Tuesday, 31 January 2017

January 31st, 2017 - Photo 31 of 365

High on the hill
I am always quite intrigued by such scenes. Would I enjoy living in a property so isolated on its own and high on the hill? The views from up there must be amazing, but it must be exposed to the elements... I see it every day and even from roads some miles away across the other side of the River Thames you can see it, so what price for the views from there?

Monday, 30 January 2017

January 30th, 2017 - Photo 30 of 365

On the go at work
I hit the ground running today at work. In the front of the photo you can see the big job I am currently working on, which I am trying to get ready for Friday. If everything comes together it's going to work out really well. Firstly I need the van to get better. A cracked pipe is causing a water leak, but that should hopefully be sorted by the middle of the week. The job that I am working on is on schedule after a productive day, and if ready I will deliver it to my customer in Liverpool on Friday. Then fingers crossed I will go to Goodison Park to meet Everton legend Kevin Sheedy for the new bowel cancer fundraising book I am working on. Then it will be on to Llandudno for my annual music weekend with Mike Peters and The Alarm. Fingers crossed everything comes together...

Sunday, 29 January 2017

January 29th, 2017 - Photo 29 of 365

First run of the year
This morning I finally managed to get out for my first run of the year. I managed a gentle half an hour run which felt pretty good actually. Will this be another false start or will I be able to put a proper set of runs together to build up some fitness? Once I get out there I really enjoy running and feel so much better for doing it. I also weighed myself for the first time in almost a year and it was good to see that I haven't gained any weight over recent months, and in fact I am probably a few pounds lighter. I suspect this is probably due to the trauma of last year rather than any healthy diet. Let's see what happens next... 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

January 28th, 2017 - Photo 28 of 365

 Signs of Life
The bulbs are peeping through in my garden which is always a good sign that spring isn't too far away. I always count the weeks down in winter, as apart from Christmas, it's not my favourite season. This photo is taken of my small pot that has layered bulbs, which should give me colour for a couple of months as we move into spring. The bleeding squirrels do their best to disrupt things, so I have no idea if the bulbs are at the right depth and what will happen... Should be interesting!

Friday, 27 January 2017

January 27th, 2017 - Photo 27 of 365

Frozen Milk
It has been pretty cold this week and things at work seemed to have reached a very cold point when the milk froze inside the fridge! That must be pretty cold, although I have since come to the conclusion that the fridge is not working properly and freezing stuff... Why it couldn't have decided to this in the summer I do not know! So today having soldiered through a few days of using frozen milk I thought I'd take a picture of it before consigning the milk to the bin with the weekend break upon us...

Thursday, 26 January 2017

January 26th, 2017 - Photo 26 of 365

Storm after chemotherapy today
A bitterly cold day without any hint of sunshine, these really are the worst kind of winter days. But there is always something nice to raise my spirits, and Storm always does that. Today she had her 6th session of chemotherapy at the vets. She has become a bit of a star there, especially as she has to spend 3-4 hours there every Thursday at the moment. She is always glad to head home though, and as I type this she is spark out on a bean bag. A slightly apprehensive look on her face? Well she is very camera shy so it's never easy catching her off guard! :)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

January 25th, 2017 - Photo 25 of 365

Foggy Henley-on-Thames
The traffic lights on Henley Bridge did me a huge favour at lunchtime by turning red and giving me great opportunity to capture this foggy scene of the River Thames as I was crossing it. It wasn't quite a pea-souper but the fog was quite dense in places. This scene will look somewhat different come the summer and Henley Royal Regatta...

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

January 24th, 2017 - Photo 24 of 365

Winter in Medmenham
I have a favourite place to stop to give the dogs a pit stop just a few hundreds yards from work along the A4155. It's the site of a former water research company and the land is now up for sale. The gates are locked, which conveniently allows me to park up for a few minutes. It was another crisp sunny morning today and, having put the dogs back in the van, I took this photo. I always like using trees to give a photo something extra and this one came out well, especially once I had converted it to black and white.

