Sunday 24 July 2022

Parkrun posers

Sometimes at a parkrun they have a cameraman taking photos. (Sorry I should say cameraperson, but I have never yet seen a camerawoman at a parkrun.) 

Anyway, they perch at a handy corner and snap everyone going past, and then put it on Facebook if you go looking for them.

A couple of weeks ago we ran at Somerdale Pavilion parkrun on their 99th event.

Yesterday we did Jersey Farm parkrun and again more cameramen were around.

Looking back at these photos one thought hits me, is it only me and Daz who are the posers? Maybe everyone else is concentrating on running.

However not everyone, as we also have a photo of the lady at Somerdale who dressed up as an ice cream 99 to celebrate their 99th race.

I spoke to her afterwards and told her that I was very impressed and that she looked much posher than the 99s that I usually buy. 

Friday 22 July 2022

Tring reservoirs walk

A nice outing today in the Chilterns. We are walking a circular route of the reservoirs around Tring, mainly along the Grand Union Canal.

I am in charge of the route and we have 21 places of interest along the way.

This photo may have been taken just before I walked straight into a bush while trying to read interesting facts to Darren without stopping.

This bridge is particularly interesting and annoying at the same time.

Behind Darren is a bridge that was built at the same time as the canal in around 1790. After the canal fell into disuse the original bridge was demolished in 1973, even though lots of people said that the canal would be reinstated in the future. Then in 2001 the whole thing was beautifully rebuilt and here it is today. I think that was interesting fact number nine.

Some facts were more interesting than others, and this was number 15, a good view of a nice reservoir.

The water level is definitely very low, but fortunately just as we arrived at fact number 21 it started to pour with rain and we ran to a pub to take shelter under the flowery pergola.

After a nice warming cappuccino I asked the waitress the way to the car park where we had left our car, and it was just around the corner, less than 40 metres away.

Thursday 14 July 2022

Lots of lovely new plants

Darren's mum has had a tidy out of her over full balcony, and luckily for me, I was the beneficiary. Darren drove a full car back, and we got the wheelbarrow out to carry six huge specimens to the garden.

There was two identical palm trees in lovely ceramic pots. We tried for at least half an hour to get the first one out of its pot, but then Darren accidentally cracked it and we could see why the plant was stuck.

The pot became really narrow part way up and it was a case of either saving the plant or the pot. We chose the plants and they are in place and looking amazing.

Actually you can't really see the new plant in this picture, but its between the gate and the shed.

There is now a new border with new plants...

... and the Japanese garden is just about finished.

Really pleased with progress and let's hope that it copes in the heatwave.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Kingfisher sighting

Yesterday our lovely next door neighbour showed me some photos that she had taken of our kingfisher sitting on a rope over the river looking for its lunch. She kindly sent me a copy.....

Today I was up quite early and determined to get my own photo, hopefully even one of it flying too.

I stomped down the garden and round the corner not thinking to slow down or walk quietly. At that exact moment that I saw the kingfisher was already sitting on the rope, and it saw me. It instantly flew away and all I could photograph was the space where it had been.

As Sandra said after I had told her the sorry tale, I should try and arrive a bit more subtly tomorrow.

Saturday 9 July 2022

Chepstow races

Today was Darren's birthday and we were off to Chepstow races for ladies day.

There was lots of to lovely dresses and hats on display, and a special flower covered stand for photos. The queue for it was long, but we accidentally got it in the background, along with lots of gorgeous ladies.

We started with a bottle of fizz with Susan and Paul, and then the serious task of placing our bets began. Darren picked the first race and his horse came nowhere. I chose a very bouncy looking naughty horse for the second race, and it won in a photo finish.

That was our only win of the night, but it was a beautiful course, the weather was great and we were with fantastic friends.

Also, I loved the fascinator and desperately want to find somewhere else to go where I can wear it again.

Once the racing was over we watched the brilliant and slightly crazy Paloma Faith.

Monday 4 July 2022


Twenty million wildflowers were planted in the moat at the Tower of London to celebrate the Platinum jubilee. Unfortunately the weather was really bad for growing seeds earlier in the year, so they weren't quite ready for it.

They are at their best now though, and we had tickets to wander amongst them today.

Darren was initially disappointed because he thought that they were going to be like the metal poppies from a few years ago, but he got to like them in the end.

There was also an old fashioned slide where you had to sit in a sack to slide down, and after queueing for ages amongst lots of school kids we eventually got have a go.

We also found a friendly Beefeater who was willing to pose for a photo.

He was a lot younger than I expected, but I think that I was mixing Beefeaters up with the Chelsea pensioners.

Get up stand up

Today we embarked on an easier journey than yesterday, and caught the train to London. We then wandered along Oxford Street as I had a mini mission in mind.

After a few false starts it all came good in John Lewis at the ladies hat and fascinator section. Two teenage girls were having a lovely time trying on every single hat in the shop and hogging the mirror, so I joined them, and eventually found a nice little one that seemed perfect.

Everything was going well until we got to the till when I had the choice of taking either the biggest hat box in the world, or a small one with the top bit sticking out.

The big test for tomorrow is dragging the box around London all day without damaging the sticky out bit. I'm wearing it on Friday, hopefully without sellotape holding it together.

In the evening we went to see 'Get up stand up' about the life of Bob Marley.

Absolutely loved it.

Sunday 3 July 2022

Michael Buble

A couple of days ago Darren got an offer for extremely cheap tickets to see Michael Buble at the nearby Waddesdon Manor. Originally priced at £85 each, they had not sold out so were almost giving them away to ensure that the venue was full.

I like Mr Buble, so even though the weather forecast wasn't great we decided to go for it. Gates opened at 5pm but it was pouring with rain then, so we decided to leave at 6pm to arrive at 6.30. Obviously a lot of people had made the same decision and to compound that issue, the postcode for the car park was wrong.

Actually it was right, but the organisers had decided to turn the main entrance road in to an exit only. We didn't know that so joined hundreds of other cars in a massive and mostly stationary queue to get to the wrong place. Once there we had to do a u turn and join the almost stationary queue on the other side of the road that was going the opposite way.

It took almost another two hours to get to a parking space, and it had also rained most of the way, but by the time we stepped out it had stopped. 

We set off walking and then reached the beautiful stately home.

We got through the entrance and just had a minute to take another lovely photo of the house and the biggest fish and chip queue in the world. 

One second later the music started and the huge screens lit up with Mr Buble. At first I thought that it was a video, but no, the concert had begun!! 

It was exactly 8.30pm and a lot of people were still arriving, but it soon all settled down and it was really good. 

As soon as he finished his last song we started the dash back to the car, along with lots of other people. We couldn't even consider waiting for the encore, and this was the right decision because we sprinted through the car park and then got out fairly quickly. 

It would have been chaos behind us as, there was only one way out and even that was really slow moving because buses were trying to get in the opposite direction on a single track road! I can't imagine who thought that was a good idea. 

It only took 20 minutes to get home, and with hindsight we sat in the comfort of our warm and dry car right up until the start of the concert. Seeing as the other option was to stand in the rain for two hours (and they confiscated all umbrellas), then I think that we did very well. 

Ps, they have offered us tickets for Tears for Fears, Alfie Boe and McFly over the next three nights, but I couldn't cope with doing it all again.