Woodland Friends

The woods at Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Reserve have become home to some familiar and beloved woodland characters, and we met them all on our walk this morning! Badger, Ratty, Toad and all the rest were oh-so-wiling to meet their adoring audience of school children and their parents. Wouldn’t you just love to know what they’re…

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Royalty Walked Here!

  Hadleigh Castle can be bleak in the winter, but come spring when the sun comes out and the wind dies down, it is one of the loveliest places in England. The walk out is a beautiful one, the path through the trees is lined with Queen Ann’s Lace before opening up to stunning views…

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An Evening Stroll

We drove down to Two Tree Island for an evening stroll to take advantage of the warming weather and lengthening days. Hoping to hear the resident nightingales sing their famous song, we were rewarded with both a song and a sighting as we wandered along the track that leads through their territory. Further on, the…

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Local Gore

Wandering through a back street in Rayleigh on my way to pick up my new glasses this morning, I spotted an old remnant of days gone by. This trade sign is widely recognized as a barber pole, and dates back to the Middle Ages. According to Wikipedia, its history is a rather gory one: The origin of the…

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Tide’s Out

The River Thames is a tidal river, and the daily rise and fall of the tide is noticeable, especially out here in the estuary where the mighty river meets the North Sea. When the tide is in, the water laps at the sea wall, but then it retreats nearly a mile on some low tides. The…

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Local Colour

We were in Rayleigh this morning doing errands and couldn’t resist a wander through the market and then a walk up to Rayleigh Mount where the trees are absolutely trembling with barely contained life It won’t be long before the windmill will be completely obscured by the trees, but today we could still see it in…

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Coming Soon

We probably won’t get to Scotland in time to see the bluebells this year, so I’m watching for signs of their appearance here in Essex. I don’t think I have long to wait… Stay tuned!

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Local Pilgrimage

This is the beginning of Jeff’s birthday week,  and we celebrated by visiting Saffron Walden with the friends we met on Colonsay last summer. There were labyrinths, of course, as we consider this one with its mile-long path to be our local labyrinth. There was also good food,  some beautiful flowers,  a bit of shopping, …

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The Wonder of Wickford

This little van may not seem very impressive,  but great things come out of it. Seriously Great things!  Real Mexican food. Burritos,  guacamole,  carnitas…. in Essex,  no less! I may never fully understand how one man in a little turquoise van can turn out authentic delights from a far-off place, but my California heart is…

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Tea and Sea

What am I going to do when our friends go home and my birthday celebrations come to an end? Walking in the world has been quite an adventure these past couple of months, and the excitement isn’t quite over yet. Today we drove out to the Tiptree Jam Factory for their special Afternoon Tea (with…

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