[Monday 24th October 2022]
I woke up early and drove to Dawlish so I could have a coffee on the beach around sunrise. Later on we headed to Teignmouth and got the ferry over to Shaldon, where Erika and I collected sea snails on the beach there. In the evening we headed into Exeter for Chinese food.
I made a video out of this morning's coffee on the beach:
[Sunday 23rd October 2022]
The weather forecast predicted fairly heavy rain later in the afternoon, so we tried to fit all our outdoor activities into the morning / early afternoon. So it made sense to stay fairly local to Dad's house, and we decided to go foraging for chestnuts and mushrooms in the woods nearby. A late Sunday lunch at the Ley Arms after that, then a bit later on after the rain stopped Chie and I ventured out for a walk to the Anchor Inn in Cockwood.
[Thursday 20th October 2022]
Got a new phone today - having used the previous one for three years i thought it was ready for an upgrade. In the evening met up with Benoit who I used to work with over a decade ago, and now lives in Paris.
[Saturday 15th October 2022]
Started using a Japanese style oven toaster today (we'd had it for a while but hadn't used it as it was technically for Chie's job), partly as we assumed it would be a bit cheaper to run than the main oven.
[Wednesday 12th October 2022]
I took the day off work and went for a walk and a wild camp on the Hampshire Downs.
I made two videos as a result of this outing, the first of the afternoon's walk, with some musings about ancient tracks etc:
...and the second one has the wild camping bit, plus the walk to the station the next morning in the midst:
Somehow the wild camping one must have got the attention of YouTube's recommendation algorithm because it really took off - prior to this none of my videos had reached more than about 200 videos, but at time of writing this (the end of October), this video had been viewed 2654 times and had received 100 likes. Plus I went from 50 or 60 subscribers to getting close to 200 now. So that was really gratifying to see, including all the nice comments it received.
[Saturday 8th October 2022]
Drove up to the East Midlands in the afternoon for Mum's birthday party, with afternoon tea on arrival, some nice glimpses of the sun setting over the River Trent (and a good opportunity for family photos!) followed by a barbecue buffet dinner and lots of rose Nyetimber.
[Sunday 2nd October 2022]
Quiet day at home. Did some pruning in the afternoon (the vines had taken over the garden a bit over the summer). In the evening a (vegetarian approximation of) a Sunday roast.
[Saturday 1st October 2022]
Chie's university friend Hiromu was visiting London this week with her husband, so we met them this afternoon for a sort of afternoon tea picnic on Hampstead Heath.
[Friday 30th September 2022]
Took the afternoon off work to go for a strange walk, starting and ending at Uxbridge, and with the main goal being the junction between the M40 and the M25. I thought this would make for a fun and quirky walk (and as a by product a fun and quirky YouTube video) but it was mostly actually a bit grim.
[Monday 26th September 2022]
Ate the first apple from our tree today. They're really small this year - I think because of the drought over the summer - but there's a good number of them and this one at least was quite tasty.
[Friday 23rd September 2022]
Having slept the night in a hedge, I woke up early to be at Avebury for sunrise on the morning of the Autumn Equinox. It was rather grey and cloudy so I couldn't really see anything of the sunrise, but I was happy to be there nonetheless.
[Thursday 22nd September 2022]
Took another (half?) day off work so I could head to Avebury this afternoon. I'd decided I wanted to spent the night in the area for the autumn equinox. While I was there I did a tour of some of the local momuments like West Kennet Long Barrow and the Sanctuary, and made another YouTube video:
[Wednesday 21st September 2022]
Still struggling to get back into a normal routine with work etc after last week's crash. Headed to the heath in the early evening and stayed a while to watch the sunset.
[Monday 19th September 2022]
Bank holiday for the Queen's State Funeral, so I was off work and Erika was off school. Didn't really do much, just watched some of the funeral on the TV, and otherwise had a quiet day at home.
[Friday 16th September 2022]
Once again I couldn't face working today, so took another day off and went for a walk in the countryside, this time doing another section of the Icknield Way, from Luton to Letchworth Garden City. Didn't take a lot of photos, but made another YouTube video along the way:
[Thursday 15th September 2022]
Once again I just couldn't face working today. I was already scheduled for a dentist appointment down in Belgravia, after which I met my old work friend Walter (who was visiting London this week) for lunch at Oliveto. Then for the remainder of the afternoon I just stayed in Belgravia revisiting some old pubs. Again not many photos today but I did make a video.
