Wednesday, 31 August 2011

# 243: No queue

This week we had two visits to Windsor Castle - you can have your ticket stamped and return as many times as you like within a year. The first visit was on Bank Holiday Monday - probably one of the busiest days of the year. There was a long and wide queue for the State Rooms, so Mark suggested coming back later in the week to see those, which we did today - look no queue!
The State Rooms are truly fabulous, and no photography is allowed. Oh well...
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# 242: Churchill's War Rooms

We visited Churchill's War Rooms, one of Britain's best kept secrets. Virtually none of the staff who worked there were aware that there was a transatlantic telephone because it was housed in a very small room, the door of which looked like a toilet door with an "ENGAGED" lock on it. There were no flushing toilets in this basement warren, but some assumed that this door had behind it the only flush toilet for the exclusive use of Mr Churchill. This isn't that phone, but its one of several original phones on display: the rooms were largely left exactly as they were at the end of the war, but only opened to the public in 2007. Well worth a visit. Go to the loo before though ;0)
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Monday, 29 August 2011

# 241: Men in Uniform

I've always had a soft spot for Men in Uniform, so it was a treat at Windsor Castle today to see some smart Scots Guardsmen. Lovely! The Castle was pretty impressive too ;0)
This guy seemed to have a cold - coughed and sniffed  some.
Shiny buttons!
Polished so shiny you can see your face in them!

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Sunday, 28 August 2011

# 240: Victory is theirs!

Today Oliver took part in a re-enactment of an Eastern Front battle and rode on a T34/85 tank. He is passionate about military history, Russian history in particular, and loves taking part in events with the 13th Guards Rifle Division. We thought it was probably the best battle he's been in so far. It was at Military Odyssey near Detling - see here for the website, its an annual multi-period living history event, and its spectacular.
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# 239: Place of Privilege

Eton College, possibly the most famous of private schools, where 1301 boys are taught in classes of up to 14. There are 70 scholarship places, but the remainder of the boys are fee paying - £34,000 per year plus extras (uniform, sports kit, trips, extra curricular...), and there are currently 3 families who have 3 sons at the college at the same time. Old boys include politicians, senior civil servants, actors, writers, comedians, olympic sportsmen... From their website: "Eton has educated boys for nearly six centuries. The college continues to develop Henry VI's original vision of providing a distinctive education, which we aim to make accessible to any talented boy." We had a guided tour and were blown away, very impressive, somewhat eccentric. Check out the glossary of terms here, some very peculiar words and traditions.
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# 238: Charlie Cat

Charlie is a beautiful big fluffy ginger cat. We used to have a brother of his, Rufus, in our family. Their Mum had to be put down a while ago, but she'd been loved. Rufus was loved, and Charlie is loved, we love cats. Here, Charlie sits on the hall by the open front door as Steve and Susie go to and from stepping around him, packing the car. We are looking after Charlie (and Smoky and two guines pigs called Rocket & Bessie) this week while Steve & Susie look after our cats - house swap for this year's holiday. I wonder if the cats are confused?
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Thursday, 25 August 2011

# 237: British Summer Time

After quite a long dry spell, a little rain is welcome, it waters the gardens, it damps down the pollen, however it also puts a dampener on holidays...especially camping holidays. Luckily, we are not camping this year, or any year for that matter because hubby refuses, point blank, to go camping! This year its a city holiday, a house swap! I've never left my house so tidy when going away!
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# 236: Gerbera

White gerbera, shot on the window sill with available light. Enhanced in Ps ;0)
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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

# 235: Mugshots

Time to renew the children's passports. It was surprisingly hard to shoot them keeping straight faces, no smiles allowed on a passport picture - trying this in a booth would have proved costly, I can just disregard the smiley ones but would have had to pay for them in a booth! Who do they most look like...? Oliver has his Dad's nose...
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# 234: Lights

New lights in a recently refurbished eatery. Hipstamatic shot.
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# 233: Permanently shelved

After a couple of years in boxes whilst we had building work done, then spent time re-decorating and constructing bespoke shelving, my books are finally back :0) Feels good... I have missed them...

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Monday, 22 August 2011

# 232: Five months in

Five months into her riding lessons and she's doing great - today she fell off for the first time! She got straight back on and carried on, unhurt, bounced well ;0) - and I managed to stay in my seat while the instructor helped her up and checked she was ok! Cantering and jumping today. And falling. But only the once!
She's in her element!
The jump after the fall.
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# 231: Eye eye...

Emerging flying ants have caught their attention, there is a nest amongst the grass at the fence line. A light snack?
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Thursday, 18 August 2011

# 230: No partridge in this pear tree

In our garden we have a pear tree, a crab-apple tree, and a Bramley apple tree. We inherited them when we moved here, along with a plum tree that we took down a few years ago - the fruit was a slip hazard and wasp attractant, and the tree was long past its fruiting best. The pears seem to be ripening earlier than usual, some have already fallen off.
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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

# 229: Southwell Minster

 It may not be as famous as York Minster, but worth a visit nonetheless.
Ancient & Modern - the broken lamp glass shows up-to-the-minute energy saving bulbs, next to centuries old mullion windows.
There are some cracking conkers ripening on this tree.
Details - patterns and textures, what a treat.
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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

# 228: Marigolds

They were a gift from our neighbour opposite, who, I think has become tired of waiting for us to plant our new flower beds, new since May. May last year! The seedlings took well and now they look great, attracting bees and hover flies. Thanks Ray ;0)
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# 227: Miscounting rivets

The subject is a well-worn patched up aircraft; the title refers to a line in Sid Meiers 'Railroads' as the game is loading. And no, I haven't counted the rivets!
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# 226: Déjà vu

We are soon to come full circle. I packed up my books in preparation for building work, an extension and re-arranging interior doors rather than walls in 2009. And soon... very soon, just a few days from now... I get to unpack all my books again onto beautiful new bespoke shelving :0))) Momentous day approaching. See 4/365 and 10/365.
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Saturday, 13 August 2011

# 225: Application, determination, concentration.

Jodie loves riding, her lessons are tiring but very rewarding - last week she cantered and jumped for the first time, this week - more work on technique: canter, trot, canter, trot. Bonny was very obliging despite having lessons back to back.
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Friday, 12 August 2011

# 224: Drip dry

Jodie had a swimming lesson today, I rinsed her goggles in clean water in the kitchen. I can't take a camera poolside at the club we belong to, nor am I allowed to take any photos with iphone, so I can't show how well she did, and what a lovely instructor she had, and how great the teaching pool is! But her goggles are cool ;0)

Balanced on the kitchen tap.
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Jodie and Blue

Jodie has been riding since she was 7, over half her life. Just. Ownership is costly, but she's learning life skills and life lessons...