10 days of Mourning with a hint of Christmas

A very strange week away staying with my friend. I went the day after the Queen died and came back on the day of the funeral so missed almost all of it. Although no great monarchist I would still have still liked to witness such an event on TV as I am too far away from London to see anything in person. My friend has no TV license and this means the bizarre law that you cannot watch any channel live in the UK. The sooner it’s gone the better as all the money goes to the BBC. I did see some of the flowers laid in the city as tribute although not as many as I would have thought. Just as strange the garden centre had almost finished putting up their Christmas displays in mid September. Perhaps people will buy early before the prices go up again. As always I am finding it very hard to get used to being back home again.

Here Come The Flood

Very appropriate that I heard about the death of The Queen while storm clouds and thunder were all around me today. The end of an era, maybe the end of the UK as we know it. A dark winter lies ahead. We also had several inches of rain and some local roads were closed due to flooding. In world terms a much bigger storm may be gathering.

All the strange things
They come and go, as early warnings

Stranded starfish have no place to hide
Still waiting for the swollen Eastern tide
There’s no point in direction
We cannot even choose a side

I took the old track
The hollow shoulder, across the waters
On the tall cliffs
They were getting older, sons and daughters

The jaded underworld was riding high
Waves of steel hurled metal at the sky
And as the nail sunk in the cloud
The rain was warm and soaked the crowd

Lord, here comes the flood
We’ll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
In any still alive
It’ll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you’re running dry

Peter Gabriel, Here Comes The Flood


I was lucky to see my sisters pet dog again last week. Its so interesting to see how happy he is most of the time. All he wants to do its play, eat, sleep and get tickled. It reminded me of a little baby on the bus when I was coming home on Friday evening that was smiling and waving at other people which made everyone else who saw her happier for a while. Oh to be able to be like that and just feel happy to be alive. Perhaps its only truly possible in the young and innocent though, be it human or animal.

Friday Afternoon Walk

I went back to the deer park on Friday afternoon, unfortunately not very sunny but I was keen to go after a month of hot weather and hermitting and as I am hoping to visit my friend for  a week on Friday it will be late September before I can go again. I decided to walk there as I hate the bus but 5 hours of walking left my legs aching by the time I got home and well into the night. I went via an old lake and remember as a kid when it was completely frozen over during a super cold spell a kid on a motorbike riding over the surface and thinking he must be mad. Feel the fear…. After that I walked through some woodland, I never had any trouble before but this time there was a group of mad cows blocking the way and as I did not want to enrage them I ended up walking back and down the road instead so it took a lot longer.

By late September when I return the deer rut will be starting properly with much cooler darker evenings. Despite some rain it’s still looking very dry everywhere and it’s noticeable that the bracken is nowhere near as tall as normal, I assume due to lack of water.  We really need a wet autumn and winter to recover. Some crows did arrive for my biscuits although not my favourite, I hope he/she is OK.  just before I left home I came across a very large old stag just laying by the path which is very unusual. Its too early to be exhausted due to rutting so I hope its not on its last legs, its about an 16-18 pointer which is quite old by red deer standards.

More mad cows on the way home. Too late to catch me this time!

More festival pictures

More photos from last weeks festival. I would never feel comfortable taking pictures of people so art festivals and street entertainment are at least good for this. I would also probably not stand to watch two women doing interpretive dance while splashing around with water a bit for 25 minutes so at least photography does get me out with a purpose. Overall I am quite pleased with them. Considering I only had a small gap through the crowds and used my Tamron 18-200mm lens they are not too bad. The sharpness of the images in sunlight is better than I expected especially as I cropped many of them. However, now autumn is closing in its about time to go back to the deer park.

Giant Puppet Thing

What better way to celebrate the last public holiday before Armageddon, I mean the winter of death than for a giant puppet thing to walk aimlessly through your city accompanied by a group of women dressed as deep sea fisherpersons. Of course it had a message about the environment as brainwashing is now compulsory in all forms of entertainment. Better send it to China then where they are still building coal powers stations almost weekly. Shhh. It would have been much more fun if they had set fire to it at the end like in the movie, the wicker man. Boris Johnson could have taken the place of Edward Woodward.

Weekend Walks

I had planned to go to the annual Asian mela today held for the first time in 2 years hoping for photographic opportunities. Unfortunately although they had a main stage with some dancers and modern singers the usual back up acts were missing entirely and it appeared to be a much smaller event than past years so I ended up back on the cemetery again as its my only place of refuge in a crowded city. Yesterday I went to the gardens after some midweek rain but most of the flowers have died down and it still looked way too dry. I still go through some very dark moods and have struggled especially on weekends not to descend into hopelessness and misery. I think a complete lack of viable alternate options creates the hopelessness. People pretend we have an endless variety of opportunities just by being alive in the modern world but in reality its a complete lie for most. There is very little choice apart from this or suicide and an eternity of nothing sometimes looks better than a continuous struggle for decades and the realisation that its now too late and all those hopes and claims by others that one day it will get better were in fact just clichés and lies. The people who claim to be experts on mental health and pretend to offer help but then always blame you for not doing enough to change as if its entirely your own fault are in reality often ignorant arseholes and appear to know nothing of human behaviour and evolution. They pretend its a choice.


A very hot week with several days in a row with temperatures in excess of 30C but after a week of hermitting again I was keen to go out on a small walk but did not find it a so bad as feared so stayed out for 2 1/2 hours. I hope the predicted thunderstorms hit as local wildlife is now struggling and many ponds drying up. The local park would normally be full on a Saturday afternoon with people playing sports but it looked as deserted as in lockdown.

The city cemetery looked even more dry.