21 December 2014

A tale of two solstices.

June 21 I made it to Clent Hills for the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice:

"20 strange souls all parked up at Clent Hills. Several rather sleepy kiddies and one teenager - dragged to the top of the hill by mummy at 01:30 - we discussed and agreed that might be embarrassed by parents now but will probably thank them in years to come"

Problem is  for the Winter Solstice Walton Hill will be in the way - and trees around the summit of this will prevent a clear view of the horizon (48 deg. Summer but 129 deg. Winter)  (http://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/uk/birmingham

The answer has been staring me in the face... Frankly Beeches - a memorial to George and Richard Cadbury and over which we get a Manhattan-Henge effect in the Autumn.  I don't think it is coincidence that all the streets of our main manufacturing site are perfectly aligned with the hill summit.

So here are the Summer Photos

and then 6 months later.  This time it was just me (and a curious farmer who paused to check me out) 

31 August 2014

Small World Networks, Kevin Bacon and all that

Today I am chatting to some folks at The Hereford Waterworks Museum - I mention where I am from - and it turns out that the small boy is the great grandson on Ron "As long as I get Cheltenham Gold Cup Day Off" Smith - lead operator on the Cadbury Wispa plant when I was shift manager of the same back in 1986

Ron's Smith's Daughter and Great Grandson

Half an hour later and one of the museum visitors is telling me that even though I am from the Roman Town of Chester I must go and see Caerleon.  The lady comes from Abergavenny  and, yes, her son went to school with my cousin's son (Ian Pountney is my cousin and runs/ran a tailors in Abergavenny).

Two weeks before in Shrewsbury a passing parkrunner says that my little old car looks nice - turns out she is also from Chester - and we went to the same school at the same time but not in the same class.
Amanda Baxter (née Pugh) - Queens Park High School Class of '79
Later I mention to the tea shop owner that the last time I was in Shrewsbury was more than 30 years earlier - I was the school coxed four - and it turns out we very possibly raced against each other that season.

That's me - boat nearest to us - bow position.  Typical - early finish, while Mark Hayes seems to be struggling

16 August 2014

Is Shrewsbury trying to tell me something?

A random walk around a historic town...

Sadly I already had my hair cut this week

Today's page in the memorial chapel St Chad's Church
St Chad's is nothing special on the outside - but the inside is very well worth a look. The current vicar is the Rev. Mark W A Chadwick.  Makes sense.
On the way toward traitors gate

The Parade Shopping Centre

Exit from the St Julian,s Fields car park

A light breakfast at "Cafe on the Cop"

...I have started to follow "The Fry-Up Inspector" BBC Article and facebook

Here is my contribution:

10:22 - all this and a cup of tea for under £7.  I don't normally go in the first café I see but it was the black-pudding (and not having eaten since yesterday) that made the decision for me.

10:35 - the bread was exceptional and nice to have the beans "constrained" in a little bowl

Café on the Cop
It is a weird triangular shape inside - the open plan kitchen is at the pointy (and far-end) - you get to see all the cooking being done.  There are only about 7 tables. All three folks in this picture went in for breakfast.

Its up for rent/sale : http://www.julianspencer.com/property/cafe-cop

 I hope it stays a café.

26 July 2014

V-Weekend Part 0

...out of 136

Montacute is a spectacular venue for parkrun. The house was featured in "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and the grounds are full of lime-lined-avenues. Almost the whole course is on grass and a there lots of (potentially) muddly dips, tight turns and a sting-in-the-tail climb up to the finish - it is a slow course - no good for PBs but ideal for orienteers.

I am injured was going to take it easy but when you find yourself in this position after 1km... red mist


11 July 2014

Hot, Humid and still...

This year in Bournville it is 11th July - earliest so far.  I guess we have had mostly warm/hot weather for the past several weeks or perhaps these flying ants are a different species

For the record:

2013 22nd August
2012 No Record
2011 1st August
2010 12th August
2009 5th August