Rachael’s ‘Big’ Hitcham Walk – Saturday 3rd August

Text contributed by Paul, pics by Anni, Francis and Rachael.

Rachael’s Big Walk, followed by games and a barbecue. Impossible to resist if you have sufficient screws loose, so eight suitable candidates set off from Hitcham shortly after 9.00am, cutting across country and heading south towards Bildeston. Good weather, beautiful ‘fields of gold’ (some already harvested), and plenty of bonhomie got the day off to a great start.

Heading west via Kettlebaston, Monks Eleigh Tye and Brent Eleigh, the fun continued unabated. We encountered areas planted with flora even our leader didn’t recognise, though she’s since discovered they are called phacelia boatus and are planted especially for the bees. Those who know Rachael will be aware her flora knowledge isn’t often found wanting!

After lunch, the caffeine addicts scoured Lavenham for a tea room, whilst the alcoholics amongst us declined such gross temptation and found a pub around the corner. All suitably refreshed, the party headed north and east towards Preston St Mary and then back to Hitcham. The Big Walk proved to be tinier than advertised at around 18 miles, but not even this author can find a single thing to moan about!

Rachael’s immaculate (lol) lawn then hosted a series of croquet games. Best shot went to Rachael after she managed to scoop her ball over the top of the competitors ball she was aiming at, literally only two feet away! Francis managed to win two games despite his dubious beginner status, and Lynn seemed repeatedly determined to play her own game, a number of hoops behind everyone else. Dave managed to give a great impression of someone fast sleep throughout!

A tasty barbecue ensued, fully replenishing everyone’s waistlines despite all the exercise earlier in the day. Included was some lovely homemade elderflower champagne, courtesy of our host. Oh, and the chocolate cake /lemon cheesecake dessert options were delicious. A yummy day in every way!