Monday, 23 January 2017

January 23rd, 2017 - Photo 23 of 365

I thought I'd do a slightly topical photo today with the news reporting a possible link between brown/burnt toast and cancer. I got myself a toaster before Christmas and have been going through a phase of having toast and raspberry jam for my lunch at work. The good news is, as the photo confirms, I am not eating burnt toast, so hopefully I am ok... 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

January 22nd, 2017 - Photo 22 of 365

Littlewick Green
This is the beautiful view from Littlewick Green Church where my parents are buried. If you are going to choose somewhere to be laid to rest then there are worse places you could end up at. Mum and Dad lived their entire lives in Maidenhead and are now buried in the same plot in their parish church. Since Dad passed away in 2009, I have always found visiting the churchyard very peaceful and somewhere where I can gather my thoughts and have a few minutes of quiet reflection. I always come away from there much more at peace with myself and in a brighter frame of mind. Nothing has changed since losing Mum, and today was no different.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

January 21st, 2017 - Photo 21 of 365

Cold & Frosty
At the end of another cold and frosty day I had my phone camera out in the back garden and got this shot of the frost that had stayed all day. I rarely use the flash on a camera, but in this instance with a little bit experimenting it made for a more interesting shot. I converted the photo into black and there you go...

Friday, 20 January 2017

January 20th, 2017 - Photo 20 of 365

A host of Alarm goodies!
I had a very timely package arrive in the post today of goodies relating to my favourite band The Alarm. Fellow fan of the band, Monica Scott, very kindly painted the band's poppy logo of the back of my camo jacket. This added to the badges that another fan, Cathi Simpson, had already painted on the arms for me. In addition the camo bear and Glastonbury Alarm t-shirt came from Monica. The camo theme is something Mike Peters has embraced in his battle with cancer and has been taken up by many fans, It was about time I came on board this theme.. This means that I will be fully kitted out at The Gathering in 2 weeks time, which is the annual event of all things Mike Peters & The Alarm held in Llandudno each year, when fans from all over the world come together for a special weekend of live music and all things Alarm.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

January 19th, 2017 - Photo 19 of 365

Chilton Business Centre
Today I went to one of my favourite delivery locations, the Chilton Business Centre in rural Buckinghamshire. Its set in the grounds of Chilton House, which is a residential care home. The views, as you drive in, are breathtaking and today the sun was shining making perfect photographic conditions. The lake was perfectly still making the reflection pretty impressive. I always park up here to give the dogs a pit stop, and it's a very peaceful setting to take a few minutes out of a busy working day.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

January 18th, 2017 - Photo 18 of 365

Eton Dorney Lake
My new bowel cancer charity book travels took me to Eton Dorney Lake yesterday morning to meet and photograph Paralympic gold medal winner Anne Dickins. I had never been there before, sadly failing to win tickets in the ballot for London 2012. What an amazing place! The long drive to the boat house was stunning as you follow the length of the course on your right hand side. It was a beautifully sunny morning with not a breath of wind making it perfect conditions for being out on the water. I had to stop and take a picture of the early morning scene of frost and mist. I reckon the views from the airplane in the photo yesterday would have been amazing coming into land at Heathrow..

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

January 17th, 2017 - Photo 17 of 365

Noel bound for South America
This morning the alarm went off at 4:30am to take my brother Noel to London City Airport as heads of to South America for 6 months overland driving commencing from Patagonia next weekend. This is his first contract overseas since we lost Mum last August, so it was especially sad to see him go and the two dogs are really going to miss him. He put his driving on hold during the final year of Mum's illness and this trip is exactly what he needs and I know he can't wait to get back this passion of his, as much as he will miss family and home. This means that I am back to working on my own again, so it will be nice to doing a bit more driving myself. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

January 16th, 2017 - Photo 16 of 365

Stables near work in Medmenham
Another day of miserable wet weather, although with it being a work day I am glad that at least its been quite mild. I had to deliver some heavy duty bin liners to a stable close to work in Medmenham today, and looking at the horses in the field brought back a few memories of Mum who had a life-long passion for horses. In recent times while she was recovering from surgery we would often go to see her horse, Shimara, in her field and today's scene was not too dissimilar. Sadly Mum and Shimara passed away within a couple of months of each other last year.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

January 15th, 2017 - Photo 15 of 365

What else can do you with a camera on a thoroughly miserable day other than to take a photo of the weather.. I was queuing up at the traffic lights at the Showcase roundabout at Winnersh and the rain drops on the window pretty much summed up the day. I did like the effect of the car headlights in the shot, but certainly weather wise I'm hoping for better things tomorrow! 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

January 14th, 2017 - Photo 14 of 365

Quack Quack!
This duck is actually a lot heavier than it looks as I discovered carrying it through my house. It's another garden feature that has been transported from the folk's house to mine and has now got itself a new home. How permanent this will be I'm not sure as I think my brother Noel wants to have it in the long term. Moving stuff from the house in Maidenhead to mine has gathered pace over the last few days with Noel's impending trip to South America next week. 

