Sunday, 4 October 2015

Sunday 4th October 2015


Golden Morning A day off.


But another day with travel, be it one out of choice on my part. One of the more wonderful parts about being online and the internet is meeting people though it, or in this case, photography. Tim is a newly retired train driver from the north of Kent, and he asked me a while back if I would like to see the churches around where he lives? Of course I would, and now we have no orchids to snap, I seem to have a little more time. So, it was arranged that Saturday would be the day, and Tim would meet me from Paddock Wood.

East Window by Marc Chagall, All Saints,  Tudeley, Kent Of course, it would be too easy to say that Jools dropped me off at Dover and I caught the direct train, wouldn't it? No, there was engineering works on, so the trains were starting and terminating at Folkestone. And so I had to ask Jools if she would not mind in driving me to Folkestone, rather than catching the rail-replacement bus. One final problem was that the Channel Tunnel was closed again, which meant Operation Stack was up and running, with no guarantee whether roads would be open or closed.

Stained glass by Marc Chagall, All Saints, Tudely, Kent As it turned out, there was no problems, at least when we droved down Jubilee Way and then back up the A20 to Capel and Folkestone. On the other side, the queue of trucks had begun, but were moving, if very slowly. I had time to queue and buy a ticket, even as it turned out it was not checked either to get on either trains or stations. Anyway, I settled into a seat once the train pulled in, and soon we were zipping along to Ashford where I had to change trains, with just enough time to pop into the buffet, now a Starbucks, for a Spicy Pumpkin Latte with and extra shot. Would you like extra cream with that? No, I think that is naughty enough, thanks.

Stained glass by Marc Chagall, All Saints, Tudely, Kent The train arrives, and it is lightly used, I don't quite have a carriage to myself, but it is close. We trundle through the Kentish countryside, Pluckley, Headcorn, Marden and then Paddock Wood. Tim was waiting, still beaming after a month of retirement, and he has a nice shiny new car to tootle around in. And why not?

Stained glass by Marc Chagall, All Saints, Tudely, Kent We drive for about ten minutes to Tudeley, where there is an ancient church (aren't they all?), but All Saints has a rather wonderful collection of modern stained glass. The church is open, and insode it is bright and airy, it really is a delight, as corny as that sounds. The whole church has been modernised, but done in such away the ancient fabric of the church has been kept, and yet it feels modern. I liked it to be honest. The glass is world-famous, designed and made by Marc Chagall, and is the only church in Britain completely glazed by his work.

Stained glass by Marc Chagall, All Saints, Tudely, Kent We move on to a nearby more 'traditional' chuch, but is wonderful for all that. I won't name it, as it is subject of the GWUK group, but will describe it later when I update this post.

We were talking, and Tim mentions Pembury, and I say I have never been able to get inside. Not a hint, as what with the twisting and turning in the car, I have no idea if we were next to the church or an hour away. About four miles away is the answer, would you like to try now Tim asks? Yes, I think I would.

Stained glass by Marc Chagall, All Saints, Tudely, Kent St Peter is next to a public school (I think), anyway, its not your usual run of the mill secondary modern. And even from the car park I can see the doors open, past the guy who had scatted two dozen pieces of cloth in the graveyard: don't mind me, I'm dowsing he says. We leave him to his stick waving, and go insde. There are four wardens, all busy decorating the church ready for harvest festival. I am OK to take shots, and even with the floor ankle deep in dried hops, it is a wonderful church, and the tiles are stunning, one of the best examples I have seen of Victorian tiles in the county. I get my shots again, and checking our watches we see it is five past opening time, which means beer o'clock.

Stained glass by Marc Chagall, All Saints, Tudely, Kent We drive to Tim's local, and much to my delight they have been served from wooden barrels behind the bar. I have a pint of Harvey's Best, which is splendid. We have a sandwich too, and just for QC purposes, I have a half of ESB which if anything, is better than the Harvey's. I said Tim could drop me off if he wanted, and he was OK with that. So another short drive back to Paddock Wood, and a ten minute wait for the train back to the coast. I called Jools to let her know I was on my way, and she would collect me from Folkestone.

Stained glass by Marc Chagall, All Saints, Tudely, Kent Traffic is still OK around Dover, but just in case we take the Alkham Valley back to Dover, then a nip along the A2 past Tesco to St Margaret's. We get home just before kick off time, which means I can review my shots and listen to the games on the radio. Perfect timing or what?

