An unexpected gift

One of my great loves is walking, and I am lucky enough to share this with a good friend, who makes time every week to be lead off into the wilds of South England. I try to keep finding new places to visit, but obviously we revisit old favourites to enjoy them again, in all their different seasons and aspects. Sometimes we are pushed for time and just have to stay close to home, which in reality, is no hardship as we have some of the most beautiful countryside in the world right here.

Yesterday was such a day and I was taking us back to an old and special favourite of mine up on Puttenham CommonÂŒ. Now, despite this being a place that I love, a little bit of me was disappointed not to be going ‘somewhere new’. There is a strong vestige of the little boy still in me that loves to go off and explore.

We set off with a new GPS I had been given for Xmas because I needed to check it out as it had been faulty. I’d programmed in a route, solely from a map and wasn’t sure how much of this route I would actually be familiar with. I knew the area well enough that I’d be able to get back if I or the less-than-reliable GPS got us lost!

So off went the intrepid pair, following the little line of electronic dots on the virtual map. We quite quickly diverged from my favourite route and initially it was a little dull, we were on a ‘green road’ rather than just off in the wild. However, we tramped on enjoying the views and each others conversation. Little by little, we got to areas I had never seen before, and they just got prettier and prettier. We had a wonderful time, in a beautiful place, under blue, blue skies.

The lesson for me was that we can find wonderful surprises in places (and people) that we think we know. When we surrender a little of our usually tight control we open the door to all sorts of wonderful gifts. So today, my gift you is the chance for you to enjoy a similar wonderful surprise in something or someone familiar.

“Be ready to be surprised” Loeje (a dutch fictional character)
“Man is always more than he can know of himself; consequently, his accomplishments, time and again, will come as a surprise to him.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow




  1. Puttenham on Google

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