Make Poverty History

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Pendogget Day 8 (Saturday) Sport's Day

Camel Trail
We visited the CamelValley Vineyard, and purchased some wine, because it was early in the morning (9:30) there were no tours available.  They take place at 2:30pm (everything here does!!).  As we pulled into from the vineyard the 'Drive' light had gone out (bulb gone I suspect, as it easily the most used bulb), so I was wondering whether we would have any drive, but the car functions OK - a relief.

We drove into Bodmin to find the Camel Trail, it's an old railway line, so relatively flat.  We went for a short walk - 3.87 miles (23:32 mins/mile) down the trail and back, then topped up the supplies in the local Sainsbury's and returned to the house for:
  • F1 qualifying
  • England vs Sweden in the World cup
  • Ice cream at pub
  • Tennis from Wimbledon
  • Dinner at pub

 ... and so to bed.

No statistics today - not enough activity

Peril Index: 0

Pendoggert Day 7 (Friday) Couldn't get more otter

We visited the Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre.  I was not expecting much because in previous visits to see otters there had been little to see - the otters are shy and put in pens they tend to either stay in the water or hide under whatever cover is provided.  Not here though, the otters are clearly visible especially at feeding times, when the talk is interesting and informative.
They have birds of prey, too and do talks about them, and allow people to put on the glove to hold the bird.  In the woods there are free-range deer and wallabies.  Some of the deer are tame enough to eat out of your hand - but you have to be incredibly patient.

We were going to visit the Delabole Slate Quarry, but 2:30 (the tour time) came and went, so we dropped in at the Aurthurian Centre on the way back.  This is supposedly the site of Arthur's last battle, and is a string of disconnected pieces of archaeology strung out over about a kilometre.  Some of it is interesting, but the whole site looks a bit tired.

Walking time:146 Brisk:32
Steps: 10,590
Driven so far: 680.9

Monday, July 16, 2018

Pendoggett Day 6 (Thursday) - The Cherry Orchard

This was my first Chekhov play, so here's what Wikipedia says of it
"The play concerns an aristocratic Russian landowner who returns to her family estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage. Unresponsive to offers to save the estate, she allows its sale to the son of a former serf; the family leaves to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down. The story presents themes of cultural futility – both the futile attempts of the aristocracy to maintain its status and of the bourgeoisie to find meaning in its newfound materialism. It dramatises the socio-economic forces in Russia at the turn of the 20th century, including the rise of the middle class after the abolition of serfdom in the mid-19th century and the decline of the power of the aristocracy."
It was nicely played (so far as I can tell) by the Miracle theatre company and has quite a bit of he loves her and she's not interested but loves him - none of which is ever resolved as the characters are scattered by the loss of the estate.
The location for the presentation is the Minack Theatre, carved into the rock near Lands End it is an amazing place, while the stage is small and the audience packed tightly on the terraces, the atmosphere is amazing.  When the production stops there is just the sound of the sea and the babble of hundreds of human voices as the conversations start.  We took a picnic and are it during the intermission. 

After the production we were asked to head towards Lands End to give the arriving audience a better chance to reach the theatre easily.  The roads are single track, we had lost a lot of time trying to get past various vehicles coming the other way.  So we drove to Penzance, where the pirates (otherwise known as Cornwall County Council) tried to fleece us of 60p.  A small amount that generates more anger than it should!  To explain: The ticket machine says "minimum charge 0.60". The notice board says "16:00-09:00 no charge" and "a ticket must be displayed for each space used".  So it SHOULD issue a zero value ticket, shouldn't it.  We didn't pay.

The town is nicer than the county council.

Next stop St. Ives.  We parked in the top car park and walked downhill into town, starting at one end of the bay, we soon found a fish and chip shop for tea.  "Harbour Fish and Chips" is a very nice modern fish restaurant and take away.  In the take away we ordered Haddock and chips and grilled sea bass.  The cook produced battered haddock and battered sea bass.  As compensation for the extra wait we were given two grilled sea bass.  Very nicely done by the staff.  Then to fend off the gulls.
Found this bird in Penzance and watched it fish for a little while.  It looks like a Little Egret.
Finally, Jo accepted this challenge found in one of the St Ives shops.

Walking Minutes: 156  Brisk:59
Driven so far: 617.8

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pendoggett Day 5 (Wednesday) This old house

Looking for something to do that does not involve too much walking today so we decided to visit a stately home and then go into Newquay.

