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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.



June 14th, 2014

I spent last week in the south of France with some friends ostensibly to go climbing but also spent a lot of time hanging around by the infinity pool in our villa.


That’s the view from my window. Not bad eh? We were staying in a little town near Toulon called Bandol. Here’s the local beach:


Here’s an island I tried unsuccessfully to run to several times. Google maps suggests there’s a causeway at low tide. There isn’t: you have to pay 11 EUR for the boat.


On the way back to the airport we stopped off in Cassis which is another pleasant seaside town:


Too Much

May 30th, 2014

First there was that weird CGI Thomas with American voices. And now this! 😥

Pretty sure Pat never had a helicopter.

Salisbury to Winchester

May 26th, 2014

For this week’s adventure I decided to revisit Winchester where I lived during my work placement year at university. To make things more “fun” I walked there from Salisbury which is around 25 miles away.

Salisbury looked nice enough, especially the cathedral which I wandered around a bit, but I didn’t stay long as I was anxious to get going and I was starting fairly late. Between Winchester and Salisbury I followed the Clarendon Way which is a pleasant if slightly forgettable path. It’s named after a ruined palace a few miles out of Salisbury.

The best bit is the horse monument near the end which I’d visited before with Pete about eight years ago and then completely forgotten about. It commemorates a horse which fell down a pit and lived to win a race:


Once I got to Winchester I checked out the good ole Stanmore Estate, which seemed somewhat nicer than I remembered it. After that I checked out the standard tourist attractions including the cathedral, which nicely bookended the trip, before catching the train home.