Friday, 13 January 2017

January 13th, 2017 - Photo 13 of 365

Storm "We Are Leeds!!"
Me and my brother Noel were doing some furniture moving today in preparation for him moving in with me this weekend. We were loading stuff at Mum's house with Storm and Prince in attendance as always. Storm, whilst playing, managed to wrap herself up in Noel's Leeds United scarf, and it was too good an opportunity to miss with the camera. Obviously as an Arsenal fan I would have preferred her to be in a different scarf, but a lovely photo nevertheless. Storm is usually a bit camera shy and has a knack of knowing when the camera is pointed at her, so I was pleased she stayed still long enough for this photo.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

January 12th, 2017 - Photo 12 of 365

Snow or lack of it in Reading
I am not a huge fan of snow, especially when it impacts on the working day. However I thought that today's forecast for snow late afternoon would give me a good opportunity to post a nice snowy picture on here. As far as that goes it was all a bit disappointing with not much more than a bit of sleety snow barely leaving its mark on my car. Oh well no snowmen in Reading tonight...

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

January 11th, 2017 - Photo 11 of 365

Myself and the dogs in shade at work
I was giving the dogs their lunchtime walk today and the sun was directly behind us casting our shadows out in front of us as we walked, which made for an interesting photograph. From left to right we have Storm, me in the middle and Prince tucked away on the right side. Since Storm got lymphoma she is not going for long walks, so we tend to walk up the long drive to the main road a few times during the day. Prince will then come out for a proper walk with me while Storm stays in the unit. I think the use of shadows could possibly open up some interesting photo opportunities over the course of the 365 days in 2017.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

January 10th, 2017 - Photo 10 of 365

Mum & Dad's Cuckoo Clock
Much of the content from Mum & Dad's house is being rehoused with me, and my brother and sister, including their lovely cuckoo clock now in it's new home in my dining room. Their original cuckoo clock we grew up with eventually stopped working, so we got them a new one for their 40th wedding anniversary in 2000. I think my brother Noel had quiet a mission getting it on one of his trips to Switzerland.

At some point before Dad died in 2009 the cuckoo stopped chiming. I remember Dad getting the clock off the wall, and although the clock worked it seemed that it was going to remain silent forever. After his death I was having a look at the clock and realised that the switch on the side had been turned to off! Switching it back brought the cuckoo back to life and its been happily chiming ever since. I have never had a problem with the quite loud chiming, it's never interrupted my sleep so I was pleased to have it at my house. To this day I have no idea why Dad hadn't spotted this or if perhaps the resurrection of the chimes was perhaps of his doing from beyond the grave. We will never know...  

Monday, 9 January 2017

January 9th, 2017 - Photo 9 of 365

Traditional phone box in Medmenham
You don't see many traditional red phone boxes around these days. But in the village of Medmenham where I work this phone box remains and in working order by the looks of it. Like most people in possession of a mobile phone I no longer need to use them, but it wasn't so long ago that I would frequently stop and use them to call Dad back at work when I was out driving.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

January 8th, 2017 - Photo 8 of 365

A damp and murky evening in Maidenhead
This was the scene just outside Mum's house in Maidenhead earlier tonight as I set off walking the dogs. It was really mild, which is just the way I like it, but rather damp and murky with the fog beginning to descend. Poignant times at the moment as the house is now on the market after over 50 fifty years as the family home. And depending on my brother's movements with his overseas driving tonight might be the last time I stay over in the house. I don't know how many thousands of times I have walked up the road, but it just holds so many incredibly happy memories especially from my childhood. Times change of course and this year is one of change and hopefully some happy and exciting times.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

January 7th, 2017 - Photo 7 of 365

Mystery item?
So can anyone guess what today's photo is of? I'll try and help you out. It is used most days usually on the sofa. The sparkly effect is not meant to confuse you, the item has just been rinsed in water...

