Virginia Water on a sunny, though still chilly, Sunday morning is a sight to behold. The water shines like silver in the sun, dotted with water birds, busy and full of self importance as they bustle about. Dogs, invariably retriever/labrador types, splash in the shallows, their green wellied owners flinging sticks and balls with great abandon, for the dogs to collect, or often, completely ignore.
On the path there seems to be strict lane control. Lycra encased runners take the very inside line, though never in the muddy border between path and grass, that is reserved for polka dot booted toddlers and diffident Grandparents attempting to herd said youngsters forward.
Elbow pumping, power walking, weekendering, twenty and thirty-somethings, generally in pairs, are next in lane, ignoring all enquiries from seemingly ownerless mutts that weave between their legs, as to the availability of food, or even a quick scratch behind the ears..
Taking the crown of the path, in pride of place, marching at a smart pace, are the families. Both parents smart-casually dressed, one often carrying a scarlet-nosed babe in some kind of straight-jacket, papoose thingy, facing forward, plum mouth pursed. One or maybe two other children will riding something…a boy in the vanguard on a silver scooter and a crash-hatted, gender indeterminate creature bringing up the rear, tugging a bicycle along by one handlebar, grumbling loudly.
Lastly, the people like me, clad in dog walking trousers, a ten year old body warmer and mismatched scarf and gloves, meandering, no lane discipline, chatting, laughing, stopping to blow a chill-induced, drippy nose, twirling to watch a bird land on the water, bending to tie a flapping lace, generally causing chaos.
After having my fill of tuts and sighs as I continually moved at the wrong speed, in the wrong lane, I took to the grass (well, mud in most places) and dawdled my way there and back again, making a mental note, that though enjoyable on a Sunday morning, the way to see V W at its best is possibly on a Monday, or Tuesday!