process over and over were two people after one set of tickets able to tie up three machines.

Still when you’ve only 20 minutes before the train arrives panic can set in.

The short wait for our second train was actually less than the length of the journey itself. It was still long enough for Little Boots to persuade me to buy an over-priced KitKat from the machine on the platform.

Though only on the second train for minutes Little Boots was able to lose the ticket given out only seconds before. Eventually it was located stuck in the clip of a walkie-talkie and after racing after the ticket guy, LB returned just as the train arrived at our destination, and luckily before we wound up in the next county.

C is named for the river on which it stands and I explained this to Little Boots as we left the station. The munchkin’s directional awareness has always been good and after a brief look at the map LB (correctly) said we need to go south for a very short distance and then east.

Briefly I raised my eyes to the pub across the water and a ghost flickered through the cobwebs of my memory. The path in front of us pulled me back to the present and the phantom faded to where it belongs.

We’d barely set off when we stopped to admire a black heavy horse, with a white muzzle. He was a beautiful creature and used, I got the impression, to pull a barge. But Little Boots is a bit windy about horses and was keen to press on.

Not much farther down the path we stopped on a wooden bridge.

“Let’s see if we can spot some fish,” I suggested.

“You look that side, I’ll look on this one,” commanded Little Boots, whether through instinct, luck or device bagging the best side. “A fish!” came the cry within seconds predictably announcing I’d lost the contest.

We watched it for a few minutes and I explained that it was a roach, which you could tell by it’s red fins.

Swelled by this fish spotting prowess the little person pointed out plenty more fish over the next couple of hundred yards, before completely losing interest in any of the fish that I pointed out during the rest of the walk. By their shape and black tails I told him all these fish were chub, but there’s a notion in my head that small chub and dace are difficult to tell apart. It’s the sort of fishing knowledge I need to refresh I told myself as we sauntered on. Whatever they were there were plenty on the surface throughout the whole of the trip.

“I’m hungry,” announced my child. No doubt prompted by the recently acquired knowledge that there were kabanos in the rucksack. There was one each and as they were quite small I stuck mine into my mouth whole.

“Don’t eat it all at once,” scolded the gastronaut. “You won’t enjoy it as much.”

“Squirrel!” splurted a mouth full of Polish sausage.

“Where?” I asked looking above our heads

“Over there,” said another splurt, this time with pantomime pointy finger in support.

Beyond the far bank was a narrow field and sat on the fence at the back of it. where it borders some woodland, a squirrel.

“Good spotting,” I praised, because it was. The rodent was quite a way off and stationary. Or at least it was by the time I sighted it. Seconds later it made an apparently kamikaze leap into a small hazel and was gone.

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