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Gloucester's rubbish fireworks

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I've been the Gloucester Docks fireworks display many times since moving here.  When I lived in the actual docks it was obviously rather convenient (and I didn't have to pay to get in), but I've been back several times since because it's always been very good.

Sadly this year it was rubbish, and judging by social media reaction the other 9,999 people there agreed with me.

We arrived quite soon after the gates opened, having not been organised enough to book in advance (but that's ok, because apparently including fees it actually cost *more* to prebook....).  Jon wanted a beer, so we wandered over to the bar where we found a very long queue and no alcohol being served. Hmm.  Massive queues for food too.

fireworks

We found friends and made our way into the crowd ready to watch the display at 7:15.  As usual, there was an announcement that it would actually start at half past.  But that's fine, they always seem to be running late.  Half past came and went.  The man doing the PA advised us to "have a beer" while we waited.  Oh, if only we could...

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Cold Aston

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Last Sunday's bike ride was an early one, due to other commitments later in the day.  An overcast and slightly humid morning for another Cotswolds ride - our third from the guidebook.

We started by the pub in Cold Aston and rode down the wonderfully named Bangup Lane.  I'm not used to starting a ride by going downhill, so that was a bit weird!

fields and track

The bridleways are all 'named' ones, with diamonds on the OS map.  However the names on the map (Diamond Way, Macmillan Way) didn't seem to feature on signposts - and the Sabrina Way we saw signed isn't called that on the map!  Not really a huge problem though as the route is very obvious.

I rode almost half way before realising my forks were still locked, which should tell you a lot about the terrain!

The final section bridleway was this beautiful stretch through an avenue of trees.  I absolutely love autumn colour.

autumn colours on a tree lined path
so pretty

14.5km of bridleways/tracks and a few bits of tarmac, with 230ish metres of ascent.  This was such a lovely ride, we'll definitely do it again - maybe in an evening next summer.  There was nothing technical or difficult, and not much navigation required either.

outdoorbloggers in Snowdonia

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Last week I attended the Outdoor Bloggers weekend in Snowdonia.  It's been a while since I met (in real life) any random people from the internet, and I've never really done any sort of networking so wasn't quite sure what to expect.

Despite an afternoon off work and good intentions, I arrived in the dark.  Good thing my tent only takes a few seconds to put up!  We were camping at Llyn Gwynant, which rather conveniently features a pizza shop on busier weekends.  Yum yum!

We sat around the campfire telling stories and getting to know each other a bit - though I realised I wasn't really going to find out what people looked like until the next day.

Saturday morning brought rain.  Not what I wanted to wake up to knowing that we'd be in the mountains all day, but this is why waterproof clothes were invented!  My only previous walk up Snowdon (in 1997, with the scouts) is possibly one of the wettest walks I can remember so I was not so secretly hoping for better conditions this time.

Our guides from Climb Snowdon arrived and we piled into cars to head for our walk start point - Rhyd Ddu (which translates as 'black ford').  They'd chosen one of the quieter routes, past an old quarry and up the South Ridge, then returning via the Rhyd Ddu path.

Snowdon and Rhyd Ddu sign

As we walked through huge amounts of waste slate, the rain eased off and waterproof trousers were removed. Happy days.  I love the sound slate makes when you walk over it.

old quarry buildings

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