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  • Writer's pictureliz

What's going on?

It’s been really exciting to see some of you in person since the beginning of April. Or more realistically more than one of you at a time! We’ve reported on the willow-weaving, so I won’t bore you with that anymore, although plans are afoot for other courses. Watch out for those on the programme and book your space.

Catherine, Margaret and I had a lovely walk around Spynes Mere, Glebe Lake, Nutfield Ridge and The Moors. We were rewarded with glorious weather (I am so we didn’t walk on the Saturday – we may as well have swum; the rain was so bad!) and great views. It was lovely to see the new sand martin bank at Spynes Mere, as reported in local and national news. Catherine identified some apple blossom, and we passed the Blackthorn bushes for sloes – so we’ll have to return there in the late summer/early autumn for some foraging opportunities. After admiring Glebe lake and the views from Nutfield ridge and church, we just had to stop at the Inn on the Pond for a pint. We made it round the moors (and admired Paul’s living hedge – of hedges and hurdles fame) and back home from there. I will definitely repeat that walk if anyone is interested – there’s only 1 stile and a very flat and there’s a stile less flat shortcut back to the pub.

A few of us also had an impromptu trip up to Merstham station and were blessed with a very fleeting pass by of the Flying Scotsman (we had planned to see her – I just didn’t appreciate how fast she was – she really did seem to be flying!). Afterwards we just had to visit Pizza Project for refreshment after the excitement. The vegan coffee cake and vegan lemon drizzle cake are divine. The pizzas aren’t half bad either.

So, what’s coming up? Breakfast at the Merstham Mix now very definitely back on – in tables of 6. Every Tuesday from 9am. Craft club on Friday lunch time. Bring your knitting, crochet or just yourself for lunch or a coffee and chat with old friends and new.

Our walk to Chaldon will be postponed as I have tickets to the South of England Show at Ardingly on 12th June. This annual show runs every year on the second weekend in June. The dates this year are 11th – 13th June. Pre booking essential this year due to Covid restrictions. If you’d like to join me or go on another day of your choosing over the weekend, you can book online at Tickets are £18 for students and retired and £19 for adults – under 16s go free. It’s a really good day out – lots to see and do. A great food hall and you can see all sorts of farm animals, tractors and other farm things. Surrey Beekeepers will be there. There are also lots of shopping opportunities and a fun fair and live music. All good fun.

A new date for our walk will be posted soon. If the walk doesn’t appeal, we’d love you to meet us at Chaldon with a picnic and a look around the church. The doom painting is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t seen it before. If you have Amazon Prime, there’s an interesting film on there called A Month in the Country – it stars Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh in their first film roles. They star as returning first world war veterans – shell shocked as they take on temporary jobs at a village church – Colin restores a doom painting and Kenneth finds archaeological remains in the church yard as they recover their mental health. An interest (but slow) film.

If anyone is interested in outdoor swimming, we’ll post dates for Hever, The Shac and Divers Cove. Wetsuits not necessarily needed but you’ll need to be confident swimmers, appreciate cold water and have warm clothes to get changed into. For the less confident but keen to come along, definitely book yourselves onto the Introduction to Open Water Swimming course run by Jude and her team through Run Surrey Hills – really worth it. Safety of paramount importance when wild water swimming and she a really encouraging instructor. A definite recommendation from me. You’ll leave the course with confidence and enthusiasm. Courses take place at Divers Cove in Godstone and the River Wey at Ripley - you can book yourselves on a course here

Another trip I am looking into booking in September is the Immersive Van Gogh exhibition on London in September – if anyone interested will get this on the programme. Details here

I’ll rebook our ghost walk in the autumn too. Jenny also has ideas for design/craft events and exhibitions for those of you interested. Our local cinemas are also now open if anyone fancies a trip to a film of your choice at the Harlequin or Everyman Reigate/Oxted. Do also look out for trips to local outdoor cinema and live music events at Priory Farm and Flower farm – see earlier blog posts and watch out for details on the programme. I’ll also be facilitating some short daytime and early evening walks around Merstham for Merstham Wildlife and sightings. A pub or coffee stop will be involved. Free, open to all and will be advertised on social media pages and on the website – but pay for your own refreshments.

We also have our June Monday meeting at the pub. Walking not necessarily involved but can be added on, on request to earn those calories…. It would be great to meet you in person soon. In the meantime, if you have any ideas of interesting things we can do, please do suggest them.

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