I bought my Armond walking boots in a shop called Kyffin in Bangor, Gwynedd, in 1989. I was on attachment to the BBC there at the time, and wanted something sturdy and reliable so I could do some serious walking in Snowdonia.
As well as the boots the box they came in has somehow lasted down the years. But not the receipt. I seem to remember they cost in the region of £100 which, with inflation, would be £250 today. (I think you'd struggle to spend that much on a pair of walking boots, though.)
But they have been uncomfortable - until this week, that is. My left ankle bone always rubbed and felt bruised. On our latest lockdown walks I have persisted with the boots as they keep my feet warm and dry in all conditions - and a couple of days ago I realised they didn't hurt anymore. Hooray! After 31 years they are broken in at last.
I searched online for the shop where I bought the boots, but Kyffin in Bangor now appears to be a vegetarian restaurant. And before you comment, yes, I know they need some more dubbin!
We arrived back in Norfolk yesterday to a mountain of post. This comprised mainly Christmas cards: 41 altogether. As I cut round the stamps I thought it would be interesting to compare the numbers of first class, second class (and no stamp at all).
Of the 41 cards three had a first class stamp; 30 second class; and eight had no stamp (being hand delivered). What else can I say? Second class outnumbered first class by 10:1. More people used Christmas stamps than definitives. Nearly 20% of the cards were hand delivered. (I have realised that the last three sentences sound like the setup for a logic/maths exam question.)
First class: 1 definitive (Queen's head only); 1 "religious"; 1 "non-religious".
Second class: 19 "religious" from 2020; 2 "religious" from previous years (I believe); 8 definitive; 1 "second class up to 100g"
Walking up the Tyrley flight a couple of days ago I saw that the brickwork at the entrance to the bottom lock was damaged.
It looked like it would take only a couple more knocks for bricks to be lost into the water.
I spent a good half hour searching the CRT website for an email address to send the photos to - and failed. Actually, some of that time was trying to discover exactly which CRT region the lock is in.
Eventually I filled in the online contact form and stated that I need their email address - and up pops an automated message to say that if I need to send photos an email address would be sent. (The hoops one has to jump through! And I am trying to help!)
That was two days ago. I'm still waiting for a reply, although I accept that it is the weekend in a holiday period so things might move slowly.
Update: I have now had a response from CRT so I have emailed them the photos.
I was surprised to see ice on the Shroppie in Market Drayton yesterday. Yes, it has been cold enough, but there's always such a large amount of water coming down the Tyrley Locks that I had thought that that would prevent ice forming.
However, these moorings are downstream of a large overspill weir. I guess the excess water disappears down there.
Jan and I wish you a very Happy New Year and look forward to being able to do more boating and meeting people than we did in 2020.