General update

Well, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything on this blog! I am currently suffering from foot and leg problems that are preventing me from doing any long walks, so I thought I’d spend some time writing a general update for this blog about what I’m doing now.

I think the reason I got out of the habit of blogging was that I started a ‘Latest Walks’ section on my web site, and so would write up my walks there rather than on this blog. I did intend using the blog for non-walk related things, but then a problem occurred when I switched to using the Opera web browser. I found it far better than Internet Explorer, but unfortunately there are one or two sites it doesn’t seem to be compatible with, including this blogging site. When I tried writing a blog entry, each new line appeared ABOVE the previous line. So it meant I had to open IE each time I wanted to blog, and I gradually got out of the habit.

The big change since my last entry here is that I have had to go back to work. Having ‘retired’ at the end of 2002 and spent several happy years wandering the countryside and learning more about the natural world, I suddenly hit severe financial problems (not entirely my own fault). It took me just over a year to then find a job – not having worked for 6-7 years, I was extremely lucky to finally get a job as a Software Tester again.

I now work for a company in Huntingdon, Cambs., living in ‘digs’ in Huntingdon during the week and returning to my parents’ home in Kensworth, Beds., at the weekends.I have now been in the job six months (I started1st February 2010) and it has gone well so far. The people I work with are very nice and very helpful, and it is certainly a pleasanter place to work than my last job when I was contracting at BT. But I have found it a real strain going back to work after so long. Having had so many years where my time was all my own to do whatever I liked, I now find the working day very long indeed! Particularly on fine days, it’s hard not to think about how much I’d rather be outside on a 15-mile walk or exploring a nature reserve.

I had hoped to continue walking and to walk both days at weekends, but usually this hasn’t happened (either due to lethargy and/or too many chores to do)  so I am generally only doing one long walk each weekend, which I then write up and put on my web site a few days later.

During the spring and summer months I have occasionally visited a few nature reserves around Huntingdon in the evenings – Grafham Water, Paxton Pits, Monk Woods and Woodwalton Fen. The last I only discovered a couple of weeks ago, but intend to visit it regularly from now on. On my first visit I found no less than 10 wildflowers that I’d not seen before, and there are also lots of dragonflies and moths. I am getting more and more interested in moths – next year I hope to buy a moth trap and start trapping and photographing them regularly.

As usual, I have been using the WildAboutBritain web site to have my new finds identified. This summer I have been to two meetings of members of the web site, firstly at Ivinghoe Beacon and College Lake in Buckinghamshire (which I arranged)  and then one at Thursley Common in Surrey. On both occasions it was really good to meet up with other people interested in the natural world, and there were plenty of new flowers, dragonflies, etc., for me to discover.

I hope to continue using this blog to write up my visits to nature reserves, etc., while my walks will appear under ‘Latest Walks’ on my web site.

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