After a fabulous day walking with John and Tom Ridout and Geoff Hirst we made it at 5pm to the delightful setting of Puttenham.
I’ve rarely had such a friendly greeting as from the volunteer wardens here. A large group from the locality spent years fundraising and creating this place which essentially consists of a warm breakfast room / kitchen and wardens bedroom – with futon bed and heater. – and then three pods of beds 8′ by 7′ that you can sleep 4 people on each!!
Beds is an exaggeration though for these functional and practical units. If there’s any padding under the plastic cover it’s hard to tell ! The cocoon sleeping bags you can hire then slide on this cover like an air hockey puck, and there’s nothing to insulate you underneath. It is, as the name says, camping – but without having to carry bedding and tents.
I’ve had a whole pod to myself, and I happily crawled into it at 8:40pm after a wonderful steak pie and the neighbouring pub. I listened to a moving talk from George Verwer (OM) on the struggles leaders face and his 18 point (!) guide to survival, and a couple of Willow Creek (GLS) talks on difficult conversations and resourcefulness. The talks kept being played partly to offset one of my noisy neighbours! Earplugs in was the way to go in the snore zone.
Snoring is a massive deal isn’t it! I wonder if he knows he snores! With plastic bed and snoreman I’ve had about as much sleep as a new parent but at least I’ve been able to stay in my cocoon.
Yesterday was great. Really showed the value of companions on the way, someone else to map read and dry weather. Tom even spotted a deer and the bluebells are stunning in the woodlands.
I sat and prayed a little outside the church in Puttenham. It felt like a wonderful connection. I’ve 3.5 hours till my companions arrive at 9am so I think I’ll go and do that again. Not sure when this will go online though a no signal here.
Big blessings all