Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Pink Elephants

Its New Years Eve and as we head, inebriated, towards the midnight hour we may well end the year seeing pink elephants! If you want to encourage your New Year party guest to see pink elephants then get a few glasses of Pink Elephant cocktail down their necks! All you need to make the cocktail is vodka, grenadine, galliano and orange juice. I'm not sure of the quantities, just have fun experimenting! The pink elephants in the photo were on a post in a multi-storey car park, it makes a nice change from numbering the levels. Other floors were yellow camel, red parrot, and black & white panda (obviously).

Whatever you are doing to see in 2009 have a great time. Don't forget tomorrow is City Daily Photo Blogs Theme Day - Best Photo Of The Year 2008. If you signed up, join in! Post before you start seeing pink elephants!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Bargains Galore!

Reduced, discount, bargains, half price, clearance - it all means the same. SALE! The winter sales used to start in January but more recently they've started on Boxing Day. This year the stores were slashing prices long before Christmas. All the shops were desperate to get every penny they could before the festivities and they did all they could to get the shoppers through the door. The best I saw was 70% off, who knows what they came up with for the post Christmas sale - paying you to take it away?! I guess it's a sign of the times, every penny counts. This week more High Street names have announced that they have gone into liquidation. Unfortunately, I think that it'll be common place to see more closures in the next year.

The answer to yesterday's mind play photo - It was a reflection and I posted the photo upside down. Well done to everyone that spotted it.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Mind Play

Cheltenham DP is back after a little break for the festivities. I hope you all had a great Christmas, I did, and I hope Santa brought you everything that you wanted. Its a bit of a struggle getting back into the routine of life after all the fun of Christmas. I'm back at work tomorrow and then we get a day off for New Year. All this partying is taking its toll!

I thought I'd test you all with today's photo, to help get your Christmas addled brains back into gear. Who can spot what is going on in this shot?

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Well, it's finally here. Tomorrow is Christmas Day! Today I thought I'd share with you another photo of the Municipal Offices, all lit up for Christmas. I have bemoaned the lack of festive lights in Cheltenham this year but the Council building really does look lovely.

I'm taking a few days off from blogging (I think we all need a break!) but I'll be back next week. I'm working all day today, this evening I'm off to the pub for a festive tipple, and I may not get round to visiting you all, so I'll just take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy and peaceful Christmas. I hope it brings you everything you wished for. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas Sparkle

Just a quick one today. Here are some sparkly baubles that are in sparkly bowl on our kitchen table (that isn't sparkly!) I though this photo might help spread the Christmas cheer.

Dusty Lens kindly passed this award onto me (thank you!) and now I'm passing it on to the following 8 blogs -

Terrell Texas Daily Photo
Around Roanoke
Knoxville Daily photo
My Manila
One A Day - Mostly Seattle
Birmingham, Alabama Daily Photo
Miss B In NYC
Fresh Eyes On London

I know that not everyone likes passing awards on, and that's fine. I'm not going to go around announcing I awarded it to you, if you stop by and discover it then it'll be a nice surprise!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Christmas Blues

As many of you may know the chain store Woolworths has gone into administration, one of the latest victims of the credit crunch. The store has been on High Streets up and down the country for nearly a century, after coming to us from America. It was the place to get those things that weren't in every shop - "try Woolies." Unfortunately shops like Pound Land and Wilkos did it better and cheaper, and Woolies just couldn't compete. By January 5th all of its 815 stores will be closed and the 27,000 employees will be out of work. Not the best Christmas for them.

Sorry for my absence - I've been struck down with the Flu. Feeling better but not 100% yet.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Winter Branches

Its Friday and its Sky Watch time! All the trees look like this now, as the longest day of the year approaches and so does Christmas. Not long to go now. I've sent out the cards, wrapped most of the presents, all that's left to do is buy the booze! After all that is what Christmas is about! How are your Christmas preparations going?

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

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Pampered Pooch

Sometimes being stuck in traffic pays off. It gives you a great photo opportunity! I was stuck behind this van on the one-way system around town on Monday and it got me thinking. What on earth is a dog Hydro Bath?! What is Turbo Drying?! Why do fleas need a rinse?! Why does it need to be a 'heated mobile dog grooming parlour'?! Do they have a radiator in there?! All these questions remain unanswered, unless I get a dog and give Dial-A-Dog-Wash a call! Has anyone out there used one of these mobile dog washers? For their dog, obviously.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Bird Box Bling

Is this the next version of MTV Cribs? Bird Box Bling?! I think its a catchy title for a TV programme, probably only suitable for bird brains though (groan). Anyway, this caught my eye in the window of Accessorize on the Prom. I know I post quite a few photos of shop windows but I like them, hopefully you do too!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


OK, I admit, its hardly a scene from the film Back Draft but it was a bit of excitement, and I had my camera with me! No, its not one of those shops on fire. It was the bin! I was in a shop on the High Street and this panic stricken man came running in, wanting to know the name of the street so that he could phone the Fire Brigade. As I left the store, expecting to see the towering inferno, I was greeted by the sight of a few wisps of smoke coming out the waste bin. I guess that someone had dropped a cigarette in it. I hung around waiting for the Fire Brigade to arrive, camera in hand. I'm sure people thought I was some kind of arsonist, waiting to see the result of my crime. It wasn't me Gov'! Honest!


Monday, 15 December 2008

O Christmas Tree

You may remember I said about the lack of Christmas lights in Cheltenham, well the Council have at least got it right at the Municipal Offices. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it being the councillors work place! Anyway, it does look good. The Municipal Offices has had Christmas trees on its balcony at this time of year for as long as I can remember. It brings back childhood memories of going to see the lights being switched on and the times that we couldn't go my mum would take us in the car for a drive round town to see all the twinkling lights. What are your childhood Christmas memories?

Sunday, 14 December 2008


The title today says it all really. Although Cheltenham is a lovely place with posh shops and Regency architecture it does have a few rough areas. This graffiti covered underpass is an example of what is common in most towns and cities. I think it adds to the feel of a place and keeps it real. That's today's message. Keep it real.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Twinkle Twinkle

Some of you may say that this photo is blurred, but I say its soft focus! Everything looks so bright, colourful and festive at the moment - shops, houses, windows, trees - its lovely. These are the lights in the Beechwood Arcade. Yes, I took the risk of being told off by that security guard again. Luckily he was nowhere to be seen. Probably stuffing his face with mince pies. Anyway, the photo looked clear on the camera screen but on the computer it was a different story. I still thought it was worth posting though.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Seeing Double

One of the swans on Pitville Lake. As you can see from another park photo, Christmas and life have got in the way of new photographs.

Although I love the festive season I'll be glad when things get back to normal. One good thing - I've nearly finished my Christmas shopping. Only a few things left to get, to then give to Santa, for him to put into Phoebe's stocking! I have still got Christmas cards to write and post, but I'll do that at the weekend. Best thing about Christmas? The works party! And that's tonight! Ours is at a hotel close by, so I can walk home and no need for a taxi - more money for drink! The downside is going to work tomorrow with a hangover, but we'll all be in the same boat. I guess Friday will be a-go-slow day!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

All White

I had this photo all lined up for the other day and then Lynn at the other Cheltenham Daily Photo got there first! This is The White Company shop on the Prom a few nights ago. The store was closed, there was nobody working inside yet the place was all lit up like a big white (shop-like) Christmas tree! I can understand the need for a few lights being left on for security, but why the whole place a glow?! Anyway, as you can see, the place lives up to its name - all white.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Golden Globe

Yes, I have been using the focal black and white feature again! There are some photos that just cry out for it, and this was one! This spinning golden globe in the window of SPACE.NK.apothecary, on the Prom, really caught my eye. Basically its what I would call a 'smellies' shop! They sell beauty products and have stores all over the country. I think its safe to say, from looking at their website, that they are quite expensive. So if you've got money to burn, and are looking for an extra special Christmas present, then this is the place for you.

