Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Above the Underground - Greenford

Now I am home after my various trips it is time to continue with my 'Above the Underground' challenge. With just 5 stations left to visit on the Central line I am determined to complete this line in the next couple of months. If you want to read about the 45th station I've just visited click here

Monday, 15 May 2017

Design Museum

The Design Museum at Shad Thames closed in June 2016 and moved to its new location in Kensington High Street in Nov 2016. Its new home is the former Commonwealth Institute in Holland Park. I was very keen to see how this building, which was opened in 1962,  had been remodelled to accommodate the Design Museum. I visited The Commonwealth Institute in the early 70s. It contained a permanent exhibition about the nations of the Commonwealth and information about how the Commonwealth operated. My impressions of the building remained with me as a huge space that was difficult to fill.

The building had become derelict in recent years due to the enormous cost of extensive modernisation and it was eventually sold in 2002. Major funding contributions from Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sir Terence Comran meant that the building would be saved and brought to life again. It also means that for the first time access to the Design Museum will be free. It has taken four years to complete the work giving the Design Museum three times more exhibition space as well as more areas to extend its learning programme. So come inside and see what you think.

As you enter the building you are confronted by this large open space giving you glimpses of the roof.

There are balconies overlooking the foyer.

A large stairway takes you up to the galleries.

Before entering the main gallery there is a display of everyday objects nominated by members of the public because they are important or special in some way.

Some things are here because they do their job well; some because they are beautiful and others carry special personal memories. All the objects were instantly recognisable.

Other items that caught my eye included this piece of felt. This is what's left after tennis balls have been cut out.

Televisions and radios.

Portable audio systems including the Sony Walkman and the ipod.

With my interest in the Underground then this map has to be my favourite design.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Dales Way Day 7 Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere.

This is our 7th and last day of walking. Paul only just made it back across the road for the obligatory, morning group photo.

Trying to find somewhere to balance the camera and then get back to the group has become a daily challenge for the two of us. My camera had worked first time. This was Paul's second attempt.

The local weather forecast had predicted a very chill and wet day so we were wrapped up and ready to face whatever the weather had in store for us.

Despite the forecast we started walking under a blue sky although much colder than on previous days but that doesn't matter when you are walking. We saw the better side of the village today. This is St Oswald's church but look at the sign on the pavement.

I have never seen a church used as a post office before but what a good idea to make use of the church when there are no services on.

This rather impressive building is The Bryce Institute. Built in 1867 with money provided by John Bryce. He moved to  the village in the 1850s to manage James Cropper's expanding paper mills but he also took an interest in the welfare of the workforce. Although he died before the completion of the hall, it fulfilled all his wishes. It was built with a library, reading room, billiards hall and a large hall. In 1918 it was used as a village bath house where for 3d (old pence) you could have a warm bath. The price included a clean towel and soap. Priority was given to those workers coming off their shift at the paper mill. Nowadays it is used as a meeting place for many local groups including James Cropper plc.

We left the village walking by the road admiring the spring flowers until we reached a path taking us to continue our walk by the River Kent.

Cowan Head weir and fish pass.

On the other side of the river was an old tractor. I hope it wasn't going to be left there to rot.

The apartments on the bank of the river used to be a paper mill back in 1750. Now they are luxury apartments including a leisure centre and a 9 hole golf course.

An old stone barn which isn't currently being used. No doubt it will be sold for conversion into a luxury home for someone.

There were a few ducks on this part of the river but this pair caught my eye as I think they were goosanders which I had been told lived along here.

It was a walk of just 10 miles today so plenty of time to enjoy our surroundings. We had long since left the Yorkshire National park and entered the Lake District National Park. The undulating landscape would eventually become more rugged as the Lakeland fells get closer but I for one was glad this walk didn't take us over the mountains. My legs were feeling tired after yesterday's 16+ miles.

The most surprising gate we opened!

As the Lake District mountains became clearer we knew our walk was coming to an end.

The end of the walk was a slate bench facing the way we had come. We linked arms and walked to it together.

One last timed photo to finish yet another fun filled memorable walk.

We could now see Windermere as we walked down the hill into Bowness.

We even received an official certificate from a local chain of shops, Hawkshead (which donates money to a charity for each certificate they give out).

A short walk to the shore of the Lake and then it was something to eat in a local tea shop before checking in to our hotel for the night.
It was a good feeling to know we had all completed the walk with everyone in good health and remarkably blister free.

Thank-you to gentleman Jim who led the way without a map or gizmo, just an expert signpost spotter and gate opener.

Thank-you Paul for your expert map reading and your happy demeanor no matter how much ribbing you had to take from me.

Thank-you to Tim, our gizmo man, who kept a check on our mileage as well as having responsibility for closing all the gates behind us.

A huge thank-you to Steve for organising the trip and arranging the accommodation and many apologies for never listening when you were reading the guide book to us!

And finally a very special thank-you to Tina for being a terrific room mate.

It was a beautiful walk and I look forward to next year and meeting up again for another long distance walk.