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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.


May 26th, 2014

You know when you’re aware of the existence of some famous place but have no idea where it is until you randomly stumble across it? Well that’s basically what happened to me with Chequers last weekend. Unfortunately the overt security presence stopped me getting any closer…



May 24th, 2014

I spent last week in Wales on a family holiday. Surprisingly this was my first ever visit to that land. It was very wet. This photo, I think, sums up my experience of Wales:


Never mind, at least we could spend time indoors doing puzzles. Oh, and down a slate mine! Unfortunately the damp had somehow penetrated through hundreds of feet of rock.


Fans of my previous mining activities will be pleased to learn that I furtively bagged a lump of slate from the mine.

Did have a couple of sunny days though: on one we visited the rather excellent Caernarfon Castle and on the other we ambled up Snowdon:


Full set of holiday snaps below.

Rollright Stones

May 5th, 2014

I found out recently about another nearby stone circle called the Rollright Stones on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border. So with the weekend weather being particularly lovely I hastily planned an epic adventure to go visit them.

Just shy of 29 miles according to Google Maps which must be a personal record. Also passed through two counties, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, previously undocumented on doof.me.uk. I had a really awesome day out, apart from a brief moment of despair around 4pm when I realised quite how far away Banbury was.

The stone circle itself was rather quaint, complete with a hippy in the centre. There are also a couple of nearby bonus stones, including the “Whispering Knights” which are either real knights turned to stone, or the remains of a burial chamber, depending who you believe.


According to legend anyone who counts the stones three times and gets the same answer will have any wish granted. I counted once and made 72 but didn’t want to tempt fate.

Lots of photos below of the places I passed through. I especially like the cute stone villages in this part of the Cotswolds.

Helicopter Warning

May 4th, 2014

I don’t remember this sign from the highway code. Suspicious as it’s in a forest.