771 – Gosport (Again)

Of All of the shop closures along Stokes Road perhaps one that I feel saddest about is the tailor Kong Cheung. I have no idea why he closed, It could be anything. I really can’t tell you why I was sorry to see it go, I never used it.

Whenever I go in to town on a lunchtime walk, there always seems to be a lot of people around. On Tuesday & Saturday, it’s market day. Now I wonder how that markets of today compare with those of 20 or fifty years ago?

Perhaps the fruit and veg stall is one of the most traditional All down the street I can hear the lady that runs the stall hollering out her “Come on, last bunch of bananas, only one left.” They seem to do quite good business. I hope so.

Then there’s the chap next to the Post Office. I think the shop is called the Amsterdam. He mostly sells vaping stuff and phone cases. I bought a case there not long back. When I go past He’s often outside laughing with people. I bought a case and a screen protector from him. He strikes me as a chap with whom it’s a pleasure to do business.

Another shop I miss is the sweet shop. Where can I buy my weekly dose of Coconut Mushrooms?

770 – Gosport

On Friday I had my Covid Booster at 1450 and my flu jab at 1630. On Saturday, I go up Saturday and felt rough, very fatigued and I ached whenever I moved. I went outside once, otherwise I spent nearly all day sat in the lounge.

All that meant that I didn’t go to the Alverstoke Michaelmas fayre which is frustrating because this annual event is really quite good.

Anyhow, my wife went, and she came back with a present for me, a book ; Soldiers of the Queen (Gosport as a Garrison Town) by Lesley Burton and Beryl Peacey. I have suspended my normal reading list for this book.

I’m only a part way through this book but I love the picture that the authors have painted of the town; they describe how as the military came in the prosperity increased, employment was good, shops were busy the social life excellent. These were the early days in Queen Victoria’s reign, and before the Palmerston forts were built. Lesley and Beryl paint a picture of a town full of vitality. It was really nice to read.

I’d quite like to have the ability to write something like that.

769 – Locality & Hashtags

I have just done a quick check of all 768 previous posts and there are four where I mention this thing called locality, and I think it is No. 302, and even there I don’t really talk about it much.

It all started one misty morning in May 2015. All of Cunard’s queens were departing in formation. I was stood at the waterside at Gilkicker Fort waiting for them. What I do remember was that initially it was misty and very cloudy and the Red Arrows were due to fly over them. Luckily by the time the Queens appeared, the sky and mist had cleared. It really was a spectacular departure.

The point of was though that this was just after I had spent a bit of money on a radio scanner which I still hadn’t worked out how to use. But within the year I will be a licensed radio ham. But that’s another story. The thing here was that I had a number of interests and hobbies that were coinciding;

  • Photography
  • Amateur Radio
  • The local area (history)

Using an application called DayOne, I spent some time setting up a framework, which I called “Locality” I had set the parameters as the eSolent from East to West. I must admit, I am thinking of changing that to a 50 mile limit from where we live – I say that because it is the distance we can travel without having to seek a re-charge for our EV, plus a bit of a safety margin. Actually, 50 miles covers quite an area (I’ve just done the calculation, it’s around four thousand square miles and that is only half the circle, because we are on the coast.

I included hashtags in the title. Hashtags are supposed, amongst other things, to make searching for topics much easier. For some some reason I stopped using them, but I can’t remember why. I need to have another look at them – They don’t affect the reader as far as I am aware.

768 – Writing

I think I have spent about an hour sat here looking at the screen, thinking about writing about writing. I enjoyed the time at Pagham we had a good trip especially the photo gallery at Petworth. I’d like to go to more exhibitions like that. I’d also like to go to more art exhibitions as well.

Then this week, I’ve really enjoyed writing about the conker trees. I did a little bit of research about what it takes to be a naturalist of course, a degree is involved and possibly post-grad stuff. But then I read something that I googled that boiled down to; Go out and observe something, write about it. That’s it. Well, obviously that’s not it.

When we drive north on the A3, there’s a big roundabout just to the north of Petersfield. The second exit has a sign it’s one of the brown tourist signs pointing to Gilbert White’s house. I’ve lost count of the number of times we drove past it and I asked the question “Who’s Gilbert White”. One day, I actually got around to googling the name. Well, what a world that has opened.

