Saturday, 31 October 2015

Saturday 31st October 2015


I can't explain how I know that an allergy attack is coming. But I do. I woke up at four, being able to breathe clearly, no rattle, no sniffs. And yet I knew it was coming. In half an hour I beagn to sniff, and once up and down in the kitchen feeding the cats, the sneezing started. Here we bloody go again. And it was all my fault. I think. Having been allergy free for a few days, when I had a shower the night before, I spayed deodorant on rather than use the roll on stuff.

I thank that is the reason, but it is only a guess. I think that the scent accumulates under the duvet, and as I sleep, the duvet funnels the fumes to my nose. It seems to fit what happens. I take drugs, but at least I can lollygag around all day wit hit being the final day of our holiday.

Autumnal Dawn We talk about what we are going to do with the garden, we have a bag of bulbs to plant, and a whole load of plans what to do with them, but with my sneezing and sniffing, and like a zombie from lack of sleep, it was clear I did not feel like gardening that day, so we put it off for another tomorrow.

In a not so surprising move, I have enough about me to listen to the radio and edit photographs. Well, you're not that surprised really, are you? The morning passes, we have cheese and crackers. In fact we have cheese and crackers at ten past ten. I have wine and Jools has cider. Probably too early, but it felt good to be drinking wine at that hour. Something felt good, other than how shitty and low I was in myself.

More of the same in the afternoon, although I bake shortcakes, which we have soon as they are cool enough to eat.

Autumnal Dawn My friend Gary and his wife came round at half three. It is good to see them again, we have more tea and cake with them.

The day is gone, with the Steve Lamaq show on the radio, I cook breaded pork for dinner, which we both have more booze: Old Crafty Hen for me, it is perfect, with the lentil dahl and sweetcorn, plenty of fibre and fire from the lentils.

At some point in the evening, the allergy just fades away. It takes some time for me to notice, but it had gone. his would mean I would sleep well and feel human again in the morning. I hope.

Friday 30th October 2015


In contrast to the miserable weather of the previous day, Thursday dawned clear and bright. Typical as I was to go home later that morning. I had failed to clean my teeth the night before, therefore it took me some time to realise it was from my mouth that the smell was coming from. Urgh! I showered, cleaned my teeth Cleaned them again, then dressed and after listening to the radio for half an hour, it was the smell of bacon cooking that enticed me down the stairs for breakfast.

Breakfast was the usual mix of cereal and fry up (no egg) and a couple of small cups of coffee. Enough to fire me up for the day ahead. I go back to my room, clean my teeth again, pack and am ready for the scramble for seats on the train. For reasons I have now forgotten, I have decided to book myself on the ten o'clock train, which gives me 90 minutes to waste on the station. I tried to get on an earlier train, but there was no chance, but was assured my seat reservation would be good.

With the latest in the never-ending FIFA revelations, this one being that the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were decided before the vote was made, I thought I would buy a newspaper to read some background on the story, as the BBC seems now to be the audio version of a tabloid. I bought the Guardian, and read a few stories, and by the time I am done, there is just 20 minutes before departure time. I had hoped to snap the class 37s, but the centre platforms remained empty, well, empty of locomotives anyhow. I join the crowd waiting at the end of the platform, ready for the barriers to be lifted.

There was the usual rush for seats, but with most of us with reserved seats, we all made our way to our allocated seats, me having a bloody pillar blocking my view, but the large window stretches away, I could see a lot of the passing countryside. It continues to surprise me to see how few people now look out of the windows when they are travelling by train. Most have their eyes on a phone or tablet, so the golden autumnal sights went unseen by most. But not by me.

As we go back down the line to London, we stop at the same station as on the way up, picking up more and more passengers, but despite it being half term, there seems to be seats for everyone. Saying that, we were running more and more behind schedule, three minutes by the time we leave Diss, nine my the time we leave Ipswich and over 15 minutes late by the time we arrive in London. I am not in too much of a hurry, and Jools was to meet me in the concourse, as there was a church with my name on it I wanted to visit. Well, not my name, but St Benet's.

St Benet's Paul's Wharf, City of London I find Jools and then we make our way down the steps to the Underground station to catch a Circle Line train to Blackfriars. It was busy, but we squeeze on the train. Jools had been in London since seven, wandering around the deserted Docklands before traveling to several bead shops. And Jools was now pooped, and decided to wait on the train station, whilst I walked the couple of hundred yards to the church.

Some City churches seem to be open, if not all the time, then frequently. But others rarely seem to open their doors to visitors. Then there are those who seemingly don't want anyone to see inside their wonderful buildings. Which is more than a shame, really. These houses of God should be for everyone, not just the custodians.

St Benet's Paul's Wharf, City of London Saying that, I must take another opportunity to thank The Friends of the City churches, and the time given by their volunteers who give up their time to ensure that these are open at least one day a week.

So, in the past two years, I think I have visited all of the churches that they are keyholders for, and so without this fine organisation, I would not have seen inside many of them.

St Benet's is open between 11:00 and 15:00 on Thursdays, and despite wondering whether it would be open as advertised, the greeters assured me it is open each and every Thursday.

St Benet's Paul's Wharf, City of London St Benet's is unique in that I think I am right in saying that it is the only City Wren church that survived the Blitz undamaged. In which case, Wren would reconise this church, over all others he helped rebuild after the great fire in 1666.

It is now situated tucked in the corner of an off ramp of Queen Victoria Street, and the pedestrian has to walk through an unwelcoming subway to get to the door, which on this occasion was open.

I was greeted warmly, and given a tour of the history of the church, plus tips on visiting other churches. A wonderful visit and a fine church.

St Benet's Paul's Wharf, City of London I walk back to Blackfriars, and as I climb up to the platform, there is a train waiting, so we dash onto another Thameslink service to St Pancras, and if we were lucky, we would make the twenty to two train, so be home by three. As on Sunday, it rattled under the City, then up through Clerkenwell and into St Pancras. Another dash up to the Southeastern platforms, onto platform 12 and into a carriage, even getting seas round a table on the right side of the train. I was pooped too.

St Benet's Paul's Wharf, City of London Well, you know the journey back to Dover by now, the countryside looked glorious in the afternoon sunshine. But I felt my eyes drooping.

Once in Dover, we climb into the car and I drive us up Jubilee Way and then along the Deal Road to home. Despite Jools having been out since half four, no cats were waiting for us. I asked if there had been many animals brought in for her whilst I was away: apparently not. Anyway, we have coffee and some chocolate. And I get the chance to review my shots from the three days away, 990 shots, a few not good, but the rest fine. So begins the task of editing and posting.

