Richmond Park babes Tue, 17 May 2022 @ 3:56 pm

Solent Way (part 3) Beaulieu to Hythe Tue, 10 May 2022 @ 10:21 pm

The 3rd part of the long-distance Solent Way goes from Beaulieu to Hythe. At just over 6 miles it isn’t the nicest of walks, much of it being along the sides of busy main roads.

Trains to Lymington followed by the 112 bus (Tuesdays & Thursdays only) to Beaulieu took me to the start of the walk. At the end there was the ferry across Southampton Water and then it was on to Southampton station and the return journey home. A long and exhausting day even though the walk was relatively short.

The next section is a short 6 miles from Southampton to Hamble.

Beaulieu at the start of the walk

Beaulieu to Hythe

The 60 miles of the Solent Way

Solent Way (part 2) Lymington to Beaulieu Thu, 5 May 2022 @ 4:42 pm

The 2nd part of the long-distance Solent Way goes from Lymington to Beaulieu. At just over 10 miles it isn’t the nicest of walks, being along the sides of extremely large fields and mainly on quiet, country roads. ie There’s not much to see in the way of views.

It’s almost 3 years since I did the first part of the Solent Way. I hadn’t expected this delay in progressing through the 8 parts. The next section is a short 6 miles from Beaulieu to Hythe, followed by the ferry across Southampton Water for the 3rd leg, Southampton to Hamble.

The extremely pretty Buckler’s Hard looks as if it could justify a longer re-visit but on this occasion I was just passing through. On leaving I spotted this lovely boat being worked on in the boatyard and I got talking to its owner who, amazingly, lives only a few miles from me.

Lymington to Beaulieu

The 60 miles of the Solent Way

Box Hill to Guildford (15.4 miles) Tue, 26 Apr 2022 @ 9:35 pm

A warm, sunny day made for a gruelling 15.4 mile hike along the North Downs Way, from Westhumble (near Dorking) to Guildford. I was expecting it to be about 12 miles and I intended it to be a bit of a training session in preparation for a 16 mile walk along part of the long-distance, Solent Way. Not only did I underestimate the length but I also improvised an extra bit at the end in order to pick up the River Wey, just to the south of Guildford. But I now know 16 miles is within my capabilities. Not only that, I’m expecting the Solent Way to be fairly flat, whereas today’s walk was up and down and totalled over 2,000 feet elevation – (walking up Snowden is just over 3,000 feet elevation!)

Weybridge on the Thames Mon, 25 Apr 2022 @ 6:05 pm

A walk followed by a sandwich lunch at the Old Crown pub. A traditional pub and some good food.

From a walk on the Downs Sun, 24 Apr 2022 @ 4:09 pm

Wakehurst, Sussex Wed, 13 Apr 2022 @ 7:01 pm

Large, attractive gardens with some wonderful, tall trees.

It’s my birthday Mon, 11 Apr 2022 @ 1:00 am

Happy birthday
to me!

I had a lovely birthday in Bushy Park with our daughter and the two little ones, followed by chocolate cake back at their home.

And then to open some lovely presents (see below) including some Nordic walking poles.

Iris and Chloe hiding coins in Bushy Park fallen trees,
hopefully bringing joy to other kids when they find them!

Sutton 1 Leyton Orient 0 Sat, 9 Apr 2022 @ 5:48 pm

A goal up after 20 minutes, Sutton went on to produce a dire performance at the end of the first half and for the whole of the second half. With just 30% possession overall, and not a single attack on goal in the second half, I don’t know what went went wrong but it was not pretty.

Sutton 1 Leyton Orient 0

50 years ago! Fri, 8 Apr 2022 @ 11:30 am

50 years ago!

We made it!

This is me on our wedding day, in a pink suit. Probably the last outfit I wore with any colour in!

By Chloe

By Iris & Chloe

By Iris

2 moments of euphoria, 4 of disappointment Mon, 4 Apr 2022 @ 11:12 am

Yesterday I had a day out with my son and son-in-law to the final of the EFL Trophy at Wembley Stadium. My local team, Sutton United, were in action.

It was my first visit to the new stadium and what a magnificent place it is. I had been to the old stadium three times, I think, having watched a schoolboy’s international and a couple of dull (as I recall) full internationals. Other than these games and a match at Fulham (!) it was quite an experience being at an event involving a large crowd (30,000). The full capacity is 90,000!

