Week 12 – Children and Car Wash

I relented and had my car washed in the “Hand Car Wash” of the nearby village.  It wasn’t cheap, but at least it took little time from dirty to clean, inside and out.

Old car wash
Two men wash a car
The new way
BMW wash

I forgot to get a shot of the clean car, but over a week later I’ve made little mess on the car and the wheels look very good when they’re clean.

We had some relatives to stay for the weekend, some of them small.

Small girls
Laughter on the seesaw
Mono photo of a sleeping baby
A small boy asleep

My First Micro Pub

I don’t suppose that I had heard of the micro pub before I saw one in Ely over the weekend.  The Drayman’s Son was a small, comfortable place with excellent ciders (we tried Jonagold and Silly Ewe).  We’ll have to go back to check more of them, and to try the beers.

Drayman’s Son beers

The town of Ely, “Ship of the Fens” is a fine little place.  You can see the cathedral from miles away owing to the flatness of the surounding land and the elevation of the town.  Villages and towns developed on higher ground because much of the Fens, the lower elevations, was under water – until Dutch engineers finished off the job of draining the marshes from 1650 onwards.

Ely canal port

Finally, I caught a couple of mannekins at work this week.  One looked so lifelike that I thought it was a person.  I’ve spent a lot of my life strapped up like this . . .

aircrew protection
aircrew protection

2017 Week 10 – Flying and Punting

I did some flying, but I watched someone punting – very briefly.  Punting can be a spectator activity (I have fallen into the water before now), but not this time.

First the flying.  I had not flown for 3 weeks, so I managed to wangle a trip solo for me to practise my skills before resuming instruction on a student pilot.

Aircraft cockpit and sky
Waiting for clearance to takeoff
Aircraft wing and clouds with sun.
Sunlit wing
Aircraft cockpit instruments and sky
In the climb


I had a brief coffee break from work which I took in the local town.  There was a copy of the day’s Times there with just the sort of news from which we all need a rest, at times; I didn’t smooth the page – we all know what it says without needing all the letters of the sentence:

Coffee and newspaper
Coffee and Trump

We had a visit on our H-pad during the week.  I caught a reasonable shot of the crewman watching for something – before the aircraft departed.

Puma at Henlow
Puma at Henlow

At the weekend I wandered again into Cambridge for an hour or so, hoping to get some reasonable shots.  On the way I stopped at the church in the village of Hatley:

Punt and people on the river next to a church and buildings in Cambridge
Cambridge punter
King’s College Chapel

2017 Week 9

Again, Cambridge is a great place to find photos, even while you’re engaged on errands of any sort.  I had to visit for an eye test and heard this chap playing the piano on the top floor of the Grand Arcade.  He sounded very good . . .

man at piano
Cambridge – piano player



Then down to the opticians, where they were not ready for me so I wandered around the market (again).  The “gig economy” is in the news again, so I found it interesting that these three Deliveroo riders were at a loose end, if only for a short time.

Cambridge-delivery riders









And there was this quite dandyish individual running a flower stall.

man in hat next to flower stall
Cambridge flower stall



A wander around the smaller streets not far from King’s College or the market  often yields interesting scenes.

Lady in window of café




















Finally, on my way back to my car, here were two players of the piano; they weren’t as good, but they were having fun.  Note the single-buttock perch.

Cambridge –piano player












All images repeated on my SmugMug site:



Late Winter in the Algarve

I visited the Algarve last week, flying from London Luton on the 0625 departure to Faro.  That’s early, but there were plenty of people, travellers and workers in the cafés of the departure area of the airport.

People at a food bar with posters behind.
London Luton Airport food court

I visited my mother in the countryside, taking her to places that she cannot easily access; she liked Praia da Faro, not far from the airport, on a beautiful day.

Beach with couple walking
Sea, sand and sun on Praia da Faro

A portrait at post-prandial coffee in Olhão, a fishing port on the Atlantic.

Lady and coffee cup.
Savouring a media-leite coffee.

Olhão is a fishing port with a small fish market.  It was being cleaned at about 3:30 in the afternoon.

Men in a market with wet floor in Portugal.
Fish market after hours, Olhão

Tavira is a Roman town straddling the river.  There was an accordionist busking on the Ponte Romana.

An accordion player on the Roman bridge in Tavira, Portugal
Ponte Romana busker

My mother eats frequently at a small restaurant/bar in Moncarapacho.  Here some locals are preparing to eat flaming chorizo, presumably after it has gone out.  It was a very cheerful prospect . . .

2 men eat watch flaming chorizo, people watch in café.
Evening meal in the Algarve

The surround countryside is very quiet in places.  This neglected tractor has been there for at least 12 years . . .

Old tractor in grass
Old Tractor.
Bucolic scene

Week 7 – Wildlife, History and Music

We had a talk from a member of staff of the Wildlife Trust of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (BCN) at our group this week.  The group is the Gamlingay Environment Action Group (geag.org.uk) to which we invite anyone who wishes to listen to these talk.  Jess gave a very interesting talk – made me rather proud to live in Cambridgeshire, actually.

