The conference is over; I will have more to say about it later, but here is a brief report on the walks.
On Sunday, 23 people did all or part of the walk, though not everybody managed to meet us at the starting point. Celia and her daughter caught up with us in King George’s Fields, and Donald (whom we managed to pass on the way without seeing him) met us in the Cock and Dragon, where we stopped for a meal and a drink. Some people went home then, others walked through Trent Park, where I recounted some of the history of the house, as far as I could remember it. On the way home, the hardy few got off the train at Haggerston, and walked back to Mile End along the Regent’s Canal, which was more crowded than I have ever seen it, and had a carnival atmosphere in the warm evening.
On Thursday, twelve of us caught the train at Paddington and walked up the hill through the woods from Goring to Woodcote. We met Anthony and Mary in the Woody Nook, and had a very fine lunch there. Adam arrived just as we were leaving, and came on the afternoon walk with us, though a few people turned back at that point. At a certain point on the walk, we thought we were in Afghanistan, as we walked through fields of poppies in the bright sunshine. (Adam discovered later that opium poppies are grown for use in the NHS at secret locations; I am not sure how secret this one is, with a public footpath running right through it!) Down Grim’s Ditch, and back beside the river Thames, brought us to Cholsey and the train home. We ended an excellent day with a pint in a pub near Paddington.