28 Jul 2016

Walk The Essex Way - Stage5

   *It's our own stage.

Different from the last time, it was a fresh and fine weather. As soon as the shoes dried we walked the next stage. We started from here, Terling.

We were walking with chatting and laughing, but carefully checked 'poppy mark' for the Essex Way from previous experiences.

But on the way to Fairstead Parish Church, we've already made a mistake.

You should approach to the church from here, but we did from a different direction. Well, it's OK unless we reached the church anyway...

The church door was open. It's a beautiful church. Inside, there are wonderful 13th century wall-paintings.

It's a very pleasant walk. We enjoyed walking with beautiful nature.

We reached White Notley. I remembered some buildings because path was partly the same as John Ray Walk which I walked with the big mouse before.

At the first time, we saw people who were walking  in the same direction, probably 'Essex Way'! Everything was fine until the parish church of Cressing.

At a firm, there was a sign 'DOGS ON LEAD', but actually the firm has let dogs run loose. We were walking on a path, and suddenly a dog started barking at us. It was a small dog and we thought it's lovely at first. But when we turn the corner, the dog and 2 other dogs run like crazily towards us because the gate was left open. Their running was crazy like a dog race running! All of them were small dogs, but I felt scared of being harm because they must be guard dogs. First of all, I don't like dog because of my childhood experience. I've always been impressed by well-trained dogs in the UK, but I've never ever seen such aggressive dogs against passengers! They were barking and chasing around us, I was scared and thought I would have bitten.

My heart was pounding with fear. Anyway, we passed the firm and entered to another firm field. There was a broad grass track on the edge of the field and we saw the sign to 'forward'. So we followed the track without questioning. It was gradually curving along the field so we followed the track. We saw a huge tractor ahead in the field, so we cleared out of his way. When the tractor approached to us, it suddenly stopped and a man got off the tractor and walked towards us with extremely anger face. The fact was we were walking on a wrong path. Truly we had thought that was correct path, so we showed him a map and asked where we were. Suddenly he took a knife out from his pocket, opened it and pointed at the map with the head of the knife. I gasped. He used psychological pressure showing knife, didn't he?

The sign of 'forward' means NOT following broad track but we needed to go straight to cross the broad track and walk into the middle of field.  He was angry because probably people we saw earlier were walking on the same way. That's why he said 'fed up'. Of course nobody's happy that someone entered/used your private property, but also nobody makes a mistake on purpose. If many people make the same mistake, then that means there is a problem which leads people to the wrong way. Maybe the sign is not clear. Thankfully, he allowed us to walk on the edge track, instead of going back and walk in the middle of the field. We admitted our mistake, but his attitude; showing 'a KNIFE'  to women is very questionable. It was shocking for us.

I was calm at first, but 2 bad experiences happened in a row, I started to be upset and lost concentration. We completely got offended and couldn't enjoy walking anymore. We came across to the cross path, but there was no sign at all and we got lost. We couldn't concentrate on checking map. One way or another, we walked on a road to Bradwell Church. And our saver came to pick broken-hearted women up by car.

Eventually it became an unpleasant walk. But it must be a lesson about to walk 'public footpath' in a real sense.

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26 Jul 2016

Today's Sky

This world is psychologically disturbed and a full of sad news around the world. Unfortunately some people are blind and they believe their tunnel visions are correct and everything. Also we tend to forget a very simple and basic matter 'caring about other people and being thoughtful about other people's feelings', which we probably learnt at a nursery school.

21 Jul 2016


It has been really hot, hasn't it? I usually lose my appetite in summer, because of heat. One of my favourite foods is noodles, especially 'Shiroishi Umen noodles'. These are a traditional food from my hometown (Miyagi prefecture), which has a 400-year history.

These are dried noodles, so you can keep them for a while. Also these are thin and short, easy to cook boiling just for three minutes. You can eat cold in summer and hot in winter. My mother sometimes sends us some these noodles during a summer. Every time I eat this, I feel nostalgic. I appreciate her very much.

16 Jul 2016

Walk The Essex Way - Stage4

   *It's our own stage.

Our Stage 4 starts from here, Great Waltham.

On the gate, there was this sign 'Bull in the field'. Actually didn't see bulls but cows in this field, luckily they were in the distance.

Everything was fine at the beginning. Weather was fine, sunshine, view was great and path was clear for walking.

We got wrong ways a few times, but corrected.

We reached Little Leighs church. It looked lovely with flowers. Inside was also nice. We had a lunch and rest here.

But dark clouds crept up on us from behind. According to the weather forecast on that day, light shower would have come around 4 pm and heavy shower after that. We expected shower at the end of this stage, but it came early.

We passed lovely cottages.

Soon after we crossed A131, finally dark clouds caught us and it started to rain. At the same time, the path became more wild. We were wearing rain-jackets, but our jeans were soaked from the weeds. It wasn't a shower, but proper rain. It didn't stop. We also could hear thunder somewhere as well.

Our agony started. We passed this redundant stile while laughing and talking, so easily missed another stile near there (on the left of picture) which we needed to cross. There was a dead end. I mean I could see a road but a fence was locked. So we came back to this stile and correct the way. This path was a bit bushy with high nettles. My hand was attacked by nettles... Eventually this path connected to a road I saw over the fence...

Rain fall continuously... The next agony was horses. They blocked our way... They were not bulls, but I scared to walk near them in the same field. We waited for a while outside the gate until they moved.

Then, the third agony was a 'boggy field'. The direction said 'may be boggy', so we expected it, but it 'was' definitely boggy. It came suddenly just before the Cole Hill road. It looked  like normal wet field as the same as any other field, but if you step on the ground, your shoe sank and water come up. It was like a bottomless swamp! Water got inside the shoes, disaster!!! (Picture is after walking a boggy field). My leg sank down to the ankle.

I felt like I became a frog... We evacuated and sheltered in St Mary the Virgin church near there in Great Leighs. It has a round tower, but unfortunately the door was closed. It was still raining. We had rest a bit under the roof.

Eventually, rain didn't stop. We decided to walk again in the rain with watery terrible shoes... Squash, squash and squash...

We were supposed to walk to White Notley, but decided to give up at Terling.

A ford was long and deep in Terling. I'm disappointed we couldn't reach to White Notley, but it was a good decision. We did do well. Thankfully, our saver came to pick us up. Next walk starts from Terling.

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12 Jul 2016

Walk The Essex Way - Stage3

   *It's our own stage.

My shoes were ready. Soles were glued. Our route this time was from Willingale to Pleshey, perhaps Great Waltham if we had the energy. Everything was OK at first. The path was wide and easy to walk and signs were well provided.

Though, I don't like 'green lane'. Always muddy. It's traumatic.

We were hungry and needed energy. We decided to have rest at a church in Good Easter. Walking through a wheat field was the most beautiful and fun in this stage.

After the rest, we started to walk to Pleshey. It's a lovely village. The castle used to be there. And the church building was interesting, looks like a castle a bit.

Once we thought to finish here, but the problem was that bus services are not good. We could have got the last bus, but we decided to walk more to Great Waltham.

Poppies are a symbol of Essex Way. :)

We carefully checked a map and directions, but some parts were difficult to understand without proper signs.

We made a mistake of the route near the reservoir but corrected the way.

We were so exhausted. And finally we found the church in Great Waltham! The walk will be continued.

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