Jess, of the Wildlife Trust BCN, explains some of her job to an interested member of the audience.







On my way home from flying at Wittering on Friday, I stopped briefly in Offord Cluny, an old village.  The old pub looks set to be lost to the social element of the village <sad face>.

Pub gable end with for sale sign.
The Swan in Offord Cluny













These are the old buildings opposite, house and gateway.

Gates and gateway.
Offord Cluny
Offord Cluny


And last night we went to a concert: Rumours Fleetwood Mac is a well-established “tribute” band and it was excellent!  My camera was at the limit of its capability, using ISO 6400, hand-held with its kit lens – Fujifilm X-T10 with 16-50 ƒ3.5–5.6 – but the shots seem to be acceptable for this size of viewing.  The colours at the time were as good as the music.

Rumours Fleetwood Mac – a technician makes final adjustments.
Rumours Fleetwood Mac – early years.
Rumours Fleetwood Mac – later years

2017 Week 6

The weather has continued miserable.  I had occasion to drive across country and passed a massive earthwork; it turned out to be a reservoir, thronged with birds under a grey sky.  This is a camera panorama in which you might be able to see the “joins”, but it’s an effective depiction nonetheless.

Water and water birds under a cloudy sky
Wilstone reservoir




This is someone I know quite well; she is good at shopping, but this supermarket aisle demonstrates the complexity of the process of shopping, with so much choice that perhaps we don’t need.

Person in a supermarket aisle
Shopping, a complex affair










Detritus at a caravan park: several different organisations use the area, which is part of a working farm that has diversified, and no one keeps track of the discarded rubbish that builds up in the nooks a crannies of the different buildings and containers.

Refuse: traffic cone, signs, sink, metal etc . . .
Tents No Dogs

















Finally, during a visit to the local vegetable stall, again part of a working farm, I carried my camera and took a few photos of the stall.  The owner was interested and wondered if I would let him have a copy, so I got him to pose, perhaps a little awkwardly . . .

On the right is a photo of him with a massive cauliflower, next to today’s prices for the produce.

Vegetable stall

2017 Week 5

We’ve had a misty or foggy week, pretty similar to the previous week, but now it’s getting serious: flying is out of the question when the visibility is this bad.  And this old bird has been grounded since the 1950s, as I understand it.  I flew Hunters, single and two-seat, as part of my training, and I’d love to see this one fly again  – preferably with me at the controls . . .

Hunter gate guardian
Jet fighter
Hunter gate guardian


I had another visit to London a couple of days ago, this time on the occasion of a reunion – to see old friends and colleagues after many, many years.  Again, London provided plenty of opportunity for different photos:

King’s Cross people
London pub – outside drinkers
Seen on the street


And here is the scene at the venue for the reunion: a former bank is now a pub with a large ground floor – plenty of space for a group of friends and colleagues to reminisce.  We’ve known each other for many years; the beer was good, the stories better than ever.

Knights Templar – Fin Fest

2017 Week 4

There was a protest in our village, in support of a hedge.  Actually the hedge was only part of the protest, a symbol of what might be lost in the event of unconstrained housing development which both extended the village and which lost us an ancient hedge.  So we had a photo call for the local newspaper  in preparation for another hearing by the District Planning Committee.  The chap at the stepladder is the photographer for the newspaper.

Villagers pose for the photographer in front of a hedge
Gamlingay hedge protest


A visit to London is always going to be good for some different photos, and Elephant and Castle, where there is a fair amount of development under way, was a case in point.  Here is Strata Tower, a residential building with its own wind turbines in the top (not shown here).  It’s a shame that the turbines may not be used because the vibration disturbs the residents in the higher flats.   I liked the juxtaposition of cranes and architecture.

Strata Tower and cranes

And a visit to family was the reason for my presence in London.  Grandma reads to two small brothers.
















But then Grandma stole one away to stay with her for a couple of days – Mum and Dad get a rest.

Walking to the bus stop.















And on the way back to the station, we crossed the Thames, normally an attractive scene.  This is Blackfriars Bridge, looking west.

river, boats and skyline.
The river Thames in London







2017 Week 3

Cold mornings persist this month, with high pressure dominating the weather for most of the week.  That means misty or foggy starts with beautiful sunrise or sunset colours, with no cloud to obscure the sun.  Here is my favourite wind farm, taken as I travelled north for some flying on Friday.

Graveley wind turbines

I had a tour of Cambridge earlier in the week, courtesy of the “Treasure Trail”.  The tour was enjoyable and interesting and of course there were photo opportunities.  I was sad to see that a couple’s life was outside in the cold.

Bed for the homeless

King’s Parade, next to King’s College, is always a great place to get decent images.  I used a Lumix GM5 for this shot, with no hood on the lens; the effect works pretty well, I think.

King’s College

Sundials abound in Cambridge, and here is a rather beautiful example, at one of the colleges of Cambridge University.

Honour gate sundial, Gonville and Caius College