Well, OK, so perhaps pestilence is a bit of an exaggeration, but I did have to take a day off school today because I was at the infectious stage of impetigo, which is a bit inconvenient. For those not in the know, impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection that causes lesions and scabs, mostly on the face and hands, but sometimes on your torso. It can be spread quite easily in nurseries and schools, and so I’d obviously got it from some pestilent child. This time, however, I can’t blame my own as they’re both, at the moment, scab free. I, alas, am not, but hopefully the cream from the quack will sort it out in a day or two.
I don’t like taking time off school for a few reasons. One, setting cover is a pain, and it takes time to mop up afterwards; two, I feel incredibly guilty because teaching is one of those jobs where you know your colleagues are being put out by your absence because they have to arrange the right bits of paper, and then other people have to teach the lesson; and three, being part time anyway, I feel worse that I actually sometimes have to take a working day off because it feels like I can’t even arrange to be sick on the ‘right’ days! But this time I had no choice; no one was going to thank me for giving them the pestilence, and, since it was on my hands as well as my face, it was pretty much a no go.
Anyway, as I actually felt fine, and merely looked a bit scabby, I donned my wellies, put The Hound on the gundog lead (which he’s not keen on but it stops him pulling), and took Bertie and myself off up the Strawberry Line to the Mendip foothills, which just happen to be about ten minutes’ walk from my front door. We went up through Kings Wood and then out onto the first flat bit, Cross Plain, from which you can see straight across the levels to the barrows of Priddy, Cheddar Reservoir and even Glastonbury Tor.
It’s a stunning piece of countryside, and I really felt my imaginative batteries starting to recharge as I stood up there. Things have been a bit manic, this past few weeks, and just being there for a little while, looking at the view, and, thankfully, only encountering a couple of other walkers (after all, I do have some sense of vanity!), it was a lovely break from it all. Bertie frolicked on the flat for a bit, and then we came back down. I got a bit stuck in a rather boggy bridle path on the way back, but all in all, it was nice to get out. I’ve not done much writing for a few days, but I certainly got thinking again as I walked, and came back with a renewed sense of where Little Somerby goes next. I might even have been a breath away from quoting Wordsworth ;).
The pictures don’t really do it justice, but it really is a stunning view :).