30 October 2015

the british museum

Dancing with the Dead - Travel Diaries
Alright so not strictly true but when you turn up at the British Museum for the next few days you are welcomed by giant skeletons. It was a dull but unseasonably warm day in the capital and gave us a chance to visit probably London's most treasured attraction, The British Museum. With M and K in tow it was bound to be on the one hand hectic and on the other enlightening. Taking kids to major museums gives you a whole new perspective on looking at exhibits. Often its quick but you learn to take as much in as you can in your brief time there. 

The Days of the Dead Exhibition at the British Museum
Funny Location
The British Museum seems to me to be in a rather curious location. Beyond Tottenham Court Road and close to Holborn. Hidden behind shops, offices and houses. It almost appears out of nowhere. All grandiose and ancient looking. It just so happened that today was the start of the Days of the Dead exhibition. Giant Skeletons welcome you and are featured along with other exhibits throughout the museum until 4th November..so hurry hurry. It was surprising but very welcome. The kids loved them.

The Grand Entrance to the British Museum
Its all about planning
M wanted to start in the Japan section. Well it is on the top floor and seemed a logical way to work downwards towards the other areas. So there we started, having negotiated the grand hall. A wonderful area full of vibrancy, coffee shops, displays and children's activities. We headed up to the top floor, wandered around the Japan section, prints and ceramics featuring strongly. Then onto the Egyptian section. Probably the most popular in the museum. Busy, busy, busy. M and K were then hungry, aren't kids hungry all the time? So we headed out, past the skeletons to a small Korean restaurant, Bi-Won in Coptic Street. Highly recommended. It's only 5 minutes from the museum. So a great lunch or dinner stop.

It's not all about the Mummies!
Back for more!
A delicious lunch was soon munched and then we headed back. The British Museum is a maze and doing it in bite sized chunks is a great way of looking around, especially with kids. So we headed to see the Romans and Greeks. A map is perhaps advisable as its easy to get lost in the labyrinth of corridors. Again you wonder around with a sense of amazement at the complexity of the displays. Its such an eye opener.

The Grand Hall at the British Museum
The British Museum
This is a museum that will delight young and old. Ok it doesn't have the hands on approach of the Science Museum where you can touch buttons and see things working. What it does give you is a grand sense of our planets amazing history. Just how different each age and continent were. How amazingly clever and talented they were too. I would go as far as to say that the British Museum is the creme de la creme of museums in London. It's where you should really start your grand tour if visiting the capital. Judging by the vast numbers that seems to be the case. It may ask for a £5 donation but this is a museum that delights every time you visit and is worth the money. A true gem. 

Have you been to the British Museum? Did you enjoy your experience? If so please let us know via the social media buttons. As always thanks for your support and happy museuming! 




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28 October 2015

top tips for an alternative halloween

The tick-tock sound of the grandfather clock can be heard in the darken hallway of a creepy old house. Old portraits of house members past align the wall. Their black and white images almost staring back at you, watching, following. There's a creaking sound coming from upstairs as if someone is walking around but no one is there. The swing seat in your garden gently rocks back and forth without a person in sight. A music box starts playing its gentle tune and then abruptly stops. A light flickers as the wind howls around the empty house, strange noises can be heard. Halloween is soon upon us so Sketches is getting in on the act. Here are some alternative ideas for a spooky but fun Halloween evening. Just don't be alone.....

1) Watch a horror of a film - Instead of watching a horror film why not watch a horror of a film? Sex in the City 2 anyone? It will be the spookiest couple of hours of your Halloween night. Giving you nightmares for many a day, week or month.

The ghostly Jasons Hill near Chesham in Buckinghamshire

2) Pumpkin faces - Why not try an alternative face on your craved pumpkin? Why not give it a happy face? Or attempt your favourite singer or actor? It doesn't always have to been spooky does it?

3) Visit a local ghostly spot - The picture above may look like an innocent country road. (It's just outside the small village of Leyhill in the heart of the Chilterns, close to London). However this road is supposedly haunted by a headless horseman or so I was told when young. I used to deliver newspapers down that road and when it was dark I always peddled my bike quicker. I never saw the ghost but the thought always stayed with me. Every town or village seems to have a ghostly tale to tell, so why not go and visit your local ghost spot. You may not see a ghost but I'm sure it will still be spooky. 

