I've been on my bicycle today. The weather has been mostly glorious and, unusually, there seemed to be a fair and reasonable division between uphills and downhills and although there weren't many backwinds there were no headwinds either.
And where have I been? Regular readers who enjoyed the exploits of the Twin Foxes will perhaps be pleased to hear that I've been exploring parts of their old stomping ground - the parts that haven't been built over.
I started out from the market town of Baldock, which is just a fifteen minute train ride from home. That's south into Hertfordshire where the countryside is just a little more up-and-down than Cambridgeshire. And so it proved to be as I pushed the pedals round heading to the village of Graveley. Daniel Defoe complained about the road when he passed this way, though it was the muddy state of the so-called highway that upset him.
I'll spare you the road and transport you immediately to Graveley with its lovely village pond.
And a fine old farmhouse. There was more to see too, but for now lets get a bit further along our way to Chesfield.
Chesfield is one of Hertfordshire's deserted villages. Well, nearly deserted; there's still a farm here, just behind the ruins of the old church.
Although Hertfordshire is a rather built-up county there are still plenty of roads like this and I stayed on them most of the day. And, for those from distant parts who enjoy the wackiness of English placename pronunciation, it's HART-f'd-sheer or, if you've been to a posh school, HAR-f'd-sheer.
Who says England is a crowded island? Plenty of space here. Though the countryside is only like this because of our strict planning laws which prevent urban sprawl.
Into the village of Walkern with its ford in Church Lane. I decide against riding through and timidly took to the raised footway.
Walkern's quite a busy little village with pubs and shops as well as some attractive cottages and gardens.
But, after buying my lunch in the village shop, I backtracked and headed towards Weston, though not until I'd eaten my meagre purchases sitting on the verge, just near the signpost you can see in the picture above.
That's Weston church tower poking its head above the trees. Lets have a quick look around the churchyard...
Off to the quaintly-named Clothall next. Yes, I know we seem to be in a terrible hurry today but do you really think I didn't investigate these places? Of course I did - and you'll hear a bit more about them in future posts. But for now lets just enjoy the scenery...
There were just a few autumn hues here and there; we haven't had the kind of cold snap that turns all the leaves at once.
You don't see many sheep around here; most of the farms are largely arable. I could have taken the main road from here, but of course I didn't.
That's a real minor road....moss growing down the middle!