Silent Pool & Martha Hill Walk


Sidney Wood & The Lost Canal

It was a sunny and warm start to this morning. I checked the weather forecast and it predicted some rain for the afternoon.

I decided to take one of my dogs, Mindy, the younger one who can cope with long walks. It was about a 1.25 hour drive to get to the start of the walk. The first part is busy roads and Motorway. The second half of the journey is some beautiful surrey countryside. I kept passing pubs and antique shops that I thought, I must pop back to these at a later date.

I was following a walking guide from Surrey Council’s website:

There are a number of walks available for all abilities. I chose one that was moderate and not too far to get to. I noticed on their site they have a downloadable guide which I downloaded and printed and includes a map. I also noticed they recommend an App, called iFootpath. This costs £1.99 and so I decided to give it a go. The App gives you access to the same guide and also an interactive map that shows your position on the walk. You can download the guides and maps for many different walks and I found it much easier to use than a printed version.

When I got to the Sidney Wood car park, I started following the directions from the guide. I was really surprised how good they were and managed not to get lost even once. Its a beautiful walk. I started late morning on a weekday so only saw 3 other people on the whole walk and this was in the car park.

Its a shame to see the canal not being used but part way round you do come across one of the locks that has been recently restored so hopefully it may be brought back into its original condition one day.

Check out the link to the album of pictures I took below. There are pictures for every step of the walk and some of the sights along the way.

Sidney Wood & The Lost Canal Walk 11.10.18

Testing a Sega Master System Console

Another console for testing. This was a car boot purchase and you never know if they will actually work or not. You have to take chance that the seller is being honest when they say it works.

As I haven’t dug out any games yet, I could only test this with the built in game, Super Hang On. It is also missing its RF lead so had to borrow one from an Intellivision temporarily.

Below is me not playing Super Hang On very well:

BBC B Microcomputer, Cub Monitor & Cumana Dual Disk Drive

This is another retro console i’m testing from my collection. Its a bit rough but still works. It has a missile command games ROM fitted. The Microvitec Cub monitor still works well but the Cumana disk drive doesn’t seem to want to read disks at the moment. It shows Fault 18 at 0/0 when trying to read a 5.25″ disk.

In the video below, you can see me testing the Missing Command game really badly. Think I need a joystick. Using the cursor keys is fiddly.

Amstrad PC 1640 HD 20

When I srtaed my first job after leaving school at a business equipment company, one of the first business computers I learnt to use was the Amstrad PC1512 and then the 1640 with a whopping 20MB HDD. I couldn’t believe how much room these drives had at the time.

This is one I picked up some time ago on Ebay with an external floppy drive, DMP 2000 printer and some 5.25″ disks.

I’v e had to move many of my retro consoles from their location in my office back to my house. Although this is going to be a huge headache, it also gives me a chance to fire up all the systems, test and play>

Here is a video of me playing Comic Capers on the Amstrad.


Day trip to the Cotswold Wildlife Park

It was a beautiful sunny late September day when we went to the wildlife park.

We started with the walled garden complete with penguin and lemur enclosure. The garden is small but spectacular and still very much in bloom. They had a few angles trumpets we also have at home. You walk around the lemur enclosure and stand just a couple of feet away from the penguins. This is close to the entrance and you have a shop with the usual sorts of gifts and a small windows where you can order a hot dog and a coffee.

Further into the park where the main house is situated, you can find a much larger restaurant. The food is simple and when we visited had been under hot lamps for a while so was not particularly appetising but this is normally the case I find with these sorts of places.

Cotswold Wildlife Park//
Entry to the park is £16 and you can take dogs into the park although not everywhere. I recommend taking the little train that goes around the park as it gives you a good idea of what there is too see and where it can be found. You cannot drive through the park but its small enough to see everything in half a day. I think my favourite part was the tropical greenhouse where there are a variety of birds, sloths, rat-like creatures running around your feet. It reminded me a little of Kew Gardens and the Eden Project.