[Wednesday 14th September 2022]
I started work as usual this morning but after a couple of hours realised I was just staring at a screen and achieving nothing. I just couldn't bring myself to do any work - it all suddenly seemed like a pointless waste of time. So I decided to take the rest of the day off, and headed to East London to visit some old favourite pubs of mine. Didn't actually take many photos, but I did make a video of the outing.
[Tuesday 13th September 2022]
Today was the anniversary of when Chie and I got engaged. Most of the photos today are trying to get a shot of the two of us so we could print it out on Erika's new sticker printer.
[Saturday 10th September 2022]
Erika seemed to want a low key birthday this year. She even went to Japanese school as usual in the morning, after getting up slightly earlier than normal to open presents. In the afternoon she had a friend over and they went to have their nails done.
[Friday 9th September 2022]
Finished work a bit early after a probably not very productive day feeling a bit shellshocked by yesterday's sad news. Definitely felt a visit to the heath was in order, and went for a longer than usual wander around.
[Tuesday 6th September 2022]
Slightly reluctantly opened the last of the 2005 Nuits St Georges from Gavignet, as Burgundy stocks were running rather low. Paired with Jagarico. It was very good.
[Sunday 4th September 2022]
I woke up early and drove to Heathrow to pick up the girls, who returned from Japan today. In the afternoon, in a bid to get Erika out of the flat to help with her jetlag, we went down to King's Cross to catch the tail end of the annual "Return to Hogwarts" Harry Potter event.
[Saturday 3rd September 2022]
Spent a large part of the day tidying up the flat in preparation for the girls returning from Japan. Just treated myself to lunch at the Pineapple before returning home to do more tidying and cleaning.
[Friday 2nd September 2022]
I was craving pizza, so headed down to Rossopomodoro in Camden for dinner. I diverted by way of the heath on the way back (taking a likely inefficient route involving walking to Chalk Farm then getting a bus to Hampstead Heath overground station), thinking I might have some wine, but then remembered when I got there it had a synthetic closure which is a real pain to open with wine prongs. So I gave up and went home instead.
[Monday 29th August 2022]
Up at first light and walked (most of) the remainder of the Wansdyke Path, before heading off to Bishops Cannings to get a bus to Swindon, then from there a train home to London.
[Sunday 28th August 2022]
Fortunately yesterday's squandering of the day did not make the weekend as a whole a complete dead loss, given the bank holiday, so I could start today on an overnight adventure as though it were Saturday. I decided to walk the Wansdyke Path, which would get me back to the area around Avebury which I'm so fond of, and provide an opportunity to do a bit more exploring in West Woods, plus also perhaps fulfil my long standing ambition of sleeping in a ditch...
Two videos from today's part of this overnight adventure:
[Saturday 27th August 2022]
Mostly squandered the day, feeling too tired and lazy to get out into the countryside for a walk as I should have done. Ordered some fiery Szechuan food for dinner.
[Sunday 21st August 2022]
Slightly surreal end to my mini overnight adventure, with a walk through Dunstable and Luton - including the fascinating "Guided Busway", then a train back home from Luton. Spent most of the rest of the day trying not to fall asleep on the sofa.
[Saturday 20th August 2022]
Yesterday's indecision lingered on into today. I felt I ought to make use of my free time while the girls were in Japan to do another walk and possibly a wild camp, but there was another train strike on, which rather limited the options a bit. After much deliberation I eventually discovered the trains to Tring were still running, so I could have a go at extending my walk along the Ridgeway in the other direction, along the Icknield Way Path, which starts at Ivinghoe Beacon and heads north east from there.
[Friday 19th August 2022]
I couldn't quite decide what I wanted to do this evening. I felt like a change of scenery, so I got the train down to Blackfriars, thinking I might sit for a while by the "beach" there - but it was high tide, and somehow I didn't really feel like lingering. So in the end I went back home and went to the heath after all.
[Thursday 18th August 2022]
I was getting bored of toast every morning for breakfast and had a hankering for a Full English (or some vegetarian approximation thereof). I was too lazy to travel any great distance though, so just went to the nearest greasy spoon, which isn't really that great. In the evening to the heath yet again, and we seemed to be back to summery weather after the last few days of occasional showers.
[Wednesday 17th August 2022]
Rained a bit more in the daytime, and I headed to the heath in the evening hoping for a damp and atmospheric time but alas the skies had started to clear by then.
[Sunday 14th August 2022]
With the Pineapple closed for a few days, and nothing better planned this weekend, I decided to finally try out its sister pub (owned by the same people), The Tapping the Admiral. This was fortuitious in a way as they offer Sunday roasts (the Pineapple is always Thai food), although, nice though it was, it was realistically far too hot to be eating that kind of food. I seemed to be rather gluttonous this weekend, as I also had a takeaway pizza for dinner in the evening.
