The Last Stroll Of 2020!


LIVING WITH CANCER STROLLERS


A robust, resolute, determined and committed group of walkers didn’t allow a bit of rain, a lot of puddles and a large amount of mud to get in the way of their last stroll of 2020! The strollers were surprised when they assembled at Cosmeston to find a man in a red suit with a large white beard and a horse trying to join the walk….he was allowed in the photo but not on the walk, as he should have been busy delivering presents!! Dodging mud and skipping over puddles seemed to be the main activity on the walk, though in a dry interlude mince pies were shared.

If you want to walk off the excesses of the Christmas season, meet us at Cosmeston for a relaxing walk in good company on the first Thursday of every month at 10 30am.

 

The Living with Cancer Strollers would normally enjoy a Christmas lunch together, but 2020 has not been a normal year, as everyone knows. So a Christmas stroll was planned to an eerily quiet Cardiff bay, where social distancing was easily achieved. We enjoyed the walk, but enjoyed the coffee and stollen, provided by Jill, overlooking the still waters of the Bay, even more!

 



 

November walk…in October

LIVING WITH CANCER STROLLERS

A gloriously sunny day greeted the Strollers as they gathered at Cosmeston for their November walk…in October. The walk was brought forward due to the “firebreak” announced by the Welsh Government coinciding with the date of the November walk. Everyone was pleased to have been given the opportunity to meet, to chat and to walk before the imminent local lockdown. Indeed, there was so much chatting going on it was difficult to keep everyone together!

There was some discussion about the world puddle jumping championship, which due to Covid restrictions has had to go virtual! The event is usually held at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, but this year entrants will have to submit videos of themselves jumping into puddles they have made or found. Entrants are judged on jumping ability, enthusiasm and splashing distance! Walkers were encouraged to have a go but no volunteers were forthcoming….

The Valeways walking programme has had to be suspended for the 2 weeks of the lockdown. However, for strollers that are lucky enough to live in the Vale, there are plenty of walks to go out and enjoy…and we will all meet up again soon!

 



 

Hippocratic Sense

Walking Is Man’s Best Medicine.

Hippocrates lived a long time ago, but he spoke a lot of sense when he said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.” All the women who met at Cosmeston for the Living with Cancer Strollers, under a bright blue sky in glorious sunshine, would definitely agree with him.

In the uncertain times of a Covid 19 pandemic and the restrictions placed on people by local lockdowns, the certainties of the benefits of a walk in beautiful countryside can be reassuring.

In the photo accompanying this article, you can see some members of the walk deep in conversation, and I promise you this wasn’t posed! It’s what the walk is all about: relaxing in good company, chatting and laughing together, feeling the warmth of the sun (or the wet rain) on our face and feeling energised and a boost in mood when the walk is over. Come and join us!

 



 

Living With Cancer Strollers – September Walk

LIVING WITH CANCER STROLLERS – September

The wipers were rapidly moving across the windscreen as I hurried to Cosmeston for the first Living with Cancer stroll since lockdown in March. Fortunately, on arrival and for the duration of the walk the rain stopped, and the walkers enjoyed a dry stroll.

Two new walkers were welcomed to the group. They had enjoyed walking during the lockdown and now wanted to join a group and explore new areas. With most children back in school, Cosmeston was quiet and it was easy to follow Welsh Government guidelines to socially distance when around other people. The group enjoyed catching up and sharing lockdown stories.

Cosmeston is ideal for a circular walk as there are many routes through the trees and fields and around the lakes. Wildflowers, squirrels and birds are also in abundance. Many of the group do not realise we go on different routes as they are too busy chatting, and openly admit they probably would not be able to find their way to the car park if they were abandoned! Join us next month, if you want a short stroll in friendly company and you will never be abandoned!!

 



 

Valeways Guided Walks

GUIDED WALKS

The Guided Walks programme organised by Valeways started again on 9th August. All government guidelines regarding Covid 19 and walking safely will be followed, so walkers can once again enjoy a safe walk in the countryside in good company.

Valeways is an independent volunteer run charity created to promote health and well being through walking and proxies guided walks for all ages and abilities.

The full and varied programme of walks for August and September can be found on the Valeways website.

As a Valeways walk leader (you may have read about my adventures in previous editions of What’s On.), I offer two walks:-

  • Living with Cancer Strollers, the first Thursday of every month at 10.30am, meeting at Cosmeston Information centre
  • Carers walk, the last Thursday of every month at 10.30am, meeting outside Barry Island train station

All are welcome to both walks. If you walked regularly during lockdown and want to meet a friendly, sociable group of people for a walk and a chat…..please, join us.

