Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sunday 29 December

It was bright and sunny today, although the mercury didn't manage more than 7C / 45F. In order to further build my physical condition, we went on another walk, which totalled just under 7 km. It was very busy with other walkers right through the two hours that we were out and about.

PC296473 Emma Pyramid
Memorial for a dozen local men summarily executed by occupying Nazi German forces in 1944

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Saturday 28 December

Very slowly, the clouds broke this morning to reveal nice winter sunshine for the afternoon. Sufficient to tempt us out for a walk in the woods. The only problem was that the rain had made all the paths muddy and slippery.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Friday 27 December

Wind and rain today, a lot of rain. It kept me inside, so I caught up with some of my local history projects from the Outer Hebrides. The TV showed a news review of 2013, with a few surprises for me - like the death of some well-known people in this country. Weather tomorrow should be a little better. At any rate, the wee birds at the feeders kept me amused in the afternoon.

Thursday 26 December - Boxing Day

A reasonable day, weatherwise, it was at least dry if not sunny. Went to visit an aunt and uncle, who live in a town some 6 miles away and took the train from Arnhem. Although the direct distance is 6 miles, the journey by bus and train was more like 11 miles. The bus to Arnhem takes a very roundabout route, and the city is further away from our eventual destination. Had a lovely Christmas dinner, good craic and we were home before 9pm.

PC266452 Arnhem - Velperpoort
PC266453 Near Rheden
PC266454 At Ellecom
PC266455 Looking back down the line

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Wednesday 25 December - Christmas Day

The day dawned pretty bright and it stayed bright and fairly sunny throughout. It wasn't as mild as yesterday, and the southerly wind did nothing to improve on the 8C on the thermometer. Went to church (again) this morning, for the Christmas Day service in which I once more participated as a chorister. After a cuppa following the service we went home to watch the pope enunciate his traditional Christmas prayer Urbi et Orbi (for the city and the world). King Willem Alexander was on TV an hour later with the first of his Christmas addresses to the nation. After all those words, it was time for a walk in the woods. We went as far as the edge of the forest, overlooking the Heathlands and the Watchtower (in the distance). There were not many people about, except at the carpark which was positively heaving. The doggies had also been doing their business, phew. 5.8km (3½ miles) was the total. It was quite wet underfoot, after last night's heavy rain. My sister called round with some of her offspring between 4 and 5, after which we had Xmas dinner: a pork roast, stewed pears and potatoes. Very good!

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Tuesday 24 December

The weather was just plain awful today. Coastal storms, inland strong gusts and lashing rains. Although the wind subsided by evening, this was followed by more heavy rain. Went to church for the 7.30pm Christmas Eve service, in which I participated as a chorister. I was one of four tenors; one of the others was a lady who was able to manage the tenor register with her alto voice. Church was packed, but a small child screamed loudly through the introductory prayers, giving rise to a mutter in the congregation. However, our pieces went very well indeed. No, I don't have any nice pics to show today.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Monday 23 December

The day started very bright, with the sun rising (just before 9) through the trees.
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However, after midday, the clouds came across and the wind made the 9C feel slightly less mild. I'm going for a short walk every afternoon to build up my physical condition, which has taken a nosedive following last month's bout of pneumonia, or whatever it was. Two miles is all I seem to manage at the moment, and as it is rather hilly round here, that really knocks me for six. Fortunately, there does seem to be an upward trend.
In the forest today, the foresters were busy at work, clearing lots of trees. Yet, I still couldn't see the wood for the trees. More decay was in evidence, with trees cracked by a storm earlier in the month and a dead specimen being slowly consumed by fungi. Wondering who invented recycling first? Mother Nature, who else.
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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sunday 22 December

Grey and overcast today, but with some sunny spells - and one downpour. Went out for an amble in the forest, but found that I'm not exactly used anymore to the hilly aspect of the terrain round here. Because it IS hilly. Upon return, I was watching some blue tits and great tits flutter around some jars of peanut butter that had been left out for them - about a dozen in total. Great fun, except it was pouring with rain at the time, making the taking of pics through a window, streaming with rainwater, slightly tricky.

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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Saturday 21 December

The shortest day of the year, and suitably grey and overcast. It stayed dry however, until about 4pm (time of posting) when the rain finally moved in from the northwest. It's windier than yesterday, a southerly wind at force 5. Went out for another amble, 2 miles in the woods.

PC216346 Village pump (one of 3)
PC216343 Gate into the Country Park
PC216341 Scoundrels' Road (leading to Gallows Hill)
PC216339 Motorway traffic
PC216335 In the woods
PC216331 Artwork

Friday 20 December

The day brightened up very nicely and the afternoon was sunny and virtually cloudless. Went for a walk into the Castle Country Park, not far, just 2 km (just over 1 mile). However, it is one of my favourites around here, and my amble took me round all the familiar corners. A few changes here and there, but nothing dramatic. The sculptures in the park have all been wrapped in tarpaulins to protect them from the effects of frost and water.

PC206317 Castle
PC206314 Shell Gallery
PC206309 Castle, from the south
PC206306 Tea House
PC206296 Tricky Fountain
PC206297 Chain Bridge
PC206294 Chill Room
PC206290 Orangerie
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