March 28, 2016
I’ve driven past St. James the less in Stubbings (Maidenhead) repeatedly over the last couple of decades but never had the chance to stop and take a look around. I was on my way back from hiking in the Chilterns much earlier than expected and the low winter sun looked phenomenal so stopped to look around.
Unfortunately, because I had spent the day focusing so damn hard on not working one of my clients got to the point of being overwhelmingly trigger happy with the redial button on his phone and I spent about 40 minutes pacing around the car park while hoping to accidentally lose a leg or be struck by a falling tree. I missed the best of the light, I was also too mentally unfocused to try and go inside for fear of having to engage with other humans who may ask difficult questions such as “how are you today?”
Again, it’s been a couple of months since I took the photos so don’t have much recollection of the details aside from pacing round the car park while discussing websites. There was a man playing loud music in an Ocado van out the front but I don’t think he was a permanent fixture. The church is located just down the road from Maidenhead thicket so quite a peaceful surrounding (loud Ocado man notwithstanding). There were quite a few crows, but again I suspect these were not an intended feature.
The church dates back to 1849, and if their website is anything to go by has some decent stained glass windows. My aforementioned horror at possibly human contact prevented my experiencing these. I appreciate my reviews are getting patchy at this point, I’m working towards writing stuff up closer to the date, or just learning to write things down.
August 5, 2015
I’ve been out practicing with the camera at Braywick Nature Centre on my lunch breaks (also I need to get some exercise before I can no longer fit in any of my clothes and I need some peace and quiet before I explode and take out most of Berkshire). It’s only a ten minute walk from my office in the centre of Maidenhead and it’s usually devoid of anyone other than the occasional dog walker.
There’s a beautiful array of wildflowers at this time of year and if you’re quiet you can see a whole host of wildlife, I’ve spotted herons, kingfishers, several armies of ducks, deer, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, weasels (I think) Green Woodpeckers and all the assorted wild birds and insects you would expect.
I’ve made a video slideshow of some of the pictures I’ve taken there recently along with an audio track recorded on the moorland there.
Here’s a few of the photos, you can see the rest on flickr.
You can read more about Braywick Nature Centre.
You can read about the Save Braywick Park campaign on Facebook.
Incidentally, I’m making more use of my Facebook page now, please pop over and give it a like for semi-regular updates and links to artists I like – Anxious Silence on Facebook.
March 27, 2015
I took some photos of the sunrise on Maidenhead Moor/Cookham Moor (depending on which direction you are heading) while walking to work a few weeks back. They came out nicely with a lovely dark silhouette against the trees and houses.
August 14, 2013
After being antagonised to the point of hiding under the desk by work related stupidity I went for a walk to the river for lunch. Although I’ve lived in Maidenhead most of my life I’ve never been onto Guards Club Island, actually I didn’t realise you could get onto the island until yesterday. If you’re into tiny bits of woodland in the middle of a river it’s nice with a good view of the Sounding Arch (everyone’s favourite Maidenhead based Isambard Kingdom Brunel construction).
It’s pleasantly peaceful given it’s location right between a railway bridge and a major road. It’s closed during nesting season which wasn’t a problem yesterday but I did get some funny looks off a couple of geese. I kept my distance.
August 9, 2013
Look what I found round the back of the bins (or their digital equivalent). I take no credit for this, it was made by a friend who will remain nameless for now. These are real quotes from a facebook group. Not a far-right facebook group, just a normal facebook group the purpose of which is nostalgia about a local community. There’s also a version with people’s full names on but since I live near them and they are clearly unbalanced I’m too much of a coward right now to include them.
May 12, 2013
After a near heart attack following working out how much I spend on lunch at work I’ve decided I need to find a better solution.
Work lunchtimes are becoming a bit of a challenge, although Maidenhead has a reasonable selection of places to buy instant edible food from once you factor in cost, general health and then diabetes the selection drops dramatically. I appreciate as a grown up I should be capable of preparing a decent meal to bring in with me but mornings tend to be incredibly hectic with a toddler yelling for his breakfast and a general sense of panic to get to work before the world implodes whereas evenings are work filled until late or I’m just too tired to care.
Buying food in the town centre was fine pre-diagnosis (cost issue aside) but since has been a bit more of a problem. I can eat relatively easily if I go to a restaurant but that’s right out on a regular basis for both time and budgetary reasons. So, I’m stuck with supermarket food or takeaways, both of these suffer from the same problem – they tend to be stacked full of the stuff diabetics should avoid: bread, pasta, potato & rice. A large amount of what’s left is either salad or high in fat. The high in fat has to be avoided both because of general health considerations and because diabetics are prone to heart problems. There’s only so much salad I can face and have you looked at the price of a decent salad recently?
