On Wednesday I came into work as usual. I got to Taunton at about a quarter to eight, as usual, parked the car and walked into the grounds of County Hall. There seemed to be a few more people milling around outside the buildings than normal, but I didn't take a lot of notice. When I got to the door I normally use to get into the building, it wouldn't open. We have electronic security proximity cards and mine wouldn't work. I began to put two and two together and worked out that that might have been the reason that everyone else was outside too. I joined a couple of people that I knew and soon learned that we appeared to have run out of electricity. Apparently it had been off since about eleven o'clock the previous evening and the back-up generators had gone wrong. After a lot of waiting around and jumping up and down to keep warm, a group of us bundled into Shire Hall (the County Courts and council chamber) where there were toilets and a coffee machine. Eventually we were all sent home because we couldn't have done anything even if we'd been able to get into the building to work.
So, I went home. I did use my unexpected day off wisely, though. It was quite a nice day so I went out and about with my camera. Well, it's better than working. I went up onto the hills above Street and Butleigh to the Hood monument, somewhere I had never been before (well, I'd been along the road over the hills loads of times but never walked up to the monument)
Here are the pictures I took.
The path covered in beech leaves
Autumn is still just about hanging on
The first sight of the monument.
It is huge. I don't know how tall it is but I know it is enormous. It is a monument to Sir Samuel Hood who was a famous sea admiral and politician in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The reason the monument is where it is is because his father was the vicar of the nearby village of Butleigh, so it's obviously the area he grew up in and knew well. He died in India in 1814, so the monument is nearly two hundred years old. And here are more pictures of it.
And the view from the base of the monument which affords a grand view of another local landmark
The name of which probably escapes me - ooh, I remember, I think it's Glastonbury Tor
Back to the monument
Because he was an admiral there are stylised ships on the top.
I've darkened this one to pick out the wonderful texture of the clouds.
A parting shot
The base of a big old beech tree
The carpet of fallen leaves
Finally, looking up into one of the trees