One of the next things on the cards is a visit to the house. I’m going to say that Gilbert White’s most well known book is The Natural History of Selborne. I have had a few opportunities in book shops to buy a copy, and of course I could buy it anytime off Amazon but I have resisted because I want to buy it at the house. I’ve compromised, I’ve bought a copy of his journals, and am in the process of arranging a visit to Selborne. I’m getting quite excited at the prospect.

Now, that wasn’t too difficult, once I got going, it was straightforward. Trouble is, it took me almost an hour to get started, with two abandoned attempts where I had started but didn’t like what I had written. But I’m quite happy with this. All I need to do now is re-read and resist the urge to publish straight away.

767 – Seasons

Today, 22 September 2022, is the first days of autumn. Tomorrow morning at 0203 the night and the day, will be the same length, from tomorrow onwards, until the spring equinox, nights will be longer than days.

Another thing that changes is the weather. Moving into Autumn means cold fresh mornings – quite nice, I like a cold morning. I just need to find my flat cap, to keep my head warm.

Another thing that gets nicely clear is the night sky. Now, I am very taken with the idea of star gazing. The only problem is the cold, that tends to act as a bit of a deterrent. The other thing is comfort. Now I do have an idea in mind, but I don’t want to say just yet.

Quite a few posts ago, I Spoke about my level of awareness of the night sky mainly around it not being good enough. It’s definitely the time of the year to get out and watch the stars.

766 – Conkers

Conkers, it appears, are an-anti-arachnid device. Put one in each corner of the room – no spiders. It does seem to work. We’ve had no spiders in doors. Unless you don’t replace them each year. They dry out and you lose the effectiveness, over the last month or so we have had a couple of incursions. We now have a new batch of Conkers.

I think the last time I played Conkers was 50+ years ago. Gosh that’s a. Long time! But even now there’s a childish thrill when, as you are walking along you see an intact Conkers case. I’d guess the urge to gently ease the case apart to reveal the seed; the conker. What’s it going to be like? Big or small? Either way, the beautiful lustrous brown shell is a joy to behold. Of course if you could use it in a game that’s even better, but there is something about the smoothness of the case that is just so appealing.

Now, if you can identify a source of Conkers, you are well in. Finding a horse chestnut tree, or even better a bunch of them you are then, around September time assured of your supply of Conkers.

As far as the game is concerned, I can remember all sorts of antics to get a winner, baking and soaking in vinegar (I think) were amongst the favourites, and then would you have a fiver or a tenner? Until someone smashed your champion of course; the risks of the playground!

I was thinking about this post last night as I settled down to sleep. That was very pleasant.

765 – A Gosport Walk

For the first time in ten days, I did my usual morning walk. I hadn’t expected a lot of change, and to be honest there hasn’t been much. The flower beds opposite the railway station have been prepared for winter, I wonder if there is anything they can put in to bring some winter colour? Not being a gardner I have no idea.

Between the railway station and the high street there isn’t really that much to change. A few weeks ago, someone had presumably lost control of their car and had gone through the fence in towards the playing fields. The fence remained un-repaired for a while, and then one morning, there it was fixed.

No obvious changes on the high street, I didn’t even see Pepy, even though I was on the street around 0605. I didn’t see anything different, but I’m sure somethings small had changed. Perhaps I need to pay more attention to the detail?

I had known for several weeks that there would be dredging in Haslar Marina. The vessels have been in the area for a while now. I knew the lightship restaurant Mary Mouse 2 was due to be moved, and I was expecting it to have been taken away, but it was a shock nonetheless to see it gone this morning. Part of the boardwalk has been moved also. In Gosport terms, a big change. I’ll enjoy monitoring the dredging activities.

Over the course of the walk, I had three encounters with the urban foxes. I disturbed two which had been rummaging in bins , and the third across the car park decided to run away.

The cockle ponds were very quiet no signs of crabs or shrimps.

I had to pop in to Morrisons to pick up newspapers that were all about yesterday’s funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. It was a very sad day, but one of those moments in history.

764 – Queen Elizabeth & Winston Churchill

30 January 1965

Super Car was made between 1961 & 1962. Fireball XL5 was first shown after 1962. Both of these series were (are) iconic to me, I can remember watching them as a young child. It’s worth noting that Thunderbirds wasn’t broadcast until September 1965, nine months after the header date, so what is significant about 30 January 1965?

The date of Winston Churchill’s Funeral. I was quite young at the time, as you might guess. The 30th of Jan 65 was a Saturday, which would account for my being able to watch the funeral rather than being at school. I have a distinct memory of a fuzzy black and white image showing the gun carriage and the riverboat. I can only guess that either my memory about the quality of the TV image is flawed or the TV (which obviously was in black and white) just wasn’t very good.

