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  1. #526
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg Dingle View Post
    Here's a free cider for ya
    Thanks very much!


    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    Is that an oak tree?
    Yes it is. Forty years ago I used to swing on a tyre suspended from a rope tied to that tree.

    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    Sorry Mendip for the diversion.
    No problem Mike, interesting stuff. Forty years ago that oak tree was part of a hedgerow but the farmer has since grubbed it up.


    I seem to have lots of time for updating this thread at the moment since we're having family visits and meals which are taking up a lot of time and not leaving us time to get away. I'm looking forward to heading down to Dorset just with the daughter tomorrow for a few days.

    But, early this morning we fitted in a walk to Crook Peak and were back in time for a family lunch.

    Crook Peak is the westerly-most peak of the Mendip Hills and a lovely walk at any time of the year but with such a beautiful morning today the walk was something special. Soon after 7am this morning we parked up and started the 5 mile round trip to Crook Peak and back. The daughter took off at a rate of knots but we've all heard the story about the tortoise and the hare.



    The first leg was through King's Wood where we passed Reg Dingle's weekend retreat.



    I think the cows are introduced as much to manage the woodland as for farming.



    Another cow, but the main reason I took this photo was for the yellow hot air balloon drifting across the Somerset levels just above the horizon.



    After breaking though the woods a little higher up, the view to the south included Cheddar reservoir to the left and Glastonbury Tor in the background a bit to the right (west). The yellow hot air balloon appeared to be landing and a red balloon a bit more to the right had already landed... and this was only 07:30am. What a fantastic way to start a day that would be.



    We kept detecting the musky smell of fox which was not surprising as there were signs of rabbits everywhere... bringing back memories of ferreting many years ago. I could still set a net over a rabbit hole without thinking.



    More cows... these were young.



    I gave Number 713706 a scratch on his nose which he seemed to enjoy.



    And a picture of my favourite house... I could come back to Somerset if I could afford a house like this to live in.



    And higher still we started to see some sheep... positioned for action!



    And the view half way up at a trig point. In Roman times the Somerset Levels were swamp/sea and Axbridge (by Cheddar reservoir) was a port. This is why Glastonbury Tor was the Isle of Avalon and Wedmore is still called the 'Isle of Wedmore'. All the high ground in this picture were islands protruding from a shallow sea 2000 years ago.



    And looking to the west, here was our destination... Crook Peak at the right of the picture. That's Brent Knoll at the left of the pic and a nice view of the Bristol Channel and the north Devon coast along to Ilfracombe in the distance.



    To the south, Glastonbury Tor and a blue hot air balloon.



    To the north, Wales on the horizon.



    It's not easy taking a picture directly into the early morning sun.

    'Only a hill but all of life to me'. A nice epitaph... I may borrow this and just change 'hill' for 'pond'.



    The destination getting closer and the daughter still in the lead...



    The beautiful village of Cross down in the valley. Since I've been in the UK all I've heard on the news is about how important it is to stay cool in the hot weather... with stunning advice offered such as drink lots of water, wear light clothing, open windows and stay in the shade. Advice for the stupid. Well, these clever sheep had figured out all by themselves to stay in the shade. Makes you think.



    The final ascent to the peak across scree slopes and up steep rock faces. Someone had fashioned a cock and balls from the limestone scree, which the daughter of course noticed and commented on.



    I don't know what happened to this photo... it seems that my phona applied some kind of filter for some reason, but the important thing is it proves that I won! The daughter was pretty knackered by this point.



    A fellow hiker we met at the summit kindly took a photo of us together for posterity.



    To the north... the M5 and Wales on the horizon.



    To the west, the Bristol Channel. At the right of the pic you can see Brean Down extending into the sea, a continuation of the geological structure that formed Crook Peak. Weston-Super-Mare is on to the right, to the north. At the left of the pic you can see Hinckley Point power station and the little white blob in the sea off Hinckley Point is the Gulliver crane barge, brought in to lower a 5000 tonne water cooling unit onto the seabed in the next few days.



    And to the south, the Somerset Levels.



    I had a rummage around the scree and found this fossil bivalve... and there followed a short geology lesson for the daughter. Bivalves live in the sea, therefore the rock containing this bivalve was laid down in the sea despite Crook Peak now being 191 metres above sea level. Limestone is deposited in warm, tropical seas. Some ancient geological forces have been in play. Interesting stuff... well, at least I was impressed. The daughter less so.



    A result of the perrenial westerly winds up on the Mendips.



    On the way down we were lucky enough to see this pair of red kites cavorting together. A good photographer with a proper camera could have taken some great shots here. The Bristol Channel and then Wales in the background.



    Further on and I accidentally cornered this chap against a wall and a bramble patch. Years ago I would have considered this an opportunity but I'm not sure what's legal these days, and besides, the daughter's at a very impressionable age at the moment. I left him unmolested.



    A bit further on and we found a disgarded horse shoe. Our lucky day!



    By now the daughter was really flagging. It was hot and we were getting tired. I kept going and encouraged her by waving her water bottle in the air to taunt her.



    We did of course make it back. This picture from the A38 at the bottom of the hill to the south of the Mendips shows our 5 mile trek.



    And my mum made quiche for lunch.

    What a lovely day!

    Last edited by Mendip; 17-07-2022 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #527
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    Amazing, thanks for sharing.

    I'm looking forward to taking my family for a holiday to Scotland for the first time, when we get a chance, when the kids are a bit older, when, when, when...

    Just had to get your toes into that last one eh?

  3. #528
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirk diggler;
    Just had to get your toes into that last one eh?

    I had missed it until you mentioned it. Thanks a lot.

    Did you pack any nuts and candies for the hike? Maybe that’s why she flagged. Great memories for her.

  4. #529
    CCBW Stumpy's Avatar
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    Cheers Mendy. Enjoying the pics of the country side. I see lots of upcoming grass fed Ribeyes and Tenderloins with all the cow pictures. Never had a UK raised steak. Also saw the news on the heatwave warning. You should feel right at home for a few days short the Ya Dong of course.

  5. #530
    On a walkabout Loy Toy's Avatar
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    Mendip's threads are always candid and very entertaining.

    His willingness to share his adventures with us is one main reason I will continue to log on here.

  6. #531
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    Mendip's threads are always candid and very entertaining.
    Indeed, they are! I knew this would be another of his epic threads and this has not disappointed so far! Keep it up Mendy you have another gem in the works.

  7. #532
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Very sedate and relaxing Mendip.

    You should have hit the norf and the Madness Mosh pit..

    A pilgrimage across southern England-20220716_212744-jpg

    A pilgrimage across southern England-20220716_214413-jpg

    Plenty of fine fillies about as well..

    A pilgrimage across southern England-20220716_202437-jpg

    More Fez's than you could shake a stick at..
    A pilgrimage across southern England-20220716_195257-jpg

    Some posh slurping fillies about, accent were ruddy rough though..
    A pilgrimage across southern England-20220716_203349-jpg

    Backed a winner ..

    A pilgrimage across southern England-20220717_012658-jpg

    And had a damn fine kebab..
    A pilgrimage across southern England-20220716_191656-jpg


    Shalom

  8. #533
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    Best thread this year

  9. #534
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    ^^
    wheres that Haydock?

  10. #535
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post

    Did you pack any nuts and candies for the hike?
    Only a couple of chestnuts mate, and they were pretty well roasted by the time we got to the top.

  11. #536
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    That’s part of the reason she was flagging… we used to call that trail mix scoggin. Not sure if that’s a regional word or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I had a rummage around the scree and found this fossil bivalve... and there followed a short geology lesson for the daughter. Bivalves live in the sea, therefore the rock containing this bivalve was laid down in the sea despite Crook Peak now being 191 metres above sea level. Limestone is deposited in warm, tropical seas. Some ancient geological forces have been in play. Interesting stuff... well, at least I was impressed. The daughter less so.



    When I was about 10 years old, I found a large ammonite fossil on top of a hill in Dorset. It had what looked like crystals in the end. I kept that fossil for years.

    Edit: I just checked Google maps and the hill top is 100m from sea level and about a mile from where the coast is now.

  13. #538
    CCBW Stumpy's Avatar
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    Ya know Mendy, as I browsed all the pictures and how open the area is, I suspect you and your daughter would love to fly a drone together and take lots of aerial pic and vids. The New Air2S has POV and Active track and can follow you as you trek out in the country hiking.

  14. #539
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    How many years are we talking about for the seabed to rise 100 meters+?

  15. #540
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    A fellow hiker we met at the summit kindly took a photo of us together for posterity.
    It's great to be able to do these things together, memories made for both of you.

  16. #541
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    On the way down we were lucky enough to see this pair of red kites cavorting together.
    One of the things that was different in England was the proliferation of Red kites. I saw them nearly everywhere I went from Oxfordshire to Carmarthenshire and far up the Welsh borders.
    My daughter's home in Oxfordshire is close to where the reintroductions were made and you can often look up and see 20 in the sky. They come down for food and when you see them just a few metres overhead you appreciate how big they are.

  17. #542
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond View Post
    How many years are we talking about for the seabed to rise 100 meters+?
    You can't really generalise. Nev's ammonite was probably around 200 million years old, my bivalve from Crook Peak is probably around 320 to 350 million hears old. At the end of the Carboniferous there was a period of mountain building (Hercynian Orogeny) which formed the Mendips and uplifted my fossil whereas the more recent Alpine Orogeny (65 million to 7 million years ago) was likely responsible for uplifting Nev's ammonite. Throw in drifting tectonic plates completely altering land/sea configuration and localised sea level changes associated with ice ages and there is no definite answer.


    Anyway, during this dangerously hot day we're having in the UK, we have mid 20s and drizzle this afternoon on the south coast... lovely and time to update the thread.

    We arrived in West Bay in Dorset on Sunday afternoon... and with hindsight arriving early afternoon on the best Sunday of the year was a mistake... the place was heaving and I couldn't park anywhere near our accommodation (which doesn't provide guaranteed guest parking) so I parked half a mile out of town and we walked in. We're staying above an old pub, so that seemed like the best place to start and ell them that we'd arrived but would check-in when I cold find parking. So, what to do?



    One advantage of arriving on a Sunday was that we could get a Sunday roast beef.



    After 3 or 4 pints there was finally a parking space available outside the pub, but then I realised I couldn't drive. And besides, what would be the chances of the space still being available after walking out of town to get the car?



    So we went for a walk.

    The inner harbour at West Bay.



    There were these big fish (maybe around 2lb) swimming around the harbour. Mullet maybe?



    The outer harbour.



    And a couple of typical English harbour pictures.





    And the beach just east of the harbour. Yes, this is in England!



    Another view of our hotel/pub. Right on the beach!



    This river joins the harbour just to the west where a dam and lock gates control the flow and maintain a suitable depth of rover water. While I was watching the boat on the left got stuck in the reeds as the huge guy in white couldn't seem to figure out how to row backwards. The boat with the guy in red, just to the left of that boat, was the owner of the business who had to go and rescue them and push their boat out. You have to wonder WTF is wrong with some people.



    All this people watching was hot work.



    After a couple of hours things were quieting down a bit. The tide was out and the harbour was dry. For those not aware of the huge tidal range in the UK... it completely controls access to the vast majority of harbours.



    So we went to get the car. From what I can see, there is virtually nowhere to park for free in Dorset and they must make a fortune. It certainly ain't cheap and you need to keep a pocketful of pound coins at all times. Here I exchanged one expensive car park for another one that was outside our hotel. To be honest after two days the difficulty and cost of parking is starting to piss me off.



    But anyway, we were given a great room. It is actually quite romantic and not for the first time I thought it would have been nice if the wife had come along. Not for the whole holiday but maybe for the occasional twenty minutes or so.



    The daughter's alcove.



    And the view of the beach.



    That's our room, right above the hotel name.



    While here I am determined to swim in the sea. I tested out the water on our first night and it was absolutely fukking freezing. This was as deep as I went.



    And of course we checked out the cliff face at the back of the beach. Fantastic bedding planes representing different depositional environments through the Jurassic Period.



    As you move down the cliff face you're travelling back in time by millions of years. It looks a bit dodgy to lie at the base of the cliff face to be honest. A few years ago a guy was decapitated in Cheddar Gorge while looking in the boot of his car when a boulder fell from the cliff-face and scored a direct hit. Very unlucky but these things can and will happen. That cliff will soon erode away in geological terms and every one of those boulders lying on the beach fell at some point in the past.



    This was me a lifetime ago preparing to fish the incoming tide on Brean Beach near Weston-Super-Mare.



    I'm not one to complain but apart from the constant hassle of parking down here I have one other small gripe... I have a split in the bottom of my left heel from all my long haul flights recently and this shingle is an absolute nightmare to walk on. I wish it was a sandy beach.



    And that was it for the first day... other than one small discovery I made.

    Did you know that if you look at the bottom of a stick of rock it comes out as mirror writing?



    Obvious if you think about it, but something I never knew.

    Last edited by Mendip; 19-07-2022 at 09:22 PM.

  18. #543
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    The first full day in Dorset was a day I've been looking forward to for a long time and when I woke up I was excited as I've ever been... we were off to Lyme Regis!

    When I was a kid we had family holidays in a caravan in Lyme Regis every single summer (my mum had a friend with the caravan) and I haven't been back since a brief visit in 1988. If ever there was a journey back to the past this was it. My eleven year-old daughter is the same age I was when we had those family holidays.

    But first I had to deal with the bloody parking issues. Parking is free between 6pm and 8am but breakfast doesn't begin until 8:30... so I had to go down early and buy a ticket. FFS...

    It was strange as the pub downstairs was deserted and I considered pouring myself a pint of cider but 8am seemed a little early, even when I'm on me hols.





    The car park was of course deserted at 8am but I'm sure a warden would be around soon.



    Not cheap either... another 2 quid just to stay parked during breakfast. And every time I buy a ticket I have to enter the car reg number... WTF has committed that to memory? I've taken a picture of it now so I can just check the phone each time without having to constantly walk back to the car.



    These b@stards had the free overnight parking which is supposedly reserved for guests at the hotel but they're obviously mainly locals abusing the system. Pisses me off. The problem is that by the time a space becomes available late in the evening I should no longer be driving.




    But anyway, after breakfast off we went to Lyme Regis to explore the Jurassic Coast.

    And guess what... we found a car park at the top of the hill on the edge of town... same script. I didn't read the sign properly and put in 5.50, which pissed me off further.



    And down the hill we went.



    The beach at Lyme Regis with the world famous Cob in the background. Our destination was the other side of the Cob, to the west. These pebbles weren't easy to walk on with my cracked heel so we walked along the promenade.



    Ammonite street lights, pure class.



    I believe you can buy these beach huts when they come up for sale. I could imagine doing that in retirement one day but I don't think they're cheap.



    After a groin there's a sandy patch close to the Cob as you head west. I think you have to get there early to secure a good patch and people come prepared.



    The Cobb Arms at the Cobb in Lyme Regis. I didn't stop for a pint as we had some serious fossil hunting to get on with... and it was hot.



    The Cobb itself.



    I think it was Meryl Streep and Richard Gere who walked along here in 'An Officer and a Gentleman'. A world famous site.



    And from the end of the Cobb, back to land looking west. That grey patch of cliff was our destination to find some decent fossils.



    And as an aside... a guy fishing from his boat off the end of the Cobb. If I ever get to move down to Rayong or somewhere this is my retirement dream... a 12 to 14 ft boat and a few hours fishing every morning. Pigs and shit.



    So off we headed to the fossil site. Fresh rock falls from the cliff on the Jurassic Coast... it doesn't get better than that.



    Fantastic geology. Layers of limestone interspersed by layers of mudstone representing cyclic conditions back in the Jurassic.



    At this stage I realised that I'd fukked up a bit. The tide was in and had only just started to go out, and we only had three hours left at the car park. Rock pooling for crabs was obviously out and the best fossil hunting patches were still under water.



    As we carried on a hopeful sign... two adjacent boulders with ammonites!



    By now it was around midday and it was as hot as fuk. I climbed up the cliff to explore some virgin rock faces but dropped my b@stard hammer and it slid all the way down. I was too knackered to climb up again.



    At this point I would have to say that the daughter was looking a bit bored. Her heart wasn't really in to fossil hunting and she sat dejectedly hitting a rock with my hammer while I tried to be enthusiastic about finding the best ammonite ever. I must admit it really was as hot and breathless as fuk and I was fading fast.



    I did find this one at the edge of the surf but that boulder was a couple of feet long and weighed about 2 tonnes.



    So we eventually called it a day with an hour left on the car so we could get back in time. We headed back.



    On the way back we found this baby, daughter's feet for scale, but no way could I carry it back to the car that was about wo miles away and up the top of a b@stard great hill. I wish I'd had a wheel barrow.



    On we went. To the right is the world famous ammonite pavement... under about two b@stard metres of water. If this picture had been taken 50 years ago it may have included meself, my two sisters and my mum and dad. This was the stretch of beach we used to sit on. Makes you think... well, it made me think anyway but the daughter wasn't so interested by this point in proceedings. She had a grump on.



    The outward trip in reverse...



    I may be no good at finding fossils but I know how to cheer up a daughter who's hot and sunburnt.



    And then up the long hill back to the car. We were both pretty knackered by this point.



    And so it was back to West Bay.

    Lyme Regis has been ticked off my list and as with my fishing trip it left me a bit disappointed and melancholic. The beach at Lyme Regis brought back a host of memories but I'm starting to think these memories are best left undisturbed. Maybe it isn't the places I miss but the period in time... back when life was simple and I had no worries?

    But what really hurts is that I found bugger all decent fossils. The bladdy daughter found the best ammonite and she won't let me forget about it. Who's supposed to be the geologist round here?


  19. #544
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    Go west a few miles, and take the left turn down to Branscombe. Beautiful cottages and scenery, a couple of pubs to eat drink, and a shingle beach at the end. Shouldn't be much crowds. Before or after the Donkey Sancturary.

  20. #545
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    All lovely.


    But these:






    The remnants of the Third Reich were rumoured to have scarpered to Patagonia. I reckon they didn't get past Dorset.

  21. #546

  22. #547
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond View Post
    All lovely.


    But these:






    The remnants of the Third Reich were rumoured to have scarpered to Patagonia. I reckon they didn't get past Dorset.
    Gone are the days of cowboy clampers and demanding money by menaces.

    These parking companies must give DVLA a percentage of the fines in return for the registered owners details.

    The camera takes a pic of your car on entry and exit to the carpark if you pay and enter your correct registration number then ok.
    If you overstay ,dont pay or fvck.up on your details then the owner gets a bill automatically through the post a week later for anything between 30 -100. If you dont pay within a set time the fine is doubled. Then you get a county court summons and bailiff action.

    There really is no escaping the escalating extortion.

  23. #548
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe 90 View Post
    If you dont pay within a set time the fine is doubled. Then you get a county court summons and bailiff action.
    or his mate does

  24. #549
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    or his mate does
    The trick is not to have the car registered in the first place, but there's Police ANPR cameras everywhere for that on roads nowadays.

    Back in the good old days before cameras and internet you could drive around, park where you want, do whatever if the car wasn't registered to you and bought under a false name
    .

    No tax, no mot, no insurance, no parking and always pissed up

  25. #550
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe 90 View Post
    These parking companies
    So there are actually privately owned companies that run these sorts of Auschwitz carcentration camps?




    What sorts of miserable, spiteful, bullied throughout their life, ThaiVisa moderator-ish, malmomike-esque, pieces of joyless shower-drain gunk decide that this is the 9 to 5 life to be in.

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