Friday, 7 October 2011

Visiting Simon

On our return from Wales, we broke the journey by visiting Simon at his house in Chester.  He's currently sharing a house with another British guy and a French woman in a nice neighbourhood very near his place of work - one Metro stop or a 30 minute bike ride.  He travels quite a bit for his job and there is a reasonable chance that his company will offer him a post abroad for a few years, so renting a room is the best way of keeping his options open.  This is a common arrangement for young professionals over here, where as in the States my impression is that this tends to happen a lot less once folks leave university.

We went for a walk on the route that Simon uses for his morning runs, a rusty habit I'm pleased to hear he's renewing.    From his posts on Facebook, he's making rapid improvement.  He seemed to be enjoying his running so much that I found myself inspired to try to get out a bit more myself.

This part of the country has a good canal network and it's a great place for running or cycling. 

I was intrigued by the ways in which residents were 'colonising' the banks of the canal.  I'm not certain whether it's actually their property.

I think I'd be nervous having that body of water higher than the level of my house, and I'm not sure about the security issues relating to some of these back gardens, but in their place I'd be sure tempted to have a little BBQ or eating area by the water. 

We walked over to Simon's local (pub) where we were to have dinner.  On our way, there must have been some air show or event going on because all the sudden the Red Arrows popped into view. 

They are an aerobatic team which is part of the RAF and rather a big thing around Britain.  I've seen them several times at the Sunderland air show, Leuchars AFB and they've also performed at the Great North Run, Britain's largest half marathon, which starts in Newcastle.  I'm almost blase about them now, but they are a very impressive act.

When we reached the pub it was too early to eat, so we walked into Chester and toured part of the wall. 

I snapped photos while Simon and Bill chatted. 

That plaque explains that Chester was a busy port city in the 13th and 14th centuries. 

The tower called the Water Tower was built for £100 in 1322.  Also, the Chester City Wall is the most complete circuit of Roman and Medieval defensive town wall in Britain.

It also gives a good vantage point for some interesting things, like this park

and the Chester Race Course. 

Apparently it is the only race course in Britain where viewers can see the entire course without binoculars. 

It's a tight circle (a 'soup-plate') just over a mile in length. 

I was curious about the size and grandeur of the houses overlooking the race course. 

Apparently the race course is also a popular dog-walking venue, which I'm surprised would be permitted.  We must go to a horse race here in Britain, I've never been yet!

We could have walked further, but it was time to go back and get some chow!


BigLittleWolf said...

How lovely to be able to visit, through your photographs...

The English Organizer said...

Yes, do try to go to a horse race - it's such fun! As I recall, newbies can use "the Tote" to have a small flutter.
Thanks for the kind comment on my FB page; I have had a rollercoaster year (career wise) and have not been good at figuring out how blogging fits with all that.

Pigtown*Design said...

Agree 100% with EO above! Go to the races. It's so different than in the states, where most all of the betting is state controlled. I lived in Wales and would go to Chepstow, but in the Cotswolds where we would summer, we'd go to Cheltenham or a little couse called Pitchcroft. Remember though, the horses go the other way 'round from in the states!