Thursday, 2 January 2014

The old year and the new

2nd January 2014.

Having suffered the death of a daughter in law in March it was our misfortune to have the remaining d.i.l suffer a boating accident which resulted in serious injury to one leg and ankle requiring difficult and clever surgery.   That has been done and she is back at work, driving too but walking with a slight limp at present, another few weeks and she will be back to normal but carrying some extra weight around one ankle.    We were not the only ones to suffer a death, my old friend Michael P had a son in law die shortly before Christmas, his family will have to come to terms with that as we are.
The proposed meeting of old scouts took place with one member of the youth club attending, thank you Sylvia.   We now have to try to assemble a few more but the difficulty is that at our age people die off or become infirm or move away long distances.

Meanwhile I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year and above all else a healthy one.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Still alive

For those of you desperate to know why I have not posted for a long while the reason is that I have not had a lot to say.   Life has not proceeeded normally and the serious illness of our beloved daughter in law, followed by her recent death has upset the whole family but we are now slowly coming to terms with having to  live without her .   She had been a family member for some 30+ years and that is a long time.

That said I have re-connected with a friend of my teenage years, Michael P and we have met up a couple of times recently not having seen each other since 1953.   He has had his problems, like the rest of us but we have decided to have a reunion meeting of as many as possible of the boy scouts we knew in 1944-50.

As part of this reunion which is scheduled to take place in Church of the Ascension, Hanger Hill, Ealing on Saturday 19th October 2013 at about noon I am writing to as many old boys as possible and as an act of unbounded generosity we are including WAGs and girls (now ladies over 75 but as lovely as ever) from Mrs Willments youth club from the same era.

If you are interested and want to come along please leave a message on

Good luck to you all.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Back Again

November 28. Having spent some 4 hours in Clubland meeting a friend from my teens and twenties I decided to walk across the park to Lambeth to have a look at my birthplace. This involved another trip over my river, walking from Big Ben over Westminster Bridge to Lambeth. By chance whilst near Pall Mall I dropped in to the Stephen Wiltshire Gallery and bought a post card showing the bridge from the air. This artist has made some amazing views of parts of London as well as many 'Cityscapes', mainly black and white they are not everyone's cup of tea but well worth viewing on his web site.
My birthplace, St. Thomas's Hospital has changed a bit in 83 years and the record I wanted is either destroyed or with London Metropolitan Archives. It is just over 3 years since I was by Westminster Bridge and little has changed except a cabin is missing in 'The London Eye' and a piper, bagpiper that is, was playing on the bridge, it was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey but he played on.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Return to SONNING on Thames

Sunday 3rd July 2011.
This was a place where EG and I stayed one night, very old pub but we missed our way leading to an extra 10 minutes walk and I wanted to find out why. Instead of going up the path top left in int right hand picture, we SHOULD have turned left and the pub was about 20 yards ahead. Note the brick wall going off right, it was built from bombed out bricks taken from east London in 1945
You can see the pub above. It is one of the few pubs to be owned by the nearby church. This is because it dates back to about 1300 and was then the lodging house for some visitors calling on the Bishop of Salisbury who lived in a palace about 200 yards away. He later transferred his residence to Salisbury and the palace became a ruin. Just like that!
Sonning was at one time recently the home of the Palmer family, as in Huntley and Palmers biscuits. The palace site is now a school.
The walk along the river in the wrong direction was quite pleasant, far too many people for peace but if you go out on a Sunday you have to expect that.
We had a large lunch at the pub, The Bull, very satisfying, i recommend it but tall people (over 5ft6) should watch out for the low ceilings.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Return to THE RIVER

11th June 2011
M and I returned to The Olde Bell Inn at Hurley, Berks where E and I had eaten some 3 years ago. Another delightful day and VERY good food taken indoors after a walk down to the lock and along the riverside for about 1/2 a mile. A really lovely place to spend some easy time, the only road in the village leads to the river so there is little traffic, only 2 shops and not many houses so again little traffic although this day there was a wedding at the church (dating back to 633 AD in places) with the recption at The Olde Bell. A nearby house (Lady Place) is said to have been a US Intelligence HQ in WW2, a house next to the Inn was used by The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII,NOT to-day's Prince Charles) to meet a 'friend'.
Whilst walking beside the river came across a chestnut tree recently fallen, one that Edie hid behind no doubt.
If you go to the pub/inn try the green pea soup flavoured with Loveage, it turns a dull dish into a winner.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Change of plan

Since my last post almost a year ago many things have happened and EG and I are now investigating the idea of motor boating up the Thames using friends as drivers while we walk most of the day. This has the advantage that the non walkers get a chance to learn how to negotiate the 40 or so locks whilst we get as much exercise as we want and when necessary can call on help from the water bourne people. I have suffered a simple but painful injury whilst EG's friend suffered some sort of fainting trauma resulting in everyone seeing sense and giving up Coast to Coast until the males are fully fit again.
This photo was taken with friends visiting Ephesus and has no connection with Old Father Thames or EG

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Back to Old Father Thames

Yesterday, 26th February I revisited the source of the Thames, the point was to see the source when the spring was operating as a spring, in 2008 when EG and I were there the source was dry so I believed that there would be running water because there has been several days of heavy rain.

To make it more interesting I decided to appraoach from the west by stopping at a pub near Sapperton and walking along the disused Severn to Thames Canal for a mile to Trewsbru then dropping across fileds to my destination. The ground was soggy, very soggy and it was hard going but when I got there total disappointment, no water, not even a puddle so I took a few photos and returned to The Tunnel pub to finish my lunch. It has been said that it was only in the 19th Century that Thames Head became known as the Thames source and some consider that this was because there was an artificial spring created from water leaking out of the canal. Those interested should refer to the Cotswold Canal Trust website.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

New walking route

Got going about 4pm with a pacemaker thing to indicate my number of steps and new socks, specially made for snowboarders, 'made of wool' said the guy in the shop, when I got in I looked carefully, 8%wool, 59% synthetic, 33% cotton. But they fitted and did me wll for my trial walk which involved an extended walk across fields to a road I know followed by 600 yards as a pedestrian with no footpath, sidewalk or escapes. I survived but I did not like it and must find a better route. 8500 steps, 5.4 miles according to my pedometer, 1 hour 10 minutes, something is wrong there and it is because I have the pace length wrongly set. On flat even ground I can do about 30 inch pace but going up a 45% hill it can be down to 12". Sunday to-morrow, just a dander.

Friday, 19 February 2010


The first steps towards pre-planning Have started, I now have Wainwrghts book and 2 Ordnance survey maps. Some of those hills look quite steep, in many cases over 25% gradient which seems to me on a par with going up Snowdon or Ben Nevis. I managed those without difficulty but of course it was only one mountain in a day, for this walk there will be two or three in a day but Wainwright does a good job in setting out the route with some explanation of what is going on around, however to judge from the DVD made with him the man did not try to do the walk on a continuous basis. By chance I have met up with a lad in the climbing gear shop who plans to be doing the C2C with his father later in the year and I had a long discussion with him about buying a GPS. Four hundred quid seems a lot for a piece of equipment to be used for one trip only, against that must be set the possibility that it could be a life saver following a simple accident. I shall take my car SatNav out for a few trial walks, not quite so convenient but we shall see.