December 29, 2007

Frensham Ponds

To celebrate my first Saturday off in over five years that I didn’t have to ask for or arrange around other people we decided that we needed to do something! Nothing too adventurous just a bit of a walk with the cameras and some fresh air and having driven past it several times but never stopped to look we decided to have a walk around Frensham Great Pond in Surrey.

Frensham Ponds consists of roughly 1000 acres of attractive countryside. It’s midway between Farnham and Hindhead on either side of the A287. The site is owned by the National Trust, but most of the land is managed by Waverley Borough Council. The Common comprises a large area of heathland, together with some coniferous and mixed woodland, and two large ponds, known as Frensham Great and Little Ponds, which were built in the Middle Ages to provide fish for the Bishop of Winchester's estate.

The common was once important to local communities as a source of fuel and other materials, and as rough grazing for their livestock. These days the site is valued for recreation and nature conservation and it's many miles of footpaths and bridleways on which to explore the Common. The common supports a wealth of wildlife. Species found on the heath include sand lizard, smooth snake, woodlark, Dartford Warbler and nightjar. The ponds also attract rare visitors such as the osprey, especially during spring and autumn although we didn’t come across any on our walk this time.

Originally we were just going to walk a little way around it then head off for the obligatory visit to a pub on the way home but once we started we just carried on and ended up walking all the way round, as someone who's not usually a fan of walking too far I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed walking the full two miles around the circumference of the pond.

It’s a great place for a walk with a camera (although Matt probably would have had better results if he’d put the memory card in his camera, I did share mine for a little while though!) I got a little obsessed with the rushes that grew all around the pond and needless to say I was in my element when we found the ducks and spent quite a while shooting off countless photo’s of them and a Swan that got a little too close for comfort (lovely birds but I’m very wary of them, especially when they get out of the water and start heading towards you!)

It was a lovely afternoon and I’d recommend a visit if you fancy a walk, or in warmer weather a picnic and maybe even a swim if you’re feeling brave and it was a great way of kick starting my plans to spend my new found weekends doing something a lot more fun than sitting in front of the television and/or drinking too much.


When you have everything you need to make mince pies except a rolling pin - improvise :)

New Job.

So.. I’m three days into my adventure back to the real world of full time employment! It feels very strange but also a little exciting.

After the collapse of Postal Gifts and Number 81 I wandered into the local Wine Rack as a stopgap while I decided what to do with the rest of my life and it’s taken me eighteen months to finally leave. I still haven’t decided what I want to do with the rest of my life mind you!

Just before Christmas (23/12 to be exact) I finally did my last ever late night at Threshers and at nine o’clock in the morning on 24/12 I started as a temp with Getronics on their IT helpdesk (the blind leading the partially sighted springs to mind!)

I’ve been looking for a new career for a month or so now but it seems that either the job description leaves me cold or I don’t have all the skills I need when something has grabbed me. I set myself the goal of getting out of Threshers before Christmas and rather than jump at the first thing that came along temping whilst still looking seemed the sensible option.

So here I am temping! I have to get up in the mornings again! I have a commute, traffic jams, parking problems, travel costs, a no smoking office, a dire need for a new ‘business’ wardrobe and a whole new load of stuff to learn and it’s great, it finally feels like my brain has come back to life.

So for the foreseeable future at least I’m on the twelfth floor of the Barclays building in Basingstoke every day, having to remember my electronic pass to get through the doors and, for the time being at least, spending my day wearing a very uncomfortable headset (I think I need bigger ears) listening to someone resetting passwords and solving email problems while I try to get my head around how to do it all on my own. But I finish at 5.30 and I don’t have to work weekends anymore! Not to mention the fact that my wages have just trebled (Wine Rack wages are nothing to aspire to believe me!) and I’m looking forward to a few more new challenges in 2008.