Thursday, 19 October 2017

October 19th, 2017 - Photo 292 of 365

This may well be a common site, but I must admit I can't remember the last time I saw a toadstool this colour. But apparently the Amanita muscaria is very recognisable, and although classed as poisonous it is eaten in some parts of the world. It is also known for its hallucinogenic properties. I saw this today at The New Inn pub in Knowl Hill while giving Prince a pit stop. We had been there following a church service of thanksgiving for Fred Avann, who passed away a few weeks ago at the grand old age of 88. He was my brother's godfather, and his wife Sybil is my godmother. So our families have been lifelong friends.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

October 18th, 2017 - Photo 291 of 365

End of the Night
My morning walks begin in darkness at the moment - at the very end of the hours of darkness, and just as the sun is about to rise. So this picture is of the centre of Henley with a little bit of moon action going on too. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

October 17th, 2017 - Photo 290 of 365

New Print Run of Books
I always get a little bit excited when a new print run of my book arrives. After last week's surge in sales of the paperback edition of Lives & Times, I had to get some more printed, and they arrived today. This is quite amazing really, considering that the book was published almost two years ago now. It has so far raised over £3250 for Beating Bowel Cancer, and the total amount raised for the charity over the last 5 years since Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer, including the Mount Snowdon climb in 2014, now stands at over £6000. So a massive thank you to everyone who has so generously supported me.

The fundraising continues, and I now have a new batch of books that need selling πŸ˜‰ So if you haven't got a copy yet, then please click here to buy a copy from my website.

Monday, 16 October 2017

October 16th, 2017 - Photo 289 of 365

Prince on Dorney Common
It seems like we have all experienced the weird weather today associated with Hurricane Ophelia. The sky turned yellowy here, and well I can't quite describe the almost fragmented sun. Before all that happened I was out delivering with Prince this morning, and we stopped at Dorney Common. It was amazing to be walking him in just a t-shirt in the middle of October. In the distance you can just make out Windsor Castle.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

October 15th, 2017 - Photo 288 of 365

Ali & Dad
It was brought to my attention this week that there are no photos of my sister on display in my house. So I am going to put that right and I'm currently having this photo printed and framed. I didn't take this photo, it is one of the official photos from Ali & Mike's wedding, which I scanned years ago. My original copy is probably up in the loft somewhere. It's just the perfect photo of father and daughter x

Saturday, 14 October 2017

October 14th, 2017 - Photo 287 of 365

Portrait Photos
So today was the first of what will hopefully be many portrait photo sessions to raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. I went to photograph Rachael Parker-Prickett, who was a friend of Deborah James, who recent passed away from bowel cancer. When she saw my fundraising idea she got in contact and we arranged today's session. As well as the portrait photos she happily posed for a few photos with the bowel cancer tie. She also bought a copy of my Lives & Times book, so a very successful day, and she was a really lovely lady making it a very enjoyable experience.

Friday, 13 October 2017

October 13th, 2017 - Photo 286 of 365

Just a few minutes up the road from work is the Harleyford Estate, which is home to a marina, golf club and wooden lodges. Over the last 33 years it's a place we have delivered packaging materials to from time to time, but not for some years. Today I did have to take a delivery there, and you are greeted with this very picturesque scene as you enter the estate. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

October 12th, 2017 - Photo 285 of 365

Filming in Hambleden
The film crews are back in Hambleden at the moment. I am not sure what they are shooting, the signs say 'BCP' whatever that stands for? I had gone to the post office, and it sounds like the village is going to have restricted access whilst the filming is on. They were unloading the vintage car, and I was a little surprised they didn't ask to borrow my van, as its age and condition would be perfect! πŸ˜‚

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

October 11th, 2017 - Photo 284 of 365

Another Book Going Out
Once again the music fans have shown great support for my Lives & Times bowel cancer fundraising book. This time it's a massive thanks to fans of The Alarm and Stiff Little Fingers. In fact there has a been a massive surge of interest from SLF fans after a post on Facebook by Nick Godsell. Nick and his fiancee Rachel were unable to attend The Great British Alternative Music Festival at Butlins after Rachel's dad needed an emergency life saving operation for bowel cancer. The awful and unsympathetic attitude of Butlins in not allowing them to transfer their tickets to another couple, in spite of the special circumstances, is beyond belief. They should hang their heads in shame... Rachel's dad, Ray, is doing well post operation, so I hope he continues on the road to recovery. Once my book cropped up in the posts the interest and support has been terrific, so thanks to everyone it's very much appreciated. The book is available on my website.

