Put in at Benson Weir for a 'between-Christmas-and-New-Year' paddle to the Boat House and back. 10mins there, and an hour plus to get back. Eddy hopping for the win.
If only there was some way to keep the kids off their phones at the dinner table...
One of those days where it's not raining, just that the water condenses onto you straight out of the cloud.
A nice walk up on the clumps we thought. The walk was nice, just a tad muddy. A portable jet wash would have been handy!
Lovely A and Lovely F came to visit. Lovely A was hiding so here's a couple of F.
Compare and contrast, bag styles.
Compare and contrast, XBox gaming styles.
When the river is high, the river view gets a little more river in it.
ThinkPad second-hand refurb T450. Substantially better than anything new in the shops for a fraction of the price. Even used the Ethernet port to fix a bookshop.
Hash tag no dongles as some people like to say.
Ewok and Yogi getting into the Christmas Spirit. The RSPCA may have been informed.
The river floods when the Benson Lock downstream gauge is a smidge over 4m. This is Tony and Marie-Ann's meadows downstream of the lock at 4.6m.
I won the bet about how far Harvey would count before the (GENERAL) anaesthetic kicked in, but only because the anaesthetist had him chatting about sports science instead...
Big 16 for Finnster. 10 years since six. His buddies helped him celebrate.
Making sure the surgeon gets the right knee. That's the correct knee.
A loop around a bit of North Dartmoor with Bri and Martin. Amazing desolate views. Beautiful weather (although blowy). Very marshy in places. More on flickr.
After a little stroll on North Dartmoor, the Castle Inn was the perfect place for a quick shower, beer, food and bed. Bed with lots of pillows. Perfect.
A tad tricky to collect tickets at Exeter St Davids.
For those with more than a back & white TV license (you do need a TV license to peruse the interwebz don't you?), here's some White Hut (and around) in colour.
It's that time of the year. The time when Fay and I escape to the White Hut for a quiet weekend. This year started foggy. We lost the view, with only the ghost bus at night to change the scene.
After the flooding the water meadows were a little damp.
Photographing familiar things. This is the end of the lane. I pass here every day. Except for on duvet days.
> This piece of art was made for the people of Kingsand-Cawsand by five young Austrian volunteers who helped to remove about one tonne (130 sacks) of marine litter from the beaches of the Rame Peninsula in September 2014.
The sun was setting on the other side of the building, but I got a sneaky glint nonetheless.
The Old Counting House. Best Christmas Card of the year. Nuff said.
Since I work near Shoreditch (not in Shoreditch, close, ish) when I remember to talk some time to walkaround at lunchtime there's always interesting stuff to stumble upon.
We have a new Waitrose in Wallingford. It's new in the same way that some politicians are claiming that they'll deliver 40 new hospitals. Yes, it's the same old Waitrose but with some bits done up a tad. There is a new feedback board where you can leave I love.. and It would be better if... comments.
Looking for inspiration on who to vote for in the vegetable section.
Somewhere near The King William.
A lovely, albeit dark, week in Stockholm. Lovely to be back in Scandinavia.
A bit more Thames Path flooding. This is why water meadows are water meadows, and why flood plain is flood plain.
Years ago, Fay taught me about egg-heads and flat-heads. I'm a reluctant egg-head. With a track record.
A damp dog walk down to the river to see what "Some minor flooding possible" looks like. Ripples on the path as the river overtops the bank and spills into the meadows.
Charity Christmas cards of local Wallingford churches, what could be simpler? Life turns out to be more complicated than you think. But it transpires that folding and packing can be very therapeutic.
F, wave dodging at New Milton.
Drive carbon neutral. That's all right then. Thanks Shell.
Graffiti, Snowden, E, opposite Amazon's engineering home in London.
A wall of willow greats you as you enter Little Wittenham Wood, heading for Neptune.Battle of Trafalgar.
It's cranking up this year. F has some opinions.
The satisfaction when everything runs smoothly, the soft click of an efficient free-wheel, the gentle clunk of a precise gear-change, the silent instant reduction in velocity as perfectly aligned break-pads bite.
The frustration when none of that happens.
Pip came north to stay while his owners were busy painting.
The best reflection in Wallingford.
Pip, Ewok and Yogi.
East London from almost Shoreditch.
F in a favourite spot working through his 積ん読.
Looking out on to some memories. Thanks Gran.
A weekend in Devon with A & F. Highlights included some climbing at Clip & Climb (A is faster than me!!! F made the top of the hexagon wall!!!) and Cream ~~Tea~~ Hot Chocolate and Flat White at Toast.
