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  1. #926
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    Reg Dingle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    My daughter's well into Wotsits
    My young uns favourite too and a regular 36 pack purchase seeing as i like nicking the odd one

  2. #927
    Thailand Expat armstrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg Dingle View Post
    My young uns favourite too and a regular 36 pack purchase seeing as i like nicking the odd one
    I'm currently into out of date Space Raiders but might switch to out of date Walkers when I go back to work as I don't want to look unprofessional.

  3. #928
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    ^ pickled onion?

  4. #929
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    I like to try and be a bit cerebral in these threads but just to show how all-inclusive I am... I would go Quavers over Wotsits every time. I had a bag of crunchy Wotsits a couple of weeks ago and thought they were rubbish. Also the Wotsits bags are so small. I bought a couple of bags of Monster Munch 'Giants' for our drive down to Dorset a few weeks ago, I think one was Pickled Onion and the other Beef flavour. When I eventually managed to fit one of these 'Giants' in my gob they tasted awful and I ended up feeding them to the seagulls. No, it's Quavers all the way for me.


    Anyway, we're fast running out of days so the first day back from London we tackled Black Down, the highest peak of the Mendips at 325m above sea level and the culmination of our Mendip Hills walks. I found some walk directions in 'The North Somerset Life' magazine.



    While I locked the car the daughter forged on ahead... the tortoise and the hare.



    Plenty of instructions available which of course the cyclists ignore.



    The walk in the magazine listed several landmarks and orienteering points to follow, which made it a bit more demanding. I wasn't familiar with this area.



    Once we broke through the trees we could see our destination but the instructions took us on a circuitous route.



    A style.



    A metalled farm track...



    You can take the girl out of Thailand...



    Where stinging nettles were a problem I was sent on ahead.



    I attempted the old 'try touching that fence with your tongue' trick, but the daughter was wise to that one.



    As we ascended the lower slope through a wooded are we came across several of these structure.



    And another...



    The mystery was solved a few metres later when we found all this orange-coloured debris in the hollow...



    ... and I went down to investigate and found all these clay pigeons. This must be a gun club area and it's nice to see people shooting clay discs rather than animals. There were lots of anti-poaching signs around, this being an area with abundant rabbis, hares and deer.

    It's a shame they can't clear up after themselves, mind. I wonder if these discs would make good coasters?



    We continued up along a pathway lined with bracken.



    Until we eventually broke through the treeline and out onto open land. The peak of Black Down is Old Red Sandstone, an older and more resistant rock than the limestone of the lower slopes which has been exposed in the centre of the anticline due to weathering of the younger limestone. Thicker soils forms on the impervious sandstone which, unusually for the Mendips, allows rich pasture on the upper slopes.



    And for those geologically inclined. There's been a fair bit of thrusting south of Cheddar Gorge, and I'm not talking about Chitty parked up at night in his fancy convertible.



    Apart from a couple of red kites (which we were later told were probably buzzards) we had seen no wildlife, and it soon became apparent why... the noisy inconsiderate b@stards.



    We finally broke through to the upper heath land which was protected by a fence since it is a fragile area designated an area of outstanding natural beauty.



    Finally, some respite from the wanker cyclists. I wouldn't mind horses to be honest but I'm sure if they are allowed then the up themselves cyclists would start whinging about their 'rights' and all that good stuff. I really hate them. How much to they contribute to the upkeep of the land?



    This was the final push for the summit. The directions instructed us to take the right path. The whole area was parched and as dry as a bone.



    The path was badly eroded and littered with rock fragments.



    As I mentioned, the rock across the top of Black Down is Old Red Sandstone from the Devonian, maybe around 40 million years old and way before the dinosaur (even the Stegosaurus).



    There were also several areas of flint. My Neolithic ancestors would probably have fashioned these into axe heads.



    And finally... the peak of Black Down visible, marked by a trig point at 325m above sea level. We were slightly disappointed to see that someone had beaten us there. You can see a series of three mounds to the right, before the trig point.



    The summit!



    There was an elderly lady at the peak, I guess early 70s, who had run up there. She worked for the National Trust and collected litter, helped build dry stone walls etc etc. The trig point was built on one of four mounds which are Bronze Age round barrows (burial mounds for important people), probably aged around 2000 to 700 BC, so maybe 3000 to 4000 years old. They are protected but paths seemd to pass directly through each one. All have hollow tops having been plundered long ago, which is a shame.



    Before she left the lady told me to walk off to the south a bit to get a good view of the four mounds... and then she jogged off. I walked southwards, looked back and the daughter had been joined by two more people... I feared the worst. But a nice pic of the four burial mounds... the westerly most one supporting the trig point.



    As I returned to the trig point my fears were confirmed... more b@stard cyclists... and no way should they be here. Tossers.



    Despite my hatred of cyclists I did allow one to take a couple of pictures of me and the daughter at the peak of the Mendips!



    And then off they fukked. Ride carefully guys... hope you have no serious accidents.



    There were breathtaking views from the top of Black Down. To the west, Weston-Super-Mare with Brean Down, Steep Holm and Flat Holm islands and the Bristol Channel clearly visible. Wales is on the horizon.



    To the north, the Bristol Channel with the pillars of the old Severn Bridge to Wales visible. The new Severn Bridge is to the south (left) but I couldn't make it out.



    And to the south, another one of these burial mounds. Those small hummocks arranged in a straight line either side of the path were built in the Secind World War. They supported flares that were lit at night to fool the Luftwaffe into bombing a barren hill rather then their intended target of Bristol. Google 'Operation Starfish' if interested... although you may get a few unwanted hits as well, of course.



    One of the hummocks... I saw some of these on Dolberrow a couple of weeks ago... another mystery solved.



    While I was explaining all these fascinating historicl facts to the daughter she suddenly got back up on her feet and just walked off. I guess I had bored her senseless. I know these moods (she gets it from her mother) so I just followed.



    As I caught up with her we spoted Blagdon Lake, the site of my mispent youth.



    Lovely... I've caught a few trout down there. You can see Nempnett Thrubwell on the far side of the lake.



    The car park down in the combe was now in view and the daughter sped up, but not before admiring this tree. Black Down has a unique flora due to the acidic soil... any guesses as to what kind of tree this is?































    A lavatree!



    Cows...



    We reached the road and I showed the daughter some Catseyes... I told her the story about their invention... but she wasn't interested.



    And that was it... a successful ascent to the summit of the Mendips.



    A well earned end of day cider. Lovely!


  5. #930
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    DrWilly's Avatar
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    Looks like a lovely walk.

  6. #931
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    Bonecollector's Avatar
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    That looked right up my street! Glad you had a nice time and some really nice nature there.

  7. #932
    Thailand Expat armstrong's Avatar
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    This,



    Reminds me very much of this,

    A pilgrimage across southern England-bliss_-windows_xp-png
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A pilgrimage across southern England-bliss_-windows_xp-png  

  8. #933
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    Bogon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I wonder if these discs would make good coasters?
    They are very brittle and break quite easily.

  9. #934
    Elite Mumbler
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    I much prefer your rural, geological tours to the ones of London. Seen one postcard, seen them all I guess. I have a hunch you feel the same way. Cheers for taking the young one to the city though. And for making her climb hills in the hot sun. Nuay Mak was probably the phrase of the day. I had a stepdaughter her age, so know that ice cream amends most grievances
    Originally Posted by sabang
    Maybe Canada should join Nato.

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