Friday, 31 March 2017

March 31st, 2017 - Photo 90 of 365

Magnolia in Mum's Garden
The magnolia tree in Mum's garden has been getting bigger and better with each passing year. Sadly with the house sale completing next week, we will not see it quite in its full glory. However the lovely colours have started to come out, and of course I had to get a photo of it with the dogs in the background...

Thursday, 30 March 2017

March 30th, 2017 - Photo 89 of 365

My Brother's Washing!
As my brother Noel was leaving for South America in January he asked me if I could do his washing that he had left... Well if someone had told me that one day I would be doing that I would never have believed them... Andd yes it was a quite news / photo day 😄

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

March 29th, 2017 - Photo 88 of 365

DIY Extension Lead
This has been the extension lead we have had at work for I don't know how many years. It was made by Dad who was a very practical man unlike me. If it had been me I would have just bought one! He used the empty core of a reel of polypropylene strapping, and an old and very long lead. It was never easy to unwind or wind up, so I have been known to get a little frustrated with it. Today it was time to say goodbye to the reel, as I have brought over the "proper" extension lead from Mum's house to now use at work. Sad to see the old one go, as it was a little piece of Dad, but I think the time is right....

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

March 28th, 2017 - Photo 87 of 365

Temporary Home
With a completion date of April 5th, things are beginning to gather pace and the countdown is definitely now on for the sale of Mum's house. We are having to find new homes for many things and these two plant pots (if you can call either of them a pot) from the garden will be winding their way up to my sister's at some point. But for the time being they have have a temporary home at my work.. I am not sure what Mum make of them like this! 😃

Monday, 27 March 2017

March 27th, 2017 - Photo 86 of 365

Jurassic Park 
Imagine the shock I got today when I was delivering to a local garden centre. Lucky to escape with my life! The things you see...

Sunday, 26 March 2017

March 26th, 2017 - Photo 85 of 365

Altwood Road
Here is a slightly different view of 60 Altwood Road, Maidenhead. You can see the 'Sold' sign at Mum's house and I have put the bins out! It's going to weird once the house sale completes, as the road still very much feels like home at the moment, where the family home has been for over 50 years since Mum and Dad built the house. I am sure that the road will soon take on a very different feel to it, and of course there will not be any reason to drive down it either. Changing times are coming...

Saturday, 25 March 2017

March 25th, 2017 - Photo 84 of 365

Through the Kitchen Window
I spent a glorious spring day doing jobs outside at Mum's house. The sale is now hopefully nearing completion, so in a couple of weeks it really will be the end of an era. Storm and Prince especially love the garden and today they were able to spend a few hours out in the sunshine. However whenever I was doing jobs in the front garden Storm would go and lay down by the front door. So I took this interesting photo through the kitchen window. Storm by the front door and the reflection in the window shows Prince laying out in the sunshine in the back garden. We shall have to make the most of these last few opportunities...

Friday, 24 March 2017

March 24th, 2017 - Photo 83 of 365

My fundraising books for Beating Bowel Cancer
I am currently doing an offer on my website which is giving a 10% saving on both my books, in paperback format, when ordered as a bundle. Today I had to get these two books packed and posted. In recent days I have revisited the first book, Beating Bowel Cancer, which I published in 2012. It came out just after Mum had undergone her bowel operation and everything was looking very positive. Th epilogue I wrote at the end was written by someone who had no inkling of what was to come. Over the following four years she went on to fight the cancer with great courage and dignity, before she passed away last August. I am very proud of both books and I will make sure that the next one is up to the standards that I have already set myself.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

March 23rd, 2017 - Photo 82 of 365

Finally Groundworks Completed
This rather peaceful scene at work is somewhat different to how things have been over the last couple of months. The newly constructed buildings on the right of the photo have required groundworks for sewage etc. This meant having safety fences in for 8 weeks meaning getting deliveries close to my unit was almost impossible and even loading my van wasn't always easy either. This week the work was finished and normal service has finally been resumed...

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

March 22nd, 2017 - Photo 81 of 365

The events in London today were truly horrific, and my thoughts go out to the families who have lost loved ones, and for those caught up and injured in the attack. How any human being can do this to another I have no idea, but the good in people was also seen in abundance today. Very difficult to take or think of a suitable photo, so I just took a picture of some lovely daffodils after work...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

March 21st, 2017 - Photo 80 of 365

Huntercombe Golf Club
My driving today took me past Huntercombe Golf Club just outside Henley-on-Thames. It's a golf club that can be seen from the main road at Nuffield between Henley and Oxford. However if you approach it from the Stoke Row direction you literally drive right through the course with fairways on either side. So all I did to get this photo was, pull over on a verge, walk a couple of steps onto the course and I was presented with this photo opportunity.

I used to enjoy playing golf. although I was never much good at it. I haven't played since my Dad passed away in 2009. During the long summer days I would leave him in charge and escape from work an hour or early to get an evening round in. This is no longer possible now I am working on my own and I have just got used to not playing, which is maybe something I should fix sometime soon. My clubs have been gathering dust at work for far too long...

