Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

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Mist Upon the Mendips

It’s taken almost a fortnight for me to write about this one; my most recent walk. It seems that dark nights (particularly with the colder weather) are less inviting for me to sit here at my laptop for an extended period, away from the comfort of the blanket that adorns my sofa… I’ve even adapted to watching rubbish on TV! Between that and the (almost complete) bathroom repairs, I’ve delayed writing about this until now.

However, I can assure you this’ll be the last post to be ridden with my murky smart phone photos! My camera is back in action and so regular service quality shall soon resume.

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Lansdown; Feet Wet

This past weekend, I donned my waterproofs to brave the great outdoors. With a mountain of an expedition only a dozen weeks away now, I don’t think that I can use ‘the weather excuse‘ to keep me indoors for consecutive weekends. I have training to do and, flicking through the virtual pages of the three Walk West books, I can create a growing list of routes that I am keen to follow.

View from the car upon arrival.

So, with falling water forecast and grey skies in waiting for me as I woke up on Sunday morning, I decided to keep the setting fairly familiar and not-too-brand-new by visiting Lansdown, to the north-east of Bath.

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Dundry and Maes Knoll

This morning, as I begin to write this, the sun is trying to break through the glut of persistent rain. This ongoing downpour of torrent has caused disaster for many home-owners further south and for the average walker, well, I’m presuming that the enthusiasm to get out and to enjoy nature is lost in some small way. I know I haven’t been out for almost two-weeks now and this walk I’m about to share is indeed my most recent.

Dundry Down car park, at the start of the walk.

Roll on summer!!

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Technologically Moaning

Tonight, I’d like to have a little moan about technology, which is usually something I’m in full praise of. This particular issue has been on my mind for several weeks and you’ll have a good idea of where I’m headed with this from the photo below.

As I began to write this post, I’ve just received an e-mail from a customer… It’s made me feel a bit sick inside. It’s not something you would like or expect to see as a maker and I do sincerely hope it’s just a one-off. It’s not their fault and, when I can find the word to reply, I’ll have to acknowledge that it is my responsibility. I might well bring this up in a separate post sometime but, as of right now, I haven’t yet figured out how it could have happened… Mystery, is the word!

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Walking the Cotswold Way Skyline

There are a couple of more recent walks that I would like to write about today but I’ve realised that I still haven’t shared the experience of walking the Cotswold Way along the skyline route, near Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago. This was led by another member of the Brunel Walking Group. Apparently, it was also his first walk-leading experience and I for one think he did very well (I certainly wouldn’t have guessed it). Some of the details from that day are bound to have slipped my mind in the time that has since passed but, one thing I cannot forget is the heat from that day…

Cooper’s Hill – home of Cheese Rolling!

We started off (after meeting up in Bristol) at a lay-by car park on the western outskirts of the village of Cranham (apparently, it’s home to Lilly Allen among other celebrities, if you really wanted to know…). From there, we climbed up through the woods to reach the peak of Cooper’s Hill, which is perhaps best known as the site of Gloucestershire‘s annual Cheese Rolling event!

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The P-Word

This is actually a subject I discuss briefly at the introduction to my latest YouTube video. It’s fair to say that you will quickly come to learn how I feel about painting and why it took me five-months to complete the laminated capping rail for our T&G gate… Oddly enough, I’ve spent the afternoon undercoating my hands a glossy white as we’ve been partitioning off a new section of the shop floor ready for the installation of two new metal cutting machines (it has been nice to be able to put of some stud walls and drill holes in the concrete floor, even if I’m not too satisfied with some of the gaps around my own joints, mostly cut on the bandsaw as well…).

We moved in to our current house back in 2004, not long after Christmas and, within days of moving in (in fact, it might have been the day itself), a now-ex-neighbour pointed out that flakes of white paint were

Peeling Paint

ing off from under the eaves at the front of the house, surrounding the large bay window. It’s a project that’s been on my mind for so long. It’d been glaring at me each day I arrived home. Even when I lived elsewhere, it became unmissable, with each and every family visit. I don’t know what possessed me but I finally got up there to tackle it, last weekend.

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High on a Hill

Meditation has become something that is quite significant within my life. It’s not something I practice as often as I feel I should and I find I am at my best when I’m at a centre with a dedicated time and space for meditation. But last Sunday, I created a bit of a ‘revelation’ for myself in being able to meditate high on top of one of the Mendip Hills.

Meditating up on Crook Peak, Somerset.

This post is supplemented with photographs courtesy of my Instagram account.

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And ‘Moor Walking!

It’s been a weekend of walking for me and we’ve had the weather for it as well. Saturday was glorious, walking (probably) 12 miles in Bath. I was planning to have a rest on Sunday, which could’ve given me two days in the workshop, as I had also booked today off work. But, the same friend I saw on Saturday convinced me to join the group walk she was leading down in Exmoor. It was fifteen-miles long; it look hilly; it was what they regard as a 3-Booter and, when I woke up in the morning, the sun was shining.

Horses on Exmoor

Before I go on, I’d like to point out that each of the photos taken from this walk were captured using my smart phone. I did carry a camera in my bag but getting it out each time or even carrying on myself does get annoying. I am impressed with the quality, if not the quantity of what I have.

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