Back in time!

A few days ago I was lucky enough to spend a little time wandering around the market town of Hungerford, Berkshire. Such a lovely and peaceful place to spend a few hours. The main street has a shop for just about everything although without doubt Antique Shops are the speciality.

Browsing “the shops” allows an individual the ability to reminisce about times gone by. Of course being able to remember using some of the items can be good or bad depending upon how old the item is I suppose.

I'm sure there is a theme here!

I’m sure there is a theme here!

Up in smoke.

Up in smoke.

Acceptable advertising!

Acceptable advertising!

There must be something here!

There must be something here!

Liquid storage.

Liquid storage.

Once the delving is complete there is always the canal to wonder along. Hungerford was such a relaxing place to visit with everything being so close to the centre. Well worth a visit.

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Jurrasic Coast

The sun is shining and the forecast is set fair for the weekend. What else could one ask for. This short break was arranged some weeks ago and has been eagerly anticipated since. It’s not too far away, 100 miles, so travel should be relatively easy. Although one never knows these days with traffic every heavier on main roads.

The idea is to base the trip in Dorchester, Dorset, and travel out from there. Strangely, although living in the South for most of my life, I have not visited this particular town or region before.

Arriving in Dorchester around midday it was decided to use the remainder of the day to explore the town. It soon became obvious that the historic market town is moving with the times and embracing new development. Unlike a great many other towns around the Country, Dorchester seems to be blending old and new to the benefit of all. Long may it last.

After an early start Saturday was spent visiting Portland, Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Kimmeridge Bay. Just a small section of the Jurassic Coast but one that is well worth a visit. Stout shoes/boots are essential as well as warm clothing to guard against the strong and often cold winds.

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove

Durdle Door

Durdle Door

100m from Lulworth Cove

100m from Lulworth Cove

100m from Lulworth Cove

100m from Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove


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An educational visit.

Christmas seems such a long time ago. But last night I made use of one of my Christmas presents from 2014 – tickets for a guided tour of one of our local craft breweries. It is true that I assumed this would be no more than a simple 45 or so minute lecture extolling the virtues of this particular brewery, then the inevitable visit to the shop where all or any of the beers can be purchased along with beer mats, hats, teeshirts, key fobs etc.

Windsor and Eton Brewery

How wrong can one be. Gathering with perhaps 10 others a few minutes before the tour was due to start we were introduced to one of the four owners, Paddy, who was going to guide us through the art of beer making. However, before we started gathering detailed information on the process it was deemed necessary to actually sample a beer first. So here’s to the start of the tour. Cheers.

Windsor and Eton Brewery

The brewery was set up some 5 years ago by the four present owners. Two had brewing knowledge, one engineering and the other marketing. Together with a great deal of hard work and long hours they appear to have achieved their objective. Must be time to sample another beer – cheers.

Windsor and Eton Brewery

Over the next 2+ hours Paddy guided us through the complete process of brewing beer. We not only sampled more beer at regular intervals but we tasted some of the raw ingredients, hops and malt etc., that provide the distinctive flavours, smells and tastes that make one beer different to another.

Windsor and Eton Brewery

My feelings, at the end of the tour, were that I had just spent a few hours in the company of a very dedicated and enthusiastic producer of quality Craft Beers. Long may this company continue to trade.

Windsor and Eton Brewery

If this blog inspires you to attend a tour there are a couple of things to remember :-
a) you should like beer (craft beer).
b) you should not take your car.

Windsor and Eton Brewery Windsor and Eton Brewery

Cheers!!! Oh! and the Brewery –

Windsor & Eton Brewery

Check it out.

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Market shopping

There is so much in the press these days concerning supermarkets. Market share is dropping, market share is rising, profits are reducing, shops are closing. On and on it goes. The thing that is fairly obvious to everyone is that shops, as we knew them, have just about gone. There are only a few high street butchers, bakers, fishmongers and fruit and vegetable shops still open. Those that are seem to be doing a reasonable trade although I doubt they are particularly profitable.

A few towns still have very good “street markets” generally open one or two days a week. Some even manage to host a properly constructed “Market” building left over from by gone days usually.

The better “Markets” have so many stalls that it is possible to purchase just about anything that you may want. Fruit, veg, fish, meat, bread, wool, flowers, records, cakes, tools, gadgets, spare parts too numberous to mention and also offer places to have a sit down and a cup of tea.