October 10th, 2017 - Photo 283 of 365

Who doesn't enjoy kicking up the crunchy leaves on the ground during autumn? I have no idea what type of tree this leaf is from, but ones like this used to fall onto Mum & Dad's garden from a neighbour's tree, so it brought back a few memories. Clearing the leaves at their house was always a bit of a mission, but when I was growing up I used to love helping Dad do this job. Happy times 😊

Monday, 9 October 2017

October 9th, 2017 - Photo 282 of 365

Berks & Bucks
A view at lunchtime. I am standing on the hills around work at Medmenham in Buckinghamshire, and looking across towards Remenham and Hurley in Berkshire. In fact the River Thames goes right across this picture, though hidden by the trees. The A4155 that connects Henley and Marlow is in the foreground. But mostly it's just a great scene, and a lovely part of the world to go to work in when you can see and appreciate views like this during the lunch break.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

October 8th, 2017 - Photo 281 of 365

Autumn Days
A quite lovely autumn afternoon, and Prince certainly made the most of it. Those cold winter days,and the clocks going back, are not too far away now, so I am not sure how much more of this wonderful mild weather we will get. Oh well only 5 months until spring is here! πŸ˜†

Saturday, 7 October 2017

October 7th, 2017 - Photo 280 of 365

Cloud Pattern
Another photo from my stop at Ibstone. This time looking towards the cricket pitch, and I was struck by the cloud pattern. There was something quite beautiful about this scene. If I was an artist I think I would have liked to have painted it.

Friday, 6 October 2017

October 6th, 2017 - Photo 279 of 365

Standing Stone at Ibstone
Whenever I drive through Ibstone and past the cricket ground, I see this stone, and have always wondered what it is. Today I wandered over with my camera, and although I got a lovely photo of it, I still didn't know what it was. So I looked it up on the internet, and it's not an ancient stone as I thought it must be, but is in fact a stone that was placed there to mark the millennium, so a very recent addition to the landscape.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

October 5th, 2017 - Photo 278 of 365

Phone Camera Limitations
To the naked eye this was a much more impressive scene, and something that my phone camera just couldn't really capture. Walking in Henley this morning at 7.00am with the morning light just beginning to kick away the remnants of night, the sky in particular was really impressive. I thought the dark and threatening clouds would make for a good photo. But the camera in its wisdom tries to fix the deficiencies, when really I wanted to capture them. Lesson is for this type of photo to use my proper camera...

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

October 4th, 2017 - Photo 277 of 365

Full House
Today was all about deliveries arriving at work. So much stuff, and the burning question was, would it all fit in the unit? Well thankfully it all squeezed in, and I am now packed to the rafters. All I need to do now is sell some packaging materials! πŸ˜†

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

October 3rd, 2017 - Photo 276 of 365

Victoria Derbyshire at the Henley Literary Festival
Tonight I saw Victoria Derbyshire at the Henley Literary Festival talking about her book, Dear Cancer, Love Victoria. I have never been to an event of this type before, and it was a highly interesting, entertaining, and also at times an emotional evening. The inspirational and touching book chronicles Victoria's journey with breast cancer based on the diaries she wrote at the time. It offers hope and support for anyone touched by cancer, and is also breaking down some of the barriers surrounding cancer. I finished reading the book a couple of days ago, and it's a terrific read on so many levels.

Some people reading this will already know that I met Victoria in the summer for my own forthcoming fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer, which she has very kindly supported, and I am now going to be able to finish writing up the chapter. Victoria very kindly signed my copy of the book at the end of the evening, with probably the most meaningful and touching one word personal inscription that is possible. A quite remarkable and lovely lady.

