Very heavy rain overnight, though it had eased a bit by the time I took Rocco for his morning walk. We went to a rather muddy Petts Wood & Hawkwood – one of his favourite walks as there is a lot of mud, water and sticks!
Kyd Brook was seriously in spate following the overnight rain – I’ve not seen that much water in it for a fair while:
Rocco lept in as usual, but really struggled to swim against the current, and only just got out again. At which point he ran over the bridge and got in that side. Again, he was swept down the brook and this time, he really did have a hard time getting out. Luckily after that, he treated the brook with a bit more caution!
This bit further down is normally about 6″ deep with a little “beach” to the side:
Further on, Pondwood Pond was a bit calmer, and he had a swim there instead:
Rocco and I regularly walk in Shoreham Woods (at least we do when it’s reasonably dry!) so today I thought I’d document our walk in pictures.
The first bit is across the M25 motorway, so very noisy, but soon it becomes quieter and Rocco starts collecting sticks:
This section of the path is on a slope, and can be really muddy in winter:
The view down the valley is lovely:
We then climb into Pilots Wood:
and shortly arrive at the top of the North Downs:
The path soon dives back into woods
and follows the Darenth Valley, with views of Shoreham village:
All too soon, we’re climbing back up the hill:
then down and up across the valley. Luckily Rocco ignores the cows!
Another short break, then it’s back up the last hill to the car park:
A LOT of up & down in a short distance!
This is photo of the north west corner of the office taken in 2001 – what a lot has changed since then, including the “old” monitor, a record player and lots of cassettes. But the desk is clear, which is unusual…
The corner behind the door has evolved since then, and by 2013, you can just see a rack of DVD’s, a rack of books and just a few cassettes behind the door:
The cassettes are now past history, but the number of books has increased, so after a bit of reworking, I’ve ended up with this:
Note that the main shelves on the left were rebuilt in 2017!
Our project this weekend has been emptying, cleaning and refilling the larder.
This small space stores a LOT of stuff:
Many years of dirt needed to be removed:
But it looks a lot nicer now:
Our chilli plants are now producing useful fruit. These are the colourful Masquerade variety:
And these are Rawit:
My new job packing kits of components seems to have expanded somewhat, which has given me the opportunity to rationalise and speed up the process.
The sorting trays work better with a wooden frame; as I pack the set nearest me, I can just slide them down and put the empty one at the ‘top’.
To avoid making mistakes, it does need quite a lot of concentration, so it’s best done in small batches!
Original Post Here
Now I’m (supposed to be) retired, I volunteered to help a Model Railway Electronics group pack kits of components. Most of the electronics that I initially used for my model railway came from this group, so I was keen to give something back.
First job was to 3D design and print some trays to sort the components into – I wanted something that would easily stack so it didn’t take up too much space when not in use – you can see the results in the photos below.
I also had to order some missing components, and learn how to program the specific microcontrollers that these kits use. I also built a sample kit to check that everything worked OK.
But finally, everything was in place, and the components could be counted into trays:
Each tray of components is then packed into a self seal bag:
And then the job was done:(You can see the stacked sorting trays in this photo).
One kit done and ready to be posted, now to do the next one!
As we’re now ‘allowed’ to travel further for our exercise, we decided to walk around Oxleas Wood in the sunshine. This is actually a collection of woods and parks that interlink around the Shooters Hill area in South East London.
We started in Eltham Park South (the park is split in half by the main A2 Dover Road):
Rocco found a stick within seconds of getting out of the car:
We then crossed the A2 via a large overbridge and walked through Eltham Park North, which is mainly woodland. Rocco found a dirty pond of course:
We then walked through Oxleas Wood to Severndroog Castle:
Severndroog Castle was built in 1784 as a memorial to Sir William James, once the Director of the East India Company, by his wife Lady Anne James. It celebrates his most famous exploit, the capturing of the island fortress of Suvarnadurg. Severndroog Castle is 132 metres (432 feet) above sea level, gifting it with exceptional views of the London cityscape, the Thames River and the edges of London’s seven surrounding counties.
It was of course closed, so no “exceptional views” for us. Instead, we stopped for a break on the terrace, then headed back downhill a different way:
This had more meadows (you can see a small open cafe at the top of the hill):
And then back through Eltham Park:
A nice afternoon out!
We occasionally go walking in Shoreham Woods, but much of it is quite noisy due to the adjacent M25. However, with lockdown, there is very little traffic and the woods were nice and peaceful:
It’s also one of the best places to see bluebells at this time of year:
Rocco of course likes wearing himself out chasing sticks:
And paths that are horrible and slippery during the winter are nice and dry:
We went a slightly different way today, and looking back you can see the phone mast at the top of the hill badly disguised as a tree:
And in close up – whoever designed the fake tree has no idea what a deciduous tree looks like:
Next is Polhill Bank, where the ground slopes down from the North Downs to the Weald. Rocco does like carrying a pair of sticks as a large X:
The railway line comes out of the tunnel under Polhill here:
and it’s a lovely spot to sit and watch the world not go by:
By this time, Rocco is often thirsty, but he remembered a water trough just off the path. The water level was a bit low for him to reach, but he solved the problem in typical Labrador fashion:
Then more nice paths and bluebells on the way back to the car:
A lovely walk in warm sunshine. Worth driving a few miles on empty roads!
Rocco has cut his paw, so I was on my own for the morning walk. One bonus was that I could walk through the “Dog Free” part of Priory Gardens, which were lovely in the spring sunshine.
The pond was looking good as well, nice and clean!