I suppose this is exactly what progress is all about?

Shopping at the marketShopping for vegetablesShopping for meatShopping for fishThe above images were taken in Cardiff Market.

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William Henry Fox Talbot.

There are times when our modern society truly believes that it is superior to “times gone by”.  Here I have pulled together information from “The Metropolitan Museum of Art”      in order offer a glimpse into the very early days of photography. We have moved on but are we better. I think not.

Quote from web page :-

“Talbot’s first successful camera image, a photograph the size of a postage stamp, showed the oriel window in the south gallery of his home, Lacock Abbey. Although indoors, the subject was ideal: the camera could sit motionless on the mantelpiece opposite the window for a long exposure, and the bright sunlight pouring through the window provided strong contrast. The image on that first photograph, now in the National Museum of Photography, Film, and Television in Bradford, England, has, unfortunately, nearly faded from view. But using a slightly larger camera, Talbot photographed the oriel window again, probably that same summer. (He wrote, “some [pictures] were obtained of a larger size, but they required much patience.”) The result, still miraculously well preserved, is the earliest photograph in the Metropolitan’s collection and among the earliest surviving photographs anywhere. The diamond-paned windows are mysteriously visible in the purple chemical stains on this scrap of writing paper. Like the Venus of Willendorf, the crudely carved Paleolithic figure of a woman that is the first illustration in nearly every art-history survey because it seems to hold the promise of all that came afterward, The Oriel Window stands at the very beginnings of a new art. One senses the still palpable excitement that Talbot felt at having brought to reality an idea that had until that moment existed only in his imagination, that Nature could record its own image independent of the artist’s hand. “A person unacquainted with the process,” Talbot would later write, “if told that nothing of all this was executed by the hand, must imagine that one has at one’s call the Genius of Aladdin’s Lamp. And, indeed, it may almost be said, that this is something of the same kind. It is a little bit of magic realized.”

W H Fox Talbot photograph

In The Oriel Window and Talbot’s other early camera images, lights and darks were reversed; they were negatives, though the term itself was coined by Sir John Herschel only in 1840. As early as February 1835, however, Talbot recognized this tonal reversal as an asset rather than a defect, understanding that “if the paper is transparent, the first [photogenic] drawing may serve as an object, to produce a second drawing, in which the lights and shadows would be reversed” to yield a positive print. That a single negative made in the camera might serve as the matrix for multiple positives lay at the heart of Talbot’s conception and has remained a basic principle of nearly all subsequent photography.”

I now show a photograph of the outside of the same window taken by myself back in 2005Oriel window from outside 2005

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There are advantages ……

Changing anything these days always seems to be accompanied, sometimes a few days later, with the feeling that it was all a terrible mistake. It was about a month ago and it was my turn to change. My change was with the software that I use to store and edit all my photographs.

I didn’t change on a whim, I changed because my existing package was no longer being supported or updated. After much research and many hours reading comments “online” I finally decided upon my software of choice. It is a more professional package which seems to inevitably mean more complicated to use. However, as soon as I realised this “complicated” package was simply “NEW” and therefore required a little more concentration, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the experience.

One of the many “advantages” to making this type of change is that you get to review/revisit your old library. This in itself is no big deal because you could do that at anytime anyway. However, looking through my libraries, via this new package. I really did see things in a different light.

So my tip to all those out there thinking of making a change, to anything, is to look for the advantages – do not dwell upon the differences or difficulties.

As I said I’m a month in now and enjoying all of the “advantages” that came with the change.

Here are a couple of shots taken in Seville, Spain back in 2003.

Seville Seville Seville Seville Seville

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Do you remember when?

I’m sure we’ve all said it at some time “do you remember when ….”.  The reality is we easily forget the things that we once found to be perfectly normal. It is only when we start to reminisce, with others generally, that our minds sometimes flash back to previous times. Some good some bad. Lets hope that most are fond ones.

The following photos may prompt memories or even questions as to why, what, how could people use or live with these things on a daily basis.

Open Air Museum Open Air Museum And so to bed. Open Air Museum Open Air MuseumFor myself, I can’t remember any of the above !!!!!!!!!!! It is good to look back occasionally though.

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