Christmas Tinsel & Tipple, 18 December 2011

The Christmas Tinsel and Tipple walk has become a Thames Valley tradition for the Sunday before Christmas, and only exists thanks to the generosity of Duncan and Gracia. Walkers are expected to wear something - anything - Christmassy to qualify for a welcome into Duncan's home for mid-walk food and drinks. Non-compliant gatecrashers are tolerated but risk being the butt of scornful comments!

More people than ever turned up for this year's walk - though to be fair last year there was deep snow and travelling any distance was difficult or even impossible. Over 30 people set off from Warren Row and after about 8 miles reached Duncan's house. Gracia had laid out a huge spread of hot and cold, sweet and savoury food. Hot soup and mulled wine were served. Mince pies followed.

It was tempting to stay much longer, but boots back on we posed for a photo in the garden before moving on - only to stop again inside the hour. For lunch.

Thanks again to Duncan and Gracia for their generosity and welcome, and for the time and effort that go into making the Christmas Tinsel and Tipple walk such an enjoyable warm-up for the Christmas break.

Photo by Maureen Downes.