Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Cones of Camber Sands and some fascinating traffic cone facts

I think you probably already know that I have a bit of a cone problem.

'I see cones'

'I see cones.................EVERYWHERE.................'

I wish the Cones Hotline was still available. Set up by ex prime minister John Major in 1992, it permitted members of the public ( me) to report traffic cones being deployed for no apparent reason.

If it still existed I would be making daily calls.

In 3 years it received 'only' 20,000 calls, and was therefore disbanded as a waste of money

 Rick Wakeman, in the TV series Grumpy Old Men, mentioned it;

"I've spotted some cones."
"How many?"
"About four and a half million on the M6, doing absolutely nothing."
"Thank you for telling us."
The cones are still there.

The hotline is dead.

Cones along the roadside sport leafy  clues to the fact that they have been there far too long.

cone with hair

They even have cones in the highlands of Scotland.

cone with highlands

deep in the undergrowth

cone with grasses

and upside down cones

upside down cones

There is a series on Nickelodeon called "The Traffic Cones'

Luckily I don't have the necessary facilities required to view it.

You can purchase your own supply quite easily on the internet

They are really very reasonable.

One of my neighbours has her own.

She uses it to encourage people not to park outside her house. It seems to work, for reasons I can't quite figure. I would like to paint it pink.

Tamil Nadu pink cone

The Dull Men's Calendar has found another obsessed individual.

Polar bears like cones too.

As do grown men.

I, of course, don't actually own any cones. Or cone costumes.


Thankfully I am currently focussed on documenting the Cones of Camber Sands.

Collecting photos, not the cones themselves.

While the seawall is being reconstructed there is a plentiful supply.

Cones of Camber 1

Cones of Camber 2

Cones of Camber 3

Cones of Camber 4
Cones of Camber 5
Just a few harmless photos for now

The book and the TV series will come later.

Friday, 24 July 2015

and breathe........ fresh air, a wedding in Braemar and a visit to Balmoral

I can say it now.

We had a wedding.

My beautiful daughter got married.

It was in Scotland. In the middle of nowhere where the midges roam, and the temperature is around 10C in mid July.

It was a long drive from south London, carrying a car full of pine cones, assorted stationary, clothes for wet weather, hiking and partying, a steam generator iron and a wedding dress. Not to mention three baby fawns and the hand crafted 'confetti cones'.

three baby fawns

We covered more than a few service stations, where we bumped into Lochs and Glens coach holidays, and partook of fine dining.

Lochs and Glens

obligatory service station cone picture

old blue car getting some free parking

Overnight in Moffat for a gentle ease into a very different way of life.

doing the tartan thing

the first of many deceased animals encountered on our travels

We breakfasted on haggis and made our way to Braemar.

The weather was very Scottish, with an 'unseasonal' amount of rain. While waiting for beautiful daughter and her tall dark and handsome fiancee to arrive we decided to be tourists and visit Balmoral.


The queen arrives in August. Everything in the garden is geared to her arrival. Vegetables and flowers all designed to be ready for one month of the year. Fresh flowers in every room, every day. Vegetables from the garden.

Balmoral garden in action

the vegetable garden

the vegetable garden cone

red squirrel at Balmoral gatehouse

Beware - squirrels crossing

does the Daimler have a leak?

Scotland is very green right now. 

Ancient birches and pines in abundance.

And then there was the wedding.

A joyful affair.

I even enjoyed the ironing. I will probably never again iron tablecloths ON the table, using an extension lead and my trusty steam generator.

I will probably never again even iron a tablecloth anywhere.

And I will never again iron a brides train or three bridesmaid dresses.

My face was subjected to brushes and attention that it has never experienced before. 

I was 'made up'.

OH said I should do it every day. I thought I looked pretty odd.

It will never happen.

make up brushes

make up 

It took three attempts to wash it off at the end of the day.

The day was perfect.

It even stopped raining for the photographs.

We danced and laughed, and danced and smiled and talked and danced and were filled with joy.

Normal service was resumed the following day, and I was allowed out with my camera between family meals and parlour games.

The foxgloves are rich and and the grass lush and wet.

Ferns and buttercups in abundance.

Lush clover and long wet grass

It was a wonderful weekend in a wonderful place.

I will be back soon.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Pile up and Perish - this is no 'Life of Pi"

My new book is ready.

A response to Tamil Nadu, and the life that I saw there on the streets during one week in March.

Life on the streets of Chennai with its vast Marina beach, Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram.

Pondicherry is where the zoo was, in the film "The Life of Pi".

I went to find it, and found a very sad, unloved park, with no hint of the lush pathways seen on the screen. Digital manipulation had created something that doesn't exist.

The images in my book are about what was really there, in Tamil Nadu, in March 2015.

£5 from all sales will be donated to Scottish Love in Action as a means to give something back. It supports the education of Indian children.