Tag Archive: Newbury

Brown Signing in Newbury

January 1, 2010

“Brown Signing” sounds like a euphemism for something horrific. It isn’t, it’s an irritatingly twee name of the sort I would usually detest and feel the need to slap the originator, since I am the originator, it’s great. I’m sure other people have come up with the same concept before and maybe even the same name for it so I am making no major claim to this rather twee activity.

Brown Signing: Traveling in one direction until you see a brown traffic tourist sign, then following it to that specific tourist attraction regardless of if you’ve heard of it or it sounds interesting. It doesn’t have to be an official brown sign, just some indication of a touristy type thing.

There’s an excruciatingly dull story behind this, I expect you want to hear it. Being cretinously self-employed I don’t really have such things as holidays or weekends. My darling Lady K who is somewhat challenged when it comes to transport will on occasion ask me to drive her to work related events round the country, not usually that far from home that I couldn’t come back in the interim, but as an attempt to stave off the ever impending work related mental breakdown I’ll take the entire day off rather than come back and work. She get’s transport, I get a day off, everyone wins.

I suck balls at taking days off. I have no idea what to do with myself, I know I should write, draw, photograph and similar but usually end up dragging my arse around the nearest town centre slowing turning into some sort of consumer-zombie. I started trying to research the areas before we set out, but I either can’t find anything that sounds FUN or I leave my list of places to go at home (I am nothing if not a fucking idiot).

After spending an HOUR AND A HALF in Newbury town centre trying to find the public toilets (thanks Newbury council you fucknuts, considered a signpost or two?)  I left. I had planned to spend a while at Donnington Castle, but it was rainy, and pretty dull (comparative to other castle ruins). Bored shitless with no desire to haunt shopping centres or go home I drove in one direction looking for something to do, with the decision to stop at the first tourist attraction regardless of what it was. It was a disused 12th Century Church – St Margaret’s Catmore which is a pretty awesome find.

I have a minor (non-religious) obsession with churches, it was disused and mildly difficult to get to so completely devoid of people (I have  minor dislike of people).  There is no way I would have found this intentionally, the only tourist attractions I found on the web were the usual family friendly over-priced nonsense, this my friends if the power of the BROWN SIGN. Couple of hours poking round a disused (but still fully furnished church) in complete isolation for free was worth the journey. Afterwards a drive back towards Newbury stopping at the first signposted country pub for a very nice lunch in an otherwise empty pub (no idea what it was called or where it was) and set out again.

Next brown-sign find was Snelsmore Common. What’s better than empty churches with no people? Nature reserves with no people! Well very few people. Mostly wild ponies, which was nice. I did have a disturbing moment in the car park. There was a bus of disabled kids alongside me whose teacher was holding up items from the forest for them to name. As I stepped out of the car the teacher presumably held up a leaf as all the kids turned to look at me and chanted ‘Leave, leave, leave’. Good for them, I wouldn’t want some hairy angry web developer stumbling round my  common either.

Then we went home and nearly had three horrific accidents on the way, I am a shit driver. I took many photos, let me bore you with them:

Donnington Castle – (Full Set Here)

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St Margaret Catmore (Full set here)

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Snelsmore Common (Full set here)

Mostly close-ups of fungus. Mmm… fungus.

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Pleasant day all considered, I’m happy I’ve found a way round my usual mental lethargy, hopefully I’ll have another crack soon.

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I am Bob. This is my blog. It is an outlet and a substitute for real life. It contains my art, photography, illustration and thoughts on mental health (I deal with anxiety on a pretty much constant basis).

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