This will take a little getting used to…

This is to be the first post as a WordPress user. The final one as a Blogger blogger can be found here, along with some of those which preceded it; how long they will survive is anybody’s guess. The earlier posts from the old Blogger site are gradually being imported over here, under the heading “From the vaults”. Not all of them will make the journey – the time for a clearout was overdue.

Should anyone click on the above link, the most useful thing they will find is the section on the right-hand side headed “Always worth a visit”. It is a list of the blogs which I most frequently follow, and there gems among them; clicking on any of them will lead to others, which in turn will… well, you get the idea. There’s some wonderful stuff out there, freely available and accessible through any number of gateways. When I find out how to do it, I will bring them across to this site; it will be like hanging favourite pictures in a new house.

The opening entries on the old blog – back in November 2009 – were a couple of posts about the hills on my own doorstep; the second of them beginning with: “The Clent hills will be familiar to anyone who has ever driven the first two or three junctions of the M5; just about where the urban sprawl of the West Midlands finally surrenders its grip…” To quote Jarvis Cocker: “I don’t know why but I had to start it somewhere, so it started there…” This one might as well start in the same place…


Quiet day – Clent Hills

In the five and a bit years since those first tentative excursions into the strange, twilight world of the outdoor blogger I’ve probably tramped that local patch more than any other, although there’s the odd stretch of canal would run it close. And if there are times when I don’t much fancy it (and there are), those thoughts quickly dissipate once the outing is under way. A pair of tops, close enough to present a bactrian profile from certain aspects; one of them (Walton Hill) a designated Marilyn; ravens, raptors and ring ouzels; roe deer and muntjac; a café serving proper outdoor scran; escape chutes plunging away from the crowds on those days, relatively few in number, when crowds there are; bluebells.

All of this despite the ever-busy M5 passing less than 2 miles to the east and the boundary of the (mostly) post-industrial black country being closer still to the north. And, with nothing higher for 20 miles in any direction, the views can be exceptional; on the best of days it’s possible to pick out the Berwyns, some 60 miles away. Which reminds me of another place that’s overdue for a revisit…


Bluebells – Clent Hills