I put the radio on, and the afternoon passes. One by one the cats come in, and Molly brings me a dead mouse. Bless. She missed me! We have Chinese for dinner, which means no cooking for me of course, which is fine with my tired feet. It comes as no surprise to find we are snoozing whilst watching TV after nine, so we give up and go to bed. Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Thursday 29th October 2015


As is the way with me, a lot of the shots I would like to post, and places I visited are under embargo thanks to GWUK. But for those of you who partake in that group, some of how I describe the places as yet unguessed might help you. Otherwise, it might not.

I woke at just before six, not sure of the time as I had no clock. But I lay there, thought I could hear some traffic and life outside, so thought it must be near to getting up time. I check, and it is five past six. I am in no hurry, so put the TV to a radio station to check up on all the latest news and sports headlines. The once it started to repeat itself, I switched to BBC 6 and chilled out to the sound of the good music.

At seven I get up and have a shower and once out and drying myself off, I can smell bacon cooking rising up from the kitchen below. Yes, I believe I could do with a good breakfast. Downstairs I have some cereal and the fry up, holding the eggs as I did not want to have to dash. Topped off with toast and coffee, it is a great way to start the day.

By eight I am ready to go, and did not feel like kicking my heels in my room for an hour or so. So I call my friend to say I walk into the city and meet them at the Catholic Cathedral near to where they live. As soon as I go outside, I can feel drops of rain on my face, and by the time I am at the station it is falling steadily. I pack the camera away, and walk on to the Riverside development, where the names of most of the bars and eateries have changed, lets hope they do better than the previous incarnations.

Chapelfield Gardens Over the Novi Sad bridge into King Street, past Dragon Hall and numerous wonderful old buildings and yet more churches. At one point Norwich had 52 of them, and 365 pubs! so, something for everyone.

I reach the cathedral, and with the rain falling very hard and me soaked to the skin, I take shelter in the porch and wait.

Sarah and Richard arrive in their car, thus saving me from getting any damper at least. Are we in the mood for some serious churching? I believe we are.

Chapelfield Gardens We take a long drive along winding lanes and through small villages to our first church, a magnificent building, standing almost alone at the edge of a field. Salle is a wonderful church, some say the best in Norfolk. Tat I don't know, but it is a grand church, filled with monuments. We go about our business, snapping away. There are painted panels, chapes above doorways, monuments and a stunning font cover, and with it's suspension arm still in place.

St Michael and All Angels, Booton, Norfolk After visiting another church, we make our way to Booton. I am told that this is something special, after the delights already seen that morning, it would have to be. And indeed it was. Booton church seems to stand alone with no other buildings around, just beside a quiet lane. It is a barking mad Gothic Victorian church, almost Pugin-esque in its perfection, no expense had been spared to its gothicness. It has wonderful glass, and a small army of carved wooden angels hanging from the ceiling.

St Michael and All Angels, Booton, Norfolk It is also a very large church, well for a village with no houses visible. Only problem for the photographer weas the single spotlight illuminating the interior, casting strong shadows in some parts, bleaching other out elsewhere. But we all try to get our shots, which one hopes will come out well.

St Michael and All Angels, Booton, Norfolk Just before lunch we drive half an hour to the next church, another large church in a very rural setting. Elsing was once thought to be dying as the 20th century encroached, but with the coming of the affordable motor car, it got a second wind, and even the pub is going strong. And that is beside the entrance to the churchyard, like in all well thought out villages.

We had come here to see an ancient brass, depicting a 14th century Knight, but it has been places in a protective case and a viewing must be arranged in advance. But there is a copy leaning against one of the walls, which shows detail better than the original.

Back outside we ponder the village pub, and decide to try there for lunch. Inside it is very welcoming, with a roaring fire and friendly landlady who is more than happy to arrange food. I have three bean chilli, which has many more than that, and is spicy enough to tingle the tongue. And the Woodforde's beer is splendid. I have a second pint to make sure, as I wasn't driving.

We do more churches in the afternoon, until three, when the light began to fade: so we drive back to Norwich where I am plied with coffee and scones, which usually means I will agree with anything they suggest.

Dusk is falling when I take my leave, volunteering to walk back into the city rather than them give me a lift through the thick traffic. The beer festival is open again, but I decide to try somewhere else. Overlooking the market is the Sir Garnet Woolsey, a fine old pub, named after a Victorian politician who railed against building the Channel Tunnel left those pesky French might sneak an attack through it. I won't hold that against him, especially as they have Adnam's Old on draft, which was rather good I have to say. I stay for two, and people watch. One couple, she a slim young lady, and he a cigar smoking middle aged gentleman, seemed to be having a fine time, supping pints of lager outside. She must have been cold in that mini skirt though. I am tempted to stay for the second thanks to the in pub hifi pumping out old Tom Tom Club and Donna Summer tunes, which seemed very good at that moment.

I walk back via The Murderer's, another pub, and another pub having a beer festival. I sit down to read some more, then the TV is put on so some of the others could watch the Liverpool game. I stay long enough to see Liverpool score what turned out to be the winner before draining my glass and walking out.

Down Rose Lane, I find myself drawn into KFC for a set meal. Its rubbish food, but at that point I really didn't care.

Back in my hotel room I listen to more football, that Liverpool game, but fall asleep just before the end of game, waking up at midnight in time to switch the TV off and go back to sleep.

As you do.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Wednesday 28th October 2015


Beer Festival day

It is that time of the year when I take my sorry ass back up to Norfolk for some beer drinking. And I thought I deserved it this year, but as ever as the day approached I wished for a few quiet days instead, but I knew as well as beer, there would be visiting friends and visiting churches too. But with a train at nine, I have more than enough time to faff around, pack and drink too much coffee. As you do.

So, at half eight Jools takes me to Dover Priory, I have my ticket and a first class reservation, which seeing as most trains from Dover only have the one standard class is pretty pointless. However, I am told I have to travel on my booked train, which does have first class to Ashford, but then change onto a very busy service, the first off peak one, to Stratford.

So, I get on the front carriage, walk to the front compartment, and here I am swanking it about in first class. Only the seat is about the most uncomfortable one I have been in on a train, as the support for the tiny table is digging in my left knee. And you pay extra for this shit? But I am going to see through the pain, I paid for this luxury! We rattle along through Folkestone, stopping at both stations there, then again at Sandling and Westenhanger, where no one gets on. Or anyone I can see anyway.

375301 At Ashford it is the usual scramble as hundreds of people are trying to get on the first cheap train of the day, but at least a second set of six carriages are put on so there seems to be seating for all. But with the second half arriving 5 minutes late, then getting delayed on the run into London, I begin to stress that I would miss my connecting train. By the time we arrive in Stratford, I have 20 minutes, or less even, to get to the regional station, which is either a one stop ride on the DLR, but could mean an eight minute wait for a train, or rush through the shopping centre.