Student digs: New room. New house. New town.
Saying goodbye. H is off to University. It was probably a good idea that F didn't come with us to drop him off :-)
As Charles would say: "How's that working out for you?". So glad to see that we are taking back control. Although, as ever, the crux is who exactly do you mean by "we".
> A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state (or subordinate entity) where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament.
I guess this is (Another Fine Mess)². Looking forward to the next in the series, (Another Fine Mess)³.
Big flowers from the garden. I'm thinking of wearing some in my hair.
H is off to University on Thursday. Everything is under control.
Craft Burger in Oxford (Headington). Recommended.
The Water Poet has closed to make way for a redevelopment. But right now it looks like the building might survive, if only as a facade.
Most years the fields have been harvested, ploughed and planted by now. In 2011 it was done by the end of July. In 2010 the next crop was in by now.
This year, the wheat was harvested and then... nothing.
It's almost as if farmers had no clue who was going the buy their crops next year.
Oxford. Form the Westgate. After Five Seasons. A film about the gardens of Piet Oudolf.
Currently reading: Points of Origin, 刁斗 (Diao Dou)
Usually, the start of the football season is marked by the return of rain, wind and bone chilling temperatures. Not so this year. The first game needed sun protection.
Saturday. 11am. Very, very quiet in Wallingford.
Around Padstow, in between eating good food at various Steiniums.
Harlyn beach. Sand for miles.
The bench. With faded flowers and memories.
We borrowed a SUP from G&J. Finn excelled. I demonstrated that I have no sense of balance. I guess that's why I prefer sports where you sit down...
Along the coast from Harlyn, paddle board explorers.
Yogi now has his own local fan club.
I missed the train. Andy kept me company. It was a long wait.
Fay gave me a lift this morning so I was nice and early for the 0727. I got to sit in the waiting room, drinking a coffee from Leslie, admiring the muriel that, in six years of commuting from here, I'd not noticed before. In me defence, I think this is only the third time I've sat in the waiting room.
"No one is too small to make a difference". Greta Thunberg.
Showery day ending with a gleam.
Harvest this year has been a race between the farmers and the wetness. The big field at the bottom is done (just) but there's still half the wheat in the bigish field at the top.
Locks by the bike racks. Saves carrying your own.
The helpful sign reads:
> Cycles may be left subject to the Conditions and Regulations in the Boards publications and notices
Which I think means 'you can leave your bike here, but don't complain to us if it's not here when you return' (ish).
It looks like the super-sized pack of revision cards I got H paid off.
I obviously take all the credit.
Today was RAF Benson's family day, so we got a little treat of some flying acrobatics. Not quite up to the standards of 2015 but fun to watch.
The ferry times don't really gel with the flight times, so we get to hang out in Split.
Last year (and the year before) we took the ferry from Split to Vis.
F demonstrating how to relax.
Go somewhere dark. The Milky Way is out there.
Dinner at Fort George. Lovely.
So slick you can't even see my feet moving.
A weekend at truck. Highlights: Public Service Broadcasting; Johnny Marr; Gurr; Lewis Capaldi; Bennett Wilson Poole; Hoo and four teenagers who were most pleasantly behaved.
Wallingford Road is closed to motor vehicles. The shared foot and cycle path remains open. Someone isn't happy about the road being closed. They've put up some signs so that we know that they're not happy.
Unsafe. Disrespectful. Excessive. About sums up how it feels to ride a bike along this stretch of road, with motorists practicing their near-miss close-pass skills. Of course that's only when the road isn't closed.
A wander up a hill on the off-chance of spotting Gypaetus barbatus also known as the lammergeier, lammergeyer, or, more correctly, the Lama-Geezer.
Ten months after reporting that the shared foot and cycle path was so overgrown as to be unusable, Oxfordshire County Council closed the report with a comment that they were moving to a new system.
Ironic then that a week or two later part of the path had been cleared. You can see how far over the left edge the overgrowth had reached. Ironic because the only bit to be cleared was adjacent to the section of road that's been completely closed for the laying of a new gas main. And, with the road closed, it's nicer to cycle on it than to squeeze onto the path. Top bananas.
The wire fence; cut. Escalation > the process by which conflicts grow in severity over time.
And now the path down to the river is no more.
Under six seconds to climb that‽ (The wall on the left!). Speedy. Hence the name.
Day 1 of a week in the Alps. With Bri, Rob and Mart. Mont Blanc wasn't to be. But awesome fun nonetheless.
More, lots more, on flickr
About. Sums. It. Up.
