March 12th 2018

I’m back after what has been a hellish fortnight without internet, although on the plus side it has been a fortnight without “Fortnite” online gamers will probably know what this is, my son plays on it, I avoid it because I don’t understand it, nor do I want to understand it. It’s a war game and it will, in the future, turn my son into a bloodthirsty assassin; unless I keep onto of it which of course I can by turning the thing off. That ladies and gentlemen is how you can police your kids usage. Fortunately the days are getting longer and so the great outdoors beckons, evening walks to the pub will soon become a thing.

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Firstly I think I should say a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums who may stumble across this blog, maybe not many, but I’m doing my bit. I had a wonderful off road walk with M and N on Sunday, the day just gone, and also received a complaint from a regular reader/ supporter; Mrs N who asked why there was nothing for her to read on Sunday. In answer to Mrs N and the millions of other followers, I apologise and am levelling the blame firmly at Openreach who disconnected me in the first place those 2 wretched weeks ago. If they ever ask me for a favour such as drawing them a map i’ll tell that I can’t do anything without a job number but if they give me their details then I’ll pretend to look something up for them and forget I spoke to them soon afterwards.

I’ve had a wonderful mothers day with the family and friends at the Lenchford, we had a massive carvery on a medium sized plate which makes the eating precarious, less gastronomic enjoyment, more geometric alterations, in prevention of the food slumping off the plate into your lap, onto the table, etc. I’m sure bigger plates would make the consumption easier, not all of us are greedy bastards; on occasion you get the impression some of the diners have not eaten for days. A good time was had by all and I got to play pool with my lad; always a pleasure, I won 2-1 but he’s coming on.

This weekend saw Mr and Mrs bathroom shopping with our 14 year old who I’m sure only came because we were going into the town, and maybe there was the prospect of buying some sweets, clothes, trinkets, cynical me? Not being a massive shopping fan, looking at bathrooms is surprisingly enjoyable I thoroughly recommend it.

Lets off road! Sunday’s rallying call, whilst the Mums stayed in bed, being fed and made cups of tea by the kids. We thought it best to give them some space and get deep into the woods off piste, its a great time of year to do this due to the ground greening with shoots of wild flowers, but before the brambles completely take over. Come late spring many off road paths will be shut until the winter sets in again, its good to see other more mossy parts.

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This is a view from a lock (who knew) where Dick Brook meets the mighty Severn, no filters this time, such a beautiful spot, and at the moment pretty secret as i suppose those of you in India and USA won’t be making it over here anytime soon. You are, of course, very welcome! But heed these signs…

“Are you the Poacher?”

“Of course he’s the fucking poacher!”

… And well, people who like an interesting piercing, this is the place for you.

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Firstly, theres these weird, mushroom type plates growing from the tree but woody in texture and make a rat-a-tat-tat sound when you do like wise on them. Second a twisted and knotted vine type thing. Thirdly a really disgusting wobbly jelly like structure, no idea what it is, literally no idea. Lastly, well it’s an egg, broken, i’d like to think the little bird hatched rather than eaten.

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Sunday saw the re-introduction by complete error of Shrawley’s regional game; dormant for many years; Once forgotten, the simple art (might be stretching a point) of log rolling or “Logaway” as it was once called back in the mists of time was rediscovered. Since the opening and standardisation (some might say sterilisation) of the woods by the creation of super pathways, accessible to children and pensioners alike and everyone in between, and concurrently the ancient paths of the woods such as the great sausage railway and other green trails which Criss-crossed the woods fell into mis-use and only faint traces remain. Indeed had it not been for N suggesting we go off road and forge a path straight up into the high Wildlands of the woodlands, then the game or custom may have remained undiscovered for another decade or even 2! You find a chopped log, a foot or more in diameter and a foot in length, is required. A hill with plentiful scattered trees with enough room for the log to roll down must be found, it helps if the log is at the top of one of these hills as they can get pretty heavy and dirty, the mossier the better, as they will be slightly rotten and so shards of damp rotten wood will add to the dramatic visual effect as the log tumbles down the hill, the aim is to see how far you can get the log to roll, ultimately to the river. We ran out of logs and didn’t make it to the river, mores the pity. We need to encourage the village first born to come out at full moon to chop suitable wood to continue the tradition, I’ll leave it up to you.

You’re Welcome, I will be back on it this week, the internet is back, 3 little lights on the router rather than 2 makes D a happy boy!

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