Readers to this WordPress may be aware the walk from the housing estate I live upon, through to our Town centre is by means of a tree lined Lane which later divides a grassy Common. A lovely walk in all weathers, fun when there’s snow on the ground, glorious in springtime or sunny summers days, and I even love the driving icy rain on cold Winter mornings as I walk to work!
Below you’ll see photos of wild ‘Bluebells’ growing alongside the Lane’s pathway, they looked beautiful bathed in this evening’s dimming low sun, so I ‘snapped’ a selection of photos below adding three of our family pet dog taken Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
🙂 When the sun’s shining and the sky is blue I don’t think my £8 camera from eBay could take a poor photo, especially when I’m no great photographer.
This house has been my home for twenty years now and yes I love it, incidentally I live in the English county of Oxfordshire if you are wondering (a farm half a mile away features in Downton Abbey), and in all those many years I can honestly say I only really appreciate this vivid yellow flowered tree several days a year.
Mind you I once had to ask my mother what its name is? And yes as one or two readers will recognise the yellow tree at the bottom of my Garden is a Forsythia 🙂 . So there you are, I was giving my lawn its first spring trim of the year and snapped a few photos for my WordPress.
The question is have we dodged anymore snow until winter this year? I think so.
Thursday I travelled to London by coach with the aim of visiting Highgate’s Victorian Cemetery and yes it lived up to my expectations. I had promised a photo blog much the same as I’ve written before after one of my daytrips, however, alas I have only 3 photos for you pictured below of the imposing Gothic gated entrance, the centrepiece 200+ year Circle of Lebanon Cedar tree and a view taken from the pathway.
So why so few photos? Well our Tour guide said camera photography was permitted, yet no one did perhaps for no other reason than taking pictures of the dead seemed disrespectful? A Cemetery after all is a peaceful quiet place of eternal rest anyways not to worry.
Which all means I’ll have to exercise my brain (with a twist) and write about the day instead.
I guess each person within our tour party would have loved to spend the afternoon roaming the cemetery’s many vaults, mausolea, statues, catacombs and other treasures, but alas our lovely ‘super efficient’ tour guide had a schedule to be kept to, wandering stragglers at the rear were given a sharp,
“Do keep up now!”
The lady sounding rather like a brusque, rather annoyed headmistress with her cut glass posh English accent…………. but there you are who can complain when her 70minutes tour blessed with many fascinating facts, dates and true tales was so interesting.
Please remember if I’ve wetted your appetite for visiting and seeing for yourselves this wonder of Victorian London, please remember you CANNOT just turn up on the off chance because it’s not open to the public to wander in from the street! If you do you’ll be faced with my photo above with it’s large wrought iron gates locked tightly shut, but that does kinda add to the excitement, knowing that only a lucky few can visit each day. No you have to do some on-line preparation work before hand, and just imagine if this was open to the general public! Thousands of people walking traipsing wherever they wish, leaving coke cans and vandalising both the wildlife and structures with all peace and tranquillity disappeared.
Not to worry though, visit Highgate cemetery’s website and you can book a ticket for yourself and your partner (no under age8 children allowed), then pay £12.
Now through the wonders of Google here are several images below I’ve stolen borrowed from the net, look closely and you’ll see a photo of the centre piece cedar tree absent of sun-strike!
I quite took to our tour guide wearing her bright red shirt on a warm spring day, her tightly fitting slim blue jeans, a tall and slender lady no older than age60 and readers to this blog will know the older woman turns me on big time! Especially when she’s assertive bossy and domineering, but joking apart and being bluntly honest she was an extremely sexy specimen of aged womanhood, oh and with the hint of two gentle mounds of breasts beneath her scarlet shirt………….. that topped my day!
The lady’s most entertaining true tale, of which there were many, features the renowned Victorian anatomist and surgeon Henry Gray, similar to many of the interns beneath Highgate’s undergrowth he was a man famous of his day, and if you wish to know more then Wikipedia for other notable Victorians laying six feet under!
(Charles Dickens wife and children are buried here.)
Henry Gray’s headstone had only recently been discovered by a volunteer clearing from amongst the thousands of headstones, and ivy strewn undergrowth. Apparently as the story goes, during surgical operations he would try to cut as quickly as possible with his knife and saw because the patient was not under anaesthetic, though Gray did later discover ether would make the knifing procedure less painful. Again as the story goes, our lady guide told us Gray also holds the impressive record of most deaths in one single operation, because in his haste to amputate a man’s leg quickly, he cut three fingers off his assistant (who later died of infection), a member of the public watching (for as we were reminded this is where the term ‘operating theatre’ originates) dropped down dead, and of course the patient later died also succumbing to his injuries.
Three deaths during one operation, impressive no?
Of course the connection between infection and cleanliness of instruments hadn’t been discovered yet, much the same as Joseph Bazzalgette hadn’t yet discovered cholera was a water borne infection, the Victorians believing cholera was an airborne disease with horrific consequences, incidentally Bazzalgette invented London’s sewage system and yet another genius Victorian who shaped the modern world!
Incidentally Victorian high society was captivated by this new profession called surgery, but (apparently according to our gorgeous tour guide) surgeons were the superstar ‘must have dinner guests’ at parties of the time, but little did they know surgeons also paid unscrupulous London men to rob graves of their dear departed all in the name of practice and science, that’s until an act of Parliament allowed the dead from workhouses to be purchased and dissected.
I guess the Anglican Church didn’t believe souls of the poor required saving?
The real irony of course is, Highgate was built a fortress with armed guards in order to keep grave robbers OUT which kinda amused me, and I wasn’t aware the vaults were fitted with bells because apparently Victorian Londoners biggest fear was waking alive after being presumed dead……….. now I can see the logic in that!
Hopefully I’ve given you a sense of how the Lady interwove different tales into one stream of consciousness, very clever and as she said sporting a rather wry grin, “Of course we did what every cash strapped charity would do! We contacted those wealthy Fellows Of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), to see if they would be interested in helping pay for Henry’s grave to be cleaned”, and again as we were reminded ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ is still purchased today by bright eyed medical students embarking on their career in medicine.
There is so much more I could write about such as foxes visiting after dusk, the catacombs are home to a rare breed of spider having found it’s home inside the damp burial vaults, bats hang from the ceilings above lead boxed coffins, still visible the wooden casket having decomposed and rotted away, tales of how Londoners could walk from Canning Town through fields and meadows to marvel at this the poshest Cemetery in England, and for a Brit that’s an astounding vision because the journey today is walked through street lined buildings! And George Michael is buried behind it’s strong high walls I guess in an effort to keep it hidden from view or from becoming a public shrine, jeez just imagine if his final resting place was open to musician following pilgrims and their posters!!
Yes a truly amazing Victorian splendour with heaps of history and atmosphere and THANKFULLY no stories of ghosts!
Finally why not book on-line and go visit for yourselves, however note you cannot spend an afternoon doing as you wish but does that matter anyway? Oh and if you’re lucky you to may have an attractive sexy Grandma for a tour guide.
This is a post for lauraroettigerbooks.com also anyone else interested in seeing new photos of the moon taken by meee!
Some Readers may be aware I own a telescope! Well Christmas 2018, 22nd of December to be more exact, I shared photographs taken through the telescope eyepiece using my Fuji digital camera and I’d agree they weren’t particularly good.
Have you ever heard of the saying killing three birds with one stone?
Several days ago on the 18th of February we had another full moon and seeing as I have a new telescope lens, I was curious whether my Galaxy tablet camera would capture superior images AND Oxfordshire’s night time skies were crystal clear, I decided to have a second attempt at taking photographs of our moon, below you’ll see the best 15 from 133 taken and I’m really happy with them.
I could witter reminding you how I never tire of gazing at our moon, perhaps we all take for granted that up there in the sky circling our earth is a big grey rock we call the moon, I’ve always been incredibly awestruck and fascinated by this celestial marvel, so much so I purchased myself a telescope and you may well find me gazing at a full moon………… when our English weather permits!!
(The final photographs below is a map of the moon showing the Apollo landing sites………….. gaze into the Sea of Tranquillity knowing Apollo 11’s Lander sits on the surface!)
🙂 Lol if you’ve skipped directly to the ‘pics below’ remember they were taken by myself and please feel free if you wish to download.
This is my response to WordPress bloggerauthor Laura (click here) and if you know me at all, I enjoy interacting with other bloggers 🙂 , all good fun!
“Here men from planet earth first set foot upon The moon. July 1969AD. We came in peace for all mankind” (Neil Armstrong)
Below you see a picture of the Moon I photographed yesterday evening, as you are all no doubt aware, December 22nd was the shortest day, and luckily for myself we in Oxford were gifted a wonderful bright Full Moon……………. if a little cloudy! Still to this day when I gaze up at the Moon I’m both emotionally and conceptually ‘blown away’ that man walked upon it’s surface………………. very near incredible but with my ❤ heart of hearts I believe!
So how did I capture this image? By holding my camera to the telescope eyepiece hence the peripheral black circular border……….. hmm I’m happy with it and definitely the ‘best of the rest 😀 .’ Incidentally the darker surface patches you see are named ‘seas’, as in ‘Sea Of Tranquillity’ ‘Sea of Serenity’ ‘Sea Of Fertility’ etc.
Picture below reminds me I never painted my garden fence in 2018 😦 .
Below more photos now see if you can spot the one’s taken without a fitted Moon Filter, and btw it’s not the length of your telescope that counts, the diameter of the first optic denotes the size of the celestial image.
And Finally, wonderful photographs taken by Apollo 11-17 astronauts standing upon the surface of the Moon. A little geeky information for you, Apollo astronauts had a fixed focus specially designed Hasselblad camera attached to their chest, to which 70mm film magazines were fitted each taking 165 frames, along with moon rocks the photos were the only objects to return and are now stored inside a refrigerated building in Texas. Several years ago the 70mm film was defrosted over 24 hours, rolled out and unfurled then digitally scanned. After wonderful scan shots had been taken they were rolled up again and back into freezer storage.
Watching YouTube videos is great fun if you have time to waste spare, but amongst the skateboarding border collie videos, or women taking part in braless wet tee shirt competitions! Would you like to see videos of wet tee shirt competitions? No? Ok no. 😁
(Each to their own lol)
But sift through all the YouTube silliness and you will discover ‘How to’ videos both filmed and starring men and women showing/instructing/demonstrating to the viewer ‘How To’ fix something anything! Several years ago I installed a complete new bathroom suite and virtually learnt to tile walls by watching YouTube videos uploaded by enthusiastic amateurs, and yes they knew what they were doing and had the digital footage to help.
Now cutting a short story even shorter, I’ve filmed several ‘How to’ videos such as ‘How to cast concrete’ and to answer your next question ‘why do people do this?’ The reason why is as simple as passing on tips and ideas whether cooking, gardening or installing a kitchen sink. I’ve filmed several because they’re fun, lol I have a frustrated TV presenting ego but most importantly I’d love to think I’ve saved someone their hard earned money by having a try themselves………….. after all finding a Tradesmen, finding a Tradesman who will do a good job and won’t charge you a fee you’ll need a small bank loan to pay for, are all bloody nightmares.
(Ok if you have a young family then I DO understand spare time is non existent.)
Jeez I watch those Tradesmen cowboys on the telly, thick unskilled highwaymen who’ll rip off innocent pensioners out of their savings……….. AND do a botched job!
Many years ago my Central Heating Pump stopped working, *****d it was, I remember opening the airing cupboard door gazing at the pump beside the copper water tank and thinking tooo myself, shall I fix it myself or call a Gas Fitter? Yep I opened my copy of Yellow Pages, took a punt on a guy I’d never heard of before, and yes he installed a new pump and yes my credit card took a hammering! He did a good job but overcharged me for the parts (after comparing his invoice to internet prices) and his frigging labour charges were astronomical (all Tradesmen are astronomical), so from that point on I promised myself to find and watch self-made YouTube videos and within reason have a go myself.
Now ok I’m an engineer by trade but still to this day I get a little nervous taking something apart myself and all I can advise is confidence is key. So here’s two observations, I’d say if you are both intelligent and practical then simple DIY isn’t rocket science, be methodical take your time, do your research and most importantly you’ll save money so why not have a go at fixing that wonky door?…..… Ok if the project involve electrics then DO NOT attempt it yourself EVER, get an electrician in who’ll do a safe and secure job, however I’d say most other ‘small’ projects are doable.
Hmm so now I am asking myself have I just explained in four paragraphs information you already know? After all that’s why people spend their Sundays wandering around DIY shops looking for paint wood nails and tools! Not to worry, the point to tonight’s post is ‘How To change a Washing Machine Door Seal’, this is the introduction the instructional post and accompanying video for my little YouTube Channel will follow sooon.
Looking at the picture below my reason for fitting a new seal is simple for all to see, mildew mould! As you know if you allow cold water to settle on a surface give it time and mildew grows, whether that be window seals or bathroom tile grouting, mould is unhealthy unsightly and impossible to remove and my washing machine is a case in point. Just recently several black marks have appeared on freshly washed clothes and I have an idea where they came from!
Listen to the audio at 2 mins 45 seconds, 😀 where I get busted by a very pleasant and friendly (Shopping Precinct) Security Guard!
Do I have a story for you this evening, oh and this is my final photo Post of 2018!
Several hours ago I thought why not take a few photographs of my Town’s Christmas decorations and lights, so carrying my Samsung Galaxy Tablet with me, I took the short walk into Town making for to the Main Shopping Precinct. Then for the next 15 minutes I photographed the lights also a video up above, I must admit I could see I looked a little conspicuous holding the Tablet aloft walking down an empty Street at 9.30pm.
Oh yes the photos, you’ll see a 10ft diameter Tree decoration at one entrance, and a Christmas Tree with flashing lights at the Cinema entrance, well by coincidence at the same time as I’d finished filming a Security Guard, very pleasant he was to, strode up to me to ask what I was in fact doing?
He went on to say the Police had been watching ME on their CCTV then contacted the Guard to have a word in ‘my shell like’ ear……………… anyways not to worry he made me laugh, I guess overt Security is a sign of the sad times we live in. Happy Christmas 🙂
Strap yourselves in dear readers this is gonna be a long one but I have tried to go easy on historic detail such as ‘Kings and Queens’ names also dates! But not to worry you’ll discover lots of photos within this post and ALL taken by meee! Please feel free to copy any if you so wish 🙂 I’m a terrible one for ‘borrowing’ photos courtesy of Google imaging so fair’s fair.
The picture below might just give you a hint as to the ‘location’ I visited 20th October 2018……………. yes ‘The Tower of London!’ And I’ll tell you what, I haven’t half been lucky with the weather this year in fact all my daytrips/countryside walks were blessed with blue skies and bright warming sunlight.
Holy blank I’ve hit a story telling wall, the history surrounding The Tower of London is near impossible to write about especially when I’m little more than an informed tourist myself, William The Conqueror built the central White Tower 1000 years ago, Henry VIII lived here, he had his wife Anne Boleyn beheaded on Tower Green her body being later laid to rest in the Tower’s Church. Queen Elizabeth I (Henry’s daughter) had her arch enemy The Earl of Essex beheaded on Tower Hill, staunch Catholic Sir Thomas Moore lost his head because he refused to acknowledged Henry’s Protestantism as the one true faith. Then you move forward through the centuries and SS officer Rudolph Hess was held prisoner on Tower Green after being captured in Scotland fleeing from the Nazis. Reggie and Ronnie Kray the infamous London 60’s gangsters spent a night in the Tower at His Majesties pleasure having failed to turn up for National Service……… where an earth does one begin? Wild animals presented by Kings and Queens of Europe among them an Elephant and African Lion being housed at the Tower before being moved to London Zoo in Regent’s Park. Throughout WW1 the Tower Grounds were used to train Coldstream Guards with shooting practice in the now waterless moat. NOT forgetting the British Crown Jewels are kept for display inside the Jewel House! Oh and who could forget Guy Fawkes was imprisoned within these walls after his failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament! And had he succeeded Britain would have been in political turmoil………. hmm sounds familiar although we call it Brexit!
Perhaps I’d better stick to showing you the photographs I took on the day and let you visit wonderful Wikipedia and fill in the history detail!
Below you see a panorama of three photos taken from Tower Hill which looks down upon the Tower of London and notice the waterless moat now with its carpet of green grass, incidentally Tower Hill Tube station is a five minute walk behind me!
I am a peculiar specimen of human manhood!! No don’t you shake your heads and disagree, I remember sitting on a bench overlooking Tower Green and feeling everso slightly paranoid, feelings of ‘will you believe the photos are my own’ and I know completely irrational but not to worry my ticket below reveals the date 20/10/2018, and yes that’s my packed lunch of brown bread ham sandwiches and succulent in season Conference pears 🙂 ………… incidentally I’d never really noticed before but a late October sun never really rises above horizon level.
If you’ve never visited The Tower there is only one entrance pictured below, sorry I tell a lie there is a second at Traitors Gate which opens out onto the River Thames. For the past 1000 years this gatehouse has seen Kings, Queens and Tourists walk into what is now a world heritage sight, and quite possibly the most treasured building in Britain today, the 1000 year birthplace of my Country’s history.
The magnificent Imperial State Crown, a googled image for alas tourists aren’t permitted to take photographs inside the Jewel House 😦 A shame but I guess security is paramount…….. anyways I stood looking for 5 minutes as the diamonds glisten back at me under the spotlights……… mesmerizing amazing pick any superlative adjectives and few will come close to explaining how I felt.
Below you see several pictures of the central White Tower, one of the oldest buildings in England and around which several encircling walls were built with their own cylindrically shaped Towers, each possessing their own particular history mystery and intrigue…… a truly iconic building that truly takes your breath away and I’d guess every tourist will get a tingle down the spine knowing they’re standing on the exact spot Queen Elizabeth I walked or Anne Boleyn lost her head!!
I’m afraid I bottled out at taking a photograph of my Beefeater Guide pictured below, I doubt he would have minded but you never know?
Above left you see the Jewel House, look closely and you’ll see a queue of tourists waiting patiently to see the Imperial Crown with South African diamonds………. alas I wasn’t permitted to take photographs but all I can say we filed past near opened mouthed at the sight of thousands of diamonds and the largest rubies emeralds and sapphires I’ve ever seen.
Below left you see a memorial to Anne Boleyn (I guess the glass cushion represents the one her chopped off head fell onto? On reflection a rather pointless structure which does look out of place (my Beefeater Guide’s words) but there you are, and pictured to the right behind the rather curious looking tree you see the entrance to a Prison Tower.
Would I be correct in saying the soldier below is another instantly recognisable symbol of London? The Tower exists as a Royal Palace still to this day, hence fifteen British army soldiers stand guard inside The Tower grounds, the Regiments change throughout a year sometimes from the RAF, Royal Navy and British Gurkha Rifles but the Saturday I visited the Grenadier Guards were on duty……….. although still a Royal Palace I’m afraid our Royal Family no longer reside here.
To be continued……………. (lol I’m a little exhausted so how did I do?)
Way back in June 2018, incidentally this year turned out to be one of the longest driest and warmest on record, I took one of my many walks deep into the Windrush Valley situated in the edge of the Cotswolds.
And you’ll have guessed, for those readers following my WordPress, I was accompanied by walking friend Holly the cross collie and not forgetting my trusty cheap Fuji little camera. Incidentally it cost £8 off eBay!
It takes stunning photos when the sun’s out and absolutely awful ones when the sun disappears?
Well cutting a short story even shorter! I’d always intended to share with the readers but being truthful a blog idea ALWAYS popped up from nowhere? Anyways the other evening I came across a picture folder and it suddenly dawned on me Holly actually got herself into nearly every photograph!
Like I said she loves the camera 😀
Anyways (it amuses me ‘anyways’ is a favourite word of mine) rather than just looking at MY photos of the Oxfordshire countryside, why not play a game and try and spot Holly just as if you were trying to spot the ball,
🤔and whatever happened to spot the ball competitions? Did the internet kill the game off? Discuss! No!
Above wild red poppies growing amongst the fields of crops, and I could imagine soldiers fighting in the trenches on the Western Front, if they’d turned and gazed across French cornfields they’d see blood red poppies .
Must have been quite a sight the vivid red int erspersing golden yellow in summertime, not forgetting WW1 was another human made tragedy.
I’m not quite sure what type of cash crop is being grown in our local fields now? When I was a child I remember golden corn, as for now I guess this could be……… who knows what’s planted, any farmers out there. And notice in the foreground wildflowers growing alongside the path we’re walking on.
Above is a montage of photos of this unknown plant and the path I’m on, keep in mind I am walking a circular route.
Below we’ve no walked into an animal grazing field interspersed with daisy’s.
Below and we’re back on the trail through natural tree canopy branches.
Above one of several ponds that lie along our walk, are you playing my game of spot the collie?
Below left and you can just make out Minster Lovel ruins, it’s behind Holly in the distance. I swear she must have walked into the shot as soon as I took my camera out.
Below a church built from golden Cotswold stone looking resplendent under the sun, I cannot be bothered to Google the name lol (I’m half an hour into this post already and I’m freezing and in need of a hot shower), except to say it’s very old and lies on the outskirts of Minster Lovell village. (We’re in Oxfordshire btw).
Notice the small pink flowers and green moss growing on the Cotswold stone wall in the foreground.
On reflection I should have enlarged the three photos above, you can btw, because bottom right shows Minster Lovell Ruins with said church behind the trouble is I managed to get the gatepost into shot as well.
Bottom left is me standing inside the ruins looking up towards the sky. That leaves photo three which tells you all about the ruins. I guess you could Wikipedia?
Below isn’t a natural water spring, these pools form where small streams meet the pathway used by farm tractors.
(Below) Me gazing down toward Crawley village.
Below a photograph very important to the history of this area, VERY IMPORATANT, yes it’s a sheep……… well keeping the tale short sheep were raised on the green fields encircling my Town, consequently 8 or so Mills weaved the wool into blankets later shipped around the world…………. the reason a railway was built and a reason why this part of Oxfordshire became very prosperous.
Have you ever heard of Witney blankets?
Below I’m walking beneath the overhanging canopy of trees, and no it’s not a natural scene, the avenue was planted many years ago, is very long, and follows a busy road which takes me back toward my mother’s home.
I hope you enjoyed looking at the views taken along the Windrush Valley one June summer’s afternoon.
A. Shepherdson 2018
(Feel free to download copy any picture (or all 48) if you wish, 😊you have my blessing and please do, thank you.)
The title Blog #4 will hopefully tell you this post is part of a ‘family/relationship/caring for’ blog series.
My parents own a collie cross who as many of you pet owner’s will agree, has become an integral and important loving member of the family, good company for them both she needs exercising and enjoys reminding no begging/pestering us to take her out for walks, owning a dog is a great form of exercise and companionship however isn’t for everyone? Anyways this afternoon I walked the dog around our lake and Town’s nature reserve and took quite a few autumn scene photographs………… I hope you enjoy.
We are lucky and as I’ve hinted at before the majority of Town’s right across the UK have their own small wildlife sanctuaries with woods and lakes, ideal for dog walkers or family’s with pushchairs and maybe joggers…………. saw a lovely ‘bouncy’ lady in tight leggings and green licra today, the sight of pretty ladies always brightens the day especially if she smiles at you 🙂 !
I would like to add a word of caution to owning pets, yes they can be a focal point and comfort but please don’t go getting one on my say so, everyone’s home circumstances are different both ability to care for and give exercise to, plus the cost of food vet bills etc but 🙂 then you all know that.
Unfortunately in the UK our seasons are most definitely changing, the air temperature has dropped by half from a balmy 30 degrees and leaves on the trees are turning rustic browns and golds, oh and as you’ll see horse chestnut fruit is falling to the ground ready for children to collect and play the English game of ‘conkers’.
Hm when I retire one day I’ll buy myself a Border Collie pup
….……….. 🤔now there’s a real mouthful ‘Title’ for you ty for being so patient! Being a little more precise and accurate today’s post is more a self taken ‘photo dump’, or in other words sharing pictures ‘snapped’ by me on said daytrip to GWSR’s Heritage steam attraction.
Below these 4 pics are important photos to my tale, they include day ticket to ride the line for the day, the branch map later scanned from the souvenir program and myself holding a coffee mug bought from the station shop! (Now at work).
1/09/2018, a warm sunny Saturday!
Let me begin by saying I’m quite pleased with the strip of photos below, Imagine me precariously hanging out the passenger carriage window (people have lost their heads!) taking 4 photos which when joined together make 1 panoramic scenic shot/view.
To be honest how to best approach writing this post has been playing on my mind, let me explain! There are 2 ways of writing about my day which could either be a ‘1000 wordRead More »
Apologies for this post being a little late coming, but this draft has taken a great deal of planning………………. the photographs are ALL of the same location, namely my Town’s Station and Goods Yard, alas the track was pulled up sometime ago and the buildings pulled down……. 🙂 that’s called progress, I’ll go on to explain why my home Town regrets the closure decision taken by Dr. Beeching way back in the 1960’s, and remember I’ve tried to keep this post relevant to my daytrip rather than a transport history lesson.
Call this post more of an introduction to last Saturday’s daytrip to the middle England ‘Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway‘ Heritage Line, and because that’s a real mouthful I’m NOT going to keep repeating, so for the purposes of this post I’ll use the anacronym GWSR!
Now I’m passionate about all things trains and railways so I’ll try my best to keep my stream of consciousness simple and free from nerdy techno detail, there is in the UK a rather patronising unfair label pinned onto railway enthusiasts called ‘trainspotters’, well I’m lol not a ‘spotter’ but trains capture my imagination.
There you are wouldn’t life be boring if we ALL talked about soccer all day?
The above two photographs give you a hint as to what became of our Railway branch line….…….. please read on then return to this picture a little later! Btw they’re one and the same bridge.
My home Town used to have a rail line connecting itself with Oxford, yes the famous University city. Built before the turn of the 19th century, progressively over the decades the line fell out of used, then in about 1960 three hypothetical options were on the table as they were for 100 no profitable lines across England, people were buying cars and well society was changing.
These three options faced this loss making Oxford branch line!
1. The Town’s folk to use the railway to commute into Oxford, shop work and play, then commute home again hence making a massive profit for British Rail, the consequence the line remains open.
2. People stop using the railway completely, drive their cars everywhere and all freight switches to lorries on the road, consequently the line is closed as being non profitable, and soon after houses roads and factories are built on the land………. it’s called progress.
3. The non profit Oxford branch line closes because no one uses the trains, however the public form a preservation group, raise the funds to lay new track, buy steam locomotives to haul paying tourists schoolchildren and townsfolk to and from Oxford. The consequence the railway becomes a Heritage branch line and profitable!
(The collage of photos below also appear individually)
Witney station, pulled down 1970
My Town chose option…………..…
(The following 2 photos are taken from my own collection and I paid money for them! Reading the captions, these two very special trains are all set to leave the Goods Yard and join the Oxford Branch Line……….. which as you remember is situated behind the photographer……………. let me ask you a question, have you ever heard of the name Witney Blankets?)
……….yes you guessed correct, our Town chose option 2 line closure, the awful consequence being all the above photos are Town’s buildings long gone consigned to history……………. and rubble!
The reason why is simply People stopped using the Oxford Branch line, it stopped making money and passenger trains stopped rolling down the tracks in the late 50’s, soon followed by the last freight hauled train in the 60’s, and yes houses and roads were built on the land. Virtually little is left to show we once had a railway many years ago………. all except these old grainy photographs I’ve in my collection. (Above)
Without wishing to labour a point the Heritage railway GWSR, remember I visited Saturday lol keep up, chose yes option 2, tourists now visit from miles around some flying in from all parts of the globe, all to sedately ride up and down the line pulled by steam trains, and the line makes money……….. hmm, with a little foresight Witney could have done the same!
In my following post I’ll share with you all my taken photographs, a picture post of pure English nostalgia, but before I go I’ll leave you with the final dark episode to my dark foreboding tale.
With vision and insight things could have been so different, my Town could have purchased the land, formed a Heritage Company and carried commuters to and from Oxford, yes life could have been so different, but alas we didn’t and Jeeze aren’t we regretting that lack of insight……. worse still Oxford City Council has ridiculous pipe dreams of building a line and connecting Witney with Oxford because well, the shear volume of traffic on the roads causes daily misery and gridlock! Between 7am and 9am, then 3pm and 6pm traffic is virtually at a walking pace!
The irony is, with a little vision planning and people playing their part by travelling on this Oxford branch line, the line would be open today then all our transport problems would have been solved………. and they say human beings are intelligent?
The point to this sorry tail? Those same 3 options back in 1960 faced the branch line I visited last Saturday, GWSR chose to stay open and create a Heritage railway, we closed ours and have regretted that depressing decision each and EVERY day.
I hope this hasn’t been dry reading hence I’d planned to write the post as simply and straightforwardly as possible! (I was pushed for a little time as well 🙂 )
I’ve been close to pulling my hair out! This post has taken ages to write and my Dell Laptop is playing up (dying), so apologies this follow up to my walking tour around The V&A and Tate Britain is such a late upload.
I would suggest reading part 1 (click ‘here’ for link) will help explain why I made this journey to London in the first place, thank you it’ll lol save me writing 300 words and please note ALL the photos were taken by me as I walked around London’s landmark buildings Saturday August 4th 2018.
(Very quickly I’ll tell you this is a response post to a WordPress blogger by the name of Juliette Turrell, she herself visited London namely The National Gallery and The V&A and click ‘here’ for Juliette’s very own daytrip to London with photos.)
Btw the blogging phrase ‘photo dump’ is a new one on me but I like it 🙂 .
Below is a picture of me sitting on the grass in sunny London enjoying an ice cold can of coke and slice of pizza..…….. and what do you think of the shoes? Don’t answer lol because I love them!
London was a blue skies blazing sun and 30 degree temperatures beautiful day, tooo hot for me if truth be told but I’m loathed to complain because there were pretty ladies wearing short dresses everywhere! I ask how could I ever complain!
Tate Britain picture gallery
Below are a selection of exhibits both paintings also a marble sculpture of ‘Eve’ that particularly caught my eye!
The Victoria and Albert art museum(better known as the V&A)
Below the museum’s entrance , ‘the cast west wall’ and central hall containing several sculptures.
I have to admit I love riding the trains on The Underground, depending on a Tube Line I choose the train will within minutes whisk me to any number of landmarks parks railways stations. It’s the ONLY way to travel in car contested London.
(All photographs taken by myself A. Shepherdson 4th August 2018)
I visited London yesterday…………… here’s my photographic journey!
A (very) short introduction
Anyone who Follows me on WordPress knows for sure I enjoy interacting with other bloggers whether that be tags or writing challenges, well this fine Sunday morning I have a response post for blogger Juliette Turrell, oh and of course anyone who’d like to see photographs taken on yesterday’s daytrip to London.
Juliette Turrell pretty much 1 week ago (read her blog here) visited both the National Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum for her own personal daytrip, and note both are FREE ENTRYthough she’s themed her post Architecture, which I’d forgotten about………… Well seeing as Saturday was such a beautiful sunny day I thought why not visit the V&A Museum and here is a photographic journey taken that day.
🙂 Thanks Juliette for inspiring me to visit London and NOT spend the morning in bed!
But first before I begin 2 pictures of the coach and underground tickets! 04/08/2018 🙂
The V&A museumGoogle for more detail
The 2 hour Oxford to London journey shuttled me deep into the heart of London, then from Victoria Coach Station I took the Underground directly to The V&A Museum, I’ve never visited before and being quite excited thought it would make a good start to the day!
(Above) just look at the effect bright shafts of sunlight has on the structure!
Below The Hereford Screen, I actually stood gazing at this magnificent choir screen for what must have been 10 minutes…….. loved it! (Text courtesy of that fountain of knowledge Wikipedia.)
‘The Hereford Screen is a great choir screen designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811–1878) and made for Hereford Cathedral, England in 1862. It was one of the Gothic Revival works in iron of the nineteenth century and when it was unveiled at the 1862 International Exhibition it was hailed as the “grandest and most triumphant achievement of modern architectural art”
Juliette you visited the National Portrait, well I’ve been inside before though admittedly not for a few years! But decided on Tate Britain (picture and sculpture gallery) instead and I loved it! The paintings are truly spectacular by artists such as Turner and Constable, incidentally ‘The Hay Wain’ is displayed here……………… ok but I’m not a landscape man .
Tate Britainfabulous! I loved it! Perhaps Wiki for more detail!
The Tate (note not Tate Modern at Battersea) is a picture gallery home to so many great artists through centuries past and or course many painted scenes from the Bible (loved these fables have inspired great works of art)……………. I’ll visit again simply because you could spend a whole afternoon looking at just 3 paintings……………… couldn’t you!
The ‘Lady of Shalott’ (below & 1 of 3 versions) can be seen here, a truly beautiful image and I can assure you my camera hasn’t done the painting any justice…………. the light inside the gallery was poor and the public cannot take flash photography!
And below my favourite sculpture of the day, in fact my favourite art piece housed in Tate Britain, can you guess why? And very pert smooth and shapely she was tooo! Her name?………. I’m afraid I forgot my pen and paper sorry.
(Looking at the sculpture once again I’ve just this second noticed something I hadn’t seen at the gallery! Look closely below her feet and I see a snake coiling itself around the plinth…….…… which says to me the lady in the sculpture is in fact ‘Eve’ from the book of Genesis, she gave Adam the fruit so lol all blame should lie at her feet?)
…………. SAVE you money! Oh yes it will and better still making concrete is easy. (Because I lay naked in my gardenthis post concerns the screen I made to stop people looking at my ass!)
Okay regular readers to this blog will already know the posts are varied, the themes eclectic well even for me today’s post ‘casting things from concrete’ is a little surreal and out there, but I thought someone may be interested and yes making your own ‘objects’ cansave you money………… in fact what you can make is ONLY limited by the size of your imagination.
However if you live in a large Metropolitan City apartment complex such New York, err then you may have space issues?
A question! How much would you pay for a bird bath to go in the garden, a bath such as in the photos below? £30? Why not concrete cast your own for £2! What you’ll require is an old frying pan without handle, and an old washing up bowl. Place an open face down frying inside a washing up bowl, make sure it’s positioned in the middle and fill the washing up bowl with concrete, allow to set for 36 hours (no more), prize out the pan lid (carefully), invert the bowl and hey presto the bath should come out………………. and a the mould should always be made from wood or plastic but a frying pan should come out easy………….. read on!
A tip for you, wrap a sheet of kitchen cling film on the inside of the pan surface, and after setting the frying pan WILL come out easy leaving a fantastic finish. (Cling film will help with whatever you make 🙂 )
Or how about these concrete ‘stones’ cast with a hole in so you can insert screen poles, thereby keeping them upright, and note in the photos below I couldn’t push the screen’s poles into the ground anyway!! Why? Because the 5 concrete ‘stones’ are resting on loose rocks.
So I ask you, if you purchased 5 ‘stones with holes’ to support your rear garden screen, keep it upright and weighty enough to stop the wind blowing over, how much would you pay for 5? £60 or perhaps more!
Below are more photos of the supporting stones manufactured by myself but this time in close up!
…………. and now for several additional photos of my screen and note I know one pole looks as if it’s leaning and that’s because I haven’t cast the concrete ‘stone/stand/weight’ as of right now! Call the screen a work in progress.
And if you’ve been following my Blog posts recently then you’ll have worked out why a garden screen is required, I sunbathe naked (there is a post) and I’d rather not have people walking past looking at me through the gaps in my fence! 😀 I don’t mind but you know, children walk past so one has to be careful.
I hope this post is useful to someone reading because yes,
My photos and please download and save if you wish.
I know I’ve written many times this is a politics and religion free blog, but Trump’s visit is more a carnival event rather than working visit, (he’s desperate to have tea with our Queen) now like you all I have personal opinions which I’ll refrain from sharing here……………….. only that if Trump is your guy, your chosen leader then that’s called Democracy in action.
Before I begin I will suggest before reading my Blenheim Palace pt2 you should go and look at the photos in Blenheim a photo post pt1, which I’ll ‘link here’, viewing will both help follow my thread of thought ands saves me having to repeat everything twice aka Trump’s visit! Thank you 🙂 .
So having visited pt1 you’ll now know MY photographs were taken walking around the beautiful Palace Parklands, glorious they were bathed in glorious August sunlight, however to begin with I wish to mention something of Trumps’ official UK visit next Friday! Just be aware Blenheim WILL be global news next weekend.
Number 10 confirmed Friday Donald Trump’s 4 day visit will avoid London, with one caveat, he and the wife will sleep one night at the Ambassador’s residency in Regent’s Park and well that’s all he’ll see of London! Incredible because historically Nixon Kennedy Bush Reagan and Obama have ALL visited Number 10 and the Houses of Parliament, shared tea with the Queen at Buck Palace but such is the threat of major demonstrations Trump is in effect banned from London. Our Capital City thank God hasn’t been suicide bombed in a while, and well I’d guess MI5 MI6 have advised against a visit for his and our own security………. all very sad.
Remember in pt1 lol told you he’d miss London in favour of Blenheim, I was right when I said ‘watch this space’ as I shared the fact Trump’s visit is little more than a stop over visit to Fortress Blenheim Palace, lol I told you so…………. ok someone I know who work’s in security informed me that he’d heard the mountain will be coming to Muhammad, the mountain being British establishment, Muhammad being of course Donald Trump.
Ok here’s a brief itinerary ‘yawn lol’ if you’d really like to know, such a shame because Obama was welcomed with open arms and well Trump IS an unwelcome liability. (Courtesy of Microsoft on-line).
The US President’s four-day tour will instead include a military parade at Winston Churchill’s birthplace of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, talks with Theresa May at her Chequers country home, and tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle
Trump will spend just a few hours in the capital, when he overnights at the US Ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park.
He will not visit Downing Street, Buckingham Palace or the Houses of Parliament, all of which are expected to feature the biggest protests ever seen during a visit by an American President.
The ‘working visit’ lacks the status of a full state visit, but organisers of the event on both sides of the Atlantic have tried to meet Trump’s demands for ceremonial pomp, a military theme and rounds of golf in Scotland.
Trump coalition is still planning a Carnival of Resistance across the entire country, and demonstrations – against Trump’s sexism, racism and treatment of migrants – are planned not just in central London but also some of the stops on his now public itinerary.
With some Britons expected to take days off work to attend the protest, the main demo in London next Friday will start outside the BBC’s headquarters and end at Trafalgar Square.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has given the go-ahead for a giant “Trump baby” inflatable balloon to be tethered above Parliament Square. Amid security worries, intense secrecy has shrouded the President’s plans for months, but Downing Street finally announced details of the event on Friday. Trump will arrive on Thursday July 12, when he will come directly from the NATO summit in Brussels.
The Prime Minister will then host the President and the First Lady for a black-tie business dinner at Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of the Spencer Churchill family. The event will begin with a military ceremony performed by the bands of the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards. The bands will play the Liberty Fanfare, Amazing Grace, and the National Emblem.
During dinner, the Countess of Wessex’s Orchestra will perform a series of classic British and American hits. The Royal Regiment of Scotland will pipe the President out at the end.
Windsor Castle, where President Trump will meet Queen Elizabeth II next week
The next morning, the President and the Prime Minister will visit a defence site, yet to be made public, to witness “a demonstration of the UK’s cutting-edge military capabilities and integrated UK-US military training”.
Chequers for bilateral talks on a range of foreign policy issues, over a working lunch. Trump and May will then hold a joint press conference, the only point on the visit when media will have direct access to the President.
The President and the First Lady will then travel to Windsor Castle to meet The Queen, a key moment of the entire trip.
On Friday evening, they will travel to Scotland, where they will spend the weekend. It is understood that the British government will play no part in the Scottish leg of the trip as it is a ‘private element’ of the official visit.
Finally he is expected to travel largely via his ‘Marine One’ helicopter, so along with ‘Black Hawk’s’ ‘Apache’s’ and May’s helicopter Blenheim Grounds will resemble a Heliport!
Returning to my OWN Palace visit here are photos taken as I wandered the track that leads visitors around the stunning beautiful Parkland, new photos you’ll not see in pt1.
The guy wearing a green shirt, holding a blue rucksack and drinking lemon and lime is of course MEE!
………………….. AND finally to conclude this rather mixed bag of a post, if you hadn’t heard of Blenheim Palace before July 2018…………watch the TV and you will sooon 🙂 .
A photographic post for you and note all taken by me. Feel free to download and use if you wish 🙂 (btw you may wonder why I’ve reblogged? Well the post didn’t appear in any tags? Hmm ).
Above is a panorama of the lake with the Palace behind me.
A few readers to this WordPress will be aware I had a Blog before this one, how do I know this? 🙂 Several followed the old one. A short story made even shorter, I deleted that Blog along with ALL my posts (a Blenheim also), I didn’t copy any apart from ‘Pretty lady on a train‘, no in the hurry I lost stories tales and plenty of bs but in hindsight I’m pleased, the thought ‘Oh I have this old post, it’s ok I’ll just slip it in’ will never cross my mind and in hindsight what’s the point in that!
Enough talk of my old ‘yawn’ Blog!
August 2017 I visited one Blenheim Palace situated in the English County of Oxfordshire, well the day was gorgeously hot and sunny, the Palace grounds looked stunning in the sun and Blenheim Palace looked magnificent. Well I took my trusty cheap but very competent digital camera with me and took many photos and quite a few videos for my YouTube Channel……… then the other day I thought to myself ‘perhaps my new Followers would enjoy looking at them because I absolutely love looking at other people’s photographs’.
One more word about Blenheim Palace, you may think to yourself ‘never heard of it?’ Well I’m here to tell you I’d strongly suggest you have but perhaps not realised! Lol why do I contradict you, the Palace and Parkland have appeared in many movies for example Transformers Last Night, several James Bond films, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix to name several, not forgetting TV and music concerts PLUS when Donald Trump arrives for his 3 day visit he will be based at Blenheim.
And I think I know the reason why, a little birdie tells me and he works in security, he reliably informs me that because the Palace Grounds are encircled by a high stone wall in addition all three entrances have large oak gates apparently makes Blenheim Palace one of the most secure residences in the UK plus closely situated to London! And I’ve also heard because of the future demonstrations (note I don’t say possible) no because of the planned massed demonstrations and threat’s Trump is unlikely to visit London…………….. I maybe wrong but you lol read it here first lol.
Again note this is a politics free blog and if Trump’s your man then fine 🙂 but the security threat is large so all his Apache gunships and Black Hawk helicopters will be parked in Blenheim grounds along with the Chinooks and tanks…………… I’m sitting on the fence here, but I don’t think he’ll be as welcome as Obama.
Anyways if you wish to learn more about the Palace’s History I suggest you search Wikipedia that reliable mine of information, all I will say is the Palace’s Parkland was designed by the landscape architect Capability Brown.
I hope you enjoy and remember these were snapped August 2017.
I waited for the lady (MILF) below in blue tight tee shirt to reach me, you know taking pictures of scenery, a swig of drink wasting time etc, all on the pretence of looking at her magnificent shapely boobs, well you just have to don’t you! I remember I said “hello”, she replied “lovely view” but then I was dumbstruck………… hmm when you meet a single older woman what an earth do you say? “Fancy a roll in the long grass?” JOKING.
The panorama individuals below,
All photos by A. Shepherdson 2107. (Remember download and use if you wish and there’ll be more to come)
I borrow my mum’s collie Holly at ever opportune moment, we all love our animals whatever they may be and perhaps owning a pet is our last tentative connection to being part of mother nature? 🙂 Isn’t it odd that I feel the urge to owning a dog……………… do they fulfil some primeval need so which is it? Companion friend or just that they are utterly devoted to their owner?
Hmm how would a blog fair dedicated solely to my mum’s dog? (Might be more popular than mine? 😀 )…………….. btw I won’t be but it’s an interesting thought all the same!
The photo below shows Holly adores being in the countryside, her brain is alive and thinking and I love the way even in a 3 hour walk she’ll always stay close, never stray and keep me in her sights.
There’s a guy at work called ‘Dave the plumber’, a lovely colleague who likes joking around and taking the ‘micky’ out of me, I should explain that’s light hearted ribbing to you foreigners, well at one point in our conversation he said,
“Andy you must be the last person alive who still uses a digital camera!”, I thought for a second or two, and yes perhaps I am because EVERYONE I know takes photos using a tablet or mobile phone! Hmm but are each as good as the other?
I’m NOT going to write a comparison test “yawn”, but looking again at the photos uploaded and displayed on Holly buttercups and pools of water, my previous post, I have to be bluntly honest and say in my own humble opinion, I think my little digital camera captures pretty good images.
I hope you take a peek at the linked post (part 1) because then part 2 (this post) has a context and additional point of view, and lol saves me repeating the exact same text again. So if you’d like to see several more photographs taken from my afternoon walking Holly the collie, I’ve included them all below and all snapped in what’s affectionately known as ‘The Indentation!’
Pictured below I’m standing on the edge looking down into the ‘bowl’ which incidentally has been known to flood 2 feet deep!
Looking closely at photographs from both posts, I’m hoping you’ll understand the reason why this small piece of wasteland came to be known by residents as ‘The Indentation’, and yes you’ve guessed correct it’s shaped similar to a large bowl and lies below the level of all the surrounding houses, simply because at times of sudden heavy rainfall, say an electric thunderstorm, excess water is piped into this manmade bowl and stops people’s homes being flooded out! The beautiful consequence of a designed civil engineering functionality is the basin is constantly replenished with clean life giving water, it’s not stagnant, and as we all know, wherever in the world water comes in contact with the land then nature thrives………… and buttercups have taken hold in this moist soil also toads no doubt sourced from resident’s garden ponds!
Here endeth the natural history lesson.
I guess for those readers who live in America, would you say ‘The Indentation’ is another name for a ‘Storm Drain?’
Lol who cares 😀 , I think this wildlife haven is fabulous! And don’t you agree the vivid yellow buttercup with its gloss shiny petals is as beautiful as any garden flower?
🙂 Now having looked at both posts, do you see this low lying ‘bowl’ with it’s gently inclining sides so as to collect storm water flooding in? Hmm buttercups seem to like this ‘spongy’ moist soil.
I’ve been rereading the introductions to many of my posts and lol I keep saying the same friggin thing and it’s gotta stop! Right here stop now! Btw I’m far from annoyed I just dreamt that opening up and it made me laugh, but being serious for a ‘mo’ my Blog is devoid of a theme and always will be an eclectic random mixture of whatever captures my imagination…………. so if adult content isn’t for you (you have taste btw) then perhaps nature posts or a cookery lesson possibly will (you have taste btw) just be aware this is all new original content by me.
Lol rant over! (A nice friendly rant 😀 )
Above you are looking at a picturesque sweep of 4 photos that form one scenic panoramic view, and taken by me 03/06/2018, to be more precise you are looking at a pond and heathland very close to my mother’s home, and this small oasis of British plants and insects is enclosed by housing estates on all four sides.
Yes this urban natural scene is most definitely by definition an urban wildlife oasis and absolutely essential for both quality of human beings life also for keeping British wildlife alive and thriving…………. Town planners have to realise these sanctuary’s in overcrowded urban environments are incredibly important no absolutely essential if we’re going to have any type of wildlife left in the United Kingdom………. and yes they’re as important as acres of picturesque National Parks with their deer wildfowl.
Within large cities such as Birmingham Manchester and London these sanctuaries for plants bees toads and birds are important places for inner city children to visit on school trips, so they at least feel some sort of connection to the Natural World. Btw I’m not being patronising we have charities which will transform rubbish laden filthy shitholes into wildlife havens and we should feel grateful for such great citizens.
Oh and they’re fabulous locations if you are a dog walker like myself but then I’m very lucky because we have many such nature reserves dotted around my Town, I have old photos but I’ll not publish again…………… I used to belong to a conservation group hmm perhaps I should join again……….. perhaps I’d meet a middle aged single with large saggy breasts!
Well if you enjoy looking at the panoramic scene I’m sharing above, larger individual images are shown below, and being absolutely honest if I didn’t walk my mother’s dog from time to time then I doubt I’d have any sort of affinity or connection to my natural surroundings, without Holly I’d have been inside tapping on my laptop keyboard writing bad erotica on this Blog rather than enjoying a sunny June afternoon walk……………. isn’t that at least one great reason to owning a dog! Get away from social media lol.
A busy trunk road and large housing estate lie exactly 26 seconds walking distance directly behind me 😮 .
More pictures will follow because I walked further out into our British countryside, in fact I walked several miles I guess that’s why Holly is so pleased to see me when I visit mum on a Sunday and have a beef roast dinner made for me! But she gets to tell me about her week and chat so all’s good.
Below is Holly, not quite a collie dog but an intelligent loyal companion all the same……. she loves ‘The Indentation’ as well………………. oh I forgot to tell you it’s called ‘The Indentation’ because it’s basically a large bowl lower than the surrounding houses.
🙂 Now even if I say it myself that’s a friggin awesome post title! Lol I’ve truly surpassed myself but yikes now I have to write the post…………….. f#ck it’ll never live up to that hype but oh well I’ll tell my true tale.
(A brief Intermission similar to those they used to have at my local cinema when I was a child, Saturday afternoon’s the matinee would stop then ‘old stumpy’ would walk round selling cartons of ice cream and shout at kids to stop throwing sweets at him! Just to explain I’m telling the near indecent exposure tale one hundred percent true and, because I’m ALWAYS honest, I’ll admit her knickers could be an exaggeration but till this day I’m utterly convinced I saw them!)
A few years ago now, but I’m living at this same address so we’re talking quite recently, dead on 6.07 am on a weekday morning I pulled my front door shut, and why such a precise time you may well ask? Well I catch the bus to work 6.25 and it takes me exactly 15 minutes to reach the stop.
My walk to work is an absolutely stunning one though at times can be a little nerve-wrecking but I’ll get onto that in a moment just hold that thought. My 13 minute walk is quiet peaceful and a changed landscape everyday of the year yet I take exactly the same route? The beginning couple of minutes are breath-taking strolling beneath canopies of overhanging trees, leafy in summer cold and bleak in winter, and stunning in the snow. Then I walk alongside the wall of an ancient Manor House, turn left at the Dovecot, pass by an ancient Church then cross open common land with it’s 2 bridges over the river Windrush with woods and trees either side.
I’m unbelievably lucky, some early mornings I’ll watch ducks geese and swans as I cross the rivers, a heron if I’m lucky, and circling over the open fields I’ll quite often see Barn owls swooping down for food and best of all I’m often the only person walking across the common. There’s never another soul in the dark winters and only the odd female jogger her tight ass squeezed into body hugging Lycra in the summer…………. if she’s bouncing boobs then all is right in my world!
However my early morning gorgeous walk can be unnerving in the winter, it’s dark but for a few pavement lights, pitch black in some parts and frigging scary some days especially if my imagination is alive and I’m feeling jumpy. Why so? You may have guessed already, the common is a magnet for men who have sexual propensity to run up to females and expose their genitals, ‘flashers’ I KNOW frigging sick or what, WTF why do it for f#cks sake?
A tragic tale for you, two years ago and on the same day I crossed that open common, I arrive at work switch on my computer to catch the local news only to read a young woman was attacked @3.00am before I’d walked past that same wooded area, it’s always dark because of the closely planted trees.
