A picture of lilies and a weeping willow.

Exercise, Ducks, Disasters

I’ve still got a few kilos to shed but I’m not supposed to go to the gym when my muscles are still recovering so bike ride it is. By the time I persuaded myself to go after a Sunday morning routine of coffee, breakfast, gardening, reading (currently Norman Doidge – The Brain that Changes Itself), it was nearing midday so my options were limited to places a bit more local. When I search the Web for cycling routes, most that are presented are for road cycling but I have a mountain bike. I resorted to just opening up a map, scanning the area for green patches and found Rother Valley Country Park. I’m sure I’d been there before in my childhood. It’s a water activities centre and the picture of someone mountain biking on the homepage and the 20 min. drive there convinced me it was worth a visit. It’s a very well-maintained park but I wouldn’t describe it as picturesque. It’s family-oriented with a nice paved path running around the lakes. I found myself weaving in between toddlers on training bikes and all the geese flocking to the families doling out bread. Why are people still feeding bread to[…]

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Grindleford Hike

I’d heard of Grindleford 20 years ago. I just gone through the turnstyles at Chesterfield’s old football ground at Saltergate. The Police were randomly picking people out of the queue and asking them questions. I got picked out. “Weren’t you the one who did the off license robbery in Grindleford?” inquired the officer. “No that wasn’t me. Someone else.” I replied. “What’s your name?” he continued so I gave him my name and walked on. Then I realised the whole thing had been a ruse to get my name. Suffice to say I was on best behaviour that game. I’d always been interested in this mysterious place called Grindleford – I imagined it to have a heavily fortified off-license. It’s nice to follow a walk that I haven’t planned for a change! Just to go along an enjoy a walk. I was helping the year 9s with a practice hike for their D of E Bronze. The walk followed the River Derwent and then back along the escarpment (Baslow, Curbar, Froggatt Edge – respectively). It’s a beautiful place. I think this was the first time some of the children had actually been walking and a couple of us hung back[…]

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Winter Wreath Part 1

I saw a few attractive Waitrose winter wreaths a couple of weeks back and decided to make one using, where possible, naturally scavanged materials. I’d wandered around a few places over the last forthnight but had not felt motivated to walk around with a shopping bag full of twigs. With a weekend staying in Godalming, I decided to go equipped on an afternoon walk with a friend

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Puttenham Walk

The last couple of nights I’ve seen a gorgeous moon and overheard that there is a ‘SuperMoon’ at the moment. This is where the moon is closer to the Earth and the net effect is that it appears 14% larger.  I love the moonlight (which is just ~sunlight) when it breaks through the clouds so I decided on some moon photography. We headed up to Puttenham Common to get away from the noise of the urban lighting

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Hardwick Hall (NT)

I grew up in Derbyshire before I left for University but it was only around my mid-twenties that I started to appreciate just how incredibly picturesque my home is. I must have driven past the brown signs directing visitors to Hardwick Hall thousands of times without thought of visiting. (Although my parents are convinced I had been before.) The recent gift of a National Trust membership, and having explored Surrey’s sites, motivated me to take a peek.

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Paracord

Appreciating cordage is important for outdoors activities – with lots of different types for different uses. I wrote this supplement for a session on paracord, which is my favourite. I always carry it on me. I’ve even upgraded shoe laces with it – just in case.

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