Sunday, 30 November 2008

Spinning Around

I'm not quite sure what you call these things but they hang (as you can see!) and spin in the breeze. They were on one of the stalls at the Christmas Market in the Prom and they seemed to be quite popular with the shoppers. I wonder how many Cheltonians will wake up and find one of these in their stocking this Christmas? What would you like to find in your stocking this Christmas?

Don't forget its Theme Day tomorrow. If you've signed up remember to take part.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Break In The Cloud

Another week over, how time flies. Its nearly Christmas! This photo was taken last month on the top of Leckhampton Hill. I love how the cloud is being chased away by the clear sky. You can almost see the line drawn for battle.

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

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Swan Song

I'm not that brave as to get that close to a swan, they can be quite feisty, I used the zoom! On Tuesday I went for a walk round Pitville Park. It was a bright, crisp afternoon and my camera was working overtime. There was so much to take in - joggers, cyclists, dog walkers, kids playing, a music video being filmed (more on that another day!) and plenty of wildlife. Back in July I told you about the swans on the lake and how the female of the breeding pair had been killed by a fishing hook, and that the male had been left to raise the nine cygnets. Well I can report that dad is doing a great job. The cygnets are as big as their father now and they have almost all of their adult feathers. An extra bonus for the swan population of Pitville Lake is that this is the male of another breeding pair. The lake now has twelve swans and counting!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Aren't these lanterns lovely? They represent one of the things I like about the run up to Christmas, little stalls and Christmas gift shops that spring up out of nowhere. These mosaic lanterns were on a stall that has appeared under the escalator in the Regent Arcade. The stall has all sorts of candles, lamps and glassware gifts. The lanterns are an absolute bargain, the long ones and the large round ones are just £10 each and the small round ones (like the multi-coloured one at the top of the photo) are £5 each or three for £12! I know it sounds like I work for their advertising department, but at these prices they're a steal! The problem was I couldn't think of anyone to buy one for. I'll have to go back and get one for myself...or maybe three for £12!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Now And Then

Cheltenham is a town with lots of heritage, and lots of old buildings. Luckily for us most of them are protected, they have been enjoyed for hundreds of years and will be enjoyed for hundreds more. The old buildings in the heart of town are used as shops, bars and restaurants and their present occupiers have to work around the historic features. This Cult Clothing shop, on Clarence Street, is at the cutting edge of fashion and has a sign to match, but it fits in well with the iron railings of the balcony on the 18th century building. I really like the contrast.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment about my Sky Watch Friday photo, its greatly appreciated. I had a good few days in 'The North' but its cold up there!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Orange Sky

I think this is my best Sky Watch Friday photo so far (modesty is my middle name!) It was taken on Wednesday evening with my camera phone, from almost the same place as last weeks Sky Watch photo. I really am going to start keeping my proper camera at my side. This photo could have been so much better if I'd had it with me (will I ever learn?!)

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

I'm off visiting family in the North this weekend, and I haven't got myself organised with scheduled posts, so you'll just have to survive without me until next week! I hope you all have a great weekend and I look forward to catching up with your blogs next week.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Mist Rolling In

At the beginning of the week, when this photo was taken, the weather wasn't so good. This is a view of Leckhampton Hill with the low cloud and mist swirling around the trees at the top. I guess it must have been like being on a plane up there. Now the weather is dry and bright, but we are promised an arctic blast for the weekend. I'll have to get out my long johns!!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Don't Mention The War!

Excuse the title of today's post, its for the Fawlty Towers fans out there! Anyway, this is the German Market (hence the title!) in the Prom. It runs for a couple of weeks at the end of November, to tie in with the switch on of Cheltenham's Christmas lights, and has 60 stalls, sorry - German style chalets, selling all sorts of hand made gifts for the fast approaching festive season. You can get anything from wooden toys and jewellery to soap and woolly hats, it has something for everyone. And once you've had a peruse of the stalls you can stop for a freshly cooked Bratwurst sausage and a glass of German beer. Perfect shopping!

I wonder if they have a British Christmas Market in Germany?! Do you have anything like this where you live?

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Autumn Clean Up

The Borough Council horticulturalists are hard at work, clearing and tidying the parks and gardens ready for the winter months. This was the scene in Imperial Gardens, behind the Town Hall. The gardeners were just out of the photo, hard at it. I'm not sure if that truck is big enough for all the fallen leaves though, as the area is surrounded by trees. One strong gust of wind and the place will be covered again!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Boer War

At the north end of the Long Gardens, in front of the Municipal offices, is this statue. It stands as a memorial to the men of Cheltenham who lost their lives in South Africa, while fighting in the Boer War (1899-1902). The war resulted in the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies. These colonies later formed part of the Union of South African. The Boer War led to a change of British foreign policy from one of "splendid isolation" to one that involved looking for allies and improving world relations. That's enough history, back to the memorial.

