I started the day ignoring good advice. It didn’t adversely affect me. My landlord was of the opinion that if things got too hard, you should just go round. He stated that was the philosophy of another Le Jogger who had also passed this way—shame on them! So he suggested taking the road and meeting the path at the junction, thus avoiding five stone stiles. When I saw the first stile, I succame. [For all the grammarians: I know that is not the past tense of succumb, I just think it ought to be.] I figured they would make me stronger. They were all actually quite easy to get over and I wasn’t sorry.
There was a petrol station and a cold drink in Old Sodbury and then nothing but walking. I got off the path to come into Hillesley because I was panicking about running out of water—an so absolutely parched because my panic stopped me drinking. I was going to wait out the pub’s lock down time—the pubs all close between about two and about six or seven. I figured I would fill up on food and water and then walk until I found a nice field outside of Wotton-under-Edge. Then I would go in there in the morning for brekky. I couldn’t see what time the pub opened again and was probably looking a bit dazed in an attempt to work out where the alleged shop was instead when a lady came to my questioning aid. I told her I was after water so she invited me back to hers and I filled my bottles and drank copious amounts of water. I sat in her back yard and chatted for a while, while her oblivious husband listened to the soccer on a sunlounge. Their names were Helen and David. They had a son who lived in Sydney for a while before his Australian wife broke his heart. They had visited a couple of times. She loved the birds but hated all the things that could kill or seriously maim you. I complained back about the horrible brown machete-mouthed flies, but she had never heard of such a thing. Yet another person who doesn’t believe me about this nasty creature—is it a kind of national denial?
Out of Hillesley was up and up and up. Through forest. There was ne’er a nice field and so I walked for ages and ended up on something called the ‘Circular’ Cotswold Way Path. It took me to a National Trust house called Newark Park, but I didn’t feel right sleeping in their field. I ended up on a patch of long grass that I squashed down about three feet from the foot path and only hidden by a tiny bit of long grass. In the evening, only one person went by but the morning would be a different thing (see tomorrow). I had already covered my back pack with disguising grasses, so when the person or tractor or similar drove passed, I just flung the khaki bivvy bag over me and the seemingly predominantly red things that surrounded me. If he saw I have no idea. This time the roll mat stayed out and I put on more clothing. I was definitely warmer, but I am not sure how much more sleep I got. It still seemed very little.