Christmas at Hindhead but Aliceâs father spent it in hospital.
November 28th, 2010
A final visit for 2010 to Kempton Nature Reserve.
November 13th, 2010
Every year at this time on the Thames near Richmond the Isleworth lock is fully opened (I think!!), causing the water level upstream to fall. Weâd long intended visiting to see what we could see. At the islands between Richmond and Twickenham, it was almost possible to walk across.
November 6th, 2010
October 24th, 2010
Weâre just back from near Denbych-y-pysgod, otherwise known as Tenby in South Wales. We stayed in a Georgian (1814) farmhouse, about 2 miles east of Pembroke. The weather was great for Wales in October, in fact it was great for the UK at anytime. The full story is here, along with lots of pictures and a film.
October 13th, 2010
Thanks to a colleague at work I achieved a lifetime ambition by ascending the BT Tower in Londonâs West End. I have loved this iconic tower since childhood. I was able to see the control centre, followed by a visit to the famous revolving restaurant, and also one level higher, to the open-air viewing platform. It was wonderful to be able to look down on all of central London, to streets and parks that I have walked for many years.
October 9th, 2010
We continued our round-London marathon walk, doing the stretch from Elstree to Barnet, around the very north of the city. Weâve done about a third of the 150 miles so far this year.
September 26th, 2010
It was a wonderful day for our coach trip to Keyhaven with Surbiton Bird-watchers.
September 19th, 2010
More Open House Day in London and we visited the Royal Ballet School in Riuchmond Park, followed by the Council Chambers at York House in Twickenham.
September 18th, 2010
It was Open House Day in London and we visited the Grand Lodge of the Freemasons. Sadly no photography
September 12th, 2010
Our friend Tim Rowett took us cruising on the Thames from Thames Ditton to Shepperton.
September 11th, 2010
It was Open House Day in Kingston, and we visited the 11th floor of Kingston College, to see the extensive views over SW London.
Another visit to The London Wetlands Centre at Barnes, for a Membersâ Walk, guided by Richard, the Biodiversity Officer. We saw water voles for the first time ever. They were too quick for the camera.
August 2nd, 2010
Some interesting architectural impossibilities.
31st July 2010
Walking on Hounslow Heath.
26th July 2010
It was my birthday. We spent the day at Kew Gardens. We were very impressed with the butterflies in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. One specimen, nearly six inches across, decided to pose for me, by alighting on my thigh.
We were also very impressed with the new Tree-top Walkway. I missed one of the highlights of my birthday. Alice carefully lit the candles on my cake, then, while equally carefully blowing out the match, she managed to blow out all the just-lit candles. I was looking the other way and missed it.
Here is a picture of my birthday present from Alice. Itâs a Heavy-headed Burr, designed by my friend and IPP30 Mt Fuji Tour organiser, Junichi Yananose. It is one of only three made by Iwahiro (Hirokazu Iwasawa) of the Karakuri Design Group for the 2008 Design Competition. It is made from oak, rosewood and zelkova.
19th July 2010
We have just returned from Japan, including this yearâs International Puzzle Party, IPP30. The IPP was split between Osaka and Hakone. We also had 4 days in Nara, and finally spent two days climbing Mt Fuji, at 12,388 feet, Japanâs highest mountain. As I write, we are both limping around, trying to recover from over-worked muscles. More detail.
âMissouri Lairdâ might not have the same ring to it as âIndiana Jonesâ, but Aliceâs mother has been nearly as intrepid, visiting the wilds of China, including the Forbidden City, where we specifically told her not to go. Here are the details.
16th June 2010
We saw âNoises Offâ at Hampton Hill Playhouse. It was excellent, clever, hilarious entertainment.
12th June 2010
Before I say where we went today, see if you can identify it from these pictures. It is very close to home, but one of Teddingtonâs little secrets.
We visted the grounds of Bushy Park House, former headquarters of the National Physical Laboratory.
