A great turn out from the people of Brackley for the annual Soap Box Derby, held on the High Street on Sunday 2nd June. Though a bit of rain, late in the afternoon did see a few heading home early.
This was actually the first time I have attended this event, alongside the Brett’s Own Brews coffee trailer. It’s a pleasant afternoon out, supported by local business. The Butler’s Pie shop opened specially for the event – which was great for us – pies for lunch!
The High Street in Brackley, closed for the event, forms a superb downhill slope for the soap box derby. Lined with protective railing and bales of hay to catch off course soap boxes, and soften the crashes, the drivers can have fun. And there were a few spills!
The soap box derby is fun for all ages, with the apprentices from local Mercedes F1 delivering the fastest, futuristic looking, car (pictured above). The youngest driver was, I believe all of six years old.
And the older generation was represented.
I didn’t get a shot of every soap box, but here’s a selection of pictures from the day.
And Don’t forget the coffee.
Brett’s Own Brews was there to deliver excellent coffee as always, along with a few other treats…
Where did 2018 go? Now it’s 2019, and a belated Happy New Year to all.
Our 2018 is probably best described as tumultuous. An unusual mix of highs and lows and general family chaos, though that is quite normal. The year was largely filled with great times spent with family and friends and some unexpected events. Between kids (adult) getting married, having babies (we became grandparents for the first time) and visiting friends and family the year got busy!
The Christmas period marked the first time in some years that the whole family was together. As we started to prepare for that, around the end of November I decided to take a blogging holiday until the new year.
I stopped doing anything on this blog and on most social media. Trying to find the time amidst work changes and all of that family activity was simply becoming very stressful, and there was a need to review the blog and ask some serious questions.
Should I just shut it down? Should I change track and blog about something else? Or do I need to simply improve what I am writing about?
Actually I put a lot of time into looking at the technology. That’s my overlap with blogging, of course. I run IT for a manufacturing group. In that position I have become very involved with various aspects of cloud computing, including, and especially, the classic “access any time from anywhere” idea. With the right apps and a smartphone the Gutenberg editor and a bluetooth keyboard make an interesting blogging platform (when Gutenberg actually works), among other things! Of course I am also a long time Linux fan.
In short, One of my hurdles in blogging was not making best use of the tech in order to best use my spare time.
So the plan going forward is to focus more on the “people like us”, i.e. getting older, still in the 9 to 5, limited travel (and tech) budget (and time), but a wish to travel, take photos and enjoy good food.
Add in some technology, maybe in a sister blog and hopefully you will read and enjoy.
My Trello boards and photo albums are full of content. Now it’s a matter of getting it out there. Here’s a little sample, starting with a bit of madness: we went to Trafalgar Square. At night. Who does that 🙂 !
Who goes to Trafalgar Square? At Night?
A few visits to London. For us it's just down the road, so why not!
Getting Interested in travelling by train. Here we were in Geneva.
Gstaad, Switzerland. A place favoured by celebrities, especially in the winter snows.
Just leafing through some old photos (couldn’t resist that!) I came across these two photos of green leaves, taken at different times and places.
The top one was a hand held macro (Canon EOS 450D, 100mm macro, 1/200s f/4.5) taken on a spring day. I liked the way the bud is unfurling in front of the single leaf.
The one below is one of my favourites. Also from the 450D, but using a “nifty fifty” 50 mm lens. The shape of the leaf, in a background of soft green light caught my eye. The water drop was just a bonus! It’s been re-edited here, but I have used it before in a “Green Things” post.
One thought – you don’t need a state of the art camera to take reasonable photos!
Digging through some older photographs, I came across this one of a swan on the lake.
Spring and summer can often bring swans to the lake. They always make pretty sight, somehow very calming as they elegantly swim along.
Swan on the Lake – Photo Tip
Capturing the image can, however, be tricky. The reflection of the swan in the rippling water is great. in full colour it is very “busy” with all of the reflections in green water. Rather than take it to a full black and white image I like to desaturate the image until there is just a hint of the stronger colours left. Look at the swan’s beak.
After another day trip to Robertsbridge, we decided not to waste the afternoon and drive back via the coastline. A bit of “interesting” driving through some country roads took us to Eastbourne. From there we took a drive along the south coast towards Brighton.
That was a pleasant drive, and we will definitely explore the area a bit more. next summer maybe?
Having only eaten a small lunch, food was calling. We spotted the Brighton Marina and decided to Explore.
Here are a couple of photos. It’s a marina, so plenty of boats in evidence.
And we did enjoy an excellent seafood meal at the Barracuda Brasserie chosen as it didn’t look “fast food” and we are not fast food fans. It was a beautiful afternoon / evening so we could sit and eat outside.
It’s easy to focus on overseas travel, but there are many local places to visit and explore, just a few hours drive away. We’ll definitely back this way in the not too distant future.