Don't hold your breath Phoebe. Its Wilko's for you!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Light & Shade

I really like this photo, its simple and yet effective. Its another photo from Pitville Park. I hope your not getting bored of these park photos. I need to get myself motivated to get some more varied photos. I find I'm slipping into a rut again, I think its due to the run up to Christmas. The days seem to be flying by and there are lots of things to do and to sort out on my days off. Anyway, enjoy this photo and I'll do the worrying!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Big Baubles

These giant baubles were at the new Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol. I went there a couple of weeks ago, to be honest I won't be bothering to go again - no shops that stood out for me, only the usual high street stores. Anyway, these baubles were about six feet tall and they were stacked up in a pyramid that must have been about eighteen feet high! Imagine the size of the Christmas tree you'd need to hang them on?! It was a pretty impressive Christmas feature, although I'm not sure what those jets of water were all about!

The photo was taken on my camera phone, so its a bit rough looking.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Two Moorhens

Another photo from Pitville Park. These two are just a couple of the many moorhens that can be found around the lake. The habitat there is ideal for them - water, long grass and reeds, and plenty of insects, snails and seeds for them to eat. According to the RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) website there are an estimated 270,000 breeding pairs in the UK. These breeding pairs are resident birds and they seldom travel far, so once you've got a pair they stick around!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Pastel Sky

As I said a few weeks ago the winter months seem to have some of the best coloured skies, from bright oranges to delicate violets. This is a view across the fields towards Chosen Hill, you can just make out St Bartholomews Church on top of the hill.

To see the sky all over the world, or to take part, head over to the Sky Watch Friday Blog.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Raising The Roof

Now I know what you're all thinking. That I'm obsessed with the renovation of the Regent Arcade shopping centre. Well, its not so much obsession as overly interested! Anyway, those that have been following Cheltenham DP know that the Regent Arcade is undergoing a makeover and that the arched roof is being removed and is being replaced with a flat glass one. After weeks of scaffolding the old roof has started to vanish. This photo was taken on the top of the car park, through the safety fencing, and four storeys below those open arches is the Arcade! To stop the shoppers getting wet there is a temporary roof made from planks of wood and lots of plastic sheeting! To see the roof as it was go here.

I'll keep you posted with the work, whether you like it or not!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


These are the columns around the Pitville Pump Room, which over looks the park of the same name. The winter sun lit the building beautifully the other day. That's it for today, I think the photos say it all.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Changing View - December

Its the second of the month and its time for the fourth installment of my Changing View series. Today you get the excitement of two photos for the price of one! I was hoping to have a lovely night shot showing the Prom all lit up with Christmas lights, but the Council being the Council haven't bothered to get them all working. The end result is that a third of Cheltenham's Christmas lights aren't lit. Talk about getting into the festive spirit and encouraging shoppers to the town during these difficult times!

The second photo show the familiar scene yesterday afternoon. As you can see all of the leaves have fallen from the trees and winter has taken hold.

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

Monday, 1 December 2008

Theme Day - Circles & Spheres

Its Theme Day time again and what better way to start the week than with a bit of sparkle! I think today's theme is one of the broadest subjects we've had for ages and I found there were loads of things to choose from. In the end I settled for this mirror ball in a shop window. Not only are there reflections in the ball but also the sphere is reflected in the mirrored backdrop. If we have the theme 'Reflections' in the future I could use this one again!

There are another 186 City Daily Photo Blogs taking part in this theme. Take some time out today to see how others have interpreted Circles & Spheres. Click here to view thumbnails for all of the participants.

Check back tomorrow for more of my Changing View series.

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!
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