5th June 2010
After a break of several weeks, we resumed our 150-mile walk around London, the London Loop. We walked ten miles from Hatch End to Elstree. It was very pretty, across Harrow Weald Common, Bentley Priory Open Space, and around Aldenham country park. Weâve now done 40 miles, so we have done over a quarter of the walk since New Yearâs Day.
View elstree in a larger map
I should add that after getting the train from Elstree, back into London Kingâs Cross St Pancras, the walk to the Victoria Line must have added another half mile! Here are pictures from the walk.
The map here shows the whole route in orange, as well as our previous conquest, the shorter Capital Ring in yellow.
31st May 2010
For once, it didnât rain during the very well-attended fair on Twickenham Green
29th May 2010
Alice saw âWarhorseâ, she loved it.
27th May 2010
We saw Richard III at Hampton Hill Playhouse. We were very impressed.
22nd May 2010
For several years we have intended walking along the Thames Path from Windsor to Staines. Today we did it. 8 very pretty miles, mostly away from the hubbub of life.
View Windsor to Staines Thames Path Walk in a larger map
9th May 2010
We thought that this yearâs Chestnut Sunday parade and events in Bushy Park were the best ever. It was so cold, though!
3rd May 2010
On one of the music pages Iâve added a map showing places in the United States that are mentioned in songs I like.
Alice and I had a wonderful holiday about five miles south-west of Stratford upon-Avon,
We stayed in wonderful bed and breakfast accommodation on Church Farm, Dorsington, hosted by Marion and Steve. Church Farm is a proper working farm and we were able to wander freely around the barns and fields. The second batch of lambing was in progress, and it was wonderful to see so many fluffy little bundles running about.
All the guests during the week we were there were anxiously awaiting the birth of a foal, which finally came forth shortly before the end of our holiday. There were also pigs, geese, chickens and a very haughty and vicious cockerel. On one of Alice's solo trips to visit the foal, the cockerel was very keen to show her who was boss, and chased her out of the barn. What a sight that must have been, sadly I missed it.
We did quite a lot of walking in the area, and visited all five of the Shakespeare properties in Stratford itself. My personal favourites were Anne Hathaway's Cottage, which seemed to being a larger estate than when I visited it as a child, but best of all was Mary Arden's farm.
I've added links to the inevitable mass of photographs which I took, both on the farm and on our various daily destinations.
21st March 2010
On this National Trust properties open day, we visited the Chelsea home of writer Thomas Carlyle, followed by a walk around Chelsea Hospital.
As part of her birthday celebration for this year, Alice decided that we would both take the day off from work, and do a long section of the London Loop. Today we travelled on from West Drayton, along the River Colne and the Grand Union Canal, as far as Moor Park in north-west London.
Our third section of the London Loop! Today we walked from Hatton Cross to West Drayton.
In 2009 Alice and I completed our walk around London, the Capital Ring. It is a 75 mile long-distance footpath, encircling London between 4 and 10 miles from Charing Cross. At Christmas I was delighted to receive the guide book to the London Loop, an even more challenging path, this time a 150 miles long. While we spent three or four years doing bits of the Capital Ring, we thought we would try and walk the entire London Loop during 2010. In keeping with this somewhat adventurous, somewhat foolish plan we decided to start on 1st January.
We started from Kingston Bridge, walking through Bushy Park, an area we know very well, with it being only five minutes' walk from our house. The following day we did the next section from Bushy Park to near Hatton Cross tube station.
Another long-term project for 2010 is a photographic one. From our bedroom window we can see a very finely-shaped tree. As I write, it is totally devoid of foliage. My plan is to take a photograph of the tree from our bedroom window, each weekend during 2010. At the end of the year I'm going to combine these 50 or so photographs into a a slow-motion time-lapse film showing the tree developing its leaves in spring, becoming fully decorated during the summer, turning to gold and brown in autumn and then shedding its leaves in winter.
What we were up to in 2009