Pretendalino I am confronted by a horde of dimwitted twerks who either dawdle in front of me, or are writing texts as they walk and not looking where they are going. I think of headbutting one woman who walks right into me and hardly notices the fact. I make my way over the wide footbridge, go through the barriers and am in the station. Along the busy passageway under the platforms to platform 10A, and I had made it with four minutes to spare.

The train glides in. Or rattles in, the class 82 driving trailer and nine mk3 carriages with the class 91 loco on the back. And I have a reserved seat in first class, near the back. I should not have worried as there are loads of seats in first, so slump into single seat with a table and a fine window seat on the right hand side of the train.

It is a 90 minute trip up the main line, with stops at Chelmsford, Colchester, Mannintree, Ipswich, Stowmarket and Diss before arriving in Norwich at the turn of 1957. I jest, but Norwich is a different place, as the end of a long bad road from London, and at the end of a very under-invested line from Liverpool Street. The landscape changes slowly as the train passes through Essex into Suffolk and just before Diss into Norfolk. Trees seem to be changing colour all at the same time, and as the sun breaks through, the trees seem to burst into flame. Being a first class passenger, I get free coffee and biscuits, which is nice.

We roll into Norwich, just about on time, which is rare on this line I guess. I am in no hurry, so let the others in the carriage get off before me. I can hear the growl of a Type 3 in the platform next to my train, and I plan to get to the concourse to snap it, I had toyed with the idea of climbing back on the train to snap it through the window of the train. I thought better of it, but I am then disappointed aand yet thrilled at the noise as the 37 pulled away from the buffers and the engines echoing off the tranished. By the time I get to the concourse, all there is left is a haze of blue smoke. Darn, missed them.

I have my cameras in the rucksack and a small bag with a change of clothing and other bits and pieces. I go to my hotel just down from the station, hoping to drop the small bag off, but there is no one in. So, I would have to take the bag with me. Now, I had decided to go to the festival on the 2nd day rather than the first, so I could make the last two hours of the afternoon session. So I walk up Prince of Wales Road then up through Tombland to St Andrew's Hall. And for a change, there is no queue.

The 38th Norwich Beer Festival I walk up to the entrance, flash my CAMRA membership card, get in, buy some tokens and a glass, then head for the first stillage to decide on my first drink: Moulton's Mild. It is deep dark brown and has a fine nutty flavour. Perfect. However, with my two bags and the crowds, it is hard to get round easily. So I limit myself to a few visits, a couple of porters, and a couple of over-hopped beers, and then they call time at half two. Not bad, eithet two or two and a half pints, and a fine hand made pork pie to take the edge of my hunger. Lovely.

The 38th Norwich Beer Festival I walk back up the hill to the market place, and decide I need a pasty. I remember there is a pasty place along Gentleman's Walk, and indeed there is, and they have a fresh batch just out of the oven, along with a gingerbread latte it is splendid, and looking at the people walking by. The well dressed teens and the yokel in cords held up with knotted string. Normal for Norfolk.

I walk back down Prince of Wales Road then along Riverside to the hotel. I check in and am shown to my room. The heating is on full and the window closed. It is like a sauna. Once alone, I turn the radiators off and open the windows wide and lay on the bed to cool down. I fall asleep.

Pulls Ferry I wake up with my mobile ringing. I struggle to remember how to answer it. I make plans for tomorrow, then get ready for the evening ahead. I think a walk past some of Norwich's finest buildings. Up Riverside is PUll's Ferry: lit up well, an building with a vault over a landing stage, when this was one of the few ways over the river, but now a private house by fine symbol of Norwich. Along is the ancient Bishop's Bridge, also lit up and ripe for snapping.

I cross the bridge heading to the cathedral and the close, which I hope will be open. Indeed the gate at the start of the footpath is open, so I walk through and have the whole close just about to myself. I take shots, hoping they will come out.

Bishop Bridge, Norwich Out through the impressive gate then down to the start of Elm Hill, and ancient cobbled streets lines with half timbered houses and shops. It is as glorious as it sounds.

Pastht e raucus noise coming out of St Andrews Hall where the evening session of the festival was in full swing. But I go past it, walk up across the main road, up more narrow cobbles lanes to Pottergate where the old Inn there, now called The Birdcage was having a beer festival too, and opposite the chippy was doing posh food. However, I have just battered sausage and chips, then go into the pub for a pint of golden ale. I had bought a book at the football club in the afternoon, so I spend half an hour sipping the beer and reading, raising my eyes to people watch as people come and go. Its cheap entertainment.

With the one pint, I decide I have had enough, and if I go back to the hotel I can listen to the football on the radio. So, back along near-deserted streets and back down the hill to the river where the hotel was. City were playing Everton in the League cup, and ended up losing on penalties, shich is always the way. But an improved performance by all accounts. However, Arsenal lost to Sheffield Wednesday, 3-0, which made me chuckle at the faces old whiner would be pulling.

Tuesday 27th October 2015


Being on holiday, it would be expected to lay in bed until if not after eight, then until it is light. But of course, the lights having gone back the day before, daylight was now abroad before half six. The cats were hungry, we needed coffee, so why not get up?

After watching the previous day's MOTD, what with all the upsets and stories. That done, we have the last of the bacon and time to get the serious stuff out of the way: the garden.

Monty told us on Friday that we should be preparing the garden for winter, and so we pulled on our old boots, raggedy jumpers, and went outside to spread mulch on the flower beds, do some last minute weeding and plant yet more bulbs. And by lunchtime, we were done. That is pretty much the major job of the week done. six more days to fill! But I will full them, oh yes.

In the afternoon we went to visit the old folks up at Whitfield, and what a dispiriting experience it was. Dad sat in the conservatory smoking and watching TV, and Jen was all a blur doing jobs around the house. Her Mum was in her onsie watching the racing on the huge TV in the living room. Talking to Jools; Dad is a bit like talking to my Mother, nothing seems to engage: we tried to explain what we did on Sunday, up in London. Art seemed not to interest him, and as for revisiting history, he could see no point in it at all. And yet I have seen him spending hours watching war documentaries on TV. Oh well.

It was a relief to leave, frankly.

Through Autumn's golden gown we used to kick our way We stop off at Kearsney Abbey on the way home for a walk, and to see the wonderful autumnal colours of the trees in the stunning late afternoon sunshine. I take a few shots, but really just being there to take it all in like a fine wine was wonderful.

