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, 29 November 2020

In memory of Mum

 

This week would have been my mum's 100th birthday. She has been dead for over 3 years now and in many ways I am glad she has not had to suffer through this pandemic. We would not have been able to celebrate her birthday. How awful would that have been. Anyway I decided to go walking with a couple of friends, Mark and Carole. Not strictly allowed but we met in the open countryside of Kent and kept or distance as walked.
It was an 8 mile walk on a miserable November day but although we didn't see any blue skies, the rain kept away.








We had to walk across this very muddy ploughed field. We kept to the tractor marks to make it a little easier.








A converted oast house (originally used for drying hops in the brewing process).

An old barn next to the oast house.
I have never seen fungi as large as this. I put a 500ml bottle next to it o give you some idea of its size.











We scared a field of gulls to take to the air.




Mark and Carole had provided a feast of food and some mulled wine to toast Mum.
Keeping a safe distance from one another, of course.





We ended the walk at the Bough Beech reservoir where we had left our cars. I had so much mud on my trousers I had to roll them up as far as possible to try and keep it off the car seat. When I got home I not only had to hose the mud off my boots but also my trousers before I could put them in the wash. However it was a lovely antidote to life in lockdown.





Thursday, 19 November 2020

Lockdown#2



 Two weeks into our second lockdown and it is sometimes easier than the last one and sometimes more difficult. One difference this time is that we are allowed to go walking with one other person as long as you are outside and social distancing. In my local park is this outdoor table tennis table where I meet up with one friend and we play a few games together. Trying to play when it is windy is almost impossible but if gives us a laugh. Desperate times call for desperate actions!


Monday, 16 November 2020

More travels in Afghanistan

These photos were taken in 1978 whilst travelling from London To Kathmandu. I think they were taken when travelling from Herat to Kabul across the desert in a coach. 

The coach attracted attention wherever we went. Although the coach looks modern it did not have a toilet  nor  air conditioning and this was in August. Not sure why anyone in their right mind would be crossing a desert in Afghanistan in mid summer!

On the journey we came across nomadic tribes.

We were welcomed into the tents to take photos.






 



Tea shops were a must in every small town.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Autumn sunshine

 It was a beautiful warm and sunny day today. Although we are in lockdown again we are allowed out to exercise. I couldn't resist revisiting my favourite walk in Kent.
















Still some leaves on the trees but many have now changed into their autumn colours.




I stopped for lunch at Chartwell, once the home of Sir Winston Churchill. Now it is owned by the National Trust and although the main buildings are closed, the grounds are open.
This was my view as I munched away on my sandwiches.
The ground was littered with sweet chestnuts.








I continued my walk and about a mile or so from Chartwell there is another stopping place with these chairs and table waiting for someone to make use of them. It was at this point I took the wrong path. There are so many different paths that you need to concentrate not day dream as I was doing.
The different fungi attracted my attention away from the correct path.




I must have walked a couple of miles before I realised what I had done and I decided to carry on rather than turn back. That was another mistake as it took me quite some time  to find my way out of the woods but other than a few moments of panic I was ok and loved the walk.








Monday, 2 November 2020

Winchester Cathedral

 Last Friday I met up with my brother in Winchester. We could only meet for a short time, but as it was pouring down with rain we decided to visit the Cathedral. There was much to see and we didn't manage to see everything. Here are a few of the highlights.

There has been a church here since the 7th century but it was only after the Normans invaded in 1066 that this became a large Cathedral. The new cathedral was consecrated in 1093 and now has one of the longest medieval naves in Europe.. William the Conqueror's son was buried here in 1100.
The novelist, Jane Austin was only 41 when she died in 1817 and was buried here. The inscription refers to her virtues but makes no mention of her being a writer. It was not until after her death that her books became very popular.












This is the  baptismal font. It was brought from Tournai in Belgium in the 12th century. It is made from dark, polished stone and has carvings of the miracles of St Nicholas. 

The Norman arches in the earliest part of the building

This is a 15th century stone screen behind the main altar. Its painted statues were destroyed in the reformation.

The oak choir stalls are early 14th century and are decorated with human figures and carved animals.