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Archives for November, 2016

Autumn Leaves

November 27th, 2016

Last Sunday was a beautifully sunny day so I decided to do my favourite local walking trail, the Beeches Way. In reverse this time.

I did this in December last year and it was a decidedly grey and damp. But not today, the autumn colours were out in force!

Yellow tree in Black Park

Yellow tree in Black Park

The walk itself was fairly uneventful, I know the route now so didn’t need to faff with a map. Arguably it works better east to west, finding somewhere to buy lunch is a bit more logistically challenging.

Oak tree at Fulmer

Oak tree at Fulmer

As I was hurrying to catch a rail replacement bus in Cookham I caught a glimpse of the Super Moon. I thought to myself “tomorrow I’ll definitely go out and take a picture of that”. But the next two days were completely overcast and I’ll have to wait 19 years for it to return.

Andover to Petersfield

November 20th, 2016

While I was off work for a while in October I went for a multi-day adventure to the South Downs, and stayed over in Winchester. I lived in Winchester for a year about 10 years ago, while I was working for IBM. It’s a great place to live, but I didn’t do too much exploring of the surroundings while I was there. So this time I walked from Andover, via IBM’s campus at Hursley, to Winchester. And the next day from Winchester to Andover.

The photo below from the top of St Catherine’s hill to the south of Winchester. You can just about see my old house in the distance.

Just outside Winchester

Just outside Winchester

I followed the South Downs way for good deal of the second day. It was quite busy with other walkers, which is quite unusual for my adventures. The scenery was pleasant and the weather really cleared up in the afternoon.

South Downs Way

South Downs Way

Because I spent a long time faffing about in Winchester before I set off, when the sun started to set I was still miles away from Andover. Still, I managed to watch this nice sunset from the top of a hill whose name I forgot.

Sunset on South Downs

Sunset on South Downs

I did the last three or four miles in complete darkness, which was quite exciting and I only got slightly lost. Although by the time I arrived in Andover around 8:30 I’d rather had enough of it.

Battle of Hastings

November 10th, 2016

This October was the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. Every year some enthusiastic amateurs dress up to reenact the battle on the original battlefield. I haven’t been since I was about 12 but went again this year with my mum as it was the “biggest ever” battle. Presumably they meant since 1066.

Some Normans

Some Normans

I don’t think we picked the best place to watch from, as we mostly just saw the backs of the Normans, but it was still fun, and everyone knows what happens anyway.

Witney to Moreton-in-Marsh

November 5th, 2016

It’s been a while since I visited the Cotswolds. Partly because I thought it was rather inaccessible from where I live now. But recently I discovered there’s an “express bus” called the Oxford Tube that goes from Hillingdon to Oxford in about an hour. So I gave that a try and it was a surprisingly pleasant experience. And from Oxford I got another bus to David Cameron’s constituency of Witney.

Witney is pretty much exactly how you would expect DC’s dominion to look. Very elegant market town with some very middle class people. Has a good sandwich shop too.

Crawley where I had lunch

Crawley where I had lunch

By the time I left Witney it was nearly 11am so I didn’t actually have much time to explore. I took a fairly boring route north-west and ended up following the Oxford-Worcester railway line to Moreton-in-Marsh. A bit of it was familiar from my epic adventure to Banbury a few years ago.

Some typical scenery

Some typical scenery

As usual for this time of year I ended up having to do the last few miles in the dark. With a torch it was quite fun though and sneaking past some nighttime harvesters made it a bit interesting.