Through Autumn's golden gown we used to kick our way Back home I get down to cooking: roast lamb and the trimmings, whilst I have the radio on burbling away. Yes, a Sunday roast on a Monday: that's how we roll. Night falls outside just after four, and the fat old yellow moon rises over the valley the other side, all full and bright.

We ate at six, tidied up. And that was that, the day done, and we with nothing to do. Other than our hobbies and passions. Our time in the house enlivened by cats bringing in parts of mice, of living mice. Not sure what was worse, but the live mice were recaptured and released outside.

We go to bed at half nine, as I have a big day on Tuesday. So with the moon shining above, we climb the wooden hill.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Monday 26th October 2015


With the clocks going back, it should have resulted in us having an extra hour in bed. But what with one thing and another, the time on the clock alarm was not changed, so when it went off at what was hoped, six of the AM, it was in fact just five. We laid in bed for a while, but in the end we decided some coffee was needed before the day really began.

Arrival Back in April I had booked tickets for a tour of a bomb shelter in south London. And with that in the bag, I also booked tickets for an art exhibition in Dulwich.

The sun rose into an almost blue sky, casting wonderful golden light on the leaves that had already turned to gold and red. Is there really a better time to be out and about? I think not.

We caught the first train out of Martin Mill, 07:35, which did give me chance to laugh at Chelski on MOTD, not only losing, but having a player, the assistant manager and Jose sent off too. Being such a dreadful loser, Jose failed to speak to anyone after the game, as is the way. Ho hum, put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

The train was sparsely populated, so we got a table seat on the left side of the train, so to have the best views as we traveled up to London: the views over Dover as we came out of Guston tunnel, Shakespeare Beach, the Harbour Branch at Folkestone, views over the Medway and the bridge at Thurrock. All ticks in the box to mark off as we got nearer and nearer to London. Then down into the tunnel under East London to Stratford then St Pancras.

Platform A At St Pancras we needed to catch a Thameslink train. Now I knew there was such a thing as Thameslink, and it stopped at St Pancras, but I had no idea where the platforms were. I had seen a sign for platforms A and B last time I was there, so should not be hard, right? Right as it turned out, as we followed the signs to under the Midland Mainline platforms, down the escalator to what is very much the fairy-tale line, on which you can travel from Bedford to Brighton, but the trains are old, the lines twists and turns. But for now, for me it was a new experience, a new line and a new train.

Leafy West Dulwich The train arrived after a 5 minute wait, we got on and sat there. There were no announcements, no matrix signs inside to tell us of the next station or where it would be calling. The line twisted and turned past the old Kings Cross station with dire warnings not to alight there: we got glimpses of sky, but mostly it was through tunnels to Farringdon, City Thameslink and Blackfriars. At Blackfriars we sat at the platform for 5 monutes, but at least we had fine views east down the river to The City, even if the view is blighted by those dreadful new buildings. On we went, through Elephand and Castle, Loughborough Junction to Herne Hill, where we had to change. A 20 minute wait for the service to Wimbledon, but we were going just the one stop to West Dulwich.

Leafy West Dulwich I know little of the south London suburbs, and Dulwich I may have driven through once before. But it is glorious, all parks and leafy avenues and grand houses. It really was a very pleasant place indeed. We made our way from the station to the gallery, along those avenues, kicking our way though drifts of dried golden leaves.

We had tickets to see an exhibition of work by MC Escher, a Dutch artist who has fascinated me since High School. This was the first time his work has been on display in Britain, and we had tickets! Oh lucky us. We got in early, so we could make the next appointment. Anyway, to see his work in the flesh, as it were, was just amazing. No matter how many books, posters or prints you see, nothing prepares you for how wonderful the original works are. His work on perspective was groundbreaking, and has affected me since I first saw it back in school over 35 years ago.

The Amazing World And the gallery was not crowded, so we got to see the works without having to crowd round with others. A perfect morning, really.

Next, we had to get across London to Clapham, also south of the river, but this involved three trains, but we should have more than enough time. We had to wait 20 minutes for a train to Brixton, and there was me thinking it would be like the one we arrived on, empty! No, seems like all of south east London was heading into the city. On this train! We just got on, but at least we did, unlike some who got left behind and had an half hour wait for the next one.

Off at Brixton, where the tube station was not where it should have been, at the railway station. In the end, I had to ask, it was just round the corner, but to be in Brixton, with its mix of peoples and cultures from around the world, makes me want to return to explore more.

Clapham South Deep Shelter Down back into the Underground onto the Victoria Line and then the Northern Line and down through various Claphams to South.

During the war a series of deep underground shelters were planned and many were built, and one of these was Clapham South, which survives pretty much intact. Since the war it was used as a hostel, barracks and a hotel. Until finally due to safety concerns it was turned into document storage. But most of the fixtures and fittings are from the war, thousands of bunk beds survive, as to all the signs on the walls. It is an incredible thing. Just one problem, it is 120 feet underground, 180 steps down. But that does mean, of course, at the end of the visit it is 180 steps back up.

Clapham South Deep Shelter The tour was very good, taking through the building, the war and post war years, we learned much. Why do it? My father-in-law does not understand a lot of what we do, but then it is to learn, to understand, and one hopes not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Clapham South Deep Shelter We do manage the climb back up to street level: it is quarter to two, we could make it back to St Pancras and catch the quarter to three train back. And the Northern Line is a direct trip with no changes. At least back onto the tube means an escalator rather than steps. A twenty minute trip to St Pancras, a walk along the passageway to the Southeastern platofrms. Up two escalators, and our train is waiting all ready.

We slip out of London on time, and are soon whizzing through Essex in warm late afternoon golden sunshine. Into Kent, and with the sun setting way down in the west, it was time to be home. It was dusk when we climbed into the car at Martin Mill, and with just a two minute drive up the hill to Chez Jelltex. The cats were waiting, and I had managed to get home just to hear the whole of the late game on the radio. We have a coffee and a bun, and decide to skip roast dinner and have cheese and crackers instead. And wine. I have found that it is easy to drink glass after glass of wine when its from a box rather than a bottle. I have a glass or two too many, but that is OK, no work on the morrow.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Sunday 25th October 2015

Midpoint between my birthday and Christmas. Just so you know.


Despite it being the first day of the holiday, we find ourselves laying awake waiting for dawn to come. It would have been a long wait, so after the news at six, we get up, feed the cats and make coffee. And then we have no choice but to go shopping, as we were out of milk. So, we make a list of stuff and set off for Tesco at the crack of down, so we can just through it as quickly as possible.

Needless to say it is full of Halloween stuff. Fireworks. And aisles and aisles of Christmas stuff. Bah, humbug! We go round, ticking stuff off the list, and soon enough the trolley is overflowing with stuff: do we need all this stuff? I guess so.