Sadly, City had an off day, and slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Leicester, and really did not do enough to claim anything out of the game. However, Cjhelski's stuttering start continued, as they let slip a 1-0 lead against Southampton to lose 3-1. As ever, it was everyone;s fault apart from The Chosen One's.

Stained glass by Marc Chagall, All Saints, Tudely, Kent That evening, it is crunch time for the England rugby team, as they have to beat Australia to stay in the world cup; but they were never really going to upset the odds, and despite a 2nd half fightback, they lost 33-13 and are out. That is greeted by silence.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Saturday 3rd October 2015


And this is what I am in Newcastle for; a five hour meeting at which I will be the one doing most of the talking. But before then, there is time to get ready, have breakfast and meet up with the others.

I open the curtains and am greeted by the High Level Bridge to the right with the river down below. But, no time to admire that, time for a shower, make myself look lovely (!), pack and head down to check out and have breakfast. Breakfast is a bowl of All Bran and then a small fry up, with a choice from the hot plate of what to have, but I somehow select the vegetarian sausages rather than the emulsified offal tubes I had wanted (old Yes, Prme Minster joke there). Anyway, it was all good, and as I am having my 4th coffee of the morning, the others arrive so we are on schedule.

They have a car, so are driving me to their office, which means I get to see and look at downtown Gateshead and then the stunning landscapes between Tyneside, Wearside and County Durham. Traffic into Newcastle and Sunderland is heavy, but we are travelling in the other direction, but still manage to catch each and every set of traffic lights!

We reach the office, then comes the signing in, the health and safety briefing and finally, the battle to make the visitor's wifi work. And then, Showtime!

I won't bore you with details, but I have to talk for some four hours, and I think I did ok. But the upshot is that we have finished two hours early, so I can head back down south earlier and so be home before dark, if I'm lucky.

They arrange a taxi to pick me up, and once he arrives, we swap footy stories as he drives me to Durham station. He's a Newcastle fan, and still hopeful the season can be turned round. For me, I I am also positie, saying we will always score. But also concede, but we shall see. Always good to meet another fanatic. He drops me off, and even better, someone else has picked up the tab. Walking onto the station, I see I have half an hour to wait for my train, and then comes the scramble for a seat, as my reservation is on the strain two hours later. Still, should be ok.

Waiting at Durham Anyway, after snapping a couple of trains, I take a seat in the warm sunshine and take in the air of someone who has finished for the week,a nd can now relax and enjoy the journey back home.

The train arrives, heading into the station along the mile long straight, we see it through a heat haze. There is a scamble, and once on the train we are greeted with a field of reservation tags on almost every seat. But I get a seat beside another business chap, so settle back as the train accelerates away, and hopefully, somewhere like York, there will be more folks getting off and I might get a seat to myself.

he train is crowded, but not so bad that people have to stand, and the train speeds south, stopping every half an hour or so to drop people off, pick new people up. But there are seats to spare, and I move to a window seat at York, and so can enjoy the sight of Yorkshire and then Lincolnshire slipping by. I get a sandwich and a Coke form the refreshment trolley, I let the company pay, as I'k still at work, and it tastes good. Back through Newark, Peterborough and then the final dash into London.

It is rush hour, but I know I have twenty minutes for my train at St Pancras next door, and if I time it right, I will get there as the train arrives, get a seat. Which, is pretty much as it panned out. I am sitting on the 'wrong' side, but have a window seat. I call Jools to get her to be at the station when I arrive.

Warm evening sunlight bathes the land in golden light, it is glorious, but soon enough these Indian Summer evenings will come to an end, but not quite yet. The train is full once we leave Stratford, but I can relax and close my eyes as we thunder under east London and into Essex.

Jools is waiting for me at the station, she has come from Tesco, so has fresh food for us to dine on, and as I don't feel like cooking, we have insalata caprese. Again. But it is healthy, tasty and so good. The cats fuss round us, bring is mice through the evening, even though we have only just eaten.

But that means it is the weekend. Hoorah!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Friday 2nd October 2015


And like every morning for the last week, the first day of the new month dawned with clear blue skies and an orange line on the horizon, hinting at the glory of sunrise to come. I am up and about nice and early, ready for another trip away with work, but one that this time did involve an airport.

October the first, Dover seafront Now, my train was due to leave at nine, and Jools was to leave for work at seven, so other than book another taxi, how was I to pass an hour and a half before departure time? With a camera and a good eye, easy!

