Sunday, 30 September 2012

The "Regency Belles" Play Dance Music in Hillworth Park.

This group of ladies played their delightful Regency dance music  in Hillworth Park pavilion on Sunday afternoon.   They played  a selection of dance music, popular in the Regency years from 1780 until 1830,  and also music that was played for some of the recent Jane Austen films seen in the cinema and on television. The group was formed in order to play period music for the various dance groups in the Bath area, and you can read more about them and their activities on their website:
The Regency Belles 
Above can be seen the park pavilion, with a "Reflective" pond in the forground. This area is meant to offer peace and quiet, and a place to sit and reflect, but the designer seemed to miss one important point!   Wherever you have water in a shallow pond, children will use it as a paddling pool and the local dogs with drink the water!   It was not built as a paddling pool, and soon after its opening, it had to close on health and safety grounds.   Large posters around the pond now ask the locals, their children and dogs not to paddle in the water on a hot sunny day! 

The Garden Pavilion, often refered to as the Queen Anne Pavilion is a Grade ll listed building and was built during the reign of George lll, between the years of 1740 and 1759. The building was possibly used as a 'banqueting house' where drinks and sweetmeats would be taken after a main meal,  and enabling the owners to enjoy views of their estate.   Built of brick with an ogee shaped hipped tiled roof the Pavilion was, until recently, on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register due to concern over its poor condition.   The Pavilion was restored in 2011 using traditional crafts and materials,  ensuring that this small, beautiful, and historic building has a secure future.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Holly the "Jack Russel" terrier.

Three good friends of mine have moored up at Devizes Wharf in their boat, "Hampshire Rose," and this afternoon we met for a walk along the towpath to the top of the Caen Hill flight of locks.  Anne and Gerald own a lively little dog called "Holly," who takes every opportunity possible to chase a ball and leap into the canal.  She is only really happy when the ball is thrown into the middle of the canal, if it is too close to the bank, she will not jump in!   

"Hampshire Rose" is a 62ft long narrow boat, and is seen above moored, towpath side at the Wharf, with the Devizes Theatre standing in the background. Holly has the ball in her jaws, and is waiting for the walk to start.

Gerald, Holly and Anne stand in the lounge of their boat.  They live aboard the boat all year, travelling around the English canal system in the summer months, and this year mooring for the winter in the Devizes "Caen Hill" marina.  The marina opened last year, and offers excellent facilities for boaters who wish to stay over the winter months.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Attempting to Nordic Walk Outside the "Royal Oak" at Easterton.

I borrowed some walking poles today, and had my first attempt at Nordic walking!  The correct technique takes some practise, and I'm not sure I'm ready for poles just yet, although by the time we arrived at the "Royal Oak,"  I was beginning to "cotton on."

We walked up to the Plain from Foxley Corner near Urchfont, and then across the top of the downs.  Salisbury Plain is used for army exercises, and today the red flags were flying, so we took notice of the "Danger, do not enter" signs, and avoided becoming objects for target practise.   We could see distant tracers in the sky, although at first sight, we thought these might be twisters, as it was "blowing a gale of wind."  The photo above shows the "Byway" and "Keep out" signs, and a notice board warning of the dangers of walking into areas where the tanks are on maneuvers, and firing shells at one another!   Not to be recommended.

We walked down into Easterton, hoping to have lunch in the pub. but......the pub did not do meals at lunchtime!    What!!! a pub not doing lunches, how odd we all thought!  Fortunately a bus back to Devizes was due, so we jumped aboard, came back into town and had lunch in "The Silk Mercer."   (I drank a pint of Fosters, I'm afraid.)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

On Trying to Play Four Bells at a Time

I ring with the "The Potterne Handbell Ringers" and last night we were a player short in the upper notes tune section.  I usually play three large, lower note bells, but only two at a time, with one in each hand.  The larger bells play the lower notes, and if you look carefully at the big bells to the right, you can see the name of the note impressed on the leather handle, C on the bottom bell.  The upper notes are played with two bells in each hand.  The are laced together so that one bell rings when flicked upwards towards the player, and the other when the bell is flipped to the left in the right hand, and to the right in the left hand.  (Work that one out!!) 
I was totally confused to start with, and as the bells have to be held tightly, I ended up with a bruised feeling between my fingers on each hand.  I did manage to "cotton on" eventually, and we managed to play a reasonable rendition of the "Skater's Waltz."
Next week we will start practising for our Christmas invitations to play in various venues around the Devizes area. We play a selection of Christmas carols and popular music, and people like to join in and sing along with us.   We will  play at the carol service in Potterne Church, which was where these two photographs were taken at last year's service.  We play a four octave set of bells, which were cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.  The set cost about £35,000, and as much as I'd like to start a handbell ringing group in Braunschweig, I don't think I can afford a set of bells!