In these Covid times I was grateful for having chosen good (ie more expensive) seats, so we were sat in a quite sparsely populated area of the stadium. Nevertheless it was impossible not to be in close contact with crowds of people within the general area of the stadium as well as on public transport. Fingers crossed that we remain virus free!

It was a good game and Sutton were unfortunate to have had victory snatched away in the 96th minute of the match. A pizza and a pint at a pub near Waterloo Station rounded off a wonderful day. Apart from the result.

BBC match review

Painshill Park, Cobham Fri, 25 Mar 2022 @ 7:24 pm

Painshill Park, near Cobham in Surrey, is a delightful park. On a lovely, sunny day the beautiful grounds, lake, waterwheel and crystal grotto meant there was much to photograph!

Guildford to West Byfleet Tue, 22 Mar 2022 @ 1:29 pm

Yesterday was a wonderfully sunny and warm March day (shirtsleeves weather!). I struggled to complete the almost 12 miles along the River Wey-Navigation from Guildford to West Byfleet. I’d done this walk before, but this time it was harder on my feet. It didn’t help that I was standing for almost 5 hours – I rarely stop to rest. A highlight of the walk might have been to capture an image of a heron as it flew to and from its nest, not far from where I was standing. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough with my camera, and waiting a few minutes for the heron to return proved fruitless.

At the start of the walk was this curiosity above a car park barrier.

Dorking to Brockham and back Sun, 20 Mar 2022 @ 5:15 pm

Dorking to Betchworth Tue, 8 Mar 2022 @ 8:45 pm

On a glorious day I improvised a new walk, starting from Dorking station and heading through the villages of Pixham, Betchworth and Brockham.

Unusually for me I had a mega-sized pub lunch, at the Red Lion in Betchworth. What with a pint as well, I was feeling distinctly heavy for the last 5 miles. The steak & ale pie meal was very good and the pub is recommended.

In the pictures below, note the very odd scarecrow guarding the fishing lake!

Carshalton Wed, 2 Mar 2022 @ 3:09 pm

Carshalton on a drizzly morning, Two ducks and two herons.

Obstacles on a North Downs hike Mon, 28 Feb 2022 @ 10:12 pm

On an 8-mile walk from Box Hill along the North Downs to Gomshall, there was plenty of evidence of the damage caused by the recent series of storms, and several times I had to negotiate obstacles on the blocked track.

World War 2 pillboxes litter sections of the North Downs Way.

Harvesting of trees in the woods.

In the distance……

And at the end of the walk, at Gomshall, a delightful farm setting.

Whilst waiting for a bus there was just time for a brief visit to the pub

Chess v bot Aron (game 1) Sun, 27 Feb 2022 @ 9:14 pm

First game with chess bot ‘Aron’. A convincing win for me having wiped out most of my opponent’s pieces as well as getting a second queen. Put like that it sounds like it was a rather weak opponent. I’ll see how the next game goes. I may have to move up a level.

Sutton 4 Scunthorpe 1 Sat, 26 Feb 2022 @ 8:30 pm

Match company in the form of my daughter’s husband made for a pleasurable afternoon at today’s home game. A sparkling first half saw Sutton go into half time with a 3-0 lead. A fourth goal finished the game and as it fizzled out there was a consolation goal for the visitors.

Sutton 4 Scunthorpe 1

Chess v bot Elani (games 2 & 3) Fri, 18 Feb 2022 @ 5:17 pm

My 2nd and 3rd games against chess bot Elani went much like the first game. Elani made some weird moves, reflecting its beginner ranking. I guess it’s easier for a chess programmer to code silly moves into a game than it is to play weak moves.

In this game Elani (white) had lost most of its pieces. The checkmate position uses a queen and knight.

In this 3rd game, Elani (white again) was checkmated using two rooks and a bishop.

It’s time to move up a rung, so next game I’ll try playing chess bot Aron. It’s got a beginner rating of 700, compared to Elani’s beginner rating of 400.

I’ll see how it goes.

Chess v bot Elani (game 1) Tue, 15 Feb 2022 @ 7:01 pm

I’ve gone back to playing a chess bot rated as ‘beginner’. Bot “Elani” certainly played some rather questionable moves, but overall it was a fun game and I came out with a relatively easy win.

It’s nice to play against an opponent where I have a chance of winning. I’ll give “Elani” at least one more game, but if ‘she’ doesn’t give a good game I may have to return to playing an intermediate level bot.

And the winning position is…..