Saturday, June 25, 2016


Miranda and her chum Alfie making a video about her moshie monsters. If I can find a link I will post it but for the time being I shall post my photo.

On the trail

Out on my bike this morning, just stopped up for a breather in a beautifully quiet part of the forest.

The trail you can see was once a tarmac road but the A31 led to it's demise. The clouds were rolling over and I almost got wet several times.

Later in the day the thunder and heavy rain did come but by then I was home and dry.

Only about 40 - 45 miles today...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Trying to find the story

An old postcard image from Ashlett Creek, and a thoughts that have been rolling around for some time. I read some time ago about Edwin Mudge, a Fawley based photographer who had a small darkroom in the old mill at Ashlett.

This weekend was the 200th anniversary of the mill, and I was able to meet up with Tim Woodcock who had a similar interest in Mudge. The story goes that he buried 4 tons of glass plates in his garden, and I can't stop thinking about trying to recover these. His images are fantastic, the one above is taken from his darkroom at the mill. You can see the Jolly Sailor pub before it was extended and the square looking very different to today.

They had organised a music festival to mark the occasion, and we listened to the music of The Real Raj, a superb local musician from Beaulieu.

Bike Ride around Wiltshire and Dorset.

This is a Strava map plotted from my bike ride with Alan on Saturday, showing the map and altitude. Some superb countryside taking in Gillingham, and Stour Head, starting at Salisbury, which I need to explore further.

We had a coffee stop at Shaftsbury, cycling up Gold Hill, not exactly by mistake, but by the top we were being watched by some onlookers, and we couldn't stop then could we? Bloody steep and cobbled right to the top...!

78 miles in total, but eased along by some great food and drink in the Upham Brewery pub en route.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

On Duty

Just found this picture on the club website of me doing OOD duty with my able helper Lewis! Just so happens we are on duty again tomorrow so haopefully it will be a chance to top up the suntan.

Been out on my bike today, a nice long ride all over the forest with lunch at the Royal Oak in Fritham. I am getting the miles in, trying to get a bit fitter. Next weekend I have a 72mile ride planned around Salisbury Plain!

Popsie has been unwell for a few days; what we thought was a little tummy bug has persisted and she is still rough, more so than when it started.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Ratty the Brave

I have never set out to be a nature photographer, although I do admire those that have the patience and knowledge to perfect the art. I think it's great to be able to observe some things, and this is my best effort to tell the story.

Yesterday whilst thinking about the village of West Deane, which King Alfred bequeathed to his older son Deone, having given Amesbury to his younger son Ambresbyrig, I was given to gaze into the waters of the canal once four feet deep and fifteen feet wide at it's deepest point.

I happened to spot a grass snake scootoing along the edge of the water, and moments later a water vole heading towards it, cascading a stream of water behind it. It all happened quite quickly and there was an almighty battle, and this is my automatic image grab response; see if you can spot the Grass Snake's tail and the Water Vole in action..! Neither seemed to be victorious, and I could rest easily.

"Grass snakes adopt a 'sit and wait' hunting policy. Any prey that comes within striking distance is caught in their large jaws and then swallowed whole. Studies suggest that an adult grass snake can survive for 12 months on less than 10 frogs."

Saturday, June 04, 2016


Met up with my parents and Rena and Jeremy in Bournemouth earlier. They were visiting various gardens with the Country Gardening Club, staying at the Hotel Trouville. They had had a very tiring few days but we were together for long enough over dinner at the hotel to enjoy ourselves.

After dinner we went for a stroll around the gardens, so Mum and Jeremy could go looking for the house of one of our relatives that ran a guest house in the Triangle at Bournemouth.

I stuck with Dad, who wasn't quite able to do the distance and we had a nice chat as I propped him up as we climbed the steep hill back to the Hotel. Got me thinking about all those hills (mountains) that we climbed together from North Wales to the Cuillins, and Macgillycuddy's Reeks.

A drink in the Bar together whilst we waited for the others to return, and we set the world to right.

Photo from a few weeks ago