As we drive down Jubilee Way, the sun was just rising above the horizon, and the light was just getting better. Jools dropped me off on the promenade, we said goodbye and she headed off for her work, and I did mine, with the camera. If only I could find a way that this paid me in beer and stuff. And Jools too of course. And the cats.

October the first, Dover seafront I walked along, snapping the old Yacht Club bathed in golden light. In the harbour the mad swimmers were already dipping their toes, and on the roads around, another working day was beginning. I walk to Newbridge, down the underpass, and then taking a diversion to snap the ongoing demolition of Burlington House, which is now reaching the chipping bits off stage. It is covered in scaffolding, and a JCB is on the roof.

I look for a place for breakfast, but all greasy spoons seem to be closed. So, the only option, other than going into the Weatherspoons with the hardened drinkers to take up their three quid breakfast offer, I take the other choice and go to Costa. I have a toasted thing, and a coffee which is not bad, I suppose, but then its no bacon and eggs is it? No indeed.

October the first, Dover seafront I walk to the station, pick up my tickets from the vending machine, and wait on the platform for the train. Which to my surprise is already waiting, so I get on board and begin to read some more of my book. Despite not getting into London until six minutes before ten, this counts as a 'peak' service, as arriving in London before ten makes it such, which seems crazy to me. But the result is that the train is more than half empty, and I have the choice of seats, which I selct one of my favourites and get ready to mentally check off the sights I enjoy all the way to London.

All change at King's Cross And the joy for me is that I am travelling all the way into London, as I have to catch my next train from King's Cross, which is just a short walk away. Anyway, soon enough we are emerging from the tunnel at St Pancras, seeing both King's Cross and St Pancras before winding our way over the canal into the station. I have over half an hour, so let the other passengers to get off first, before I gather my things and make my way to the escalators, then over to King's Cross.

I wait around, looking at the new Harry Potter shop ad the queues of people waiting to be photographed beside half a baggage trolley, as you do. I have snapped it before, but not me standing waiting to go onto Platform 9 and three quarters.

All change at King's Cross The train is called, so there is a rush to the train, even though most of us have reserved seats, something basic about wanting to get the best seats. My reservation is good and it is waiting for me, facing forward with a fine view out of the window. We pull out on time, soon vanishing into the blackness of Gasworks Tunnel, and out again, and into another, and so on until we emerge at Arsenal's new stadium near Finsbury Park, gathering speed, we rush through nameless commuter stations, gathering speed until they are just a blur. Out into the countryside, bathed in warm winter sunshine. There really is no better way to spend a working day than to watch the splendour of the English countryside, all ready for autumn, harvested and ploughed.

We stop at Peterborough and again at Newark. Newark is where my adventure in the RAF began some years ago. People get on, people get off. We move on. At some point we are in the 'north'. Probably before we reach Doncaster, which being in Yorkshire feels north anyway. We push north, into low cloud, mist and drizzle to York. I look out for the locos in the railway museum as we leave, and are back out in countryside soon enough. Darlington and Durham come and go, and just before two we chug over the Tyne and into Newcastle Central.

As we were here just a few months ago, I knew where I wanted to go, and that was to a pub that used to be advertised in Viz; The Trent House, near St Jame's Park. A brisk walk up to the Monument, cutting through the Grainger Market, and when I come out I find a barbers with no queue, so go in for a trim, thus saving me something at the weekend. I love the Geordie burr, and are so love the two ladies as they cut mine and my neighbour's hair. And I feel a stone lighter and several degrees cooler very quickly.

Now, I am hungry and thirsty: to the pub!

I had looked to where it was, and with only a minor diversion, I find it, open and with a selection of real ales. So, I order a pint of the local and a packet of crisps take a pew and watch the rugby on the telly. There is a game in Newcastle at the weekend, South Africa, and as it turns out they are staying at the same hotel I am booked in, but I did not know that at the time.

Room with a view It is four, and I have some mails to write, so I take a slow walk down Grainger Street, past the Castle and down the steep road to the Quayside. Over the low level bridge and up the hill the other side to the Hilton! I have come up in the world, or a way up the hill anyway. I have a room with river views, which are as wonderful as it sounds.

I set my computer up and finally get the wifi working, and so I can answer the urgent mails. That done, I sit on the chair beside the huge window to watch the end of the Wales game on TV, whilst outside the sun set and the sky turned pink. I was due to meet some people for dinner, but as I had not heard from them, I decided to go out to snap some scenes from the quayside, which turned out to be one of my better decisions.