We headed to Trerice. It seems quite small when we arrived, but it kept us busy for the morning.  Like all National Trust properties, it has a huge restaurant, so we had some soup and then though about moving on.

Instead of Newquay we ended up at Lanhydrock.  This is a properly impressive house, it imposes itself, like a stately home should.  We arrived just in time to join the gardens tour, so heard some things about the trees that we wouldn't have found out otherwise. Then the long walk around the house, which was fascinating.  Unfortunately we ended up behind a group of eight or nine old women who like to fill the smaller rooms and just chat.  We got back to the cafe as it was closing, and just managed to purchase tea and flap-jack, before returning to the car to get out of the car park by 5:30.

Both these properties have been preserved as well as they have due to absentee landlords renting the properties for long periods.  In the case of Trerice one of the wings of the house was almost lost due to neglect, but the other survived unchanged. For Lanhydrock the lack of a landlord in residence meant that the fashion for remoulding the landscape didn't happen here, giving historians better insight into how changes occurred in the area.

On the way back we dropped in at the Port Isaac Co-op and got some food for dinner.

Miles so far 479.1
Walking minutes:150  Brisk minutes:33

Pendoggett Day 4 (Tuesday) Pendoggett to Port Garverne

What have we learnt today?
When walking in Cornwall take secateurs, a small pruning saw and a machete.

In the welcome folder there are written instructions for a walk across the fields and through the woods to Port Gaverne.  We were immediately attracted to it, so I typed the instructions into a document and pasted the result into a Whatsapp message, so that we both had it readily available.  With the new boots I had randomly bought in ALDI, we set off.  The walk is about 2 miles and ‘is not easy’ according to the instructions.  This is mainly due to mud and cows churning it up so making the ground uneven to walk across.  There were other hazards, among them briers, nettles, fallen trees (so that you had to climb over) and of course cows.  Cows appear inquisitive and frightened, both at the same time.  When they decide to move it is surprisingly sudden for such a large animal, and thankfully it was always away from us.
We arrive in Port Gaverne, there is a restaurant called ‘Pilchards’ right on the harbour and the Garverne Hotel on the other side.  The staff are setting up at the hotel so we ask if its open and the waitress tells us the restaurant opens at 12.  Then she remembers that the bar is open, so we order tea which comes in one of the biggest tea pots we have seen. 
After drinking the tea, we decide to go on the South West coast path.  It resumes next to the hotel up a very steep incline (1 in 3?).  The path is a rough concrete road, designed to provide grip for cars and turns into a rock track past the last house.  Once at the top of that the climb continues a couple of hundred yards.  The views from the top out to sea and back to the port are amazing.

We walked for another mile quite slowly, climbing up and down the coastal path.  Not wanting to over-do it, as we have so often in the first few days of a holiday, we turned back and arriving in the port looked at 'Pilchards' for lunch, but it was very expensive so we continued back to Pendoggett and had lunch in the Cornish Arms.

Walk distance 6.02 miles.

While having lunch the garage phoned and said the tire was ready for collection, so we travelled back to Wadebridge, where the tire was soon fitted.  We wandered round the town and bought ice cream from a young lad who didn't seem to have served ice cream (or perhaps customers) before. We also had a short walk along the riverbank and were trying to remember if we had ever visited the town in the past.  We are still not sure.

Pendoggett Day 3 (Monday) Move 'em on, head 'em up

What have we learnt today?
The approximate unladen velocity of a trotting cow is 6.5mph

But first there was a tire to deal with.  A J Wadebridge in (obviously?) Wadebridge, took a look at the tire, he tried to inflate it and the problem was obvious – a hole in the side wall.  As for a replacement, no he didn’t have one. So off to somewhere else – ATS in Wadebridge – no he didn’t have one either, but he can get the exact one for tomorrow.  We will see. So we went food shopping, a first Monday of the holiday tradition.  We started at Tesco, looking for fuel, but despite the website saying there is a petrol station there isn’t.  Across the road at ALDI there is no such boast – just food.  It is the first time I have been in an ALDI – not a bad experience.  We got everything we needed and a few things we didn’t.  Lunch, back at the house consisted of Manchego, home-made chutney, oat crackers and salad. A nice lunch.

