Saturday, 28 February 2009


Talk about the wonder of Mother Nature with a helping hand from us humans! These gerberas are stunning. What an array of colours and textures. I spotted these at a local florist shop the other day and was drawn to them immediately. I love the double orange one. Beautiful.

Don't forget tomorrow is Theme Day and this months theme is Glass. I haven't got anything to show yet so come back tomorrow to see what I can come up with!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Sky Watch Friday

February sunset.

At last its the end of another week and its Sky Watch time! I know the sun sets everyday but sometimes you don't see it, not like this anyway. Sometimes its hidden by cloud or rain. Sometimes you wouldn't even know the sun was up there in the sky. Yesterday was an overcast day but, as the daylight hours came to an end, the sun made this beautiful appearance. It was worth the wait.

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

Thursday, 26 February 2009

World Coffee Delivery

Talk about blowing your own trumpet! Costa Coffee are claiming to be saving the world. Well, sort of! I spotted this bright red delivery truck on The Prom, at first I thought it might be a Coca-Cola van and I was disappointed that it wasn't until I read the slogan. The world could do with a bit of saving!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

Another day, another closure. This was Barratts shoe shop on the High Street, and it has gone the same way as other national brands, like Woolworths and MFI. As I've said before its a sad sign of the times, and behind this now defunct brand are people who have been made redundant, debts that add to the financial crisis and another empty shop in town.

My intention has always been to use this blog as a way of recording the changes that take place in Cheltenham, to capture history as it happens, so alongside amusing window displays, macros of flowers, art and architecture I'll feature these sorry sights. A view that is being played out the world over.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Pancake Day

How could I resist this one?! Another day, another shop window. This is from one of my favourites in town, the clothes shop White Stuff. Their window displays have featured on Cheltenham DP before and included the drunken gingerbread man and the squirrel headed mannequins.

For those that don't know, or have forgotten, today is Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day. Its the day before Ash Wednesday and signifies the start of Lent. The idea is that you eat up all the things that are forbidden during the period of Lent - eggs, fat, sugar - these are made into a batter and fried into! It seems here in the UK its the one day of the year we have pancakes, unlike other countries who have them year round, like France and America. I'll be having some this evening, covered in lemon juice and sugar, very traditional!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Fair Weather

You'll probably have picked up through my blog that I have a thing for window displays. I like the thought of the creative process that goes into producing something that is so visual it stops you in your tracks. I like the fact that they convey a message, a theme or a statement in a split second. I know its all about selling but it amazes me how the people behind the scenes come up with such great ideas. Its also a bonus for me as it's a lazy post!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented while I was AWOL, its much appreciated. I'll be catching up with you all today.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Snowy Buddha

This is a secret post, posted on 14/07/09. If you find it and leave a comment you'll win a special prize! This very late post is the one day I missed in February.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Tree Trunks

I think I'll just let the photograph do the talking today. I'll just add that I love the light and shadow in this photo.

I've got a lot on this week, and its not work - its fun! Anyway, I'm scheduling posts and will comment when I can.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Blue Door

Actually its more of a blue-ish purple colour but it doesn't show up that well in this photo. The other week I showed you a Green Door that was in quite a different setting to this one. This door is the service entrance at the back of a shop in Montpellier Street. Its not a very remarkable door or, for that matter, a very remarkable photo but the pallet propped against the wall just makes it for me.

I've got a lot on this week, and its not work - its fun! Anyway, I'm scheduling posts and will comment when I can.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Spring Time

At last - Spring! This is the first blossom I've seen this year. The weather has been milder over the last few days and life is starting to creep back into the parks and gardens around town. We've had a really long and cold winter by our standards so this sight is a very welcome one. Soon the daffodils will be flowering and then spring really will have sprung.

I've got a lot on this week, and its not work - its fun! Anyway, I'm scheduling posts and will comment when I can.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Big Balls!

Now I've got your attention its time to tell you about these spheres! Actually I don't know much about them other than they mark the former entrance into Imperial Gardens. The gardens, like all of those in Cheltenham, used to be surrounded by iron railings but the railings were removed during World War Two to be melted down, to aid the war effort. Either side of these markers are stone blocks set in the ground with holes in them where the railings once were. Anyway, back to the balls. They are solid and weathered and I think they look great.

I've got a lot on this week, and its not work - its fun! Anyway, I'm scheduling posts and will comment when I can.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

My Cuddly Valentine

I completely forgot about this photo. I had it lined up for Valentines Day but it totally slipped my mind, so you get to see it now. This was the window display of the Pied Piper shop that I showed you last week. The stuffed toys looked so cute with all the hearts. Altoghter now - Ahhhh!

I've got a lot on this week, and its not work - its fun! Anyway, I'm scheduling posts and will comment when I can.