The memory remains very strong today, Monday 19 September 2022, 57 years later.

19 September 2022

Today was a bank holiday. Parliament pretty much had to make it so because of they hadn’t the country probably would have gone on strike. Today, we saw the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. The 2nd Elizabethan era has been a part of my life, all of my life – until 8th of September 2022 – or was it the 9th, when the council of accession Formally declared Prince Charles to be King Charles III. How will his era be termed?

It turns out that King Charles era may be termed the third Carolean era. Carolus is the Latin version of Charles.

Differences between the funeral of Churchill and Queen Elizabeth II are stark in my eyes. The early digital era ( that is now – I think digital tech has a long, long way to go before it can be call mature – I hope so anyway) means small highly manoeuvrable high definition cameras, drones and mobile camera technology makes our involvement in the ceremony almost immersive, and of course whilst Churchill’s funeral was filmed in colour, it could only be broadcast in mono. Routine colour broadcasting would not start until 4 years later. Even the most most basic of today’s televisions can show vibrant colours in enchanting detail.

Elizabeths funeral was just lovely (in so far as funerals can be lovely). I have such admiration in particular for the pall bearers. They conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism. The ceremonials were lovely. I was so pleased that the public showed spectacular restraint, and the respect shown whilst the Queen was laying in state was moving in the extreme. It was a sad but most impressive day.

Tomorrow, we will awaken to the Third Carolean Era – as will King Charles III.

A brief comment on yesterdays post a little bit about proof reading, here’s the link; https://localitystories.com/2022/09/18/763-proof-reading-by-the-seaside/. I still can’t get it right can I? For example, in the third paragraph, I talk about the resilience of the plan – what I meant was the resilience of the plant! As Homer Simpson would say “D’Oh!” I am now going to read this one through – I bet there will still be something wrong with it.

763 – Proof Reading by the seaside

A seaside stall selling the equipment necessary for some extensive sandcastle construction. Trouble is, the beach in the area is not sandy. Full of shingle. Now, I don’t know a lot about shingle, but with a little bit of digging (pun probably intended) I found out that there is a difference between shingle and gravel; gravel is small fragments of rock. Shingle is a collection of small stones that are generally close to teardrop shaped. Who would have thought that?

I have a bad habit of thinking that what I write is good enough for publication and go ahead with it. It’s only when I go back to read it that it doesn’t always say what I intended. This could be partly because my brain is working ahead of my fingers and I think what I want to say but then don’t write it down. Take yesterdays post No. 763 – Grass, here’s a link; https://localitystories.com/2022/09/17/762-grass/ In that post what I wanted to really talk about was how impressed I was with the resilience of the plan. How rapidly and apparently completely it turned from the parched brown to its normal green. But I didn’t say that, I left it out.

It’s like a lot of things I do, I tend to rush, and don’t always Finnish things properly. If only I could bother to take those few extra seconds or minutes to read through what I’ve written; does it say what I want it to? Luckily, I don’t have to worry too much about spelling and some punctuation, it’s just mostly content.

I did wonder if there was a protocol or an ethics associated with the editing of blogging. It appears not. It appears that there little or no compunction against going back to an earlier post and changing it. So, I could have gone back to yesterday’s post and changed it so that it says what I intended.

For some reason, i find that a bit worrying. I am reminded off Orwell’s 1984 and the continual re-writhing of history. It is so much easier when everything is digital. My feeling is that my mistakes should remain as they were made. How else do I learn?

762 – Grass

No, No, not the stuff, oh dear, nor being one, just the normal garden variety that gets cut every weekend.

We’ve been through a fairly long session of dry weather, not long enough to be officially be classed as a drought, but long enough to seriously parch the grass. Our lawn was looking a hay coloured brown. Not in a very healthy state.

Not sure exactly how much, but we have had a fair bit of rain over the last week. Today, I went over our grass – twice, I had to raise the blade because the grass had got so long in places.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I don’t recall seeing such a clear demonstration of the durability of grass. It was fascinating.

One of the things I am interested in is microscopy. I thought I would have a look at some grass under the microscope, the only one I am able to use at the moment is a digital one that connects wirelessly to my phone. Now I’m not going to blame my tools, but I can’t quite get it to work very well – the pictures aren’t very good. Given that it’s my first real time use I’m going to say it is definitely me not knowing how to properly use the device.

I need to practice.

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