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[…]

Read more

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.

Read more