The great British summer often has a lot to answer for. Soggy sandwiches on a nice family picnic, trips to the beach in gale force winds and that once-a-summer event of a barbeque where you can guarantee as soon as you strike the match the clouds will gather, the sky will darken and the heavens will open. However, this year we seem to have been quite lucky with the weather so far. The last four weeks we have seen glorious sunshine and temperatures which rival the majority of the Mediterranean countries. This Saturday, when we held our annual KLRT charity dog walk, was no exception.
Blue skies and unlimited sunshine surrounded the Rose Inn at Wickhambreaux where the dog walkers gathered in the early afternoon. The excited group of walkers greeted each other with their equally as excited dogs in tow, tails wagging in anticipation of the walk and the tempting smell of traditional pub cooked food which lingered in air. This year the group was the largest number of attendees we have ever had with fifteen walkers and five dogs. Amongst the walkers were Catherine Lindley and her family. Catherine has been a patient of Mark Phillips following an accident in 2007 when a van mounted the pavement and knocked her over. She has been a long term supporter of KLRT and took part at our inaugural Christmas carol concert at Downe Church in 2009. You can read more on Catherine’s story here.
Soon everyone was enjoying a wonderful home cooked lunch, with the sounds of clattering plates and laughter filling the air. It didn’t take long before there were clean plates all around, especially with the help of the dogs whose twitching noses were often seen peeking above the table top in anticipation that someone might leave a few stray chips which might just make it their way. After full stomachs on all counts (including the dogs) the group headed off towards the Little Stour for the start of their riverside walk. As the hot sun beamed down and the long grass fluttered in the slight summer breeze, talk amongst the group soon turned to how different the weather was this year when compared to last year, where we huddled under umbrellas and had to wade through puddles. Thankfully, this time round the only wading going on was by the dogs who had a wonderful time dashing into the river before promptly jumping back again and shaking water all over the unsuspecting walkers.
When we reached the ford we stopped for a photo opportunity and the dogs enjoyed a well deserved drink from the crystal clear water. We then walked on, along the river bank past the beautiful Seaton lakes on the left hand side of us. The dogs were running in and out of the water and through the undergrowth, just narrowly avoiding colliding with the walkers in their haste to be the first to reach the next new discovery just waiting for them up ahead. After a while we came to a clearing which looked a good point to turn round and head back to the pub for a well earned drink before heading home.
We arrived back at the Rose Inn at about 3:30pm, the dogs less excited now as they lay down, panting, obviously exhausted from their riverside walk adventures. Everyone enjoyed one last drink and a short rest before saying their goodbyes and heading off home. Just as the last few of us were leaving the wind seemed to get up, the cloud cover increased and the threat of a summer storm seemed to be heading our way. It looked as though we just escaped the great British weather after all!