S2S Leg11: Cholsey to Culham

11 Cholsey CulhamAnnoyed. Really rather miffed, actually. You see, when the Highways Agency closes a road, they put great big signs across the carriageway informing you of the fact. They use cones and flashing lights to reinforce the message, so that there is no mistaking the fact that the road is, indeed, closed. However, when the Environment Agency closes a footpath, say for example the Thames Path, they will make a sign, but they will then tuck it away in a bin enclosure alongside said footpath, i.e.  not anywhere that someone walking said path is bound to see it. The sign will state “Diverted Footpath” and will have a bold black arrow on it – but the bold black arrow will point in the exact direction that the aforementioned walker was planning to walk anyway so even if he did spot the carefully hidden sign, why would he change his route? Well, I’ll tell you why – because the Environment Agency supplemented their sign (the one with the arrow pointing in the wrong direction) with a hand-written note on A4 paper which they put in a plastic bag and stuck to the sign. The note said “cross the bridge to the other side and follow the diversion”, and the plastic bag ensured that the note would be covered in rainwater and condensation so that you couldn’t read it unless your nose was six inches away. Now that really got my dander up. And you will see that this rather spoiled my day. Following this bulletin, there will be a strongly worded email to the Environment Agency. Grrrr…
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S2S Leg 10: Sonning to Cholsey

10 Sonning CholseyThe only leg that starts from my front door! Not that I live on the riverside (except in my dreams), it still took me 45 minutes to get back to the river, but at least there was no public transport involved in getting started.

West of  Reading Bridge I came across a group of half a dozen elderly folk walking along the river. As I overtook them one gentleman said to me “how far are you going today?” and feeling a bit smug I replied “I’m going to Cholsey, should be about 20 miles or so”, he replied “Oh, we’re going to Cholsey as well!”. Whaat?! I’m gonna have to seriously up my game here… but then he added “but we’re doing most of it by train”. Oh thank God. But just imagine if I were to bump into them again, at Cholsey, at the end of a long day’s walking… What would be the chances of that?
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