Sunday, 11 November 2012

Armistice Day Walk

What better way to celebrate Armistice Day than a walk through the countryside?

Picture time - back to the Forest of Dean.

A love of leaves and lichen...

Not to mention my fixation with fungus...

Found a beautiful lake.

Stopped for a cuppa and a bap.

Look what the woman serving was reading...

Ho hum.

Also found some wildlife...

Also, very, very strange encounter with something remarkably like The Witch's Hill in Scotland. Seems this one is the remnants of an old stone quarry. Will be discussing this on the Northern Antiquarian's Facebook page. Perhaps theirs was a quarry for Castle Campbell, which might make the creepy chair Masonic, rather than neo-Pagan. Would explain all the stones littered about.

Lovely day. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Welcome to Taurus Crafts

Well, I know you'll all be dying to know. I'm afraid Kitty did not repeat last year's MOT glory. Unfortunately she failed in fairly spectacular style. Everything that could go wrong with brakes unfortunately did. An expensive call to make... but she's my Kitty. We'll get another year out of her yet. 

A few more adventures left to come.

Started the Yule shop already. Headed out with Dad to Taurus Crafts in the Forest of Dean.

Cute stone carving.
There are some fairly militant sheep in the Forest of Dean. They've been known to don balaclavas and hold drivers to ransom.

Ended up at the Dean Heritage Centre. The trees are supposed to be 'on the turn,' but autumn's been swift this year and most are already bare.

There, we found a wonderful wood sculptor.

This last one is a tribute to one of the Forest miners, 'Big' Phil Bennett, who went back down a tunnel that had collapsed to rescue a man whose legs were trapped. If he hadn't pulled him out, he would have died. There's a strong freemining tradition in the Forest.

The sculptor has also created a Gruffalo walk, full of Gruffalos.

He's also a healthy heathen by the look of things. A chalkboard list of the Celtic Tree Calender. Click to enlarge:

Some more gorgeous stone carvings, including Pan and a visiting Welsh Dragon.

Finally, an old mine wheel, preserved.

Bromley Pit Wheel Headgear Monument

The above colepit wheel, believed to be the last of its kind in the Forest of Dean, was taken from the old Bromley pit headgear at Bromley Lodge, Ellwood, in the 1970s by Freeminer Rod Stewart for use at his own 'New Found Out' freemine near Edge End, Coleford.

The wheel was eventually donated to the Dean Heritage Museum by Maggie Stewart, and on Saturday June 16th 2007 was unveiled by retired collier Philip Parry, and dedicated as a monument to the miners, their families and their communities by the Reverend Tony Jones.

The wheel was raised by Dean Heritage Museum staff and volunteers with help from the Friends of the Dean Heritage Museum Trust, who donated the wood for the headgear. Local firms Forest Products and Tool Hire also made valuable contributions.
Nice little stream nearby, rather dwarfed by the tidal River Severn, the longest river in the United Kingdom.


River Severn

Lovely day. Extremely cold, bright blue skies and sunshine. Coffee, Victoria sponge cake and chocolate muffin.