(not very) centred

Apparently today is World Oceans Day, in honour of which, I have spent a stupidly long time researching things online. I started with the innocent question “How far am I from the sea?” and then fell down the rabbit hole of “What’s the centre of England?

The answer to the latter question is by no means clear cut: according to the Wikipedia page on centre points of the UK, depending on the calculation method used, and on how much of Great Britain or the UK is included, you can even find a centre that is in the middle of Morecombe Bay. That would be a centroid point, the calculation of which is described by Rob Andrews from the Ordnance Survey in a BBC article as: “If you imagine cutting out the whole of the UK with a giant pair of scissors and balancing it on a church spire, it’s the balancing point.”
Continue reading “(not very) centred”

predictable

The problem with taking pictures of plants is that they tend to be the same ones every year. Especially as we are creatures of habit and we take the same routes to and from the same places on a regular basis.

But even though I see these yellow fields from the train window in spring and early summer every year, as I travel from Gloucester towards south Wales, they never cease to impress. So here they are again.

Yellow field. Rapeseed flowers. Canola

At least I suppose the light reflections and the stains on the train windows are probably different each year.

sunrise; sunset

In fact, I suppose the title should be sunset; sunrise, as the only sunset here is the very first image (above).

As for the four photos below, well, I think the phrase I’m looking for is, “one of these things is not like the others.”

They are certainly all magnificent sunrises: and I’m pretty sure they were all taken in February, although not all this year.
Continue reading “sunrise; sunset”

they paved paradise

Years ago, I worked for around six months in the centre of Birmingham, somewhere in the shadow of the old Nat West Tower and directly opposite the – then brand new – Copthorne Hotel.

Returning to the area a few years ago, I couldn’t find any way to reconcile my memories with the reality: – the development and construction work in the city centre has been tremendous and the landscape has changed both along the skyline and at ground level.
Continue reading “they paved paradise”

train of thought

Trains were a major feature of my childhood. I don’t know how many times I’d actually been on a train before my first birthday, but I do know that I had already travelled from the south east of England all the way to the Highlands, a journey that, even today, would be likely to take the best part of a day.

Even when we returned to live in the south a few years later we didn’t own a car so my father commuted to London by train and underground each day, and any holiday we took tended to feature traditional black cabs and card games played in waiting rooms at railway junctions.
Continue reading “train of thought”

please give up your seat

Years ago, before every house had a computer and every child a smartphone, a friend told me he would have none of this modern technology because keeping icons on his desktop smacked of Papism and idolatry.

He may well still have the same objection, but, with so much information intended for an international audience, it’s frequently more efficient to use pictures than words, and communication using symbols and pictograms has become ubiquitous.
Continue reading “please give up your seat”

horizontal thoughts

I mentioned yesterday that I recently spent an evening sitting on a fire escape and thinking as the sun went down.

It had been a long, ridiculously hot, day and it was a relief to know that I didn’t have to walk any farther or do anything else until the next morning. The top step was quite a good vantage point and I gazed out over the town.
Continue reading “horizontal thoughts”