purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
14.5 miles (somewhat to our surprise since it was the shortest section - but we carried on to Avebury at the end and we weren't suicidal enough to take the shortest route via the main road so there was a bit of a detour through East and West Kennet before we ended up at one of the avenues leading into Avebury).



B walking along a large earth work bank


More Under the Cut )

A Digression into B&Bs )
purplecat: The family on top of Pen Y Fan (General:Walking)
19.5 miles (give or take) in seven and a half hours. The Ridgeway has far fewer interesting Roman Forts with attached tea rooms and the direction of travel is hugely obvious so we lost hardly any time to either sight-seeing or consulting the map. As a result our guesstimate of the time it would take us to do today's walk turned out to be over-pessimistic.

My feet were complaining slightly suspiciously at about 12 miles, so I aggressively applied compeed plasters and they seem to be fine now. So 20 miles and no blisters.



Most of the day looked like this.


More pictures under the cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Every Roman mile along Hadrian's Wall, there was a milecastle. Our walk gradually came to be measured by which milecastles we were between even though no traces of the one's at either end exist and, in some cases, their location is purely speculative. Still we saw quite a few in the middle.

Under the Cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (dinosaur)
We were supposed to be going to Bristol Comic Con but they cancelled the con. So instead we were let loose on the unsuspecting Bristol countryside.





More pictures under the cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
While I was in Texas an old friend and his wife took me out for the day including a trip around Texas' Capitol





Piccies Under the Cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
This is the last travel picspam for a while I promise. I was there to deliver a lecture on Verifying Autonomous Ethical Systems to Matryoshka's Machine Ethics class.

Pictures under the cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
After Washington, I spent a day in Pennsylvania with [livejournal.com profile] firin and family. We had planned to go to Philadelphia but miscellaneous events intervened so we went to a local Botanic garden instead.

Flowers under the Cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (academia)
At the start of March I spent 2 Days in Washington at a slightly odd workshop on Incorporating Ethics into Artificial Intelligence. I knew, from following [livejournal.com profile] gregmce on Strava, that there was a nice looking run around the National Mall and so most of the photos below are from that - often early in the morning because Jet-Lag.

Picspam Under the Cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Twenty-five years ago, give or take, the Oxford Arthurian Society used to hire out the Yellow Minibus of Doom and tour the country admiring miscellaneous castles, stone circles and anything that seemed vaguely related to King Arthur. We did this for a day in Michelmas Term, a weekend in Hilary and then a full week at the end of Trinity. The day trip was always the same itinery - White Horse Hill and Wayland's Smithy, West Kennet Longbarrow, Silbury Hill, Avebury Stone Circle, Winchester (if we could squeeze it in) and then ending up at Stonehenge around dusk because some bright spark had discovered, at some point, that if you wrote to Stonehenge and claimed to be a terribly serious student society, they would would let you in after hours and you would be free to wander among the stones.

I'm not sure quite when and how the idea arose to re-create this experience for the [livejournal.com profile] primeval_denial crowd. The Yellow Minibus of Doom has long gone to the great Yellow Minibus in the Sky but we had enough drivers that it was feasible to attempt the trip in cars. Being rather wealthier we also opted to book ourselves in to the Amesbury Travelodge and make a weekend of it.

Investigation revealed that one can no longer write to Stonehenge and claim to be some kind of earnest society (we were going to go with "writers' group" which excuse has served us well in the past) but instead there is now procedure and anyone can get in for the coughing up of £35 per head. We also discovered that if you want to wander freely among the stones at about 5.30pm on a Saturday in July you need to book your slot considerably earlier than January. After a certain amount of emailing back and forth it was decided that 6.30am on a Saturday morning was the lesser of the various evils on offer.

So we started the day at Stonehenge under the watchful eye of two security guards who had instructions to expel us from the site if we had the temerity to touch (or lick - they were very specific about the no licking rule) the stones. [livejournal.com profile] fredbassett and [livejournal.com profile] bigtitch are currently on a quest to collect as much ancient graffitti as possible and so spent a lot of time peering closely at the stones and consulting with the security guards (who might not have been historians or archeologists but who had heard an awful lot of historians and archeologists go around the site) who were obviously only too happy to give up on the lurking and staring and instead talk about graffitti. [livejournal.com profile] fredbassett and [livejournal.com profile] bigtitch found a cock and balls on a fallen menhir and pronounced themselves thoroughly satisfied with the trip. Apparently there is an ancient graffitti facebook group and they were looking forward to posting their up close pictures from Stonehenge.

We then went to the Little Chef next to the hotel for breakfast and returned to Stonehenge after it had opened in order to check out the new exhibition and extensive gift shop.

We then went on to Avebury, where [livejournal.com profile] fredbassett and [livejournal.com profile] bigtitch found more graffitti and the sun rather unexpectedly came out and shone fiercely, revealing how woefully unprepared we all were in terms of sun hats and sun cream.

After lunch at Avebury we headed for West Kennet at which point it became clear I had broken some of the party (too tired to look for graffitti) and wasn't going to be allowed to do more than look wistfully in the direction of White Horse Hill and Wayland's Smithy.

On the Sunday we headed in the opposite direction towards Old Sarum which would bring various people closer to their trains, had lunch in the pub by the castle and then went our separate ways.

Photos under the Cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
A final few miscellaneous images of Delft. Including some of medical instruments, just to warn those who may not like such things.

Under the Cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
I've been in Delft for the past two weeks for work reasons but I was able to spend the weekend doing touristy things. I've got quite a few photos, but I need to pack this evening so I'm only posting a handful now. Maybe more later. I also had to take selfies for Corporate Communications, so I may be posting a link to that at some point.

Pictures under the Cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
I have written about Schloss Dagstuhl before. I do rather like the place, so seized another opportunity to go when one presented itself. I will not bore you all with the details of Verifying and Testing Multi-Agent Systems. I think the most interesting aspects, for me, were getting a better handle on some of the logics for reasoning about multi-agent systems, and getting a better look at some of the other model-checkers out there. There was also an interesting session on devising good examples for the specification and verification of multi-agent systems and, with luck, there may be some concrete outcomes from that.

However I will talk about the hike. The Hike )

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