Today was my first proper walk, and first in the forest, since the weekend of the Levellers at the beginning of December. At the Levellers gig (which was fantastic) it became apparent that I wasn't 25 any more and center front may not be the best place for me in a vigorous crowd; it was a buzz though. Anyway, as a result of my 'youthful' exuberance I damaged my medial collateral ligament and was unable to walk any way for a few days, and not much further for a while after and I still feel the need of a knee brace now for stability (when out walking anyway). Over the last week I'd worked myself up to 5 miles, though today set out to test myself, and ended up doing 10.6 miles. The walking on the flat gravel forestry tracks was dandy, up and down hills not so much and off road somewhat precarious and ill advised, every slip causing a sharp twinge (I was certainly right to wear a knee brace). Still, 10 mile plus wasn't bad, and (touch wood) my knee feels okay for it, stiff, but okay. It was great to be back in the field, back in the forest amongst the stands and out in the open heath with its spectacular views. It may have only been a few weeks, though it felt like an age to me. The forest was bathed in winter sunlight, her streams flowing well, engorged by the recent rains, the air clear and clean, it was a joy to all the senses. Our route took us past the Eagle Oak and his two Yew companions, an ancient Oak with a sad tale, set (along with a few other dispersed ancient Oaks) amongst a much younger coniferous plantation. It's association may be sad, though there's a pleasant calm air to the site, which is always worth a visit, as are any of the forests ancient inhabitants. Lovely day.