Friday, 31 October 2008

The Devil's Chimney (a Halloween tale)

As its Halloween I thought I'd share a tale of local folklore with you. This rocky pile is known locally as the Devil's Chimney and it sits on the side of Leckhampton Hill, over looking Cheltenham.

The story goes that these stones form the Devil's chimney, on top of the Devil's dwelling deep beneath the ground. Supposedly the Devil, angered by the many churches in the area, would sit on top of Leckhampton Hill and hurl stones at Sunday worshippers. However the stones were thrown back at him, driving him beneath the ground and trapping him there so he could not further harass the villagers. Now he uses the mass of stones as his chimney to let free the smokes of hell.

That's the tale, now some other facts. In the past visitors to the Devil's Chimney would climb up and leave a coin on top of the rock as payment to the Devil in exchange for his staying in his underground home and not leaving to create mischief and spread evil in the local area. People would often climb to the top, thirteen is the largest number of people known to have been there in one go! In August 1926 the Devil's Chimney was left with several large cracks following an earthquake. In 1985 the Chimney was fenced off to stop erosion and also for safety (it is quite a drop below!)

Other theories surrounding the mysterious rocks include it being a "rude creation of some fanciful shepherd", a practical joke dreamt up by bored quarry workers in the 18th Century looking for a way to immortalise their work, and "differential erosion over many years which has left a column of harder rock free-standing as the softer rock has been worn away around it." (Boring!)

Hope you've enjoyed this Halloween tale. Have a spooky day!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Nasty Prick

Excuse today's title, I couldn't resist! Not much to say about this shot. I like taking macro photos and this is one of my favourites. I'm thinking of starting a macro themed blog. I don't know yet. Watch this space!

I'm away for a few days. I'm hoping Blogger magic will make this post appear like...well...magic! I'll catch up with you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Clinging To The Cliff

Another photo from Leckhampton Hill to keep you all entertained while I'm away. The hill is made up of mainly limestone and has lots of steep paths and craggy faces like this. People have been know to try to climb up this face, without ropes, or come down it to get a stranded dog from the ledge. It won't surprise you to know they end up having to be rescued! I like how this photo captures the bleak conditions up there at this time of year.

I'm away for a few days. I'm hoping Blogger magic will make this post appear like...well...magic!I'll catch up with you all at the end of the week.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Birds Eye View

From the top of Leckhampton Hill you get a clear view right across Cheltenham. Here I've cropped the photo to show you just the town centre. See if you can spot Eagle Tower, the top of the Regent Arcade shopping centre, the Town Hall, Municipal Offices, the Library and Cheltenham Boys College.

I'm away for a few days. I'm hoping Blogger magic will make this post appear like...well...magic! I'll catch up with you all at the end of the week.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Band Of Gold

I know there are lots of autumn coloured photos out there at the moment but here is another one! The colours are so vivid at the moment, it would be a sin not to share them with you. This was taken on the top of Leckhampton Hill, which over looks Cheltenham. It was rather breezy up there (to say the least) but I got some really good photos.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

River, Not A Stream

This is the River Chelt. I know it looks like a babbling brook but it's the nearest we get to a proper river in Cheltenham. The stream (sorry, river) meets the River Severn at Wainloads Hill before joining the Bristol Estuary, and then the Atlantic Ocean. The Severn starts in Wales and flows for 220 miles. Its funny to think that our little River Chelt helps create the UK's longest river. Does your town or city have a river flowing through it?

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A Pizza Church

Last night Phoebe and I went to one of our favourite restaurants for something to eat, to celebrate the start of our week off of work (Yay!) This is Zizzi's, an Italian restaurant now taking up residence in a former church, which the new owners restored the interior of, keeping nearly all of the original features of this fantastic Gothic Revival style building. The top photo shows the open kitchen, with pizza oven, in the area that was once the altar. As you can see, the place is beautifully lit at night which enhances all of the stone work. The photo below shows the balcony, which is where you'll find the bar. Last night there was someone playing the piano, you can see the lid of the grand piano in the bottom of the photo. Hopefully you'll be able to make out the wooden ceiling with its carved features. If you want to see the outside of the building then check out a previous post here.

Both of these photos were taken with my camera phone, hence the quality.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Anvil Cloud

First things first, I have played around with the colours of this photo. The original was very bright and you could hardly make out the clouds, so I had to give it a helping hand. I believe this is what's known as an Anvil cloud, but I'm ready to stand corrected. Does anyone know its proper name?

