Walking for talk’s sake…

There’s more too it than you think and less than you might sometimes expect. That’s the sort of nonsense I talk after a good walk, that’s ended at a pub. Anyhow, my chum Robin, chose to chauffeur me out to a place I’ve never been before, the Cheltenham Canal. Apart from the pleasure of the drive in his spectacular vehicle with buttons for everything, we had a brilliant sunny day and a good walk to look forward to.

robinb

Robinus Burtonicus in it’s natural habitat.


 

It’s a fact that if one earns one’s living in a career where most of the time you sit behind a desk and listen to nothing much more than Radio 4 and your own record collection for company then there is a tendency when let out to talk too much. I was once described as ‘garrulous’ in a school report and asked the teacher what it meant, he simply said ” You talk too much Davies”. He was a religious education teacher and I’d have thought he could have been a tad more Christian about it. I was not particularly wounded by his comment, as it was plainly true. The Games master’s report for PE was something that did hurt when describing my athletic prowess in gymnastics: “Tries hard, fails miserably”. Anyway, as someone who talks too much I’m typically going off the point.

Suffice to say that Robin and I had chosen a golden day to visit the area. In the distance the Malvern Hills were as clear as crystal, May Hill in the other direction looked closer than it was from us, and the light on the fields and water was simply golden.

malverns

There be yonder Malvern Hills


Sodden underfoot from a lot of rain that we’ve had recently, it was a great day to get out and chatter. I was able to recycle stories of hearing a sedge warbler on a similar visit further down the Severn Estuary and mistaking it for an HP Deskjet Printer re-charging with expensive ink, whilst Robin patiently listened to me like a kindly doctor.
Is that a Sedge Warbler or what?

There was much dancing from clump to clump of slightly dryer grasses to reach bird hides to view loads of ducks and other such birds peacefully going about their business.Trouser leg bottoms were beginning to act like a fairly sodden wick and rising damp was likely to become and issue.

The Fulcrum of the walk was the pub at Wainlodes, which Robin, who’s something of an expert on local folk history, gave me the true meaning of the name, whilst I just thought that Wayne Loades was a fork lift truck driver. I’ve had a bit of a thing about unusual names recently.

It was the Red Lion at Waindlodes that was our target and well worth the walk. The food was excellent and the service great too. If you feel like a good walk and some great food and beer, I’d certainly recommend this place The Red Lion

forkinglifters

Wayne?


 

Striding across fields we came across this fine set of potential cricket bats. How do they make willow into such things? Who thought that might be a good idea in the first place.

willows

Perhaps being cricketers they were expecting rain and knew that willow was a good plant for damp areas. I’m sure if there’s a folk song about it Robin will either find out about it or already know it and belt it out right there and then. He is, after all, a quarter of the Gloucester Diamonds folk ensemble and is naturally good at belting out a song. He sang a couple on the way back in the motor and it was quite unlike a computer printer charging up, or even a Sedge Warbler. Good day, good talk, good food, try it yourself when we next get a sunny day.

The Gloucester Diamonds Facebook Page

 

 

 

 

” That’s the sound of the man working…

 

…on the Chain Gang.

I’ve been reviewing, it’s that time of year. I took this bit of video in Gloucester where they repair and refurbish boats and ships some time ago. This one is a fine tall ship. I was struck by the fact that these guys were chipping away at a chain! How much more interesting if they’d got a bit more of a rhythm to it. Perhaps they could have done it to the sound of the Chain Gang as sung by the great Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke

. I think the ship is called the Kaskelot, and it’s worth looking at the site from the link below. Re-caulking is what the chap by the ship is doing, that is hammering in bits of rope that are in between the boards that make the hull, there’s much more information on the link that will give all the interesting details about how it was all done.

There’s more information right here: The Kaskelot

As you can see I’m trying my hand a little videos, I hope you enjoy them.

Adult cereal and leg of salmon.

Meandering into the Northgate branch of Gloucester’s Sainsbury some years ago, this friendly supermarket unlike it’s big faceless brother on the other side of town, catered for the city centre folk. Not exactly ‘trolley full big spenders’ but loyal nevertheless.

It was obvious from the quaver in her voice that this was Tracie’s first ‘go’ on the tannoy to announce the deal of the day. She was approaching it with all the trepidation of an ‘x’ factor finalist. Speaking to her mum that morning she said she was a little nervous, more accurately she said ” Oooer Mam am bricking it!” “Oh you’ll be alright our Trace “, her Mum said back reassuring the poor thing by saying ” no one listens to that stuff anyway”.

You could hear her breathing before her first big lines, supplied no doubt by the manager with a sly wink at his colleagues he handed the script to Trace and said, as if the script was perfectly normal: Don’t forget the bit about “Thank you for shopping at Sainsbury”

Going for it big time the announcement commenced, Trace’s voice was perfectly modulated until the last three words of the main script:

“Today’s special offer is Leg of Salmon”

and then, with some off mike sounds in the background and barely a whisper ” Thank you for shopping at Sainsbriz”

Leg of Salmon was delivered with just a little lack of confidence. I noticed it and burst out laughing. No one else really took it in, some of Gloucester’s population may well be under the misapprehension that leg of salmon exists, but the manager and script writer were perfectly aware of what they’d done to the script. As he passed me with a broad grin on his face I asked him if he could direct me to the salmon in question. ” It’ll make a change from browsing through the adult cereal ” I told him. ” Did you find anything ‘special’?” he asked me still sniggering.

“Well nothing as special as leg of salmon” I replied.

adult-cereal

This is a true story, just some names have been changed to protect the innocent.

What is it about masons?

 


A trip to the Mason’s yard at Gloucester Cathedral. I have a friend at the Cathedral who said she would help me out getting a small sculpture repaired for me. I wanted to match the stone and make the repair myself and asked if I could have a little stone dust to match the colour when I make the repair. She was happy to oblige and off I went with the wingtip in my bag. The sculpture was of a bird and it’s wing the victim of the gust of wind.

I’ve been to this place before and it fascinates me. There’s something very calm about the place and the masons themselves exude this calm too. Perhaps it’s a result of working to reasonable deadlines, after all you can’t re-craft the pinnacle of a Cathedral in a weekend. Ollie, the guy giving me the advice there on how to repair my modest piece went through everything in details about the glue and the hardener, then paused, looked me straight in the eye and detected that I would not be approaching this repair with the calm and expertise that he has, and offered to do it for me. Brilliant chap. They also let me take a few photographs in the place, and here I came across these bits and bobs.

Everything, but everything is covered in stone dust, mason’s included.If you ever get the chance , they do have ‘Open Days” every now and again, don’t miss it. I’m in awe of the skills that these guys possess in bucket loads.

glosmasons1

This chap is a clay model of a gargoyle at Gloucester Cathedral which is now in situ on the edge of the roof. Go and take a look at it, but take a pair of binoculars as it is up very high.

Don’t look up in the rain as you’ll get an eyeful from his mouth


glosmasons4

In the background it looks like a photo of previous masons and their apprentices,
they seem to be working in a tin shed! They don’t now.


glosmasons2

Another quite small plaster model which was attached to the wall,
I think these guys have a bit of a sense of humour.

For more information take a look here:
Gloucester Cathedral

Amberley

Amberley

The way an old gardener walks with head facing downwards looking for weeds. An orginal garden gait.glossaryamberley329


 

Amberley is in actual fact a small village between Stroud and Nailsworth and is on the side of the hill, the sunny side at that. It’s very ‘sought-after’ these days in estate agent speak, which to you and me is expensive. There may well be gardeners in the area.

