This weekend was very much a repeat of one held last year. The weather was cold but no rain was forecast. There were about fifteen of us. Saturday got off to rather a slow start as the group I was walking with were delayed by a visit to the Wyre Forest Centre where the cafe serves excellent bacon rolls and coffee in front of a log burning stove. Moving on from here, we walked on wide trails through the forest northwards to Buttonbridge and thence to Upper Arley where we stopped for a hot drink at the cafe on the station. This looked so familiar and I'm sure it must have been used in countless TV programmes and films.
We moved on from here to our pitch for the night at Pound Green. Once again, I disappeared into the wood alongside the field where others were settling into tents and hung my hammock between two trees, putting my Neo-Air inflatable mattress between the two layers of the hammock (not having the luxury of an underquilt). Rain wasn't forecast so I left my tarp packed away.
Anyway, around 12.15am I was awoken to light snowfall so I hurriedly pitched the tarp over me. Some time later, I woke again feeling thoroughly chilled and with a really cold right foot to find that the Neo-Air had moved up into the side of the hammock so that it wasn't underneath me. The temperature was below freezing. I righted this but it happened again after a while and I didn't sleep at all well. Eventually, I dropped the hammock to the ground and slept on it much more comfortably.
Getting up quite early and looking forward to a steaming mug of real coffee, my gas ran out very quickly with a splutter so I was glad to get moving just to warm up.
Walking through the forest I was taken by surprise by three deer breaking cover about two hundred yards away. One was a white antlered stag. I'd never seen one before and it seems that they are very rare. Of course, there's no way that I'd have got my camera out in time so I didn't even try. According to Wikipedia, "a white stag or white deer is a red deer with a condition known as leucism that causes its hair and skin to lose its natural colour. The white stag has played a prominent role in many cultures' mythology."
It was a good weekend though in good company.