Thursday, 23 September 2010

In Memory Of Steve

I attended a funeral last week and I am still smiling about it. An odd reaction, I know, but the ceremony was quite unique and special. It was a Humanist funeral and was a true reflection of Steve's life and character. He lived in his handbuilt barn with no mains electrics or water, and loved the countryside around him. The funeral featured wild flowers, birdsong, a wicker coffin and touching and funny speeches from those who knew him or were with him on his last day. We were able to add our own thoughts, to the sounds of one of Steve's favourite songs. Listen to it from the link top right - you can then, perhaps, understand the smiling.

And then after, Steve was loaded on to the back of his beloved tractor and trailer, and secured by straw bales, driven off through Bourton on the Water, to be laid to rest in his own field, surrounded by the trees and shrubs he had lovingly planted over the years. I shall always remember seeing and hearing the tractor moving away. Thanks, Steve, for your weekly running coaching sessions. We are all better runners because of you.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Where's Waller?

Last summer I casually looked up as a vehicle passed by, and thought 'Isn't that the Google Street View Camera car?' So this picture showing someone casually looking up with an 'Isn't that the Google Street View Camera car' look on his face, is now visible to all - if they can find it - on Google Street View.

At least I wasn't just emerging from the Portaloo. Actually, I rarely used it. Entry was at your own risk from others on the site. A quiet moment was usually interrupted by thrown stones, water down the air vent, a rope tied around it or simply a gentle rocking motion from side to side. It has been known on larger sites for one to end up at the top of a forklift.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

View From My Office Window

I am very fortunate that I get to work in some very lovely locations. As you can see above, the current site is no exception. I am also lucky to be able to glimpse a range of wildlife. Apart from a single duck, this particular stretch of stream has until today been very quiet. Though there are crayfish and trout elsewhere along this river, none have ventured close. Maybe my hammer is too noisy.

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard some splashing today, and I looked around to see an animal that I understand is starting to move back to the local rivers. As you can see below, I was able to capture the moment on my camera phone. It's not a great picture, but if you look carefully you can just make out the familiar form of a water otter.