Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Calm Before The Storm

Is there a point to today's blog? Maybe yes maybe no... The next month is going to be a very busy month for me work wise, and is probably going to be the most challenging one I have had since I have been running the business on my own. There will be times next month when I will no doubt wonder how I will get everything done and it will probably push me to the limit at times. It is likely that the opportunities to stop by the road with my camera and take pictures will be limited, and so today was a perfect opportunity during "The Calm Before The Storm" to stop and take a picture of this peaceful scene up in the Hambleden hills a few miles from work.

I have tried cropping the same picture and zoomed in on the ducks swimming outside their little house. These little fellows look serene but we all know how hard they paddle under the water! I think that's probably going to how I function for the next month or so :o)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Get On Yer Bike!

I have always enjoyed cycling ever since learning to ride a bike at an early age. I had a real cycling resurgence a few years ago, but have let it slip in recent times. Today, Easter Monday, the weather was absolutely glorious so I got my bike out of the shed, went and got a new inner tube for the back wheel and away I went. The first picture is taken looking back towards Reading which was the the direction I had cycled from.

I am lucky enough to live a five minute cycle ride from The Thames and the two mile section between Reading and Sonning is just stunning especially when the sun shines. I went to school along this section and have walked along this section many times especially when going for a drink at The Bull in Sonning. The next photo is looking towards Sonning Lock in the distance. This is also the stretch of river when I did my short lived rowing career from the Reading Blue Coat School Boathouse. How I wish I had given that a better go...

I spent many school lunchtimes at Sonning Lock, one or two drunken evenings there in my younger days, and these days just enjoy the picturesque scene which is so English. I once hired a boat with school friends after our exams and we had great fun going through the locks between Reading and Henley, but especially Sonning Lock as pictured.

Just before I left the river to head back towards home I came within view of Sonning Bridge. I bridge I go across most days during the working week. It's a gorgeous bridge dating back to 1775 linking Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

It's a bridge that I would have loved to have seen over a hundred years ago as in the picture below dated at 1885. The view is from the other side of the bridge to where I took my photo from on the Oxfordshire bank looking across to Sonning on the Berkshire side.

So not only did today give me ample opportunity to get snapping with my camera it also reminded me just how much I enjoy cycling around the English countryside, and how you get to see so much in such a short space of time. I think when I drive around I don't always manage to take in all the wonderful scenery, where as on my bike it is so much easier to appreciate it, and to take it all in.

Saturday, 23 April 2011


This is a small snap shot of the morning after the night before. I had three friends round for the dinner and at one point during the evening I was questioned about the whole point of doing this blogging stuff. There is no huge reasoning to it, but it just paints a small picture of where I am, what I am doing and where I am going for anyone interested enough to spend a minute reading it occasionally. I don't entertain very often, but these kinds of nights are the nights I probably enjoy most nowadays spending good times with great people. The one downside to it is the huge pile of washing up to do. Oh to have a dishwasher!

Thursday, 21 April 2011


There is no doubt that the English Springtime brings out glorious colours all over the countryside. The amount of driving I now do gives me ample opportunity to appreciate the countryside at this time of the year. Bluebells are one of my favorites at this time of the year as from a distance they appear to turn the ground a completely different colour. They do not last for long unfortunately and will be gone before we know it. These pictures were taken near Ibstone in Oxfordshire and bluebells in the woods are pretty amazing.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Old Blues Dinner

Most years myself and my friends from school try to get to the annual Old Blues reunion dinner at Reading Blue Coat School. My main group of friends is still basically my friends from my school days with a few other wonderful special people managing to break down my barriers over the years. This year there was about 15 of us there in a total of about 90 ex pupils or so. The main challenge for me this year was not to go on into Reading afterwards to the pubs and clubs, which in my humble opion are pretty dire these days and on the rare occasions I do venture into town I always wake up regretting it the next day wondering whuy oh why do I still do it??? Well the good news is that this year I managed to avoid going into town! I had a wonderful evening sticking to beer and got a nice buzz without going mental and so avoided the dreaded hangover too. So today's picture is a self portrait taken in my back garden before going to the dinner and the shirt and tie combo was a new direction for me away from the usual white shirt.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


It's been a hectic few days, and after a quietish time at work it has gone crazy again and typically just as I lose the help of my brother for 10 months! Trying to do absolutely everything has left me feeling especially knackered this week. And I have not had time to use my camera as I have just been chasing after myself every minute.

