Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside


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Beautiful Bath

We visited Bath this weekend, and it was gorgeous.  Sunny and autumnal – my favourite weather.

The weir below Pulteney Bridge is mesmering, with the water above it like an infinity pool.

Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon

Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon

The tiny shops (not much more than a metre from front to back) on Pulteney Bridge have wonderful views out over the river. This photograph was taken right through the shop from outside.

The view through a shop window on Pulteney Bridge

The view through a shop window on Pulteney Bridge

This medlar tree was laden with fruit – we were looking down onto it from above.  They are very strange-looking – rather like gigantic hawthorn fruits.  I haven’t ever eaten one – you have to leave them to ‘blet’, which effectively means, to rot.  Which sounds rather dubious.

Medlar tree

A medlar tree

On Friday night we had an excellent meal at the Circus restaurant (spiced pumpkin soup followed by lemon sole – mmmmmm).  On Saturday morning, I was determined to go for a pre-breakfast run (ok, walk/jog) which was a bit of a challenge as I’d not slept too well from eating so much.  However, it was a beautiful sunny morning, and I ran a little way alongside the River Avon.

I found a lovely paved labyrinth to jog round.

Labyrinth

I didn’t quite complete the labyrinth, as I was distracted by the sight of this fine gentleman.

Centurion

Roman centurion in Bath – not sure where he was heading, but he was happy to have his photo taken.

After Bath, we stopped off at Westonbirt Arboretum to see the autumn foliage display.  The Acers (Japanese maples) were lovely, even though it wasn’t sunny when we were there.

Japanese maples

Japanese maples

Japanese maple

Japanese maple

It was £9 per person to get into the arboretum, but I think we had our money’s worth for the wonderful colours. I have seen reviews on Trip Advisor saying that it was expensive, and more or less complaining that an arboretum only had trees in, which seemed a bit unreasonable. Though, admittedly, when we visited Westonbirt once before, many years ago, there were sculptures in amongst the trees, and it did add to the interest.

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ilike my iphone

I’ve finally caved in and bought myself an iphone, after years of having an extremely basic mobile.  Oh, what fun I’ve had this weekend!  Photos taken, messages and emails flying, web pages read and apps downloaded.  Time wasted.  🙂

I am very pleased with the camera so far.  It can’t get quite as close up as my main camera, and won’t zoom so far away – but it’s pretty good.  The lighting was lovely this weekend – very autumnal with alternating sun and heavy showers plus some mist.

Stag's-horn sumach (Rhus typhina) in its autumn glory

Stag’s-horn sumach (Rhus typhina) in its autumn glory

Village church in golden Horton stone

Village church in golden Horton stone

Rainy street and a rainbow

Rainy street and a rainbow – and the old village pump

Misty morning

Misty morning

Minute toadstools, about 1 cm tall, amongst moss

Minute toadstools, about 1 cm tall, amongst moss

I’ve only tried out a few apps so far. A couple of weeks ago, I have to confess to not being entirely sure what an ‘app’ was, but now I know. I like being able to record birds, butterflies, ladybirds and mammals out ‘in the field’ so those are handy, and seem to work pretty well.  I was lucky enough to spot a kingfisher on Saturday, and a jay on Sunday, so the bird recording got off to a very good start, as I don’t often see either of those.  It must have been blue-feathered bird weekend.

A pulse rate app (cardiio) that works by detecting minute changes in face colour (or by a finger over the camera lens) is amazing, and surprisingly accurate too.  It is free, but I’ve just noticed it’s only free ‘for a limited time’. Having the phone even got me out walking/running, so I could try out ‘map my walk‘ – I need a bit more practice to deserve ‘map my run‘ I think though.

So, a busy weekend.


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Ceredigion Coast

I was in the middle of uploading this last night when all our electrical sockets suddenly stopped working…  I’ve just had an electrician out to sort out a fault on the fuse board (one of the circuit breakers seems to be faulty, and had tripped everything out on one half of the fuse board even though it didn’t need to) and I’m back online.

So now I need to see what I can salvage from the freezer, which has been off (unopened) for 18 hours. Ah well, it needed a sort out anyway. At least the lights, the boiler and the cooker were still working last night.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures from our holiday on the north coast of South Wales. Definitely an area worth visiting. I hope you enjoy them.


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Mistletoe

We went Christmas shopping (does that count as exercise?) in Moreton-in-Marsh. Several more presents got ticked off, and I found a bargain sprig of mistletoe for £1. I’ve seen balls of mistletoe in quite a few trees recently (often on Lime or Aspen around here, and I’ve seen it on False Acacia near Cambridge), but they are invariably way out of reach. It is a very strange plant, with its yellow-green leaves and green stems.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe bunch for Christmas kisses

I thought this car looked rather jolly.

Tinsel on car

A festively decorated bonnet.

There a some lovely old buildings in Moreton-in-Marsh. This door has wonderfully ornate ironwork hinges.

Elaborate door hinges

Elaborate door hinges

The 1905 tolls and rules for fairs and markets are still displayed.  I wonder what a ‘Cheap John Cart’ was?

Moreton-in-Marsh fair tolls

Tolls and rules for fairs and markets


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Tewkesbury Abbey

We visited Tewkesbury today, and I had a pleasant wander round the graveyard looking for fungi.   Someone had kicked a lot of them to pieces, which seemed rather a pity.  It did mean I could see the gills clearly though.

Apparently the abbey church survived Henry VIII’s dissolution because the townspeople bought it from the king, as they insisted it was their parish church.  It’s a wonderful Norman building, with the feel of a cathedral rather than a church.  I paid for a photography licence (only £2) and enjoyed wandering round looking at the architecture.  There are several interesting monuments, including a spooky cadaverous one, which includes ‘vermin’ eating the remains of the body.  Gruesome!