Friday, 6 January 2017

January 6th, 2017 - Photo 6 of 365

Reading Wind Turbine Seen From Whitley Wood Road
The Reading wind turbine dominates the South Reading skyline. It can be seen by the thousands of motorists who pass it on the M4 motorway each day or who approach the town from the A33. In days gone by it was the old Courage Brewery chimney that had this role, but the brewery is sadly no more and times change and things move on. I was delivering in Reading this morning and was able to stop and get this view of the turbine in the distance from Whitley Wood Road. I quite like the way the trees in the forefront form a kind of archway entrance to the view beyond.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

January 5th, 2017 - Photo 5 of 365

Rose for Mum
This young rose was given to me as a Christmas present by my very good friends Howard and Debbie.I went to school with Howard and we have been great friends for over 35 years. Howard said that the rose is in memory of Mum who passed away from bowel cancer last August, which I thought was a quite lovely idea for a Christmas present. If you zoom in on the label the rose is called "Mum in a million - Hybrid Tea." As you can see it has already been planted and I am eagerly awaiting to see it grow and develop over the coming months. By coincidence Mum absolutely loved her roses so this is very apt.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

January 4th, 2017 - Photo 4 of 365

A door at work!
The business moved to Westfield Farm in Medmenham 16 years ago. Throughout that time the small makeshift office has not had a door! Dad made a makeshift screen out of reinforced polythene that has done a sterling job, but as we head into the heart of another winter I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and make the office a bit more bearable and shut out the cold.. 

Being a farm unit and north facing, the sun does hit the unit at all during the daytime. Great during summer for keeping cool, but pretty horrible during winter. It is often much warmer outside the unit than inside, even on days where the temperature barely rises above freezing outside. I wear thermals on cold days but ultimately it is just freezing cold and not very pleasant most of the time. These days I also have the two dogs to consider and with Storm's recent lymphoma diagnosis I had to make the office warmer so she could continue to come into work.  She's much happier at work and I am much happier with the dogs for company.

So my brother's mate Chris has spent the last 24 hours turning the entrance into the office into something more permanent, and more importantly a very cosy little room that will make things so much more pleasant over the winter months.

I didn't think I would be taking any photos of plain doors this year during the 365 project, so it just goes to show you never know where this photographic challenge may take you each day. It's worth looking at the photo next to the door which was taken in 1976 when Dad had started up the business. A bit of record breaking going on there..

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

January 3rd, 2017 - Photo 3 of 365

A4155 close to Medmenham
Today was the first day back at work after the Christmas break. It was a bitterly cold morning with a heavy frost under clear skies. As I approached work at Medmenham, between Marlow and Henley,along the A4155 there were the first signs of the sunrise giving me a good opportunity to get the camera out. There is a conveniently roadside lay-by which allowed me to capture this great scene of the sun coming up behind this large solitary tree. I would usually wait for any passing cars to go past before I take photographs, but in this photo I actually thought the lights of the car approaching me adding a little something to the picture.

Monday, 2 January 2017

January 2nd, 2017 - Photo 2 of 365

End of the holidays in Reading
Today marks the last day of the Christmas holidays. In my case this is also my annual holiday period with it being the only time I am able to take off work during the year. This year it's been a good relaxing break and a much needed opportunity to recharge my batteries after the events of 2016. We were blessed with a gorgeous sunny and crisp winter's day. I took this photo this morning close to my home in Reading on my morning walk. I used the trees to shield the camera from the sun. I always find it interesting to see what you can get out of an everyday scene with a camera.

Whilst I enjoy this kind of weather when I am off work, once I am back at work work tomorrow I will be hoping for those grey overcast skies which usually bring milder temperatures making it a bit more pleasant at work during the winter months. 

Sunday, 1 January 2017

January 1st, 2017 - Photo 1 of 365

Noel's Birthday with Storm & Prince

Kicking off things with the first photo of the 365 I will take during 2017. New Year's Day always gives me a photo opportunity as it is my brother Noel's birthday. So today I took a photo of him with Storm and Prince in Mum's back garden. I had stayed over for New Year's Eve and we spent a nice chilled evening saying goodbye to 2016. The house has been the family home for over 50 years, but with Mum passing away last August it is currently on the market, so this will be the last time we get to do a new year photo there. 

Noel will spend the rest of his birthday watching Maidenhead United in action at York Road against Wealdstone and then go out for beers in the town after the game. Sadly I am not able to join him. Storm was diagnosed with lymphoma a couple of weeks ago, so I can't leave her on her own at the moment during the early stages of her treatment.

Here's to a happy new year to everyone and let's hope 2017 is a good one.