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Wednesday, 13 December 2006
On Godstone Green

Godstone pond

This is Godstone Pond, on the Green in Godstone, Surrey.  I mentioned the other day that Godstone is the crime capital of our district.  You wouldn’t think so looking at this photograph. It’s a pity about the light pollution in the photo through.

Posted by bigblue on 13/12/2006 at 06:04 AM
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Tuesday, 12 December 2006
Happy People

Happy People at Odeon

This man and woman burst out of a backroom and started handing out sample deoderants to bemused theatre-goers streaming out of a performance of Happy Feet at the Odeon in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday night.

I hadn’t been to see the movie - I went with Mudkip’s parents to see Pan’s Labyrinth a Spanish film by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro which is on release with English subtitles. Writing in the Observer, Phillip French comments on the duality of the film plot - where the protagenist, a young girl, experiences both fantasy and reality worlds:

In this magical and immensely moving film del Toro presents both the narrative strands as equally real, equally plausible. There’s no attempt to rationalise Ofelia’s parallel universe by suggesting it’s a dream or a fantasy . In fact the two sides of the film come together to constitute an allegory about the soul and the national identity of Spain, and in a wider sense about the struggle between good and evil, between the humane and the inhumane, the civilised and the barbaric. Ultimately in a dramatic sense that struggle comes to turn on the boy who becomes Vidal’s son and Ofelia’s brother and whose fate and future unite the fairy story and so-called everyday reality.

Posted by bigblue on 12/12/2006 at 10:23 AM
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Godstone Green by night

Godstone Green by night

This tree on Godstone Green is an example of the kind of Christmas bling that meets with my approval. It’s quite tasteful and attractive: a subdued colour which is not continuously twinkling or otherwise being annoying. Only two trees on the green are decked with these lights - one is dark blue and the other light blue.  This is the darker one.

Posted by bigblue on 12/12/2006 at 05:09 AM
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Monday, 11 December 2006
Godstone Shop Bling

Godstone News Christmas lights

This is the Godstone News on the High Street in Godstone, the brightest shop bling that I have seen yet this season.  According to this week’s Surrey Mirror (story not yet online), Godstone is the crime capital of the district of Tandridge. This is despite the fact that it was the centre of the CrimeStoppers initiative of last year.  There are fourseparate areas within the police beat of Godstone: Tyler’s Green (towards the fire station, near the M25), Godstone (on the Green), South Godstone (around Godstone Station) and Blindley Heath. I haven’t read the full article (just the bit above the fold!) so I am not sure if this applies to all three of these areas or just one particular area.  I am also not sure what crime information is being collated to determine this: Was a survey conducted? Were reported crimes tallied? Were only certain categories of reported crimes tallied? I might even read the full article someday if Surrey Mirror could be bothered to put it on their website ... Until they do I am inclined not to buy their newspaper.  One day something about crime statistics might even appear on the Surrey Police Website for Tandridge.  In the meantime residents of Godstone might want to take note of the 40 tips to stop a thief on the Surrey Police webpage for Godstone.

Posted by bigblue on 11/12/2006 at 05:48 AM
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Sunday, 10 December 2006
Snake cake


This post is a week overdue. Last Saturday I popped in at Mudkip’s birthday party and admired this slippery snake cake. Unfortunately none of my own photos came out well, so I have had to resort to the mother’s baker’s.  I did adjust the colour of the photograph, as you can see.  The cake was huge and unfortunately Mudkip’s friends all left without eating it - except for two sleep-over friends - presumably having been well fed on crisps and sweets and chocolate. I had a bit of the tip of the tail, which had a lemon flavour.  The design of the cake had nothing to do with Slytherin, although I am not exactly sure what the inspiration behind it was. 

Using maternal uncle’s prerogative I gave Mudkip a noisy, and wacky, birthday present.

Posted by bigblue on 10/12/2006 at 07:00 PM
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Saturday, 09 December 2006
Bletchingley house bling

Bletchingly House Christmas Lights

Another photograph from Bletchingley - this was the first house bling I saw this year, as it went up about 2 or 3 weeks ago. There’s enough wattage here to melt a medium-sized Arctic ice-shelf and kill off 2 polar bears.  This might be the only snowman your garden sees for quite a while.  Yup, an impressive start to the season, even if you did jump the gun and put it all up in November.

Posted by bigblue on 09/12/2006 at 07:23 PM
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Friday, 08 December 2006
Bletchingley Bling

Prince Albert Bletchingley

This is the Prince Albert pub in Bletchingley village, at 16:45 today.  A striking sight as one comes down the high street - cheery and warming.  I’ve never been into the Prince Albert but I think that if I ever did it would be on a night like this.  Somehow in daylight this building doesn’t have the same allure.  Being a crossroads, the Prince Albert pub is often used as a landmark when giving directions.  The reviews of the pub are somewhat mixed.  The building was once the home of Thomas Grossmith, Master Glover and Gaiter Maker.  (Don’t worry bigblue also hasn’t heard of him before now).

A more famous resident of Bletchingley was Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, who was a curate at St Mary’s in Bletchingley in the 1960’s.  Tutu revisited the village on 8 February 2004.  Tutu spoke positively of his (short!) time in Bletchingley in a speech given at Southwark Cathedral on 23 April 1999:

The Archbishop began his address by saying that it felt like “a homecoming - and how thrilled I am”.

He recalled his days in Bletchingley as a Curate. “It was a wonderful experience. We were ‘insiders’ whereas in our own country we were ‘outsiders’.” Bletchingley had, he said, “exorcised the demons of self-doubt, which is one of the pernicious effects of racism. In an extraordinary way, this diocese helped prepare me for my ministry in racist South Africa”.

Bletchingley falls within the Anglican diocese of Southwark.

Posted by bigblue on 08/12/2006 at 10:14 PM
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Thursday, 07 December 2006
M25 accident this morning

M25 accident

I left home at 6 am this morning and passed this scene 12 minutes later travelling from Junction 9 to 10 on the M25. Just prior to passing this accident there was a sudden and severe downpour accompanied by pools of water in the outside lane of the motorway.  According to the radio the accident involved an overturned lorry. Fortunately for me it was on the opposite carriageway, although the traffic jam did still affect me severely as I tried to go home this evening - over 12 hours later!

Sometimes I just wish I could just travel the M25 in a few minutes.

Posted by bigblue on 07/12/2006 at 10:39 PM
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