Bibury, how the Japanese avoid it.

glossarybibury331

Bibury

The walk of a tourist who does not undertsand what he/she should be doing, or seeing, or indeed why they are where they are at all. Involves walking slowly in one direction and then in another random direction, even the person doing the walking does not understand exactly why or in which direction they might be going. The presence of vehicles makes this a dangerous activity and can result in a split bibury which is where the group is bisected by traffic and can induce panic amongst the assembly.  It’s all a sorry sight. Pity them. Common in the Cotswolds.

Japanese avoid this by having someone with a flag leading them which is somewhat sinister. Anyone leading with a flag is sinister don’t you think?


Continuing my theme of true meanings of Gloucestershire place names this is one I have witnessed in many parts of the Cotswolds. Bibury is in fact one of the county’s prettiest villages and attracts many tourists, shame that the spellchecker turns it into bribery.

My book on the subject is in the final stages and I’ll let you know when completed so that you can fund my pathetic lifestyle.

Matson, a fine view of Painswick


Dear old Matson is just on the edge of Gloucester and has a fine view of the Painswick hills, it has a reputation as a tough area but it also has a strong community spirit. I had a good friend who used to live there and he loved it. This is another in my series of the real meaning of Gloucestershire place names which I’m hoping to make into a very small book entitled “Glossary: the real meaning of Gloucestershire place names”. Available quite soon which you’ll be able to purchase for a very small amount.


Matsonv2

Matson

Poor carpentry/DIY

One of those jobs done in a house where you wondered why they ever started, like a mini bar in the corner of a lounge made from stone cladding to match the outside of the house, and with a dark wooden shelf. None of the cupboard doors open properly and if they did would reveal a bottle of sweet sherry from 1968 and another bottle that appears of unknown origin containing a vivid green liquid that has shells stuck to the outside. The label of the latter is unreadable but is probably Spanish as there are plastic castanets stuck to the bottle neck.You’d be wise not to drink it, even when someone bets you a lot of money that you can’t.

Maisemore

maisemorev3

Maisemore

A daisy chain worn and made by small girls that they make on bright blue summer days for each other. Boys are naturally excluded from this activity. Mothers marvel at their offspring’s dexterity to make them when normally at home they can barely get food into their mouths or tie a shoelace. They forgive them everything as they exclaim: “ Oh look, she’s made a maismore”


Maisemore is actually on the edge of the City of Gloucester and is a relatively small village close to the River Severn. It’s prone to flooding, but I’m sure there are a fine supply of daisies in the area.

More about the true meaning of Gloucestershire names

Hucclecotev2

Hucclecote

One of those parkas your dad or granddad used to own in the seventies that you never bothered to throw away. The undefined fur on the collar is somewhat perished and moth eaten. It has no waterproofing qualities at all and never did, and if mistakenly worn in wet conditions will act like blotting paper.

May have the slight smell of patchouli oil, the rennants of a visit to a music festival but more likely to give off the odour of cow manure.


Here’s another of my recent drawings for my little book of Gloucestershire names and their true meaning. I’m working on the book but it’s a bit behind schedule at present. It’s typical of those projects of one’s own where one agonises on what it should look like instead of just doing it.

More to come.

Tibberton

Here’s today’s almost finished rough. I’m working on a little book of place names and their meaning. ( I’ve made them all up of course ) Tibberton is a small village on the outskirts of Gloucester going west, but I describe it thus:

Tibberton

Tibberton

The way a female Tuffley walks after a night out on the Abbeymead. The heels of her shoes clatter on a wet pavement, generally accompanied by some choice language like: ” It wos you wot sed these shoes were ok Dawn but they’s crap, oh bugger av just lost me cheps” which loosely translated means ” this footwear came highly recommended by you Dawn, but cannot stand up to the rigours of a night out in Gloucester, oh dear I seem to have dropped my french fried potatoes”

Interestingly spellchecker on here sees Tibberton as Tibet. I’m hoping my little book will be ready for Christmas, this year.