Back in February the boys and i had an early morning walk along the shore at Chalkwell, just outside Southend-on-Sea, as we hadn’t been there for a while. The wind was blowing and the sky was overcast grey as we parked up shortly after first light, but adverse weather doesn’t detract us from enjoying our walks. Up and over the sea defence and across the concrete prom and then down onto the beach we went, and it was a lot windier than i originally thought.
The tide was slowly on the way in so we had a time to have a little walk below the low water line and have a wee scout around to see what might be found. Walking along the old sunken road which leads out to the deeper channel that runs into Old Leigh i found a good few different species of shellfish including a few small oysters, cockles, winkles and mussels. I did find a small broken section of a clay pipe probably thrown overboard by a sailor many moons ago.
A couple hundred yards Southend way stands a large stone pillar with a beautifully aged plaque fixed to it. This pillar is known as the Crowstone and the plaque upon it reads:
PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY
THIS BOUNDARY STONE KNOWN AS THE CROWSTONE, WAS ERECTED INN 1837 TO MARK THE SEAWARD LIMIT ATH THAT TIME OF THE CITY OF LONDOS JURIDICTION OVER THE RIVER THAMES.
BESIDE IT STOOD A SMALLER STONE ERECTED BY THE LORD MAYOR OF LONDON ON 25TH AUGUST 1755, WHICH WAS REMOVED TO PRIORY PARK, SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, IN THE YEAR 1950
FLOREAT . IMPERII . PORTUS
After admiring the CROWSTONE and wondering how its managed to stay in place for all these years considering the tide, weather and constantly shifting mud we strolled back towards the shore as the tide was now starting to run harder, and its very easy to get overtaken by the tide along this stretch of the coastline. A quick game of chase the stones in a nearby saltwater pool/lagoon for the boys and back tooth van we went. Wet, muddy and ready for breakfast we drove of towards home.
For the past couple of weeks i have been confined to the house as i unexpectantly came down with appendecitus and ended up in hospital for a few days whilst they removed the offending appendage and i recovered, this has meant that after being released from hospital i have literally been unable to do anything that involves too much movement or exertion. Now sitting in front of the tv watching crap all day may seem relaxing to some but for me its a nightmare as i,m a pretty active guy not to mention i,ve taken time out from my day job to finish of the work that needs doing to our house and extension, this is now on hold for another couple of weeks.
Yesterday however i was suffering badly from ‘cabin fever’ so decided that I, i mean the dogs, needed a nice walk in the afternoon sunshine. Off to a local area i call ‘Secret Fields’, they’re not really a secret but you’d only know how lovely the walk is if you ventured down a long overgrown track leading from a small one car parking area roadside, for a nice stretch of the legs as it really was a lovely afternoon. I couldn’t,t walk too far though as i started to feel a little ‘rough’ as we made our way from one small field to another, but the short time i was there really hit the spot. A few pheasants burst out of the long grass as the boys ran, pigeons were dropping into the sparsely leaved trees to rest, i saw a gorgeous kestrel hovering a short way of in an adjacent field, found some lovely looking Parasol Mushrooms and generally just soaked up the atmosphere of this peaceful paradise.
In total my walk barely lasted 30 minutes but i enjoyed every second of it, and so did my boys. Although short i feel totally refreshed today, body, mind and soul, and hopefully this feeling will last for a couple more days before i feel fit enough for another little outing. It just goes to show that you only need a short time in the great outdoors to re-charge the old batteries and relax….