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So, finally back from chilly wanderings, and what better way to celebrate a marvelous time in Sweden than with some fantastic photos. We were up in a place called Bjornrike (which means “Kingdom of Bears” in Swedish. These shots are actually all from the same day, when we were skiing cross-country in afternoon. The day was crisp and cold with spectacular lighting and (as you’ll see below) an astounding sunset.

Anyway, I’ll stop prattling.

Lunchtime, towards an Arctic sun.

Lunchtime, towards an Arctic sun.

This is from the car park at the end of the day

This is from the car park at the end of the day

Bright sun and dark clouds.

Bright sun and dark clouds.

snow 7

snow 2

snow 6

snow 5

snow 4

That glorious sunset

snow 9

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I’m still on holiday, enjoying a little Stockholm jazz. Normal service will be resumed eventually!

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I’m in Sweden for Christmas and new year, firefly escaping the miserably wet weather at home. Until normal service is resumed, here’s a snowy scene from Stockholm.

Happy Christmas!

I mentioned a couple of weeks back that I was going hiking in the Lake District, and this week (partly because I couldn’t think of anything else to post) I thought I’d share some photos.

We were in a place called Buttermere, which is on the western side of the Lake District, and one day in particular had spectacular weather. Here are a few shots I snapped with my phone.

This is Buttermere, the peaks are High Stile and Red Pike.

And this is the end of the lake (quite like the blasted-tree chic)

This is from a little higher up. We’d been walking for about an hour at this point.

A particularly arty cairn.

A couple of my cousins as we stopped for break.

I have a few more, but you know, less is more. To sign off, though, here’s a photo from a week or two later from Rosemary Gardens in London. It’s a tiny park near my house, which is currently in full autumnal glory.

Hope you like them!

I walk quite a lot. I’m lucky enough to live close enough to the UCL to be able to walk to work (which is quite a luxury in London) and so each morning and evening I trek the two-and-a-half miles or so between Bloomsbury and Islington. Fitness-wise, it keeps the wolf from the door, so to speak, and it saves the cost of a travelcard each month, which more than offsets the increased wear-and-tear on shoe leather.

But it doesn’t stop there, oh no. This weekend I’m off to the Lake District in Cumbria for a some proper walking. Walking that doesn’t involve anything as effete as a pavement. Walking that involves maps, Proper Boots and the sort of clothing that markets itself as Hi-Tech. In other words, I’m going hiking. There will be sandwiches, fresh air, and Ordnance Survey maps. Should be a lot of fun.

Hiking is something that’s in the family. My Grandfather, George, started going to the Lakes back in the 1930s and kept on going for the next sixty years. My dad and his brother and sister were all raised on hiking and climbing and they in turn dragged my generation along as well. Early on, Granddad joined that most venerable of Lake District institutions, the Fell&Rock Climbing Club and later started a club of his own: The Tuesday Climbing Club.

Since he died, the Tuesday Climbing Club have held a weekend of walking in George’s honour, and this weekend is the George Hall memorial meet. This year there will be a small gaggle of Halls in attendance. If previous experience is anything to go by, we will attempt a day’s walking that really shouldn’t be tackled in less than three. This will involve at least four summits, at least one of which will be quite hard to identify until you’ve left it. It will be cold and (possibly) dry, but the air will be fresh and the views will be spectacular.

That, plus a sturdy pair of ear-plugs to keep out the snoring when sharing a dorm with my aforementioned relatives (at least the male ones) and it should be a fine weekend. Buttermere here we come.