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September 4th, 2014

I love almost everything about this programme:


John Betjeman was a legend, although he was very wrong about Slough.

Swindon Mini Adventure

August 25th, 2014

I’ve wanted to re-walk the western half of the Ridgeway national trail for ages but the weather has either been too hot or too wet. This Saturday the weather looked good but the trains were plagued by engineering works. So I decided I’d make it into more of an adventure by having a mini holiday in Swindon! Sadly there wasn’t much tourism to be had on a Friday night in Swindon, but at least the last minute hotel was cheap and I got an early start the next morning on my thirty mile epic:

I got the bus to Wanborough where I’d finished up on a previous adventure and then walked to Goring pretty much exactly following the trail. It was a totally epic day out, apart from the bit where it rained, and that didn’t last long.

Near the end I passed the first few people running the 2014 Ridgeway Challenge which does the whole 86 miles in one go in the other direction. Nutters. Also, slightly, wow.


August 12th, 2014

Can you spot it?! Near Turville in the Chilterns last weekend.


The grass is so dry! Or, it was until it started raining.


More on Stuffed Dogs

July 30th, 2014

The BBC today has an excellent article on stuffed dogs at railway station, including the beloved Station Jim of Slough:


Favourite quote from the article:

“Under the more corporate British Rail, they didn’t want things like dead dogs in stations,” says Tyson.

Odiham Castle

July 27th, 2014

I happened to be on a work related expedition to Hook near Basingstoke last Tuesday and since it was such a nice day I decided to go exploring once I was done. So I drove a little bit south to visit Odiham Castle!


As ruined castles go, this one is pretty good, with informative information boards aplenty. Apparently it was the place when the king set off to sign the Magna Carta and later was besieged by the French!

The nearby canal is quite pleasant although blocked by an impassable tunnel.


July 19th, 2014

A few weekends ago I set off on another expedition to explore westwards through Gloucestershire. This time I walked from Kingham in Oxfordshire to Cheltenham.

Around lunchtime I got to Bourton-on-the-Water which proudly claims to be the “Venice of the Cotswolds”. This seems a little extravagant: there’s one small stream running through the middle of the village. The little bridges over it are quite cute but whole place is just a little bit too twee.


I had some vague plan of visiting the Cheltenham “Banksy” (the one with the spies around the phone booth) but it turns out I was a week too late, it having been covered up prior to removal to London:


The white van was clearly guarding it. The occupants eyed me suspiciously.

Can’t Spell Funicular Without “Fun”

June 27th, 2014

I’m so overcome with excitement I can’t even hold the camera straight!


While visiting my parents last weekend to help clean out my room.

Henley to Oxford (Second Attempt)

June 27th, 2014

I tried unsuccessfully to walk all the way from Henley to Oxford last October. So now with peak daylight I had another go the weekend before last – and I made it this time!

The section after the point were I gave up last time was a bit naff. There’s probably a better route keeping to the east, in the unlikely event anyone reading this is considering following the above.

It was sadly overcast the for the whole day which meant I didn’t take many good photos. Here’s a very overgrown path through a field:


Sticking with Firefox 24

June 20th, 2014

Oh dear. I unwittingly updated to Firefox/Iceweasel 29 in Debian testing. What a mistake! My Firefox setup has remained basically the same since the 3.5 days with a nice unobtrusive layout where I have the menu, navigation buttons, and the address bar in one strip and the tabs below. Despite hours of hair pulling there’s no way to get anything remotely satisfactory with the new UI, even with the “Classic Theme Restorer” addon.

Panic not! It’s possible to just stick with the stable 24.4 version from Debian wheezy! For future reference, this needs to go into /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb [arch=amd64] http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main

Then do this:

sudo apt-get install -t wheezy iceweasel
sudo apt-mark hold iceweasel

UPDATE: I later upgraded to 31 ESR and worked around most of the problems.


June 14th, 2014

One neat benefit of having a car and it being nearly midsummer is that if you finish work sufficiently early there’s enough daylight for hours of evening adventuring!


Some photos from where I went last Tuesday, near Watlington about half an hour up the M40 from my office.