To join in with Sky Watch Friday, and to see all the different skies around the world, head over to the Sky Watch Friday Blog.

Also thanks to Rambling Round for another BFF award! See yesterdays post for my award recipients.

Thursday, 23 October 2008


I've been wondering how to use this trumpet playing busker photo and now I have a reason! Let the trumpets sound a fanfare because yesterday I was delighted to receive the "Blogging Friends Forever" award from Ken Mac. Many thanks to him.

Now it is my turn to give the award to other deserving bloggers following these rules:
1. Only five people are allowed.
2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.
3. One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award.

After much consideration the awards go to

Birmingham Alabama Daily Photo (Virginia)

Around Roanoke - A Daily Photo (Tanya)

York Daily Photo (Ruby)

Dusty Lens (Dusty Lens)

Palos Verdes Daily Photo (Tash)

I know that not everyone likes passing awards on, and that's fine. Take some time to visit these worthy winners, especially if you've not been there before.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

How It Should Have Been

This is the kind of weather I was hoping for on Monday (to take autumn photos in) but it rained. Back at work yesterday and this was the weather (typical.) I had to take this one while I was at a red light in town. Not only was the sky bluer than blue but the light was perfect. I like this photo, I'm really pleased with the shadow on the building and how all the elements came together. Nothing like blowing your own trumpet!

And I know you all want to know about Pizza Express. It's opposite the town hall, it has a grand double staircase at the front, inside its stylish and, more importantly, the pizza's are good!

I've just found this wonderful autumn treat for you all. It'll take less than two minutes of your day. It's worth it. Make sure you have the volume turned on. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Step Into Autumn

My plans for taking some autumn photographs yesterday were scuppered. I headed into town to do a few chores and then I was going to the park to capture the colourful scene, but the heavens opened and I came home instead. I'm a fair weather photographer! In desperation for a photo for today's post I snapped the leaves piled up by my front step. In the end it worked out OK. I still want to get some autumn photos, fingers crossed for a dry weekend.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Sit On The Line

The nuts, bolts and iron from yesterdays post all make up this rather unusual bench. There are several of them alongside the Honeybourne cycle path. This path, away from the main roads, links one side of town to the other, and follows the route of a former railway line. I doubt if the benches are made from the material of the Honeybourne line, as it ceased to exist many years ago and the seats are a recent addition, but it is an effective nod to the paths former life. I like them, though they're not that comfortable to sit on!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Any Old Iron

Just a little something to keep you interested. Two macro shots of something to be revealed in full tomorrow.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Rubbish River

This is Cheltenhams latest bike parking facility. Well, it made me laugh! I saw this bicycle dumped in the River Chelt the other week. I presume it was dumped, I suppose someone could have lost control while out for a ride, ended up in the water and then got swept away by the current! Well, as the River Chelt is like a stream I doubt that very much. I don't know why people do things like this. I also don't know why the Council don't clean up this area more often. I suppose they've got better things to do with our taxes.

Anyway, on a jollier note, the result of the birthday quiz! The winner is...(drum roll)...Denton! He got all the answers right apart from one, which he got right later. Well done Denton, a Cheltenham postcard is on its way to you!

Here are Denton's answers -
(1) the name of the fountain - Neptune's Fountain on the Promenade
(2) the story that goes with this photo - Sweet Injustice, security asked that you to stop taking photos
(3) the name of the building - Town Hall which it sits on Cheltenham's One-way system
(4) the type of Coat of Arms - The Cowardly Lion ... belongs to one of Britain's former Kings
(5) the significance of these birds - Cheltenham's spa water was discovered in 1716 because local people noticed pigeons pecking at the salty deposits
(6) the name of the building the eagle sits at the bottom of - Eagle Tower
(7) what Cheltenham is famous for - the Gold Cup
(8) what this building is being turned into - The Dobells pub ... a proper pub
(9) my first 'blank' - first attempt at the City Daily Photo Blog theme day
(10) my first 'blank' - first photo posted
(11) the name of the building - The Municipal Offices stand on the Promenade
(12) the name of the flower - sunflowers representing children at the Deerhurst Flower Festival

The answer to photo 8 is actually that the Dobells pub is being turned into a Costa Coffee (which Denton got later.)