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Wet and Windy in Devizes

Not a  lot to report really, as because the weather is so bad, it is not possible to venture out for a walk, and also I have decided to hibernate until the rain stops. The weather is diabolical, with constant showers, heavy grey skies and too much gloom. I am lucky to live in the south of England at the moment, as the situation in the north of the country is really bad, with severe flooding, causing traffic disruption. 
 I have vistors  arriving from Germany in two weeks time, and I hope it stops raining in time for their stay at the beginning of October. This roof garden is used by the residents of C Court, with the plants tended by various interested lady gardeners. It is a pleasant place to sit in the sunshine on a warm summer or autumn day, although this year that sort of day has been few and far between.

The wet flag stones and a few bedragled plants look a sorry sight on this dismal day. This garden is three floors up, and the photo below shows the view when looking over the roof garden parapet.  The white 15th century building to the left, is the "White Bear" public house, a nice cosy little pub, particularly on a cold winter's evening, when the landlord has the fire well stoked.   Looking straight ahead, you can see the entrance to the "Brittox" the main pedestrianised shopping centre.  On a nice day, the whole area is a hive of activity, but not today of course!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Trip to Bath with my Free Bus Pass.

Pulteney Bridge in Bath.
The weather cheered up yesterday for my visit to the "Royal United Hospital" in Bath, where a friend has been a patient since August, after routine keyhole surgery went wrong, and she developed life threatening symtoms. She spent some days in intensive care on a life support machine, but now, I'm pleased to say, she is slowly getting better, and hopes to out of hospital in three weeks time.  Fingers crossed!

I went to Bath on Monday afternoon the "bone shaker bus."   Until 2010 modern buses did the journey, but that company decided they couldn't make enough profit, so withdrew the service, and fortunately another company took on the route.  The journey is interesting, as the bus travels through several small Wiltshire towns, and reaches Bath by way of Bathford and Bathhampton.  We changed buses at Bath bus station, and took the No 14 to the hospital, so the journey was door to door, and free with our bus passes.  Thank you whatever Government it was who introduced the free bus pass scheme for maturer English ladies and gentlemen. 
A free pass bus is one of the best things any government has done for me, and long may it continue.  Mind you, the present government is looking to make cuts, but have so far not dared to withdraw the passes.  The coalition fears upsetting the electorate and those who vote for both parties.  Let's hope enlightened views win the day.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Kennet & Avon Canal Trust's 50 Year Celebrations

I'm afraid the rain poured on our parade today at Devizes Wharf,  where we  celebrated 50 years of the K&A Trust, a group formed to save the canal from dereliction and infilling way back in the 1960's.  Many of us have worked with the Trust over the years, fund raising, working on the trip boat, encouraging membership, and educating both adults and and children of the benefits of having this wonderful canal, which was opened by the Queen in 1990, flowing through the town.  It is a great leisure resource for us all, fishermen, boaters, joggers, cyclists and walkers. 
The photo above shows the Mayor of Devizes and his wife with other dignatories after their arrival by boat to open the celebrations.  Unfortunately the remnants of hurricane "Nadine" arrived at the same time, to give us all a cold, windy soaking which has continued all day, and will stay with us until Tuesday!
Several Devizes groups were represented with above, the Regency Dance group, complete with costumes, watching the arrival of the Mayor.  What a pity it rained, but when the beer tent opened and the smell of the hotdogs and burgers wafted around the Wharf, spirits rose, and those brave souls who turned out in wet weather gear and umbrellas had a good time.

The lads on the beer tent, with cans of Fosters to the left and Wadworth 6X, the local beer brewed in Devizes to the right.  This tent proved popular among the visitors.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Another Long Walk, Another Pub!