I walk back down the hill and over the low level bridge, and then walk eastwards towards the blinking bridge. The sun had set, but the sky was on fire with bright oranges and pinks, perfectly reflected in the river and silhouetted by the bridges. It is breathtaking. I do pass other photographers, laden with professional lenses and tripods, but I am happy with the shots I am getting from my little 6D.

I am in danger of being run down by bands of joggers and more serious runners, it feels dangerous at times. However, I make my way down to the Millennium Bridge, which is perfectly reflected in the water, with the Baltic brightly lit behind.

Sunset on The Tyne There was just time to walk back under the Sage centre, back to the hotel in time to meet up with the customer, so finally I was able to think about something for dinner. We walk back over the river, and built into the side of a car park is a swish restaurant, we have a table booked, and thankfully, service is quick so I have a cheese and spinach souffle, which is very nice, followed by very good steak.

It is now half ten, I am pooped as usual, and thankfully are the others. We walk back past crowded and rowdy bars, young folks staggering about. But I am spent.

Back in my room, I sit and look at the High Level Bridge a few dozen metres away, all lit up. This is the life.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Wednesday 30th September 2015 (part 2)


Due to work, and some Kentish churching, then work again on Monday, time is going to be very tight the next week for blogs, so not to get too far behind, I am providing this, a bonus blog post for today, and one to round the month of September off with.

Wednesday afternoon walk to Otty Bottom Another glorious morning, a clear blue sky, and as I wake up at quarter to seven, the sun is just about to rise, once again picking out the few clouds and con trails in the sky.

Wednesday afternoon walk to Otty Bottom Jools leaves me alone with the cats, I make a second cup of coffee, have breakfast and begin the working day. I have a lot of preparation work to do for a meeting you will be hearing about at the weekend, but I will leave it there for now. The morning passes with me making several Powerpoint presentations. Outside, the sun rises and it becomes very warm again, almost like a summer day.

Wednesday afternoon walk to Otty Bottom I have the last of the rolls I made yesterday for lunch, I sit outside as I eat it, with cats around wondering what nice things I could be eating and would there be any left over for them. No.

Although I am mostly over the cold/allergy thing, I still need plenty of fresh air, so I decide to go for a walk in the afternoon.

Wednesday afternoon walk to Otty Bottom These are the salad days.

Some might call this an Indian Summer, but they would be wrong. There has been no frost as yet, so this is just a very late summer.

Wednesday afternoon walk to Otty Bottom For what seems like the past week, we have had nothing but unbroken sunshine, weather which allowed us to see the lunar eclipse two days ago, and means that I am greeted with stunning sunrises and sunsets each day.

For lunch, and even for breakfast some mornings, I can sit and eat on the patio, as what wildlife is about, insects and birds, busy themselves for the thing times ahead.

Wednesday afternoon walk to Otty Bottom I am feeling much better after the triple whammy of a cold, allergy attack and migraines of the weekend. But, I have a chesty cough, and to make the poor breathing easier, I need fresh air. So, after the busy part of the day passed, I took myself out for a walk.

Wednesday afternoon walk to Otty Bottom It did look like summer, but the hedgerows are full of berries, and the fields have mostly been harvested, ploughed and re-seeded. The year presses on, and the farmer's work is never done.

I walk across the now empty fields, the dried beans have been collected, and now the fields await their next crop. After much heavy rain, but none for over a week, the ground is quickly drying out, but where farm machinery has struggled up steep tracks, chalk has been turned into white mud. Walking is tricky, but with careful footwork, it is passable.

Wednesday afternoon walk to Otty Bottom With the fields now mostly empty, I stop at the top of Otty Bottom Road, I mull over whether to walk to the cliffs, but I am happy with what I have done, so turn for home, with a few tasks yet to do, and maybe a treat of a bottle of porter once I get inside.

The day fades, and I begin to prepare dinner; roasted vegetables and chicken kievs. All very nice stuff and lots and lots of garlic. So, no vampires will be calling here tonight. I pack my bag for tomorrow, and once Jools arrives home, I dish up dinner, and with a couple of generous glasses of red form the box of wine that fell onto the trolley at the weekend. All was set now for a quiet evening of laughing at English clubs in Europe before an early night.

Wednesday 30th September 2015


As always, the start of a new day is always much better after something close to ten hours great sleep. Outside, there is a glorious sunrise, with orange on the horizon, and the few flecks of clouds and contrails already lit by the sun which was still below the horizon. Jools had got up without disturbing me, and came in with a mug of fresh coffee. Yes, I felt better, altough my chest was full of crap and I easily was out of breath, but I did feel human again.

