Wednesday, October 29

Hampstead Rambling in the Snow

Angela and I are off work this week, as it is half-term here in London.
Half-terms come around every few months, but it was 1937 when it last snowed in London in October.

We put on our walking boots and walked a circular trip around Hampstead Heath via Kenwood, the Old Bull and Bush, West Heath, the Vale of Health and Parliament Hill, finishing with lunch in the Italian Cafe at Parli Hill.

It was amazing how few people we encountered.

The sun sent halos of light through the autumn sky

You could see that in snow, shadows are actually blue

And it seemed almost as if we had come upon the spirit of the Heath itself, energy writhing in tree form

All in all, a stunning day.

Sunday, October 26

Be Prepared!

The old Boy Scout motto is always worth heeding when it comes to planning for a day's hillwalking.

Torrential rain and viscious winds struck in the Lake District today, with rivers in the Buttermere area bursting their banks after the heavy rains of the last few days.

It is precisely this area that Angela and I were walking in only two months ago. It is an area of great beauty, but when the weather turns it becomes hazardous in the extreme. Hundreds of people were competing in the Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) when the weather broke. Conditions have been so bad organisers have been forced to cancel the event.

Luckily the OMM is an event for runners in pairs, and competitors have to camp out overnight, so all those caught on the hills should be suitably equipped.

We remember the steep descent down Scarth Gap to Gatesgarth Farm. Even in good conditions it requires care and concentration. I hate to imagine what coming down in a gale and torrential rain must be like.

During our stay we had an evening with a member of Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team. He gave us a slide show and explained the work his team of unpaid volunters did. I'm glad to say that our party gave generously when the collection tin went out. Those volunteers have been busy today, and will no doubt still be on the hills tomorrow mopping-up those who were benighted.

Wednesday, October 8

If You Want Something Done...

Ask a busy man...

Over the last few months Angela and I have attended a gardening course and a basic botany course. We have joined the Ramblers Association, and I am currently working with the local group the Hampstead Ramblers, to launch a blog attached to their website.

On top of this, I have started doing a GCSE Mathematics course, tutorials for which are clashing with the second gardening course we are currently doing.

Last Friday I had a job interview at my college, and on Monday I was told that I had got the job. So from the first of November I can effectively call myself a Librarian. I will be choosing and ordering books, liaising with teaching staff, cataloguing, managing a subject area collection and putting information up on the online Virtual Learning Environment.

Before I start learning how to do all of this, I have just over two weeks to tie up all the loose ends in my old job. So many things to try and pass on....

I would have written this on Monday evening but overnight a. the power transformer to the wireless router burnt out and b. the hard drive in my main PC died.

All this is a roundabout way of explaining why things have been quiet around here recently. Let's see if busy people really can do more....