Monthly Archives: January 2010
What started off as a short Sunday afternoon dog stroll, turned out to be quite an informative adventure. Just see what happens when you turn right, instead of (our usual) left on to the canal…
Well firstly the tow path is unexpectedly closed, apparently is it unsafe…which is incidental really when the alternative is manouverieng a big hairy doggie via the ‘diversion’ along a busy road…..without a lead!
I was thrilled with King John’s Castle, the actual desination of today’s walk. It must be about seven years since we last came here, probably on our mountain bikes and I remember it looking very unloved. Covered in brambles, scaffolding and feeling very sorry for itself, I wasn’t expecing it to be so bold and outstanding today. The restoration project completed by Hampshire County Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund under the guidence of English Heritage have done a supurb job. A local site to be really proud of, take a look at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/hampshire-countryside/odiham-castle.htm
In the late 1780 John Pinkerton, responsible for building the Basingstoke Canal would have been posed with problem of crossing the River Whitewater, the result of decision to the problem can be seen here with small, but adequately purposeful aqueduct. During construction the River Whitewater was diverted into the outer moat of the castle to save time and effort on digging the culvert.
The 1,230 yard tunnel at Greywell was built between 1788 and 1992. It collapsed in 1932 and there were no attempts to revive it as the canal had ceased to be a commercial trade route. The tunnel is now a haven for bats, the cave like environment provides a constant temperature (100C) and high humidity providing excellent conditions for hibernating bats.
Finally, after many expectant years, Julian triumphs and delights us all with edible scones. Granny Dance would have been proud and so I understand, would certainly have approved of them being baked on a Saturday afternoon whilst listening to the football on the radio. Yum….pass me the strawberry jam!
Oh, look carefully…..there is a big black nose hovering in the background…..
Apparently he wasn’t lost!
Lovely evening sunset seen by Julian, somewhere between Crondall and Well…he was lost! Strange for a man to admit that (especially when there is the sun to navigate by!!), but not strange that his was messing about in the snow with the Landy at the time.
More snow….my woolly hat has never seen so much action. Julian’s school closed today so impromptu day off to play in the snow, we just had to convince Flo that it was a good idea…..
It’s always special when you draw back the curtains and your usual morning view has been replaced with a magical winter snow scene, and there had been some snow over night. We could hear branches of the trees, so heavily laiden with snow, just breaking under the weight. Quite and erie sound on Odiham Common, and lots of trees had fallen on the tow path. The canal looked picturesque, on the brink of being frozen.
Julian going out now in the landy to get emergency rations….red wine and crumpets. If you have a real fire, you have to use it – now, where is the toasting fork?!