January 12th, 2018
Way back in 2010 I walked along the easternmost section of the Thames Path, to a rather dreary town called Erith. Actually the official end of the Thames Path extension is a little bit further at Crayford Ness so I’ve had this niggling sense of unfinishedness ever since. Well, time to put that right!
I was a bit disappointed when I got to the Thames Barrier that the exhibition centre was closed for refurbishment. Not sure when it’s going to open again but based on the scale of construction it should be pretty epic.
The wind was bitterly cold and I was walking into it the whole time, but the late afternoon was beautifully clear and I managed to take some nice photos of the Dartford crossing and the Thames estuary.
I wanted to finish up in Dartford itself as I’ve never been there, but it had already gotten dark and it seemed a bit far so I caught the train back from another drab commuter suburb called Slade Green.
December 31st, 2017
I was in Eastbourne a few days ago visiting my grandmother. The only clear day of the Christmas period so I managed to take a few photos of the pier.
The gold colour scheme is new and very controversial, the idea of a certain middle eastern investor who bought the pier recently.
December 31st, 2017
Here’s another walk I did recently, from High Wycombe to Henley-on-Thames. Nothing particularly exciting or out of the ordinary, but a nice route to do.
West Wycombe hill
Turville, which was the filming location for the Vicar of Dibley
November 30th, 2017
I’ve been meaning to revisit Aylesbury since I discovered it back in 2015. I thought I could do a little ring around it along the signposted Aylesbury Ring. But that turned out to be wildly optimistic and I barely made it a quarter of the way round.
It was bitterly cold but the scenery was lovely and surprisingly varied. I like this old house with a moat.
November 7th, 2017
Everybody is so jealous of my birthday cakes. This year my mum really outdid herself with this perfect likeness of Kumamoto prefecture’s cheeky mascot Kumamon!
Kumamon expresses satisfaction with his cake
November 7th, 2017
My parents took me to the Romney, Hythe, and Dymchurch railway last weekend for my birthday. I feel like I must be six years old again. Luckily this place never changes.
October 29th, 2017
Took a few days off work last week to go exploring near Avebury again. On the second day I walked to Devizes which I thought would be interesting but turned out to be rather dull. The main attraction seems to be the huge flight of locks on the canal, but that was a way out the western side of town and I didn’t have time to visit.
But I did have time to visit Silbury hill, which I’ve only ever seen from a distance before. It’s another neolithic monument thing near Avebury.
And also the West Kennet Long Barrow. Which you can go inside with the help of some skylights added by the Victorians.
Unfortunately at the same time a hurricane was passing over which meant it was incredibly windy. Oh, and the SUN TURNED RED!
October 7th, 2017
Spotted a sneaky rainbow hiding in the clouds at sunset this evening.
September 30th, 2017
One of the things I find a bit frustrating about learning Chinese is that there are a lot of words that seem to have very similar meanings. If you look up 收到, 受到, and 得到 in the dictionary they all apparently mean “get, receive, obtain”, which is not very helpful. Also 收到 and 受到 sound very similar which is extra confusing. Actually there are some subtle differences so I thought I’d share my researches here.
This one means to receive something concrete or a physical object. E.g. 收到一个礼物 “receive a present”, 收到一封信 “get a letter”. One person I asked also said there’s some sense that the thing being received either originally belonged to you or should rightfully belong to you. By itself 收 also has the simple meaning of “to get a thing”.
This means to receive something more abstract or emotional like love or concern or punishment. It also has some sense of being “passively” received. E.g. 受到指责 “receive criticism”, 受到关心 “receive the concern of others”. I try to remember this by thinking the character 受 looks a lot like 爱 “love” and so should have something to do with emotions (probably not etymologically accurate). By itself 受 also means to passively receive something, e.g. in 受欢迎 “be well-received or popular”.
This one is also more abstract than 收到. It means to receive something that was deserved or earned in some way. E.g. 因为他赢了，他得到了金牌 “because he won, he received the gold medal”, 因为他工作得很努力，他得到了表彰 “because he worked hard he received a commendation”. It can also be used a negative sense, like receiving punishment or criticism that was deserved.
September 17th, 2017
It’s been a whole year since I last went to Oslo and another work trip was probably a bit overdue. I flew out on Sunday morning so I had a whole afternoon to do some sightseeing. Unfortunately I’ve pretty much exhausted the sightseeing opportunities in Oslo so I had to go back to one I enjoyed from my first visit in October 2009: the Norwegian folk museum.
It’s a large open air museum with traditional houses taken from all over Norway. Most of them have grass roofs like this. I thought it might be somewhere to keep the animals in winter but someone pointed out that was pretty stupid.
I also found this traditional wooden church that we missed last time.
Unfortunately the weather on my three working days was totally miserable: cold and raining all the time. And it was just like that when I got back to England too.