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Sunday, 30 August 2009
A corner of Surrey that will be forever Rome


For some reason drivers approaching this corner on the North Downs feel the urge to hoot. I haven’t seen such gay honking abandon, unaccompanied by braking, since the last time I caught a taxi in Rome.

When I hear you hoot I am in the vicinity on my bicycle, ascending this hill. Your hooting doesn’t assist me to move out of your way any faster. It also has no affect on the juggernaut going in the opposite direction because they cannot hear you over the sound of their stereo and car engine. Please just slow down.

Posted by bigblue on 30/08/2009 at 06:21 PM
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
Marden Park viewpoint


There’s a fast track through the Marden Park woods and this is the spot where you break out to a sunny viewpoint over the North Downs. Someone has thoughtfully provided a bench. This is dedicated to Sarah Jane Mackenzie, 13.9.1971 - 30.12.2002, stating

Sas loved trees and working with wood. Creative, loving and unique - missed by so many.

Someone is The Woodland Trust.

Posted by bigblue on 29/08/2009 at 06:57 PM
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Friday, 28 August 2009
The postie and the bands


I’m not sure why but our postie seems to make a habit of discarding perfectly healthy rubber bands. These are re-useable resources that cost the tax-payer/postal-user money. Furthermore surely these people are trained in the importantance of protecting the environment by not littering?

Posted by bigblue on 28/08/2009 at 02:02 PM
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Thursday, 27 August 2009
Oxted panorama


It’s been overcast today so here’s a more attractive view of Oxted, from the Woldingham viewpoint, that I took on Sunday.  Click on the image for a bigger view.

Posted by bigblue on 27/08/2009 at 10:02 PM
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Tuesday, 25 August 2009
White knobs


If the BNP decide to set up headquarters in Caterham they might just find the perfect address.

Then when their members send them correspondence I wonder where they’ll put the apostrophe.

Posted by bigblue on 25/08/2009 at 10:01 PM
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Monday, 24 August 2009
Sentinels of the North Downs


These towers on the North Down above Oxted are part of the NATS network. This place, with its fine (distant) view over London, is one of the spots where we should site a local wind farm.

Posted by bigblue on 24/08/2009 at 03:43 PM
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Sunday, 23 August 2009
London from the North Down


There were more cyclists out and about no the roads and paths around Oxted this afternoon than I have ever seen.

I see there was some kind of accident near where I cycled. I hope he is going to be alright.

A couple of weeks ago I had a fall myself but I was cycling slowly, managed to roll and was uninjured. Today I had a few near misses: the ground was dry and loose and there was a lot of movement beneath both front and rear wheels.

Posted by bigblue on 23/08/2009 at 10:34 PM
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Friday, 21 August 2009


There were lots of happy people arriving at the Green Man Festival yesterday evening. These photos were taken minutes before the heavens opened and it started to shower. According to forecasts it will pretty much be raining on and off the whole weekend. So, what is a Green Man?

A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical). “The Green Man” is also a popular name for English public houses and various interpretations of the name appear on inn signs, which sometimes show a full figure rather than just the head.

The Green Man motif has many variations. Found in many cultures around the world, the Green Man is often related to natural vegetative deities springing up in different cultures throughout the ages. Primarily it is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, or “renaissance,” representing the cycle of growth each spring. Some speculate that the mythology of the Green Man developed independently in the traditions of separate ancient cultures and evolved into the wide variety of examples found throughout history.

The term “Green Man” was coined by Lady Raglan, in her 1939 article “The Green Man in Church Architecture” in The Folklore Journal.

(from Wikipedia).

So a Green Man is an ancient and universal motive, with a somewhat foolish name that was coined in 1939.  Rather like Hillary, who when asked if it was he or Tenzing Sherpa who reached the summit of Everest first replied “I did, Tenzing scrambled up and then gave me a hand up” (my paraphrasing), so her Ladyship Raglan writes: “Mr Griffiths suggested ... moreover that it was a “Green Man”. So I named it”.

Depending on how muddy it gets this weekend, the participants at the festival could head down to the river and celebrate Minerva.

Posted by bigblue on 21/08/2009 at 05:13 PM
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