Autumn Colours Walk in Epping Forest

Epping Forest is a lovely long stretch of woodland just outside of London in Essex.  There are miles of meandering footpaths in a surprisingly remote mature woodland.

I have been on a beautiful walk together with a meet-up hiking and outdoor group. It was a guided linear tour from Epping to Chingford (outer London).

We walked for over ten miles; the landscape and colours were pretty and peaceful and we were very lucky with the autumn weather – a fresh day but not wet at all.

We started off from Epping station, were we gathered and had a small breakfast, then set off at a good pace walking along some road, to finally enter the forest.

We stopped to have a packed lunch at a pond where some birds hungrily approached us to share our sandwiches. They did get some (most of mine).

It was a great walk, easy but not boring, and having a guide meant that I didn’t have to worry about consulting maps or compass or navigator… Thank you for the guide!

I’ll leave you with some impressions from the forest…

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Camping weekend in Guildford, UK

I haven’t posted in ages.. life has got in the way (insert boring details)

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This weekend I have been camping… yes! I hadn’t done in ages and really loved it. It certainly helped that the weather was graciously good and they offered very decent facilities!

It was for the EMF Camp that takes place every two years – a large gathering of investigative minds and non-grown-up folks. In the words of the organisers:

Electromagnetic Field is a non-profit UK camping festival for those with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things: hackers, artists, geeks, crafters, scientists, and engineers.

There were various activities – from talks to workshops, soldering sessions, blacksmithing, make-you-very-own-ring, villages (people with a shared interest of any legit sort), retro arcade…. (incomplete list by any means). An amazing varied crowd attended – families, geeks, alternative people, all genders/ages/tastes, from as far as Germany and Netherlands, Ireland (as well as from Scotland, Wales and England).

I tried out soldering, put up/down my very own tent with no hiccups (first-timer), played retro video-games. Generally had a fab time and felt very much in sync with the spirit and the landscape (amazing location, did I mention already?).

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My very own happy tent

My newbie soldering (left, and left)

The Retro Arcade – play anything vintage, for free

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The creator of the smallest sat (which orbited for 22 months, but found no cosmic rays – hope I got this right). http://www.50dollarsat.info and amsat.org

I also tasted freshly made Dutch Stroopwafel (a heavenly delicious recipe involving loads of butter, I understand). Sadly the blacksmithing was booked out, doh.

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Stroopwafel, freshly made on the spot (note my reusable light-weight container!)

…And got to wear flip-flops, walked bare-footed, sat on hay bales and got closer to Mother Nature. Big win.

The organisers made an excellent job and all ran smoothly. A big thank you!

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Impressions of Innsbruck (2)

Following up on yesterday’s post on Innsbruck, here are more images I took during my stays there. For the readers not very familiar with European geography, Innsbruck is a city in the Austrian region of Tyrol (or Tirol in German).

The area has high mountains and the city lays in the main valley where the river Inn flows. It hosted two olympics (1964 and 1976), during which times many new areas were built to host athletes and guests – there is even an Olimpisches Dorf (olympics village). While building activity and renovations are always ongoing, the city still retains many an old style buildings and areas; I really love the architecture from the 30s-70s.

Anyway, I’m digressing as usual! Back to the impressions, I hope you’ll enjoy this gallery with a flavour of the city:

There is a last thing I would like to show you… it will be another post of this series, to avoid overcrowding 🙂

Innsbruck, life and a spinning wheel

I’ve been visiting Innsbruck (Tirol, Austria) after long – had a great time seeing all my old friends and chatting endlessly. It was also good for the soul, to reconnect with the past, where it had been dropped about 7 years ago. It feels like life has come to a full circle and now I can join different pieces of myself.

