Archive for the ‘birthday’ Tag

Birthday Mudlarking   1 comment


I spent my tenth birthday (the tenth, that is, since moving to the UK), slogging back-and-forth through the silt and grime of the Thames Foreshore from London Bridge upstream to just past the London Eye, risking Weil’s Disease to search for largely worthless artifacts.  I have a Standard Thames Foreshore Permit that’s good for another year-and-a-half and quite underused in the last year-and-a-half.  Standard allows access and scraping to about 3 inches deep — essentially, beach-combing on one of the filthier urban waterways available and this seemed like a fine way to start another (yet another) year.



After a quick sustenance stop at the Market Porter, I headed down the stairs in front of the Globe Theatre about an hour ahead of the low tide.  I picked up some old, handmade nails; clay pipe remnants; shards of China and other crockery; and, a weirdly shaped bottle.  I left most of the bulky crap like bricks, but may read up on them a bit before a follow-up visit.  This one, from Cliff & Sons, Wortley, Leeds is probably late 19th century:



And, this one is from the Farnley Iron Works, also in Leeds, from the mid-19th century:



I’m sure someone out there can put a date on LBC bricks like this one but the company still produces so I’ll say sometime in the last 150 years:



A wheel theme emerged:



These appear to be mooring spots:



And, this one a mourning spot:



And, they led me to the London Eye.  No collecting can be done in this immediate area (nor, indeed, within 30 meters of a bridge), but it was fun to walk under it.  The tide and the past 2 days’ rainfall obliterated the non-wading portion of the Foreshore just beyond this and I returned the way I came, going past my stairs as far as the Golden Hinde before finally escaping the encroaching waters.



The rain sewers, probably carrying the Weil’s Disease encrusted rat feces:



Always a good sign to see one’s spirit animal:



These phone app bikes are always just left in the middle of the pavement.  At least this user was creative with it.



Stopped to take some graffiti photos and only then noticed the spectacular cap to the bridge abutment:



So, no treasure or real antiquities this go around but the South bank is known to be more sparsely decorated.  Nonetheless, there are some pretty things to put in the plant boxes this summer.



The bottle is my main mystery of the collection, though.  You might be able to see the rectangular (not cylindrical) throat at the broken neck.  It is labeled “GS Sheffield Hertford” which likely has something to do with G. S. Sheffield who was Master of Hertford Lodge #403 (Freemasons) in 1929.  I’ll update this if anything turns up.



I’ll call this one a mild success.  Past birthdays in this series of blog posts:

Looking for Cock (2009)
The London Underround (2010)
A Race before Hashing (2011)
Maastricht and Pinkpop (2012)
A Long Run West of Trowbridge (2013)
Westbury to Warminster Run (2014)
Running Sick and on Chemo (2015)
London Outer Orbital Path Finale (2017)

Somehow, it seems, I managed to do nothing notable for the 2016 birthday (drink and drugs may have been involved).



Posted May 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Tourism

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Running Week in Review 31 May 2015   6 comments

Last week here, and

Next week here

2015-05-31 weekly run chart

Another week with less mileage than I had planned but Jackie took Saturday off work for my birthday so that day was a bit curtailed (just a quick 8.6 mile loop before breakfast).  On the day I was born between Lake Blackshear and the infamous Andersonville Civil War Prison, by the way, John Glenn splashed down from the first American space flight, Adolf Eichmann was having his last meal ahead of the gallows the next day, and six weeks later the Beatles played a show in Swindon (home girl Diana Dors features on the cover of Sgt Pepper’s).  Kennedy had a little more than a year-and-a-half to live, the Cuban Missile Crisis was months away, LSD was still legal and segregation the law of the land across my native Deep South…I’m ancient.

beatles in swindon

Yes, we’re going to a party party

Additionally, 5 weeks into treatment of a small surface lesion (another superficial BCC) with a cream that stimulates the production of interferon a much larger area has erupted and started oozing; I’ve been running a fever with body aches and sensitive-to-painful skin (common side effects) for more than a week now and the open wound sticks to my running garments.  One more week and the healing can start (and I can ramp the mileage up where I had hoped to be at the start of Summer); the medicine has a biological half-life of about 30 hours and the induced interferon should clear the system in about 2 weeks.

Aldara treated BCC spread

We caught three movies during the week.  Of Time and the City was a fantastic remembrance of Liverpool in the 50’s and 60’s made up entirely of documentary film clips and a literary narrative.  On Saturday we doubled up with We Need To Talk About Kevin (which eerily parallels the reasons we never wanted children) and, to lighten the mood after that bleak family film, Seven Psychopaths.  Both of us were ill (me with the cancer induced side order of lurgy and she with actual flu) but somehow got through a bottle of champagne and an entire box of chenin blanc.faringdon benches

Faringdon is eternally weird

Faringdon is eternally weird

So, the next morning I was a bit shakier than the meds alone have been making me, and I carefully planned a run from Faringdon out to the Thames Path to Kelmscott (where Morris and Rossetti camped out for a few years).  I was running a bit slow but the pace was perfect to bring me to the front door of the Plough at Noon:02 just after the opening times I got off the CAMRA online entry for the pub (although it is listed as 11:30 the rest of the week).  Here was the sign that greeted me:

Plough Kelmscott opening times

Shit.  And, it was raining lightly the entire run and the wind was fierce and seemed to shift to stay in my face the entire 3 hours.  And, when I reached Coles Hill I couldn’t find any sign of the North Wilts HHH trail and had to consider it a no-go.  Depressing.

2015-05-31 faringdon kelmscott coles hill run