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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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!

Water bubbles with water running over the algae on the spillway wall blurring the image of the algae.

Water Bubbles

Water bubbles, formed by water running over the spillway, covered in green and brown algae.
Something a little abstract for a change. I like the effect of the blurred colours, with the bubbles at the bottom.
Abstract style photography like this is not something I often do. But I do like this one.

This photo came from our local St James Lake, a useful spot to walk and see the ducks, geese and, sometimes, swans.

Water Bubbles
Water Bubbles – one for you to pin.

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Marathia Sunset.
The sun slipping into the sea off the Marathia Peninsula, Zakynthos

Marathia Sunset

A Marathia Sunset.

Why “Marathia”? Simply because the photo was taken from a boat off the Marathia Peninsula, or Cape Marathia, on the island of Zakynthos during our recent beach holiday there.

There is always something special about a sunrise or sunset. Otherwise why would we get up early for the sunrise, or talk about “sundowners”.

Going for a little cruise, in an open boat, on calm water has its own attraction.

Add the two together after a fantastic day in the sun, on the beach. What better way to see in the evening, especially if it includes a free glass or two of prosecco!

Soon after arriving at Kalamaki Beach we realised that this holiday was going to be about simply chilling out on the beach. But a cruise was an attractive thought. And who wants to pass up a sunset? So we jumped at the opportunity, found the travel rep and booked.

Starting from Laganas, and visiting the blue caves of Cape Marathia along the way it was a great way to start the evening.

And The Photo

I was carrying three cameras – my now deceased Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Lumix TZ100 and old gold EOS 60D. The 60D with the Sigma 17-50 did the job nicely. A bit of basic processing in XnView MP gave me the picture I wanted.

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The day's end - a glass of... by candlelight. On a beach.  Even in Autumn on the Isle of Wight.

At The End Of The Day on a Beach

Sundown in Sandown on the beach. A bottle of cider and a glass of wine by candle light.

It had been a long day, finally coming to an end. Driving from London, waiting for the ferry, then finding our way down the Isle of Wight.

After we checked in to our BnB, we made our way down to the beach around sunset. A cool autumn day with a bit of a breeze, it was still warm enough to just chill out on the beach with a couple of glasses before we found some dinner.

One of first "adventures", in 2014, we had spent a few days in London exploring Camden Market and the poppies at the Tower of London, before making our way to the Isle of Wight.

See more from that Isle of Wight trip here.

Visiting the Isle of Wight is most easily done by driving to Plymouth or Southapton and catching the ferry across the Solent.

We stayed at a B n B in Sandown, which gave reasonable access to the beach, and formed a good base to explore the island.

Check this photo out on my Pixels.com galleries – At The End Of The Day by Jeremy Hayden and have a look at some more of my work while you are there: https://jeremy-hayden.pixels.com/

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Sundowners on Sandown Beach at sunset in autumn.
Happy New Year for 2020.
May you have plenty of interesting places to visit, great food to eat, and take many photos!

Happy New Year – And a Look Back at 2019

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020.

May you have plenty of interesting places to visit, great food to eat, and take many photos!

Our 2019 was all of mad, crazy and busy. Starting with London by day and night and then the mad summer of the coffee trail. A city break in Cork, Ireland and a week in Zakynthos gave us a chance travel a bit and wind down. Here are a few of the highlights.

London Day out

The year started with a bang. Taking an overseas visitor to London. Camden Market for much of the day, just wandering. January is winter so the days are short. That didn’t stop us taking in the Winter Wonderland and London Christmas Lights. Who plays tourist at Trafalgar Square by night? We did!


Oxford, on an open top bus, in January is COLD. But it was fun, followed by a walk around Oxford, looking at some of the historic sights.

An iconic view in Oxford.

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread. Homemade and just out of the oven.

Yes I know this is a fad, but, not being a stranger to baking bread, it’s one I had not mastered. A few more-or-less successful attempts in April gave it some direction.

We now eat sourdough daily.

Sourdough is an endless journey. There are always tweaks to made to recipes and new tricks to try. More to come in 2020.

The Crazy Summer of 2019 – Coffee!

Also known as the Summer of Coffee Adventures.

Bretts Own Brews at Silverstone - British F1 Grandprix.
British Grand Prix 2019Silverstone with Bretts Own Brews

We teamed up with Bretts Own Brews for a summer of delivering top class coffee at various events.

This jaunt saw us visiting some interesting places in the UK, which we would never have thought of visiting otherwise. For me the stand out highlights were:

  • The British Grand Prix – 1200 cups of tea and coffee in 7 hours! A different view as a “worker”, but still a great experience;
  • Standon Calling Music Festival – great experience and good to see Rag and Bone Man live;
  • Cowley Road Carnival – music and colour an people from all over in the Cowley Road, Oxford.

Ireland – Glanmire

September saw us visiting Cork, in Ireland, staying at an AirBnB in the beautiful Glanmire Valley and visiting Cobh. Cobh, on the Cork Harbour is home to Spike Island and the impressive St Colman’s Cathedral, as well as being the last point where the Titanic touched land when it was called Queenstown.

St Colmans Cathedral dominates the skyline at Cobh in Ireland

Zakynthos (Zante) – Kalamaki Beach

All these adventures were tiring, so October saw us chilling out on the beach at Kalamaki on the Greek Island of Zakynthos. Definitely need another visit there for a bit longer to chill out and explore.

Kalamaki Beach at Zakynthos, Greece.


Ducking and diving between coffee travels and work, the middle of the year saw very few blog posts, though a lot of effort went into improving SEO.

These are the highlights, but many more interesting stuff went unreported. Have to do better in the new year,

The year end saw a slight revamp, with a new logo and changes to page layouts.

Blogging remains a whole bunch learning curves – speed writing, cloud photo processing on the fly, using Canva and Trello to keep control.


Bluntly, my photography has been in the doldrums for a while. Watch this space for a revamp of my pixels.com site and more of the photos from our travels.

So that was 2019 – and 2020?

Plans are in progress. Perhaps some more coffee and some new travels.

What have you got planned?

Happy new Year.

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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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all.

Have fun and stay safe.

I may be living in England, but I come from Africa, where Christmas is long, hot and sunny days. So the photo is an African Christmas day sunrise – yes, I actually got out of bed at 5 a.m. on Christmas day and took the photo.

Merry Christmas wherever you are.