We caught  the 9,38am Bath bus, and arrived at the start of our 5 mile walk just after 10.15am.  We walked from the "West Wilts Golf Club" to Bathford,  a small  village that lies four  miles  east of Bath. We set out in fine  drizzle, but it had stopped by noon, and then the sun came out and everything in the garden was rosy again!  The photo right shows us walking along the edge of a field marked by a dry stone wall.   It was in need of repair, but I'm always surprised that such walls last for centuries if well maintained. We enjoyed wonderful views of the Wiltshire countryside as we walked towards  Monkton Farleigh Manor House and onwards back to Bathford.
"Left or right Joy?" After a short discussion we turned left. 
We returned to Bathford, via some old Bath Stone quarries with many rocky, fossil infested outcrops to investigate.  Unfortunately access to the rock faces was difficult, as the undergrowth had not been cut back, so we have decided to return again next month for a closer look with a pair of shears.   We wanted to visit Bathford Church to see the tomb of one of Lord Nelson´s relatives, but time ran out, so we climbed aboard the bus and travelled to Atworth for lunch in "The White Hart."

This is "The White Hart" in Atworth, the pub where we enjoyed a two course lunch for £7.50, with tea or coffee to finish. (I had half a pint, it is good for my health.)  We had a lovely day together, with drizzle at the start of the walk, but sunshine to finish.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Tuesday to Thursday Market Day Catch Up.

The photo right shows the entrance to my favourite Devizes pub, "The Black Swan," the scene of supposed coffee mornings, although I always have a small glass of beer, as it is good for my health.  I have been busy every evening this week, hence my failure to write up the blog since Tuesday, and I must admit that I completely forgot about it on Wednesday.   On Monday I sang with Dauntsey's Choir, on Tuesday with the Devizes Chamber Choir, and on Wednesday evening I went handbell ringing in Potterne.  It was a short bell practise, as we stopped after an hour to celebrate a ringer's birthday with wine and snacks.  A really good time was had by all, particular after we heard the story of a poor sheep, that J found stuck in a hedge.  It was in a bad way, so she freed it, wrapped it in her red jacket to keep it warm, left it in a safe place, and went for help.  When she came back the sheep, wearing a red jacket, had disappeared.   
Many local people later reported seeing a sheep dressed in a red jacket in the area!  J never found the sheep or her jacket, that contained her door keys.  She had to change all the locks in her house, so being a good samaritan and saving a sheep, cost her £90.   We rolled around laughing at the story, drank more wine and wondered what happened to the sheep.
The entrance of the "Black Swan" this morning, market day in Devizes. 

The pub was full with coffee drinkers, all enjoying a break from fruit and vegetable shopping.  The photo below shows a market stall in the "Brittox."   The word derives from the French "Bretasche," which means a raised stockaded walkway, which led from Devizes Castle to a prison.  This shopping area  is pedestrianised, and one of the busiest places in Devizes.   The town is always a hive of acitivity on a Thursday morning when the market comes to town. 

Jimmy Dean's fruit and vegetable market stall in the "Brittox."

Monday, 17 September 2012

New Beginnings

To the left the lady piper, pipes a tune outside the Music Department at Dauntsey's School in Market Lavington, where we started rehearsals of Faure's "Requiem" on Monday evening.  I thought I'd never sung this piece before, but I last did so in 2007, but I've no recollection of the music or the occasion!  Mr Faure obviously didn't leave much of an impression on me!    I bought a CD of the work whilst in Braunschweig this summer, and repeatedly played it, and even then I did not remember ever singing the work.  Is this an age related loss of memory age?  If so, oh dear!   It is sad, gentle, very French music, although not really one of my favourites, but I will sing in the concert in November.  I have never sung with "Dauntsey's Choir" before, although last night recognised many of the singers.
Earlier yesterday afternoon, we had the first meeting of our "Intermediate German" group, (only three of us) here in my flat.  We are working from the Berlitz book and CD "German in 30 Days."   I always add "Hahahaha" after the title, as it is not possible to learn German in 30 days, and I had contemplated reporting the title to the "Trades Description Act" people up in London.   That would take up too much of my precious time, so "Hahahaha" added at the end settles the matter! 
Listening to the CD gives us  the chance to hear the correct pronunciation of the words, and we follow the dialogue in the book. We have arrived at Lesson 7, and yesterday talked about separable and modal auxilary verbs, all very serious stuff if you are interested in learning German. We ended with tea drinking, and I ate two very tasty Oat Crunchy biscuits.   We SHALL master this language one day.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Regency Dancing in the "Devizes Literary & Scientific Institute."

These elegant ladies are wearing dresses worn during the "Regency Era" a period in England from  1785 to 1830.  I´ll never look quite this elegant, with their slender figures and youth, but I will try to emmulate their style and poise.  I'm going to make a day dress similar the one on the right,  a dress which was popular in 1830.  The dance dress to the left dates from 1811.   I went to the group for the first time last Thursday, where the leader gave us some history of the dances we were about to practise.  I thought the dances would be nice and slow, but no, some are quiet fast, with hopping steps and much pointing of the toes.  We danced in a set of six, with ladies to one side and the men facing them.   We were short of men on Thursday, so one lady had to dance as a man.  She wore a blue sash so that we knew she´d had a quick sex change!  I enjoyed the evening, and now have to make a Regency style dress for future dancing displays.

We practise our dances  in the "Devizes Literary & Scientific Institute,"  an organisation formed in 1833,  for the improvement of the working class.     In the early 19th they were refered to as "Mechanics’ Institutes," and were being set up all over the country with the intention of informing the new artisan class about breakthroughs in technology.   The Institute originally met in the Quaker´s meeting room in the High Street, but later moved to bigger premises in New Park Street.  In 1843 the building burnt down, and new rooms were found in the Town Hall.   In 1906, the Insitute purchased the above building, which had been a "British School for Girls" since 1822.   The building is deceptively large, appearing very narrow at the front, but with large long rooms on two floors.  We have to climb to the top for our dance practises.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Walking in Avebury and Over Windmill Hill

Oh what a lovely walk it was, over the rolling, Wiltshire downland near  the Avebury Stone Circle, and in fresh air and warm sunshine.  Can life get any better than this!  Just seven of us walked, and we later enjoyed lunch in "The Red Lion"  I had a "Devon Tickler,"  a jacket potato stuffed with really strong cheese and topped with fried bacon slices, all with a side salad and accompanied, of course, by a small beer.   In the photo above we are walking back at the end of the walk from Windmill Hill to Avebury.  The track was lined with teasels, just a few in this photo, but further on we came across a whole bank full of the interesting plants.
En route we stopped at the church of St Mary Magdalene at Winterbourne Monkton, a 12/13th century church founded on a site originally established by monks from Glastonbury in 928AD.   We took a look inside at the 12th century font, decoratively carved with primitive figures set against a background of entwinned leaves in a zig-zag pattern.   The font would have been brightly painted, and some evidence of the colours can still be seen.  The church contains many original features, including a Jacobean pulpit, unfortunately without it hood,  and in the windows some Elizabethan stained glass still remains.

This is "The Red Lion" at Avebury, a thatched pub built in the middle of the Stone Circle, and famous for its lady ghost who drowned in the well.  She is supposed to haunt the pub at night, and gives the guests a rather disturbed night in their beds.  We sat in the large back bar, and enjoyed our lunch together under a big cartoon style painting of Prince Charles, who ate and drank here during a visit to Avebury many years ago.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Walking Down and Back Up Caen Hill.

My blog is back, I made a silly mistake by constantly entering the wrong email address, and of course Blogspot didn't know who I was and I wouldn't let me add new posts.  It was my error, not Google's!   It threatened to rain on Wednesday morning, but stayed dry long enough for us to walk along the towpath of the "Caen Hill Flight" of locks from Devizes to "The Three Magpies" at Sells Green for lunch.  We walked past the "Kennet & Avon Canal" Trust's trip boat, "Kenavon Venture," which was passing through one of the locks.  A party of school children with their teachers and parents were on board, all enjoying an exciting morning of fun and duck watching.  The boat can be seen here passing through lock 47, the third from top of the flight of 29 locks.   A, the man standing on the bows is making sure that the boat does not crash into the lower lock gates. 
The boat is run by volunteers, who give up their time to run regular weekly trips and special charter cruises for wedding receptions, birthday parties, Jazz evenings and Santa Claus cruises for children at Christmas.

The Caen Hill flight, with 29 locks, is the second longest flight in the UK.  The longest flight of 30 locks, and is on the Birmingham and Worcester Canal at Tardebigge, near Worcester.  These structures are wonders of the canal and waterway network of the UK, and were dug by hand with pick and shovel, and with the aid of horse and cart.  I have travelled up and down Caen Hill in my boat on many occasions, and the trip takes several hours to travel from the top to the bottom lock at Lower Foxhangers. 
Tardebigge Locks, Worcestershire [133 photos] :: Geograph Britain


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Brian is Alive and Well and Living in Querum

 J in Querum has asked me to tell you that Brian is alive and well after his encounter with the washing machine, that cleaned up his soiled pants.  She felt that the last photo of him pegged to the washing line by his left ear, gave the impression that he was being ill treated.   That is not the case, and this is to put the record straight!  

The photo shows Brian and Vicki at a recent tea party in Querum.
Now it is not necessary for me to contact the "Querum Small Teddy Bear Animal Rescue Squad."   Thank you J for pointing out that Brian is in safe hands, and staying over the winter with his friends in Querum.

Wrapping Shiny Ladybirds.

The above are just a few of the small things I bought back from BS for my friends.  This afternoon I shall meet my writing group for the first time since I've returned home, and I have a little ladybird fridge magnet for them.  In Germany the ladybird is a bringer of good luck.   These are small and very shiny, and I have wrapped each one in colourful tissue paper, and it was a fiddly job!  This afternoon we will eat the chocolates, drink tea, eat cake and biscuits, and read our individual stories, although I have been really idle of late, and have not written a good tale.
I'm having problems uploading pictures to my blog, and need to delete some photos in order to make space for more.   Bear with me, as I have not worked out yet how to delete photos from my Google Web Album.  I don't really want a pictureless blog.  Watch this space.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Beekeepers in Hillworth Park

For over two years, Hillworth Park in Devizes has been undergoing a £2 million revamp.  It is now finished and has become a much needed leisure resource for the people of Devizes.   It opened while I was away in Germany, and after hearing good reports about  it, I walked there on Saturday afternoon to see for myself what a lovely place it is.  The Park was hosting a "Natural Crafts Day" which included exhibitions by woodturners, sculptors, weavers, and a stall run by the "Kennet Beekeepers Association." 

Busy bees are fascinating little creatures.  A 100 or so were captured in a display box with a honeycomb, so that the public could get a close view of the bee's  activities.  Much tail wagging could be seen, which is a bee's way of communicating information to his friends.   They were probably saying, "How on earth do we get out of this box?" to one another!  An enthusiastic beekeeper told us about the structure of the hive, with the "queen bee" producing all the eggs that become either workers or drones.  When a queen becomes less productive, the bees decide a new one is needed, and feed one egg with Royal Jelly which makes the new queen, who then kills her predecessor.   It's a hard life in a bee hive!

Above is a photo of the 18th century Queen Anne Pavilion, a Grade ll listed building built between 1740 and 1759 during the reign of George ll.  It was possibly used as a small summer house, where the owners of "Hillworth House" could eat and drink while they sat in the garden and viewed their estate.  More information can be read on:

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Flying Gliders on Roundway Down.

To the north of Devizes rise the rolling Marlborough Downs, chalky grassland in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of Wiltshire's Vale of Pewsey. On top of "Oliver's Castle" on Roundway Down, people gather to fly gilders.  This hill is over 250m above sea level, and a good spot to launch these wonderful, handmade planes into the air.   I  asked one of the men how he retrieved his glider when it came down to earth at the bottom of the hill.  "It's radio controlled," he said, "I can make it land wherever I want."  Oh dear, I felt a bit silly for asking!  The photo above shows two of the lovely models, each with a little cockpit and complete with safety harness.   The seats were empty, and I did wonder why they didn't place a little model pilot in the driving seats.

Up on "Oliver's Castle" looking towards Devizes, the man in the centre is controlling his glider, while two others watch.  My friend C and her poodle "Pippin" watch the antics of another dog, who likes to chase the gliders.  He can be seen bounding up the hill to the right, and having a whale of a time.  The day was lovely, with warm sunshine and glorious blue skies, it was good to be alive.

"Roundway Down" is the site of an English Civil War battle of July 1643, and the site has many information boards, giving details of the action at particular places.  The whole battlefield site can be walked, and it's possible to climb specially built platforms to give an elevated view of the battle's action.  The "Cavaliers," lead by General Hopton won this particular battle, with the help of reinforcements from Oxford, lead by Prince Rupert.  There is no evidence of Oliver Cromwell ever having been in Devizes, although this site is called "Oliver's Castle" and in the valley below, there's a pub called "The Oliver Cromwell,"  which sells beer brewed locally by "Wadworths" of Devizes.  Cheers!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Getting Lost Near Steeple Ashton.


We encounted a small problem at the beginning of today's 7km walk, when we lost the path, and the leaders, J and B, had to set off in their hats searching for the lost track through the undergrowth.  We did this walk at the beginning of the year before the thicket had got too high, and coming back in late summer proved a little difficult now that the path was well overgrown with brambles and stinging nettles.  However the track and stile were rediscovered, and we continued our walk in warm sunshine to Trowbridge via Steeple Ashton and Stourton Water.

Above, the group is walking in "Mudmead Lane" one of the many ancient trackways that has linked small communities throughout the centuries.  We walked through long wet  grass and freshly ploughed fields, over several stiles and across two main roads, arriving eventually at "The King's Head" in the centre of Trowbridge for a welcome half pint of beer and a good lunch in the beer garden.  Cheers!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The Bells, The Bells.

I went back to handbell ringing last night, where we attempted to play  Rossini's "Overture from William Tell"  at  its maked speed of allegro, which is pretty zippy.  However that was not possible, as M, who normally plays four tenor/bass bells two at a time,  had to play four small treble bells, four at a time.   He decided he would prefer  to play at largo, and we tended to agree with him!   The piece rather lost its flair at this speed, and sounded more like a dirge.   We laughed and laughed, and eventually gave up!   Later we played "Greensleaves" at its proper slow speed, which sounded lovely in parts.   At half time we drank tea and coffee, ate some tasty milk chocolate biscuits, and all was once again well with the world.
Above can be seen my three tenor bells, A, A# and B.  I have an easy time, as I read the bass line for the low, underlying notes.  This is the music for "Pomp and Circumstance No 2" by Edward Elgar.  If you look carefully at the music to the right, on the lower stave you can see some notes enlarged with green or red dots.  These are my notes, and I play them when we arrive at that bar.  Furious bar counting is necessary, as it is easy to get completely lost.  Sometimes in the middle of playing a melody, a voice will suddenly say, "Bar, bar number, where are we, where are we?"   A helpful voice will then say, "37,  now 38, now 39."   Christmas is coming, the time when traditional English handbell ringers have a whale of a time playing carols in the local churches, and at various venues throughout the Devizes area.   All great fun! 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

An Easy Start to the Week with Plate Tectonics.

The weather here in Devizes is lovely at the moment, and everyone says it's about the best it has been during this dreadful summer of 2012.  How good to return home to some warm weather and no rain!  I feel a little lost at the moment, I'm not sure where I am, but after a week or so, I will feel back to normal.
I met friends in the Geology group on Tuesday morning, where J gave an interesting talk, with an animated map, about "plate tectonics," the science of the earth's plates, and their movement across the planet to form the present day continental land masses.  Millions of years ago, this land mass was one huge chunk called "Gondwana," and over the millenia this land mass has split apart along its plate lines, and moved  across the surface of the oceans to their most recent position.  The plate edges or fault lines are continually active, some forming new land, and some allowing one land mass to move underneath another.   
Two of the most famous fault lines are "The San Andreas Fault" which runs up and down the west coast of the USA,  where the Pacific Plate moves northwards against the North American Plate moving southwards, and the fault line that produces the "Mariana Trench" where the Pacific Plate slides underneath the smaller Mariana Plate.   All very interesting and somewhat complicated for my first day back, but it was good to meet old friends and drink hot chocolate.

Back in Devizes

Off to the Geology group this morning to talk, drink coffee and tea, and attempt to understand the geology of the Devizes area.  No easy matter!  The photo shows "Quaker's Walk" on an autumn day in 2011.  It is still very green here, the leaves are still on the trees, with no sign of a change of season.  Well it did rain here throughout the summer so the ground is saturated.