But by eight, we have loaded the car and are on the way home as more and more people are arriving. At least we don't have to do that for another week!

During the week, Jools is out of the house all of the day. And I am in the house all of the day. Which means comes the weekend, I want to go out and she wants to stay in, especially when the weather is crappy. With a morning of church chasing ahead, I say I will go and Jools can stay at home; we will spend all of Sunday together anyway. So it is agreed, I will do the church chasing, and Jools will stay home and bead.

I have a list of churches, the other side of Canterbury. And with a vague plan, I load the car, put 6 Music on the radio, and with the music pounding away, off I go. I arrived at the parish church of Boughton under Blean , I pulled up outside the Lych Gate, and was in the process of getting my gear out of the boot: are you lost asked a passing motorist. No, I am here visiting the church, take some pictures.

Would you like to go inside, he asks, I have the key here?

What luck for me. I said I would of course. So he parks up and he and his wife open the church up for me, and accompany me round as I take my shots, giving me the history of the church, interesting things to notice, and we swap thoughts on nearby churches. All in all a glorious visit.

St Cosmus and St Damian, Blean, Kent From there it was a short drive along narrow lanes to the village of Selling, and a church I thought I had visited, but as it turned out, I had not. But I had received a tip off that it was now unlocked, at least through the day, and once finding a sign pointing to the church, I drove up and found a massive, for Kent, village church with a wide graveyard. And indeed the door was unlcoed, and inside I went. No warm welcome here, just a fine rural church. It is a typical two cell church, but with some nice glass and hanging on the wall, a set of Maundy Money presented to a member of the congregation a decade or so ago.

The third church is Blean, just north of Canterbury. Blean has the main Whitstable to Canterbury road pass through it, and is a collection of fairly modern buildings, so no thought of an ancient church had entered my mind until I looked in my books that morning. But Ss. Cosmus and Damian is ancient, and set in the middle what was some kind of castle with the remains of a moat. The church is 12th century, and unusual enough to get the huices flowing, and has really fine fairly modern glass, that I liked at least.

St Margaret's, Womenswold, Kent With Canterbury being so close, the straightest way home would take me round the ring road, which I could not face; so I head north to joint the Thanet Way at Whitstable before turning east towards Ramsgate. A long way round, but with Kent dressed in her autumn colours, it really is a joy just to see it. I should have stopped, and I had a mind to stop at Blean Wood to see the fungi which I now are in profusion at the moment. But, fungi would be another thing to snap, and having let slip the Kent church project, I decided to focus on my main target for the day: Womenswold.

This would be the forth time I have been here, and even with two keyholders listed last time, neither one was in: so I was berating myself for more wadted time in heading back through Preston and Wigham on my way back to the A2 before taking the road to Womenswold.

St Margaret's, Womenswold, Kent The door was locked, but one of the keyholder lives opposite: I go over and ring the bell; not sure if it makes a sound. I can see a light on in what I guess is the kitchen. I knock on the door; there is movement, but not towards the door. I decide to give one more knock and give up. The door is answered. The keyholder gives me a look up and down, I explain photography and the project. He accepts, then tells me about the recent renovations.

I have the key!

St Margaret's, Womenswold, Kent I walk to the car, collect the cameras and then to the church, unlock the door and I am in! There are many memorials on the wall, some nice glass, and the church itself is very nice. I get my shots, but seem to be done quickly. I have my shots. And my stomach tells me it is lunchtime.

St Margaret's, Womenswold, Kent Home is just a twenty minute drive away, a quick blast up the A2 to Whitfield and then to home. Jools has not eaten, so I make a couple of ham rolls, brews. And I am sitting down with Jools at two ready for the football at three.

Oh yes, football. City had another poor afternoon, lost 1-0 to WBA, and seemed to lack that spark they have had since Alex arrived. Seems like the hammering last week might have affected their spirit. We huffed. We puffed. But did not come close.

There is rugby on the TV, New Zealand v South Africa: an enthralling 2nd half, and the All Blacks just powered past the Spingboks, an amazing thing to see: a team with spirit and determination. Both things which England sorely lacked in their home tournament.

Pizza for dinner. Pizza and beer. That night the clocks would go back, and so begins wintertime, bringing cold, storms and will be dark before five from now on.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Saturday 24th October 2015


There is no doubt that we are right in the middle of autumn now. It is dark now until gone seven in the morning, and on cloudy days, it is getting dark at three in the afternoon. With about ten weeks to go until the end of the year, I realise I have taken just one block of holiday this year; although that was twelve straight working days, and that break was needed. It comes as a wonderful relief to think that by four in the afternoon I would be starting nine straight days off.

I suppose this is another opportunity to take stock of where the journey this year has taken me. From the long dark days of winter, criss-crossing Europe witnessing various turbine components being manufactured to the bright days of April when I stood outside the nacelle factory having completed the final component being assembled. And then switching to Esbjerg fir the pre-assembly, as more and more turbines being delivered and being made ready for shipping to Holland. And finally, in Holland as the turbines were installed, and work accelerated like a runaway train until all were up, and running, producing wiggly amps.

Since the end of that, I have been getting involved with other projects, meeting customers and being a hard-nose negotiator. All exciting stuff. And then there my new project, 50 turbines in Belgium, and the start date for that is getting nearer, as is the travels I will have to do. That I see this as part and parcel of my job and nothing out of the ordinary shows how far I have come.

But still, a week off!

Now that sounds really good to say it out loud. Although, I have to get through the day first, on the face of it, should have been a straightforward day. I have meetings for the first two hours of the day, and manage to squeeze in a phone call too. At ten, there is a pause, and I say, phew. I make a coffee. Look at my list of things to do. I have a meeting to arrange for the week I return and set my out of office message. Not a lot on!

I have the radio on, burbling away. I also have regular visitors by the cats, just checking if I was going to feed them some more. I do, sometimes.

And then there is Molly: this weekend marks the 10th anniversary since I collected here from the RSPCA cattery in Lowestoft. She was so nervous she would only eat whilst being stroked. She had been taken from her ferral mother at 3 weeks old, and was lost on a big cruel world. I was urged to take her and see how she would grow as a cat and become bolder. She did and then some. After just over a year, I went to work offshore and Molly came to Kent to live with Jools and her three cats. Molly had not seen another cat before. She coped, went outside and thrived. We moved to St Maggies, and now she has the countryside to wander over, and in which to find small animals which to bring home. She is the Queen, ruling over the house hold, quick to turn, but loving. Very loving. But in her own way. She loves nothing more than to find a jumper or t short to make a bed on, but being brushed comes close.

We two are ten Gosh, how I love that bundle of fur!