Monday, 2 October 2017

October 2nd, 2017 - Photo 275 of 365

Calluna Flower for Deborah Louise James
I bought this beautiful calluna flower this morning, and on my travels I went to pay my last respects to Deborah Louise James who passed away at the end of July. She'd had bowel cancer, and was just 37 years old, leaving behind her young daughter Grace. I'd known her on social media for about 18 months or so, but I only got to meet just the once, which was back in May when she very kindly came on board the new bowel cancer fundraising book I am writing. At that time Debs was still very positive, and determined to do everything she could to stay healthy, and live as long as possible in spite of an awful prognosis. I found her to be funny, kind, warm, a true inspiration, and she had the most infectious laugh. She told me that when she was younger, she said she would live to be 100, and with that lovely laugh she then said that it was still possible. Her grave has the most amazing display of colourful flowers - a wonderful tribute to her - so I added my small offering, and just spent a few quite minutes there. Thanks very much to her best friend Frankie who gave me directions on how to find Debs x

Sunday, 1 October 2017

October 1st, 2017 - Photo 274 of 365

In the Boot
Junior is Prince's nephew, and today he decided to make himself at home in my car boot. He was quite happy snoozing until I came along wanting to take a photo!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

September 30th, 2017 - Photo 273 of 365

Beating Bowel Cancer Tie
I have taken the Beating Bowel Cancer tie with me on many of the photographic assignments for both of my fundraising books, and everyone who I have asked has always been very happy to pose for a photo with the tie. In some cases I have even used the tie photo in the book. In recent times the tie has started to look jaded and a little worn out. Rather than see it fall apart I have decided to retire it, and I will eventually put it into some kind of display case. I have a new tie kindly sent to me by the charity to take its place, so normal service continues. I have so many amazing memories of the tie with countless celebrities, countless "normal" people, but maybe the personal memory I have of the tie is wearing it to my Mum's funeral last year, as she stipulated no black and lots of colours. I think she would have approved 😊

Friday, 29 September 2017

September 29th, 2017 - Photo 272 of 365

Christmas Puddings
I am someone who loves Christmas, but likes it kept to December. However there is one exception... Christmas Puddings! πŸ˜› I could eat these 52 weeks a year, and seeing them again on the shelves in the supermarket was a welcome sight, and will no doubt be a regular addition to my shopping basket.

September 28th, 2017 - Photo 271 of 365

New Crop
On my lunchtime walk with Prince I noticed how the new crops are already coming to life in the fields on the farm. After a couple of years of growing wheat, next year it will be rapeseed, so next spring the tree in the photo will be surrounded by a glorious mass of yellow.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

September 27th, 2017 - Photo 270 of 365

Ascot Racecourse
A rather misty scene at Ascot racecourse this morning. I had to be a little bit creative getting this shot. The views from the road are a little restricted, so I ended up taking the picture on my way back from a delivery I was doing. I parked up by new bridge, where the road goes under the straight mile part of the course, and walked up the steps to the side of the course and hey presto! Since the grandstand was redeveloped I have only been there once, as work doesn't allow me to take much time off, so the annual visit to Royal Ascot is a thing of the past for me alas..

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

September 26th, 2017 - Photo 269 of 365

High on the Hill
To get to this place takes quite an energetic steep climb, although the view here does not suggest you are high on the hill. The path close to work follows the Hambleden Circular Walk, and you climb up through the woods before leaving here at the top to cross some farm fields. Prince, of course, loves this route, and is always hoping that I will let him get to the pheasants! Not going to happen πŸ˜†

Monday, 25 September 2017

September 25th, 2017 - Photo 268 of 365

Viral Black
It's always a good day when new material by The Alarm is released. 2017 has proved to be rather productive as this new album, Viral Black, is their second album of the year. So it's been a good year with two UK tours to promote each album too. Oh, and it's also a mighty good listen 😊

Sunday, 24 September 2017

September 24th, 2017 - Photo 267 of 365

Farewell Enysham Hall
Another glorious morning at Eynsham Hall as our weekend stay came to an end. Prince had the most amazing time, and I think he could sleep for days if allowed to 😊There is something magnificent about these long driveways that lead to these stately homes, and I think the view from the front is just as impressive as the back. We were blessed with great weather all weekend, and I think a return visit will have to be do be done.

September 23rd, 2017 - Photo 266 of 365

Bourton on the Water
This was my first ever visit to Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds, and what a picturesque place it is. The low bridges cross the River Windrush, and there are numerous shops, cafes and pubs to cater for us tourists. The biggest challenge we had was avoiding other dogs, which we managed to do, and Prince was a very good boy indeed. Having started the journey going through Burford we went to Bourton on the Water, then up through Stow on the Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Norton, Hook Norton, and finally back through Woodstock to Eynsham Hall. The Indian summer showed off the wonderful countryside at its best.