The statue was created by R.L Boulton & Sons of Cheltenham, and was unveiled on 17th July 1907 by Sir Ian Hamilton. The inscription on the base of the memorial reads "This memorial is erected in memory of those Cheltenham men, who, either as regulars, or volunteers, died in their Country's service, during the South African War, and on the side panels hereof are recorded the names of those Cheltenham men who volunteered, and served in the war."

To finish off today's post below is a photo taken by H.C Giles on 10th June 1901 showing members of the Cheltenham Rifle Volunteers on their return from South Africa. (The soldiers are in the middle of the crowd).


Sunday, 16 November 2008

Corridor Of Trees

Today I'm keeping things simple. I think I'll let you tell me about the photo.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

A Gathering Crowd

You may remember I posted a photo of this flame juggling entertainer last week. I commented that he didn't have an audience (all together - Ahhhh!) well, his fortunes have changed. Last Saturday he was back on the Prom and two people had stopped to watch him (Yay!) I'm not sure if they gave him any money to help towards his fortune, but they seemed to be enjoying his act. If you are out and about today and see a busker, or an entertainer on the street giving it their all, stop and show them a bit of support.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Winter Sunset

This is photo is not my usual quality, it was taken on my camera phone. The sunset the other evening was to good not to photograph but my camera was at home and I wasn't! Typical me! Anyway, not a lot to say about this one apart from cold, clear days lead to lovely wintry evening skies.

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

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Berry Nice Photo

Today's post is a bit of self publicity. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was thinking of starting a macro blog. Well, I have! I posted the first photo a week or so ago and a few of you have stumbled upon it and left kind comments. If you would like to visit Macro World then you are more than welcome to check it out!

I'm also letting you all know that my cat is finishing his blogging adventure, he is just too lazy to carry on! He wants to thank everyone who visited and left comments about him and his useless owner! day, new blog - Macro World.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Caffeine Fix

Costa Coffee has finally moved in. You may remember I posted on this place when it was still the Dobells pub and more recently I posted on the Coat of Arms above the door and now, to keep you all updated, here it is as a chain coffee shop. In true Cheltenham style I think it stands out from all those hundreds of other Costa's around the country. Don't ask me what the inside is like as I don't drink coffee or tea! I'll have to go in for a hot chocolate. I'll report back.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Elegant Fanfare

It always pays to look up. I'm getting better at it but I'm sure I miss out on some great potential photos by only taking shots at eye level. This bugle playing lady is high up on the front of Que Pasa bar. Before that the building was a pub called Toad At The Olde Bank, I guess that name comes from the building once being a bank. I'm not really sure how old the building is, I'm guessing old though! This lady, and her equal on the opposite end, look Art Deco to me. Any ideas?

I really like the shadows and curved lines in this photo. Remember, look up and you could be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Jumping Through Hoops

After yesterdays serious post its time for something a bit lighter to start the week off. Here is another photo of my favourite shop window in Cheltenham, White Stuff. In the past they have had mannequins with giant squirrel heads and a drunk gingerbread man, now they have a circus! This little chap is jumping through hoops to keep the shoppers entertained!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Remembrance Sunday

Today is Remembrance Sunday. The day the Country stops at 11am, for two minutes, to remember all those who have given their lives in battle. Originally called Armistice Day, to mark the end of the First World War at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918, it was renamed Remembrance Sunday at the end of the Second World War. In the UK, and other countries around the world, Poppies are used to mark this day. The photo is part of the Field of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Cheltenham.

On the 11th of November 1918, 90 years ago, the Armistice was signed at 5.00am in a train carriage in the Forest of Compiegne in France, and came into effect at 11.00am. At 10.57am Canadian Private George Lawrence Price was killed with a single bullet to the chest while on patrol in Canal du Centre. He was the last soldier to die in action on the Western front.

The number of First World War casualties was over 40 million - 20 million deaths and 21 million wounded. This huge number includes civilian and military casualties. The UK lost 885,138 Service men and women. Our Service men and women are still killed today during Service for their country. There has only been one year (1968) since the end of the Second World War when a British Service person hasn't been killed on active duty.

We owe these brave men and women our freedom and gratitude. Lest We Forget.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Step It Up

Today's post was inspired by Virginia's post of stairs yesterday. I commented to her how I find photographs of steps, especially in black and white, to be a bit arty looking. What do you think?

I'm planning to get into Cheltenham today to get some photos taken as I've been lacking in choice lately. Its not that I haven't been inspired, it's just I couldn't be bothered! Laziness - my middle name! Fingers crossed for a host of fantastic photos everyday next week. Watch this space!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Autumn Cherry Tree & Grey Sky

I know you were all thinking to yourselves "I wonder what that cherry tree outside Marley's front window looks like now?" Well, here is the answer. I've posted several photos of this tree before (blossom, green, turning) and now here it is almost ready to drop its leaves. I'm not sure why but on grey days, like yesterday, all of the autumn leaves seem brighter. Anyone know why?