Thanks to everyone who took part and left me such kind blogiversary comments. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Sunbathers In The Autumn

While walking around Imperial Gardens, taking in the Literature Festival, I spotted these two enjoying the Autumn sun. It was a bit chilly for sunbathing but they were taking advantage of the fine weather. The only time I lie in the sun is while I'm on my holiday abroad, what about you?

I'm going to keep yesterdays competition running until tomorrow. The leader of the pack is Denton, and I'm sure a postcard will be on its way to him, but he has got one wrong! (Eleven right, he really did his research!) I won't tell you which one, check out yesterdays comments to see if you can see his error.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

One Year Old Today!

Well, I made it to one year! I can't believe how quickly the time has gone, and how much I've learnt about blogging and, more importantly, photography. I've also met, in the cyberspace sense, some wonderful people and visited places all over the world, some of which I never even knew existed!

Everyone has their own story about how they came across the City Daily Photo Blog community, mine started with Brian's blog. I was looking for some photos of New York, one of my favourite cities in the world, and I stumbled across his offerings. Then I noticed his side bar had links to other NYC sites. After checking these out I realised there were daily photo blogs all over the globe (I know, I'm a bit slow!) Then I saw a link for a Cheltenham blog, and that's were I discovered Lynn. I thought to myself - "I could do that." Somehow I set up a blog and made a photo appear on the Internet, I'm still not quite sure how! The next thing comments appeared - Gerald, Neva, Eliane and after that I was accepted to "The Forum." I'd arrived!

As time has gone by I've made friends that I have never met, and don't really know, but I do. People like Babooshka, Mo, Knoxville Girl, Ming The Merciless, Chuck, D.C, Hilda, the list goes on...too many to mention. I thank everyone who has visited my little blog and left a comment, advice, encouragement - it means so much.

Now to the birthday fun! Your challenge is to identify the twelve photos above! I'll give you some clues. From left to right on the top row - the name of the fountain, the story that goes with this photo, the name of the building, the type of Coat of Arms. Second row, left to right - the significance of these birds, the name of the building the eagle sits at the bottom of, what Cheltenham is famous for, what this building is being turned into. Bottom row, left to right - my first 'blank', my first 'blank', the name of the building, the name of the flower.

Now I know this task is an undertaking but the prize is worth it! I'll send the winner (or person with the most right answers) a Cheltenham postcard by snail mail! Wow!

And finally. I've enjoyed every minute of blogging, thanks to you.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Yellow Leaves

I just realised (thanks to D.C) that I hadn't posted any autumn leaves yet. Time is flying by, soon the leaves will all be on the ground and the opportunity will be lost for another year. To rectify that I share with you some yellow beech leaves! The sun was shining brightly, highlighting the golden shades. Perfect.

Something special is happening here tomorrow so be sure to drop by.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Bookworm Heaven

The 59th Cheltenham Literature Festival is taking place in and around town at the moment, with authors, journalists, famous faces and bookworms coming out to play. The event was started in 1949 by a small group of friends and was the worlds first literature festival, it is now one of the worlds biggest celebrations of writing, attracting tens of thousands of visitors. Over the festivals 10 day run there are 350 events featuring debates, interviews, readings, book signings and workshops. This years festival has former BBC journalist Kate Adie and Rebus author Ian Rankin as Guest Directors, responsible for the programme of the weekend events.

I'm not a very book-ish person, I prefer non-fiction books filled with useless facts, so I have never been to anything to do with the festival. Until this weekend. Phoebe and I went to The Centaur, at the Racecourse, to see Doctor Who re-inventor Russel T Davies and John Barrowman, who plays Captain Jack in the series. It was a really entertaining evening, they were both interviewed and talked about their respective books, and then answered questions from the audience. Neither of them were giving anything away about the upcoming Doctor Who specials in 2009 but it was still an insightful evening.

Most of the festival takes place at the Town Hall and in these tents behind the building, in Imperial Gardens. This large tent is a temporary Waterstone's bookshop and also the venue for book signings, a great place for celebrity spotting. The festival draws some big names, this year the famous faces include James Bond star Roger Moore, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Hollywood legend Tony Curtis, Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He opened the event last Friday, glad he wasn't busy sorting out the financial crisis! He has got a book to sell, perhaps he needs a few extra quid in these hard times!

Monday, 13 October 2008

One Day...

The rich and famous are in town this week as the Cheltenham Literature Festival takes place (more on that tomorrow) and someone was taking the opportunity to show off their new toy. This is what you call a proper car, and it's nearly as good as my Ford Fiesta! The little boy looking through the window just says it all. It would have been a better photo if there had been a Traffic Warden slapping a parking ticket on the windscreen, as this Rolls Royce is parked on double yellow lines!

