The Distance Project 10

Social Distancing Project 84Gin in the garden at Little Horwood.

Gin O’clock at Little Horwood

It’s 5 pm, and the sun is shining. Chrissie Beckett, who doesn’t like to be photographed, (see last week) has put out chairs; it’s Saturday afternoon and it’s gin o’clock.

Women from the village walk into Chrissie’s front garden and sit down. They’ve brought their own drinks, but sometimes they can be tempted to try a different gin. Chrissie is out of shot to the right, in the first two photos.

Later on that day at the Shoulder of Mutton pub, the landlord Lewis Huntington is delivering meals that customers ordered earlier.

He’s been doing this for some weeks, and delivers beer too. The beer deliveries started when he was caught with lots of beer in the pub, at the start of lockdown.

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Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Road closed due to floodingEasy to change-over warning signs on the road to Oxlane bridge.

You might have noticed that it’s been raining a bit. While we don’t seem to have it as bad as some areas, the ground has been saturated and Padbury Brook has burst its banks.

At the Medieval bridge at Thornborough, the water on Monday had risen four feet above the level I’d seen in December.

Flooding at Thornborough bridgeThornborough bridge on Monday.

Six arches of Thornborough BridgeThornborough bridge at the beginning of December last year.

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Warmer Days are Ahead

The days are drawing out, and the warmer days are coming. We still have a couple of months to go, but here’s just a few photos to remind us of what to look forward to.

Cublington church  BucksCublington church was built in around 1400 A.D. and has been little altered or expanded since. The village, once further down the hill, had been abandoned for nearly sixty years after the climate changed. The original site had become too wet and muddy to be practical.

The new village grew around the church, which had been partly built with materials from the old one.

Soulbury  BucksBefore the new road was built, going to Aylesbury from Bletchley meant I cut through Soulbury to avoid Leighton Buzzard. At the bottom of the village I would take the right turn that took me into the back of Wing. I took this photo from the field next to the turn, one August.

Soulbury is well known for its stone, a piece of the Peak District left there 450,000 years ago by a retreating glacier.

Shipton Brook bridge  BucksShipton Brook bridge was built just South of Winslow for the new Aylesbury to Buckingham turnpike that opened in 1722. In 1937 a new bridge was built upstream and the bridge was bypassed. I used to come here to play in the 1960s.

The Rest of Christmas

Snowing  and treeIn the Ouzel Valley Park, Milton Keynes

The North Bucks Wanderer (that’s me, folks) will be taking some time off, so there will be no post next week. But I will back to regular posting on Wednesday 8th of January, two weeks from today. (I’m posting this on Christmas Eve)

I will be selecting some of my favourite photos for an end of year revue on that first post of the New Year. Many will be ones already published in this year’s posts.

But a few will be photos that couldn’t be used although I liked them, usually because the post was already too long. There might even be a few photos from my archives, just because I want to show you them,like the first three photos here.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the first two are of the same tree. These two and the next one were taken in the Ouzel Valley Park, in Milton Keynes. The last one was taken just last week, at the tiny village of Grove, right on the edge of the county. It’s the lock keeper’s cottage.

Happy Christmas and all that. There will be some of you out there who find this time of year to be rather a struggle. To you especially, my best wishes.

Tree  snowIt's that tree again.

Winter trees  Ouzel valleyThough this seems to be out in the country, these trees are also in the Ouzel Valley Park, in the middle of Milton Keynes.

Xmas tree  at Grove  in BucksThe lock keeper's cottage, Grove.

Weathering North Bucks

Here’s a few shots from last week. There's a bit of a theme...

Pebble Alcove  StoweThis is the Pebble Alcove in the 18th Century gardens of Stowe. It was built in about 1737 and decorated like an Italian grotto; coloured pebbles are set into the rendering. It’s very charming, and as we found on a family picnic, the alcove is practical too; it can hold quite a few people when it rains.

The Peace Pagoda with bicyclesLater that day I was at Willen in Milton Keynes, for Hiroshima Day the 6th August each year. Usually the lantern ceremony is up at the Peace Pagoda, (in the background) then the lanterns are taken down the steps and floated out on to the Lake. This year, because of the dodgy weather, the ceremony was in the temple.
I stood and waited for the lantern procession and watched the cyclists.

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The Wrong Sort of Weather on the Line

Tales From the (damp) Edge

I finished the job in Ampthill last Thursday, just as the rain started. I looked on the map to see what I could take a picture of in the much needed rain, and spotted Woburn Sands railway station. By the time I had driven to Woburn Sands it was raining so hard I didn’t want to get out of the car. After weeks of nothing but roasting hot weather, I hadn’t thought to bring a coat.

I sat in the car in a side street near the railway station, just inside the county border with Beds. I checked that the camera was ready while I waited. The rain eased off, and I walked briskly across the road and onto the Eastbound platform.

The next train was due in fifteen minutes. I stood in the shelter. My plan was to photograph passengers getting on or off the train while the rain lashed down, but the rain was easing. A passenger waiting on the platform glanced at the sky and happily commented that it was brightening up. I looked up and scowled.

Woburn Sands railway station Bedford trainLook at this. The flippin’ platform is nearly dry! Lovely aerial
perspective, though.

The train arrived. It wasn’t raining. I took a photo of it drawing in. I also took a few shots of the passengers, but as people just getting on a train in nondescript weather aren’t very interesting, I’m not going to show you those. What I’m going to show you is aerial perspective.

Aerial perspective is that softening and blurring of detail in the landscape, the further away it is. It’s due to moisture and/or dust in the air. There hasn’t been a lot of moisture in the air recently, but probably quite a bit of dust.

In the main picture, if you look down the line into the distance you can see it quite, er, clearly; the tones are more muted, and in the far distance the hills look grey blue. This effect is often more noticeable after rain, and you can see it better in the detail photo below. Next time you go out, look out for it.

Woburn Sands railway station aerial perspectiveHere’s a close up. Even the trees in the foreground are softened
and muted. The effect becomes more and more noticeable as
distance increases. Beyond the bend in the track, details disappear
and the land at the horizon is a muted blue green.