She is ready for work, I am not. My head is full of wool, but in a good way that comes after a fine night's sleep, even if you are hemmed in my slumbering cats. She leaves, so I go downstairs, check on the interwebs to see if mankind is still doomed. It is, but no more than the day before. Not for the first time that day, a cats says meow.

I make another coffee, have breakfast and begin the day of catch up, as I lost five hours the day before. Thankkfully, the sky was not falling in there either, and within a couple of hours I was all up to day, and had time to do the first task of the day: make a pan of soup. Making it up as I went along, I sweated some onions and garlic, cut up half a butternut squash, added two pints of stock, whisked it up when the squash was soft, and i have a bowl of soup. It even tasted good, which is always nice.

Sloe Gin To go with the soup, I made some poppy seed rolls, and left them to rise.

And after the final meeting ended at half two, I got on with making the second Christmas cake of the week. It has been a year since I made one, but I think I remember how. Even if it comes out wrong, who cars? CAKE! And once all was mixed in and the mixture poured into a double lines tin, popped int he ovem and the smell of the all spice filled the house. Soon mixed in with the smell of the cooking rolls too. How clever I am said Jelltex, how cleaver am I?

Christmas Cake Indeed.

I even had time to squeeze in a little bit of shed repairs, as the roof is always problematic. Jools had bought some skyhooks, or something, and this drilled through the roof, attached the roof firmly to the shed. It might even last the winter. Stranger things have happened.

I warmed the soup through, buttered a couple of the rolls, and dinner was ready when Jools came home, and very nice it was too. The cake was ready at half seven, and I left that in the oven to cool over night.

I listened to the football on the radio, not expecting much entertainment, but with Arsenal ending up losing 3-2 to Olympiakos, and Chelski losing ay Porto, there is now a crisis in the Prem, apparently. NOne too soon saythe rest of us. Jools and I crack jokes through the second half, as Arse get ever more desperate, and concede within a minute of equalising. Now, that is funny, right? Jools begs the radio to be switched off as the inquests begin, and Mr Angry of Tonbridge Wells rings in to offer his point of view. I smile my way to bed. As you do.

One last thing to say is that this was the day of the mouse. Or mice. Two dead mice in the morning, Molly brought in two during the day. And in the evening I managed to catch two more in the humane trap, and another one over night. Now, I thought that cats were supposed to keep the house from being mouse-free, not, as it turned out, cats bring the mice in, and me, the human, do the mouse catching, putting them outside. No?

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Tuesday 29th September 2015


We had plan to get up at three in the morning, to see the lunar eclipse. However, as soon as I went to bed, I began to have trouble breathing, it was what happened in the theatre some hours before. I laid there tossing and turning for two hours or more, before I just gave up. The cats omn the bed must have been glad when I got up, as I was keeping them from sleeping.

I went outside at half twelve to look at the full moon, it was wonderful and bright, what would the eclipse look like, I thought. At quarter past two, the eclipse began, I went outside to look, it was if someone had rubbed out a corner of the moon. As time went on more and more of the moon vanished: it was like watching two week's worth of moon phases in an hour.

2015 Lunar Eclipse As time got to nearer three, the moon had almost completely vanished, hidden behind the silver sliver was a red ball.

Jools got up at three, and we both went out into the garden to watch totality; it would last over half an hour, so I had plenty of time for shots, as I had my tripod out there.

So, I get my shots, none are that good, and I am disappointed. And tired.

2015 Lunar Eclipse We go back to bed, and I manage to get three hours sleep, but I am back awake before half six, meaning less than three hours sleep. I have a wooly head, and am seeing flashes in my vision, I fear it is another migraine coming. I have meetings and mails to attend to, but it was clear with how I felt that I could not spend the whole day in front of the computer. I put an out of office massage out just before twelve and take to my bed. Sleep would not come, I toss and turn, but after taking the stronger anti-allergy pill, breathing was OK.

The weather was good enough to sit outside, so I do for a while until the sun began to sink in the west and behind the house next door. It was getting chilly, and I felt like death.

I cook burgers for dinner, which was all I could think of as I had forgotten to get anything else out anyway, but then there is always the chippy I suppose.