 



 

A School Group Up Mount Kenya

A School Group Up Mount Kenya

As a Valeways walk leader, I have had the privilege and pleasure of leading coastal and countryside walks for the past 2 years. As there are no Living with Cancer Strollers or Carers Walk this month, due to the coronavirus, I thought I would share some of my adventures as a walk leader further afield….

As a young teacher in Kenya, I decided to take a school group up Mount Kenya. This is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. There are 3 peaks on Mount Kenya and walkers head for the less technical trek to Point Lenana (4985m).

My school party consisted of 25 pupils and 10 teachers. We had guides to take us through the breath-taking scenery: tarns, glaciers, dense forest, a vertical bog and to point out the wildlife: including mongoose, hyrax (evolved from the elephant) and duiker. Fortunately, we didn’t spot the rarely seen giant forest hog or bongo!

There are various routes up the mountain and the climb takes 3 days. After acclimatising at Naro Moru, we spent the first night on the mountain at the met station. All was well. The next day we set off through forest and high-altitude equatorial vegetation to reach Mackinders Camp with the dramatic peaks of Batian and Nelion looking down on us. Tents were set up for us and the head of the school cooked a high energy pasta dish, which very few people ate. Altitude sickness had struck…not something that my walkers around Cosmeston or Barry Island have ever experienced!

Headaches and sickness took over a large number of the party so only a few emerged from their tents at 2am to head to the summit. Heading off at 2am meant the scree and the glacier at the peak were frozen and more easily walked on. After a long trek we reached the top and watched the sunrise.

On the descent, one pupil, slipped on the ice and started to head towards the tarn….luckily a guide stopped him. Not a sight that is easily forgotten. On reaching Mackinders Camp, where we had left a large group of sick individuals, we were greeted by happier and healthier pupils and teachers; the British army had arrived for a training session and had provided lots of hot tea and biscuits.

So …… at Cosmeston and over at Barry Island, if you join us when the social distancing finishes, you can feel confident that you are in safe hands….as long as there are no frozen tarms to fall into or great heights to be scaled….

Lynne Frugniet

 



 

One of the Longest Walks

One of the Longest Walks

March’s walkers welcomed a new member, Sylvia, who was lucky enough to join us for one of the longest walks the group have been challenged with. However, plied with St David’s Day Welsh cakes, everyone stayed dry and finished the walk in style.

So after the wettest February on record, what made people turn up for this stroll in March? In summary:

Marvellous scenery

Animals, insects, flowers and trees all around

Robust exercise

Companionship

Humorous chat

The Valeways Walking Organisation has cancelled their walking programme for March and April, due to the coronavirus. Hopefully the Living with Cancer Strollers and the Carers walks will resume soon

 



 

Navigating Through Ciara’s Quagmire

In Africa the Big 5 are a huge attraction for people visiting the safari parks: rhino, lion, elephant, leopard and buffalo. On the Living with Cancer stroll in February the group were treated to the Little 5 and enjoyed spotting a rabbit, squirrel, Dalmatian, blue tit and pigeon! Eyes could be occasionally lifted from the mud below our feet to enjoy the wildlife, as walkers had to be very careful to navigate themselves through the quagmire created by Storm Ciara the previous weekend.

Two new walkers were welcomed to the group and enjoyed the walking, talking and refreshments. If you want to join us, we are back to our normal schedule in March: the first Thursday of the month, 10:30, Cosmeston.

 



 

New Year – New You!

 

New Year, New You!

Want to feel better, have more energy and have fun? Then join our walking group at Cosmeston.

Exercise has many benefits including burning calories and can prevent and manage health problems. But everyone knows that! So make time this new decade to exercise more and feel some of the benefits!

The group managed to keep their boots relatively clean for the first walk of 2020, despite the previous weeks of rain turning many paths to muddy puddles. No promises about clean boots for this year, but in two years the group has only experienced a light rain shower!

February’s walk is a change from the normal plan: it’s the 2nd Thursday of the month, then back to the first Thursday for March and the rest of the year! Hope you can join us.

 



 

December’s Cosmeston Walk

December’s Cosmeston Walk

Christmas hats adorned the walkers for December’s walk around Cosmeston. A 3 course Christmas lunch was the carrot that kept the group going for the longer walk the leader decided on! Thanks to the staff at Cosmeston for a splendid Christmas lunch, enjoyed by all. And thanks to the members of the walking group who have turned up on the first Thursday of every month in rain, sun, wind and mud: it’s been a great year of walking and talking. Join us in 2020.

 



 

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