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    CHICCHANTAL   23,063
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Brass monkey weather

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Saturday, December 01, 2012

It's very very cold today in Epping Forest. I know, cos I was there. So was Stonecot. She's currently mid-curry. With beer.



I'm blogging.

We meet up at Epping station, stomp up the road, get to Bell Common which precedes the forest proper. Brightish but greyish day. My new boots mean I don't have to avoid the muddy bits which is good because it's all one muddy bit though much of it is frozen, including the pond.


Get to the forest, trudge along. One thing about having company for your walk, the time really flies. The 'shrooms have mostly gone, we find a black frosted remnant on a log that was covered a couple of weeks ago, and a few bracket fungus on another log, but the cold has got to most of them.

It's now a winter landscape.


Ice everywhere, no leaves on the trees, little undergrowth. Holly bushes everywhere, though few berries. We see some great tits and robins and loads of magpies, not much else. Interestingly, we both of us like the winter forest, there's a feeling of stillness you don't get when there are leaves rustling, and also you can see a long way through the trees because the greenery has died back. Getting lost in this would be far less scary.

Frankly I'm not keen to test it out, because it is cold. Bone-welding, knee-empurpling cold. We are walking pretty briskly, because standing around you'd get very cold very quickly.



We have a look at Ambresbury Fort and I realise how close the road is on the other side of it. You can now see cars passing along in the distance, and hear them. We have a debate about which Age 2,500 years ago is and I say Stone Age and then realise that's hopelessly out, and Stonecot says Bronze Age and in fact it's Iron Age and when you look on the net in fact the 'age' thing isn't very accurate because it happened in different places at different times.

Anyway, we finish our visit and walk on and squelch through the boggy bit just beyond it.

Which is very boggy. I am glad of my boots.


At Furze Ground my favourite bit, we stop and admire the view and take pictures.



As we walk, we start to see more and more horses, all sort of Christmasified. There are orange markers on the trees telling the riders which way to go.

and organised by the Essex Bridleways Association www.essexbridleways.co.u
k/



Stonecot points out to me that some of the horses have deer antlers, which gives me a moment's pause but it turns out they are only little red felt ones. There's also tinsel round bridles etc. At one point a rider loses a gold foil crown topped with tinsel and I pick it up and give it to the next rider who promises to return it. Well in fact I wanted to hang on to it, I've always fancied myself in a crown but the rider wanted it back.

I get us safely to the log for lunch and we have lunch sitting on it although it's damp because everywhere else is sodden. I eat three courses (vegetable soup, egg sarnies, banana) and Stonecot eats about a quarter of the calories I do because she's booked an Indian for dinner tonight.

We're now on the last leg and leave the path so I can show Stonecot the other Iron Age camp, Loughton Fort. This is set back a couple of hundred meters from the path, and Stonecot agrees with me that once the path is out of sight if you turned round twice, you wouldn't know which way you'd come. It does all look the same. As I've been in this bit before, I know how to find the way out: you look for cycle ruts for the path, and the backs of the wooden marker posts, and there's a sawn off tree, then the treetrunk where I have breakfast or tea, depending on which way I'm coming.

Even since last time I was here, there are a lot more pools of standing water.


Loughton Brook has more water in it than I've ever seen (although no dogs this week).




By now, the sun is getting quite low although it's only about 1pm and I badly need a pee, so we're pleased to get back to Loughton where there's a loo. Or at least I am. My mother used to call me dry-cleaned, but five hours is about my limit these days.

The title is a reference to one of my mother's favourite sayings. You can read it on Wiki.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br
ass_monkey_(colloquial_exp
ression)
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NLYR20 2/4/2013 12:06PM

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ELAINE725 1/9/2013 11:12AM

    I really enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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DURANGOREDDOG 1/8/2013 4:54AM

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SERASARA 1/2/2013 9:07PM

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/10/2012 7:49AM

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JULIA1154 12/7/2012 9:56PM

  Hadn't heard that expression in ages - thanks for bringing it back to mind, as well as taking us along on your tromp through the forest.

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SJKENT1 12/4/2012 3:37PM

    We are having a big of warmer weather in our neck of the woods - very unusual for this time of the year. I am considering a walk today - on the streets - no woods for me without a walking partner.

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MOMOSG 12/4/2012 10:28AM

    I'm wondering if your mother and my father are of the same generation. My father uses that saying a lot!

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PENOWOK 12/4/2012 8:41AM

    Looks nippy. I do love the tree picture with all of the interesting knots!

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CAM2438 12/4/2012 8:17AM

    It looks like a beautiful part of the country, but, I live in Florida and don't care for the cold weather anymore.

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MOTIVATED@LAST 12/4/2012 6:34AM

    Great walk. And the photos are really atmospheric - well shot!