September 22nd, 2017 - Photo 265 of 365

Eynsham Hall
Eynsham Hall outside Oxford was the setting for a rather wonderful weekend break. Set in five and a half acres it was absolute heaven for Prince, who was able to run, walk and play to his heart's content. The rather handy 15 metre training lead meant that he was hardly restricted at all, and another bonus was there were only a couple of other dogs there. So we had one rather tired dog at the end of each day. It's a fantastic building and setting, but the rooms in the lodge just out of picture were tiny! Breakfast was delicious, and the cream teas were to die for!

Friday, 22 September 2017

September 21st, 2017 - Photo 264 of 365

Driving home I saw an amazing sunset with a quite spectacular cloud pattern. Unable to find anywhere to stop to take a photo I gambled until I got home. Unfortunately I couldn't capture what I'd seen in the car. Will try and do better next time...

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

September 20th, 2017 - Photo 263 of 365

The end of the day in Richmond with no more than half and hour of daylight left. Standing outside The White Cross pub is a stunning location on the River Thames, and also the scene of quite a few internet dating disasters for me in the past πŸ˜† However on this occasion I was there to do a photo for the new bowel cancer charity book with Deborah James, another hugely inspiring person, and who has stage 4 bowel cancer.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

September 19th, 2017 - Photo 262 of 365

Waiting For The Train
Waiting for the train to arrive from Paddington tonight at Twyford Station. The times are definitely changing on the main line out of London with the overhead cables a sure sign of the imminent electrification of the railway. This process has not been without some controversy on certain sections of the line, with the complaint that the gantries are unsightly and a blot of the landscape. I have always quite liked them, and think that railways and everything associated with them, past and present adds to the landscape...

Monday, 18 September 2017

September 18th, 2017 - Photo 261 of 365

The next month or so is when we are blessed with all the amazing autumnal colours, so I am sure my camera will be busy. I love seeing red leaves at this time of the year, and I took this photo in Marlow this afternoon. Really ought to find out what species of tree this is... 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

September 17th, 2017 - Photo 260 of 365

View From A Bridge
This is not the new picture sleeve for a re-release of the classic Kim Wilde single, 'View From A Bridge'. However it is the view of Windsor Castle taken from Eton Bridge over the River Thames.This was a rather unexpected photo opportunity today after giving my brother a lift there earlier this evening. It is my favourite castle, and there can't be too many people reading this that can lay claim to having driven through its gates to deliver black refuse sacks! 😊

September 16th, 2017 - Photo 259 of 365

King of the Sofa!
There is no doubt of who thinks that the sofa is his! πŸ˜† After his fourth walk yesterday Prince decided to make himself comfortable and prepare for a snooze. I am so pleased with how well he is doing after losing Storm in June..

Saturday, 16 September 2017

September 15th, 2017 - Photo 258 of 365

Looking northwards from a bridge over the M40 between High Wycombe and Lane End. That Friday feeling when you long to be going away somewhere nice for the weekend. The good news is that this will be me this time next week 😊

Friday, 15 September 2017

September 14th, 2017 - Photo 257 of 365

Nighttime in Reading
It's almost dark now at 7.30 in the evenings as we head towards autumn, and it only gets worse with the clocks changing in 6 weeks time. I saw quite an impressive cloud pattern and sunset as I was driving home, although the view from my road was a little restricted. A rather frustrating day photo wise, as I had been in London in the morning, but had not had the opportunity to take a photo. My plan had been to take a picture at Paddington Station, but I had to run for my train, so that will have to wait for another day.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

September 13th, 2017 - Photo 256 of 365

Piccadilly Circus 
I don't very often get the opportunity to take daytime photos in London, but on my way to meeting Bill Turnbull for the new fundraising book today, I got off the tube at Piccadilly, and was able to do a bit of a tourist photo. Sadly the bus is not of the old red Routemaster design, but they are sadly a thing of the past now on London's roads apart from private hire etc.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

September 12th, 2017 - Photo 255 of 365

Blinded By The Light
It won't be too long now when I will be doing the early morning dog walk in the dark. But for the moment the sun has just risen, and there are some lovely views to be had around Henley. This one is from West Street walking up the hill and away from the town hall.

