Tring and back

Wild raspberries
Wild raspberries

Nice sunny day with fluffy clouds about 21 degree, perfect for a walk. We got the number 500 bus to tring at about 11:00 and Helen allowed me to sit on the top deck, as a treat. At the bus stop I tried out the bus service computer which shows how long to the next bus and where it is going, as well as other interesting information.

We got oFf the bus at the Rose and Crown hotel then headed up Akeman Street past the Natural history museum, and out into the country side. As we went under the bridge over the A41 we noticed lots of small snails on the painted/varnished walls. They all without exception had shells with the most recent growth was clean and light in colour. I guess that the shell colour must reflect their diet, and I have a theory that as the graze on the greenish algal film growing on the wall, or the wall itself, presumably the amount of the shell growth would reflect the time that the snails had been living on the wall.

Next came a hard slog up the hill and onto the Ridgeway, it made a change to be in Beech woods after the last two weeks walking on cliff paths. We also noticed that the lack of a strong wind meant that holding a conversation at more that a few yards distance was possible.

The house at The Crong

The views over Dancersend were lovely and we passed by the fantastic house at The Crong, before heading towards the Cafe in the woods, in Wendover woods. We had some lunch brie panini for me and marmite on toast for Helen, the we headed down for a coffee at Hillside.

On the path just above the forestry offices we came across some wild raspberries, we ate a few. We could have picked some but we did not have a container to put them in and to pick enough for a Pavalova would have taken some time as the berries were quite small. Hillside was a welcome stop off for coffee, walnut cake, and the women’s Wimbledon final!

Suitably refreshed we headed home, then we were off out to celebrate Lizzies birthday at Malebon.

Wendover woods with the Bucks Bird Club

Wild flower

We noticed in the new hide at College lake a Bucks Bird Club outing to Wendover woods, the start time was 08:30 a bit early for a Sunday but it is only 10 minutes drive so we got up, and got ready. Helen did really well 40 minutes up and out of the door a new record.

We meet the birds at the free car park end. It turns out the guy leading the group had lead another party at 05:30 the same morning that is what I call dedication. We set out down the road toward the cafe but went straight on at the 90 degree bend and made out way down to the scrubby area at the bottom of the bowl on the hale side of the woods. On the way down people were hearing Gold Crest and Marsh Warbler, and even Crossbill.

The group was about 8 people in the group and all the eyes and ears available to us we had a lot of success. In the scrub we got Garden/Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Wren, Marsh Tit, and Sparrow Hawk.

Wild Flower

We then headed up the hill again then took a detour via Go Ape where a Firecrest had been seen earlier. On the way we saw what might of bee a Green Finch but somone said it sounded like a Siskin, and there it was at the top of a tall pine looking very greeny yellow, a Siskin alright. When we got to the Go Ape area  and Rob heard a Firecrest we all got our binoculars out and searched, then eventually it was spotted by Helen it was trying to pull a bit of string or plastic from a branch, presumably for nesting material. It was surprising to see the bird so close to humans it was literally just above one of the Go Ape platforms attached to the tree.

We then headed back towards the car we saw some wild strawberries in the grassy area that overlooks the bowl. We were soon back to the car. We really enjoyed ourselves and would return again.

Chinese State Circus

back at Christmas we booked up tickets for the new Aylesbury theatre to see the Chinese State Circus, and today was the day to go and see it. I walked home from work and we decided to go to the Wendover Peking for dinner then off to Aylesbury for the 20:00 showing.

The menu had changed at the restaurant they now have quite a few veggie dishes on the back page. I had hot and sour soup Helen had cashew wanton  for starters, then we had a selection of dishes as a main, Chinese leaves in schezwan sauce, faux sweet and sour wheat balls, with chow main and egg fried rice on the side.

We paid the bill then popped into Tesco for some supplies and parked up in town near the theatre. The theatre is a relatively new addition to the town and we had not been before. Its is in a very imposing position and when the canal basin developement goes through it will take pride of place. Its is inspired by the chilterns, the outside is all wood stone and glass then inside there are lots of random sized wood panels.

We had paid for the expensive seats in the lower circle, the show was not sold out. I wonder whether there is really a credit crunch on, the circle seats were full but the seats on the ground floor were only two thirds full. Any way I digress what was the show like you ask? I would sax mixed.

There were good bits the girls on the on the unicycles were definitely the best bits, the tumbles and pot jugglers were good, the fighting monks were not that impressive, and the strange monkey and “new york taxi driver” characters were bizarre.

Certainly my favourite bit was the unicycles, the performers were all on 10-12 foot unicycles and came on and did some formation cycling, not so impressive, but then all stopped and with one foot kept the unicycle going and with the other they flipped metal bowls on theirs and their fellow performers heads. On a couple occasions they would flip multiple quantities, facing top to bottom, which would all land stacked on their heads.

All in all the show was OK, but there were a couple of acts that made the whole thing worth watching. The theatre has fairly comfortable seats and is well worth a visit.