Probably scary enough without effects!
4) Ghostly faces - why not have some fun by taking ghostly pictures with your phone or tablet? Print them off and hide them around housemates or family members rooms. Then wait to see if they jump with freight at the site of your spooky image.....

or alternatively if you're in the UK go and visit


5) Pluckley in Kent - Britain's most haunted village according to the Guinness World Records.  Up to twelve ghosts are recorded, from an old school master to a lady on a bridge. How about a bit of ghost busting? 

So there we are, an alternative Halloween. Have you got any alternative Halloween ideas? Then why not pop a comment down and then we can all share in making it an alternative night of entertainment. 

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26 October 2015

custom logo cases

Technology and travel go together like clothes and a suitcase. One can't seem to exist without the other. Such has been the advancement in smart phone technology and the way we convey our adventures through Instagram, Facebook and so on. With that comes a responsibility to keep this equipment safe and free from damage. When I was approached to review Custom Logo Cases who meet the above goals and more, I didn't hesitate in wanting to show their work to you. Maybe you own a small company and your employees need to use smartphones and tablets? Then this company may be for you? Perhaps your University or College are heading on a residential trip? Then this company could be for you too, but who are they?


Their website has a wide choice of cases that comply with all of the top smart technology manufacturers. Browse through cases and covers and you can customize it too your liking. The website is easy to navigate with links to the numerous companies easy to find. If the need requires, you can call them for help or a quote. The prices seem very reasonable and there are the usual links to social media for latest information. Custom Logo Cases look a smart way to add a little extra to a companies profile, giving phones and tablets a professional look and appeal. 

If you want to find out more then please visit their website,
www.customlogocases.co.uk 


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25 October 2015

fate of the fete

On the Trail of the Yellow Fingernail - Part 10 

Recap: Our hero has been sent on a wild goose chase around the Chiltern Hills in search of Ley Hill's (a small village in the heart of the Chilterns) summer fete stalls which have been stolen by someone called The Yellow Fingernail. Having been chased by a bull and stumbling upon a group of farmers who are participating in an illegal "cow" betting ring. John is now heading towards the final showdown with the master criminal called The Yellow Fingernail.


Decisions
I swiftly moved away from the farmers and their illegal gambling games. Who knew that bulls were being used as leverage in a card game? No wonder the local cow farming industry seemed to be on the wain. Although I should have put a stop to it, four against one was not going to work in my favour. And anyway I had a date with my destiny. The barn I had been pointed towards was across the field in front of me. I checked before moving on as I didn't want to meet another bull. Luckily it was just a ploughed field. So I set off for what I presumed was a final showdown. As I neared I could hear loud banging sounds coming from inside. I froze for a second to take in my surroundings and think of a plan. Looking at the barn there seemed to be two entrances. I decided to opt for going in and surprising them through the back door or was it the front door? It didn't matter.

A meeting
I peered into the darkened barn and saw a figure stacking what looked like large wooden frames and tables. Written on them was the words "Leyhill Fete stalls". This was it. I had found him. The person that had led me on a merry dance from chip shops to pubs and churches. I tiptoed into the barn. I was going to use the element of surprise. As I approached. The figure turned. I bailed, jumping  into a heap of bales and loose straw. 

"Whose there?" came a deep toned voice. I kept still. "Come on show yourself." the voice continued. I then heard the clicking of something metal. A gun? "I'll count to three and if you don't come out I'll shot. One, two." he then paused. I wasn't in the mood to be shot at, so I stood and revealed myself. "Good lord , what are you?" the voice stated. Because I had been snorted upon by a bull, rolled in dung, not washed for days, covered in muck and now covered in straw. I must have looked a right sight! Or something far worse. As I approached, the farmer dropped his gun. "Look, don't hurt me..."  There was fear in his voice. 

"Mr Harper" I stated. he just looked scared and confused. "So you're the Yellow Fingernail?"
"The what?"
"You're the Yellow Fingernail. The one who stole the stalls from the fete"
"Stole the stalls? What are you jabbering on about. I store them here every year. I've just been packing them away. Was a rather good fete this year if I may say so myself."
"What???" Now I was confused. He walked up to me and moved away some of the straw from my face.
"Is that you Wilson? Your mothers been going spare."
"What???"
"Heavens above it is. Where have you been?"
"Tracking down the person who stole these stalls" I replied.
"You've be taken for a fool Wilson. Old Kiln thinks you being a detective is the most laughable thing he's heard in ages. He set up the plan to send you on the trail of a made up criminal. Yellow...."
"Fingernail" I stated. 
"Yeah that's it. Thought you could go searching for them and then return whilst the fete was on. Everyone would have a bit of a laugh at your expense and then we're all go to the pub. Sort of backfired when you didn't return in time. They sent out people to try and find you. Some I believe wore false beards. Your mother thought you were gone forever. Went to the church to pray for your safe return. Came back stating she'd seen some green monster. Can see why now looking at you." I slumped to the muddy barn floor. Confused and angry. I'd been made to look a fool.

