Tuesday 16 June 2020

First Hike in June

Of course, after the last hike in May, a first hike in June had to follow, didn't it!

The 1st of June, a Monday, was a Bank Holiday here (Pentecost). It was a proper summer's day at 28 C (82 F), and we knew we wanted to go once more somewhere that would feel a little cooler: The Black Forest.

Quite by coincidence, we repeated in part the first hike of this year; this time, without getting up on the tower itself. There were simply too many people about, and we were lucky to find a place to sit on the plateau around the tower to eat our sandwiches. We had been prepared for lots of other walkers, hikers and cyclists, and I find I can handle crowds much better when I expect them AND have a chance to get away.

Luckily, the Black Forest is large enough to accomodate more than a few visitors, and since everyone walks or cycles at their own pace, we still had parts of our 11 km circuit where there were just the two of us.

By mid-afternoon, we were back at O.K.'s cottage, and after coffees and cake on the balcony there was still enough time for a steak and salad later before he took me to the station to catch my trains home.

The first week of June then turned out to be a rather mixed bag weather-wise: 
Tuesday was still warm and sunny; I went to see my parents after work and then for a walk with my sister. 
Wednesday started sunny, too, but then a thunderstorm brought temperatures down for the rest of the week. I finally rang and spoke to Mary, my mother-in-law in Yorkshire, after many weeks. She is 86 now and has been wisely self-isolating as recommended. As she is quite happy with her own company, her cat, her books and her garden, she's coping well. But of course it is a shame that we can not see each other this year; my sister and I were originally scheduled to be in Ripon from the 20th to the 30th of this month, but we won't attempt a trip to the UK before next year.

Picked straight from my kitchen window!
My sister-in-law's cat.
On Thursday, I woke up with a headache bad enough to keep me in bed all day. I drifted in and out of sleep and felt rather sorry for myself and only got up at around 6:00 pm. Good job such days are very, very rare for me. I blame the sudden change of weather combined with a very busy period at work.

By Friday, I was perfectly alright again, and able to finish work early enough to go for another walk with my sister, this time to the palace grounds.

O.K. arrived later that evening to spend the weekend here. After a chilly and wet Saturday, Sunday was great walking/hiking weather again - more about that in my next post.

I find June to be the most fragrant month in my area. Roses, privet hedges, elder flower,  freshly cut grass - it all combines to an intricately woven tapestry of scents. Simply wonderful.


  1. Sorry about the headache. Impossible to think when in the grips of one, so bed is the place to be. Glad the rest of the week was more pleasant. The roses are delightful and when they actually have a scent, so wonderful. Was happy to get to UK in January, but probably won't get over again until next October, if then. 🤞

    1. Yes, that headache knocked me out for a whole day. I'm glad this is happens very rarely, maybe twice a year.

  2. Your first hike in June looks lovely. I always enjoy far distant views in hilly country. And picking cherries from your kitchen window! How fun is that! But I am sorry about your headache, though glad you don't get them often and it didn't last into another day. You are right that this is a wonderful time of year. I think this Covid-19 is making many people pay more attention to the beauties of nature, even in their own yards.

    1. The beauties of nature in my immediate surroundings as well as on walks/hikes, such as the panoramic views, is something I have always enjoyed, not just during this strange time. But I can see how for many people it is something "new" in their lives. Hopefully, that will be a lasting positive effect of it all!

  3. I always enjoy seeing your photos from the Black Forest. It is truly beautiful and I bet relaxing to walk there. Sorry to hear about your headache. Something like that can be quite difficult. Your sister-in-law's cat is adorable and looks so relaxed and happy. I love the last picture of the gate inviting you into the palace grounds. Have a good week and I hope you do not have any more headaches!

    1. When my sister-in-law sent that cat picture, I wanted to be on the bed with her cat immediately! In previous years, that was the room where I stayed when I came to England on my own.
      No more headaches since that knock-out day :-)