Being a piscean, I was destined to settle in the area described as the "alternative lake district". Based around Theale (a relatively unscathed village in the heart of the Thames Valley), over 30 lakes have been created out of the gravel pits, excavated for the construction of the M4.
Like Hosehill Lake, shown above: it really is a haven for wildlife and it will always have a place in my heart. Kingfishers, Peregrines, Nightingales, Hobbies and Ospreys have all been sighted in and around Hosehill Lake Local Nature Reserve.
Working from home occasionally, the best possible start to the day is a dawn bike ride around the lakes, lifting the spirits and helping centre me for a day of emails, phone calls and general office emergencies. Places like Hosehill help to remind me of the relative unimportance of work, office politics and the rat race in general. Focus instead on the beauty of the sun's reflection or the song of the nightingale.