Succumbing to Sloth

Posted on: 28 Jul 2018

Where do I pick up again, after this long gap? Somewhere in late April, methinks - though let's keep it brief (hmmm.....!), there was nothing particularly exciting happening. Partly due to the onset of hot weather, and partly due to J. picking up a knee injury, which meant no running, no mountain walking, and in the absence of my partner-in-crime, a seriously detrimental effect on my own motivation, sloth set in. There was still the odd jaunt round the Bireggwald, (solo trot, or more often just walking, with J), enjoying the spring unfolding into summer, and the smell of woodsmoke and sausages advertising the resumption of that favourite summer pastime of the Swiss, 'grillieren'; deer to watch, and Slow Worms to rescue (a couple from a path much used by cyclists, and one from a local cat.) The smell of earth and rainwashed air after a late spring downpour. The longest of these outings managed to be 14 kms, but that was an exception - most were far shorter. A couple of times they took in the Biotope too, looking for Unken, but it was still a bit too early. There was frogspawn, though, and dragonflies - on one occasion swarms of a stocky silvery-blue kind I'd never seen before. Along the lake now and then, saying hello to the resident mama swan and her 5 cygnets A couple of outings round the Rotsee by way of a change. A solitary visit to the school track, where I did actually work hard, and achieved my best 5k time since a real parkrun in 2015 - 28:55. Races? - what are they? Oh yes....... my disastrous visit to Baldeggersee - please don't remind me! And I did spectate at the Luzerner Stadtlauf - does that count?

 There were a few walks further afield, though:

 27th April, in the early days of J's sore knee ("Welcome to my world!" I said, a bit cynically....... then saw that he was really limping) - a knee-friendly riverside amble from Sihlbrugg to Sihlmatt and back. Pleasant walking, if a bit more up and down than I was expecting, through swathes of odoriferous Bärlauch (wild garlic) and banks of Nagelfluh (a curious aggregate with pebbles in - I know it as Puddingstone in English);   a hot section along a road, less pleasant; then a series of unexpected tunnels, which played havoc with my Garmin; finally arriving at a lovely informal restaurant where we sat out on the wide, sunny lawn and had our lunch. Their speciality was trout, which this fish phobic forbade J. to have, but he was quite happy with green salad and a fried egg (fresh that morning from their own hens), while I was equally happy with a beer and a piece of absolutely divine Zuger Kirschtorte (weird combination, I know!) We actually passed a trout farm on the way back, but strangely it was not the source of the restaurant's fish as I at first assumed - the man working there said they were bred for release into the river. We stood and watched them for a bit (I have no problem with live fish, it's dead ones that give me the creeps), then crossed the river and returned on the other side, picking some Bärlauch on the way to take home. 12.63 kms, 2hrs 51, and lovely spring sunshine.

11th May: after getting the ship to Weggis and taking flowers to the churchyard for Mother's Day, a walk round the Hertenstein peninsula and through Herrenwald (possibly the loudest woods I've ever experienced - HOW many birds?!) to J's childhood home at Langenzihl, with a lovely stop at Haldi Hof farm shop on the way for a glass of apple juice. There were chairs and tables and umbrellas outside, and little jugs of meadow flowers on the tables. A white hen wandered over, eyed us up hopefully, was happy to receive a bit of leftover sandwich crust, then lay down next to us in the sun-warmed gravel, blinking sleepily. All so peaceful and charming. A rather less peaceful welcome at Langenzihl, where the two dogs raced across the field toward us, barking noisily and pretending to be fierce. But J's Aunt Doris told them firmly to shut up, and they meekly settled down. There we sat outside round the big stone table with several members of J's extended family for a while, before making our way to the bus stop, and the train home from Küssnacht. 9.5 kms, 2 hrs.

18th May: a short but spectacular visit to Seleger Moor - azaleas and rhododendrons in a riot of colour, frogs on lily pads, many birds, and even a swimming snake!

20th May: same route as 4th March (Sarnen to Alpnachstad), minus the slush and pools of water, and plus an extra 7 kms to Stansstad, plus ANOTHER 2.5 kms using up half an hour till the next train, having just missed one - 19.24 kms in all. Many swans in the same field by Wichelsee; a coot busy building a nest by the lake (we helped out by throwing in some more sticks, but it seemed a bit nonplussed by the sudden largesse); a distressing number of squashed frogs on the road; a noisy volière in Stansstad. I got a bit bored at times, and my knee was protesting by the end, but the walk was good for another 13 Conquercise zones, taking me over the 100 mark (109 explored, 106 owned), and I was interested to note that the Sarnen - Alpnachstad section was 12 minutes faster this time.

So...... having galloped through almost 2 months in an improbably short (for me!) number of words, that takes me up to mid-June, and my visit to England. Tales of scenic Sheffield coming soon! (And not forgetting Shropshire.......)

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