Monday, 30 June 2008

Fresh From The Farm

As promised, a return to Cheltenham. On the first and last Friday of the month the Farmers Market comes to town. There are about 30 stalls selling all sorts of food, drink and plants produced in Gloucestershire. I don't get to go very often, as I'm normally at work, but as I was off last week, I seized the opportunity to go. I came home with bread, cakes, samosas, goats cheese, white wine plus a few other goodies! The Farmers Market is a really good idea and it allows people to support local producers. I think most towns and cities have one these days. What is the one near you like?

Don't forget Theme Day tomorrow!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Marley In Kefalonia - Day Five

Last post from Kefalonia today. I was going to show several photos today but I've decided to show just one, and as this post marks the end of my holiday I thought a sunset was appropriate. This is the sunsetting behind one of the olive groves that the area is famous for. I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of the sights of Kefalonia as much as I did spending some time there. Thank you for all the nice comments that have resulted from this series, its appreciated.

Back to Cheltenham tomorrow.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Marley In Kefalonia - Day Four

Today I've got a few photos to show you of Skala and Poros. They are neighbouring Bays on the South East coast of Kefalonia. We headed off in our hire car and followed the coast road round the island to get to them, and the views across the sea to the Greek island of Zakynthos (Zante) were stunning.

A quite spot at Skala beach. This is the main resort on the island, but like the rest of Kefalonia, it wasn't busy.

Oleander bushes can be seen all over Keflonia, showing off there blousey pink blooms.

Poros is a peaceful bay with a few shops and tavernas, it was a beautiful spot to have lunch.

Its the final day of Kefalonian photos tomorrow. The holiday is drawing to a close.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Sky Watch Friday In Kefalonia - Day Three

This photo is still from my collection of holiday snaps from Kefalonia. The apartments that we stayed in for the week were brimming with bird life, mainly sparrows and, as shown, swallows. These guys were stopping on telephone wires for a rest from all the soaring and diving that they were doing. It was interesting to see them swooping down onto the swimming pool and snatching a mid-flight drink!

Check out all the other Sky Watchers here.

Come back tomorrow for 'Marley In Kefalonia - Day Four'

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Marley In Kefalonia - Day Two

Today a few photos from the Kefalonian capital, Argostoli. It is about 8km North of Svoronata, the village where Phoebe and I stayed for the week. We hired a car from Greekstones (I know, great name for a car hire company in Greece!) Check out their logo at the end of today's post. Its cool! It was a bit scary driving on the opposite side of the road to the UK, and it didn't help that the steering wheel was on the other side of the car! Anyway, we made it in one piece. Here is the proof.

One of the towns many churches, decorated with flags and bunting in preperation for one of the Islands Saints days.

Locals queueing up to buy fresh fish from one of the fishing boats in the Port.

View across the bay to the mountains with added sparkle, not that it really needed it!

Thanks for all the 'welcome back' greetings yesterday, I'm glad you all liked the photos. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Marley In Kefalonia - Day One

Hello everyone, I'm back! I had a brilliant time on the Greek island of Kefalonia. The sun shone, the water was warm and the food and drink tasted delicious! What more could I have asked for?

I don't go back to work until Monday so to make the holiday last a bit longer I'll show you some of the many photos I took until then. I'll return to Cheltenham photos on Monday. Hope you enjoy a taste of Greece.

The beautiful Myrtos beach, on the road to the fishing village of Fiskardo.

Some of the many colourful boats and buildings at Fiskardo.

Flowers enjoying the sun and a not so traditional coloured building.

Come back tomorrow for more sun, sea and sand. At some point today I'll get round to catching up with your blogs, I'm looking forward to seeing what you've all been up to!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Holiday Time!

At last I'm going on my well deserved holiday! Tomorrow I fly off to the Greek island of Kefalonia. This is a photo from my trip to Rhodes a couple of years ago, and I hope this holiday will be just as good. I've chosen to take a break from my blog while I'm away and won't be scheduling posts. My next post will be on Wednesday 25th June, so come back then for some photos of Kefalonia. See you soon everyone!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Green Dome

Just a quick post today. I've posted several different photos showing glimpses of this building over the last few weeks but here is a complete view, with the lion and the domed rotunda, of Lloyd's Bank. This photo was taken from Montpellier Gardens and you can see the new railings I posted about last week. It really is a grand building and it certainly stands out from the other Regency buildings in Cheltenham. Come back tomorrow for my last post....for now....

