reading

Some time ago I decided to get rid of all my physical books and comic books. Currently I only have a few hard copy books one of which is a book called Chronicle of America.

As I was planning to embark upon a reading journey with this behemoth I wanted to check if this was a part of a series and they had a similar book about the UK. Turned out it was a series and they had a lot more than just the UK or America.

After some searching on Amazon and eBay I was able to build this great collection for around £18.

Considering the size of the books I think I had better start reading now as they seem to take a few years to finish completely!

If you’d likfe to build a similar collection I’d recommend the seller on eBay and Amazon. These are second hand books so they may not be available anymore but I’m sure you can find them on other places as well.

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personal, leisure

My client’s moved to a new office recently. The view is quite nice from their office:

It’s very close to Regent’s Canal. I decided to take walks by the canal. Especially in summer time it makes a very nice walk.

It even has a boat converted into a bookshop:

Location

It’s quite long. The section I’m close by takes about 20 minutes end-to-end. I first finish the short-end, then walk the whole path twice and the short-end again which makes a nice brisk 50 minute-walk.

It crosses Regent’s Park too but unfortunately I’m not close to that section.

A bit of history

This brief introduction explains how it started (taken from Canal & River Trust’s page):

In 1812, the Regent's Canal Company was formed to cut a new canal from the Grand Junction Canal's Paddington Arm to Limehouse, where a dock was planned at the junction with the Thames. The architect John Nash played a part in its construction, using his idea of 'barges moving through an urban landscape'.

Completed in 1820, it was built too close to the start of the railway age to be financially successful and at one stage the Regent’s only narrowly escaped being turned into a railway. But the canal went on to become a vital part in southern England's transport system.

A nice walk

I might update this post with new pictures as I keep walking by the canal. Currently I like these ones:

And this is a short video of the swans under rain:

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travel, leisure, personal

I’ve decided to have regular trips inside the UK and as my first stop I chose Bletchley Park. This post is a compilation of my notes about the trip so that I can take a look as a refresher for the next one.

Departure: London Euston to Milton Keynes Central

I booked train tickets on Virgin Trains and I was very pleased with the experience.

They sent helpful email and text messages before and after the platform was announced. Boarding process was completely hassle-free. Just showed the QR code that was saved in my Apple Wallet and Virgin Trains app. I used the Wallet this time but the app would work just as good probably. The train departured at the exact time so all went well. Also there was a charging unit in my seat I got to charge my laptop and phone on the way.

Milton Keynes Central to Bletchley Park

Euston to Milton Keynes Central takes 30 minutes only. It’s shorter than my daily commute so it ended before I knew it. The train passes through Bletchlet station but doesn’t stop. So I had to buy a return ticket to Bletchley too (which is just 1 stop away and takes a couple of minutes)

Bletchley Park

Arrived at Bletchely park at around 9:20. It opens at :30 on Saturdays but it opened earlier so didn’t have wait too long.

Park entrance

OVerall the staff members were very kind and helpful. In the lobby, I had my ticket printed which apparently is an annual pass so you just buy one ticket and visit the park as many times you want for a whole year which sounds like a great deal. At the end of the visit I was overwhelmed with information I just might take them on that offer and visit again to have it all sink in.

Bletchley Park

Apart from its historic significance, it’s a very beautiful park too. The weather was especially great when I first arrived so didn’t mind just taking a tour outside and enjoy the view.

The park is smaller than it first like at a first glance at the map. But walking around the whole park just takes a few minutes of brisk walk so it’s easy to find and visit all the buildings.

One interesting I learned was the founder of Graphy Theory was one of the codebreakers there: William Thomas Tutte

Graph Theory

The building called The Mansion included library and was the headquarters and the recreations center.

Library

Enigma machine

Actual codebreaking was carried out in buildings called Huts. They were very well-preserved and authentic. Also they added projections and sound recordings to make the whole experience more realistic

Hut 3

Hut 11

Overall, the level of technical details was overwhleming. They explained every machine and approach to break the codes in detail.

The Bombe machine

I think I will need to make some research on my own and go back for one more time to fill in the blanks.

Milton Keynes

After the visit to the park I had a tour of Milton Keynes. It’s a small town with lots of parks, lakes and kind people.

Everybody I met was very nice. I’m not sure if it was my luck or just because people are less stressed in small towns.

Teardrop Lake

Furzton Lake

Notes to self

  • Check out local transportation
  • Work on the itinerary instead of just picking one direction and walking

Conclusion

It was a great weekend overall. Bletchley Park is a beautiful park and visiting a place which played such an important role in World War 2 was very exciting. I think I had better go back and complete the parts that I missed the fist time as there is so much information to digest.

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