It was time for my Covid vaccination, so a good opportunity to get on a train to London without feeling guilty about bending lockdown rules. The nearest station to the appointment at St Thomas was Waterloo, but looking at the map, I decided that it would be a much nicer walk from Charing Cross.
There is only one fast train per hour to London these days (it used to be four), so I had plenty of time to explore before my appointment.
I crossed the river using the western Golden Jubilee bridge – there used to be a grotty walkway alongside Hungerford Bridge, so this is a vast improvement:
A nice view of the (closed) London Eye from the bridge:
and then to a very deserted South Bank:
then Westminster Bridge, looking quite resplendent in the gloom:
Time for a quick mid-morning snack opposite the Houses of Parliament:
Then it was time to get vaccinated at St Thomas:
I then walked over Westminster Bridge to St James Park:
then past Horse Guards parade and The Mall (looking very empty indeed):
finally, through Admiralty Arch into a very empty Trafalgar Square:
then past the National Gallery & St Martin in the Fields:
and to Charing Cross Station and the train home:
It all made a nice change! And it was nice to see bits of London without pushing through lots of foreign tourists…
No fresh snow for a while, but the temperature has remained below freezing all week, so the paths through woods were frozen solid, and consequently quite hard to walk on. The one benefit was returning home with a clean dog – this photo was taken almost at the end of our walk in High Elms:
We went to Shoreham Woods on Sunday. I normally avoid this path because it is so muddy during the winter, today it was just rough walking on ice:
Rocco enjoyed himself though:
The views from Polhill Bank are always nice:
And the paths along the Darenth Valley:
Rocco enjoyed himself crossing the large field:
And then back home, with a clean dog yet again!
The woods were almost deserted this morning; in fact I only met three other dog walkers the entire time. A bit warmer than yesterday as well, though less sunshine.
Rocco likes these woods as it is very muddy, and there are plenty of sticks for him:
If there’s an opportunity, he does like to chew them into small pieces:
Shoreham village looks nice as always:
And the path across the fields unusually didn’t have any cows in it:
Like most of the country (world?), our Christmas was a much quieter affair than recent years, but we had an enjoyable day nevertheless.
Gemma had wrapped a chew for Rocco, but he was very unsure what to do with it:
An hour later, it had disappeared, so he either ate it or hid it somewhere!
After lunch, we went for a walk in the sunshine. This is Rocco waiting me to throw his stick for him:
The park looked nice in the sun:
But it didn’t stop Rocco getting muddy:
It’s a lovely crisp morning, and really quiet at my favourite place to walk Rocco – High Elms Country Park. Not too muddy this morning, which is a bonus.
As we descended down the hill, the sun was just rising over the opposite hill, bringing a bit of colour to the woods:
Merry Christmas to one and all!
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 leapt 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: