Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Avebury and Beyond

Another Sunday, another walk around Wiltshire with Brunel Walking Group! This time and under the guidance of another new (to me) walk leader, we headed further east and in to Avebury, from which we began our walk a stone’s thrown from Silbury Hill and just off the A4.

Silbury Hill, Wiltshire.

I’m going to share a handful of photos with you in this post and if you’d like to see the rest (all 32), then you’ll find a link at the bottom.

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Saving Water; Wasting Time!

A few weeks ago, I received a package from Bristol Water, who kindly make available a selection of FREE items to their customers which can be fitted to improve water efficiency within your home (I believe you can order them from their website although I did mine through the post).

As you can see above; I received one item that fits to a tap, another that goes inside the toilet cistern and a third which economises on the water flow of your shower.

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Quantock Greenway South (Part 2)

Picking up from where we left off at the top of Wills Neck in Part 1, this walk continues in an east/north-easterly direction across the Quantock Hills in search of Broomfield.

Bluebells of Lydeard Hill.

I should point out that from here on, I chose to ignore the Quantock Greenway for many miles as it overlapped with a portion of the route from the Northern stretch. So, I set myself the challenge of navigating my own return route using little more than an OS map, a compass and my own two eyes… This is what adventuring in the great outdoors is all about, right?

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Quantock Greenway South (Part 1)

As 2 months have now passed since I did this walk and completed my initial exploration of the Quantock Hills, it’s about time I shared it with you! As with the Northern stretch of the Quantock Greenway, this post will arrive in two parts.

It was a sunny Saturday morning, I was up and out of the flat nice and early and my destination was Fyne Court; a National Trust property located in Broomfield. It was surprisingly easy to find; heading down the A38 through North Petherton and I noticed the National Trust sign posts immediately (although, you may prefer to take an alternative route if you detest or fear long and narrow country lanes).

Entrance to Fyne Court with free car parking beyond.

This half of the walk will take you to my lunch stop at Triscombe Stone, which you may recognise as the halfway point from the Northern walk.

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Combe Without a Castle

Today, against the ill feeling residing in the back of my throat, I forced myself out for a walk with the local Ramblers group. I often find that fresh air helps me when I’m feeling bunged up (unless it’s winter) and I’d much rather be outdoors than stuck inside a stuffy room with flies buzzing around. I also decided it would be better to risk infecting some people I may not know!


I’d been eyeing up the Castle Combe walk since I first noticed it on the program. It’s an area I’d not explored but had heard many positive things about. Yet it’s not at all far from some of the other locations I’ve previously explored on my own – just a little further east and north of the A420. I haven’t taken my usual plethora of photos for this so I’m comfortable to share them all with you this evening.

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Bathroom DIY

Having been in this flat now for over 8 months, I can say that I’ve spent the past few feeling as though I’m some kind of ‘live-in maintenance man‘. When something’s broken or has been in need of improvement, I’ve offered to repair or replace it (unless it’s electrical, of course). I quite enjoy a bit of DIY (working to my own rules and at my own pace) so this doesn’t bother me too much. Until recently, I spent several weeks living in a near-building site-like state as I attempted to repair and redecorate the main living room walls.


By far, this has become my proudest achievement in this property to date:

I am no plasterer and I’ve never been keen on painting but a couple of coats of Dulux’s lemon tropics has, for me, transformed the feel of this previously overly-magnolia property.

But today, I’m going to share with you some recent improvements I’ve made in the bathroom.

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Camping in Dorset

Is it possible to experience jet lag after spending two nights in a tent? Not to mention the 2-hour drive there and back. Because that’s how I’m feeling today, having only risen from my bed an hour ago after three enjoyable days down in Dorset.

It was my first proper experience of camping. My original plan was to head down there with a friend but, she was anything but well enough to travel come Friday morning – when you’re unable to experience a bit of the sea, sunshine and British heritage, you know you’re not feeling good! I fought my fears and headed down alone, without too much of a clue. Worst case scenario; I could always depart after the first night. But I stayed within the county well in to my third day (yesterday) before heading home.

I could go on and on. My initial count from this long weekend came in with 410 photographs, straight off my SD card! I’ll add links to the relevant Flickr albums at the end of this post but for now, I’m going to try and very briefly summarise what I experienced.

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Cake No.2

My mum’s birthday came and went very recently and following the success of the chocolate cake-bake for my own birthday bake in March, I decided some time ago that I would be baking a white chocolate [mum's favourite] cake for this occasion.

Yes, FOUR bars of white chocolate!

Above, you can see all of the ingredients I used (excluding the kitchen cleaner and bottle of olive oil!). Almost every item could be purchased from my local Lidl store, with the exception of only buttermilk and vanilla essence. There’s a chance you could find these in a larger Lidl but, while I was shopping elsewhere with no more than a basket in hand, I decided to buy myself a new liquid measuring jug – one with a scale you can easily read without the need for backlighting!

This recipe is not my own. If you’d like to see it for yourself then please follow the link to All Recipes‘ website.

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