Sunday 20th October 2019, 12.50pm (day 2,978)
It’s always nice to eat out on a Sunday lunchtime. Wherever you may be.
Another shot of water caught by sunlight, but here the water is not being naturally produced. Half-time at the City Academy stadium in Manchester, where the under-23 team of the Richest Club in the World were to happily get their comeuppance, slipping to a 1-0 home defeat to Brighton’s under-23s. Which of course I found highly entertaining.
Six days away from campus and in that time, everything seems to have turned gold. Is that a jacket in the branches at the top? Or the ubiquitous and planet-killing plastic bag? Guess we can find out for sure when the rest of the leaves are gone.
I have to admit to being unable to ride a bike. I am sure family will mention that there was a brief period, aged about 7, where I gave it a go but we never got on. Can’t say I really see the point of them: walking has always seemed more pleasant, and safer, over shorter distances and any longer, let’s get a bus or train shall we? But I’m not anti-bike. I like ‘bike for hire’ schemes (cf. Brisbane, 2013). I know cyclists suffer prejudice due to their chosen form of transport. It’s just not for me.
[No endorsement of commercial product implied. Other personal banking providers are available.]
When I was growing up in Sussex there were many of these ‘sunken lanes’ around the place and I guess I never really gave them much thought. But seeing a track like this, embedded between two earthen banks, is a sign that the way is of great antiquity. Their sunken nature is not natural, it is the result of erosion, taking place as people and livestock use the track over hundreds and, probably, thousands of years, over and over.
While on a walk in the South Downs today (bagging a County Top), I turned a corner and was suddenly confronted by this most magnificent example. Actually I’m surprised the shot ended up with so much light in it, because to my eyes this was a dark, enclosed tunnel through the landscape, exactly the kind of place where you can picture Frodo and his mates hiding from the Black Rider early on in Lord of the Rings. It’s called Tennyson’s Lane in tribute to the poet who had a house nearby, and in 1905 Arthur Paterson wrote the following about it, words that are still true today:
Trees meet overhead, copsewood surrounds it, and later, it is hedged by high sandy banks thickly overgrown with plant and scrub; squirrels and rabbits, and all other small woodland creatures, disport themselves over it. It twists and turns, and to the stranger appears to lead nowhere in particular.
A weekend away, which started (as my weekends away often do) with a Friday night out in London. This morning, Saturday, I walked part of the way to the station, crossing Westminster Bridge which seems to have become one of Britain’s most fortified spots — a place to point the camera away from, and turn instead to this view of the first inklings of autumn colour on the south bank of the Thames. I like the two figures just captured in the bottom corner.
Tensions are clearly running high in the ongoing pigeon-duck war. With negotiations having broken down, the pigeon high command has sent out a brave scout to keep an eye on the mallards. But what it hasn’t spotted is the counter-espionage agent sneaking in from the left.