Showing posts from October, 2009

Stanley & the Trees

My latest stroll along the Cotswold Way from Coaley View Point to to the junction of the two routes out of King's Stanley and return , proved to be unexpectedly poignant , for when reaching the first of the woods I was met by the sign on the left. Stanley , was my late Father's Christian name and for many years he lived in nearby Dursley. He would often drive along the Dursley to Stroud road , which ran parallel for much of this walk. He would have been delighted to know that he shared his name with this woodland , for like me he dearly loved his trees. You can find out more about Stanley Wood by clicking the link above. I cannot praise enough the work of the Woodland Trust , a charity which manages over 1000 woods and allows all of them free to roam ; no strictures , just welcome. It therefore , will come as no surprise to learn that all Cotswold Way paths that run throug

Baching up the Trees

Visited Cyril Hart's Arboretum , in the Forest of Dean, yesterday. The weather was fair and in the words of the carol , beauty shone all around. The photographs show a close-up view of a tree bark and view of one of the glades. the rather strange spelling of today's title refers to the music I played during the trip to and from the trees ; namely " The Goldberg Variations " J. S. Bach . This is a set of 30 solo variations , with an aria at the beginning and end for Harpsichord or Piano. The pieces are short , expressive and flow like ripples over a waterfall. An insomniac Johann Goldberg required a musical form of exercise to help the sleepless nights go by. He may have been the first performer of Bach's masterpiece. As , you may well imagine to my ears , this music perfectly complements the majesty and poise of these stately trees . My recording was by the late Glenn Gould , an obsessive character , who spent much of his mu

Quackers and Commons

Well 'bless my barnacles ' , if you'll pardon the expression , I reckon that the five mile walk I've just completed is as good or satisfying as any walk on the way so far. The weather , for October was exceptional with clear , calm blue skies , resulting in vivid images and colours. Even the texture of the ground changed from dew and dampness to firm and holding. The walk from King's Stanley was circular in nature , but still stayed true to the Cotswold Way . This is because the trail has two alternate routes out from King's Stanley , meeting at the top of Middle Yard hill. This cleverly designed circular trail ' 8. Commons and Canals - The Selsley Circuit' , ( download at ) allows the walker to cover these two routes in 3/4 hours and what enjoyment it brings , from sheltered beech woodlands to grasslands and rich open commons until finally to amble alongside the Stroudwater Navigation (open 1779 and now being

keep the faith , ascend the beacon

Faith is like a pearl , it shines from the oysters of life. Well the oysters were stacking up in large quantities as I drove to Randwick , near Stroud last Tuesday (6/10) ; the rain was teeming down onto the road and the wind was threatening to dislodge more leaves onto the sodden ground. I was moving from plan B to plan C and had all but given up any foot expeditions that morning , WHEN rounding a corner in the road there was a glimpse of blue in the distance and as I drove nearer to Stroud the azure intensity increased ; so by the time I reached my parking point at Randwick there was only a light drizzle and some falling water from the trees. The resulting walk through the woods and up and over Haresfield Beacon , brought many pleasures not least of all , the light falling through the trees to expose the carpet of brown leaves underneath. (see left hand pic. for an idea of this ) At one point a white mist arose from the valley floor, marking another change in the Seasons ;

Racing Ahead

Went to Cheltenham Racecourse yesterday to the inaugural Season Preview Day. The weather was kind and the course looked in grand fettle ; although I learned that they badly needed rain and had been watering for the past three weeks , in order to be ready for the first meeting on 16/17 October. I was able to see several new ( to me) sights ; namely the Stewards' Room , the dope testing facilities , and the weighing room . I was also " presented " with the Gold Cup at the winner's spot and made it up to the grandstand roof , where Peter O'Sullivan used to do the Race Commentaries . ( See pic 1 ) I also saw this rocking horse named Kauto Star after the present Gold Cup Winner ; which brought a smile to a very pleasant day out. Ciao4now Ck.