I know I’m getting off topic, sort of! But it turns out this particular early morning a man dragged the woman from the pavement, into the undergrowth, assaulted her breaking bones in her back then he raped the unfortunate woman. However by breaktime that same morning the case was solved, it turns out minutes after the Police arriving at the crime scene they went directly to a particular known address close by and arrested a convicted rapist who was out on remand soon to appear in Court for the rape of another woman………….. it was written there in black and white, the rapist was allowed out of prison ready to attend Court where he’d be found guilty for whatever and sent back to prison! But he assaulted in the meantime and sentenced life/9 years minimum.
Unbe-f#cking-lievable, you just cannot make this incompetence up!
Anyways returning to my story of walking to work one particular evening and now you understand why I’m both elated by the scenery and nature and nervous that I’ll get beaten up or robbed blind. Several years prior to the serious assault our local Police, in I guess a gesture to calm public safety fears over the number of exposures taking place and because several hours later around 9.30am children walk across the common to get to school, a visible Police presence was increased from zero to quite a few and I’m not being sarcastic there’s only so many Policepersons and FAR too many crimes taking place.
I’ll get to the end of this frigging true tale if it takes all evening lol! So I’m often nervous, the only member of public out and about this early hour, now if you look at my photo below this is virtually the exact spot where I was startled. Suddenly aware of movement and rustling between the bushes and because I’m a fast walker I strode past the noise and commotion half expecting to see a cat or the grey squirrel my mum’s dog chases HOWEVER what do I see but a uniformed attractive Policewoman squatting on the ground her skirt pulled up over her knees halfway up her thighs, knickers down around her ankles (side on so I didn’t see her actually doing ‘it’ or she’d finished) well all I can add is she was as startled as me, our gazes and eyes briefly caught each others, both no doubt WTF? I hurriedly kept walking and just understand there was an awful lot of commotion from those bushes as said Policewoman adjusted her dress! I will be absolutely bluntly honest, the image of her squatting half naked is still kinda sexy!
I realise now the juxtaposition of a story about a rape and a peeing policewoman don’t perhaps sit happily? Hmm, I’ll leave it, they happened but feel free to comment.
(I remember later smiling to myself thinking ‘I’d hope she saw the funny side afterwards’, out hunting for flashers but no instead she flashed a pedestrian. 🙂 )
It’s a strange old world, day after day month after month I take that exact same route through beautiful countryside, passing various wildlife and then one day what do I see but a peeing Policewoman! BUT being deadly serious for a second and please don’t think me flippant, on another day a young woman takes that exact route and is raped! Jeeze we have to take care these days, there’s far too many assaults robberies and knife crime in my Town!
My morning route to work, the common and lane with bushes. (My old photos but I doubt you mind. 🙂 )
Photographs taken by myself 21/04/2018 apart from the 3 picture’s of pretty ladies wearing very little! You mean you don’t understand? Lol you’ll have to read on 😀 btw I’m NOT ‘click baiting’ readers, this post is ‘hopefully’ a blend of humour and historically serious………. in other words entertaining.
Towers and Churches(with a fun introduction)
The UK has experienced an unseasonal no lush incredible! Mini heatwave, we’ve just had the hottest 3 days since written records began, sorry for droning on about our weather lol but if you have a friend who’s from England then you’ll understand our national obsession, no our number one pastime, is talking about our weather! No word of a lie I kid you not we can experience all 4 seasons in one day, three weeks ago we had snow (click link) this weekend we’ve had blue skies high humidity brilliant sunshine and 28+ degrees, I’ll return to sultry steamy temperatures in a second. AND please take note of the Cemetery photos with their Bluebells and Daffodils, these pictures were snapped by me a week or so ago.
Enough of English weather lol, oh yes where was I? Saturday’s clammy sweat inducing sticky humid air, so tiring to walk through you’d imagine we lived in the Everglades!
Lol after waking Saturday morning (a night in bed all alone ahh), I made breakfast gazed out the kitchen window and thought to myself ‘yes I’ve had a long tiring week at work, but jeeze staying at home today of all days would be criminal’, so I grabbed my camera and decided to visit Oxford and wander around my home City as a sightseer, join all the other tourists taking photos…………… perhaps write a blog post?
Hold on what’s that noise I hear at the window? No word of a lie it’s frigging raining, you see what I mean, summer could be over and done with already!
Returning to this past Saturday. (If you don’t wish to read my observations of today’s pretty ladies skip a paragraph!)
I absolutely adore English hot sunny weather, the muggier stickier airless the better, and some of you may already know what I’m about to say next! At the slightest hint of stifling soupy hot temperatures ladies lose all their modesty and abandon layers of clothes, omg sweet Jesus do their clothes ever come off! Winter coats are hung up until next Tuesday and they hit the summer tee shirt chest of draws HARD and the results are gorgeously spectacular!
Look I understand I’m getting side tracked, the churches can wait I’m in free flow sharing my love of women!
The centre of my Town lies 10 minutes away, well after leaving home a hundred yards in I pass by the recreational Park and wow there stand’s a young mother wearing only a string vest with an oh so visible black bra underneath! A hundred yards further and I’m watching a mature lady approaching wearing a crisp white blouse, and the closer she gets I see she’s braless with unrestrained bundles of fun bouncing happily together, well I had to stop by the river’s bridge just to let my pulse slow down! Finally I arrive at the bus stop to Oxford and a petite very pretty young woman saunters past wearing beige HIGH cut hot pants with both buttocks hanging out!! Incredible, and I don’t know if her father had checked her dress code as she left her home? Afraid to say I hardened and twitched for a second or two 😉
These Googled images below remind me of today and all day, lol I shouldn’t share them should I but this is my blog and all that, you get the idea! 😦 We’ll be wearing winter coats by next Tuesday and sunny days of no bras and bouncing boobs will be but a memory 😦
😀 enough of sexy young women (and note sexy mature as well) let us quickly move on.
Part 1, today’s published Post, feature 2 Churches a Saxon Tower also Martyrs Memorial, I will try to be brief and to the point else this post will read as a history lesson, I DON’T want that either, you’ll have to visit Wikipedia and sift through the Fake posts for a history lesson.
Having said that, whilst wandering around Oxford’s busy Street’s alongside decanted bus loads of Japanese Tourists I suddenly thought to myself I pass these two Churches below every single day of my working week! Twice if you count in the times I pass by at 4.30pm on my way home (questioning myself ‘am I happy in my work?’ or do these feelings of discontentment plague every person who’s hit middle age?’)
Anyways enough of that silliness!
Returning to my bolt of lighting moment of revelation I did honestly realise I pass by these ancient landmarks each day, yet I know absolutely not a jot about their historical significance both a sobering and rather awful admission. So this Post was a history lesson for myself as much as you lol!
Btw between both Churches lies a strip of tarmaced road, on this site a Fair comes to Oxford every year and has done for the past 400 years!
The Saxon Tower at St. Michael at the North Gate, the Tower is one of the oldest Buildings in Britain no less, and these Churches are 12th Century so we’re talking OLD!
I wonder how many people you’d have to stop in the Street before someone could describe the history behind this this ancient Saxon Tower? (They don’t allow anyone to walk to the top anymore, Why? Because people keep jumping from tall buildings in Oxford!)
Originally built around 1000–1050, with the tower from 1040 still in existence, the church is Oxford’s oldest building. It was constructed of Coral Rag and until yesterday I’d never looked closely and yes there is coral in the mix!
The Oxford Martyrs were imprisoned in the Bocardo Prison before they were burnt at the stake in what is now Broad Street nearby 1555, at that time immediately outside the city and the cell door can be seen on display in the tower.
Saint Magdalene Church
This fascinating historic Church stands isolated on a traffic island at the south end of St Giles, near the Martyr’s Memorial. The first Church was built in the Saxon period and stood just outside the city walls replacing a timber church destroyed when Vikings attacked and burned most of Oxford down in 1010 and 1013.
The church was burnt down again in 1074,
In 1194 Saint Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, had the Church rebuilt. Work of that period survives in the east wall of the chancel wall and in the south aisle, and the altar is dedicated to St Thomas Becket.
By 1235 the church had an altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The chancel was rebuilt late in the 13th century. A century later the scholars of newly founded Balliol College had an oratory dedicated to St Catherine in the present North aisle.
In 1320 the Carmelites founded a chapel in the south aisle, which survives as the present Lady Chapel.
The west tower was built between 1511 and 1531 with stone taken from the dissolved Oxford’s Cistercian Monastery.
Saint Giles Church
Built 12th 13th Century St. Giles Church lies 500 metres North of Oxford’s old city wall, standing in open fields with no other buildings between it and the city wall. As I said earlier that’s where the North Gate Church and Saxon Tower stands. Interestingly only about a thousand people lived within the walls of Oxford at this time, you should see outer Oxford now!
Damaged during the English Civil War when the Parliamentarian army besieged the Royalist force then defending Charles. John Goad, vicar from 1644 until 1646, is said to have led services in St. Giles during Parliamentary artillery bombardments in 1645.
