lostwalks locks


I cycled past these locks some years ago when I biked from Stanstead Abbotts to Ware. This time, though, I passed them in more romantic fashion steering Melvyn’s narrow boat, Artanis. See Lostwalks for more detail.


across to Banbury

I go for a bike ride in the afternoon and set off, again, from the Gunpowder Park. This time I cycle south along the river Lea towards London and eventually reach the North Circular Road by Banbury reservoir before returning. The towpath follows alongside the King George V and the William Girling reservoirs.

It’s interesting when you no longer follow the conventional routes – by car and tube – how areas link up and make connections that you hadn’t realised. It wasn’t until I got back home and looked at the map that I was aware how close I was to IKEA at Banbury reservoir.

Cycling along that river Lea meant moving through an industrial landscape that include “solid waste incinerators.” But it wasn’t ugly and I began to understand what the Impressionists were doing and how they saw beauty in the mundane and prosaic. And, after all, the sun shines on both castles and factories.

ponders end lock

picketts lock

birds at picketts lock


enfield lock

The Atlantic winds were tough though and I hadn’t realised how hard it can be to cycle into the wind.

My route: http://maps.google.com/?q=http://share.abvio.com/be9d/5491/a61a/d747/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20120911-1513.kml

diabetes management review

After 8 months, and some of it a very hard slog, I feel that I am comfortable and managing my diabetes. I rarely get “hyper” and my vision is more or less OK and wee-ing is not always so frequent.
The process of management is a bit like steering a supertanker in the ocean: you say turn left and two days later it does. But, I begin to understand this now.
I still don’t know why I get readings in the low 7’s regularly in the mornings. But they nearly always become 6’s and 5’s for the rest of the day.
Also I don’t know why I seem so sensitive to sugar.I keep away from it but when I rarely try a small piece of cake, when maybe Danae or Louisa have made one, I do get an adverse reaction – usually a hyperglaecemic bout. But Phil and Gerry, for instance, both appear free to eat and drink without comeback. They are on medication and also claim never to have had any serious symptoms other a bit of tiredness and weeing a lot.
Perhaps I am “insulin resistant” and should check this out sometime.

Gunpowder plots

It has been one of those quintessentially English summer days: hot, blue cloudless skies, no wind and time going by slowly and quietly. Absolutely heaven. I take the bike to the Gunpowder Mills Country Park, which I think is separate from the main Gunpowder Mills, and cycle around them down to the Lea Valley canal, through Enfield Village and up to Waltham Abbey. And then back via the “pits” in the Country Park.

looking south from the bottom of Enfield Island Village

Enfield Lock on Enfield Island Village

Ramney Marsh Lock – below Waltham Abbey

This means I have now biked the Lea Valley towpath from Ware to Enfield.

the pits

The cycling and the area were a revelation. The day was long and beautiful and the scenery amazing. A wonderful, quiet day of English summer. One of the best this year.

Five go Mad in Norfolk

I didn’t realise it until Danae pointed out that we were fulfilling one of her lifetime ambitions: that the family would be doing some activity on holiday all together. But we were. All five of us cycling down the roads of Norfolk and along the towpaths of the Broads.

This was our route: http://maps.google.com/?q=http://share.abvio.com/be9d/5491/a61a/d747/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20120829-1035.kml

And this was us!



Fairlop Waters

My last sporting event here, at Fairlop Waters, was kayaking when I showed the family how to do an eskimo roll. This time Sheila and I cycled there with Louisa, Julian and Tove and Harper in the cycle cart.

It was a blisteringly hot day and Julian had already run to our house to collect his bike. So he was quite exhausted but, if he had opted for it, he could have jumped into the lake and completed a triathlon.

there are boulders to climb

and Lou and I do!

and there is an Olympic “secret” stone statue that makes noises and music


the secret is to rest!

When I get home I calculate that Sheila and I have cycled 26.78 km and burnt over 800 calories. This maybe one of our longest rides so far and Sheila is now blase about the stinging nettles along the Roding. Well, they certainly are not as bad as the ones behind the Suntrap and even they pale to insignificance to those I encountered going to Yardley Hill.

Our routes were:




the real Pepper Alley

I took the car and bike to High Beech and set off to find Pepper Alley. Again it was illusive and I ended up pushing and carrying my bike through nettles and brambles till I got to the Owl and realised where Pepper Alley was.

I carried on through Gilwell Park and onto Yardley Hill with it’s amazing views over the King George V Reservoir and the new London skyline.

looking from Yardley Hill over the reservoirs towards the city

My homeward journey definitely took me through Pepper Alley!

and here’s the proof!

My route was: http://maps.google.com/?q=http://share.abvio.com/be9d/5491/a61a/d747/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20120817-1637.kml

looking for Pepper Alley

We didn’t find Pepper Alley but instead scrambled along a narrow and overgrown footpath behind the Suntrap conservation centre getting stung and scratched. But did things like that put Dr. Livingstone off exploring?

fashion shoot by the Strawberry Pond

the cattle are now roaming free!

what used to be the police armed response centre is now this

the start of Pepper Alley looks idyllic

but this is more divine

looking at the sun….from Mars

Latest from NASA is an interactive panoramic view of Mars from Rover and an additional banner for this site?

Mo Farah pips me in the 5000 metres

We had our  annual garden party for LUSH yesterday and spent the day preparing food and drink. I cooked a delicious 3 kilo of rib steak beef which everyone said was the best they’d eaten, a sentiment I shared.

When a break occurred I took the opportunity to go for a run through the town towards Debden and thereafter through the forest. It turned out to be just over 5 kilometres. Coincidentally, I discovered that the 5000 metres was being run in the Olympics that night and I was curious to see the event and compare times. Mo Farah won for Team GB in 13+ minutes which I think slightly beats my time of 35 minutes.

My run: http://maps.google.com/?q=http://share.abvio.com/be9d/5491/a61a/d747/Cyclemeter-Run-20120811-1512.kml

I can’t believe I beat Mike!

PS Thom tells me he can run 5000 metres in 20 or so minutes!