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

Have a good weekend everybody!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Gods Window

A photo from neighbouring Tewkesbury today, as I need to get out and get snapping in Cheltenham. This is one of the stained glass windows of Tewkesbury Abbey. I'm not sure what this one depicts (any ideas?) but the detail and colours are amazing. If you think that when this was created there were no computers, no special technology aiding creation, just man made skill, it is even more impressive. It must have taken many weeks, if not months, to create this marvellous window. God knows how they did it. Actually, he probably does!

Click on the photo to get an even better look at the detail.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Change At Last

The world has been watching and waiting and, at last, we have the change that so many of us wanted and wished for. This is a truly historic day, proved by the huge voter turn out. I just wish that here in the UK voters were as engaged by the political process as Americans are. Obama is a man of vision, a spellbinding orator, believable, trustworthy and, most importantly, inspiring. When he has finished in the White House maybe he'll head over to Number 10. We could do with him.

Today's photo was taken at the Cheltenham Literature Festival back in October. The image of Obama at Number 10 Downing Street was on an advertising banner for the Times newspaper, who sponsor the Literature Festival.

Scroll down for my Guy Fawkes post today.


On Saturday night we went to the Cheltenham Racecourse to watch the Round Table Fireworks display. This annual event raises thousands of pounds for charity. I went armed with my camera but, due to the torrential rain, didn't take my tripod. That was my mistake. I took lots of photos but this is the only one that turned out even half way near decent. It will have to do to highlight the fact that today is Guy Fawkes Day (or bonfire night.) Basically all the fireworks and bonfires are to celebrate the failed attempt of Guy Fawkes to blow up Parliament in 1605.

If you are reading this before 8am GMT check back later. Today I'll be posting twice. I'm hoping that my second post will be celebrating the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America. If it has all gone horribly wrong then who knows what I'll post! Tear stained tissues maybe?!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Juggling With Fire

Just look at the concentration on his face. And who can blame him! This chap was attempting to entertain the shoppers on the Prom but not one person had stopped to watch him. Even I was stood well back, hiding behind a tree, taking this photo! I felt quite sorry for him as he was very good (he didn't have bandaged up hands!) and he was giving it his all. I'd like to think that a crowd had gathered to watch him after I'd walked on. I hope so.

Notice the heatwaves in the photo.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Marley In London

Last week Phoebe and I went to London for a couple of days. I took loads of photos and I thought I'd share a few with you to start the week.

You wait for one bus and then three turn up at once! I like this one of St Paul's Cathedral with the red buses in front.

Jellyfish at the London Aquarium. They aren't really this colour, they are lit in their tanks with constantly changing colours. Very effective.

One of the fountains in Trafalgar Square.

Old and new. The Gherkin building from the Tower Of London.

The Ravens at the Tower Of London. If you want to know more about the birds at the Tower then go here.

Big Ben and the Palace Of Westminster at sunset.

The view at night from our hotel room (it was only a Travel Lodge!) St Paul's Cathedral and Canary Wharf.

Hope you enjoyed as much as we did!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Changing View - November

Its the second of the month and its time for the third installment of my Changing View series. This month I couldn't stand in the exact same spot due to the workmen's lorry, but I'll let them off as they add some interest to the photo. You can also see the Farmers Market on the Prom, which takes place twice a month. The trees are still hanging on to their leaves, they always lose their leaves after the other trees. I suppose its due to the protection of the surrounding buildings. Next month will be a night photo and you'll see why then!

To see how the scene has changed click on 'changing view' in the labels below.

Now its awards time. Over the last few days I have been given the 'Kreativ Blogger Award' by Dusty Lens, Tanya and Jackie I've also been given the 'I Love Your Blog Award' by Ms. Hays. Many thanks to all four of you, I really appreciate it. I've decided, as there are too many fantastic blogs out there to choose from, to award it to all of regular visitors - that's you!

As part of the 'Kreativ Blogger Award' I have to list 6 things that make me happy.

Here they are -

  1. Spending time with friends and family.
  2. Travel and holidays.
  3. Television!
  4. Being part of my local Drama Group.
  5. Photography.
  6. Going out to eat.

There we are, an insight into my world!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Theme Day - Books

Here we are again, another month over. It'll soon be Christmas! Sorry. I've got to say I found this months theme tricky. I didn't want to post a photo of a pile of books, I came close but I wasn't brave enough in the bookshop to ask if they minded if I took photos! In desperation for a post I had a photo of the bookshelf in our flat in reserve! Luckily, at the last minute, I saw this in the window of Waterstones bookshop. Last weekend the clocks went back and now the nights are drawing in rapidly, its already dark by 5pm, and by December it'll be getting dark at half past three. What better reason could you want for more reading?!

There are 177 other City Daily photo Blogs taking part in this Theme Day, click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

Check back tomorrow for more from my Changing View series.
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