"Foot and Benn Disease" is said to have been the illness Labour suffered from in the 'Eighties. Michael Foot was often seen in Cheltenham during the literature festival - I bumped into him, shopping on one occasion. And in 2011, beside Imperial Gardens, Tony Benn was just too late to say that I could not take this photograph.
Benn's death aged 88 - hardly a shock - removes from the scene one of the great characters of late 20th Century political life in Britain, like him or loathe him. I was mainly in the latter camp, except in respect of his stand on the Iraq War. How you long for people in politics today to have the same courage of their convictions!
I set off to walk from Brockworth to Slad yesterday morning, but was so exhausted climbing Cooper's Hill that I decided Sheepscombe would be far enough. In contrast to the 99% dry-under-foot walk on Wednesday, it was heavy and uncertain going as I made my way up through fog from the Cross Hands. Even high up in the Beechwoods National Nature Reserve the paths were muddy, another hazard being the trees that had fallen recently.
Arrival at the Butcher's Arms was delayed by my retracing my steps in a vain effort to recover a lost lens cap. I suppose it must have rolled away off the track through Lord's Wood.