Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

If there was one thing that Perry, Rich, John, Bish and myself intended to do this weekend, it was to all get together and go walking somewhere.

Somewhat inconsiderately, the weekend itself didn't share our enthusiasm.

Still, the good news is that… we won!

It had taken us over three months and nearly 50 emails to realise that, as a group, we just weren't much up to making plans.

I'd like to suppose that this reflects just how easy going we all are, but maybe now and then God realises that he has to prod us to get us to make some sort of effort over things.

For example, it was hardly Rich's fault that, after boarding his coach down this afternoon, the driver got so held up in traffic that he eventually chose to abandon his route and improvise a brand new one.

And that was just Rich getting to London. Our chances of catching the 15:12 train from Clapham Junction with Perry were non-existent. As Rich and I eventually sat by the Thames catching up at about five, Rich's mobile repeatedly drew attention to Perry's continued detainment at his workplace.

(All this of course had also afforded me some time to get done the things that might otherwise have delayed me.)

So Rich and I decided to kill some time by going shopping for a towel, but were surprised and disappointed to find that no high street retailer had ever heard of such a contrivance.

By the time we were back at mine enjoying early-evening sandwiches and choc ices with my mum, we had to wonder if we would ever make it down to the south coast today.

Even when Perry met us at his flat at 19:15, I suddenly realised that I really really needed to go buy a drink for the long hot journey before we left.

Still, Tim's expert driving enabled us to make it to Worthing before the pub shut at 11pm, not that they appeared financially able to turn us away. The place was utterly deserted. It was ghost pub.

On Saturday morning at about 9:10 we were joined by John, who'd got up to catch the train down at five, and Bish, who'd caught his at 9:02. (Bish lives in the next town)

John cooked us all a full-English breakfast, which I gather was considered something of a victory. We also looked through my photos from our last expedition.

At last, thanks to a high-quality booklet Perry had received via a Shredded Wheat offer, we set off for the dubiously-named town of Climping. Hmm, 'Climping', why that's just one 'C' away from…

As you can see, when we parked, the (mid) morning weather didn't appear too auspicious. Still, we bravely set off to explore deepest Climping anyway, hoping that we wouldn't get lost amidst its complex varied topography.

In literal fairness, the mist rolling in from the sea quickly rolled away too, and I'm pleased to say that the rest of the weekend offered sunny skies throughout, barring about ten hours overnight, which we decided to tolerate.

Left to right: Me, Rich, Bish, John and Perry (impersonating Sir Harry Secombe).

After a light lunch consisting entirely of puddings, Perry drove back to London to catch a west end show, while the rest of us played Scrabble…

... contemplated Worthing Pier...

… explored the town, and eventually downed the traditional curry. This was followed by a trip back to the ghost pub, where they still seemed to be serving spirits.

Sunday began with another slow breakfast at Bish's in Lancing, and a clip of Morcambe and Wise, after which we set off to spend our final day investigating Highdown Hill.

It's a hill. Got it.

After two more pub stops, one for drinks and the other for lunch, we headed back to our local ghost one, apparently this time to wait for a ghost train.

After a fun 48 hours, the general concensus of opinion seemed to be that it had been a good walking weekend, but that next time, we really need to do some more actual walking.

After all, as Rich pointed out, those 40-odd emails had actually been headed hiking

(With thanks to Bish for some of the photos)

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