Monday, 16 February 2009

A Branch Of The Museum


I've managed to get one of my photos displayed in a museum! What do you think?

OK, its not real but it looks good, and that couple seem to be enjoying the my snow covered branches! I wasn't feeling very inspired for a post today, then I checked out Bibi's blog and my problem was solved. She had posted a similar photo, created with the help of Dumpr, the other day and I did the very original thing - I copied her! (I'm feeling lazy today, let me off.) Anyway, that's it really apart from the branches belong to the cherry tree, in front of my flat, covered in snow last week.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Two Things Challenge - Corner / Door

I was hoping to find a door on a corner but it didn't happen! Instead I've got a photo that will make you wonder what is round the corner (no, I don't know!) and below a door that will make you wonder how long did it take to carve that (my guess - a long time!)

To see what others have come up with for this weeks challenge head over to Two Things Challenge.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Red Heart

In case you've forgotten, today is Valentines Day. Its the day, if you don't do it the rest of the year, to show your special someone that you love them. I know its all commercialised but it doesn't have to be. The little things in life are romantic - a walk hand-in-hand, a look across a room full of people, laughing together, loving each other. Enjoy.

If you've got two minutes today check out these heart inspired photos at the BBC.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Sky Watch Friday

Blue and white

I haven't posted a Sky Watch photo for a while, its time to make amends for that. I really like wispy clouds in this photo and the way they contrast with the bright blue sky.

Check out other skies and join in at the Sky Watch Friday Blog.

Have a great weekend, and don't forget that tomorrow is Valentines Day - at least get a card for that special someone!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Best In the West

I've mentioned these brewery plaques in the past but never shown one. I spotted this one on a pub in town a couple of weeks a go. I have to admit I can't remember the name of the pub, and that isn't due to drink! Below is some detail on these plaques, which I took from the Gloucestershire Pubs website.

"These colourful brewery plaques are still quite a common sight in Gloucestershire and are taken very much for granted. However, they deserve far more recognition as these West Country Ales plaques are a reminder of Gloucestershire’s once proud brewing heritage.

West Country Breweries were established in 1958 when the Stroud Brewery merged with the Cheltenham Brewery. By coincidence both the Stroud Brewery and the Cheltenham Brewery first started brewing in the same year – 1760. The date is recorded in the ceramic plaques. West Country Breweries were a large regional company with tied houses
(pubs) extending into Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and parts of Wales. As a result these colourful ‘castle’ plaques can still be seen as far away as Presteigne in Wales and Marlborough in Wiltshire.

The distinctive ‘castle’ or ‘tower’ design was first used by the Cheltenham Original Brewery and ceramic brewery plaques once graced the outside of their tied houses with the words ‘Cheltenham Ales’. After the Second World War the Cheltenham Brewery acquired the Hereford and Tredegar Breweries. As a result the company changed its name to Cheltenham & Hereford Breweries and the old plaques were replaced with the new, but similar, ‘Cheltenham & Hereford Ales’ design. The old Foxhill Inn near Guiting Power still has such a plaque inlaid into the wall.

The ‘West Country Ales’ plaques were placed in pub walls from 1958 until c.1967. Whitbread took over West Country Breweries in 1963 but for a few years after the acquisition Whitbread still used the West Country Ales ‘castle’ logo. There are two sizes and some slight colour differences in the glaze."

Once I read this I decided I had a new challenge - to find one of the original Cheltenham Brewery plaques. Watch this space. Right, which pub first...

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Dragonfly Dress

Today's post is for all you wedding fans out there or for all you old romantics out there. I'm not sure that the two go hand-in-hand! Anyway, this posh wedding dress shop is in Suffolk Parade, an area of Cheltenham with an eclectic mix of independent shops, bars and cafes. The shop stocks dresses from several different British designers, with designer price tags to match!

Although I've posted the photo in black and white, with a bit of romantic haze, the colour of the shop frontage isn't that different and I thought the lack of colour focused the photo, if you know what I mean! Not much more to say other than if any of you ladies out there are planning your nuptials the Dragonfly website is here.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Skater Boy

Fakie, Heel Edge, Nollie, Primo. Mean anything to you? No, me neither! Apparently they are all terms used in skateboarding. For all I know this group of lads could be performing each and everyone of them! I spotted them honing their skills in Montpellier Gardens. The gardens have a skateboard park but these four were practising on the flat area in front of the cafe, it may have had something to do with a large group of older kids using the skating equipment, I guess they were waiting their turn.

Have we got any skateboard demons in our midsts?!

Monday, 9 February 2009

A Rats Tale

This friendly little chap makes up part of the art work on the outside of The Pied Piper shop in Montpellier. The shop sells collectable teddy bears, dolls, dollhouses and all things soft and cuddly. The full shop front is below.