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Bird In The Bush

Well, its actually 'Wood Pigeon In The Ornamental Cherry Tree' but it doesn't have quite the same ring! Back in the spring I posted a photo of the white blossom on this cherry tree, that stands in front of my window. This is it yesterday evening, covered in red cherries and attracting the local wildlife. This Wood Pigeon had been eating his dinner but the moment I pointed my camera at him he stopped, then a moment after I took this shot he flew off. Typical!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Sky Watch Friday

I did it! I remembered to join in with Sky Watch Friday! Normally I see other peoples blogs on a Friday and remember I forgot!

This is a wheat field, just outside of Cheltenham, with a storm brewing above. In the distance you can see the Cotswolds. Check out all the other Sky Watch participants here.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

King Of The Money

This old, slightly cracked, stone lion sits proudly above the entrance to Lloyd's Bank on Montpellier Walk. I'm not sure what his take is on the worldwide credit crunch, but I bet if he were in charge of the purse strings the financial situation would be a roaring success!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Colourful 200th

Today is my 200th post! How time flies when you're having fun!

I thought I would go for a bright, colourful photo today to celebrate. This is a close up of some of the sweets from my photo trip to Beechwood Arcade, the one when I was asked not to take photos! I hope these gobstoppers don't mind their image being posted (any complaints to the Legal Department.)

Many thanks to everyone who visits this blog, and special thanks to all those who leave encouraging comments. It is greatly appreciated. I hope you all continue to enjoy seeing what Cheltenham has to offer. Now what shall I post for my 300th?!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Back To The River

I went to visit my dad yesterday, to see how he is doing after his recent back operation, and I had to pass through Tewkesbury. I stopped by one of the bridges to take a handful of photos. None of them were anything special but I quite liked this one. The weather is fantastic at the moment. It would have been a great day for jumping on a boat, chugging off down the Avon and finding a nice spot for a picnic, but I had to check on the patient! He is doing very well. The pain he has had in his leg for many years has gone, he is just a bit sore from the surgery. Well, I suppose having a disc removed would make you a bit sore!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Reinstated Railings

Last year Montpellier Gardens under went a £1 million refurbishment, with new paths being laid, trees planted, the tennis courts moved, the former gym turned into an art gallery and, the most noticeable improvement, the iron railings reinstated. The railings were removed from all of the towns public parks, gardens and buildings during the Second World War, they were taken as scrap to be melted down and aid the war effort. Today, around the edges of the parks and gardens, you can still see the old stone bases that once held the fences in place. These new railings were based on the original ones and now help define Montpellier Gardens. Not all of the perimeters have had the railings put back, but this is a start.

The photo below shows the railings being removed in June 1940. I love the fact the workmen are in their shirts and waistcoats! All very proper!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Its A Bandstand!

Yesterdays Green Goddess is part of the iron railings on the bandstand in Montpellier Gardens. This bandstand was recently refurbished during the parks makeover and now it looks in great condition. The bandstand was built in 1864 and has stood the test of time. It is still used in the summer months, when you can see Silver and Brass Bands performing on the weekends.

There was no outright winner to yesterdays competition, so the prize of a link goes to Neva and Lynn as they had the nearest guesses.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Green Goddess

Just a quick post today. My dad is in hospital after having a back operation and I've also been out on the town celebrating a friends birthday after they've spent the day at a funeral, so time is short. Sorry for the lack of comments on your blog. I hope to catch up over the weekend.

Today's post is a quiz! What structure in Cheltenham is this face on? The answer will be revealed tomorrow. The person with the correct answer will get a link to their blog. What more could you want?!

Also, I'd like to wish a very Happy Birthday to AJC! Hope to see you and my best friend, DJ Groin Strain, soon!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Sweet Injustice

I hope you all appreciate this photo. Its the photo that got me a warning! I could have been banned from the Beechwood Shopping Arcade!

