A Grey Heron at the lake catching a bite of breakfast

Hunting a Grey Heron at the Lake

That grey heron at Brackley’s St James Lake! He eluded me for a long time. Indeed I still have few photos of him, though I have to admit that I spend much less time at the lake these days.

All of my efforts to take a photo had, so far, proved reasonably fruitless. The excellent weather on this particular morning seemed like a good opportunity to take the camera for a walk and track down this elusive bird.

Grey Heron in Flight
The first Heron leaving.

Well, this morning’s visit proved to be a bit more productive. First off, I grabbed a shot or two of the heron, until he flew away. At which point I realised that there were in fact two of them!

The (second) grey heron parked himself on a temporary fence, put in place to protect some vegetation. He and and I sat and stared at each other for a while. He clearly was aware of me.

Eventually his need for breakfast caused him to reach into the water and grab a fish, providing me with a great shot of the bird and a reflection (at the top of the page).

white goose in flight
A white goose flying past.

Of course the time waiting for the grey heron to move was not wasted. Although I missed the landing of a flock of Canada geese, a white goose just happened to fly by.

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Footnote

This is a refresh of a post originally posted on 6 August 2013. I still like the photo, but the post was looking a bit dated!

1938 Alvis at the Brackley Classic Cars in the Piazza event, 2019.

Classic Cars on the Piazza – Brackley 2019

Every Year, between Christmas and New Year, Brackley hosts the Classic Cars on the Piazza / Marketplace. Typically the event involves no entry fee or pre-booking. Classic car owners simply arrive.

Alvis 4.3 litre classic car
Alvis 4,3 litre

Brackley Classic Car Show, host the event. They also host the Classic Cars in the Park in Brackley in August.

This year I arrived a bit late, however the Mayor told me there had been a record turnot of over 120 cars. Certainly, when I arrived, there were still a few interesting vehicles still there.

I recognised a number of cars from previous events, but these are the ones which caught my eye.

The first to catch my eye was the very elegant looking Alvis, pictured at the top of the page. Under the bonnet was an interesting 6 cylinder engine sporting triple SU carburettors an dual fuel pumps.

1938 Alvis 4,3 litre at the Brackley Classic Cars in the Piazza Event, 2019.

A little research suggests that this is a 1938 Alvis 4.3 litre.

The brass plate on the engine mounting carries lubrication instructions, and I was intrigued by the lubricateion kit at the back of the engine bay.

Contrast this big six cylinder engine with the 996cc V-twin of the 8hp 1914 Humbrette.

Looking at the controls of the Humbrette, I’m not even sure I would know how to drive it!

Amerivcan muscle at the Classic Car show
An old Chevrolet pick up. Not quite – a look inside showed an auto transmission and a big “not original” makeover. Sounded great when it drove away!

And some of the others, just a few which caught my attention.

Morris Minor at the Brassic Classic Cars in the Piazza
And where would we be without a Morris Minor at an English classic car show?

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Classic Cars in The Piazza - Brackley 2019.
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Brackley Soap Box Derby 2019.
The Mercedes F1 apprentices' entry.

Brackley Soap Box Derby

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.

The youngest soap box driver
Brackley Soap Box Derby

And the older generation was represented.

Plankton Pete's soap box heading down the track.

Photo Gallery

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…

Brett's Own Brews, a Brackley based business, was there.
Brackley Soap Box Derby

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Breakfast al fresco at the Green Room in Brackley.

Breakfast at the Green Room in Brackley

It has been a while since we visited The Green Room in Brackley, though we used enjoy a frequent weekend breakfast there. By chance we have now had two breakfasts there in a week. I have to say there have been some improvement in recent months.

When we arrived the place was busy, with the downstairs seating area full. It was a pleasant day, so we chose the one remaining table in the garden, rather than sit upstairs. As the photo shows, the table was rather small for a full breakfast for two! That was our choice, so no complaints – we could have had more table space upstairs.

Green Room Breakfast

The breakfast menu has always had a wide range of options, from simple toast and marmalade to the traditional Full English fry up. Vegetarian and high protein options are there and the staff are always willing to adjust the plate to suit your own tastes. My family doesn’t know how to use a menu – something is always changed!

Our breakfast started with a great cappuccino and dairy free hot chocolate, made with soya milk, which my wife assured me was good.

My full English was well cooked and tasty. For those who don’t know it a “Full English” is a fry up consisting of bacon, sausage, eggs (poached or fried), and often includes beans, hash browns and black pudding. A big test for me is how “clean” the plate is. Sometimes the full English is served with a lot grease on the plate. This is a no-no for me. I am happy to report that my plate was clean free of stray grease and well presented. As the photo shows I opted out of the beans! My wife’s “vegetarian with a bacon cheat” was similarly a well presented meal.

Other Meals

During the day, once breakfast is over (11:15 on weekdays, 11:45 on Saturdays) The Green Room offers a selection of interesting meals. Not your normal “pub food”, and always something imaginative. I have always found something good to eat there.

This is also a good spot to stop for a coffee. And there is always an interesting looking range of cakes on the counter.

Tapas is on offer during the evening, though I have not yet tried that. The Green Room also has an extensive range of gin, carefully paired with the right tonic. Enjoy that at the bar, or with your dinner.

Would I go back to The Green Room

Without question I would go back for breakfast or lunch. We do aim to try their Tapas at some point soon.

 

 

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MG TC Drivers view at Brackley Cars in the Park 2017.

More Classic Cars in the Brackley Market Place

You saw a couple of the classic cars in the Brackley Market Place in a previous post. Here are my other photos from this event. It does get a bit worrying when you are taking pictures of “classic” cars, some of which were new and exciting when you were younger. Nevertheless it was a good morning out. Not much to say about them really, just enjoy the photos.

For the uninitiated, Brackley is the home of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. Silverstone is a few miles away. So a car show locally is quite appropriate.

Click on the link and watch the slideshow, or click on a picture and page through. Click on the picture for the story.