‘Is that the time?’

IMG_0150Packed some cold drinks in the van and took a drive over to Chichester.

Turning out of our drive I immediately whacked up the volume on my recently purchased speakers. I have been desperate to replace these since I purchased the van as the previous pair fitted were not functioning anywhere near as well as they should.

So there we were; just me, the T4, and the new James Taylor CD which I had been fortunate to receive for ‘father’s day’ from my lovely thoughtful daughter Jodie. The heat was intense and so I had to open both the drivers and the passenger windows to enable some sort of breeze through the cab. My van is over twenty years old and so therefore does not possess air con!

As I joined the queue heading into town and soon realised that I was maybe singing a bit too loudly for my fellow commuters on my right. Some gave me frowned expressions whilst others tapped their hands on their steering wheels along to the music. Eventually I was in the car park and ready for a mornings street photography and maybe a pasty and a coffee later on?

I had’nt been walking for all that long when I noticed this pair; possibly mother and daughter? I was immediately taken with the outfit the lady on the left was wearing and had obviously tastefully accessorised.

I got the camera ready and continued walking toward them both until such times as I got close enough to capture this image of the daughter checking her watch before exclaiming “Is that the time?”

Now as many of you who are kind enough to follow me will already be aware; my daughter is very much into her fashion and design and so I am always drawn to people who tend to ‘stand out’ from the crowd as it were.

So this lady with her hair neatly drawn up into a bun and rounded off with this vivid red fascinator flower pinned into place; seemed a likely candidate.

The classy string of pearls around her neck, and those neat little matching earrings just made her;  for me at least, look really really smart.

Then finally to compliment her vibrant polka dot yellow dress, she has added this little pair of bright yellow swallows onto the blue mesh cardigan she is wearing.

I thought that she looked unique and interesting and that she carried off her choice of summer clothing very well indeed.

So if she should happen to see this image of herself I hope that I have described her choice of outfit accurately and that she too is pleased with the end result.

“Now then…where’s that pasty shop?”


IMG_9289The first time people observe this behaviour in birds they assume the bird is maybe sick or injured.

However it is a fact that on very hot days; such as those we are currently experiencing here in UK; birds not unlike ourselves need to try and regulate their body temperature.

Apparently ‘sunning’ as it is referred can help birds like this little blackbird in today’s image convert compounds in the preening oil- which is secreted from a gland at the base of it’s tail-into vitamin D.

If birds have been in a bird bath, then ‘sunning’ can help their feathers dry more quickly, so they can fly easier, without being weighed down by excess water.

It is even believed that some birds ‘sun’ themselves for pure enjoyment and relaxation, much the same way humans will sunbathe.

Basically this process is to ensure good feather health and to dislodge parasites.

So this little guy who I managed to snap for today’s blog entry; was so ‘relaxed’ when I strolled by him that he almost forgot to scurry away underneath the hedgerow; until the very last minute.

These facts I have quoted were taken from ‘Bird Sunning’ by Melissa Mayntz Birding Wild Birds Expert. Who when she isn’t writing such fascinating and wholly interesting nature facts no doubt enjoys a little of this ‘Sunning’ activity herself?

Yesterday was quoted as being the hottest day ever recorded for us here in UK! It was so hot that I thought I might melt away in the heat. There was no ‘sunning’ for me let me tell you. Just time spent desperately seeking out even the faintest of cool breezes to sit down in and relish; in a vain attempt to adjust my own body temperature.

But you know what; I really shouldn’t complain. At least I don’t have any annoying little parasites to contend with!

Well not that I’m currently aware of anyway!

‘I’m just not sure about the colour’

IMG_0140This lady liked a bargain and our paths crossed several times at what was the very first ‘Boot Sale’ in the village of Pulloxhill this year.

The weather for the Saturday of the weekend just gone was absolutely glorious and the sun was a furnace.

The Sunday however was to be a different kettle of fish altogether.

On our arrival through a series of fields and fences we were charged our one pound entrance fee and in fairness there must have been a good thirty to forty vehicles that rolled into the field and then parked themselves up in a series of unsupervised un-regimented lines.

Consequently the gaps between tables then varied from reasonable to completely ridiculous. So that at times it proved virtually impossible to attempt to walk through two abreast.

As I was checking out some of the less popular items for the average punters more akin to the vintage antique type collectables I once again noticed this very bright and vivid character rummaging through some children’s clothing and checking out the prices. I decided to grab the opportunity to capture this image of her bartering with the seller and to use this on my blog entry for today.

Within literally two minutes of my taking this shot the heavens opened up and the showers which had been tentatively forecast for parts of the Bedfordshire area pelted down soaking all the items which people were selling and sending the less hardened booters running back to their vehicles for shelter.

The classic cries of “It’s only a little shower” did little to brighten the mood and sadly it continued on and on as many sellers began re-loading their car boots or covering tables with plastic sheets or tarpaulin.

Maybe not the best start to the season but I know this lady ended up with a bargain because the lady that she was buying from like several others was keen to pack up as quickly as possible.

We also did alright purchasing a few nice little items between us.

Turning for home we first had to scale a slippery five bar gate in an extremely ungainly fashion before picking up our purchases in their plastic bags and squelching back through the fields with raindrops dripping from the end of our hoods glasses and noses.

But once home and changed out of our sodden wet clothes we then settled in to enjoy hot filtered coffee and a large slice of classic homemade cream and jam sponge cake each.

“Now that’s what I’m talking about!”

‘Climb for Victory’

IMG_9290Well we’re back from our recent jaunt up the M1 and into Bedfordshire.

The journey was a bit of a nightmare due to traffic and some minor collisions which held progress up somewhat to say the least; but we got there and as the sun was still shining we parked ourselves in the garden and the commenced drinking crisp cold Pinot Grigio.

That seemed to become the plan for the remainder of the day and as the sun was setting we decided that it might be a good idea if we all maybe had something to eat?

We were then quickly treated to a large portion of fresh pasta macaroni egg and cheese served up with warm bread and which seemed to perfectly compliment the seemingly vast quantities of wine we had all by then managed to consume.

So a rather late night followed by a very early morning walk with Mollie the dog did seem to help clear away the dull headache which at the time I found myself unwillingly nursing.

We then decided to drive over to a little place called ‘Stoke Bruerne’ The Grand Union Canal.

As it states on their website set in the heart of rural Northamptonshire this is an idyllic picture of passing boats and local wildlife. It is a lovely place for a day out.

Here you will find Blisworth Tunnel, historic locks and bridges, a weighing machine, winding hole, and traditional canal pubs- all the features of a living canal village.

The two village pubs have a long heritage, with The Boat Inn having been established in 1807, and the Navigation Inn in 1822.

Whilst most photographers visiting that day happily snapped away at the canal boats chugging ‘to and fro’ I instead captured this image of a youngster who was determined to scale this wooden frame erected outside the local cafe.

I thought the flag flying almost centre of the image and the lush array of hedgerow and greenery surrounding him made for an interesting composition.

It was a great day and everyone with whom we met seemed to enjoy a particularly peaceful almost bygone way of life.