I really could not summon up much enthusiasm for a walk yesterday afternoon. I had been out with the dog straight after breakfast when we had slopped our way along the muddy paths in the woods in the local park. Granted, I only got very slightly damp as the one and only shower was while I was under the trees which, even bare of leaves, did provide a little shelter. But it was windy and there had been fairly frequent squally showers during the morning - one just as I was about to leave the housing society office and another just as was about to get out of the car when I got home again. I saw no reason why the afternoon should be shower-free. And I was right.
I had decided to go to Waterhall, a valley cutting up into the Downs. The open end of the valley has been levelled (probably by filling it with household refuse and adding a thin layer of earth) to provide playing fields. Just up the valley from these, and at a slightly higher level by about 12 or 15 feet, is Brighton Rugby Club with three pitches , an all-weather pitch and a baseball diamond. From here paths lead into a conservation area of densely-packed, scrubby hawthorn trees and meadows, complete with dew pond.
On reaching Waterhall we sat in the car to allow the squall to pass over. There was a complete arc of rainbow with just the start of a double bow. The rugby pitches could almost have done duty for water polo matches, so extensive were the puddles. In one place where an animal of some sort had dug a hole, the water level was just an inch or so below the surface. Fern (the dog) picked her way delicately between the puddles but hesitated when she saw the mud on the paths. We ventured not at all far along before calling it a day and heading back to the car, much to Fern's relief.
Even the Old Bat said that yesterday was one day when she had no regret that she is now unable to take the dog for her walk!