Postscript
After a bit of a wash down in a water trough. Mr Harper gave me a lift back in his tractor and after being giving a clip around the ear from Mother, I hid away, shamed to leave the house. The village had played a cruel joke on me but they were about to regret that. Events were about to take a nasty turn. I would be needed to save the village from certain disaster. 

Coming next year
A new adventure "The Phantom Hedge Cutter"




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21 October 2015

joe and the juice

Cafe Review 

Joe and the Juice
Heading for an NFL game or England football match at Wembley? Going to watch a Premier league game at Vicarage Road? Yes Watford are currently a premier league team. Heading to the Watford area for a friends wedding or a party? Visiting the nearby Warner Bros Studio for a bit of Harry Pottering? (With Watford so conveniently located close to London, it really is a great stopover point.) Well if you are then may I recommend that if you're thirsty and a little peckish, then a stop in the new cafe, Joe and the Juice in Watford's Intu shopping centre will be the perfect place to do so. Sketches has a new cafe review.

Joe and the Juice - Watford
A new cafe in town
Head Intu Watford, no really its the name of the shopping centre. And tucked among the brand name shops of John Lewis and WH Smith on the ground floor, you'll find the cafe Joe and the Juice. Fancy a coffee or a freshly made juice drink then you've picked the perfect spot. Because its an open cafe in a shopping centre you don't get the homely feel of a stand alone cafe, even though the seats are comfortable and its surrounded by small walls. What you will get is good coffee and a menu full of wonderful juice drinks. Too many to mention here. 

latte
Joe and the Juice: Latte
The Review
As usual when I try out a new cafe its always a latte. Seems to be the benchmark for whether its a good cafe or not. In my book at least. They have a number of sizes to choose from, so I plumped for the 12oz (Yellow Cup). As the picture shows it was lovingly made, creamy and not overpowering in coffee flavour. Basically the perfect mix and balance. And the cups have a certain charm. I like the different colours for different sizes. The juices were prepared with the same attention to detail and although the food menu looked small it seemed more than adequate. The cafe is spacious with plenty of small tables as well as stools and benches for the individual users. It has a nice ambiance and the decor is not over powering, almost too dark toned. The hanging lights add a bit of colour.

Joe and the Juice - Watford
Joe and the Juice
Although Joe and the Juice are not an independent cafe. They seem to have branches across the globe from Korea to the US, its still a welcome addition from the more established chains that seem to be on every street corner. Add in the juice factor and food and you have a winning combination. If there is a little gripe then it would be the waiting system they have. When its not busy then calling out individuals names works well, but if busy it's a little time consuming and frustrating. That though is a very minor niggle. Overall this is a great cafe and a welcome addition to the Watford cafe scene. Joe and the Juice are a good option in a crowded cafe market place.  

Have you been to a Joe and the Juice? What's your opinion of them? Why not drop us a line through the various network channels.




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17 October 2015

a load of old bulls

On the Trail of the Yellow Fingernail - Part 9


Recap: Our hero, if you can call him that has been sent on a wild goose chase to track down the mysterious Yellow Fingernail. A criminal who has brought chaos to the sleepy village of Leyhill, having stolen the Summer fete stalls. After not meeting his father, John also met an unhelpful boy who was wearing a false beard! He also found a note that's asked him to head for the barn across the field in front of him for a meeting with the Yellow Fingernail himself or so he thinks.

Lost in Shoes
Said barn was quite a way in the distance, but travel there I must and with renewed hope of meeting the Yellow Fingernail and ending this pointless chase. Negotiating the field seemed relatively easy at first. Until losing a shoe in a ditch mid way across. It was boggy and I hadn't noticed it from all the wheat hiding it. I'd been keeping an eye out for the farmer, sure he was going to shout abuse at me or something. I needn't had worried about that, but the shoe was lost, and continue I must, hampered somewhat but with spirits high. What I hadn't realised was that there was another field between the one I was in and the barn. Thankfully it was just grass, so I would be able to quicken my pace. The adrenaline now beginning to flow. 

