Inspiration was close at hand though and not only would I get to tick something off my list, I'd also get to meet up with one of my favourites, Janet. After mentioning on Twitter that I fancied a stomp around Bradgate Park she said she would keep me company on my stomping, and more importantly, lead me to the tea shop on the way.
I haven't had a little adventure in my car in a really long time and this was the first time that I got to use one of my Christmas presents, I lovely shiny sat nav. Although hilarity ensued when I set off and realised that after I had been messing around with some free voice downloads I had forgotten to change it back and had a goulish, monster voice, complete with echo, telling me to take the third exit off the roundabout.
We picked the winteriest of wintery days to make our stomping happen. The previous day had seen Tiny Town completely grind to a halt because of the snow and although it had mostly disappeared amidst the snow and rain there was an accompanying biting wind, whipping around our faces.
We duly stomped all the way to the top of the hill to see Old John Tower and the views out over Leicestershire and then completed a much more ginger form of stomping back down the hill which made me want to categorise the walk as PG - containing scenes of mild peril.
Seriously. Walking down a steep hill when there's no paved path and it's been raining has given me free reign to describe myself as doing my own stunts.
I didn't fall though. Came close. But no falling.
It felt so very very British. The scenery was that odd sort of beautiful because it was so bleak and yet felt homely at the same time. Janet said that it reminded her of really Northern scenery and I have to agree, I don't know what it was about it, possibly the hills, but it felt homely to me.
We walked past the ruins of Bradgate House and even saw some deer which I thought would definitely remain unseen. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to take photos of them armed only with my phone. Not going to happen. You'll just have to take my word for it - deer were there and they were pretty.
After refuelling at the tea shop we not so much stomped as trudged back to the car. The icy wind had been behind us on the way down and was very much in our faces on the way back up. The pain in my face was unreal and it definitely stopped being fun pretty soon into it and just became something to be endured and got through.
Back at our cars and marvelling at our terribly muddy boots and wellies (nothing like a good bit of British muddy countryside to make you feel virtuous) I had one of my most brilliant ideas. We should come back each season and stomp around and fully take in how the scenery changes. When I say "we" there's a strong possibility that it's just going to be me stomping about, I haven't worked out yet if I have persuaded Janet to come a-stomping through the seasons with me. But I can hope.
And yes. We are rubbish bloggers. We missed the opportunity to take photos of our scones in the tea shop, photos of our muddy boots and an excellent backdrop for some outfit photos. Damn.