A walk in the park - with Daventry U3A's Bridget Arregger
Here's our latest column from Daventry & District U3A.
Hello, I'm Bridget Arreger, a 74-year-old grandmother (of four teenagers) and retired from teaching. My interests include creative writing and art. At U3A I belong to the groups for walking with dogs, creative writing and art history. At home, I lead small groups in drawing and painting for beginners and improvers. I'm a Trustee for our new local community Buckby Library & Hub in Long Buckby and I've recently become a Quaker as I find their liberal beliefs and policies and their warmth of caring refreshing and supportive.
The U3A Walking with Dogs group meet once a month (Covid restrictions permitting) for a walk of about an hour.
We recently met in the Daventry Country Park, dressed prepared for rain, wind and mud. Four of us took part, with five dogs ranging in age from five months to 11 years.
The rain was not too bad and only my thin, short-haired dogs complained of the cold and wet – shivering whenever we paused to allow the veteran to catch up. One of mine hates water and has a comical way of lifting her feet out of the puddles if they're too wide to jump over.
The others were unperturbed and rooted about, sniffing out the signs of all recent visitors from insects and mice to squirrels, humans, and other dogs. It was a bit damp and dull, but we still found time to appreciate the luxurious green of the new leaves, all agreeing that spring hasn't properly arrived until the trees are in leaf. A group of three trees in blossom caught our eye, and we noted how fallen trees are left to rot, providing a home for many kinds of wildlife.
Our newest puppy, who seems to have doubled in size since last month is our liveliest member, interested in everything and straining at the lead, picking up sticks but obediently dropping them when commanded. As we walked across the windy, open end of the reservoir, we were assailed by swifts, calling noisily as they shot past above our heads, catching the black flies.
We chose this walk for convenience, as everyone knows where to meet, it always offers us something new, and because it is relatively sheltered, and we can finish with a hot drink under cover in the café.