[Saturday 13th August 2022]
I would have gone for another walk this weekend, but alas plans were scuppered by rail strikes, so instead I stayed close to home. Spent the morning and early afternoon at home, some of that time editing the video from yesterday. Around 4pm I thought I'd pop down to the Pineapple to get me out of the house, but was surprised to find they'd had to close for a few days after an accident. I was given a free beer outside as a consolation prize though, so that was nice. As it was now approaching two weeks of mostly cooking for myself I fancied a bit of a change this evening, and decided to go out for a swanky meal at a restaurant. I chose the Petersham in Covent Garden, which had a very Italian leaning vegetarian tasting menu. Although the atmosphere was a bit banal, the food was mostly very good.
[Friday 12th August 2022]
With the threat of train strikes looming this weekend, it seemed my best bet for an outing from London would be this evening. I thought it would be fun to have some wine from Everflhyt, a new vineyard near Ditchling, on the top of Ditchling Beacon, overlooking the vineyard. So that's what I did.
[Wednesday 10th August 2022]
Another evening on the heath. Enjoying the fact that at this time of year I can do a full day's work, have dinner, and still get to the heath in plenty of time to catch the sunset afterwards. Rather busy on the heath this evening though!
[Tuesday 9th August 2022]
Went to the Pineapple for a bit, to catch some of the morris dancing. After that headed to the heath to try out the insulated backpack I'd taken delivery of today, to see how it did at keeping wine cool.
[Wednesday 3rd August 2022]
Did the bulk of the remainder of the walk along the Wessex Ridgeway today, almost 20 miles, from Cerne Abbas, via Maiden Newton and Beaminster, and ending for the day at Lewesdon Hill.
I didn't take a huge number of photos during todays walk, especially in the daytime, as I was a bit more focused on take video footage. In fact I ended up making two videos out of today's walk, one for the daytime walk from Cerne Abbas Beaminster:
[Tuesday 2nd August 2022]
The girls headed off to Japan this morning, and in the afternoon I took a train down to Dorchester, then a bus to Cerne Abbas, where I stayed a night ahead of completing my walk along the Wessex Ridgeway.
As I had an evening to spare in Cerne Abbas, I decided to cook dinner on Giant Hill, and I made a video of it, at least ever so slightly channelling Keith Floyd I think:
[Saturday 30th July 2022]
As Chie and Erika would imminently be leaving for Japan for the summer, Erika and I decided to do something fun together today so we went to the zoo. I don't think we'd been together since December 2018, but there was a time when we'd go on a pretty much weekly basis.
Some video footage from our visit to the zoo today:
[Friday 29th July 2022]
Tried a new ESW producer today, who had just released their first wines, and I had happened to walk past the vineyard a few years back so I was keen to see how it had turned out. Andrew also came and met me on the heath.
[Wednesday 27th July 2022]
I worked today, but with Erika now off school for the summer she made lunch for us. Later on I went for a stroll to the heath, the girls came and joined me for a bit, then we went to a local Korean restaurant for dinner.
[Monday 25th July 2022]
Having quickly glimpsed Tintern Abbey yesterday, and never having been for a proper look myself, we thought that might be a nice thing to do after checking out of our cottage. Later on made another stop off on the way back to London in Marlborough, where we had lunch at a tea room.
[Sunday 24th July 2022]
Spent the afternoon in Tintern, which is not far from where we were staying in Brockweir, so we walked there and back. Met Bec, Dave and Louise for lunch in Tintern, and then a bit later on were joined by Jessica too.
Back to Brockweir in the evening for a light supper of leftovers, then I went down to the river one last time and was treated to a surprisingly nice sunset.
Some video footage I got of this evening's sunset:
[Saturday 23rd July 2022]
A spot of shopping in Monmouth in the morning, then lunch at the Boat Inn, followed by an afternoon visit to Trellech to see the stones and the well. Then popped into Tintern Old Station for a coffee and an ice cream. In the evening Robin and Robert came over to the house for dinner.
[Sunday 10th July 2022]
I've never solved a Rubik's Cube in my life, and had never really seriousl tried, but today wiyth the helo of some online tutorials I decided to finally put my mind to it.
[Friday 8th July 2022]
The back garden was having a bit of an infestation of fruit flies, making it hard to sit out and enjoy a glass of wine without them constantly trying to drown themselves in it.
[Tuesday 5th July 2022]
Erika's sports day in the morning, an earlier than usual trip to the heath in the afternoon, then later on, it being the night before bin day, I attempted to actually enjoy the front garden for a bit.