The Wi-Fi is on, the faulty router was replaced while we were out.  They didn’t go through setup though, so I did what I could without the sign-in – so no adult filters as far as I can tell and because setup is not complete we occasionally get diverted to the setup page.  This is the second holiday where I have had to set up a router!  Now the tablet is connected, and I should be able to get my email going, but there is a problem sending on my home account, that is still to be diagnosed.

After a short break to catch up on our sleep (another very early morning this morning) we headed to The Jamaican Inn to read all about the smugglers and smuggling, and a little about Daphne du Maurier.  On the way we were stopped for a while by a heard of cows that a farmer was moving to another field. Once he finally got them ‘mooving’ I tracked the speed on the Sat-Nav, they averaged 6.5mph.

The lady on the reception at the museum was telling us she was talking to a lady who has been put in room 4. Apparently the most haunted room in the place.  The receptionist found us the cheapest price and we spent about 30 minutes in the small museum.  On returning to the bar we had drinks and then ordered tea. 

Aware that we hadn’t walked much today, we drove off after our meal towards a lake and Goliath Falls.  On the way I took a diversion up a dead end road, much to Jo’s disgust, to see if we could get to another lake. Some way up we crossed a cattle grid, and ended up unintentionally chasing a young cow along the road.  Young cows, especially frightened ones do not run at a consistent speed.  Eventually we got to the falls and walked along the bank of the river Fowey, and climbed up and down the steep banks, watching the Labradors playing in the water, and thinking how much Brody would have enjoyed it.  As the terrain got steeper and harder we decided to turn back, and then returned to the house.

Miles driven so far:379.4

Friday, July 13, 2018

Pendoggett Day 2 (Sunday) Blowout!

We woke up early, mainly due to the light but possible also some bird song, so by 7 am I had worked out how to use the microwave, cooked and eaten breakfast, and looked at two or three weather forecasts.  It’s supposed to be wet, even thundery for most of the day, but for now it is just cloudy.  We drive to the village to check the church times (11am Sung Eucharist), and while walking around the church the rain begins.  We drive through Port Isaac on the way back, but by now the rain is hard enough to deter another walk, so it’s back to the house.  At 9am we are sitting in the kitchen extension, under the clear roof listening to the rain – which is quite loud and strangely soporific.  So a snooze soon results when I try to read.
10:30 comes and we get ready for church.  It is still raining, but not so hard now.  There are streams running down the side of the roads.  On the way we come across a rock in the road.  There is a driver very close behind, there is too much oncoming traffic and too little width to swerve so we hit the rock.  For now, all is OK and we arrive at St Endellion in plenty of them. Their car park is almost full with 15 minutes to go. When we get in the church it is strangely dim, it turns out there is a power cut, no lights and the leaders must speak loudly to be heard. 

It is a high church – lots of liturgy (some sung), ‘bells and smells’ and an eight-minute sermon. The incense has its usual effect, I slowly begin to feel nauseous.  Jo doesn’t like it either.  The service ends with the blessing of a new bell rope – not made of hemp as the old ones are.  This will provide better responsiveness and feedback for the ringer. After the service the priest is offering drinks to celebrate his 10 years at the church.  We are told that Pendogget is in the St Kew parish, so we will go to their All age service next week.
When we get outside the rain has stopped and we immediately notice that the nearside front is flat.  There are concerned noises from some of the congregation, but there is little they can do, most of them are well over 10 years my senior.  I managed to change the wheel, I’m slightly proud of myself and slightly surprised that I managed to unscrew the nuts. I said at the time ‘I will pay for that in the morning’, but I already have back ache.  The wheel is in the car, not in its carrier under the car – first job tomorrow is to get it fixed and hope there is no damage to the wheel.
We went ‘across the road’ for lunch, to the Trevathan farm restaurant.  It is a strawberry farm.  After lunch we also bought some strawberries, I will report on them later.  We were squeezed in to the restaurant and sat at a reserved table, being told we must be out by 2 pm.  That suited me as I wanted to be back in the house to watch the Austrian GP by then.   It took 5 hand washes to get my hands clean enough to eat. The food was very good, although I forgot to tell them to hold the gravy (again!).  We arrived back just in time for the parade lap – that was good enough.  I’m not saying anything else about the race.
After the race we drove to Port Isaac and wandered around the village for a while, then followed the coastal path westward for about a mile before turning back at a flight of steps.  I made it to the top, and was breathless, with a thumping heart – more than enough exercise for 1 day.  Jo stayed at the bottom and waited for my return.  Back in the village we bought fish and chips from ‘The Slipway’ restaurant.  They would not sell me two fish and one chips and charge me less, so we had fish and chips twice.  Nicely packaged, and the fish was lovely, but the chips were slightly under cooked – not good value for £17.00. We sat on the quay side, ate our food and watched a young Labrador playing in the water, we missed Brody.