On my trip to take photos on Monday I went for a wander round the Beechwood Arcade. I came across this newly installed sweet and toy vending station, and I thought to myself 'that'll make an interesting post...' so I started snapping. The next thing I know a security guard is heading my way. He asks me to stop taking photos. I reply 'Oh...' He says 'the Centre management don't like it.' I say 'Oh.' And, like a good boy, I put my camera back in its case and walk away.

Then I began thinking...I don't remember seeing a 'No Photography' sign...if I was a parent taking a snap of my children would the same of happened?...if I was a teenager with my mates, messing about with my camera phone, would I have been told off?...doesn't the half empty Beechwood Shopping Centre want a bit of free global publicity? Obviously not.

This is the first time anything like this has happened to me while taking a photo. I know this issue has been discussed before on other CDPB's, but what do you think?

One final thing - The best photo would have been when I left the Arcade and I saw the security guard enjoying an ice cream. But I thought I'd better not push my luck!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Looking Up

Ornate features like this one are just waiting to be seen. The problem is that most of the detail on buildings is above eye level, and my problem is I never look up. Until now. Taking my lead from other CDPB, I looked skywards and saw all sorts of interesting things. This narrow bay window is up on the side of the building used by HSBC bank. The building dates from 1890 and is on the Colonnade, at the top of the Promenade. The building is awash with relief carvings and balustrades, its a fine example of the architecture of the time.

For those that are interested the motto underneath the window, Cum Prudentia Sedulus, means Diligent With Prudence.

(I know I've shown pigeons several times before, but the ones in this photo are an added bonus!)

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Master Baker

This baker stands on the balcony above the entrance to Maison Chaplais. The shop calls itself a Fine Food and Lifestyle shop, selling breads, chutneys, coffee and other...well...fine foods! It also has a cafe inside, serving homemade food. I've not been inside (it all looks a bit expensive) but it seemed to be doing a roaring trade, which is not surprising as it's in a prime location, on Andover Road, just out of the town centre, in the Tivoli shopping area. This large baker certainly beats the Little Chef!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


This striking dome is the focal point of the Montpellier shopping area. It sits at the top of the parade of shops, bars and cafes and is one of the first things visitors heading into town see.

Originally the building was one of Cheltenhams many Spas. Previously the building was wooden but was replaced in 1817 by a stone built Long Room. In 1825-6 the Rotunda was added by London architect John Papworth. As the spa waters went out of fashion the building was used as a concert and dance venue, the Long Room was used by a bank. Since 1926 Lloyds Bank have owned and used the Long Room, and they bought the Rotunda in 1962 for £14,000. When they took over the Rotunda it was in a very sorry state, a survey showed that the 160 feet diameter, 60 feet high dome had dropped 3 inches and was being held up by seriously rotten beams. In the renovation 2 tons of copper and two of lead were removed, also many tons of ornate plasterwork were taken down. The building now stands proudly, showing what Cheltenham is all about - fine architecture and interesting history.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Stairs Of Desperation

This photo is a filler. I am short of photos to post, so in desperation I decided on this one from my now empty archive. This staircase is in Cavendish House Department Store on the Promenade. I actually quite like this shot (I was reminded I had it by Ming, who posted a similar photo on Saturday.) Recently I've been finding it hard to find anything I'd like to photograph but I'm off work today and I'm going to town to snap anything that moves (or doesn't!) I just hope I feel inspired. Wish me luck.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Theme Day - My Local Corner Shop

Its the first of the month and that means its Theme Day again!

Although this isn't my local shop (its just on the edge of Cheltenham town centre, not far from where I live) I just had to show it, as its name fits the theme perfectly! This newsagent and toy shop is on the corner of Bath Road. Its been there for as long as I can remember and has never changed. As you can see its looking a bit tired, with flaking paint and a faded window display, but inside it is full to the rafters with all sorts of childhood delights! When I was a little boy my Aunt used to take me with her shopping on Bath Road. We used to go in her Morris Minor, which we called The Old Banger, and we would sing 'She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain' (ahh, memories.) If I was a good boy she would take me to The Corner Shop for a toy as a treat. Happy times!

Take a visit to some of the other 173 City Daily Photo Blogs taking part in this Theme Day, just Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
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