Friday, 29 March 2019

Old Haunts

The day after scattering Mum's ashes the weather changed from heavy rain to bright blue skies. So before the long drive back to London I decided to visit another of Mum's favourite National Trust places at Dunham Massey.

 The heavy rain had flooded some areas of the park

 But on the higher ground the spring flowers were out in force.

Monday, 25 March 2019


Last week I had a go at indoor skydiving. I really enjoyed the experience. I could never imagine myself jumping from an aircraft but this felt very safe as there is an instructor with you all the time.

Once I had got the basic positioning correct then the power was increased and we zoomed to the top of the wind tunnel. It was exhilarating. It's the closest I will ever get to flying!
Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Trying to get fit!

As I mentioned in my last post I am trying to improve my stamina and fitness in time for my next long distance walk. My illness has put me way behind but I am feeling well now and know I need to get some miles under my belt. On Friday I decided to do the Cudham circular walk. It is only 12km but enough for me at the moment. It has a few inclines and descents so a good walk to see how I am doing. This walk which I have done before takes me through woodland, farmland and across a couple of golf courses. As there are numerous footpaths throughout Kent it is very easy to go wrong. I always use an Ordnance Survey map. The scale is 4cm to 1km which is perfect for finding landmarks. I have marked the route on the map to make it easy for me to follow. The map also has contour lines so you know when you should be going uphill, downhill or on the flat. The footpaths shown on the map are public rights of way. If it is not shown on the map then you probably shouldn't be walking on it.

An uphill start to the walk through the mud!

Then across some farmland

This is an avenue of Beech trees which leads me to a golf course.
You can see the golf course with its sandy bunkers down in the valley.

A number of trees had come down in the storm we had earlier this month. With the others it was possible to walk around them but this one you had to climb over it, as the path was an enclosed one with wire fencing on either side.

I stopped to admire this tree and as I did so half a dozen deer leapt past me. I wasn't quick enough to photograph them. It is rare to see them as they are very shy and will disappear as soon as they hear you.
The homeward stretch. I just need to cross the field and get out at the top. The car park is the other side of the trees.

Here I am back at the 11th cent church where I set off a couple of hours ago. I am tired but pleased that the walk didn't present any problems. I will aim to do a walk every other day this week increasing in length and difficulty.

Monday, 18 March 2019

The memorial tree

Thank you for all your kind wishes. I now feel fully recovered and today managed a 5 mile walk for the first time in 4 weeks. Next month I am hoping to go on the annual long distance walk with five friends. This year we are  walking along the South West coastal path in Devon. So it's fingers crossed I will be fit enough.
At the weekend I drove to Manchester to scatter Mum's ashes with other close members of the family. We had a tree planted in her memory in one of her favourite National Trust properties, Tatton Park. I have nothing but praise for the way the NT arranged everything. You cannot choose a location nor the type of tree as they will only plant where a tree needs to be replaced. I told them the parts of the park which Mum loved and when I saw the location for the first time on Saturday I was thrilled. They had planted an English oak overlooking the lake. There are 2000 acres of parkland with hundreds of deer and sheep grazing there. The tree was well protected and will be replaced it it doesn't flourish. Despite the horrendous weather on Saturday it was an uplifting and memorable occasion. Details of the tree and its GPS location are kept in a book and online for any future generations to see.

The fallen oak will remain where it fell to provide habitats for a variety of creatures. I look forward to visiting the tree in future years to admire its growth and, of course, its view.


Monday, 11 March 2019

The Coliseum

The London Coliseum is home to the English National Opera in St Martin's Lane and has been since 1968. The building opened in 1904 as a variety theatre.

Sir Oswald Stoll  wanted a revolving dome to top his theatre but this was deemed illegal. He settled instead for the flashing lights inside the dome that can still be seen today.

I am sorry I haven't visited your blogs recently but I had to be admitted to hospital last week with quinsy. I should have been away walking in the Lake District this week but that wasn't to be. I am still recovering but hope to be back to normal very soon.