I called it a night at eight, went to bed to listen to the first half of the football before switching it off and trying to sleep. I hoped tomorrow would be better!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Monday 28th September 2015


It seems my claim made in yesterday's post that I have been allergy free pretty much the whole year was perhaps a tad premature. However, my words as describing where a cold ends and allergy begins is a tricky one, even for me. What I can say is that for the most part of yesterday, I had a cold, but after some lawn mowing action, it seemed I touched my eye which still had some dusk/grass seed/who knows what on the top of the engine: the upshot was a badly bloodshot eye, and within an hour, a mighty sneezing bout which should have told me what it was, but by that time we were away from home where my drugs of choice are kept.

Foraging for Sloes This is miles away from the bright and glorious morning when I awoke after some six hours sleep, much better rested than I should have been, but then I was still riddled with cold/flu. We had coffee. I watched the recording of the football. All seemed well, I even felt fine enough to go for a walk. It is the beginning of autumn, and there is fruit to gather, this time it was sloes. Sloes for Sloe Gin. The recipe calls for three ingredients: sloes, gin and sugar. Sloes grow wildly around here, and not many people pick them, so having noted where the best bushes are, we set off just after nine with bags and walking stick for gathering.

Foraging for Sloes Along the lane at the end of the street to just before the pig's copse, then doubling back along the cross-field path down the dip to the farm. Through two hedges, back up the other side to the hedges that surround the farm. And sure enough there were many, many sloes. Although small in size, many were already going over or had burst. So we started to collect, and soon had a couple of pounds.

Back down the dip and back up to our street, where once home we had to go to the attic again to look for more demijohns, as we would be distilling, although that is not the right word, instead of bottles this year. On her way back from seeing Nan, Jools collected another bag of sloes from the layby at Westcliffe, so we had more than enough, or so we thought. She had also been to Tesco for the gin supply, five bottles. Along with a bottle of washing up liquid might be one of the odder shopping trips.

Foraging for Sloes After lunch, Jools went to see Nan again, leaving with with six pounds of sloes and a sharp stick to prick them with. Minutes stretched into an hour; Jools came back, helped me finish the last bag, pour them into the demijohn. Nearly full. And once we poured in two and a half litres of gin, half a kilo of sugar, it was full. Perfect. Now to shake vigorously. Shake some more. And job doone, until tomorrow when we would have to shake again. And every day for a month, to ensure the juice is coming out of the fruit.

After a lengthy break, I am felling OK, so decide to mow the back lawn, and it was after this that I rubbed my eye and so began the whole allergic reaction thing. I washed my face, but that wasn'ty going to be enough, or at least I can say that in hindsight. We climbed into the car and drove to Canterbury. Again. Second time in two days, this time for a show.

Henning Wehn is German, and a comedian, and thankfully is very funny, this would be the third time we had seen him. We have seen him go from the 50 in Deal a few years back, to the couple of hundred at Folkestone, and now 1100 at the Marlow. And beforehand we thought we would eat out.

We drove into the City, found a parking space fairly near the centre, and being charged six quid for four hours of parking seemed very steep to us, only made possible by paying with a card. I mean, shouldn't these things be free once the shops have closed??

A short walk away was a nice Moorish restaurant we have been to before, and they have a table for two. We have a starter of Moorish Tapas, followed by a pan of seafood paella to share. We did to hold the squid, but some did still were mixed in with the rice. Now in the interests of being adventurous, I did try some baby squid/octopus, and although it is clearly not as unpleasant as kidney, it was something I could live without eating again, so left anything else that looked squid or octopus-like.

It was whilst we were waiting for our food that the sneezing really began, and once we were to leave I was fully blocked up, and not enjoying things very much at all.

On the way to the theatre, the full moon rose huge above the city. It looked amazing, and wish I could get a shot of it above the city. I took a few street shots, but we needed to get to our seats, or so we thought. Our seat was upstairs, which meant I could get the shot I wanted of the moon, if I could get close enough to the window to avoid reflections. We took our seat, the heat inside was incredible, and this served to trigger something in my sinuses to close whatever small gap I had been able to breath through up to this point. Maybe I should have given up at that point, but I decided to see it through, although it really wasn't the best of evenings for me, even if the show was very funny indeed.

Full moon over Canterbury The show ended at twenty to ten, we walked back through the almost deserted streets back to the car park, and then back home. Above us the full moon rose higher, and looking larger than normal. It was getting lose to be bright enough to be almost daylight.

Later that night, there would be a full lunar eclipse, we hoped to wake up to see it, but as things turned out, I would not sleep at all, so I wasn't going to miss it either way!