Pictorial Musings

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The canal at West Drayton, water is like a mirror!

http://www.canalguide.co.uk/canals/britain_canal_brent.htm

From here on the main Grand Union Canal you can continue westwards in your canal boat, through Hayes, Harlington, West Drayton and Yiewsley. At Hayes you pass the huge Nestle factory. The views from the canal are industrial landscapes and housing estates, until Cowley Peachey junction. Here it starts its long journey north. Also along this stretch of the canal at Cowley Peachey junction an arm of the canal goes off to the left towards Slough.  The main canal reaches Cowley Lock ,the first lock for 27 miles after leaving the top of the Hanwell Flight or Camden Locks. There is a nice old canalside pub here called The Malt Shovel and The Dolphin at Dolphin Bridge over which passes the main road to Uxbridge. You next reach Uxbridge Lock – quite near the centre of the town of Uxbridge. It has a pleasant setting, with a lock cottage and gardens.  Leaving Uxbridge you pass under the main M40 through a wide variety of scenery, with gravel wharves, woods, flour mills, and large sewage works. Then you navigate through Denham Lockwhich at 11 feet deep makes it the deepest lock on the whole canal and is appropriately known as “Denham Deep”…

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Do not pick or eat these monsters above. They used to grow in our back garden behind our hedge and fence, when I was a child!  The picture about was taken whilst I was out on a walk!

http://plantlife.org.uk/wild_plants/plant_species/lords-and-ladies

Lords-and-ladies

(Arum maculatum)

Lords-and-ladies © Laurie Campbell

Lords-and-ladies © Laurie Campbell

Also often known as the ‘cuckoo pint’, a plant with shiny arrow shaped leaves often with dark spots.

The flower is designed to attract flies for pollination and club shaped spike releases a urine-like odour. Its fruit – a spike of bright orange berries – can be a common sight in woodlands in autumn. Like many wild berries these are toxic to humans so take care around them.

Lords-and-ladies is one of the species we keep track of in our Wildflowers Count survey – click here to find out how you can help out.

Distribution

Lords-and-ladies are quite common throughout most of the UK. The exception is north and central Scotland.

Habitat

Hedgerows and woodland.

Lords-and-ladies berries © Laurie Campbell

The vivid berries. © Laurie Campbell

Best time to see

It flowers in April and May, but is also a striking sight when its bright orange berries are in fruit in autumn.

Did you know?

The plant’s fascinating shape and form has inspired a wide variety of names.

These include:

  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • Soldier-in-a-sentry-box
  • Bloody man’s finger
  • the rather lengthy ‘Kitty-come-down-the-lane-jump-up-and-kiss-me’ (an old Kentish name).

Perhaps not surprisingly, many have rather bawdy associations.

 

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The weed above was growing in a field. It is either Cow Parsley or Ground Elder?

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The clouds this afternoon were superb, a different view of  these clouds in a puddle!

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It amazing how sometimes some rather tatty radios end up in a collectables shop as high prices, cheapest £24 ! The Roberts Radio is missing so many knobs!

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Our local Waitrose still sell flavoured  Quark (cheese) in the Yogurt section.  I am sure the trading standards would have something to say about labelling Quark as Protein Yogurt.

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A cricket posing on my window sill, looks like the underside could do with a clean!

 

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Our local council cleaning chewing gum and bubble gum off the pavements.  A luxury in this day and age?

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Punch and Judy at a local event.

I can’t resist posting this performance from You Tube!

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The Skull and Crossbones symbol of pirates of old, and associated with pirate offshore radio in the 60s-80s

 

Ending this section with an offshore station that did not last very long!

 

 

With its revolutionary aerial system Capital Radio began test transmissions off the Dutch Coast in June 1970 on board the MV King David using the old Radio 270 transmitter. Most programming was in Dutch although they re-broadcast the BBC World Service at times.
In November 1970 the ship drifted in a storm and ended up on the Noordwijk Beach. Eventually the King David was sold, never to broadcast again.
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The aerial was a ring antenna, never before used on a radio ship. It produced a ground wave only and no sky wave. Giving it less chance of interfering with land-based stations. The idea was originally designed by American Intelligence.
The station was set up in 1969 by the International Broadcaster’s Society whose directors included Tim Tomason and Paul Harris (author of ‘When Pirates Ruled the Waves’). Each three hour programme from the station had a 20 minute feature on offshore radio.
By May 1971 the International Broadcaster’s Society was officially declared bankrupt. In 1981 the ship was towed to Heerwaarden where the upper structure was broken away and the hull was filled with concrete and is now in use as a floating quay.
Taken from ‘Pop Went the Pirates’ by Keith Skues. Where you will find more information on Capital Radio & other stations.

 

 

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