Peril Index +1 - stranded in church car park with a flat tire.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pendoggett Day 1 (Saturday) U turn if you want to (but I HAVE to)

Having taken Brody to my sisters for the fortnight, we packed up and left about 10am for the five-and-a-half-hour drive to the north coast of Cornwall.  The traffic was slowing our journey, but the ETA on the on the sat-nav remained at 3:28pm.  We were planning two stops, so the earliest time of arrival (4pm) would not ever be achieved. The Dartford crossing was not a problem, but further round the traffic slowed to almost a halt.  We were offered an alternative route to save five minutes – which I readily accepted.  It took us off the motorway and through various town centres.  The first U-turn was in Farnham I think.  Instead of a right turn, which is forbidden, go left do a U-turn (round the station entrance) then cross the junction and the right turn is achieved.  All very slow! Later another turn was mis-interpreted, and we and we ended up going round a ‘circle’ until we got back on the right route. By the time we got to the A-303 (and after a short stop for lunch) the ETA was showing 5:29pm – we had lost nearly 2 hours to the traffic. 
After a second short stop, which was partly to allow for some movement, and partly to get out of the heat.  Somewhere in the traffic the air conditioning had effectively given up and was blowing warm air into the car.  Windows are great for cooling, but not that good on a day when temperatures reached 27C.

We arrived in Pendoggett around 5:45, the last part of the directions say “after about 6 miles look out for a pub on the right”, but don’t tell you it’s name.  We spotted the pub easily enough, but missed the earlier board advertising it (it was on the left), so went straight passed, and had to do our third turn around.  The house is not easy to find because the name plate is obscured by a large fuchsia bush, but we did find it after a bit of looking. Then there is the challenge of the key safe – easy enough to put the combination in but much harder to get the door to open.
Once inside the house is spacious, and easily suitable for four, plenty of us two. The Wi-Fi is not working, there is a replacement router coming.  surely it would be a simple thing to leave a note next to the router to let us know - they had to come in to clean!
We had a lovely 3-course meal in the pub garden, still in warm sunshine beyond 8pm in the evening and followed up with a short walk, then more unpacking, an hour’s TV, and off to bed.

Miles driven: 288.1

Peril Index
A Peril Index will be added to the bottom of some posts, to indicate how much (or little) peril we were in. The scale is 0 to 10. 0 is normal life. 10 is, for example, an early 20th century visit to Antarctica.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Where does it all go?

I'm not talking about my money - the money that is paid into the bank by my employer and pension providers - I'm talking about the portion of my money that I don't get - my contribution to the wider society.  On my latest statement from HMRC, on the back page is a breakdown of the spending which totaled up my contributions and split them out, so that I know how much was spent on the various categories.  They even provided a nice graphic.
For those who prefer numbers, here are the percentages I calculated from the numbers that HMRC provided.

Welfare 24.30
Health 20.30
State Pensions 12.90
Education 12.30
National debt interest 5.50
Defence 5.20
Public order and safety 4.20
Transport 4.20
Business and industry 2.50
Government administration 2.10
Culture eg sports, libraries, museums 1.60
Environment 1.60
Housing and utilities eg street lights 1.50
Overseas aid 1.10
UK contribution to the EU budget 0.70
Total 100.01
I'm not sure what prompted this - maybe it was #brexit, but the numbers are revealing.  Here's the things that stand out for me:
  1. We spend more servicing debt than we do on defense.  This is a good reason to get the debt down so there is less interest to pay.  Doing that would provide more (but only a little) for Health and Welfare.
  2. Overseas aid is trivial, so cancelling that, as so many would like to do doesn't really change anything for us, but leaves many of the least well-of in the world in and even worse position.
  3. Housing and utilities eg street lights: I thought that street lights were financed by County Councils, so I'm not sure what this is all about.
  4. The EU contribution is the lowest item. If this is meant to influence my thinking on #brexit, its too late.

