After another busy week at the Great Western Hospital and dramas in the shared house in which I live I headed down to Dorset on saturday Morning to spend the long weekend with my parents down in the Pond and enjoy a well earned rest. It was great to see our family dog Molly for the second weekend in a row – Molly is always very pleased to see me. Saturday was lovely weather and Molly and I managed a walk up on to Lambert’s Castle. Sunday saw some rain and it was certainly that bit colder. I returned to Swindon on Monday afternoon with a busy week ahead of me.
This weekend I headed back to Fishpond to spend some time with my family. Having voluntarily worked last weekend I managed to get off work a couple of hours early which meant I could catch the earlier train. I did the usual zigzag across this green and pleasant land before arriving into Axminster at 19:00. Molly was certainly very pleased to see me, for a few minutes anyway and then predictably she just wanted to share my tea. Whilst home I managed to sort some of my junk in the loft which is always fun. David and Yvonne popped in on Sunday afternoon on the way back from Hampshire. I returned to Swindon on Sunday evening with a busy week of work ahead of me.
After spending my Saturday morning at work working on transferring patient demographics on to the new oncology system I took the bus over to the market town of Marlborough. Marlborough is famous for being the seat of the Duke of Marlborough and the private school which shares its name. Historically Marlborough made its name as a Stagecoach stop on the route West from London. The town is busy and it is immediately obvious there is a lot of affluent people in town, in complete contrast to Swindon. I had a quick look around the rather over priced shops before returning to Swindon in the evening.
It has been a busy week for me as the Great Western Hospital finally went live with the new Oncology patient management system which is supplied by Varian Medical Systems. The solution is being used by a number trusts across the Thames Valley Cancer Network including the John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals in Oxford and the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. To begin with it is just being used for scheduling patients but in a few weeks we will begin to use it for chemotherapy prescribing. The system is incredibly powerful and should help improve cancer care within the network.
The following Photographs were taken at the 2009 Bristol Balloon Fiesta (Saturday 8th August 2009) plus a couple from my visit to Sapperton Tunnel (Sunday 9th August 2009).
On Sunday I headed back to Kemble to search for the Sapperton Tunnel. At three and a half kilometres in length, Sapperton Tunnel is still the third longest canal tunnel in England. The canal is at present disused although there are aspirations to oneday reopen this historic waterway that links two of England’s great rivers. After an hours walk through some open fields I finally found my way to the tunnel entrance (I forgot my map so had to navigate from memory). After lunching at the Tunnel House Inn I had a quick look inside the tunnel entrance. The water was freezing and the walls were covered in slime mould. A set of heavy rusting gates block the tunnel a few meters inside the tunnel.
On Saturday I headed off to Bristol for the day to attend the annual balloon fiesta in Bristol. Unfortunately I missed the early morning mass launch as there was not an early enough train. I arrived at Ashton Court where I looked around the site. The Armed Forces were obviously on a bit of a recruitment drive with numerous recruitment vans attending from all three services. In the afternoon I went back across the Clifton Suspension bridge where I met my sister and Tim. Over some food and a beer we watched the spectacular red arrows before waiting patiently for the evening mass releas of the balloons which began 45 minutes late. Definately worth the wait – the ballons are a great spectacle.
Today (Sunday) I took the train to Kemble to go in search of the source of the mighty river Thames. From the station I walked into the village and soon picked up the Thames Path – a nationally recognised path that follows the entire length of the river. After traversing through numerous fields (including a cow field) I finally came to the stone that marks the source. The source marker stone is most disappointing – not really fit for purpose as you can’t easily read the inscription. I headed back to the station where I ate some Sunday lunch at the pub, before heading back into Swindon. Just in time as the hoards from the Womad festival were beginning to congregate at Kemble station.
The following photographs were taken during our two day stay in the beautiful Scottish city of Inverness.
The following photographs were taken during our four day 100 Km Canoe trip along the Caledonian Canal from Fort William to Inverness.