The bull
Having clambered over the fence. What I hadn't noticed was that a bull had been minding its own business in the far corner. Seeing a rather bedraggled, unshaven man who also smelled horrendously had caught the bulls attention. He wasn't minding his own business anymore. Needing to investigate this strange human who was making its way across his field. When I caught its eye, and he with mine, my face turned from pensive to down right scared! I quickened my pace, then sprinting as the bull fast approached. As the fence neared, so did the bull. Managing to just avoid its horns as I jumped over the fence like some high jumper and to safety. The bull seemed disappointed and with a snort of its nose it turned and went back to its corner. Wiping away the remnants of its snort I turned to see the barn before me.

A load of old bull
The barn was tall and strangely imposing. As I got closer I suddenly froze. There were voices coming from within. Had the boy in the false beard and the letter really led me to the hideout of the Yellow Fingernail? Was I about to finally come face to face with this villain? I crept up to the  barn door and listened to the conversation. 

"I'll raise you two cows".
"Only two! You must be joking. Nothing less than three bulls." 
"Three bulls! I've got the best bulls this side of the county"
"Best bulls! You! Your bulls don't even touch the quality of my bulls."
"What about my bulls" piped up another farmer. 
"And mine. Won the best bull in show last year. You'll be hard pushed to beat my bulls". Said another.

This conversation seemed to carry in much the same way for the next 10 minutes or so. It seemed to be going nowhere. I needed some answers so stumbled through the open barn door. 

A lot more bull
"I've had enough of your bulls." I shouted. "Could someone please let me know if there is someone hiding here by the name of the Yellow Fingernail? I was told they would be in this barn."
One of the farmers pipped up. "Why would we tell you?"

I had to agree with him, but carried on unperturbed. I explained my situation. They all look none the wisher when I had finished. They then huddled together for a moment and the farmer that originally spoke replied. "No. Try the barn over there". He pointed out and beyond the barn door. I turned to see another barn in the next field."Oh, right". I slowly backed away as the farmers seem a little bullish from me interrupting them. I let them get back to their bulls! 

So the next barn was the one. Surely this was the moment I would finally meet the person who had taken me on this crazy journey? I was about to find out the truth of the villages fete stalls or was something unexpected about to happen?

Coming soon: The explosive conclusion (literally) of On the Trail of the Yellow Fingernail

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13 October 2015

boeing 747

For the love of the Jumbo

They have been jetting across our skies since the early 1970's. They changed international tourism forever, allowing the masses to travel. They have been the bedrock of many airlines long haul fleets. By 2020 however, British Airways will have all but retired this most majestic of machines. Virgin, although continuing to operate them from other airports will retire their Heathrow based 747 operations by April 2016. And the face of UK aviation will be changed forever. So in anticipation of this moment in our aviation history, we write our own tribute to this majestic plane that has allowed millions of us to reach places that were once never possible. For the love of the Jumbo, the 747

Boeing 747
A British Airways 747 on its finals into Heathrow 
Uniquely beautiful
You would be hard pushed to find many plane spotters and aviation fans who don't like the 747 (please let me know if you don't like it). Which when you look at it is perhaps strange. It doesn't have the beautiful lines of other aircraft. The hump at the front makes it seem cumbersome. But since those early days it has become a familiar feature of our skies. Looking up into the clear skies it was instantly recognisable. The four contrail lines a clear indication. It's unique sound as it flew overhead. Unfortunately the older versions have made it an expensive aircraft to fly, partially due to environmental costs airlines now have to pay.  

The first time
On board you knew you were in a special plane. Can you remember the first time? Looking in awe at the rows of seats heading into the distance. You knew then you were on something very large. I was once lucky enough to sit upstairs. Not in business class but on a short flight between Tokyo and Seoul. The cabin had been turned into an economy section. It still made my day! Before the arrival of the Airbus A340 and A380 there was no passenger aircraft like it. A truly unique flying experience.

Part of our culture
The 747 has featured in film and song adding to its status. The British band The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) sang the following line from the song Night in the City from their wonderful "Out of the Blue" album.
"747 just left from gate 11"
Its been seen in a number of high profile films such as Air Force One and the Airport series. It's also the choice of aircraft for the US President. Making the 747 probably the most recognised commercial aircraft flying today. Well with a name like "jumbo" its hardly going to be forgotten.


Boeing 747
Thai Airlines 747 taken at Narita Airport - Tokyo
Time to move on
Sadly though aviation has moved on. Yes the Jumbo will still be around for many a year to come. The new 747-800 testifies to that. Although perhaps more a freighter than a passenger carrier. Here in the UK though we are to sadly see it disappear from our airlines fleets. Newer, quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft will be taking its place. Before it does depart, lets take a moment to remember this most wonderful of aircraft. 

