Thursday, 31 January 2013

Skies & Traffic Cones

Last early start of the week. Light in the sky promised that the day might be fair.
A little later, the sun was trying to break through the clouds. 
Out with Bella passed by the bus stop - don't know why it was cordoned off. 
Yet another abandoned hat 
Arriving at UWE, the skies  brightened up the grey concrete. 
After a morning's teaching, went off to meet up for lunch with a former colleague.
Looking back at the UWE library - bright skies make everything look more attractive. 
We met at the Hewlett Packard cafeteria and nattered for an hour or so before I had to go back for my next burst of teaching. 
Escaped about 4.30 and managed to take this another blue and red pallette dusk photograph while waiting at traffic lights in Fishponds. Home to the start of a weekend I'm ready for!
This day a year ago, we spent a lovely time hanging out at Chew Valley Lake in the sunshine. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Getting Lighter Day by Day

Up with the dawn, rather than before it, which makes a nice change - pleased to see a bit more brightness in the sky even with the clouds.
The front of the house was doomy but still with a glimmer of hope for the day. 
Drove off through pouring rain to UWE for my first day of Kaplan College teaching this week. By the time I got there, blue skies with sunshine was the order of the day.
Got the van neatly parked in the corner of this car park - getting it out later on took a bit more manouevering.
After a spell in the Music Technology staff office, I sauntered across to sunny P Block where Kaplan College is based. It is so weird teaching there - it's where I started at UWE as a part-time lecturer in 1992, and what used to be the Staff Common Room then is now the Kaplan College Teacher's Room.
Later on the weather changed again, and this was the view - just like the one I had when I had an office on that side of the building.
Escaped by lunchtime and came home for  quick bite to eat before zooming off to Bathhampton to the dentist to get my replacement crown fitted. Went via the London Road, stopping at traffic lights opposite this magnificent old building now home to fast food outlets and copy shops.
Came home via Bath station, another fine old building. 
Then it was time to take Bella out for a walk. Went round Richmond Heights,  St Stephens and Mount Beacon, seeing this great sky over the tennis courts on our circuit.
Catkins on the St Stephens allotments.
Coming back round the hill, I glanced down at St Stephens Church to see another great view. Light in the sky until after 5.30 this evening - the dark days are ending and Spring is on the way!
This day a year ago, Su defrosted some spinach to make spinakopita - I loved the truncated cone shapes they came in. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Low Cloud, Low Turnout

Out with Bella this morning before heading off to UWE, saw the cloud very low over/in Charlcombe Valley.
By  green barriers, even lower clouds from tarmac laying as the road was filled in over the pipes that had been laid. Bella wasn't very happy about this, but bravely jumped over. 
Drove over Lansdowne through more low cloud. In Warmley sat in traffic behind this car. I got close enough to read the legend: "Not a great car, I know… but it's bought, paid for and in front of you."
Slightly late but managed to get the last semi-legal space in the car park (well I didn't get wheel-clamped, so it must have been OK!). 
Went to my first tutorial session and had a grand total of 0 students turn up followed by 6 in the next session, and 3 of them to my last one of the day. I get paid the same whether they all turn up or none, but I'd prefer a higher level of engagement than this. A variation on refuge point signage and instructions at the top of this flight of stairs - one thing UWE seems bad at is standardisation of signage and interfaces (I have seen at least three different door exit switch arrangements, for example).
In between the tutorial sessions, had a fruitful practice with Bob (Frank not able to turn up this week, but promises to be there next week) - in our old haunt, The Surround Studio. Still a bit cluttered with debris from students frantically working on their radio play assignments last week.
Homeward bound, sitting at traffic lights in Downend under a still leaden sky. 
This day last year, we helped Julia clear up her allotment plot and then I took Bella for a walk and spotted these teasels before we went over to see Bill & Patsi for a long lunch that went on into the evening. 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Light and Dark

Up with first light, overlapping with the  streetlight this morning.
At the back of the house, the first glimmers of dawn.
A bit later, the sun coming up over the hill, and the streetlight extinguished.
Our winter-flowering cherry still going strong. 
Walking Bella, the clouds started to gather. 
 A last remnant of snow hanging on, insulated by some leaf litter.
The wind had blown over the green barriers. Bella inspected. 
Coming round the block back into the sunrise. 
Bella had a funny turn after we got back in and we thought she might have had a stroke. The vet reckons she just needs some R&R. I had to go off to UWE, but Su looked after her and she has perked up - pity that Su missed out on lunch with friends, but glad Bella is OK. I had the joys of UWE to distract me…
The weather was foul by the time I left, and I scraped a neighbour's car (and the van) trying to park when I got home. Glad to get in the door! 
This day a year ago, we were down at the Roman Baths and surrounding streets enjoying a lightshow installation including this multi-coloured projection onto a phonebox.
Saw "The Sessions" last night - definitely an unusual story but overly American in tone with people making big emotional leaps in short timescales.  Good performances all round though and some hearty laughs.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Slow Sunday

The overnight rain had passed through by the time the morning came. The sun shone, the skies were blue and it was a lot warmer.
Looking up our street at blue skies and sunshine was a treat. 
 Walking Bella, looking out at Solsbury Hill down Malvern Terrace.
The only patch of snow we saw this morning - what a change from the last week or so. 
Down on Fairfield Park Road a hole has been dug, pipes deposited and some nice green barriers put around the area. As to what it's for…?
Later on, we decided that we really ought to go out and enjoy some more of the nice weather. As I was putting my walking boots on, I saw this prismatic effect from sunlight falling through the glass over our front door into the hallway.
We drove through sunshone up to Westonbirt, where the wind was chilly and the skies foreboding. 
looking the other way was much more promising, but we walked in the direction of the grey skies and ended up in a sleet shower for about 10 minutes. 
This headline was how we felt, having erroneously thought that winter might be behind us… 
After that, the sun came out and the wind died down so the rest of our walk was much morer pleasant. Bella didn't mind - she had a nice stick to carry round and chase when she could convince one of us to throw it for her.
This day a year ago, the weather was bright and sunny. One consequence of the clear skies all night was some dramatic frost patterms on car windscreens. 
Tonight we're off out for a Thai supper and then to the Little Theatre to see "The Sessions" with Helen Hunt and William H Macy - review tomorrow.