Monday, 20 March 2017

March 20th, 2017 - Photo 79 of 365

Spring Sunset
Towards the end of what was a pretty dull and squally early spring day, the sun finally made an appearance around sunset. I took this photo through a small gap in a hedge looking across a car park and green. I quite like it as it gives a border like effect to the sunset. 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

March 19th, 2017 - Photo 78 of 365

Sunday Mass
The original idea tonight was to get a shot of the stained glass window in its full glory at Sunday night mass at the church at the end of my road. However the flash on my phone camera kicked in and that combined with the street light gave it this rather unusual effect, so I thought I'd stick with it. There always an other day tomorrow...

Saturday, 18 March 2017

March 18th, 2017 - Photo 77 of 365

Dating History
So today it was time to consign some dating history to the bin... I have no idea why I still have this stuff. I found it while going through some of my things at Mum's house and it all dates back to the late 1980s. 

My favourite piece in the pile is the Orbit wrapper. This was from one of those classic missed opportunities that have blighted my disastrous dating history. Stallones Nightclub in Henley was the venue, and the girl I met came from not too far away in Checkendon. She was absolutely gorgeous and I came away with her phone number on the wrapper. She wasn't in when I rang but her Mum said she would pass on my message with my number which I left. I had just moved into a new place with my great friend Howard and a week or so later I realised that I had got our new phone number wrong and had obviously left the wrong number. I did try again but I think the damage had been done... Plonker!

At the top of the photograph you will see the words, "I'm sorry" left in a note put through my letterbox from a girl who had stood me up. In fact, while I was at wherever we were supposed to be meeting, she was leaving the note at my place and telling me not to contact her again. I don't think I saw the funny side of that one...

At least back then I was going out on dates, albeit without much success. It saddens me that neither of my parents ever saw me settle down. However I haven't quite given up, and as hopeless as my track record is, I am still hoping that I will meet that special person one day. In fact after the events of last year and losing Mum, there is perhaps no better time than the present to have another crack at it. But don't hold your breath! 

Friday, 17 March 2017

March 17th, 2017 - Photo 76 of 365

The Recycling Centre
An early morning trip to the tip today. I hate queues, so going at the weekend or at any other busy time really doesn't rock my boat! This was perfect with barely any other vehicles there. The dogs decided to be camera shy. They showed some initial interest when we got there, but once they realised I was going to be a while unloading they decided sleeping was much more fun!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

March 16th, 2017 - Photo 75 of 365

I'll have that cushion!
I came home tonight armed with a nice new cushion as a late birthday present. However I think Storm has already decided that it is for her, so I will no doubt be banished to the small chair tonight! She has had a tough year with her health, especially her cancer, but she is a little fighter x 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

March 15th, 2017 - Photo 74 of 365

There isn't really too much to say about today's photo. We have been blessed with just the most glorious day of warm sunshine and blue skies. I went to post office in Hambleden and gave the dogs, as in the norm, a chance to stretch their legs and this was our view. Not too bad 😊

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

March 14th, 2017 - Photo 73 of 365

Bisham Abbey
I went to Bisham Abbey, outside Marlow, today to photograph Paralympic Gold Medalist, Jeanette Chippington, for my new bowel cancer fundraising book. I actually stayed here 40 years ago as a young schoolboy on a football training course. At that time they were literally digging out the foundations for what was to become the National Sports Centre. I still remember it being a fantastic footballing educational experience. These days the old Abbey is a hotel and hosts weddings and conferences. The National Sports Centre, which is to left in terms of the photo, is a state of the art facility where Jeanette does her gym work. During my teens, the Maidenhead Town Youth football team that I played for, would train on the old 5-a-side courts which have long since been replaced. Happy memories and nice to go back there today.

March 13th, 2017 - Photo 72 of 365

My route through the Buckinghamshire countryside to the M40 Motorway, or out to Thame and beyonds take me through the pretty village of Ibstone. It's a route that I have been using ever since the business moved to Medmenham at the end of 1999. Yet I had never stopped there until now. Just a lovely peaceful place and the perfect place to give the dogs a pit stop! It's a place that becomes even more pretty once the bluebells arrive in the woods you can see in the photo.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

March 12th, 2017 - Photo 71 of 365

The back garden seems to have really suffered this winter. It's not been a cold one by any means, or a wet one for that matter. But the drainage seems to be really poor this year and the rain this morning has left the garden waterlogged once again. I think that this summer I am going to have to spend a little time on the garden, and maybe aerating it might be a start!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

March 11th, 2017 - Photo 70 of 365

Saturday Night Curry
Rather than give in to the temptation of getting a take-away tonight, I am cooking a curry... Chicken Bhuna if you are interested. First attempt at this one using a Patak's jar of sauce. It will be accompanied by tinned vegetable curry and microwave Bombay potatoes. Good luck!