Many a traveler has been privileged to have flown on it, not just with BA or Virgin but many of the worlds leading airlines. So lets all salute the plane that helped to change the industry we know as tourism. Gone but certainly not forgotten. The 747, the Queen of the skies. Have you flown on the 747? What does it mean to you? I'd love to hear from you. 

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9 October 2015

5 reasons to go to shanghai

Old Journeys through New Windows
Shanghai

It's one of the worlds biggest Metropolises. A giant of a city that continues to grow. It's also a fascinating city to explore, a city where East meets West. This months Old Journey Through New Windows takes us back to Shanghai and presents you 5 reasons to go there. Since visiting, which was a few years ago now, I have no doubt that the city has changed beyond recognition. Perhaps for the better? Skyscrapers were everywhere, seemingly clumped together in whatever space could be found. You could open your hotel window and almost touch the next building. Hidden among the high rises, Shanghai offers many a tourist gem. So in no particular order, here are 5 reasons why it should be on your bucket list of cities to visit.


Shanghai skyline and looking down on The Bund

1) It's not all about skyscrapers
Hidden beneath the never ending skyscrapers you can find what remains of the ancient Shanghai. For a more authentic experience, if perhaps geared towards the tourist, you could head for the Yu Yuan Bazaar with its small shops or go to one of the many shrines that are hidden in the depths of the streets below. For all its city centre niceties, the clean pavements and the boutiques. A walk down the dusty streets, with its the small, run down shops and street vendors are where you will witness and feel the old Shanghai. Although, unfortunately it feels like the city is losing its grip on these areas, consumed by the wealth of the modern China. 
The Yu Yuan Bazaar

One of the many shrines, hidden among the skyscrapers
2) Shopping 
Shanghai has a wealth of shopping opportunities, from the big brands in large shopping malls to the markets with pile upon pile of clothes and other accessories. Whatever you choice, you can find it. And if you're prepared then visiting the markets will open your eyes to a more traditional China and a chance to try the local cuisine. 


Inside one of the modern malls

3) Zhujiajiao Water Town
Away from the city centre, any stay in Shanghai should include a visit to the water town of Zhujiajiao. It may only be 40 minutes outside the city but this is really an ancient town that is set up for mass tourism. Small shops and restaurants, as well as shrines and water taxis (with singing boat women) will keep anyone occupied for a day. Perhaps giving you a little look into the past as you see in the distance the future.


Zhujiajiao Water Town
4) The Oriental Pearl Tower
Perhaps Shanghai's most recognisable building / attraction is the Oriental Pearl Tower. At the time of our visit, it was raising above the city. Other taller towers have since risen beside it and beyond. But none of them have the status and aesthetic appearance as this one. You can go up it and the views give you a wonderful perspective of the vastness of this city (see first picture). Skyscraper upon skyscraper for as far as the eye can see and the smog will allow! Any visit to this mega city should include a visit here and its surrounding area.

The Oriental Pearl Tower
5) The Night view
A cruise along the river (The Huangpu) is also a must. And like many cities seeing it at night adds to the overall experience. Cities come alive at night and Shanghai is no different. Brightly lit with the skyscrapers touching the darken sky. Its a wonderful way to see the city and reveal something of its trading past.
 
Shanghai at night

Shanghai
Shanghai may not be the worlds most beautiful city and it may not have the famous tourist attractions of the more famous Beijing. But that shouldn't put you off. Shanghai does have a certain "European" feel and charm. Especially as you walk along The Bund. Shanghai is clearly a city that will inspire and give you an insight into modern China and the incredible growth of the nation. The city feels like its growing almost by the second. Should it be on your bucket list? Yes of course. Perhaps as part of a stopover before heading to other, more famous places. Have you been? What were your favourite spots and places to visit? Would be wonderful if you'd share your Shanghai adventures.

Next in the Old Journeys Through New Windows series: Tokyo 
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5 October 2015

conkers

Traditional Games 
Ok so it's not a travel game as such. It is though most defiantly a traditional game with some travel elements that could do with some modern day exposure. It's a game that has been a long held tradition for many a child (and adult) during early autumn. Having been first played back in 1848 on the Isle of Wight in the UK. Clambering up trees or using big sticks to knock down the seeds to ready for battle. Perhaps soaked in vinegar to add that little extra help during the fierce clashes ahead? 

