(-k) February 2021

1 February

Page Started

This morning was quite miserable and also rather frustrating. Not only was there a roadworks at the Somerford Roundabout, but I was surprised to then discover another at the Stony Lane roundabout. As you can see from the picture below, the traffic was very busy and frequently stationary.

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There was evidence of the recent heavy rain – look in the background.

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Finally, it was interesting to witness the relationship between these swans and their smaller compatriots.

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2 February

Oh! I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside …

I’m sure there has been worse, but this morning the sea was quite turbulent. The image below shows a grandmother watching and filming her not-at-school granddaughter enjoying the waves. Click to see a video of them enjoying the experience (opens in a new window), and you even see two typical adult walkers pass, taking their permitted exercise.

There has been some discussion about taking pictures when going out for exercise. Apparently it is fine, but using a tripod is definitely not allowed. That’s my excuse for the shakiness, anyway!

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3 February

Captain Sir Tom Moore

It was a sad day yesterday when Sir Tom died at the age of 100. He had become a much-loved figure, and also raised £33m for the NHS by walking laps of his garden. He had a full life, serving with distinction in the army, but even before that he had won trophies in motorcycle races. There is a lot of information in Wikipedia (opens in a new window).

There has been worldwide appreciation for all that he has done – last night the White House even expressed their condolences.

Bob Hancock also showed his appreciation in his garden in Somerford. Today sympathy and appreciation were expressed with flowers. Slide to see before and after images.

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5 February

Good Weather in Christchurch

You wouldn’t believe it was February! A lovely sunny morning in Christchurch, a clear, clean day. Even in the distance it looked fantastic.

Click for a much larger version, in a new window.

There are five pictures in the slideshow below. They show the life beyond the bridge: Christchurch was quite busy today.

  • The first picture was taken outside the Council Offices on Bridge Street. There was a blacked-out bus and a nice lady told me that they were covid testing for council employees. That seems fair enough, they will have much often-unprotected contact with the public.
  • The second one shows Christchurch Castle at the back, the Constable’s House on the right, and the Bowling Green in between! Glorious sunshine.
  • Time for a mid-morning snack.
  • The ever-present, ever-hungry birds.
  • Finally, the saxophonist was enjoying her busking once more. She was good, and some people were dancing, no doubt delighting in a sign of normality.

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9 February

Snow – Yes, Really

It’s not exactly the Arctic or the Himalayas, and there are no ten-foot drifts, but there was a slight sprinkling this morning. Very unusual for Highcliffe!

Unfortunately my expeditions into the locality are no longer possible for a few days, as I am self-isolating, so this update is necessarily restricted.

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13 February

A Very Serious Warning

Yesterday I remarked that I had read a worrying report about the danger of birds and other animals becoming tangled in face masks. It can even be fatal, as the sad picture below shows.

I have not been able to find the report I read yesterday. However, searching the web, you can find many references to the issue. Click the screenshots below to see information from the organisations. All will open in a new window.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Evening Standard
To conclude: Always cut or break the straps before disposal, even in the bin.

14 February

Valentine’s Day, but a Dull One

The weather today was inauspicious, so a gentle walk down to Highcliffe Castle seemed in order. I had dug out my old fisheye lens, which rarely gets an airing, and got a few shots. The final one in the gallery below is of a hammock in the trees. I hadn’t noticed this before, but a passing young couple told me that there is another one. They told me where it was, but its discovery will have to wait.

I had intended to walk back along the beach but even before I reached the zig-zag path the rain started with a vengeance. So it was home via Lymington Road as quickly as possible.

Note – if you want even bigger in the gallery, remember View Full Size, bottom right.

7pm: Although I don’t like too much manipulation of photographs, I had a go at the sky replacement tool in Photoshop CC. Must say, I am impressed with the results, though it is cheating. It finds the sky and replaces it very effectively, bearing in mind buildings, trees, etc. I won’t use this, though I confess I did remove a small piece of litter from the gravel path – that, I think is acceptable manipulation. See the slideshow below. The first picture is the original image, the other five have smart new skies!

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16 February


No time for an up-to-date update today, so instead here are two fisheye pictures of yesterday’s very quiet market day. Better late than never – perhaps! Click for larger images, back to return.

It’s all happening in Christchurch!
The Priory, and Remembrance wreaths and crosses

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20 February

Sports’ Club Sold!

It should not be a problem, however. The Echo reported that East Christchurch Sports & Social Club has been sold for £370m. Though I have never actually been in, and am not even a member, I often enjoyed seeing football matches being played (in easier, covid-free days) as I walked past towards Sainsbury’s.

So I was concerned, and after searching online for the club, found this on their Facebook page, written before the decision.

‘Business not affected’, which is in line with the advice we have been given. To hopefully allay any fears, we have 7+ years left on our existing lease, so as and when the Government allows it will be “business as normal” (if we can remember what normal was!). We are in a financially secure position, with all our staff retained and on Furlough, so rest assured we will be opening the doors just as soon as we can.’

It will be good to see all the activity again when the pandemic restrictions begin to ease.

Note that the picture above was from The Echo. I messed around with it a little, and will replace it tomorrow!

21 February: Picture removed and the gallery below added, complete with one exceptionally amusing caption! They were taken this morning. Click to see. Remember View Full Size, bottom right of each picture.

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22 February

The End is (Almost) In Sight

Today the Prime Minister spoke in Parliament to describe the path to increasing our freedom and opportunity – easing the lockdown, a lockdown which has been difficult for so many. It is good now that there is the possibility of some optimism, though great care must still be taken. The last thing anyone wants is a return to total lockdown.

The path is shown below. This is taken from the Daily Mail (where else!) and clicking the image will take you to the article.

To remind you of what life used to be like (and will be again) click the image below, from Stompin’ on the Quomps in August 2019.

Check the events index to see other local happenings since 2017.

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24 February

No Excitement This Morning

I thought there would be, however. First I had taken this picture of The Priory with the fisheye lens. I always thought it a pleasant scene, particularly with the silent soldier in the foreground. Sadly, I have never been able to avoid intrusive backgrounds, including parts of cars, but it’s still a nice picture.

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Then it was on to the Quay. What was happening there? There were fire appliances and firemen (they were all men this time), and themselves and their equipment were taped off to keep away intrusive onlookers such as myself.

Unfazed, I asked them what they were doing. I was told, smilingly, that they were practising using pumps and ancillary equipment, Would they do anything exciting? I was told not, so I happily took a few maybe not so dull pictures of them at work. In each case, click for larger (View full size then bottom right.

Who’s that weird photographer?
What they are fitting together. Rather hefty

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27 February

Two Things Not To Do!

This is looking into the past, a little. Yesterday while queuing at NatWest in Christchurch (it was quite a long queue) a traffic warden came along. As a driver was parked in a disabled space, the warden watched for a few seconds and began to write out a ticket. The lady came out of the bank, rushed over to her car, and said that the bank had been five minutes late opening.

That was perhaps true, but it was irrelevant. You should not park in a disabled space even for a few minutes unless you have a disabled badge. The picture below shows the warden about to pounce. I did not photograph the conclusion to this, to spare embarrassment.

Interestingly, two other cars parked there for a couple of minutes, but the warden had gone!

Man waiting for bank watching warden writing a ticket. Click for larger.

The second warning is about the tip at Christchurch. It currently closes at 4pm. However, they have to get the vehicles out by that time, so entry is not allowed for a few minutes before then.

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28 February

It’s Summer February

It really is the last day of February. As you can see, Mudeford Quay was getting busy, and people were commenting on how great the weather was. Smiles all round.

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