The Rosie novels

I was a bit sad last night to finish The Rosie Result, the final book in the Don Tillman trilogy. I slowed down as much as I could. Bill Gates recommended the first in the series – not personally but on his website. He normally recommends non-fiction. So I thought I’d give it a go. … Continue reading The Rosie novels

London Loop – section 16

After the dire warnings on Monday from the UK Government’s Chief Medical Adviser and Chief Scientific Adviser, I was expecting the Government to announce a second national lockdown on Tuesday evening. With that in mind, and because it was the last day of summer, a friend and I decided to embark on the 242 km London … Continue reading / view photos London Loop – section 16

Lockdown in Birmingham

For an unrelated reason, on 23 March, I went to Birmingham. I’d planned to stay a week. Later that day, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that the UK would be going into lockdown! I could have got the train back. I think it was permissible to return home but I wasn’t sure. However, … Continue reading / view photos Lockdown in Birmingham

Walking in Birmingham

In the 1980s, someone I worked with, Ken, often spoke about Birmingham in the office. Most of us had never been there but had heard the cliches about its dreariness and joked about it with him. Ken stayed in London during weekdays but went back to Birmingham over the weekend. Eventually, he invited a few … Continue reading / view photos Walking in Birmingham

Running in Birmingham

On my early morning run yesterday, the light was so good that you could see the moon. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos. These were taken using an old iPhone 6s and are exactly as taken on the reservoir, canal, and in Summerfield Park. View photos Running in Birmingham

Flower show in Snowshill

Every time I go to the Cotswolds, I marvel at the honey-coloured houses and the immaculate front gardens everyone seems to have. I sometimes wonder if the area is inhabited by retired gardeners; perhaps to incentivise them, people are rewarded with a prize each year for best garden; or, maybe, cultivating a beautiful garden is … Continue reading / view photos Flower show in Snowshill

Hay Bluff and Hay-on-Wye

Friday was probably the hottest day in the UK this year. We felt the heat walking up Hay Bluff. The photo of it doesn’t do justice to the steep (but short) ascent. It was an enjoyable short circular walk before driving to Hay-on-Wye, the UK’s bookshop town. Living up to Wales’ reputation, Hay delivered spits … Continue reading / view photos Hay Bluff and Hay-on-Wye

Clee Hill, Shropshire

This was a fairly short walk on Sunday from The Welsh Marches, a pocket walking guide book. It was a walk of two halves. The first half required walking past industrial coal, ironstone and dhustone (black stone) quarries. The view improved on the pathless moorland route to a radio station. At other times of the … Continue reading / view photos Clee Hill, Shropshire

Cannock Chase and Stafford

Cannock Chase in Staffordshire is an area of outstanding beauty. The dense woods are a wonderful place to walk and relax. We did a short walk there in the limited time we had on Saturday before going to Stafford. I noticed how much more friendly people were in Cannock Chase than on the Gorring walk … Continue reading / view photos Cannock Chase and Stafford

Pigs in Notting Hill

This Sunday, in trying to avoid coronavirus-drenched crowds but still wanting to make the most of the British summer, we turned to Stephen Millar’s book, London’s Hidden Walks. We went to Notting Hill. It was an illuminating day. The origins of the name Notting Hill are uncertain. An early version, Knottynghull, was recorded in 1356. … Continue reading / view photos Pigs in Notting Hill