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Showing posts from October, 2009

Stanley & the Trees

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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.
http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/our-woods/pages/about-this-wood.aspx?wood=4123
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 through Trust woods a…

Baching up the Trees

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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 ,http://www.glenngould.com/ an obsessive character , who spent much of his musical life refle…

Quackers and Commons

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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 www.nationaltrail.co.uk ) 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 slowly restore…

keep the faith , ascend the beacon

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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 ; but by th…

Racing Ahead

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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.