Last Saturday, with the weather being remarkably good for this time of this year (i.e. it wasn’t raining that much), Molly (my Labrador) and I decided to take a walk up Goblin Combe (pronounced ‘coom’, meaning ‘valley’), which is an area of woodland on the other side of the valley we live in. We’d wandered along some of the lower tracks before, but I thought it would be fun to explore the upper reaches of the hillside, too.
Despite it having been raining for several days, the stony tracks beneath the trees made for fairly good walking. The combe doesn’t get much in the way of sunlight, so the gnarled old trees and the boulders that have come away from the hillside are covered in a thick layer of moss. We didn’t actually see any goblins, but I can understand where the people who named the place were coming from.
After half and hour or so, we came across a forest track that was so muddy, it looked like it had been used as a tank training ground. I took this as an indication that it was time to turn uphill, but Molly had other ideas and leapt straight into the mud. She looked a little disconcerted as it came up to the top of her legs but – having realised that there was solid ground underneath and she wasn’t about to disappear in a quagmire – proceeded to leap around like a mad thing.
Once I’d managed to entice her out of her mudbath, we made our way slowly up to the top of the hill, shedding globs of sticky mud in our wake. The tree canopy started to thin out a little and a few tentative rays of sunshine began to make their way through. And then, with almost no warning, we were on top of the world. Or, at least, our own little bit of it.
From our vantage point, we could see all the way across the valley and down to the sea. The steep cliff off to the left revealed the tops of the trees we had just been walking through. And straight ahead we could just make out in the distance Sand Bay, the beach where go to play after work in the summer (and instead of work in the winter, when there isn’t much of an evening to speak of).
Our beautiful little piece of Somerset. Truly a combe with a view.