Life, photos but not the universe

Food and water

At this moment, I am sitting at a steamy computer.  All the windows are frosted (with steam) and there is stock cooking in the kitchen.  Also, duck, roast potatoes, celeriac puree, caramelised carrots (I don’t know if this will really happen but they are simmering away in butter and water with basil leaves thrown in, to my blissful ignorance – anything could happen).  Some random green veg are all ready to go.  And there’s hot water in the kettle.

Depending on whether I am trotting to or from the kitchen, there’s soft, April drizzle and mist or wild, illuminated April showering going on outside various windows as the sun goes down (wherever it is, it’s surely going down round about now).  The light is out there but the rainclouds are only in letting as much of it as necessary to keep the illusion of evening going by.♠

Today, I received an email from Chemist Direct (once upon a time I bought some tooth brushy things from them) and I noticed that they were doing a sale of travel sized toiletries (always an advantage when you’re short of space as we will be on the boat) so I had a quick trawl through the website, not wearing my glasses because I didn’t need to read it all, just to look at the pictures.  At the end of the catalogue of stuff, there was a slightly puzzling object which I couldn’t easily identify.  Rather than put my glasses on I clicked on it and was redirected to a page that said, coyly, “it looks as though you want to enter Chemist Direct’s adult website.  Are you over Eighteeen?”   Oops.  So that’s what it was.

That was really last Sunday.  Since then I’ve spent a night with the Middles as Mrs Middle still can’t walk the mile to Pre-School and back and Mr Middle couldn’t get to work in time if he did the pre-school run.  Little Middle was very animated in the afternoon and ran around the garden instructing various imaginary friends in proper behaviour.  Quite bossy, she was.

We’ve been out for dinner, braving the re-rising of the Lambourn River (It hasn’t really had a chance to go down to normal levels yet and is still brimming and looking as if another half hour of rain will tip it back onto the road).  We went to the Plough at Eastbury and had a very nice meal, quite pricey but very ‘gastro’. I had a wonderful pea and chilli soup and a pave of venison with scallops and black pudding.  Barney had an enormous starter of pigeon breast with anchovies and a fairly large cajun spiced, brahma chicken – that’s a breed of chicken apparently, not a curry (Cajun curry would be quite a serious bit of fusion and it was pretty hot already).  Then we both enjoyed reading the dessert menu.  There was absolutely no possibility of either of us of eating any more!

Speaking of water, we’ll be off again soon, on the boat.  It’s been ages and we’re really missing the tranquility and the measured and relaxed pace of life, for instance, going through the Grindley Brook locks (watch the video to get a feel of that peacefulness) on the Llangollen canal which is famous for it’s phenomenal Pontycysyllte Aquaduct).  The aquaduct is 1,007 ft long, 11 ft wide and 5.25 ft deep. It consists of a cast iron trough supported 126 ft  above the river on iron arched ribs carried on nineteen hollow masonry piers. Each span is 53 ft wide.  You can get a real thrill by looking out from inside the boat over the non-towpath side.  You can see straight down, 126 feet, to the River Dee in the valley below and you can’t see the edge of the trough.  Alternatively, you can hide under a duvet until someone tells you you’re safely across.  One of the things we’ve always liked about it is that, in the middle, there is a plug which is pulled out whenever they need to do maintenance work so that all the water pours down into the valley.  It’s quite a big plug – not like the one in your bath.

We went on our first narrow boat trip up the Llangollen for our honeymoon, forty years ago this year, so it’s quite serendipitous that the boat is now moored there.   Hopefully it won’t snow this time as it did on our wedding night (fortunately we didn’t get on the boat till the next day when most of it had melted.) and also hopefully, Barney won’t fall in, something he did on every one of our first few canal holidays.

If you’re interested in aquaducts, here are some more.  Some are merely big, but some are quite surprising.

An aqueduct, or maybe a viaduct would be useful here; the sign says “road closed”  but I think it should really say “road gone” particularly as a man died here during the floods when he drove his car into the ford and couldn’t get out.


Barney is always kind enough to tell me when he has been somewhere beautiful and this was a view he suggested that I’d like.


And this is the view from outside Iffley Church in Oxford,  freshly sprung.


And Hampstead Norreys Church.  It faces approximately North and is surrounded by trees and big houses so there is only a very brief period of time when the sun glances across it’s front and isn’t obscured either by large trees or buildings.  Around 5 pm ish.  (BST that is).


By the time that big shadow has gone behind the church, the sun has gone behind a hill.  It’s all about timing.  Or luck in my case, since timing is not my strong point.

Sometimes I can take weeks to finish a post.  It was definitely April when I started this one.



May 5, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. WOW!! Barney can point you in the direction of any treasure he stumbles upon. Amazing. And lucky you with the lighting!! AND that you have the blankie to hide under…omg….I’d throw up for sure.
    Barney ate pigeon?! Oh gosh…there’s another throw up moment. LOL!!

    Comment by Mel | May 6, 2014 | Reply

  2. I think I will just wear blinkers Mel, so I can take photos without actually looking down.

    Comment by Mig | May 6, 2014 | Reply

  3. Did you watch that lovely series about canal journeys that was on Chanel 4 recently? I believe that Prunella Scales and Timothy West (who undertook the journeys) also spent their honeymoon on the Llangollen canal. I loved our visit to Wales 2 years ago and hope to go back one day.

    Gorgeous photos as usual. I particularly like the one of Hampstead Norrys church and not only because it looks so cute. One of my great-great grandmothers was born in Hampstead Norrys in about 1865. She was probably christened at that very church.

    Comment by Liz | May 6, 2014 | Reply

  4. Oh that’s nice Liz! We did watch the series and loved it. Prunella Scales is a lot more energetic than I am!

    Comment by Mig | May 6, 2014 | Reply

  5. WordPress just told me I’m posting comments too quickly and wouldn’t publish it. But it was the first today. It takes little to bemuse me nowadays, though.

    Happy anniversary, whenever it is xxx

    Comment by Z | May 19, 2014 | Reply

  6. All blogging platforms are weird Z. Well, none of them do exacrly what I want no matter how enthusiastically they tell me they will. And thank you – it was March xxx

    Comment by Mig | May 19, 2014 | Reply

  7. Mig, I’ve been reading you but can’t comment, goodness knows why. However, I’ve been rereading this one and absolutely loving it, as always… You have magic in your words and in your camera. Keep posting, I’ll keep reading, and I’ll try to comment. I can’t believe this one hasn’t vanished in a puff of smoke…

    Comment by Carol | June 5, 2014 | Reply

  8. Thank you Carol.

    Comment by Mig | June 18, 2014 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: