Where did April go?  It seems to have been one of those months where I feel I haven't done anything interesting, but I have been busy generally doing stuff.

Isn't it great having light evenings again?  And nice weather at weekends for long dog walks with pub lunches.  I'm not quite so keen on the yellow fields, as they tend to signify the start of sneezing season - I'm a couple of weeks into this year's pile of antihistamines, with the worst incident so far being on a National Express coach last weekend.  Bit random.

At some point during my usual winter... continue reading »

Long Mynd

Being British, I am very experienced in dealing with many types of rain.

Shropshire was, on this occasion, suffering from a particularly wet variety. The sort which requires windscreen wipers on full whack, and makes you wish you hadn't put your walking boots and waterproofs in the boot of the car because that means getting soaked in the few seconds it takes to retrieve them.

The day's target was the trig point on the Long Mynd, and I'd originally planned a circular walk from Carding Mill Valley (about 8k).  But given the delightful conditions I changed my mind and drove most of... continue reading »

more floods

Yet more flooding.  I basically live on the flood plain, so there are quite a lot of fields that I haven't seen much of for several months as they've been under water.

Which is fine, because that's what flood plain is there for.

What's less good is when the rivers are flooded, the ground is saturated and it won't stop raining.  I.e. right now.

On Monday the drains gave up being able to drain (and/or backed up), and the main road started to vanish into a series of large puddles.  When I waded back from my tennis lesson it was completely covered at... continue reading »


It's been snowing!  As usual we've not got it as bad as the rest of the country, but meh.

So being a responsible grown up, I went and built a snowman in my garden.  I had started one at work on Friday whilst waiting for anyone else to show up and unlock, but that one didn't get much past 'skittle' size/shape.

Two faces because I did the first one (on the left, with leaf tie/scarf), then realised you could only see it from standing inside the garden - hence second face on the other side, visible to the neighbours.

Later on I noticed... continue reading »

Gloucester flooding

When I moved house earlier this year I kind of mostly forgot to consider one of the things Gloucester is most recently famous for - flooding.  (although mostly it doesn't matter as my flat is on the first floor)

And last week it rained an awful lot.  I checked twitter on Sunday morning to see a whole pile of tweets from @Glos_Police about overnight road closures.  Flash flooding and rubbish drainage there, I think, but obviously all that water was also headed for the rivers...

So all the media rush to Tewkesbury, because that's an easy target and you get to use... continue reading »

a little bit of snow

It actually snowed in Gloucestershire yesterday! A bit surprising, given the anti-snow bubble that I'm sure usually exists...

Of course, by the time I'd finished watching rugby/football/eating dinner and decided to venture outside to take some pics, the snow had turned into rain.  So my camera got a bit wet, my fingers froze, and I couldn't be arsed to spend ages taking lots of arty photos.

Today there is very little sign of any snow - but the rest of the country seems to be covered, and everything has ground to a halt.  Normal service is resumed!

is it spring yet?

The lovely pretty daffodils in my kitchen seem to think so:

However it is still February, so I suspect there's a little while to wait yet.

Not that I mind winter, as such.. it's just that this one has been soooo cold.  I don't have gas in my flat, so have to rely on crap inefficient electric panel heaters to keep warm.  Plus thermals, fleeces, fluffy socks etc. (current room temperature: 15° - and we won't get into how disgustingly massive the recent leccy bill was :()

winter walking

Well, I was supposed to spend last weekend kayaking in North Wales.  But then the British Weather happened, so it got cancelled.  Frozen rivers, snow everywhere, icy roads, etc etc.

Gloucestershire, of course, has done its usual clever trick of almost entirely avoiding any snow.  Freezing cold with freezing fog, oh joy..

Luckily there was a backup plan, so my weekend was not entirely ruined - a walk in the Brecon Beacons on Sunday. 

From the Storey Arms, we walked up Corn Du, across to Pen y Fan, and back down the main tourist path.  6 miles, 4 hours of walking.
We had... continue reading »

Hello 2010

Bye bye 2009.

The last few days of which were spent faffing about in South Wales.  A little bit of surfing, a lot of food and drink, and a day of mountain biking.

We did most of the Penhydd trail at Afan - 12km rather than 17, as one bit was closed.  Quite fun, although far too much uphill (I hate cycling uphill, so walked the bike...) and a couple of fairly terrifying descents.  That can be explained by the 'red' grading of it :p 
I chose to ignore the warning signs ("Red Route - is this for you?" answer -... continue reading »

Tis the Season

...and all that.

I've finished work for the year :)  Apparently since the end of June I've managed to take just one single day of holiday, so I'm probably due a break!

Presents are all bought and wrapped up, I've made (and scoffed) a lot of mince pies, and currently cooling in my kitchen is a mincemeat and marzipan tealoaf.  yum yum.

Christmas shopping has been a bit of a dangerous one this year. As well as sucessfully buying all required presents, I seem to have treated myself to quite a few bits and bobs.  A book, some poi, and today I mostly-accidentally... continue reading »

Christmas, New Year, etc

Ahh, it's 2009.  Apparently this is something new and exciting, just because the number's changed.  Right.

Let's sum up the last two weeks in handy bullet point form.

Christmas Eve.  An exciting 'night out' in Monmouth to catch up with school friends.
There was a queue for spoons.  Let's write that again, because it's that ridiculous:  a queue to get into wetherspoons.  yes.  madness. Christmas Day.  Family stuff, and lots of food. Boxing Day.  Got bored and dyed my hair.  With henna, so it's an interesting shade of fiery orange.  Or ginger, if you prefer. Saturday.  Delivered a fridge to Ironbridge, and prodded Jem's cats/guinea pigs This... continue reading »

Flooded Ludlow

It's been raining.  Lots.  This means lots of water in the rivers, and then lots of water on bits of land next to the rivers.

Yup, floods.  I'm well practised at floods - Monmouth is very good at them, and I've seen some quite impressive examples.

Ludlow, on the other hand...   The big river here is the Teme, but there's also the Corve which is usually small and weedy.  However, yesterday evening it decided to stop being small and weedy and rose very very quickly - from being within its banks to completely flooding the main road in about an hour and... continue reading »

the problem with snow

ooh, a whole two inches!  It always amuses me to see quite how badly this country copes with a tiny bit of snow - traffic chaos, schools closed, nothing else on the news for days because it's all so very exciting...  I expect that anyone in any of the many countries that get regular snow (and know how to cope with it) are pointing and laughing at us right now.

I say that, but I am currently sat at home rather than being at work, because the roads are horrible and I'd rather not risk crashing my car.  It's annoying, because... continue reading »

it's fucking freezing!

It's cold.  very cold.  Thermometer says it's about 8 degrees in my room - which is the 'new' extensiony bit of the house, so doesn't have massive thick stone walls or whatever like the rest of it. 

We've got the fire on though, which does a good job of warming the rest of the house up (or it would if Alex would ever keep the lounge doors open anyway). 

I want some snow!  Apparently it was snowing in Stoke the other night, and in Birmingham. But not here.  bah.  London (centre of the entire universe don't you know) has snow, so... continue reading »