Of course there are some questions that need to be answered, for example, is the VAT that I pay spent in the same proportions? I'm assuming that everything they get goes into a big pot and is spent as they wish.  My wish is that were not the case, I'd like to see a line on my payslip that let me know how much I'm contributing to Health and Welfare, that would help in my understanding of how to fund the NHS.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

CenterParcs Longleat, with Thomas - Day 4: The Railway Children

After a reasonable night we were still up late, the morning is spent on breakfast in the villa - nothing special, although I have now worked out how the microwave works so I can cook my porridge the way I like it.
After lunch we went to the pool for a last visit.  We decided to get the 'land train' - a vehicle pulling either two or three coaches seating about 20 per coach.  Very basic, but very necessary on this huge site.  As we drove past some of the people in the villas close to the road waved.  Why is it not just called a train - even without rails road train would work better.  When was the last time you saw a sea train, or an air train.  All trains go on land as far as I know.
Arriving at the pool later than planned we moved dinner back half an hour to get a reasonable amount of time there.  Thomas was seated in his 'flotation device' and was really enjoying being pushed through the water.  At one point he was kicking his legs and moving through the water under his own power, the direction of course was quite random, but I like to think that he realised that it was his action causing the movement.  While the others went off to go down some of the bigger slides he stayed with me, and we went out deeper, where the water was warmer.  By now it is dark outside and the atmosphere was changing inside the pool - the temperature outside was close to zero, inside it had dropped and the water at the edges cooled down quickly.   Thomas was feeling the cold.  Out in the middle the water was still warm so he enjoyed that more.  He was happy to get his mum back though. Then I tried a little swimming   The pool is not designed for straight swimming, but along the divider it is possible occasionally. After a few widths I was tired, and wondering how my shoulder would hold up.
We left the pool, getting washed and dry in the changing rooms and headed to dinner at Las Iguanas.  The service was good and appropriately attentive, the food was nice enough, if a little on the spicy side.  Anyway we all enjoyed ourselves.  The only slight disappointment being the beer - Brave Red Ale - a craft beer, which lacked body, although the taste was OK.

CenterParks Longleat, with Thomas - Day 3:The Howling

A slow start to the day is becoming the norm.  The overnight snow had left white patches on the ground, but there was so little it looked like a heavy frost.  Last night was supposed to have been the coldest of the winter so far, with temperatures predicted to drop as low as minus five.  I don't know if it was that cold because the temperature in the villa was quite constant and warm.
We eventually ventured out into the cold, and got as far as the Sports Bar.  We booked a pool table for an hours pool.  Like the bowling my recent experience is non-existent, so I played badly even by my poor standard.  Thomas seemed to enjoy the environment of the sports bar - perhaps it was the endless TV screens showing mostly the same thing, but weirdly some are slightly out of sync.  One or two have different programs.
From the Sports Bar, Jo and I took Thomas back to the villa, while Liz and Ray went to the Aqua Sana for a spa event.  On the way we looked for the bird hide.  It is next to a small pond which was still frozen over at 4pm.  Just up the bank at the back of the pond is a villa with very noisy children playing.  We instantly blamed them for the lack of birds, but a few moments later the real reason became apparent. A cat came prowling through the scene, obviously intent on something we couldn't see and unaware of our presence it went on its way.  The few birds there had been were already gone, and so it was our turn.  We made our way back up the hill on the way back to the villa.  We had not ridden on the 'train' yet, when we arrived at the stop it was just a couple of minutes away.  Frantically we tried to disassemble the push chair as the 'train' arrived, we were still trying as it left, so we gave up and walked back.
Once back in the warm Thomas was soon complaining that he was too hot but even unwrapped he was not happy.  Pointless was on the TV, but having it on was pointless - we couldn't hear it above his cries. Eventually, after I swaddled him and rocked him he dozed off, but not for long - in less than 30 minutes he was back at full volume.  At four months a child knows his mother and father; he also knows when they are not around and protests accordingly. Even the flames from the log fire, which had so fascinated him last night had no effect.  We decided to take him for a walk - back in the bear suit, back in the push chair and on our way up the hill, the volume and frequency reduced slowly.  Near the end of Cascade Way we met mum and dad coming the other way - all is well for the rest of the night.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CenterParcs Longleat, with Thomas - Day 2: Water World

