(There are photos in this entry, scroll down to see them! Or if you want to see them all, without reading any of my ranting, view the Surrey gallery)

If anyone ever tells you that England is hilly, or mountainous, or in any way a fine example of Mother Nature’s extremities don’t believe them. We have hills, yes. We even have 2 mountains! We had a hurricane once, and the occasional ‘Did you feel that?’ tremor.

That’s fine though, as we don’t deal very well with the rest of the world’s idea of extremes. As we saw a few weeks ago, more than a few inches of snow and we become house-bound, fearing for our survival, and wondering when the roads will be clear enough to get food, or fresh water.

Our positively dull geography isn’t necessarily ugly however! You just have to scale down your expectations a little. We don’t have any 2-mile deep holes, like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. We don’t have beautiful, snowy peaks like France. We do have grass. And trees. And sunsets… and cows…You know, those things every temperate nation has by default!

So today, we went for a ramble around the hills — Leith Hill and Box Hill — of Surrey. Well, we rambled a little, and drove most of the way. We also picked our way over Headley Heath, where for some reason or another there was a small herd of Highland Cows roaming the prickled pastures. 15 matted long-haired, orange cows just happened to also be there — from what I gathered, they were touring the country, going from heath to pasture to grove. Words can’t really describe how big these guys are (at least if you’re British, because they’re by far the biggest native creatures we have — no elephants here!), so the term BRUTE will have to do. They’re about 10 feet long (3 meters), and 6 foot tall. They are BIG. Like two Pavarottis. Vast.

Anyway… we didn’t get too close, but I did manage to get two rather nice pictures of our very own wooly mammoths:


And then a few steps closer…


He looked pleased to see me…

I won’t spam your screen with photos, so if you want to see more, they’re over here in the Surrey collection.

BUT, here is my favourite landscape photo of the day, taken from the ‘highest point in South England’, a gothic tower atop Leith Hill. It really is a lot better when you see it full-size… buy a print, and I’ll prove it to you!


Sitting on the dock of Southampton bay...
Every time a computer dies, God kills a kitten


I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.