Caroline has sadly opted out of our proposed French walking next month, so I embarked on a little training on my own this morning. Having caught the bus down to Shurdington, I set off a bit creakily up the Greenway Lane, following its line to Ullenwood, and thence through Barber Wood and over, amidst lambs and ewes, to Cowley. It's my favourite time of year, the chestnuts just bursting into leaf. Clouds scudded across a fitfully blue sky until I emerged from lunching in the Green Dragon: then darkness fell, and after some warning claps of thunder the hail descended: the A435 became suddenly white. This I took to be a hint that I should catch the bus back the five miles to Cheltenham.