Friday, 30 August 2013


This is the time of year that all the planning, the effort and the risk pays off. This is the time of year that the heavyweight equipment is wheeled out. 

Yes, this is the time of year you take your life in your hands on country roads as Agricultural Contractors blast from farm to farm with the largest tractors you have ever seen.

Actually, when you think about it, the wheat doesn't stand a chance.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The new University

Here are the grounds of a good education, for they filter out the weak workers. Hurry, the lectures are express and you wouldn't want to be latte. No, I don't mean to be a mocker but if you have the sprinklings of a Barrister in you then this is where you may be called to the bar.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Times change

Once upon a time, you would take your film to Boots to be developed. "Come back in a week" they would say. Then you waited to see if your snaps had come out. Gradually Boots started to sell more types of films, and cameras, and they started to offer a minilab service on the premises.

I called in to our local Boots this week. The shelves of film were so depleted that I doubt they will have any film for sale in 12 months time. Furthermore, £7 for film plus maybe another £7 to process and print it makes for an expensive alternative to digital photography.

The camera display was a small locked cupboard of a dozen point and shoot items which may have been covered in a thin layer of dust.

I did notice the four digital printing machines were popular. There was a selection of folks plugging their memory sticks into these machines and selecting their images for printing. 

Times change. Instant results....

Sunday, 25 August 2013


Infinity is a big number. Actually it's very very big indeed. It's even bigger than Graham's Number, and that is very big.

Space is infinite and therefore very big. It appears to go on for ever. If it doesn't, then what is beyond the bit where the Universe ends? We really need to go and have a look.

What we need to conquer this immense challenge is an inexhaustible supply of power. 

Thus I present USB powered USB. A concept of infinite importance.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Fly Boys

Aah. Remember 1976? 

Those were the days. We had more than one Vulcan, and a whole row of Hunters.

There were fewer uncertainties then. The world seemed black and white to me.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Old rope

You can sell anything these days, if you charge enough.

Here we have the headlight from a 1927 Cadillac mounted on a stand and turned into an interior lamp. This will cost you £600.

Would it still be worth £600 if you knew the headlight was made in China a month ago?

Add caption

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Long Pole

You're going to need a long pole and a duster to tidy up this corner of the church.

Let's hope our visitors don't look up when they pop in.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Repeating the shot

While we are on the subject of Abingdon, each time I go there it seems I have to take the same picture. Here are the results:

(Watch the tree grow behind the pub on the bridge)

Two taken in January and June of 1971:

This was in 1992

Here we are again in 1998

Finally in 2013

Monday, 19 August 2013

Hard times

If you fall on hard times in Abingdon, maybe you can call on the help of the local Almshouse Charity. 

Perhaps they would give you one of these drop dead* gorgeous houses dating from the fifteenth century.

In memory of Charles Twitty late of the City of Westminster Esq who for thirty years together next before his death with great fidelity and assiduous care executed ye office of Deputy Auditor of the receipt of exchequer. 

And out of his pious inclination of this the parish of his nativity gave by his Will the sume of seventeen hundred pounds for building and perpetually endowing an Hospital for maintayning in meate, drinke and apparel, and all other necessarys of life: Three poor aged men and the like number of poor aged women to be chosen out of the honest and industrious poor people of this place not receiving the common almes: as by his said Will is directed.

*Sorry. An ill-chosen phrase.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sore Thumb

Down our road, standing out like a large white sore thumb among the red brick Victorian houses, you find this church. A curious mixture of Modernist and Mediterranean architecture, it boasts a Campanile and more recently, solar power panels.

The lovely arched interior and smooth white walls lend the building a striking open look and absolutely terrible acoustics. I'm glad I don't work their PA system.

This 20th century building has also suffered from cold and damp and high upkeep costs, just like our 16th century church in town. This would be progress then.

Saturday, 17 August 2013


Where will you get support when you get older? 

Perhaps you will lean on your spouse, like this couple I spotted out for an evening stroll. Will you depend on your children? 

Don't look to the State for help. All that tax you paid has vanished. I don't know what they did with it. Perhaps the Government has a full time Frittering Department somewhere. 

I can tell you that England has an eleven year backlog of unfixed potholes in the roads. So, it's nice to know the fortune I pay in "road tax" each year is well spent.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Low Bridge

What did the monks of Bolton Abbey think they were doing?

Surely this can't be a serious attempt at crossing the river. If the water lever drops by four inches then you don't need this at all. If it rises by four inches these stones will be useless.

Is it possible these suspiciously rectangular stones were put there by English Heritage to create a visual effect for landscape photographers...?

Maybe it is just a large scale experiment in turbulent flow and fluid dynamics.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Natural Carving

Somewhere up in the Yorkshire Dales, there's a small stream that is responsible for these fantastic shapes.

I stumbled across (or into) this stream near a layby some years ago when the water was low and the sun was in the right position. Sometimes you just get lucky.


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Pointless waste

A fifteen year old picture from the archives.

What a pointless waste this is. Why do they do this sort of thing? More importantly - when you burn the car you stole and used to burgle houses, are you stuck in the middle of nowhere.  So, did you nick a second car to get home?

Yes, OK, the golden rust, the green field and the blue sky do make a rather fetching set of colours, but that's a photographer speaking.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

One man's junk

It may look like junk to you and me, but someone somewhere will pay good money for an antique like that...

By the way: Why do people keep all old knives but throw the forks away?

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Seeing the picture

Sometimes you can simply snap a scene because it appears there, in front of you. This rather unlikely arrangement appeared before me in Hungerford, home of a thousand antique shops.

I claim no artistic merit for this image.

Sometimes you have to spot an intriguing image and try to make the best of it by framing it carefully to exclude the unwanted elements.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Leaf art

Sometimes Nature drops a subject to photograph right there in front of you. 

The recent hot and dry spell made our Silver Birch throw its toys out of the pram. So, in early August we have leaves all over the lawn, just like it were October.

This was taken in the late afternoon on a North facing windowsill. You will be able to work out the Latitude and the time of day I took the picture from the length of the shadow. The calculation is but a simple one.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Metal Art

Here's an old enamel sign for International Harvester agricultural equipment. I.H. no longer makes tractors and the company has been swallowed up, but the memories remain.

Enamel signs advertising petrol and oil grew along the sides of the roads and were bright and durable. They were so popular in the advertising community that they became the scourge of the countryside and were eventually banned. 

These days they are collected and displayed in museums and historical experience exhibitions. 

You can even buy new fake old enamel signs to hang in your designer kitchen.

What a strange world it is.