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In December we enjoyed the Southbank Christmas Market, where we found amazing Macaroni Cheese and chai tea, and saw several exhibitions, before I went to my parent's place for Christmas.

Mist and astrophotography )
Celts and roller disco )
Budleigh Salterton Christmas swim )
Haytor )
Railway walk )
New Year’s Eve )
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After a fairly quiet October, we ended up having a very busy November. In addition to everything else, my parents also came to stay with us for the first time, as Mum had some outings with her friends planned. We cooked them spinach and mushroom calzone.

Ice Skating at Somerset House )
Tower Bridge engineering tour )
A flour mill and a hill fort )
Christmas at Kew )
NaNoGenMo )

October 2015

Saturday, 6 February 2016 11:44
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Emily returned to the UK in October. I stayed in a Travelodge near Heathrow in order to meet her as her flight came in at 6:30am. In the hotel I watched Michael Portillo going to Istanbul by train.

Whitstable )
New Forest )

September 2015

Thursday, 4 February 2016 20:23
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In September, fuzzie and Bertram visited for a long weekend. We took a walk along Southbank in London and met up with Other Nick, and Alex, and actually found somewhere quiet to buy hot drinks! We also went to Café in the Crypt at St Martin's in the fields.

It was also the night of the "blood moon" lunar eclipse. Surprisingly it was actually a cloudless night, and after being woken up by my alarm near to full eclipse, I sat on the bedroom windowsill and watched it for an hour before curling up back in my warm bed. The photo for this post is the best I could get with my camera.

Finally, my parents moved house, for the first time since they got together. They now live in Devon which is very beautiful. I visited them on the weekend they moved to help them unpack, so hopefully that helped them feel more at home.

August 2015

Tuesday, 2 February 2016 20:08
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In August I visited a Roman Amphitheatre, walked the last stretch of the South Downs for the year, and baked and decorated a bothy-shaped fruit cake.

Silchester Roman Amphitheatre )
South Downs: Lewes to Devil’s Dyke )
Dad’s retirement cake )

July 2015

Thursday, 28 January 2016 21:14
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In July I walked some more of the South Downs, cooked salmon in the (clean) dishwasher, met up with Rachel and friends at Hackney Downs Drinks Market, and played lots of Amiga games.

South Downs: Southease to Falmer )
Dishwasher Salmon )
Amiga 30 )

June 2015

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 20:51
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Following an enjoyable weekend of walking on the Isle of Wight, I decided to put my weekends in June to similarly good use. I also attended my cousin's wedding and went along to OpenTech.

Medway Valley Walk )
OpenTech 2015 )
South Downs: Amberley to Devil’s Dyke )

May 2015

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 20:19
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I got back from Hawaii in the early hours of 20 May, and decided that with the next weekend being a bank holiday, and hoping it would help fix my jetlag, I booked a holiday to the Isle of Wight with Tim. But first, I went to see Blade Runner at the Prince Charles Cinema in London; another good classic to see on the big screen.

Isle of Wight )
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And finally, here are some of the things Emily and I got up to on Big Island that don't fit anywhere else. I might add more things later if I realise I've missed anything out, but for now that's it for Hawaii....

Akaka Falls )
Hilo Tropical Botanic Gardens )
Nani Mau Gardens )
Hilo Beachfront )
Merrie Monarch )
Paleaku Peace Gardens )
Kaumana Caves )
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a significant proportion of Big Island, and we were living within cycle distance of it, which meant I had plenty of time to explore it, both with Emily in her car, and by myself on Emily's bicycle. It's a really diverse place and this is a massive journal entry; sorry! (But lots of photos too.)

Kīlauea Iki )
Sulphur Banks )
Chain of Craters Road )
Petroglyphs )
Thurston Lava Tube )
Chain of Craters by bike )
Napau Trail )
Kau Desert )
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Along the north coast of Big Island are the eroded remains of the extinct Kohala volcano, which makes the landscape there similar to parts of Kauaʻi. Along the coast are the beautiful Waipio and Pololu valleys, and a bit further west is the lovely little town of Hawi, where cowboys and pirates sit at cafés.

Waipio Valley )
Pololu Valley )
Hawi )
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I was going to cover the non-Kona parts of Hawaiʻi in a single post, but looking through my photos I just can't do it! Mauna Kea and Waipio Valley deserve their own entries at the very least.

Mauna Kea )
The Saddle Road )
Mauna Loa )
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While beaches are usually the first thing anybody thinks of when you mention Hawaii, I didn't know beforehand what a great range they would have. We visited beaches of many different colours!

Red )
Yellow )
Green )
Black )
Glass )
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Not many animals have made it as far out into the Pacific Ocean as Hawaii, but I ended up seeing a good majority of those that did.

Nēnē )
Albatrosses )
Coqui? Coqui! )
Wild boar )
Cockerels )
Honu )
Whales )
Dolphins )
Geckos )
ʻIo )
Mongeese )
Horses )
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I thought splitting Haleakalā off into its own post would make writing up Maui a fairly short exercise, but I had forgotten just how much there was to see and do there! This is a very condensed summary, but hopefully I can get across how lush, exciting, and unique the island is.

Mokulele )
West Maui )
Big Beach )
Hana Highway )
Redwood trail )
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Ah, Kauaʻi. Anywhere you look on this island is beautiful. We spent a week and a half here and made the most of the time, visiting canyons, beaches, caves, swamps, and walking numerous lush green trails. Let me show you them all here.

Helicopter around the island )
Waimea Canyon )
Swamp trail )
Beaches and Sunsets )
Kalaulau and Hanakapiʻai Falls Trails )
Kayaking to a waterfall )
Caves, blowholes, and natural baths )
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This is where Emily and I got engaged!

We actually made two trips to Maui to visit Haleakalā, first accompanied by a friend of Emily's where we took a trip around the whole island, and a second time when a cancellation for one of the cabins inside Haleakalā's crater meant we could go and stay the night there.

Sunrise at the summit )
Down one side... )
... and down the other )
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We took several trips to Hawaiʻi's kona (leeward) side, as there were lots of things to do, and it was a place we could guarentee some good weather. It was rather nice living somewhere where you could decide what kind of climate you wanted today, then drive there in a couple of hours at most.

Swimming with wild dolphins )
Coffee and chocolate )
Kaʻawa Loa )
Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau )
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While on Hawaiʻi I was living in a village called Volcano, which was indeed on Kīlauea volcano, about 5km from the nearest active crater. Fortunately the village is broadly uphill and upwind of both!

While the other eruption from Kīlauea, Puʻu ʻŌʻō, is unfortunately largely off-limits, Emily and I would often visit Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, which was always captivating.

The Glow )
Lava Lake )
Pele's Hair in our hair )
Through a telescope )
Good bye, lava lake )
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As I mentioned in my previous entry, I spent a 12 week sabbatical from work out in Hawaii, and it was a really special time. The state has so much diversity and a huge range of things to see and do. I'm abandoning my usual chronological style of journal to talk about all the various excursions and experiences in hopefully an easier to follow way.

Language )
Weather )
Pele )

Other topics should hopefully appear on your screens soon! It is wonderful to write these as I reminisce.

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