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The Monsal Trail

  • October 2, 2017

A day in the Peak District, the sun is reluctantly shining, what to do? A glance at the wide wide world of web offered a variety of hiking and climbing choices. But all of these included worrying phrases like "crampons recommended", "stout hiking boots required" and the killer phrase: "a moderate level of fitness needed"; so we settled for something safer. The Monsal Trail is a an eight and half…

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Skate cat

  • October 1, 2017

Our cat has a number of hobbies: 1. Sitting by the front door, complaining at the birds, who openly mock her because she is too lazy and fat to chase them. 2. Lying on a particular carpet and complaining until someone strokes her (the someone having to be me or she who must be obeyed, because she hates everyone else). 3. Sleeping. 4. Being pushed around the house while sitting…

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I preferred the tart

  • October 1, 2017

Our grand tour was to take us first to the Cotswolds, then the Peak District, before Manchester and then on to the Lakes. In the Cotswolds I had chosen to stay at Bourton on the Water. I had a distant memory of going there and finding it very attractive; but it must have been a false memory because it turned out to have little to recommend it. It justifies its…

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The pen is mightier than the E-M1

  • September 28, 2017

It's a mere nine months since I excitedly jumped on the bus to Bangkok to collect my new Olympus E-M1 II. My excitement was justified, it was all I had hoped for. In particular it handled tricky action shooting at 18 frames a second, generating around 1,500 images from an afternoon's polo. A pain to work through, but interesting shots were guaranteed. The camera was responsive, highly customisable, waterproof, pretty…

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Black Country Living Museum

  • September 26, 2017

Rick@Knees was emphatic: "when you go to the UK, you have to visit the Black Country Living Museum." This mantra was repeated often; and once we had arrived in the motherland I received a daily email asking "have you been yet?" So we did. We arrived just after opening, but even so had to endure a half hour queue for tickets, along with hordes of kids and their weary parents.…

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Old floors and big garden

  • September 25, 2017

A day in the Costwolds and of course it was raining; but we headed out anyway to see something old. The UK is stuffed with history, some of it dating back a couple of thousand years to when the Romans ignored immigration laws and took over most of the country. I wanted she who must be obeyed to see some of our older antiquities (given that she is married to…

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Highclere

  • September 23, 2017

Foolishly arriving on a bank holiday weekend, we lay low with The Son and his wife for a couple of days before collecting a hire car (Golf, atrocious gearbox, no power) and heading north for our first stop: Highclere castle; the shooting location for Downton Abbey and therefore on she who must be obeyed's "must do" list; along with needing to visit a massive shopping centre and some other things…

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Up in the Airbnb

  • September 21, 2017

For part of our grand tour around the UK we were to be joined by The Son. Two hotel rooms would have been an expensive option, so instead we decided on a series of Airbnb rentals; three country cottages and one city apartment. They were all good, but two stood out. Manchester's Northern Quarter is the place to be in the north west (allegedly); and for one night our home…

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