After a reasonable nights sleep, I comment about the beds and the shower.  The bed is comfortable and large enough for me not to have feet sticking out of the end.  The way the duvet is placed on the bed, and tucked in with a very large sheet means that the duvet only reaches to my chest.  The chalet also cools down quickly, so Thomas was cold during the night.  The central heating is set to automatically return to its default plan after a certain amount of time, so trying to make it stay on over night seems to be impossible. The shower is good, and I enjoyed a good stream of hat water for the duration - no fluctuations in pressure of temperature.  Refreshed by a good night's sleep we are planning to visit the pancake house for breakfast.
Today, we walked the 1.5 miles to the Plaza, and arrived at the pancake house in time for a late breakfast.  The pancakes are very good, I had a Smoked Salmon and rocket pancake.  The others also had a sweet one after their savoury one, but I refrained.  Thomas was offered various tastes from the pancakes, most of which caused him to dribble excessively.
After that it was on to ten-pin bowling.  We had an hour booked and managed two games.  I played badly and could not achieve my usual level of accuracy, so overall I was well beaten.  Never-the-less, we all enjoyed ourselves, passing Thomas around so we could take our turn.  He put up with all of that without a big fuss.
Then to the pool, to introduce Thomas to the water.  The baby flotation devices are expensive, so we decided to look after him, but a couple offered us theirs, as their son had grown out of it.  There are still lots of kind people in the world, and we were very happy to accept their kind offer.  He seemed to enjoy the freedom it provided and was happy kicking his legs and getting some movement.  We were sat just in the wave pool, when the wave started we sat on the edge.  He enjoyed the wave crashing next to us and watching it splash the people next to us - that was perhaps the most entertaining thing for him.  Later we left Liz and Ray in the pool, and took Thomas to get a cup of tea (for us, not him).  We fed him and almost immediately he slept, he barely finished his milk.  Eventually it was just him and I, dozing in the chair - him properly asleep and me nodding off and waking up.
When Liz and Ray returned form the pool we started the return journey to the villa.  We waited for the 'train', but it was full, so we walked back, down the valley and up the other side.  I pushed him all the way - exercise complete for the day!

Monday, February 12, 2018

CenterParcs Longleat, with Thomas - Day 1: Lost in space

The journey to CenterParcs started, as all holiday journeys do, not with a single step, but 20 minutes loading the car.  We decided to take the petrol vehicle, mainly because it has more space. Also, because I haven't got as far as signing the electric one up for charging points yet.  Then we traveled six miles in the wrong direction to meet with Liz, Ray and Thomas and to pick up some of their luggage.  The convoy (just two vehicles) set off down the A13 to the M25. For most of the journey the traffic was reasonable, there were only ne or two small jams.  We stopped at Fleet Services on the M3 for lunch - Burger King.  The temporary facilities are really quite nice, very open and airy, but warm enough none-the-less.  The most notable thing about the services, which I could just about have got to, was that all the re-charging points appeared to be cordoned off. The remainder of the journey was uneventful, and Thomas slept for most of the journey.  Then we drove into Longleat Forest, the signs are clear enough, but I had no idea where I was in relation to anything else.  Maps are provided, but they need magnification to be of real use. 
The accommodation is clean, warm and modern - much nicer than I was expecting. There are TV's in every bedroom and also one in the lounge / diner / kitchen.  The storage space in the bedrooms looks small, but is more than adequate. The bathrooms are also very modern. The first order of business after exploring the rooms is to get the devices connected to WiFi - that was much easier than expected.
Waiting for us was a large box of Krispy Kreme Donuts - very welcome, and logs for the wood burner (more on that later).  The donuts just underlined what lunch had already proven - sticking to the diet this week is going to be impossible.
After a while, Liz and I took the cars off site and parked them in the car park, then walked into the Plaza. Jo, Ray and Thomas walked from the chalet and we met at the bowling alley for a drink.  Prices are a little high, but I suppose that is to be expected.  At least they have Doombar.
The walk back in the dark was confusing for me, but Liz knew where she was going.  We are about 1.6 miles from the Plaza, so a return trip should be enough for my daily walking requirement, though I will have to move faster than I did tonight.  I would have expected to get a better view of the Milky Way on a clear cold night, especially as the lights are all dim, low level and mainly under fir trees, but it wasn't so different from Billericay.

Friday, January 05, 2018


I have been put on different statins. The previous ones came in a box half the size and had two strips with 14 tablets each.  These come in a larger box and waste huge amounts of plastic - which is non-recyclable.  There are four of these in the box.  The tablets are so small they could easily put two weeks supply on each sheet.  What a waste!

The pencil is there to give a sense of scale.