Oops! I shall say that again - Oops!
12 optimistic people, including myself, assembled at Stourhead this morning with a terrible weather forecast, to walk the 6 mile route I had planned for them. I just knew that someone would turn up, so I'd have to go! It started OK; we navigated the first up and down and toiled steadily up to Alfred's tower in the rain - gentle at first but slowly increasing in intensity. It was a very short coffee stop, huddled under the trees, perched on a few tree stumps. Then off back down the track into the wood. I thought we had dealt with all the possible navigation problems, and the track should have been fairly straightforward from there, but at one of the junctions I must have missed the turn, and the inevitable happenned. We were in a wood, with tracks about us but none I recognised. It didn't help that they were all much overgrown since 4 weeks ago, and looked very different. I confessed, and got a lot of sympathy and encouragement from the team, with mixed views on where they thought we were. Dave seems to know those woods better than anyone, and suggested following the current track would eventually bring us to the right place. Ken would have scared me with where he thought we'd got to, if it hadn't been for the impossibility of getting to such a point without crossing a road, which we hadn't! Of course the compass was not helpful - taking bearings off trees never improved matters, and no one could get a GPS to see any satellites.
However, after a bit of extra walking, following Dave's suggestion, we found the main track we should have been on. At this point I used the compass to choose the direction, in the face of some who would have gone the opposite way, and we were back on our route. By this time we were absolutely soaked through - rain was dripping down my hat inside my coat, and I don't think I was alone. The team were quite happy to take a more direct route back to the car park, rather than the pleasant (or unpleasant in the rain) roundabout route with lunch by a lake that was on the original plan, and we strode out to arrive back at our cars by 1pm.
I think my walk will have been memorable, but Alice wants me to do it all again in better weather - huh! So much for thinking I had a foolproof scheme to stop them asking me to lead a walk again!
Back at home, now looking at small car specs. Steph, niot unreasonably wants to see if she can reduce her overall costs for running a car. Unfortunately it will involve some outlay to get a smaller car in the first place.