Double stamps if you bring your own cup mean these cards fill up quickly. So, I've been asking Leslie to pass them on (a free coffee to some random stranger). Last week I was that random stranger — from someone else doing the same. Huge smile.
Wearing in new boots and weight testing gear-in-the-pack with an early morning, pre-crazy temperature hot day, walk from the wheat fields up onto the Ridgeway and back. The boots were comfy.
Spotted walking back along the river...
> "The water flows peacefully along under the trees like a song unsung"
The day after the hottest day of the year was warm, cloudy with sunny spells.
A while ago I pondered if this house would become a home. It has. Definitely.
A little bit of June in the garden.
Lovely Saturday canoe up the Thames for a picnic lunch with Fay. Picnic lunch with a beer, lovely++.
F's choice, road route. Downhill speed fun (fueled by yummy grub at the King William). Table view was none too shabby...
Please stand clear of the doors when the alarm sounds.
H trimmed the boxes. Neat.
Clumps, up and down and up and down and up and down and back, via the river of life.
Same porch + 50 years on, a blink in the life of All Saints.
Prime Video, outside the corn exchange cinema in Wallingford.
Close call Yogi. Bruised but getting better.
There's rules for this and everything !
On the spur post-demo team drinks at the White Horse in the shadow of Broadgate Tower.
...with old shoes
Met lots of lovely people when Fay opened her studio for artweeks , with lots of lovely friends helping with tea, coffee, and cake. Lots. Of. Cake.
Thank you to everyone that helped and for everyone that donated!
Damage to the overhead lines this morning between Reading and Paddington. An incident closing the lines this evening. Total door-to-door time commuting today: 7 hours 24 mins. Lovely.
Views from the train window.
Cats Sleep Anywhere
Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair.
Top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the edge.
Open drawer, empty shoe, anybody's lap will do.
Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks.
Anywhere! They don't care! Cats sleep anywhere.
Previous May in the Garden:
2018 (May-ish) | 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 |
He's grown a little bit...
...that was back in 2015 .
Page 1 of 5: "Does anyone talk to your pet at least once a day?", "Does anyone talk to your pet about important issues?"
Look! A ' May in the garden ' post!
Granny came down (up?) to help with Artweeks prep.
Flatjack (or is it flapjack?) yummyness too.
Team demo, refreshments == awesome pims from SDM-turned-barstaff. Pims magic.
Studio ready for artweeks.
Signs out for Artweeks.org. It's amazing what a bike will carry.
...window cleaners (if you look closely enough).
End of season dinner. End of an era.
After 8 years of faithful service, keeping clothes, books, laptop and morning pastries warm and dry, Ortlieb #1 is retiring. The split in the base finally deciding that no amount of gaffer-tape will keep it closed. The ideal replacement, Ortlieb #2 of course.
Blast from the past. Professor Lindsay MacDonald speaking at Transactions: Imaging/Art/Science - Image Quality, Content and Aesthetics [
About to be eclipsed by the stage.
My commute last week through London was made lovely by the lovely people at Oxford Circus and Marble Arch. This week you could tell it was 'business as usual' by the taste of the pollution.
Look carefully and you can see the Post Office tower .
One day nobody had a car.
Wallingford Town fund raising race night fun! My strategy to win a race succeeded - just by a bet on every horse. Sadly, that's not a strategy to win $£$£$£. Happily, the $£$£$£ lost went to the club. Everyone's a winner.
Virgin Atlantic. Rather nice after the BA bus to Seattle and back.
Sunshine after the hail.
Everyone else was asleep and missed the coldest morning of the winter so far. A nice day not to be riding to Cholsey.
Up early for some -7C frosty colour.
A walk on the clumps (Wittenham Clumps) with Ewok and Yogi.
A winter dog walk the easy way. Jump on the bike and ride up and down the lane through the snow.
It was very dark under the porch until I shook the snow off the yew branches.
I lost the next hour debating the merits of C over C++.
Number of charging leads required, R is given by:
where N is the current number of charging leads.
Wallingford Town, U19, 2018-2019.
gphoto2, a Raspberry PI and an EOS 40D equals some post-hangover computational photography.
On the beach, from the best place in East Devon. Yummy.
Honiton from Roundball. Not too damp neither.
Recruitment ask candidates if they are scared of heights. It's because some of the rooms we use for interviews have floor to ceiling views like this. But if someone asked me ahead of an interview whether I was scared of heights, I might wonder what they had planned for me...
Evening dog walk with Chris and Kim. The mist rising from the fields as the sun slowly sunk below the horizon. Magical.
In monochrome (for those more discerning c r o s s o ak visitors).
In colour (for those that like their c r o s s o a k colourful).