Friday, 25 May 2012

Caption This!

OK, this photo needs a caption. Give it your best shot!
Leave your caption in the comment section below or send it to me and I'll add it for you. :-D

Have fun! Ideally keep it family friendly please, maybe PG13. Thank you.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Olympic Torch Relay through Stroud

Bunting over Stroud
Wow! What a day! I have never seen so many people in Stroud before! I heard several people say this as well. It was packed with people all through the Olympic Torch Relay route through Stroud. It was amazing!
Crowds awaiting the Torch around Stroud's Four Clocks
Sadly, besides the Olympic Torch Relay, not a lot was happening in Stroud. The hype was to get to town early as there was lots of things happening before the torch arrived. I got there early and walked around. I couldn't find much of anything happening except lots and lots of people wondering around town. Well outside the Sub Rooms there was a little bit of entertainment.
Entertainment outside Stroud Subscription Rooms
That aside, I really enjoyed walking around town talking to people and taking photographs. There was a lot of energy in the air and lots of things to photograph :-)
Bunting Flags on fence along Rowcroft road in Stroud
One of the banners around Stroud
My secret location for photographing the Olympic Torch Relay. 
Last week I went for a walk around Stroud looking for a good place to photograph the Olympic Torch Relay from. I found what I thought was in ideal location and I requested permission from the business which occupied the location. The manager was eager to give me permission but she had to seek permission from an higher authority. Come the day before the Relay was to come to Stroud I still hadn't received word if I had permission or not. So I found a second location and asked the owner if I may shoot from his upstairs window and was given permission on the spot! Thank you Hussein of FIFTEEN Café Bistro in Stroud. This turned out to be a better spot than I'd originally staked out. :-D  Plus they do lunch! I had a lovely lunch there while I was waiting for everything to kick off. They had plenty of cold drinks to help me cool off in the lovely hot weather too. Thank you FIFTEEN!
Seen on business door in Stroud
This image of a door in town amused me. Love the No Smoking sign next to the torch. :-D
A couple of famous faces spotted in Stroud
This so needs to be part of a Caption Competition :-D 
Friends of mine looking for parking. Hi Annie! 
Our local roaming reporter Carl Hewlett
It's Annie again! With her niece. Annie is the lady in charge of all those lovely old photos you see around Stroud. 
Here are a few more of my favourite images from the day.

Daphne Edwards, Olympic Torch Bearer 

Daphne is an active member of the Stonehouse Wheelers Cycling Club and the current secretary of the Stroud Valleys Cycling Club. This reminds me, I need to get back out on my push bike! Vroom Vroom?
See this little fellah? He's attached to the George Holloway statue below. 
 If I was young and in top shape, I'd climb up there and cut him down....then photograph him all over town and take him on adventures. Now who's going to steal my idea? :-D
George Holloway statue in Stroud

LockKeeper's Café after the Olympic Torch Relay through Stroud
The end of another great day in Stroud. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. It was great seeing everyone!

Links to more images and videos:
If you'd like to see more of my images from this day you can see them here: Olympic Torch Relay Stroud
You can find some of Carl Hewlett's images here: The Olympic Torch Relay in Pictures SNJ
You can see a video from Stroud Community TV here: Olympic Torch in Stroud 2012
My tweeted mobile uploads:
Eddie from Softdata made this video of the Olympic Torch going through Gloucester on Thursday: Olympic Torch Gloucester 2012
BBC Radio Gloucester has posted some photos on their FB page here: BBC Radio Gloucestershire and the Olympic Torch Relay
BBC in Pictures: Olympic torch relay day 5
BBC in Pictures: Olympic torch relay day 6
Images and reports on Stroud FM: <-Yes, those are my images :-D
BBC Live Torch Cam:

As I see and find more galleries and videos I'll post them here, so check back for updates. :-)

Please also feel free to post other links to other Olympic galleries and video. Thank you!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Olympic Torch coming to Stroud

Olympic banners in Stroud, Gloucestershire
Tomorrow the Olympic Torch will be coming to Stroud. I'm looking forward to it as a cycling friend of mine is one of the torch bearers and I think I've got a prime spot for photographing her coming through town all sorted out. I sorted out the permissions today so I'm hoping it will all go smoothly tomorrow.

Olympic banners in Stroud
 There's Olympic bunting and flags and banners all over Stroud this week, ready for the torch bearers to come though. The town as a whole is looking quite festive. Wish I'd taken more photos now, but I'll make up for it tomorrow.

There is one stretch of the Stroud Olympic Torch route that I am worried about though and hope someone cleans it up before tomorrow afternoon.

Unsightly bird droppings under the rail bridge on Rowcroft road in Stroud
Yep you guessed it, the unsightly bird droppings under the rail bridge on Rowcroft road. Not just on the pavement but all over the road as well, which you can clearly see in the image above (taken earlier today). When ever I walk to town I have to walk through this and it's not a very pleasant experience. In all the years I've lived here and of all the hundreds of times I've walked under this bridge I've only ever been pooped on once...but that was once too many for me. That said, I still walk this way.

I'm looking forward to photographing the Olympic Torch Relay through Stroud tomorrow, in my secret location. I'll also be photographing the Olympic Torch Relay through Gloucester on Thursday morning as well. Got my spot all sorted for that too. ;-)

If you see me say Hi!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Motorcycle Practice, Cyclist & Ice Cream by the Canal

Me, right after I received my CBT certificate in April 2011
What a gorgeous Sunday we've had. I started my day off with motorbike manoeuvres. Met up with some friends and we practised for our motorcycle tests coming up. I've got my Theory test this Thursday! I've been practising for that too. Wish me luck! Vroom Vroom! ;-)
Fraser's of Gloucester
You might ask, why is this mad woman taking a motorcycle test at her age. Well I'll tell you. Back in my early 20's I had a motorcycle licence and a lovely Honda Helix 250. The bike was way bigger than me back then and I don't remember being afraid to ride it. Actually I really enjoyed riding it. I only gave it up because it wasn't practical for carrying babies around on.
Me on my Honda Helix back in the late 1980's 
Well, the guys at Fraser's of Gloucester heard about my past on a bike and decided to tempt me back on one. They like a good challenge these guys. So they nudged me in the direction to get my CBT which I did through Motag. My instructor was fantastic and very patient with me, he had me riding in no time at all! Thank you Mr. Orton. :-)
The Suzuki Burgman I'm currently ridding from Fraser's of Gloucester
This is the bike I've been riding around, you may have spotted me on it or seen the bike parked somewhere. I love riding this bike, it's sooo much easier to park than the big Volkswagen Passat we have. Lots more fun to ride as well. Not to mention  much more economical. Vroom Vroom!
Suziki Burgman
One of the main features that I love about this bike is the big trunk space, plenty of room for lots of camera gear. :-D Once I pass my test we are getting a bit bigger bike. My husband has a motorcycle licence and he wants to ride it too....he can't be seen on a smaller bike. ;-)

After our manoeuvres practice I scootered down to Waitrose in Stroud to pick up some lunch and then across to the London Road Car park where The Stonehouse Wheelers cycle club were gathering for their Sunday ride.  The push bike kind of cycles not the motorbike kind. I used to be a regular rider with this group, was even their Honourable Secretary for a while, but then I got busy with photography. I must get back on my bike this summer. I must, I must, I must!

As I had the wrong kind of bike, I wished them well on their cycle ride around the country side and said I'd meet with them later at their tea stop. Which I did, later, walking down the hill to meet with them.

Stonehouse Wheelers Cycling Club arrive at The LockKeeper's Café
This past Sunday the Stonehouse Wheeler's Cycling club had their tea stop at the LockKeeper's Café in Stroud. What a beautiful day to sit down by the canal with a cup of tea and a cake after a long ride around our beautiful country side.
Stonehouse Wheelers enjoying their tea & cake by the canal in Stroud. 
This is a new tea stop for cycle club, they are always on the look out for great tea stops for their Sunday rides. I heard a lot of good comments about this tea stop and how much everyone enjoyed it and how nice everyone was at the LockKeeper's and how grateful they were that the Café was open for them. This just might become a regular stop for them. If the Stonehouse Wheelers gives a café a thumbs up then you know it's got to be good, as they are serious about their tea stops.
Daphne, Olympic Torch Bearer and avid cyclist. (That's my husband Peter on the right)
Daphne Edwards, an active member of the Stonehouse Wheelers and secretary of the Stroud Valleys Cycling Club, joined the group for a bit of tea and cake out in the lovely sunshine down by the canal. You may have heard about Daphne and her honour of being one of the Olympic Torch Bearers for our area. She's definitely one of the coolest grandma's around!
Winstones Cotswold Ice Cream by the Canal
The LockKeeper's Café sell my favourite ice cream, Winstones Cotswold Ice Cream, nom nom nom. Of course I couldn't resist having some out in the sunshine down by the canal. :-D
Canal Locks in Stroud
Tea by the Canal in Stroud
After the cyclist departed on their way I had a lovely walk up the hill back home with my husband, him pushing his bike. Well it is a push bike. :-p 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Wind in the Willows with ice cream!