Friday, 10 March 2017

March 10th, 2017 - Photo 69 of 365

Furniture for Charity
Me and my sister Ali had a productive afternoon at Mum's house today clearing rooms and getting all the furniture that's left ready for a charity collection on Thursday. There's quite an impressive pile in the living room now. It's been a bit of a mission finding a charity, and I have been quite surprised at quite how fussy some of the charities have been... I am hoping they will take as much of it as possible, as whatever is left will have to go to the tip now. The house sale seems to be proceeding smoothly, so hopefully the end is not too far away.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

March 9th, 2017 - Photo 68 of 365

Pruning the Hydrangea
Arriving home from work a little earlier than usual today, due to Storm's chemo session at the vets, I was able to spend a little bit of time in the garden. I decided to prune the hydrangea. Mum always said that the time prune it was when the new shoots appeared. Having said that I would always check with her each year that the time was right, and that is one thing I do miss about her, in that she is no longer there for any kind of reassurance...

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

March 8th, 2017 - Photo 67 of 365

Blossom at Night
The blossom is already out on many trees, so on my way home tonight I decided to try and photograph it and see how a night-time shot of it would turn out? Of course nothing will beat a traditional springtime blossom shot in daylight, but I thought this was quite interesting...

March 7th, 2017 - Photo 66 of 365

Hazel O'Connor at The Stables, Milton Keynes
I spent last night captivated by Hazel O'Connor's stunning performance at The Stables in Milton Keynes, where she was accompanied by Sarah Fisher and Clare Hirst. Hazel has very kindly agreed to be part of my new fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, which I am doing in memory of my Mum who passed away from this awful disease last August. I had a few minutes with Hazel in her dressing room shortly before she went on stage, and as well as being photographed for the book, she posed for a photo with the bowel cancer tie.

Monday, 6 March 2017

March 6th, 2017 - Photo 65 of 365

Daffodils in Mum's Garden
Spring was definitely in the air in Mum's back garden today with the daffodils coming into flower. With the house sale now going through this will be the last time we get to see many of the sights that Mum used to enjoy so much in the garden that she loved so much. However I will be taking some bulbs, so as keep some mementoes from the garden. 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

March 5th, 2017 - Photo 64 of 365

Grandparents Clock
The final clock to find a new home from my Mum & Dad's house is an old clock that belonged to my grandparents. I wasn't even sure that it was working, as it seemed to be stuck on ten past two! I can't recall when it was last working. After winding it up and with a little bit of gentle encouragement it began to tick and has the most wonderful chime. It now has pride of place on my mantlepiece. Watch the video...

March 4th, 2017 - Photo 63 of 365

Loch Lomond
Although the weather gods did not smile kindly upon me for my visit to Loch Lomond, the rain and threatening clouds did make for a quite imposing back-drop for this photo on the banks of the Loch at Balloch Castle. I'd stayed in Dumbarton overnight, so as to be able to make a quick visit before heading into Glasgow to meet Laura Boyd for the bowel cancer book. In fact it was Laura who very kindly recommended Balloch Castle to me. In a weekend that was so full on, with such a tight timescale, it was lovely to spend a fantastic and relaxed hour at Balloch.

Friday, 3 March 2017

March 3rd, 2017 - Photo 62 of 365

Under The Billy Bremner Statue at Elland Road
I drove almost 500 miles today on the first part of my 36 hour trip to Leeds and Glasgow. It rained pretty much non-stop all day so photo opportunities have been slightly hampered. However having been advised that I needed to get a picture by the Billy Bremner statue at Leeds Utd, I was able to do this with the dogs especially for my brother. I actually got to Leeds, via a work delivery in Lincoln, with over an hour to spare. The first passer by who took a photo only got the bottom half of the statue, so I had to ask another person to have a go and the resulting picture was much better. Having got this photo I spent a fascinating half an hour inside the ground with Eddie Gray, who was absolutely brilliant, which will make for another great chapter in the new bowel cancer fundraising book. I am now settled into my accommodation in Dumbarton for the evening. In spite of the rain this has been a tremendous day, so hopefully part 2 tomorrow will match it...

Thursday, 2 March 2017

March 2nd, 2017 - Photo 61 of 365

Lives & Times - World Book Day 2017
Today is World Book Day 2017, so here is my published book, Lives & Times, which has so far raised over £3000 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity with a little help from the limited edition screen prints created by artist Adam Green. I have been marketing the book pretty much non-stop since its publication in November 2015, and I have had some incredible support from a whole bunch of people that includes family, friends, the bowel cancer community and not forgetting rather a lot of fans of my favourite band The Alarm! It is possible that the next book might be out by this time next year, although it will come out only when it's ready and at the moment my hopes are for sometime during 2018. Today, being World Book Day, is the perfect time to buy a copy.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

March 1st, 2017 - Photo 60 of 365

Hambleden Church
I work just 5 minutes from the pretty picturesque village of Hambleden, and the small shop there has a post office which comes in handy, not just for sending out stuff, but also these days for banking services like paying in cheques. A much less stressful way of doing that rather than having to go into to a town centre... This morning the weather was stunning and making for perfect photo conditions. Back in 1998, I think, I was actually an usher at a wedding in this church. In fact the only time in my life I have ever worn a kilt!