The day was a lovely warm spring day. Because of the shortage of staff at the pub, we worked the lunchtime session, then packed up some rolls, chocolate and a bottle of Coke and headed off on the bikes. We rode up to the Broxbourne Woods¹ and found a spot to sit and eat our lunch in amongst the cool shade of the birch trees. When we had finished, we biked along the lanes past fields of oats, grass & horses & sheep grazing. We stopped for a coke on the lawn of a pub called The Beehive, then went on to the little village of Little Berkhamsted. We sat in a gateway and took in the view out over the hazy, rolling,
tree-clad hills then went back into the village for a beer at The Five Horseshoes. I had a xxxx² and Linda had an AK³ shandy. After that we rode back to The Beehive for two more beers then cycled on through the late afternoon sunshine. We stopped and walked out into a paddock and sat down and waited till curiosity got the better of the five horses, 3 Shetland ponies and a cow which inhabited the paddock. They came over and snuffled round and I took some photos of Linda and her friends – 2 little Thewell⁴ ponies & a quiet little Murray Grey⁵ heifer! We spent ½ an hour with them then rode home.
¹The Broxbourne Woods are a 240 Ha (600 acres) reserve of birch, oak and hornbeam trees with a profusion of wildflowers forming a carpet beneath the ancient trees.
²xxxx, also known as FourEx is an Australian beer from Queensland. Australian beers were popular in Britain during the eighties and most pubs stocked at least one of them. FourEx, however, is fucking horrible so who knows why I chose it that day!
³AK is the flagship ale of the McMullens Brewery. No-one remembered what the AK stands for but local wags who disliked it reckoned it stood for All Kinds!
⁴ The pony cartoons of Norman Thelwell were a favourite of generations of pony-loving girls.
⁵Murray Grey are a breed of beef cattle.