I decided that I would look into the story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin to accompany today's post and I have to say it is a disturbing tale. I must have read the Ladybird version when I was younger, as the true story is far from a fairy tale. Basically the town of Hamelin was over-run with rats and the townsfolk called upon the Pied Piper, who had suddenly appeared within their community, to rid them of the infestation. The residents agreed to pay the piper if he could do the job. As we all know - the piper piped, the rats followed, he led them to the river and they all drowned. The towns people wouldn't pay the piper so, while they were in church, he piped again and this time the children of Hamelin followed. The Pied Piper led 130 boys and girls to a cave and they were never seen again. The version I know is that two children, one lame and one deaf, remained in the town and told the adults of the other childrens abduction. The parents paid the piper and the children were freed.

In reality the children were never seen again. It is believed that they were either killed in a landslide, that they left on a religious pilgrimage, that they were drowned in the river or worst of all, the mysterious piper killed and dismembered them. The story dates from the 14th Century and over time has changed many times. I guess we'll never really know what happened but it was no fairy tale ending.

If you have some time and want to read a version of the story by Robert Browning, published in 1842, here it is.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Two Things Challenge - Hot / Cold

Its Sunday, in case you didn't know(!), and its time for Two Things Challenge. My photos today are of the same place in Cheltenham - the Long Gardens in front of the Municipal Offices. The first one shows some red hot tulips which were in full flower last spring. And the second one shows a wider view of the gardens covered in cold snow, which has been the case all week.

If you want to join in with the Two Things Challenge, or to see what other people have come up with this week, head over here.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Snow Day

Yes, we've had more snow! Yesterday there was a bonus though, my boss phoned in the morning and told me not to worry about coming in to work - I had a snow day! As some of you know I work on Sundays and I have Saturdays and Mondays off, so for once I've got two days off in a row. Instead of braving the elements to take some snowy photos I decided to use my bonus day to do something that I've been wanting to sort out since the end of last year - I set up the Cheltenham Daily Photo Shop. I've not put many photos on yet but, as time goes by, I'll add more, and if there is anything you would like to see, either product or photo, let me know. Check it out in the side bar.

Today's photo shows the fields across from where I work and was taken on Thursday. More snow still to come.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Dragon Lamp

Would you fancy a front door lamp like this? I know its a bit ostentatious but it would certainly be a talking point! This dragon lamp is one of a pair that are either side of the entrance to the Thai Emerald restaurant. The eatery produces the best Thai and oriental food for miles around (in my opinion.) They have a wide menu and, if you can't chose what to eat, they offer a buffet style menu with a vast range of dish brought to your table - a great way to try a bit of everything!

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Green Door

Hidden amongst the undergrowth, on the edge of Montpellier Gardens, are a row of mysterious doors. They are the rear gates to the town houses that back on to the park. All are helping to hold up the Victorian red brick wall and keep the privacy of the residents. Some are covered in ivy and unruly shrubs and desperate for a lick of paint, while others are newly painted like this one. I suppose it must be nice to have a secret door at the end of your garden that opens into Montpellier Gardens - an extension of your outdoor space.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Black And White And Red

Here is another snowy scene from the Prom. As you can see, I've played about with the photo a bit and I am very pleased with the result! Modesty is my middle name! Not much more to say, apart from we are due more snow overnight and tomorrow. Winter isn't done yet!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Tunnel Vision

If you saw my update on yesterdays post then you'll know it snowed. Here in Cheltenham we had a couple of inches, which was nothing compared to the South East of the UK, especially London which saw about a foot of snow and brought the capital to a grinding halt. Actually most of the country ground to a halt. It was a snow day!

I made the effort yesterday to head into town to take some more snowy photos. We don't often get snow in Cheltenham and we've had snow twice this year, which is nice. I wanted to capture the scene in the Prom, as I might use the images for Christmas cards this year - always think ahead!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Changing View - February

It's the second day of the month and its time for the sixth installment of Changing View. Well, as you can see, not a lot has changed since last month! That's winter for you! All I can really say is that I like the colour in the sky, behind the trees. Since last month one thing that has changed is that some of you have joined in with this idea and that is brilliant. I only started this series to record the changing seasons, so it is an added bonus that some of you have felt inspired to have a go too.


The photo above was taken on Saturday but overnight, and as I write this, it snowed. So, as I'm a dedicated photo blogger, I braved the elements his morning and took the photo below. What a difference a day makes.

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

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Theme Day - Paths And Passages

Yes, its the first of the month again and that means its Theme Day across the CDP Blog community. This is one of the paths off of the Lower High Street leading to St Marys Church, which is the parish church of Cheltenham. If you want to know more about the church scroll down to my squirrel post the other day and follow the link. There isn't much more to say other than I liked the light and shadows in this photo. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

Make sure you come back tomorrow to see the next installment in my Changing View series.
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