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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's only November for goodness sake!!

I woke at 4:50 this morning, I would normally pull the duvet up but I popped out of bed and looked out of the window....


I would like to remind North American readers that in the South East of England we get a particularly nasty type of snow. where 1/2 inch is equivalent to about 12-18 inches over there.

I decided to head out early (after sticking some good out for the birds), some of the roads obviously hadn't  been gritted (I mean why would they it's not as if we had notice now is it!!) still I arrived nice and safe at work at about 6:40!!

It has snowed most of the day but the roads were fine tonight.

This is the most snow we've had this early for years.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Lazy Day

I woke this morning and with great trepidation turned on the radio. The name Cook was soon heard and I breathed a sigh of relief! We had recovered in the cricket PHEW!!!

It was flipping cold out there! Whilst my neighbours were scrapping ice of the car I got mine out of the garage. We've escaped the snow down here but its coming, its going to be a long winter if this is a foretaste - parts of Wales reached -17c even by OC standards that's cold!!

No photos today all I've done is visit dad do a bit of shopping and read a 100 pages or so of Conn Iggulden's Bones of the Hills (part of a set of "historical" novels about Genghis Khan.

I was pleased people liked the stump picture yesterday as that was a favourite of mine. For the record I preferred the B&W version of pics 1&2.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yet more Forest pics

I awoke this morning to a rather sharp frost. I really didn't want to get out of my warm bed!! I did nip downstairs for a cup of tea and to stick the heating on!

When I did go out it was dull and grey. I considered going to Cambridge but stopped at the forest. I wanted to try out a lens I bought the other week for my Panasonic GF1 the new 14 f2.5. I know Trish wants to see how it performs!

Black & White or colour version?

The local ducks weren't happy as there lake was frozen!

It was flipping cold and I stopped for a cup of tea and a sausage sarnie.

Lots of redwings about and the lake had some teal and gadwall. Lots of Bulfinches about.

St John's Bush End sits right next to the forest. It's a simple victorian church but I thought I'd pop in.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tyres, Breakpads, Mozart, a book and some birds

The car went in for its service this morning. Annoyingly I needed new front break pads and one of the tyres had a nail in it!

The service was 3 hours so I waited. I sat in the comfy chair, put my MP3 on and opened my book. It is quite offputing when you are absorbed and you look up and find yourself in a car showroom!! Still I read about 180 pages and listened to three Mozart Symphonies (39, 40 and 41 if anyone is interested).

I popped in to see dad and he kindly whipped up a bowl of soup and cheese and tomato on toast for me.

Given the lack of photos last week and of birds on this blog I popped to Fisher's Green.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something to keep us warm

Its flipping freezing out there and the weatherman keeps mentioning the S**W word.

So a hearty soup looks the thing eh!! Yes please Jan :D

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's the 29th April

Some years ago, when the US was actively advocating all countries adopt an American style democratic system, I heard a US Democratic Senator/Congressman say that even consitutional monarchies weren't true democracies. The interviewer said does that mean you could force regime change? The politician said yes. The interviewer said something like I'm sure the British people will be pleased to hear that - sarcasm!

I was thinking of that when someone shouted down the office that the Royal Wedding would be Friday 29th April and that this would be a bank holiday. Given that the following Monday is a bank holiday and that the previous weekend is Easter we get two four day weekends!!

Many of us who cheered are not Monarchists but frankly the idea of President Cameron or President Milliband is much worse.

Now congratulations to the royal couple I've got to plan where I'll escape to on the day!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

This and that

I've been a tadge quiet of late I am lacking in inspiration.

It doesn't help that the weather has been cold, grey and miserable and that they are forecasting sub zero temps and a chance of snow !!

I have been contemplating holidays for next year!! I think a trip to Hay-On-Wye is in order and I fancy going back to North Wales as well - I may stay at that place which has no telly and radio (well it has R4 Long wave) let alone mobiles and the internet!

Its interesting that the Government is telling us that we have no money and that we have to cut spending urgently BUT we can find 7 Billion pounds to help the Irish. Perhaps you should try it with the benefits office? "I can't afford my council tax, yes I did manage to find £500 to lend to my friend".

I also have a long weekend coming up as I'm off Friday (the car needs a service). I therefore intend that you will get photos for at least two days. Not sure where I am going to go yet I will need to think on this one!

Today is St Cecilia's day. St Cecilia is the patron saint of music.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


It's grey, damp and cold. I decided that the overcast weather was no use for bird photography, I had three choices.

1. Go to Lavenham and take some picturess in the Guildhall.
2. Go to Cambridge and then on to the Wimpole Hall craft fair.
3. Go to the National Trust Red House, South of the river.

I chose the later. The house is in a suburban estate and you park in nearby car park. Things looked bright when two Parakeets appeared then about half a dozen of them. I reached the house went to the entrance and was greeted by the phrase "have you booked for the tour?" Uh no! Self guided tours weren't til 1:30!! And lets be honest you can't take photos on a guided tour. Now if this had been summer I'd have taken my book and sat in the garden but .....

So I turned tail and walked back. I did get good views of a Goldcrest by the car park entrance.

I looked up at the grey skies which matched my mood and drove back! Still did get to here virtually of the chart show on classic fm!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lyvden New Bield

A photograph taken by the Luftwaffe in 1944 may have revealed details of Thomas Tresham's garden at Lyvden New Bield.

Tresham was a Catholic under Elizabeth I who didn't recant his faith. Lyvden and its garden were incomplete in 1605 when Tresham died.

National Trust gardens and parks curator Chris Gallagher said:

We checked the database and found the photo existed but when we ordered up the image it revealed far more than we ever expected.' he said.

Not only did it expose the remnants of the original circular design, set within what Sir Thomas Tresham, who created the garden, then called his moated orchard, you can also make out the vestiges of a regular array of planting holes, which we have taken to be the last remains of an Elizabethan fruit garden

The photograph shows an arrangement of ten, huge concentric circles within the garden, measuring approximately 120 metres across.

Letters of Treshams' found in 1821 refer to 400 raspberries and roses to be planted within resham’s ‘circular borders’. This could suggest these are the same circles that appear in the aerial photo.

What makes Lyvden important is that few Tudor gardens survive in any form. English Heritage have upped Lyvden to Grade 1 status.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Prince William is getting married. A royal wedding, the pageantry, the spectacle, the music the commemorative mugs!

I went on to the BBC website lunchtime and read the joyous news!! Uh well maybe I am exaggerating my excitement.

My actual thought was lets hope its mid-week and they proclaim a public holiday! If its a Saturday I'll be well miffed!

Still I hope the press have learnt their lesson and give them some space!

Monday, November 15, 2010

a minor rant

As I sat at my desk this morning I noticed I had a meeting at the other office, I'm there less these days as all my team are under one roof. I guess I should really claim for the mileage but I never have, the 10 mile round trip doesn't bother me since even if I am paying for the pleasure I get to listen to Classic FM and some good music.

I always take my MP3 as at least I get 10 minutes of music walking between the office and the car park and let me say there is something a bit surreal about walking through an eastend town centre listening to Allegri's Misere!

I read today that Middle England are up in arms about the proposed high speed rail link between London and Birmingham. Apparently they were originally opposing it on the grounds of Not In MY Backyard but now looking at the project in detail, they have found that the economic and environmental cases for the new route simply do not stack up.

I'll stop laughing in a mo.

Now of course I do feel a lot of sympathy that people will be forced to move but may I ask what are the alternatives? Build more roads? Build an airport in the Thames?

Yes I am sure that green and verdant land will be lost and I regret that a damn sight more than someone seeing 20% wiped of their property value - but I do genuinely sympathise with that as well!

It's just I bet many of those denizens of middle England will be happy to use the M40 and not give a hoot about the impact of that or pop down to Heathrow and fly out to that nice little restaurant in Capri.

My annoyance though is that its Middle England the most pampered bunch in the country. If these proposals were in the South West, East Anglia, Wales the North the amount of time given by the likes of the Telegraph would be considerably less. But as its Middle England, the residents of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire, we are told about how beautiful it is (it is I might add) and blah de blah

Now let us all chill after that rant.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is a music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted:
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end they remain.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Well OC I might go to Canterbury"

I've been telling OC for years that I "might go to Canterbury Saturday" for ages. So today as the weather was grey and cloudy I headed south of the river into Kent.

Thomas Beckett

The tomb of The Black Prince

The ducking stool!