At three, I had done everything I could, so I switched the laptop off, packed my stuff away and turned the radio on and danced around the living room to the sounds of The Clash. Jools finishes work an hour earlier on Fridays, so after pumping some lard on the cross-trainer, I peeled some potatoes and began to prepare the rest of the ingredients for chorizo hash. It was half five by the time it was cooked, and smelling wonderful. I popped a seond beer to go with dinner, Jools came home and now we were both on our holibobs.

In the evening, it is the last edition of Gardner's Word before winter, and so for us all, the year is winding to an end. Plant bulbs, make leaf mould, get ready for the new year. It's only ten weeks away.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Friday 23rd October 2015


I was awake at five with a thumping headache, but I did sleep well and deep. However, as soon as I was awake, the allergy thing built up again, and so once I was sitting at the table drinking my first coffee of the day, I was sneezing away well. And then, as usual with these attacks, it just melted away. So slowly, that it took me a couple of hours to realise I was breathing clear and not sniffing all the time.

Which was just as well, as work went crazy soon after I powered up the laptop. Meetings, mails and more meetings. When I had some free time, it was half one, and too late for lunch. I had cooked myself a couple of pancakes for breakfast at nine, which did see me though the day, but by four I was rather hungry.

At three I switched the laptop off and collected the large bundle of travel expenses, and took a walk into the village to the post office to send the to the office for filing. It was, of course, good to get some fresh air, even it was just a 15 minute walk into the village, a chat with the woman behind the counter, and a walk back. More than enough to get the juices flowing, and with the weather being very dark and grey, I did not bother to take a camera with me, so there are no shots of the walk for you!

We dined well on cheese and crackers followed by apple and blackberry crumble topped with lashings of custard. Wow, that was good, and so filling. Old Skool!

The evening, as is the way on winter Thursday's was taken with re-runs of an old TOTP, this time from the late summer of 1980, presented by "TV on the radio" Tommy Vance. And he managed to be even more embarrassing than the usual presenters by flirting with the teenage audience, then saying " I like things that comes in small packages, and here's someone who comes in a small package, Suzi Quatro! I think she did a good job of not being affronted by that, and went on to promote her new single, album and tour. What a trouper. Adam and the Ants were on, for their first perfomance, and Tommy, correctly as it turned out, tipped them for big things. They would be number one by Christmas.

We ended the day watching "Who do you Think you Are" with Francis de la Tour: it is interesting, but why is it people want to find that they are related to nobility? I mean, whatever happened these people would be the same either way, what happened, happened, and nothing would change that, other than what their friends might think. Francis was related to nobility, but there was the story of affairs, illegitimate children and alcoholism and an early death.

On that light note, I'll bid you farewell for today!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Thursday 21st October 2015


Back to the Future (2) Day

Jaws 19 released

The above two items are mentioned because, and you may have missed this as social media made almost nothing of it, but this day was when Marty McFly arrived in the future in the second of the Back to the Future films. We don't have hoverboards and rehydration of pizzas, but we do have spaceships that have passed outside the solar system, the internet, mobile phones and all the other stuff. No self-tying shoes, but I guess with the i watch thing seems we have wearable tech!

Jaws 19 was featured in the film as also opening on the 21st. Oddly, they stopped after the 4th one.

But, yesterday will remembered by me is that I had a full scale, DEFCON 1, allergy attack. No real reason for it, and there was no stopping it either. I think it might have been triggered by me using spay on deodoernat the night before, but if that was the case I should have had the attack then, no? I did not sleep well, and as soon as I was awake at 5, my sinuses became blocked and the sneezing started. I took drugs, even the strong ones. Took a shower to try and wash the deodorant off, if it was that that caused it. Nothing worked. Only plus point was that it wasn't the very worst of the attacks, just able to breathe through my nose, so able to breathe and eat, which is nice.

Concentration was a real issue for the day, so I kept monitoring my mails and mobile phone just to make sure I didn't miss anything. I lay on the sofa, which just seemed to make things worse. But oddly enough, walking up the stairs seemed to clear my tubes: I don't make the rules, just report them. I even went for a walk in the rain, along the street, op Station Road along the next road up, back down the footpath and home. Clear tubes for 5 minutes, then just as bad as before. Oh well. Back to the sofa!

The day crept towards evening, I gave up on everything except the next breath. And I have to cook dinner: pork burgers and home made chips it was. And a beer. Standing up and cooking was better, how bloody odd.

I spent the evening on the sofa, where I could just about breath. Once the games were over on the radio, I went to bed, hoping sleep would take me. Take me away to a place could breathe. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Wednesday 21st October 2015


According to the forecast, Tuesday was to be the best day of the week for weather. Once we were awake, looking out of the bathroom window, we saw three planets lines up with the half moon, all bright as anything, but apart from the moon, Venus was dazzlingly bright. As the sun neared to rising, the stars faded to nothing as the sky lightened.

Sunny Tuesday Jools left for work, and so I made another coffee then stood in the back door as the sun rose. It already felt warm. Looking down at the flower beds I saw that all the plants were covered in dew. And once fully daylight I went out with my camera to record the moment.

Pearly Dewdrops Drop With me having caught up at work, it was a monitoring remit for me, checking for mails and making sure I was on top of everything. I sat on the patio whilst I had lunch, a simple ham sandwich, but it was gloriously warm out there, and with plenty of birds on the wing, and many insects about, it almost felt like summer. It was only how low in the sky the sun was, just above the trees in the village the other side of the valley, giving the truth to the time of year.

A walk in the autumn sunshine It was more than warm enough to have the back door open, and so I failed to hear Molly each time she brought me in a gift, I must look peaky, as she brought me a couple of baby rats, and was most put out when I failed to eat them up. I rewarded her with some kitty kibbles, and she was happy enough with that.

A walk in the autumn sunshine After what seems like a week under leaden skies, drizzle and just yuk weather, and Tuesday dawned as a bright and sunny morning, and turned into a perfect golden autumn day. Perfect, then, for a walk at the end of the working day, when there was still some warmth in the afternoon sunshine.

A walk in the autumn sunshine Across the fields, past the butterfly glade to the pig's copse, long enough to see the trees beginning to turn golden.

The only crop as yet unharvested is the flax in the field over the other side of the valley, must be dried out by now. All other fields are ploughed and seeded, or so it seemed.

That week of rain has turned all roads from the pig's copse into mud baths, and I did not feel the need to get that muddy, so I walked home along Collingwood, past the now empty midden, now that it has spread on the fields all abouts, down the slope to home.

