The original plan was to follow "The Big Track" in Nottingham, a council designated walking and cycling route that goes out along the Nottingham and Beeston Canal, and comes back in along the Trent for a distance of ten miles.
Then this morning I bricked it a little bit, thought 1) It was a bit ugly and urban and 2) Aren't towpaths well known crime hotspots these days?
I confess 2) was more of a (non) worry. How pathetic. The cycle path here is probably more dangerous at the moment.
In the end Wollaton Park seemed a better idea, which was daft because to get there I had to walk two miles along that same canal towpath. As it happened it was a pretty nice walk, apart from an amusing interlude between a couple of lowlifes outside the Magistrates Court. "I'll effing eff you up mate!" all that kind of stuff.
I didn't have a clue where I was going by the way, I was hoping to emerge near Nottingham University campus, which I did after two miles of barges and butterflies and geese. Years since I had last been here, to a three day science conference when I was 17. What a growing up that weekend was.
The campus lake looked nice for boating, but not much life, and after I navigated through the campus - the smell of cut grass was a first for the year! - I crossed the road and found myself on Wollaton Park for the first time since I did a Bob Geldof SPort Aid run here when I was 16.
Next thing I saw was a woman on the golf course hitting her shot into a pond. I laughed.
I walked round the lake, and straight away my ears were assaulted by a mocking screech from the trees above. "Jay" I wondered. "Green woodpecker?"
Then I saw bird high above, with slim falcon wings but a long drooping tail, and I understood. It was my first ring necked parakeet.
Further around the lake, more surprises awaited me. I actually shouted "WOW!" out loud as I beheld my first mandarin ducks; the male exotic and glamorous, the female subtly beautiful.
I then hunted for deer, I found them in the next field - fallow deer at a distance, not an easy shot. HOwever, in front of the hall itself, used in the recent Batman movies as signs in the shop tell you a lot, was a herd of red deer so tame you could walk right up to them. Makes a mockery of the "Do not approach the deer within 50 yards" signs. Apparently some idiots have been trying to put their children on the stags' backs. Some other chap got gored, but this lot were knackered and panting in the heat.
I then headed back to the station via St Martin's Pond, the dinky nature reserve near where I worked at Siemens - now empty. I've outlived my old workplace.
In the end I did 20km in the heat, and was out for about 6 hours in all. Face has caught the sun, but at least I didn't get mugged.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.04.16