September 11th, 2017 - Photo 254 of 365

What is This?
So here is a little quiz. What is this photo of? Leave a comment if you think you know what it is. πŸ˜‰

Sunday, 10 September 2017

September 10th, 2017 - Photo 253 of 365

View From Faringdon
This is the view from the Oxfordshire village of Faringdon northwards towards my sister's village of Alvescot, and then beyond to Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds. Faringdon is also the place where I received, and I think, my only yellow card in my adult football career. I had already achieved the unique distinction of being the first player to be sent off for Maidenhead Boys (I think we were called that then having started as Maidenhead Town & Youth) in my younger days. Needless to say in both instances I still believe the referee was wrong πŸ˜€

Saturday, 9 September 2017

September 9th, 2017 - Photo 252 of 365

Birthday Girl
Today was my niece Anna's 11th birthday, so we had a birthday dinner in Alvescot. She was one very excited girl, and like the Queen she will be having a second celebration in a couple of weeks time when she has a karaoke party with her friends. She is growing up fast, and in the photo she is on the phone chatting to her Auntie Jane.

Friday, 8 September 2017

September 8th, 2017 - Photo 251 of 365

September Rain
I am firm believer that autumn begins on September 21st, so we are still in the last knockings of summer. This morning's rain was very autumnal though! Too wet and horrible to walk Prince in Henley this morning, so I just took this photo at the traffic lights. Very weird weather as late this afternoon it was quite nice, and they are even playing cricket at Lord's...

Thursday, 7 September 2017

September 7th, 2017 - Photo 250 of 365

The Saxon Maze
The Saxon Maze is situated in the grounds of The Herb Farm at Sonning Common outside Reading. I never even knew of its existence until today when I met up with Steve Clark for the new charity book I am doing. Steve was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2013, and he is doing some fantastic fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer with his Strive For Five campaign. The maze was created in 1991, and its design is based on a Saxon sea creature. Steve said it took him an hour to successfully navigate his way around the maze, so I didn't try and attempt it today... 😊

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

September 6th, 2017 - Photo 249 of 365

Views from Cookham
There are some wonderful views to be found on my travels. This one from the hills between Cookham and Pinkneys Green has Maidenhead in the distance. There is no doubt that my appreciation for the countryside began when the business relocated to Medmenham, and these views would have passed over me when we were actually based in Maidenhead. Hey ho... older and wiser 😊

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

September 5th, 2017 - Photo 248 of 365

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
With its head office based in my home town of Maidenhead, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemorates the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars. The register records the details of the Commonwealth war dead, so that war graves and names on memorials can be located. I have always thought it a rather dour and imposing looking building from the outside, and with overcast skies today my opinion has not changed.

Monday, 4 September 2017

September 4th, 2017 - Photo 247 of 365

Conker Season
It's that time of the year as the conker season has come around once again. Of course as a child I loved those few weeks when we all would bring our best conkers to school for the playtime fights. All those methods of trying to make your conker unbeatable... roasting, vinegar, and just leaving it on the window sill to harden. And of course before all that, the excitement of throwing sticks in the trees to try and get them down in the first place... Happy days 😊

Sunday, 3 September 2017

September 3rd, 2017 - Photo 246 of 365

Prince & Noel
Noel got back home on Thursday night following 7 months on the road. Unfortunately it coincided with Prince coming down with a severe bug, who understandably hasn't been quite himself over the last few days. Today he is a lot better, and a little more like the old Prince, and he is very happy to have Noel back for plenty of tummy rubs! 😊

September 2nd, 2017 - Photo 245 of 365

Football in Calne
A rare outing to a football tournament, and a rather long, but very enjoyable day out in Calne, Wiltshire. Perfect weather for watching, although it was very hot for the boys toiling away on the pitches. Talking of pitches, it was a quite superb sports ground. In all my years playing I never got to play on such flat, well grassed surfaces! There seems to have been a lottery grant, and not surprisingly it's used by Swindon Town FC. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

September 1st, 2017 - Photo 244 of 365

I first discovered this spot in Marlow over 30 years ago, when me and some school friends hired a dayboat from Wargrave, and had an amazing three days on The Thames. In Marlow we moored up here, and had beers at The Two Brewers pub, just a few yards behind this shot, in St. Peter Street. The view you get is pretty stunning of the famous bridge and the rather posh Compleat Angler Hotel. 

August 31st, 2017 - Photo 243 of 365

Book Signing
I am currently reading The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis. I took the book with me when I went to photograph her for my new bowel cancer fundraising book, and she very kindly signed it. I love doing these books, and it always nice to have a little memento of the meeting, which I will be able to look back on in years to come.