Saturday, 16 September 2023


This post is by way of an apology for hardly doing any blogging over the last couple of weeks - not even reading anyone else's. The truth is that I am coming close to finishing a job which - what with the tremendous heat that I have been baking myself in over the period - has proven harder work than I optimistically thought it would be and has taken a lot longer than I optimistically thought it would too.

I get home exhausted, then immediately begin cooking. After eating all I am capable of doing is sitting in a chair watching rubbish TV and drinking chilled rosé wine. I am now remembering how much I used to look forward to weekends when I was younger.

Instagram is easier. A photo or two and a few words is all that is expected of you. I have one Instagram friend who is permanently on holiday. In the Summer she is trolling around expensive resorts and in the Winter she maintains her tan by skiing in the higher expensive resorts. She used to be a travel agent and once sold us a holiday in Turkey.

Instead of explaining how absolutely awful Bodrum is, she discreetly asked us if we had ever been there before, then said, 'A lot of YOUNG people go there'. That was too subtle a hint for me. She made her commission I suppose. She married a rock star who sadly died a few years ago, and has been running around the world (while we have been arranging our own holidays)  ever since.

Personally, no matter how good the holiday is I usually look forward to getting home after about two weeks. I find holidays very hard work ever since I gave up lying on beaches all day. 

Shortly I will be resuming my semi-retired status and wandering into the workshop mid-morning to do a couple of hours either side of a one hour lunch break, and you may hear more from me. I might even have a holiday.

Saturday, 9 September 2023


This is the largest gathering of Jane Austen nutters I have ever seen in Bath.

It took literally 15 minutes for them to parade over Pulteney Bridge and clog the city centre somewhere around Milsom Street. As spacious as it is, I don't think that the street could have accommodated them all. I took this clip during a standstill. 

I think that Jane Austen would have been as baffled as I am by it all.

Saturday, 2 September 2023


Last night we watched the film, 'Winstanley'. Set during Cromwell's reign in the 17th century, it is the true story of 'The Levellers' - the first example of communes and squatters in England.

Gerard Winstanley was the leader of a group of impoverished men and women who set up a smallholding on the common land of St. George's Hill at Weybridge, Surrey. The locals did not like them, but that is Surrey for you.

The commoners were visited by General Fairfax who was sent to evict them, but found himself in sympathy with their honesty and simplicity. In the end they were brutally evicted anyway.

I saw this film in the 1960s when it first came to arthouse cinemas and I was a stroppy left-wing student. It never made it onto the main circuit but was adopted by the BFI and still has a niche following.

General Fairfax was played by the only professional actor in the film. Everyone else were amateurs and locals who had faces which appealed to the directors, Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo. It became noted for being shot entirely in natural light, but I learned last night that this was simply because their lighting rig kept blowing the fuse of the local sub-station, much to the local residents' anger and frustration. 

There were quite a few serendipitous circumstances which added to the film's reputation for being a little more considered than it truly deserved. The Sealed Knot refused to get involved with the battle scenes, so all the battles were played by a group of six men in genuine costumes and armour lent by the British Museum.  I thought they looked authentic. It cost £24,000 to make (less than the credit sequence to a James Bond picture) and nobody but the professional were paid, and even he accepted Equity's minimum daily rate.

Today, St. George's Hill is a gated community for billionaires. The Beatles lived there, for instance. I was brought up very near to the action and recognised the acid-soil flora and white sand of a typical Surrey common.

Saturday, 26 August 2023

Friday, 25 August 2023

All for £120 P.A.

Where I am allowed to park in Bath:

Abbey Gate Street
Ainslies Belvedere
Ainslies Belvedere Mews
Alfred Street, Bath
Amery Lane
Argyle Street (that's a lie - nobody can)
Avon Street, Bath
Barton Street
Beau Street
Bennett Street, Bath
Bilbury Lane
Broad Quay
Broad Street
Brock Street, Bath
Caroline Place, Bath
Catharine Place, Bath
Catherine Court
Chapel Row, Bath
Charles Street
Chatham Row
Cheap Street
Churchill Bridge
Circus Mews
Circus Place
Corn Street, Bath
Dorchester Street
Gay Street, Bath
George Street
Gloucester Road
Gloucester Street, Bath
Grand Parade, Bath
Green Park Mews
Green Park Road
Green Park, Bath
Green Street
Guinea Lane, Bath
Henry Street, Bath
High Street
Hot Bath Street
James Street West, Bath
John Street
Julian Road, Bath
Kingsmead North
Kingsmead, Bath
Kingston Road
Lansdown Road, Bath
London Street, Bath
Lower Borough Walls
Manvers Street
Midland Bridge Road
Milk Street, Bath
Milsom Street (not anymore)
Monmouth Place, Bath
Monmouth Street, Bath
Morford Street
New Bond Street
New Orchard Street
New Street
Newark Street
Old King Street, Bath
Orange Grove
Philip Street
Pierrepont Street
Prince Street
Queen Square, Bath
Queens Parade
Queens Parade Place
Quiet Street
Railway Place, Bath
Rivers Street Mews, Bath
Rivers Street, Bath
Roman Road
Royal Crescent, Bath !!!!!
Russell Street, Bath
Saracen Street
Somerset Street
South Parade, Bath
Southgate Street
St Pauls Place
St. James Parade
St. Lawrence Street
Stall Street
Terrace Walk, Bath
The Circus
Trim Bridge
Trim Street, Bath
Upper Church Street, Bath
Walcot Street, Bath
Westgate Buildings, Bath
Westgate Street
Wine Street
Wood Street, Bath
York Street, Bath

Tuesday, 25 July 2023

More strange things


 I was just parking beneath this tall building by the river when something flashed passed the window and smacked onto the pavement with great force. It missed the car by inches.

 It was a headless pigeon. It was dragged to the middle of the pavement by a gull, but it was almost in the gutter when it landed.

People walked past it until this colourful-looking fellow with feathers in his hair stopped to pick it up. He pushed it through the railings of the entrance to the building and left.

The only bird I know of which regularly removes the heads of other birds is an owl.