But as someone once said, "here's one I prepared earlier". No not form the 1800s as the photo editing software attempts to replicate, but from last week taken in my street at 9:30 in the evening. Maybe if the cars weren't there it could have been taken a 100 years ago. It doesn't really tell a story, but I think it's an interesting shot...

Sunday, 10 April 2011

A Pub Lunch

The Cricketers pub at Littlewick Green near Maidenhead was the setting for a lovely pub lunch with mum and Noel today. It was also a farewell to Noel who is off to Suffolk before departing for 10 months of overland driving, world events permitting, going as far afield as China and Iran.

The weather was absolutely perfect and the pub is set on the most glorious English green setting with a cricket pitch the centre piece surrounded by stunning village properties. Mum once managed to get in a background shot in "Midsommer Murders" on the green.

My memories of this place are having to play outside when we were young whilst mum and dad would enjoy a drink or two with their friends. The place has barely changed over the years.


Friday, 8 April 2011


It's another stunning warm Spring day, and I went in to Marlow to do the banking this afternoon. The crowds were out with the schools having broken up for Easter and the town was looking ts best. I'm sure this scene has changed very little over the years apart from the modern motor vehicles.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Hambleden Hills

I am fortunate enough to work in a very picturesque area, and on lovely Spring days like today its pretty stunning. This afternoon I went to my closest customer tucked away in the Hambleden Hills just up the road from Medmenham. As I drove back I came across the brow of the hill and conveniently had my camera to hand so I took a snap of the view. I am probably just a mile from work where this is taken and The Thames can be seen in the distance flowing between Marlow and Henley.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977

I have been sorting through some stuff at work and came across some pendants that dad produced for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. The business was about a year old back then and dad seemed to involved in a lot of promotional stuff.

It brought back memories as to where I was on the Silver Jubilee. I was 11 and playing football for Maidenhead Town Youth Under 11s, and the team went on a float around Windsor town centre, and then we had to go up to The Copper Horse to line the route with lit torches on The Long Walk at Windsor where the Queen came to light a huge bonfire to celebrate her Silver Jubilee. We actually had just about the best view there was to be had right by the bonfire. We then were taken back to be collected by parents from the coaches and I was met by dad there. 

The other memory from Silver Jubilee year I have was watching dad in a rowing boat with his old rowing crew to provide an escort for the Queen as she did a tour down The Thames and it was pouring all day. It was the one and only time I saw dad in a rowing boat I think. How strange that next year the Queen will be celebrating 60 years on the throne and I will be 35 years older!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Windsor Great Park

I took this picture in Windsor Great Park on Sunday afternoon whilst waiting for my ex dating and now new walking buddy to arrive. I think you could probably go to the Great Park every day for a year and never take enough photos it's a stunning beautiful location on our doorstep in Berkshire. This view is from the Bishopsgate entrance walking towards Savill Gardens. It is a recent discovery for me as I had driven past it so many times without stopping and its discovery was a genuine positive to come out of my latest dating set back. Everything happens for a reason...

Sunday, 3 April 2011


I just had to take a picture of these daffodils today. These gorgeous flowers are only around for a few weeks each year, but are stunning. The daffodils in the photo are of special family significance...

Contrasting Views

On Friday April 1st I had to drive to Kingswinford, which is west of Birmingham in the West Midlands. It was a cold grey morning and my view from the place I was collecting from was pretty uninspiring...

And then a few hours later I was driving home and stopped at the traafic lights in Henley and managed to take a quick snap of the view of Henley bridge through my car window...

This is just one view I get every single day on my drive home from work and for as many mundane places this country has there are endless views which do inspire and make me realsie how lucky I am to be where I am.