about JohnH

Sorted, fit. Current activities are photography, hiking, motorbiking, trail biking, music, geology/geoscience, dinner-at-home, travel and more.

Tree fern fronds unfurling in my garden in London W14

Tree fern rolling out the new growth

Apple blossom and a grazing bee fly in my garden in London W14

Apple blossom and a grazing bee fly

A sanctuary for me and the birds and the bees during this biological war: my patio garden in West London. And remembering Come in to the garden, Maud,  Tennyson’s poem and the Victorian parlour song about the emotional impact of the Crimean War of that era. Just forty years later, houses like this were built over the the fertile market gardens of Fulham Fields.
My garden has had a lot more attention than usual over the past few weeks and is looking pretty much at its best. The birds are happy too.

More photos: Come in to the garden, Maud

Revox A77 playing my old tapes

Rig 1 - Revox to laptop via Creative SBX converter. An electrical island with a single earth so least hum and buzz etc.

I’ve got going on one of my long-standing tasks at home: dubbing my analogue tape archive to digital. The earliest tapes go back to 1960 but the ones I’m most interested to hear are from my uni days at Nottingham and shortly afterwards. This was a period of fantastic development in music and these tapes track my emerging, and diverging, interests. This Revox tape recorder was my first big purchase from wages, before even a motorbike.

Revox A77 playing my old tapes

Rig 2: - Revox to Soundcraft Delta mixer, record to file server. Best for tapes that need minor restoration.

Read more: My Revox

We’re all wannabes during the lockdown

We’re all wannabes during the lockdown

Read more: Stay at home

Christmas Cake 2019, by Terry

Our Christmas Cake for year’s festivities in Preston Park, Brighton, made from scratch by Terry, including the carol-singing penguins, which he’s somehow sculpted to look vaguely menacing. They’re very sweet really, as they are made from icing sugar.


Christmas 2019

Christmas Card 2019 -  click on the pictures for the full story and a larger version of the photo

I've been lucky enough to enjoy a lot of travel again in 2019: Madeira, Marseille, Menton and many trips to Provence and the Alps. Not forgetting celebrating my Umpteenth Birthday with a bottle of Prosecco on the Coast Path near St. Ives, Cornwall.

Corsica was a new place with, for me, a new way of exploring. I hired an adventure bike that I took on to gravel tracks; this worked pretty well inland on the craggy granite as well as touring the spectacular west coast road.

My motorbike crash at a junction on the A7 autoroute just outside Marseille ruined Terry's and my hiking holiday in September, so unfortunately we only got to enjoy the Tuscan mountains and Italian cuisine the once in 2019.

I've recovered quickly this time; I even hiked to the summit of Helvellyn (950 m.)  at the end of November, a good day’s hike at any time.

I've been checking out various cars for the time when motorcycling is no longer an option. I hired a blue Mustang for a day out in the Cotswolds, and a little Aygo in Cornwall and also the cute Fiat 500 but the Clios we have been hiring from Marseille seem for me the best compromise between comfort and making good progress.

Wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Heathy 2020 to all my Friends and Followers.