German germs and black swan cygnets – first published 24 September 2014

Holidays always seem too short and our German adventure in September 2014 was no exception. When I left work the Wednesday before we went to Cologne the prospect of thirteen whole days off seemed like a long time. As with all holidays it flew by though. When we got back home, in the early hours of Tuesday morning I had great plans about what I was going to do over the following week. What I didn’t count on were the German germs I picked up courtesy of Easyjet’s recycled air. Continue reading German germs and black swan cygnets – first published 24 September 2014

A Sunday Swan Spectacle – first published 14 July 2014

Summer 2014 and the weather was perfect for walking. All week, while I’d been working, it was warm, dry and sunny with blue skies to die for. When Sunday finally came around I was looking forward to a nice ten miles or so and planning to start with the river. That morning I looked out of the window to see rain and it felt like some kind of cruel joke. In fact I will admit to being rather grumpy about it. Continue reading A Sunday Swan Spectacle – first published 14 July 2014

Stones, horses and angel wings


1 November 2016

With our coffee finished and bearings confirmed, we left the church behind and set off through an old iron gate into the lane where I thought the ancient boundary stone should be. Research told me there was no boundary stone marked on the map here but the cryptic message and some Google Street View searching had turned up something that looked very much like one. Now all we had to do was find it. Continue reading Stones, horses and angel wings

Another day another stone


1 November 2016

Following my fifteen minutes of radio fame CJ and I spent a fruitless couple of hours wandering around Basset Woods looking for a boundary stone on the strength of a cryptic message. Searching on Google maps showed what I thought was a stone on the edge of the woods. It turned out not to be but the same search turned up another possible stone, this one ancient rather than modern. Today CJ and I decided to check it out. Continue reading Another day another stone

Autumn leaves along the river


26 October 2016

In the end CJ chose the river for our walk home from Hatch Grange, even though it was the longest route. With the sun in the sky and the rich vein of Autumn colour we seemed to have hit once we passed Allington Lane, I wasn’t complaining though. Continue reading Autumn leaves along the river

Sunset disappointments and surprises


5 May 2016

On the way home from the RR10 we drove across Cobden Bridge. The sun was almost set and I looked over at Riverside Park a little longingly. The Snow Geese had captured the colours of the evening sky and were glowing in beautiful striations of gold, pink and red. If I could have jumped out of the car there and then and taken a photo I would have. Some how I didn’t think the Spitfires giving me a lift would have appreciated it and it certainly wouldn’t have done my reputation any good. Continue reading Sunset disappointments and surprises

Duckling surprise


18 April 2016

CJ and I went for a little stroll along the river this morning. For my part it was mostly about trying to fit some miles in, in a month where I am fast falling behind on my pledge. For CJ it was more about the cygnets. There had been reports that the black swans had another clutch, two this time, and he was eager to spot them while they were still fluffy and grey. Knowing how illusive they are I did my best to lower his expectations but he wasn’t really listening. Continue reading Duckling surprise

Daffodils, graves and geese


17 March 2016

The sun was shining and it felt as if Spring was in the air so I thought a walk along the river was in order. The bank leading to the park was a mass of bright daffodils dancing in the gentle breeze. It felt like a great welcome to the river side. The tide was very low. White swans stood on the exposed mud and black swans swam in the shallow water. There’d be no point struggling down the steep jetty slope. There was no water underneath it. Continue reading Daffodils, graves and geese

The call of the river


16 February 2016

There were still things to be done in the kitchen today but the sun was shining and the river was calling. After a week of painting and cleaning I didn’t feel up to steep hills so decided on a gentle climb through Hum Hole. From there it would be more or less down hill all the way. CJ sensing a coffee stop at the Swan Garden centre, decided to come along. Continue reading The call of the river

Never trust the weatherman


6 January 2016

Last night the weatherman on the evening news told me the country would be shrouded in mist and fog for most of the day. My weather app appeared to agree. All Autumn I was waiting for a chance to take photos of mist swirling over the river but all we had was rain. This looked like it would be my chance so I went to bed thinking about an early morning riverside walk, swans emerging from eddies of mist, maybe even black swans. Continue reading Never trust the weatherman