Basil Comes To Stay

December was a quiet month, at least photographically speaking. The only daylight I saw during the week was through the office window, and even at the weekend the days were short and typically gloomy. I have three unfinished rolls of film in three different cameras, desperate for opportunities to be used up.

Basil The Border Collie came to stay for a few days. He may be smart and agile, but in a play flight his considered and tactical approach is no match for Coco’s somewhat less thoughtful blunderbuss routine.

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Chicken News: December 2018

In this month’s Chicken News, I’m very excited to report that all four ladies are now laying. And best of all, Beaker has fulfilled her destiny. As a Skyline she had an 80% chance that her eggs would be blue. And so they are. Nice one Beaker. You just need to sort out your ridiculous floppy comb now.

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I’ve got the ladies eating out of my hand. There’s a first…

Beaker and her comedy comb:

That Was The Month That Was: November 2018

November’s round-up of random bits and pieces…

OK, so strictly speaking these two are from the end of October, but any pics of Ella are worth including.

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My mum & niece

I went to visit my mum in Herefordshire. It’s great walking country, even in the mist and rain.

Nikon F90X / Kodak Tmax 400

Coco & Daisy both seemed to have perfected the stare that somehow makes me feel guilty, even though I don’t know why.

Dobble is apparently all the rage with the kids, although by the time I’ve heard of something it’s normally deader than disco.

This month’s chickens news is much the same as the last month’s: Domino and Dorothy are laying; Bluebell and Beaker need to get their finger out. Possibly quite literally…

November hasn’t disappointed; the weather’s been as completely grey and miserable as you’d expect for this time of year. But it still can surprise from time to time, and in the middle of the month was an uncharastically spectacular weekend of sunshine. We took a long walk with Coco The Cocker in the South Downs.
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I’m thinking maybe Bo & Luke Duke live here….

Glastonbury Tor

The last time in I was in Glastonbury was way back in 1986 for the renowned music festival. Except that’s not strictly true, because the festival actually takes place seven miles down the road in the village of Pilton. Nevertheless, the town of Glastonbury appears to be populated by people who got lost on their way back from the festival sometime in the mid 1970s. They clearly drifted along in a haze of weed and never got up the energy to leave. The town itself is peppered with hippy-dippy shops selling everything from wholemeal sandals to organic tie-dye chakras. But our main motivation for visiting was to climb to the top of Glastonbury Tor and see the remnants of the ancient church. The original wooden church was apparently destroyed by an earthquake in 1275. The stone church of St Michael’s church was built on the same site in the 14th century, but all that currently remains is the roofless tower. But it’s certainly worth the trek.

Nikon F90X / Kodak Tmax 100

Look Gerald, We’re Higher Than The Birds

The first time I had a pizza primavera it struck me that only the Italians would name a season after a pizza. Well, it turns out us Brits are just as bad. The village of Cheddar lies beneath the famous cliffs of Cheddar Gorge, where presumably they mine the renowned cheese that the Somerset village is named after. The gorge cuts through the limestone Mendip Hills in the south west of England, and over our five day stay we did exactly the two things you’re supposed to do: hiking the hills and drinking cider.

All photos Nikon F90X / Kodak Tmax 100

The Cider Barn really doesn’t need a marketing department. It’s a barn; they serve cider. What more do you need to know? I’d be exaggerating if I said the first night we popped in the piano player stopped mid-stride and and all the guys reached for their Colt 45s. But only slightly. The barkeep, Bear-Strangler Rockhard (or Nigel to his face), told us rather than asked us what to drink. But by day two we were considered regulars, and offered some of the special under-the-counter scrumpy that’s fermented with a dead sheep in the barrel and gives you only a 50% chance of any sight loss becoming permanent.

This was odd. We came across this dumped old bus in a ditch and covered in bushes. It wasn’t near any roads so I’ve no idea how it got there. I don’t know much about vintage vehicles, but this looks to me to date from the ’50s or ’60s. I’d recently watched A Simple Plan, so it did occur to me there might be a dead driver and four million dollars inside. Fortunately not, and I haven’t since been caught in a wicked web of lies, deceit and murder. Not really what you want when you’re trying to have a relaxing holiday.

I think you’re doing pretty well if you can wear a working cocker spaniel out. Although to be fair, for every mile we walked Coco ran at least three.