In the post I’ll show some pictures of the many I have taken in time. And a special scarf. And an old wheel…

First a few impressions from Innsbruck:

When I was there, tidying up I found a scarf I started about 7 years ago and left unfinished when I had to relocate to the UK in the space of a week. It was a strange moment to pick it up again. Luckily no moth damage in sight! I decided to simply continue the knitting, because it’s akin to integrating my past in my present and making a new future. I know the pattern is nothing special and the stockinette is curling at the borders… but it’s special to me.

a special scarf from the past, life comes to a full circle

a special scarf from the past, life comes to a full circle

A very good friend of mine there gave me an old spinning wheel. I’m not a spinner, but intend to try at some point – I already acquired a little British fleece and more will come soon: Wensleydale, Bowmont and Lincoln. I am hoping that among those reading there may be someone who is a keen spinner and could tell me more about this wheel (pretty please). It seems to me that pieces may be missing, but to be honest, right now I can’t make head or tail of it!

the old wheel

wheel detail

wheel detail

wheel detail

(in the next post there will be plenty more images from Innsbruck…)

♡ Thank you ♡ Hartelijk dank ♡ Mille grazie ♡

Johanna of Likefloraposte made me a surprise! She sent a packet, inside which some cute guests were braving the journey across the ocean…

a desert hedgehog cub, by Max Korostischeveski

(a desert hedgehog cub, photo by Max Korostischeveski)

“Hello World!”

I know, the cub in the picture is really cute… luckily it was not it that braved the long trip. In any case, I’m pleased to report that the packet and the content safely landed on this side of the pond (=England). The trip started long before (see Off to Britain post).

Oh, post for me!?

Mistery, mistery.. what will be inside?

Mistery content....

….. knitting needles …from Canada!

Nova Scotian birch needles

Nova Scotian birch needles

Oh, wait… they’re not alone… a jolly creature is emerging from the paper….

...and then a jolly creature emerged from the paper Hello, pleased to meet you

“This place looks rather different from where I was born. I wonder where I am.”

mh, I wonder where I am

“Let me explore around. This place is really old style… and what a strange accent people have.”

There are Smarties here as well :)

“Mum, be reassured, I arrived safe and sound. I’ll try to make new friends 🙂 Love and Liefs”

Love and Liefs

Thank you, Johanna, I loved your surprise and the new friends you sent me ♡ Judith

A taste of Bayern

I was meaning to post more pictures about the Hampstead area of London, but after reading Yarnbrarian’s post on their trip planning, here it is, a post on a recent trip to Munich, Bayern, Southern Germany, for some inspiration.

A few highlights, starting with the Old Town Hall, the New Town Hall, then the Cathedral and finally a typical party in traditional folk style!

The Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) is located in the East side of Marienplatz, in the very centre of the city and easily reachable by public transport. Being first documented in the 14th century, it had been the domicile of the municipality until 1874.

In 1874 the municipality moved to the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), located in the northern part of Marienplatz. The building is very large and hosts a gallery accessible from the inner courtyard. There is free entrance and the beauty of the Neo-Gothic architecture is worth dedicating some hours to wander around in its corridors, enjoying its magic atmosphere and flights of stairs. It has extensive stained glasses with various subjects, including noblemen, city views, a set of American themes (the Statue of Liberty, many American presidents and distinguished people) and manly love. The Glockenspiel performs daily at 11am, 12pm and 5pm.

The New Town Hall:

The Old Town Hall:

The Cathedral of Our Dear Lady (Frauenkirche) was consecrated in 1494 and features two towers, which are accessible to the public, climbing up the stairs, and offer a unique view of Munich and the nearby Alps (sadly they were shut when we arrived). It hosts interesting attractions: among others, the Cenotaph of Emperor Louis IV and the Devil’s Footstep (Teufelstritt), around which different legends have been built.

And more pictures, some are random shots, most were taken at the 40th birthday party of a dear friend, hosted in a traditional mountain hut in the city centre (!)…

Enjoy!

A history of London in pictures: the Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath, also locally known as The Heath, is an ancient natural park situated in North London, not very far from the Camden Town area. While Camden has a rather alternative flavour, the area of Hampstead Village is on the posh side. On one side of the heath, there is Hampstead Village, which has a long history and beautiful old houses. On the other side, there is Highgate Village, with its beautiful historic cemeteries (Karl Marx lies there).

The Heath has a gracious mix of various landscapes and landmarks: it includes beautiful woods, grassy hilly areas with breathtaking views on London, ponds, swimming ponds, bird areas, Kenwood House, a lido and some playgrounds.

Here it follows a gallery of views and places in the Heath and its surroundings (the photos are taken with my iPhone, so the quality is not the highest really!)

The area is really extensive and there is another set of photos taken in the surroundings of the Heath, including the Pergola, Whitestone, the Observatory and Hampstead Village… but that will have to be another post!