And now the moment you've all been waiting for...the winner of yesterdays guessing game! The best idea for what TEG stands for came from Ken Mac with tensile epigrammatic gobsmacked! Ken, that word of the day toilet paper is paying great dividends!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

The Entertaining Game

The title of todays post is my guess. What am I talking about?! I'll explain. Its Sunday. You're bored. Stuck in front of the computer. Looking for something to do to pass the time. Then you stumble on a fun guessing game here at Cheltenham Daily Photo!

I've no idea what this graffiti tag stands for but that's were you come in. I'd like to know what you think TEG stands for. Form an orderly queue and give me your suggestions in the comments box! The best/amusing/inspired answer wins one of my famous free links in Mondays post. Altogether now, WOW!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

The Seagull And The Sandwich

Another view from my front window. Cheltenham isn't known for its seagulls but one suddenly appeared and landed on the roof opposite. He was eyeing up half a sandwich that someone had dropped on the pavement but, while he was plotting his best course of action for getting hold of some lunch, a magpie came swooping down and had his fill! Better luck next time Mr Seagull.

I guess its true what they say - one magpie for sorrow!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Cherry tree and sky.

Another Sky Watch from my window. I haven't been out over the last few days due to not feeling very well, so I had to stick the camera out of the window and this is what I saw. We are having a few dry bright autumn days and it looks very nice out there.

To join in with Sky Watch Friday, and to see all the other views of the sky from around the world, head over to the Sky Watch Friday Blog.

Have a good weekend one and all!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Pink Mystery

I like to think I know the name of most plants and flowers, but this one has got me stumped. The plant was about three feet tall, was growing by the side of the River Chelt and had pink flowers that looked a bit like an orchid. Anyone know what it is? Then let me know!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Step Into The Darkside

Not much to say today, I just quite liked this shot of some steps in black and white. I think it has a real urban feel.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Does This Booth Make My Bum Look Big?

I could easily do this job in less than a minute. Question - "Am I fat?" Answer- "Yes" or "No". Obviously I'm joking (no, I'm not!) but what will they come up with next? Dentist in a bus stop? Chiropractor in a car park? I suppose this at least brings a service to the people when they are unlikely to go to a clinic for a test.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Castle Coupling

The reason for my absence this weekend? We were at a wedding. No, not mine! We were invited to our friends wedding at Clearwell Castle, in the Forest of Dean, which is about 30 miles from Cheltenham. I had the pleasure of creating the wedding flowers for the day, something I haven't done before, though I have done flowery things in the past. Anyway, I was pleased with the end results and, more importantly, so were the bride and groom.

The impressive Clearwell Castle.

The tables ready for the wedding reception.

The brides bouquet (all my own work!)

The happy couple.

I'm not sure how I manged to get the effect in the last photo, as I had taken full advantage of the free bar! Well, it would have been rude not to!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Vapour trails at sunset.

A golden light was pouring through my front window the other evening, so I got up to have a look and was met by this stunning sky. I grabbed my camera, poked my arm right out of the window, pressed the button, and hoped for the best. Luckily it came out quite well. Notice that I wasn't so bothered that I went outside to take the picture! For another (better) view of this sky check out Mewli's owners blog.

To join in with Sky Watch Friday, and to view all the other skies around the world, head to the Sky Watch Friday Blog.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Changing View - October

You may think you've seen this photo before and you're right, sort of. This is the second photo in my Changing View series. Just to remind you, I'm going to take a photo of the Promenade and Municipal Offices from the same spot every month, and post it the day after Theme Day. I'm hoping that, as time goes by, it will be interesting to see the changes that take place. To see the photos together click on 'changing view' in the labels below.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Theme Day - Lines & 300th

Here we are, another month over and a new one just beginning, and its Theme Day. This months theme is lines and I must admit I wasn't feeling very inspired by this one. I had a photo of some electricity cables lined up (no pun intended!) but after a look through the archives I decided on these lines of light, created by traffic on the motorway. I know I posted something similar a while back but I like them! Today also marks my 300th post. I can't believe I've been doing this blog for nearly a year, time flies when you're having fun!

There are 163 other CDPB's taking part in this Theme Day, click here to view thumbnails for all of the other participants.

Come back tomorrow for Changing View.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin