Monday, 30 January 2017

Sunday Summary | I hear babies cry; I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know.

Dear FOQ

This fortnight, in between despairing over the state of the world and the dispiriting, counter-intuitive behaviour of our 'leaders', I have mostly been ...

Reading 🕮



I'm going to have to start simu-reading something else to take the edge off. The narrative description is all well and good but I could not care less about any of the (many, oddly-named) characters, none of whom seem as though their names belong in Iron-Age Scotland. Hakos? Arax? Greek, surely. Mhorged? Welsh. Amiright?

All the other character names sound like retching noises and I cannot get down with that.

Luth. Dearg. Magh. Bleugh. (OK; I made one of those up.)

I do however have these three beauts lined up for near-future reading:




so all is not lost, though The Horse Witch has held me up by two books already in my promise to read fifty books this year. 

Darn you, Horse Witch.



Watching 📺

{Gilmore girls}


The Goldbergs (with thanks to Natalie for turning me on to this rather wonderful and very funny series, with all of its offbeat 1980s references and Wendi McLendon-Covey [of Bridesmaids] who is just wondrous).

Walking 👣

Putting aside for a moment the fact I am already woefully behind target for hitting 1,000 miles (I'm blaming Southern Railway because I can), I've clocked up a couple of fairly decent distances over the last couple of weekends (not that they've made the blindest bit of difference really 😭).

And have I got some stories to tell.

Well, strictly speaking only two, and one of them's a bit dull but this is my blog so I shall tell it anyhow.

So, last Sunday, midst the frost and the wintry weather (and that blinding sun that will take out your corneas if you dare look straight at it), I headed off to follow a route suggested to me by Map My Walk's Route Genius.

*IDIOT KLAXON*



Not so genius after all, as it turns out.


Y'know when you hear those stories of people falling foul of their SatNavs and ending up in a canal wondering why they turned left just because the SatNav told them to and common sense decreed they should go straight on ...?


Let me show you a little picture of the route recommended to me by Route Genius:


Pay close attention to that little region highlighted (at the 3-mile point).

Now, let me show you another little picture – this being the route I actually took:


Notice that little dangly bit at the bottom?

That's not a path.

No.

It's a path according to the Genius.

But not according to local bylaws.

Or in fact the man with the big ginger beard who met me half way down the path with a shotgun over his shoulder* and directed me back whence I came.

Darn you, Route Genius. And darn me too for not using what we call a Real Map.

* In all fairness, no shots were fired or had been fired, and I suspect Ginger Beardy Man was off out to blast some clay pigeons. And it might not have been a shotgun anyway.

Made for a good anecdote though, right? 

And he was very polite.

Anyway.

Here are some fairly pedestrian (!) photos of the walk for your enjoyment. More shots of lakes than anything else, to be fair.


{Check out the ice on the lake. Not quite enough for skating. Sadly.}

{So darn cool. Always.}









And yesterday, though fatigued I was by the tiring nature of daily life:


and by the sheer pressure of knowing I'm about 50 miles behind on the ol' 1000 mile target (it's OK, perhaps I'll just fit in a couple of MoonWalks between now and December)

I hauled myself out on The Grimmest Most Grim Day of Grimmitude for a 7-mile walk taking in part of a prescribed 3½ mile walk extracted from this veritable tome:


published in 2002, when The Grumpy Mole in Brockham was the Dukes Head... imagine my confusion in trying to find a pub that no longer exists (and admittedly hasn't been the Dukes Head since, oh ... 2010.

Egads. This week's lesson learned/Note to Self interlude: refer to walking guidebooks that are ever so slightly more in date. You know it makes sense, you idiot sandwich.

As is my wont (shout-out to Fiona and Bianka in remembrance of that walk almost two years ago), this gentle 6/7-miler from Dorking to Brockham and on to Reigate turned into a 10-miler.

A very wet and dark 10-miler at that.


But there were some definite highlights.

1) Dorking to Brockham ...

{BWARK.}





2) Brockham to Betchworth ...





Ooh now, does this church look familiar?

How about now?



Shall I give you a clue? (Pardon the language... she says, excusing a film from 20 years ago.)


Why yes, that's the church in 'Stoke Clandon, Somerset' where Angus and Laura get married in the first of the Four Weddings!

(In real life it's St Michael's, Betchworth.)

Splendid, I thought. What did you think?

3) Betchworth to Reigate ...





Notice how dark it's getting in this shot of the golf club and windmill?

That was just the beginning of the last leg.

Turns out all the lanes around Reigate triple in length when it rains. Yeah. Flanchford? Clayhall? Slipshatch? Park Lane East? All of them. Endless.

And it's always best to check your headlight batteries haven't died before you're on a dark, sodden lane, in the rain, trying to work out how to get back to civilisation (the twinkly lights of Rahgate did give me a clue as to my destination, admittedly).

I admit, I toyed several times with the idea of putting out a holler on FB for a kindly friend with a car and a bin bag for me to sit on to come and pick me up, but that's not my style.

Did I surrender?

And on approach into Reigate did I decide, "sod this for a game of soldiers" and hotfoot it to the station (and therein wait for 40 minutes for the next train)?

No.

{#restingspodface}

'Cos I'm hardcore.



Oh, c'mon, this is a thing, right? Jo? Right? Right. Thank you.

(And also my dinner would have burned if I'd waited for the train so just as well I didn't.)

... That was the other story.

'Twas really not that jazzy, I admit.

Cooking 🍲

WARNING: Vegetarian friends should avert their eyes until I post a gif of a flamingo to let you know it's safe to return ...

1) Duck crown | from This Book, now my go-to source book for easy and unpretentious SC recipes:


{this bargain bad boy came from here}

And yes, I am a two-SC household now, friends. Colour me indoctrinated:


Of course, that crown should have been individual legs but does my local Sainsbury's stock anything above an acceptable level? Does it 'eck. Pudding rice? Pudding rice? Anyone?

WHERE THE HECK IS THE PUDDING RICE?!

{Me, hitting up Sainso every weekend #panic}

2) Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Dumplings

Well, nothing says "welcome home from your walk through the wet wilderness" like beef stew: I may have overcooked the beef a teeny bit (I halved the recipe but didn't reduce the cooking time) but it was still darn good.



...




OK, vegetarian friends, you can come back now!

Meeting up 🙋

... with the awesome Foyles Goyls; and yes, I was brave enough to Go Up to London on a Weekday Evening (even though it still irks me when People in London Stop in the Middle of the Pavement for No Good Reason).

I even got home OK. Took for, like, ever but that's only because I bypassed the level of hell known commonly as East Croydon.

So worth it to spend time with my favourite feminist icons. And eat cake. And buy a book. Because, Foyles.

Scaling Everest ... 🗻

... Spice, forever my favourite curry emporium, with this group of lovelies from St Matt's (a group previously known as SoNIC – but that's a bit youthy now considering most of us are in our thirties, lalala...):


Big-ups due to: Fleur, Ellen, AJ, Rosalind, Matt (honorary gent), Angie, Cassie and Julie.


Pinterest Pins of the Fortnight 📌




And ... that's it for now.

I'm parking Web Finds of the Fortnight 🕸 until such a time as I have more capacity to curate them. I have links; I just haven't the inclination to list them all, this time round. 😴

On that note, go forth and be all fabulous and stuff. ⭐

qb xx 

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