A walk in the autumn sunshine Back home for another session on the cross trainer, then ready to make dinner, well, put in the jacket spuds in the oven, and wait for the three hours for them to cook to the point of being too burnt to be edible, but just how I like them. There was football on the radio, more European football, and against all odd, Arse beat Bayern by 2-0, making me eat my words. Again.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Tuesday 20th October 2015


Aah, Monday morning, there you are. Is it that time already? So it seems.

Outside rain steadily falls, there is a brely a hint of light on the eastern horizon, but when dawn comes, it seems embarrassed to illuminate the grimness of the weather. Jools leaves for work at half six, leaving me with the day stretching out before me. With the nightmare on Tyneside yesterday, I decided not to tape MOTD,so there was no football to catch up on. I listen to to the radio, make another coffee and get ready for the day.

Apparently, potato week is stretching into a fortnight, as mails were slow in coming in, and having caught up, I sit, poised over the computer ready to deal with any grenades thrown over the wall to me.

One of the main problems of working from home, is the ready availability of food around the house.I have Bran Flakes for breakfast, oatcakes at ten and ham sandwich at half twelve with some fruit mixed in as well. I decide that I would go on the cross trainer before the day was out.

So, with the daylight fading, I search out my old trainers and go to the spare room for some phys. I strap on the i pod, select a good selection and begin pumping lard. If nothing else, it gets the blood pumping, and in fact I do enjoy the short session. Just 20 minutes for this week, but I plan to build it up.

That is the plan, whether that is what really happens is another thing.

I prepare breaded chicken and corn for dinner, but break too easily when a beer to go along with it is mentioned. But, I did do some phys!

The evening settles down, and ends with us watching the final part on the documentary about Celts, the final showdown by Boudica. The final showdown, The Battle of Watling Street, meant that Briatin had a Roman furture, rather than a Celtic one. But still, in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, our Celtic roots linger on.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Monday 19th October 2015


Dawn broke and light seeped out onto the countryside outside the house, autumn it may be, but there is little golden colour about yet. The day was grey and damp, but with a promise of sunshine later in the day.


I have a coffee and settle down to watch the football, and the day grew brighter outside.

With the weather so grey, at least for now, the plan formed in my head to head into Dover, to have a wander, take some snaps of the demolition, buy some new shoes and boots. Well, a pair of each, really; I am no Imelda Marcos. And then decide on the afternoon.

Sunday morning in Dover A grey and gloomy Sunday morning in Dover: maybe Stephen Patrick Morrissey could write a song around that.

But I digress.

I was in town to buy some shoes. We still have some shops in town, and I feel some things cannot be bought online, and shoes is one of them. Even if it does making Mike Ashley even richer, and with yesterday's result on Geordieside, we would't really want to do that.

Sunday morning in Dover But it has also been two weeks since I last snapped the demolition, or ongoing demolition, of Burlington House, which is be be pulled down by hand rather than be blown up because of the A20 running next to it.

Since I was last here, The County Hotel has just about gone, and Burlington House is now shrouded in plastic as the real work begins.

Sunday morning in Dover The town is quiet, even on Biggin Street, there is just a handful of us about, but Costa is packed with coffee junkies, as is Weatherspoons, packed with those who need beers at ten on a Sunday morning, we all worship in our own ways. I walk round the demolition site, back up to The Castle inn, and then to Castle Street before deciding that I would get the shoes and head home. Which is what I do. A pair of trainers, a pair of walking boots, and no free bag now, of course. So I totter back balancing the boxes on one arm as I carry the camera in the other, back to the car near the promenade and then on to home.

And then comes the decision after looking outside, that's never going to clear up, lets not do the walk in the woods thing. Needless to say in half an hour the clouds part and it is a wonderful and warm afternoon. Anyway, I had said I was going to cook all afternoon, then relax listening to City on the radio. And at least one of them happened.

Sunday morning in Dover I roasted some vegetables, then whizzed them up, added to some mince and let the whole lot simmer for an hour. We would warm that up to go with pasta for dinner. I had decided to make spicy pumpkin cake, but after mixing the sugar and butter, cutting open the squash I find it is rotten in the middle and is well stinky. So what to do now? I have a few carrots, and half a swede: so I grate those up, add them to the mix and pop it in the oven. Even bad cake is good, right?

Well, almost anyway, it is good enough, we have a slice with coffee before the football begins.

Oh yes, the bloody football. Six two! 6-2! we lost! Newcastle had six shots on goal, scored with every one, and apparently we defended like blancmanges. How to ruin an afternoon.

I warm up the sauce, cook the pasta so have a fine, tasty meal. And enough sauce to freeze and have again.

But already the weekend was wasting away, but one thing is for sure, I did not need to tape MOTD. Oh no.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sunday 18th October 2015


And like the past three days, the keen north eastern breeze was due to bring frequent showers to this part of Blighty, so, should be use the day to relax, or get stuff done? In the end, a little bit of both.

And as is the norm, first thing is to get some shopping in: so after a first cup of coffee, we grab the bags and head to Sainsury's. Yes, we take our bags, and have for several years though, but these past two weeks western civilisation has nearly collapsed with the introduction of a 5p charge for each bag used. The very same newspapers, I'm talking about you here Daily Mail, that called for the charge for the sake of the environment have been calling for its abolition. Nothing like playing both sides by Paul Dacre. Anyway, we take our bags, go round, buy some beer and cider, some fruit and veg, and the job is done.

Back home before eight for breakfast and more coffee, and then to decide what to do with the day.

I decide that it is high time I get the turntable repaired: a few weeks ago we went to try to get the cartridge changed, but in the end I could not get the old one off. Despite the people in the shop telling me the stylus should just pull off, it didn't. So that meant the only real choice was to take the whole turntable into the shop. I also had the idea to visit a church or two when I was in the city.

Jools decided to stay home, so that meant I was free to take whatever diversions my heart desired. Once I had got the turntable repaired.

Much to my surprise, the car park outside the city walls was already full, I drive round the car park a couple of times before I notice some spaces on the road outside the Abbey. Two ponds buys me 90 minutes of parking and so, grabbing the deck I walk into the shopping centre and the hi fi shop. I put the deck on the counter, and the assistants look at the pick up arm, in that way that people do when they know things are going to be expensive. One of them punches details in a search engine, and tells me the only replacement they can find, anywhere in the world, is in America, and is damaged and even with that it is £160.

St Martin, Canterbury, Kent Or they can put a new cartridge on, and after that it will be a stylus change if needed. I have no choice, really, so I say OK, and they guy gets is tool kit out, and has as much trouble as I did in undoing the screws holding the cartridge onto the arm. I look round the shop at some of the shiner and more expensive speakers and amps on display, whilst there is some quiet swearing from those behind the counter. After twenty minutes, the job is done, and there is just the job of giving the new head a test drive on a Simple Minds twelve inch, which sounds good to me. They even balance the arm for me, so it is all done, and for eighty five quid.

Just down a narrow street from the car park is yet another church; as if Canterbury needs more, but then it is the centre of Christendom here on Earth. I have been to St Paul's a few times, but always found it closed, but even from the end of the street, I could see a sandwichboard outside, hinting that I may be lucky and find it open.

Inside, the church was full of light and people, Kent Mother's Union were holding their first fete of the millennium, and I just happened to stumble across it. It did mean I could not get some of the shots I wanted, but to see the church so full of people, doing good work was heartwarming.

I go round to get my shots, and pause to buy some cheese scones from a mid-afternoon snack once I am home.

On the way out, I stop to talk to who turned out to be the organiser, and the grande fromage in the local MU: when I said I could not get into St Mildred's, she said I should call her PA, and gave me a card. Next year is their 140th anniversary, and they wanted a collection of the MU's banners from Kentish churches: oh I have many of them on my photostream I said. I may have a friend there. We swap contact details, and I go away happy with that random meeting.

Just outside the city walls, and beside what is now the University campus stands the oldest church still in use in the English speaking world: their words, and claim, not mine. St Martin was consecrated in Roman times, and Bede says that Queen Bertha and St Augustine both worshiped here in the 6th century. There;s 1400 years history right there!

St Martin, Canterbury, Kent I find a place to park on the main road near the church, after driving round for ten minutes and finding it all resident parking. But, if I read the notice right, this should be free to park here. I just hoped I would not have a ticket when I returned.

St Martin, Canterbury, Kent Up the narrow lane to the church, and in front there is just the lychgate in view. Through the gate and up the steep path to the open door in the base of the tower, I reached for the inner door hoping it would opn: it does, and I am inside. Although the thrill of making it inside, that soon fades as I see there is very little of real antiquity here left by those pesky Victorians. One thing is wonderful, however, is the Saxon west end of the church, stripped of plaster and showing it's original stonework and blocked windows and archways.

St Martin, Canterbury, Kent After getting my shots, I go outside to look around the walls, and see almost everywhere, red Roman bricks mixed in with the Kentish flints. Quite amazing really. The churchyard is extensive, but it does not reveal a clear view of the church obscured as it was by large trees.

I walk back to the car, find it without a parking ticket, thankfully. All I have to do now is work out the best route home avoiding the traffic in the city centre. Out to Wingham before doubling back to Womenswold and back onto the A2, and from there is was a simple drive back home, arriving home at half one, time for late lunch and listen to the football on the radio. Liverpool's first game under their new manager, Herr Klopp.

However, on the way between Wingham and Womanswold lies Addisham, where another church I have struggled to get into sits. Church of the Holy Innocents is an unusual dedication, but it is an imposing church sitting on the brow of a hill beside what must have once been a main road. Last time I was here some two years ago, a new floor was being laid, so my initial thrill of seeing the door open was tempered by the fact there was no floor inside, and workment seemed to be laying underfloor heating. Would it be open?

In a word: no. But it did list keyholders; should I try? Yes, I think I should.Addisham was a much larger village than I thought, and the keyholder's house was a good ten minute walk away. All the way along The Street I was telling myself why I was wasting my time with this as the keyholder would be out at lunchtime on a Saturday afternoon. I knocked at the door of the old Post Office, a dog barked and a berating voice told it to be quiet. I was in luck.

Once I passed the 20 questions test as to why I wanted to go into the church, as they have had a lot of vandalism, sadly, I was granted the bunch of keys, a small bunch that could have been for a holiday letting rather than a grand village church. Back along The Street, and up the lane to the church.

I opened the porch door, undid the two locks on the main inner door, and I was inside. A huge criciform church, with a tower in the centre. I walked right onto the west wing that had been re-floored. It looked fine, but the pews have been removed, and modern chairs are being added as and when finances allow. It looks OK, but a little souless. However, the rest of the church is stunning, far too big for a village that size, but points to great local wealth back in the mists of time.

I spend over half an hour taking shots, with both cameras. I get some fine shots I think, but that will come with the editing.

I drive back to the old PostOffice, drop the keys off, and point the car towards home

St Martin, Canterbury, Kent That ends 0-0, but is entertaining enough, I suppose. During the game, I plug the turntable back in, and road test it with the PSB LP, it sounds great I have to say. Should have done this a long time ago.

I lay on the sofa with Molly as the three o'clock games kick off. With City playing on Sunday I have a laid-back attitude with the games, and I might even snooze some.

Neither of us are hungry come the evening, so we have cheese and crackers, The day fades into night, we watch some TV: Dr Who followed by QI. Is that ten already? Must be bed time, then. And already, half the weekend had passed already.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Saturday 17th October 2015


And so to the final day of the working week. And once again, strong north easterly winds, a nor'easterly if you like, kept sweeping dark rainclouds to the south east corner of Engand, and as we are the southeastern corner of southeatern England, it meant another grim, grey and drizzly day outside. And another one in which I did not venture more than ten yards from the house.

Jools left me with the cats, Mulder already clearly bored with another day of house arrest picking on Scully even before I was dressed. So there was me chasing a black downstairs and me in just my dressing gown. Situation normal, then.

Potato week still in full swing in Denmark, therefore I wait for the avalanche of mails which failed to arrive. My friend, Gary, comes round at lunchtime, so we chat about photography for an hour or so. He is just back from his holiday, and had a great time, snapping nature and stuff in The New Forest.

When I check my private mails, I find that I have an inquiry to buy one of my shots. Mentioning payment upfront: how much do I want? Now, what do you say, thirty grand? 30p? I say 20% of their clients budget is normal, this is thanks to some great feedback via someone on Facebook. They offer me £70, will I accept that? Heck, yes? Oddly enough, it is of a fine building, but the shot in itself is average, so it goes to show you can never tell what will sell. Here is is:

Town Hall, Ipswich, Suffolk Buoyed by that, I am in a fine mood, and decide to have cheese and crackers for late lunch. What to have to drink? Hmmm, wne? Seemed like a good idea, but I can say that two glasses of red plays havoc with productivity in the afternoon. However, I do get a couple of mails out, then at three decide it is the weekend.

I cook chorizo hash for dinner, which I am just finishing as Jools arrives back home at five. So we tuck into a fine dinner, with beer/cider as is out want. Whilst we ate, we listened to the new Absolutely Radio Show, which has been a bit hot and miss, not really hitting the highs of the TV series from what, 20 years ago? But is funnier than most stuff on the radio these days.

A good day is ended in fromt of the TV; Mastermind, Gardener's World and then the history of the single. Not a bad end all in all.