Monday, 27 December 2010

shifford walk

Surprisingly chipper today after long, long Christmas day.

Went to Morris Clown at lunchtime yesterday, which was, as usual, great.

Today, the temperature didn't get above freezing, although we had a wonderful walk from Tadpole Bridge to the weir to the south of Shifford Lock.

Just after the bridge (above), half-way along, we met a friend and watched a barn owl working Chimney Meadows nature reserve.

A feature of the nature reserve--and other stretches of the Thames hereabouts (frozen over in parts, incidentally)--are the World War II pillboxes. These seem so out of place now--brutal concrete polygons with mean gun-slits--but there must have been a strategic reason for them years ago.

After the walk we had a pint at the Trout at Tadpole, a pub which was immortalised by the brilliant travel writer and illustrator, Robert Gibbings. I think he would still recognise the place, though some walls have been knocked out and the intimacy he describes has gone.

Later, at home, we watched more of Downton Abbey--so gripping! It's amazing but my blog got masses of hits during the broadcast of the series, because of one or two of my photos, but I've not seen the programme because we don't have a TV. Terrific to catch up. The village streets seem really spacious--no cars parked in them.

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