The main frustration is with myself, I’m a competent cook, the majority of what we eat at home is cooked from scratch and we have a varied diet I just have trouble transferring this into food I can take away from the house.
So, I need to find a way to eat at work without spending half our profits and without killing myself, my requirements are:
– Must be easy to prepare in advance, preferably in large batches to be frozen.
– Preparation time on the day of eating (or the night before) should be an absolute minimum. Sticking something in the oven for half an hour is fine, anything more is out.
– It must be financially sensible, ingredients should be those we use anyway or things we can make use of elsewhere. If it’s going to cost the same over time as buying lunch in town there’s no point.
– It must be healthy.
– I need to allow for variety, I can’t face eating the same thing all the time. So ideally things I can cook in large batches which can be frozen for a decent length of time.
– I must want to actually eat it. This sounds obvious but since I was diagnosed I’ve picked up some real food issues. There are some meals now which I cannot face and will make me nauseous to try and eat, it’s entirely psychosomatic but I don’t seem to be able to get past it at the moment.
The first solution – pasties! Obviously. Bear with me on this. Normal pasties are clearly right out what with the white flour and fat and all but the general concept is a strong one, a fully contained meal which requires no additional preparation and nothing extra to go with it but contains a decent combination of foodstuffs (carbs, protein, fibre, etc). I make quite a lot of diabetic friendly flatbreads/pancakes at home using a mixture of spelt flour, wholegrain flour, oat bran and flax (it is nicer than it sounds) so I’ve modified the recipe to make a basic pastry/bread type case which I can fill with STUFF, more importantly different stuff each time I make them.
I’ve just finished making the first batch with a samosa type filling (less of the potato and the addition of some mixed seeds/green veg to balance up the carbs/fibre). They look edible, which is a start. Will find out tomorrow and hopefully get away from wasting a hell of a lot of cash.
Any suggestions on recipes will be gratefully received.
May 9, 2010
We took a day off last weekend. No work, no study, etc and went to feed the ducks on Ray Mill Island (not for the whole day, there’s only so long you can spend distributing bread to waterfowl). Was great to get away from technology and swearing for a bit, I showed Karen how to get the geese to come and take bread out of your hand (they are a lot less threatening when you are offering food) and we saw some baby geese and moorhens. Only slightly marred when we sat down with ice cream and someone’s dog came and crapped right in front of us. Lovely. Here are some pictures. (Promise to post something that isn’t just a bunch of pictures soon).
April 29, 2010
Quick photo catchup. Accidentally have a mix of slightly dark/gothic looking pics and assorted spring pics (not really a surprise). We took a trip to West Wycombe with Emily and Katie during which everything seemed to be unnecessarily expensive, £5 each to walk round the park, £5 each to go in the caves (we didn’t bother), couple of quid each to climb the church tower (we didn’t bother).
April 11, 2010
In lieu of actually writing anything, here’s a quick roundup of recent(ish) photos…
Braving the wastelands of Knowl Hill in the snow:
Quick visit to Avebury for lunch with Dad and Jan.
January 3, 2010
A short while before Christmas the lovely people at Boville’s in Maidenhead organised Art on the Street, being a two day art market aimed at local artists, with the benefit of sponsorship it only cost £25 for a pitch for two days meaning it was accessible for everyone and just off the main shopping centre in Maidenhead so that people actually turned up to look at and buy the art.
There was a pleasing selection of art on show. I’d expected nothing but still life and landscapes, not that I have anything against still life or landscapes, it’s just good to see a little diversity. We hung around with Jen and Neil for a bit, bemoaned the timing of the market (too close to Christmas, I’d already spent all my cash), bought a couple of prints then sodded off home. Really enjoyed it and looking forward to the next one.
More that a little pissed off with myself for having not got my shit together enough to have taken part. Another year has gone by where I’ve prioritised other people’s projects over my own and let work get in the way in the most horrific and unacceptable manner. I have been taking steps in the right direction, hopefully I’ll have got myself sorted enough that I might have enough finished material for the next market (May). I have a couple of sketchbooks full of ideas but nothing concrete yet. It was good to see that both Jen and Neil had created a load of really brilliant work alongside their day-jobs, with the right mindset I may get something finished. Had a chat with Scott and Emma today about maybe sharing a pitch at the next one, should give me a bit of motivation.
So, thanks to Boville’s for injecting a bit of art and culture into our otherwise fairly dismal town, and if I fail to get enough material together for a future event I’ll just have to go on an axe wielding rampage through the town instead.
Some links of interest:
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