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Twelfth Stage of the Thames Walk

We have returned to our walking along the River Thames and we picked a lovely afternoon for it. I can now drive the support vehicle and one of the mums is walking as the support adult with strict instruction (from her son) not to interfere or take over.

We meet at Chertsey bridge and walked through the what collective is known as ‘The cow field’. A part of the conservation effort in the meadow, from time to time cattle are allowed to graze here – hence the name.

I met them at Walton-upon-Thames and we stopped for ice-cream as it had been rather hot. As we sat eating the ice cream we looked at the geese. There was lots of evidence that the geese had now matured in to adults, the moulting’s were everywhere.

What happened next caught everyone by surprise. As they walked on towards Hampton, one of the group who has only ever driven to shopping in Kingston along one bank of the river. Fearing they had got really lost, as the path came away from the route they were familiar with, they had a panic attack. They became convinced the group had got lost and it took us a little while to reassure her and or convince her that there was more than one way and the footpath they were on was the right one. It wasn’t until they reached the approach to Hampton did the symptoms full stop. I think the reason why this happened was because on the other walks she had no idea where the route was, everything was new and she was trusting me and that I knew the way. When I walked the route for the risk assessment, I would take photographs of things to look out for when the route was not so well marked. This section is clearly marked and so no need for little reminders of where to go. This time she had an idea of the route and not seeing those familiar markings it completely threw her.

The next thing to happen, having given full instructions to take a photograph of Hampton Court Palace as they passed the magnificent building - they chatted, all the way past some great photograph opportunities. Then tried to blame the mum for not reminding them. Guys, you can’t have it both ways!

I next met them briefly at Kingston Bridge, by this time it was nearly 5.00pm and the traffic was pretty heavy which made it quite hard for me to get there and park.

They walked on and got to the pick-up point before me. Another panic! Luckily, I was able to get there soon after them and we all plied in to the car.

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