Winstone's Ice Cream Factory
This afternoon DreamShed Theatre preformed their adaptation of Wind in the Willows up on Rodborough common at The Ice Cream Factory (AKA Winstones Ice Cream). This show was especially performed to help raise funds and awareness for Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. More specifically to help inspire school children and residents alike in the Cotswolds to learn more about river bank conservation and how to save the water vole in our area.
Dreamshed Theatre preform Wind in the Willows
There was a lovely turn out of people of all ages to see this very special performance. The performers from Dreamshed Theatre did a top notch job of entertaining and educating the crowed at the same time.  There was lots of laughter and fun had by all. I can highly recommend going to see them if you get the chance.
Crowds enjoying the show
They couldn't have had a better day either, lovely sunshine with just the right mixture of clouds. It wasn't too windy either....though this was a play about the 'Wind' in the Willows. ;-)
Ratty and Mole
Cotswold TV was there as well, busy recording the event. You'll have to check out their channel later for a little preview of the day.
The bad guys enjoying a tickle
Mole, Toad, Ratty and the Badger
The bad guys at it again!
Ratty is up to something
The whole gang at the end of the show! Well done guys! 
Toad and Mole enjoying the famous Winstone's Cotswold Ice Cream
Ratty enjoying a nice natter with his Winstone's Ice Cream
Badger anticipating how good his Winstone's Ice Cream is going to be. 
Winstone's Ice Cream Factory
I can't think of a better way to spend Saturday afternoon, can you? nom nom nom ;-)

Friday, 11 May 2012

Stroud's Trader of the Year

My favoute café has won Stroud Town Council's Annual Award for Trader of the Year! I'm very excited for Wendy, she's worked very hard building, setting up and running The LockKeeper's Café.
Wendy Townsend
Wendy Townsend and The LockKeeper's Café are truly an asset to Stroud, and I'm so lucky that I live near by! Everyone at the LockKeeper's is very friendly and helpful. It's a wonderful atmosphere, even when I turn up on my lonely. Like today! I usually run into someone I know, and today was no exception. :-)
Trader of the Year 2012, Wendy Townsend of LockKeeper's Café
While I was visiting today, delivering some prints to Wendy from a recent family shoot, BBC Gloucestershire phoned Wendy for a phone interview for the radio.
Wendy on the phone with BBC Gloucestershire
If you haven't been to check out the LockKeeper's Café then you need to get around there, you won't be disappointed. It's a great place for lunch or to sit and natter with friends over a cup. If you have been then you know what I'm talking about and you are most likely already a regular customer. 
The Friday Forum at the LockKeeper's Café
One group of regular customers meet on Friday's between 10:30am and 3pm for the local Friday Forum. It's a group of local business people, mostly self employed and/or running their own business, who meet regularly for a bit of social networking and general good company. Probably 'social networking' is the wrong word, as it's very causal and friendly. Anyone is welcome to join us, so come on down and say Hi! You'll find us in the back. ;-)
Lunch at the LockKeeper's
 Someone now and then asks me where this café is. It's tucked away around behind the old Bell Hotel next to the canal. Walking distance from Stroud town centre and the train station. Parking in town or just past the train station on the other side of the Hill Paul building. If you live nearby like I do then you're with in walking distance. :-D
The LockKeeper's Café (middle), The Bell Hotel (left), Hill Paul building (top middle)
LockKeeper's Café by the canal
After you've had a spot of lunch at the café you can explore up and down the canal, then come back to the LockKeepers for a spot of tea. It's a win win situation. :-D I'm looking forward to it warming up and sitting outside on the picnic tables. Life is good. ;-)

Congratulations to Wendy and her crew at the LockKeeper's Café! A well deserved award.