Friday, 29 August 2014


Our town museum has re-opened after a four year rebuild and refit.

At the moment it feels rather empty, as if they put the exhibits in storage and can't remember where. There are lots of nice open spaces however, and everything looks clean and new.

Here is one of the open areas. 
It has a nice pair of chairs. 

They face the toilets.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


If you are of a certain age (and I am confident you are not..) then the name Hilversum will have particular significance. This mysterious word and many others like it would be found on the dial of the family radio. As the pointer searched the waves (we didn't have frequencies in those days) it swept past these impossibly exotic locations.

What were all these foreigners listening to? 

It certainly wasn't the quality of the BBC Home Service I can tell you. Well, it wouldn't be. 

Generally it sounded like whistles and a continuous buzz. Johnny foreigner must be easily amused.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Worker

Bank Holiday Monday was wet. It was very wet, so I decided to go in to work and take a different day off instead.

It was quiet at work as you might imagine, just me and Phillip here. He keeps himself to himself, and in return we generally ignore him.

I worry though. He may go unremarked in his little corner but I think he is watching the office. I think he notes down what we do and I think he reports back to the management.

In fact I suspect he is a plant.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The British Bank Holiday


A long weekend. 

Time to get things done or take it easy and visit a National Trust property.

As you see, we are at the Vyne near Basingstoke on Bank Holiday Saturday. Weather: Mixed but dry. Tea shop queue: Huge*. Wasps: Annoying. Children's play area: Mayhem.

*I think that the NT could expand their operation at minimum cost. Given that the house and grounds are usually a peripheral attraction, they could be dispensed with. Just buy up waste land, install a tea shop, a play area, a ticket booth, some brown signs and start coining it.

Sunday, 24 August 2014


I find the strangest things amusing. 

I suspect I inherited my sense of humour, and it is a valuable tool in the daily task of dealing with life. There are many folks I know that have a similar gift, and I feel a special bond with them. 

Equally there are a select few I have met over the years that don't seem to find anything amusing at all. Now these folks are rather worrying: I mean, what do they think the rest of us are laughing at?

Anyway, it is always a joy to see evidence of a like minded person when I am out and about.

For example:

BTW. Why do you never hear someone say "Me, I have no sense of humour at all"

Thursday, 21 August 2014


Here's a sandstone wall that clearly needs attention. 

So with your help, we are giving it some.

I don't know if this indicates that northern sandstone is weak or if it shows that the winters in Durham are particularly harsh. Either way, it was one of those little details I could not leave unrecorded.

Mmm. Lovely shapes and textures.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Meat and two veg?

Settle down here and enjoy some unusual catering.

No. I don't know why they decided this would be a good name for a cafe.

Monday, 18 August 2014


It is a mystery to me how Apple get all this technology inside a iPod. How is that possible? 

In fact it isn't possible.

I think there is actually an orchestra of Imps in there with lots and lots of sheet music, and they play what you want when you want it.

Friday, 15 August 2014


There is a warning on the news today. Be careful shopping on line after you have had a drink or two.

Well, it isn't just eBay, I can tell you. Take this extremely rare Long Eared Persian Cat that I bought from a bloke in the pub last week.

I have my suspicions: 

It prefers to eat grass. It doesn't catch mice at all, and it's almost impossible to get it through the cat flap.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Perspective 2

Do you see the sky? 

How does it look, it is like a giant blue ceiling that stretches to infinity?

Can you see the trees reaching towards the heavens attempting to make a cosmic connection?

You need to get up. 

I think you have fallen down again.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


Here's one that only goes up to ten. Eleven is the new ten, and ten was once the best you could get. Remember all those school exam results? "Seven out of ten: Could do better".

These days you are a loser unless you give one hundred and ten percent at work.

Fairly soon you will need to give one hundred and eleven percent if you want to keep your job.

Monday, 11 August 2014

History lesson

Imagine a time when decor based on beige and brown was considered rather stylish. Picture a sports car with purple paint and a light tan interior.

This was a time that marketing executives felt that an average family saloon needed a vinyl roof and a cheap chrome badge to boost its sales. 

This, dear reader, is a Ford Cortina 2000 GXL. 

This was the decade that style forgot.

This was the Seventies...

Saturday, 9 August 2014

In a Coma

For sale. Interesting building plot with considerable scope for improvement and ever changing views. Be the first to build on this uninhabited comet and enjoy a low stress, low gravity lifestyle. Luxuriate in the long and varied seasons as you make your way past the Sun. 

At present the gardens are under developed and it may be lacking in atmosphere but a dedicated owner could surely transform the environment. 

Note, another interested party has already sent a representative to examine the plot.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Long Off

Keeping the world at bay, and watching the local cricket match from a safe position on the boundary, here we have the ultimate fielding position.

Long Off.

In this case, Very Long Off.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Last Post

I wonder what you need to do to get one of these lovely estate workers cottages (click for full size panorama). Their manicured lawn and exquisite location, private gardens and good state of repair would make them an ideal last post for the loyal Gardener, Bee Herder or Hedge Baliff.

This would be the ideal place to see out the sunset years, protected from the slings and arrows of the housing market. Perhaps this is an example of benign estate management, with a social conscience?

However I would point out these are built near the river Rother, on what looks like a flood plain.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


In the picture below (click for full size panorama) we find ourselves looking over Cowdray House near Midhurst.

This splendid pile fell into disrepair after a major fire occurred during building works in the eighteenth century. 

This is not the first time this has happened. Take a tip from history, don't get the builders in. They eventually cause a major fire.

In this instance, the fire broke out in the North wing where the builders had their workshop, and where the family had stored all their valuables.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

What is it good for?


What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.. 

We've been at it for thousands of years, and now we are really quite good at it. 

Here's a recruiting song from 1914.

Oh! we don't want to lose you but we think you ought to go
For your King and Country both need you so;
We shall want you and miss you but with all our might and main
We shall cheer you, thank you, kiss you 
When you come back again.

Monday, 4 August 2014


Having fun at dusk.

Note how the warm tones of the electric light contrast with the fading blue of the sky. I do like dusk. it is such a lovely time of day.

Funfairs I can take or leave. They don't look like that much fun. Fun sized fun, if you like....

Sunday, 3 August 2014

An old Icon

Once a year Highclere Castle hosts a Battle of Britain concert.

It's an excuse to wave the union flag, sing "Land of Hope and Glory" while one considers the idea that we should finally invade and conquer France. They have lots of space and better weather, once you have sorted out the alien language and poor cooking it could be quite homely...

Anyway, as part of the afternoon's experience the Grace Spitfire does a 15 minute show to accompany the orchestra. It is a Thing Well Done.

Friday, 1 August 2014



No wonder the medieval castle is in a bit of a state.

The servants have been dead for six hundred years.