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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:

CICELY360 12/2/2012 9:08AM

  good blog

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KNYAGENYA 12/2/2012 9:00AM

    Very pretty.

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TRYINGHARD54 12/2/2012 8:58AM

    as always, a great walk

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TINY67 12/2/2012 8:50AM

    Great pictures. I wonder how many know what you're referring to when you mention the Brass Monkey.

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MAGGIE101857 12/2/2012 8:50AM

    What a wonderful journey you took us on today! Thank you!!

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JANEMARIE77 12/2/2012 8:39AM

    as always thanks for the lovely walk

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BESSHAILE 12/2/2012 8:38AM

    Love my walks through England - chilly or sunny, dry or wet. Thank you.

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NEPTUNE1939 12/2/2012 8:30AM

    A peaceful place.

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TATTER3 12/2/2012 8:28AM

    We are so far away from you in the middle of the USA and seeing your blogs gives me the opportunity to tour your area. tourist tapes could not give the insight and beauty that you show us. They focus on the commercial, not the natural. Thank you so much!

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LINDAJOYWK 12/2/2012 8:25AM

    You should be a writer...

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NEWCHINELO 12/2/2012 8:23AM

    You are just amazing with your hikes.

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WILSONWR 12/2/2012 8:04AM

    Another great pictoral. Thanks for sharing!

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PATSYB7 12/2/2012 8:01AM

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I'm inspired to take my camera on my walk today. Have a great day!

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COURTNEYANNEMT 12/2/2012 7:45AM

  Thanks for taking us with you!

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NILLAPEPSI 12/2/2012 7:42AM

    Looks like an emoticon walk.

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YIGOBUTTERFLY 12/2/2012 7:31AM

    emoticon

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NCSUE0514 12/2/2012 7:27AM

    Even the photos look cold!

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THEIS58 12/2/2012 7:22AM

    Nice blog!

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WILSON1926 12/2/2012 6:46AM

    YIKES....Welcome to December
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ILOVEROSES 12/2/2012 6:42AM

    The photos are lovely. Thanks for sharing.

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LIFETIMER54 12/2/2012 6:41AM

  emoticon walking and emoticon pics, thanks so much for sharing.... emoticon

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JGRAY76 12/2/2012 6:21AM

    Always a lovely walk with you.

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SANDYCRANE 12/2/2012 5:41AM

    That was a very beautiful place to walk, thanks for sharing.

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FALLNTENN 12/2/2012 4:59AM

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful walk.

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CKAYTHOMAS 12/2/2012 4:43AM

    Brilliant! I feel like I learn something new everytime I read your blog😀

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CAMAEL100 12/2/2012 4:39AM

    Sounds like a lovely forest walk.

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KRISUA 12/2/2012 4:04AM

    beautiful pics!

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LTMURPHY7 12/2/2012 1:14AM

 

Loved the walk

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ANDYLIN90 12/2/2012 12:08AM

    Brrrr, I can feel the cold in the pictures. I live in the sunny southwest USA and sometimes I long for the kind of cold you had on your hike, but not often. Loved walking with you today.

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FRANCES-AGAPE 12/1/2012 11:57PM

   
! HAPPY DECEMBER !
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YOU are an AMAZING photographer !

I especially like the different
textures on the knotted tree



Have a Super Sunday

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BLESSINGS!
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emoticon emoticon


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TERRIH8118 12/1/2012 11:20PM

    What a beautiful place to take a walk. Thanks for sharing the pictures

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TEMPENATIVE 12/1/2012 11:03PM

    i glad you are still getting there even tho its gone winter. well done!

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MICKEYH 12/1/2012 10:48PM

    Thanks for the blog..loved as usual. It's nice to have some company on the cold day of Epping.
Looks like you guys had bit cold but a nice day at Forrest. (^€^)) I did not know the meaning of brass monkey but thanks to your helpful link. I now know the meaning. I knew about 3 wise monkey from Japan, but did not know there was a 4 th one nowadays.


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2ABBYNORMAL 12/1/2012 10:23PM

    Your pictures are always beautiful.
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CATLADY52 12/1/2012 9:30PM

    Your photos are great. They show a slice of nature that isn't seen very often by us in the US. Keep it up please. emoticon

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DOVESEYES 12/1/2012 8:39PM

    Lovely thanks

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ALDEBARANIAN 12/1/2012 7:47PM

    Yes. A lovely view.
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KARENLEIGH32 12/1/2012 7:39PM

    As always your blog was very interesting. Love the pictures!

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EABL81 12/1/2012 7:19PM

    Always wondered where that expression came from! Good blog. I was chilled just looking at the pics.

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DALID414 12/1/2012 7:01PM

    Love the title. And very apropos. I HATE the cold.

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JACKIE542 12/1/2012 6:59PM

    Beautiful walk and blog. I loved the look of the trees even with no leaves. Thank you!

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DESERTDREAMERS 12/1/2012 6:23PM

    Brrr! Glad you had the new boots!

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NEWTINK 12/1/2012 6:15PM

    Wonder what the thing was with the Horses was .. sounds like some kind of Christmas ride ... if you find out let me know .. I will look also .. great blog love your Pictures .. emoticon

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DESERTJULZ 12/1/2012 5:48PM

    Love the photos. Especially the huge knobby tree. Thanks for another great read.

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LIS193 12/1/2012 5:44PM

    Thank you for taking us on your chilly walk. Those new boots have earned their keep already!

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NOMORENOMORE 12/1/2012 5:33PM

    I always look forward to reading your blogs. I know you put alot of time and effort into them. I always feel as though I'm there with you.
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COCK-ROBIN 12/1/2012 5:29PM

    Great pictures!

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BRAVELUTE 12/1/2012 4:59PM

    I feel chilled to the bone just reading and seeing your pictures. Not sure I'd want to stop long enough to eat, just keep trucking and get me back to some warmth. I am definitely spoiled, liivng in the land of sunshine.

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KNITCAT1 12/1/2012 4:50PM

    Lovely "brisk" walk today, thank you! (And yep, most definitely brass monkey weather!)


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EVER-HOPEFUL 12/1/2012 4:48PM

    donīt need to go to the link to know the saying of your mother,lol.here it is -4 at the moment and later is suppose to be -12.time to curl up under a blanket in front of a fire with a hot cup of cocoa in your hands.thanks once again for sharing. emoticon

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