Thursday, 22 May 2014


I've decided that this will be my last post here.  I am on so many sites now that I can't really keep track of everything.  So farewell Blogger!  But not farewell to all my Blogger friends I hope - I am on New Muze and will attempt to continue my posts there.

Here's the site :

Saturday, 26 April 2014


This week, before I go away, I have been playing the much underestimated Jona Lewie.  Not much on YouTube either, apart of course from the unexpected Christmas song, Stop the Cavalry (which isn't included here!).  But here are three for you to share:

With a mad Zydeco band in ‘Laughing Tonight’

And then the Beatlesque ‘I Think I’ll Get My Haircut’

And finally of course, the Ikea theme song, ‘You Will Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties’

See you in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, 3 April 2014


I've been a bit quiet this week.  I'm off to Dubrovnik at the crack of dawn tomorrow to take a group walking in the hills above the city and I had to research quite a lot about the place before I go.

So how have I been relaxing?  This week I've been listening to Arrested Development.  Here's some for you:

This is almost a psalm or maybe a hymn.

And this is so relaxing . . . even if you don't listen to the words.

And of course - still one of favourite songs of all time . . .


That's Dionne Farris with the female vocals.  Mmmm.

Friday, 28 March 2014


Oh, it's Friday.  This is not just for you, Ian (at least it's not intended just for you) - anyone can have a go . . .  I've decided to make this one a bit of a world music selection; shouldn't be harder than some of the more obscure British songs . . .

This was Ian's last song.

So, what's the link between that and this:

Then find the link between that song and this one:

Now how does that song link with this one:

and, finally, how on earth does that link with this?


Send me a PM in Facebook if you think you have any of the links.  Enjoy!

Monday, 24 March 2014


Took the grandkids to Battersea Park yesterday.  There is an adventure playground and a children's zoo and 83 hectares of parkland to run around in.

It sits on the banks of the Thames.  Here's the Battersea pagoda with Albert Bridge in the background.

Nearby are also two of my favourite structures - the iconic (for fans of Pink Floyd) Battersea Power Station

and the Battersea gasometer.  I used to pass this on the train every day and thought it would be cool to live at the top of it one day.  I don't think it actually has accommodation in it, despite what appear to be windows.

Anyway, whilst in the park I did a spot of hanami (cherry blossom viewing).


And, as usual, took too many photographs of cherry trees.  So, as an antidote, here's a pic of my favourite tree, a London plane tree.

And here's a Battersea Park bench.  Because I liked it.

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Wayfarers Walk 6

After a good night at the Swan and a full English early the next morning, the landlord kindly drove us up to the the car park where the previous day's walk had putatively ended.  We were grateful to avoid the climb on foot.  You can see how remote the car park is.  Fine views though . . .

We then set off along the ridge of the hills.  It was clear that this was Newbury racecourse country.

As if further proof were needed.

The footpath then led over Watership Down. 

Not a very interesting scene, especially since the wind was now distinctly blustery and chilly and all the rabbits were presumably nestled in their warren.  After the downs, the path led up to some lovely old beeches.

After which it became distinctly bleak and the wind even more penetrating.

We paused only to lay our stones on the cairn.

When we did eventually come into the shelter of some trees, it was clear they had suffered in the winter storms.

After a pleasant walk through a short dale, we were supposed to follow the footpath and run across the notorious A34.

We elected to take a detour along a permissive path and through a farmer's underpass, although it looks as though the flood waters would have prevented this a week or so ago.

Safely on the other side, we now we came across this memorial stone.

Back over the hill, the path led through a pleasant hazel grove.

Where we passed the castellated entrance to Highclere Castle, the home used as Downton Abbey.

The views were quite extraordinary along the whole of the day's walk.  The countryside appeared to stretch for 30 odd miles in almost every direction without a sign of any townships.

Finding a spot out of the wind (and no pub!), we stopped for a short break to eat sandwiches.

We passed through the highest point of the Wayfarers Walk (about 260m) and now in Berkshire, just after this.  Strangely, in this remote spot, there had once been a house - now just a chimney stack.

Although maybe not so strange - here was a new house, in glorious isolation.

Where do they go, if they run out of Sugar Puffs?  Or, worse, Marmite?  From here, the beacon was becoming visible.  Some horses on the hillside.

A vehicle gate with horse access.  I don't think I had seen one of these before.

But before emerging from the woodland, we had one further obstacle to negotiate.

And then we were there.  But where?  There were no signs, no structures of any kind, apart from this seat.  (And no champagne either, if you look closely!)

 And no signs of life apart from the sheep.

But our taxi soon arrived to take us, chilled to the marrow, but triumphant, to the nearest rail station for the journey home and on to our next adventure.

(to be continued)

Friday, 21 March 2014


Wayfarers Walk 5

Here we are at the start of this leg - where we finished last time.  I put this in because it was such a lovely morning and such a contrast with last time, when it was miserable, cold, pouring with rain and flooded.  You can see the sandbags still there in the background.

And we didn't even get round to seeing the village last time.  It is a pretty little place, birthplace of Sarah Ferguson.  The Queen Inn is the pub where she and Andrew used to meet (and maybe canoodle).  Here's one of the thatched cottages.

A local craftsman building a new bus shelter.

After crossing the M3, 


we found we were three quarters of the way through our journey.

But, although it was sunny and warm, and although the way was lined with daffodils and primroses, and there was vernal blossom in the hedgerows,


 it could still look autumny in the fields.

And, although the storms seem a thing of the past and the floods are receding, we still found our way blocked at the next village, Deane.


Which was a pity because, from a distance, it looked pretty.

We eventually found a way past.

Some blossom on the outskirts of the village.


 Cottage with weasel and crocodile.

Some more blossom.

The path from here was not very distinct.

An Iron Age fort and tumulus.


From here we decided to deviate from the route and walk along the ridge.  It was just such a glorious day with views across tens of miles of open country.

 But the drop down the other end was rather precipitous.

But this path led to a nice walkway through trees along the side of the road

into Kingsclere, where we stayed the night at the old Swan Inn.


This is the dining/bridge room.