I hasten to explain – I did the walking, and Rowena did the running. Sunday 7th February early afternoon we drove to the Cat and Canary, where Henfield railway station once stood, and set out north along the old railway line – the Downs Link. me for the Partridge at Partridge Green, and Rowena to the A24 just outside Southwater – half a Half Marathon away. It had been a sunny morning, and the sun was mainly on show as we started. Spring flowers out – celandine, primroses, blackthorn (flowers before the leaves appear, unlike hawthorn) and hazel catkins.
The river Adur was full, and seemed to be flowing upstream, either the tide was still rising, or the strong south westerly wind gave the same effect. Perhaps both. Certainly the tidal limit is a good mile further upstream, according to my reliable friend O S Map.
It got suddenly gloomier, and looking back I saw clouds and rain falling on the Downs. A sprinkling reached me about 10 minutes later, but the clouds needed the hills to release a lot of rain.
Entering Partridge Green there are some delightful cottages. One tiny and part weatherboarded, another, larger and timber framed with brick infilling, but both with huge chimney stacks, undoubtedly originally containing cooking ranges and perhaps bread ovens.
At the Partridge in just under the hour – a puny 4 kilometres. Rowena had completed ten kilometres by this time. Nonetheless I felt it my duty to record progress, and activity (in this case a pint of Hophead Dry – a new variant).
Only time for the one, as there was less than an hour to return. Got a wiggle on, and returned to the car in about 40 minutes, at which point it started to rain heavily, driving me into the Cat and Canary where I was delighted to find Timmy Taylor’s Landlord. I had to take off my coat and fleece to let my sweaty body dry out – I’m only sharing that so you know I worked hard for that second pint. Rowena soon arrived, not best pleased with her time, but in need of a big lime and soda. Headed home shortly after.