Conkers or Kingers as it's called in some parts of the world is a traditional game that is sadly disappearing. Perhaps caught up in the health and safety issues of our modern age? Too dangerous a game for the modern child? So with that in mind Sketches, a bit like it did with pooh sticks recently (link given) Pooh sticks. Wants to get you to go out, collect some conkers, do a bit of careful preparation and then play this wonderful old game.

conkers
Six steps to playing conkers
Preparation and rules
1) Find yourself a Horse Chestnut tree (see above). 
2) Pick your conkers, many are on the floor now.
3) Screwier a hole through the middle (being careful not to catch you finger), 
4) Attach the string and get ready to play! 

The object of the game is simple. Destroy your opponents conker by hitting it. Taking turns to aim and then hit the other conker. If you miss first time, you get two further goes. Once you hit, then switch. If they get wrapped up together, the first to shout "strings" gets an extra go! If it falls to the ground, you can shout "stamps" and jump on it. If the opponent shouts "no stamps" before their opponent then it cannot be stamped on and the game continues. You win once the conker has been destroyed. 

Final Score
If you are starting from scratch then you take the one point. If however you are playing another conker that has already won a few games, then you add the score of that conker to your own. So if yours is a 1 and theirs is a 6, yours becomes a seven-er! 

Going Bonkers for Conkers
So there you are, a simple game in principle but one that takes a good aim, a little patience and an eye for a good conker! There is an element of family fun about this game too. What with collecting the conkers and then preparing them. And although I moaned about it with any game of this nature a certain amount of health and safety should be followed. However first and foremost fun should be had. 

So lets revive this wonderfully simple and seasonal game. There may even be a conker festival happening near you? Which is surely worth a visit? Will you go bonkers for conkers? When was the last time you played it? Do you have any tips for a better conker? I'd love to hear from you and please share this on the various social platforms. Spread the word and lets revive this traditional game.
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1 October 2015

5 reasons to get out and about this october

October
The clocks go back! The days are that little bit shorter, there's a little bit of a chill in the air and the green fields and trees of summer say their last goodbyes until Spring. That shouldn't however put you off from getting out there. Autumn is a beautiful time of the year, with much to explore and admire. So here are this months 5 reasons to get out and about this October. 

C is for Conkers
The wonderful Horse Chestnut tree provides October fun for young and old with its seeds, the conker. So on a sunny day why not get out there and collect a few that have fallen and then play this old traditional game that is sadly rarely seen nowadays. A follow-up post is going to explain the game, so watch out for that in the coming days. Half the fun is trying to collect them if they haven't already fallen. We used to get long sticks or climb the trees to try and knock them down. Family fun at its best. 
It's all going Conkers!
DR is for The Deer Rut
If you are a wildlife lover then you really must try to catch this spectacle. The National Trust are a great source to find out when these take place on their properties. And there are a number of parks closer to our cities that house deer, also provide you with the opportunity to witness this wonderful natural experience in all its glory. The closet to us is Ashridge Park and during October they are holding two Deer Rut sessions that includes a hearty breakfast. So why not get up early and witness for yourself this amazing natural event.

autumn
"Autumn Leaves" by the author
C is for colours
As the Northern Hemisphere enters the colder months nature decides to give us a little show! Autumn is of course one of the most beautiful of times. The trees change colour and we're often given a spectacular show. What better time than on a sunny October day than to head into the countryside and see the beautiful trees in all their splendour. Reds, yellows and browns. From New England in America to our local woods. You really are in for a treat. And with the weather having been very kind here in the UK, it could be a spectacular year?

O is for Oktoberfest 
Well it has to be included doesn't it? If you can't head for Munich then there are plenty of hybrid events. Here in the UK there are a number of choices in London alone. One such Oktoberfest starts on the 1st in Millwall park for four days and then continues from the 8th in Canary Wharf. There are many others of course, so plenty of beer to be had.


halloween
Anyone for a pumpkin? - by the author


P is for Pumpkin festivals
Halloween is October's swansong of course but what about the humble pumpkin itself? Really we should eat more of this delicious food and what better excuse than during the time its most prominent. Pumpkin pie anyone? There are pumpkin festivals the world over and here in the UK we're not left out. Throughout October the Slindon Pumpkin Festival runs, so what better way to get out and about with a visit to a more unusual festival Slindon Pumpkin Festival

So there we are, October's activities all set up. From beer to pumpkin, a brisk walk to a nice beer. What a great month to get out and about. Enjoy and please let me know what you will do during this most colourful of Autumn months.

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