My Big Break

Nice cup of tea

I'm taking a week off from blogging, so the North Bucks Wanderer will not be appearing next week. Our next post will be the Monday Photo on the 11th of January, 2021. Meanwhile, I shall be relaxing and drinking tea.

Meanwhile, if there's anything you would like to see covered on this blog, whether it's a particular place or event or perhaps just a general topic, please tell me below by making a comment.

Happy New Year to you all. I'll see you in 2021.

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Dreaming of a Bright Christmas

Lime Street Santa  OlneyThe big man himself, in Lime Street, Olney.

There are some very good Christmas lights displays on private houses across North Bucks, and I wanted to show you examples from as wide an area as possible. I had a plan. But the Tier 4 lockdown came, and I only managed to get a few, all quite close to me.

The first one I found is in Lime Street, Olney. It’s there to raise donations for Willen Hospice, and last year they raised over £1,600. It was a good one to start with.

Olney Xmas lightsLime Street, Olney.

The second one is in Vicarage Road, Winslow. I spotted this house as I drove through the town, and it’s just a few doors down from the house my grandparents lived in when I was a kid. They aren’t collecting for charity, but it’s still a fine display.

I had a look at my grandparent’s old house while I was there.

Continue reading "Dreaming of a Bright Christmas" »

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Christmas Gift Guide

Wait For Jude 1Wait For Jude, playing at the Fox and Hounds, Stony Stratford, in 2018. The Pentax is very good in low light.

I’ve been taking photos for a long time, so I know exactly what I want from cameras and other equipment. I try to make my life as easy as possible so I use stuff that works and try to carry the minimum I need.

There’s two reasons. First, lugging round a great heavy bag is just a recipe for misery, and that’s no mood to take photos in. Second, with the minimum of gear there are also less choices to be made. This concentrates the mind and makes for better pictures.

Here’s some of the kit I like to use, when working on this blog. Not all of it is advanced photographic gear, and there’s some inexpensive items too.

Full disclosure and all that, so I must tell you that using the links here to go to Amazon means that anything you buy in that session will earn me a commission and helps support this blog, but costs you nothing.

Continue reading "Christmas Gift Guide" »

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I Was Miles Away…

Cromer pierCromer Pier, mid September.

Why am I showing you a seaside pier, when this blog is all about North Bucks, a part of England many miles from the sea?

Two reasons. The first is that as a boy, I was often told that Stoke Mandeville, just South of Aylesbury, is as far away as you can get from the sea in England. That seems about right; it’s in the broadest part of the country.

But much as I love this part of the world, I also love the seaside, but it’s a fair old journey to get there from North Bucks; it’s too far really for a relaxing day trip. This means that if I go to the seaside it’s for several days, at least.

Secondly, I’ve been on holiday. This is Cromer pier, on the North coast of Norfolk. I’ve been staying at the Forest Park campsite there for the second time, and I took the bus into town to explore the town on Saturday. Cromer is famous for its crabs, and when I walked along the pier holidaymakers were dangling lines into the sea from the wooden decking, to catch them.

I saw that the painted rails round the pier were worn through to the metal where hundreds of crab lines have been paid out into the water. A couple of little girls walked by me carrying a small clear bucket with crabs and seaweed floating in it.

Cromer groyneThe tide was coming in and breaking against the groyne.

I walked back to the land and went down to the beach to paddle in the sea, next to the pier. It was very pleasant.

When I’d had enough I sat on a groyne brace and took photos while I waited for my feet to dry. The tide was coming in and it wasn't long before I had to move up the beach to the next brace, until my feet were dry enough to put my shoes back on.

I’d had a good day, and I had been happy not to be, for a change, clumping around in my bike boots and wearing my heavy leather jacket. It was past six in the evening and I’d missed the last bus, so I walked up to the cab rank behind the church and shared a cab back to Forest Park.

I rode the 135 miles home from Cromer on Tuesday. I had been there since Thursday evening. It was well worth the journey, and I’ll be going again. I think next time I’ll explore the local area in more detail, rather than go further afield in Norfolk like I did this year.

As usual after I’ve been away, now I’m home I’m looking at my familiar surroundings with new eyes:

“It's a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes.
Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same.
You realize what's changed, is you.”  

Eric Roth,
from his script for the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Back to tales about North Bucks next week.
A present from CromerA present from Cromer, this fridge magnet crab has wiggling legs on springs.

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