Victorian gothic built to remember martyrs killed at the sight of execution virtually on the same spot! In 1840 when constructed it replaced tottering wooden house.
Below are photos of my Grandfather’s delivery vans, he owned his own Bakery! I’ll leave you to guess if I’m a ‘Weale’ or a ‘Bateman’ or ‘another’ Lol.
I Follow a lady blogger who writes all the way from deepest darkest Africa, and don’t you think it amazing that you can open your tablet Reader and then be whisked away into the thoughts of bloggers from around the world.
Well paraphrasing a little, this lady pointed out something that I’d never come across before, registered car guards! I guess this service is a sign of modern times, having said that when I daily listen to Jeremy Vine on BBC’s Radio 2 or read when I pickup my daily copy of the Metro free newspaper, I’ll be reminded of the previous days crime stories. AND without coming across as seeming rather smug at her shocking insights, I sometimes wonder if Britain is heading on a similar path?
Time will tell I guess.
Did you know London has a bigger murder rate bigger than in NewYork USA!! The choice of weapon isn’t guns in our case, it’s knives and I’m not underplaying the fact when I say knife crime in the UK is now out of control since the policy of stop and search was abandoned!
And ‘shock of shocks’, you’ll sense a touch of sarcasm here, now that our Police cannot stop and search young men if they suspect them of carrying a knife, young men now carry knives with them!!! Jeeze I saw this coming (with age comes wisdom) and wouldn’t you know it, the public are now demanding the Police have the power to stop and search people who in their professional opinion could be carrying a knife?
Unbelievable you couldn’t make this shit up and in the meantime innocent law abiding citizens have been knifed to death, it’s so tragic.
Well returning to my African blogger’s post and I’ll quote an extract, ‘they have an abundance of registered car-guards who do an excellent job of protecting our cars from being stolen while we shop and go about our business errands.’ Well I learnt something new today and yes quite shocking BUT how long before we in the UK go into Town to shop visit the Post Office or whatever and pay to have someone watch their car so as it’s not broken into?
Without sounding flippant I guess hers is a service that’s creating employment opportunities, having your car watched does seem a great idea for peace of mind, and it won’t be long until big British cities follow suit. Anyways, then I got to remembering an anecdote my Grandfather would often tell me when I was a child, a true tale from the days of owning vans used in his Bakery business. Grandpa ‘Bob’ would proudly tell me back that when living back in the 1940’s, he’d purchased a new van and it would be delivered with the absence of car door locks!
Yes I know unbelievable incredible isn’t it, and I guess all these years since he last told me this anecdote, the vision of him driving into Town, leaving his delivery van unlocked whilst he delivered bread, is well inconceivable in present day crime ridden England.
I’m a happy Englishman, 3 weeks ago snow covered my home Town and surrounding countryside, the temperature plunged to -6 degrees, but joy of joys a warm British Spring has finally arrived, I do so hate the cold.
I carry a camera with me everywhere I go, well last Saturday as I approached ‘our Town’s Common’ walking alongside the outer wall of a 16th Century Manor House, part of which is a dovecote.
TV’s ‘Downton Abbey’ is filmed here, you may have heard of it?
I’d noticed earlier a small group of people standing gazing up at the outer wall, so ‘as you do’ I stopped to see what an earth they were looking at and photographing on their mobile phone cameras? And there sat a female white dove on her nest of twigs. (Below)
A very impressive nest of twigs don’t you think, and better still she’s another sign Spring has finally arrived, yay! Incidentally she’s not in the slightest bit phased by the shoppers walking past, I guess our Doves get used to gawping tourists!
Btw if you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘Cotswold Stone’, Century’s ago Churches also village Cottages were constructed using locally mined Cotswold Stone, which begins life a clean sandy yellow but over time many strains of living lichen attach themselves and along with the effects of wind and rain the Stone turns a mixture of greys and honey coloured hews. Tourists (especially the Japanese) travel from right across the Globe specifically to visit Cotswold Stone Villages!
I’ve a soft spot for weathered Cotswold Stone, but then I would say that, home is where the heart is. 🙂
The scenic photograph below was taken at the height of summer of 2017 and shows a picturesque Manor House now from the rear, which err means said Dovecote is unseen because it’s ‘on tuther side!’
You may have already ‘read’ several Posts on my WordPress, thank you, so you’ll have gathered this Blog possess no one single theme, which means the following Post could be wildlife, cookery, erotica or whatever! There’s no specific reason, it’s just my ‘publishing style lol!
(The following Post is themed Lesbians, you’ve been warned!)
Perhaps if you reside in a Country outside the United Kingdom you may not have come across the phrase ‘The Beast From The East’. Don’t worry it’s not a name attributed to the evil Russian who’s been leaving deadly nerve agent inside restaurants and smeared on park benches around Salisbury, no the ‘Beast…..‘ is a phrase attributed to a very British weather system, or more specifically a sudden blanket of snow falling across parts of the UK.
Weathermen do like to conjure up imaginative descriptions, Great Britain finds itself at the heart of five different weathers systems the worst being a cold front which blows down from Siberia, possibly catching a little Arctic blast on the way! Well temperatures plummet, snow falls and my Townscape resembles photos which wouldn’t look out of place on as next years Christmas card………. all good fun unless you use public transport to get to work.
Bah Humbug! (I must be getting old)
We’ve experienced three overnight ‘snow bombs’ this winter and were due to have a fourth this Easter, however the short boring story is the wind changed direction, a warmer front blew in from France bringing four days of persistent rain.
All of these photos below were taken by myself one Sunday morning in early March, follow the journey from my little house, all the distance across Town to my Mother’s for a Sunday roast beef dinner…………. I guess you could call the occasion a little treat in return for doing a few jobs around the house.
Follow the journey and bare in mind the house above may or may not be mine.
Below right is the side wall of an old Manor House and Farm used as a set and backdrop in the period TV Drama Downton Abbey… you may have heard of it!
I won’t say where abouts the 12th Century Norman Church below is located, just be aware we’re talking rural South East England.
Perhaps I’m becoming a little weary and jaded and yes I’ll admit to being rather cynical as the years roll by (I’ll have to keep an eye on this), I didn’t really mind this winter’s snow, in fact it’s quite astonishing how overnight the Town you wake up to is totally transformed and looks nothing like the evening before.
All photographs taken by meee (except the first!), A. Shepherdson 🙂
The ‘Beast from the East’ is set to visit our shores once again! For goodness sake I’ve had enough of this Siberian ‘snow beast’ for one Winter, we Brits love talking about atrocious weather conditions yet we’re never prepared when it arrives? No word of a lie once snow begins to settle on the roads my beloved country soon grinds to a frigging halt, transport stops, schools close and worst of all selfish people clear the grocery shelves of all bread and milk! Absolutely crazy behaviour and just so as you know, the sight of panic buying makes my blood boil, it’s so pointless and needless! 😀 Rant over.
Three occasions this winter Russia’s frozen Beast has dumped snow over the UK, 3 times the local buses have stopped running and my central heating’s been on permanently, I shudder to imagine what my next gas bill’s gonna cost me?
(Btw I’ve more 2018 snow blog photos to share! Yes?)
Don’t get me wrong living in snowy Oxford can be fun and a novelty, for youngsters, but commuting to work’s been a frigging nightmare this year, so that’s enough fun and novelty for 2018 thank you very much 🙂
🙂 I hope those in sunnier warmer countries enjoyed these pics.
Where to begin? I wish I could tell more of my past blog life and perhaps one day I will, but all I can say for certain is several readers of this blog will recognise me, hopefully 🙂 . I always prided myself as being both supremely honest and drama free, well very nearly because I can be a little overdramatic at times, I guess all you need to know is I had to leave.
I left WordPress Christmas last year deciding never to write again, but since being away I’ve missed this internet backwater, then last weekend I happened across a story on my PC I’d written called ‘Pretty Lady On A Train’, a story with such poor phrasing I sat down and rewrote that same afternoon, and do you know what I enjoyed writing again. However when I’d finished, I thought to myself what the hell do I do with the tale now? Return to a folder never to be seen again?
Short and sweet I’ve decided to publish ‘Pretty Lady On A Train‘ a second time and start reading blogs again, a pastime I enjoyed for so long but which hurt a little when I stopped writing. Hurt? Yes hurt, because I’m a firm believer if you’re going to read people’s WordPress, maybe like follow and comment people’s blogs (I enjoy interaction) then you have to be writing one yourself or what is the frigging point? Perhaps you understand.
Lol all very dramatic, so what of the future? Answer is I have absolutely no idea, but I have a funny feeling I’ll write again ONLY because enjoy it, however if I do I’ll have to take a little more care. Perhaps this will be a photography blog only, share my enjoyment of taking photographs, who knows.