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MLBFAN82 12/4/2012 12:49AM

    I love your forest walks. Wish I had seen your blogs before I visited London in September. I would have loved seeing some of these sights. Keep the walks and the pictures coming.

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SAKS20111 12/4/2012 12:34AM

    just lovely! time for another walk maybe? :)

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ARUSHING2 12/3/2012 9:32PM

 
Beautiful as always - thanks much!

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CHANGING-TURTLE 12/3/2012 9:00PM

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 12/3/2012 8:24PM

    Beautiful pictures!

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AJB121299 12/3/2012 7:35PM

    great photos

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LAURIETAIT 12/3/2012 6:44PM

    Thanks for the winter view of Epping Forest. I look forward to the day I get to see these familiar ((after all the blogs) sites in person.

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AHTRAP 12/3/2012 5:20PM

    Started thinking Beastie Boys, what with the title, and immediately shifted into a much more satisfying Genesis frame of mind, what with the Epping Forest locale.

Thanks for the travelogue, and for providing the scenery for the next time I listen to "Selling England by the Pound"!

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CLAYARTIST 12/3/2012 4:03PM

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PORTIAWILLIS 12/3/2012 2:38PM

    Not sure where Epping forrest is but I love your blog and your pictures. I would rather walk in our winter than the summer. I live in Nashville Tn and our winters don't get as cold as they used to when I was a child. I love the changes of the seasons though. The forrest look so different at times you would not think it the same place. Hope you can continue your walks.

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MONTREAL12 12/3/2012 1:21PM

  emoticon Appreciate it! Brightens up the day!

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CADDYBROWN 12/3/2012 11:55AM

    I just love your neck of the woods!

Caddy

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ELAINEANNE1 12/3/2012 11:35AM

    Wish I could go for long walks like that, I go for a walk tomorrow but after an hour
I am done as my back start to ache and I feel really tired.

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 12/3/2012 11:11AM

    Great photos

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FIRECOM 12/3/2012 10:10AM

    A wonderful description of a great day and the pictures are particularly interesting.

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REGSHAR 12/3/2012 9:48AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOHNMARTINMILES 12/3/2012 8:21AM

    An interesting walk on a brass monkey morning.

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JERICHO1991 12/3/2012 7:46AM

    Beautiful. I'm ready to go walking now.

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FATHINSN 12/3/2012 7:36AM

    Even with missing leaves, the view still spectacular

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CFMOSS 12/3/2012 7:27AM

    I love the photos - makes me want to have a camera along my walks - of course I need to get walking...hmmm..

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DMEYER4 12/3/2012 7:18AM

  I love the pictures. It reminds me of where I grew up and the country. I now live in a city. I miss the woods and all my long walks .

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LEANMEAN2 12/3/2012 6:34AM

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures and commentary with us.

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GRAMPIAN 12/3/2012 6:33AM

  Brass monkeys on Hampstead Heath yesterday too. emoticon

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1DRWOMAN 12/3/2012 4:22AM

    Looks peaceful :)

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BLUEJEAN99 12/3/2012 1:56AM

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ILIKETOZUMBA 12/2/2012 11:55PM

    Beautiful photos! And LOL I like the inspiration for the blog title. I wondered what it referred to. Initially, it just put the Beastie Boys song in my head ("Brass monkey...that funky monkey!" So now that'll be stuck there for a while. :)

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KARA151 12/2/2012 11:27PM

    Loved the journey thanks for sharing.
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FUSCHIA6 12/2/2012 10:54PM

    I got the brass monkey reference; I didn't get the dry-clean one. Happy trails my friend!
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HLOCHRIDGE 12/2/2012 10:26PM

    Great blog! As always, love your pix!

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SASSYTHING52 12/2/2012 10:16PM

    nice blog thanks for sharing

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PROVERBS31JULIA 12/2/2012 10:09PM

    Wonderful blog, photos, travelogue & justification for new boots. Oh and you do know walking in cold burns more calories?

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And I think you should promise yourself your own crown or tiara when you reach to your goals, size of trouser, weight, whatever would be most exciting to reward with a crown or tiara!!

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Julia



Comment edited on: 12/2/2012 10:15:32 PM

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HEARTS116 12/2/2012 9:53PM

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CHERYLSBUTT 12/2/2012 9:27PM

    Thanks for sharing
I was a log today
church and home pretty much sums it up
I have much work to do tomorrow


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MAMAOWLS 12/2/2012 9:11PM

    Are you going to be able to walk all winter or will it get too cold? I really enjoy your blogs. Thank you.

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NAOLEE 12/2/2012 8:44PM

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L1ZB3TH354 12/2/2012 8:42PM

    Knee empurpling! Now that is cold! emoticon

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JIBBIE49 12/2/2012 7:32PM

    emoticon Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor. emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 12/2/2012 7:29PM

    Always enjoy reading your blogs - thanks for sharing!

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/2/2012 7:24PM

    Beautiful

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