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we 5 Dec

As we were leaving Cambridge by the A1030 and in fading light Sunday evening it was dark enough for us to see that the cycle path next to the road had its own small white cat's eyes marking the edges of the track ... good idea eh?

mo 3 Dec

Paul Sherwen in 2009 - pic contributedThe 17th and mountainous stage of the 1978 Tour de France broke up the peloton with riders coming into Morzine the stage finish mostly singly.  Seeing British rider Paul Sherwen after the finish gently riding through the town (no team buses then) we made a congratulatory comment and he replied You must be bloody joking.  Paul was a two time national champion, participated in seven Tours de France and was during his career pretty much the only Brit in the peloton.  He died yesterday aged 62 ... he will be missed.

tu 20 Nov

Amis Velo Supacross in ColchesterDelayed by roadworks on the A14 and in Colchester we arrived at the Amis Velo Supacross in time for the back end of a veterans race followed by the seniors to end the day.  The course was comparatively dry and pretty much all rideable though some muddy turns with reverse camber hard on steep little up slopes gave some problems.  Afterwards cold and hungry at catering we rediscovered how comforting an egg roll can be; as the late Robert Robinson observed (roughly) There's nothing quite like an egg sandwich that has been warmed in the glove box of a Rover.

fr 2 Nov

Lance's flat in Double Street Danebury has been LET.

tu 16 Oct

In historic Stamford charity shop DVDs are typically 99p ... a lesson for us all eh?

th 7 Jun

Tour de France Route 2018Nice to see the team time trial back in the Tour de France after missing for three years.  It's stage three with some thirty kilometres around Cholet.  Holidaying in the Vendée our late father could not resist making jokes about the Madame Cholet.

mo 4 Jun

Graduation yesterday in Framingham ... no, Framingham.

fr 5 Jan

Come to that the inside lane of the southbound A12 around Colchester is pretty bad too.

su 31 Dec

The northbound carriageway of A12 we think north of Colchester has some worryingly large potholes ... more long than round holes ... cracks that have got ideas above their station.

tu 19 Sep

Zombie Evacuation Hockwold cum WiltonThe Zombie Evacuation in  Hockwold cum Wilton Sunday had a more open setting than the Cambridge Evac we snapped three years ago but generous use of smoke grenades and energetically committed zombies made for the expected stimulating experience.  Pleasant coffee service from the converted horsebox and thankfully the heavy rain held off until the event was pretty much over.  The zombies are returning to Hockwold September next year.

fr 9 Dec

The Co-opJust off the north bound A12 at Witham is a Co-op petrol station/supermarket that is so usefully open after 4pm on a Sunday ... or it was, it's now being flattened by builders though the Internet seems unaware of this.  Thankfully the burger van is still nearby on working days.

we 13 Apr

Vegetables and fruitWe have a friend who grew up in Armagh.  On a trip he and his father discovered that in Belfast fish and chips is served with fruit ... a slice of lemon.  In a similar manner we have come to terms with fish and chips served with vegetables but went to pieces when in Long Stratton we were offered mint sauce with our mushy peas.  We refused but next time we'll pluck up our courage and try.

sa 3 Oct

The Sunday before last we went to Colchester to see a cyclocross.  There were no water crossings, a motorsport type starting grid, perhaps no more than four dismounts and the course was sufficiently flat and dry there were several trains running early on but there were also six different races to cover all classes and BOGOF filled rolls because of overly optimistic catering.

su 3 May
International Dawn Chorus Day

The first Sunday in May is International Dawn Chorus Day, no events in Suffolk but one in the rather pleasant Sussex village Steyning, pronounced Stenning by blow ins and Staining by non-blow ins.

fr 20 Mar
Spring Equinox

Stradbroke library and post office Before High Ongar in Essex was bypassed we used to pass the newsagents and sub-post office at seven in the morning.  Though they were open to get the papers delivered they'd sell you papers, sweets and cigarettes but they couldn't conduct post office business until nine because it would be unfair competition for the main post office in Chipping Ongar.  So we were very impressed to find that not only is the Stradbroke library open on a Sunday but so is their post office counter.  But big organisations like the Royal Mail have a genetic need to cock it up and in Yoxford are insisting that the shop can only have a post office counter if it does open on a Sunday.

mo 15 Dec

Last week we stopped for petrol at a Shell garage on the A3 near Liphook.  TwoShell men in Shell jackets (that could do with wash) offered to serve the petrol and check the oil and water and made conversation whilst they were doing it, maybe attended service will make a come back.

th 11 Dec

We've now been through the Dartford Crossing both ways, travelling south the road now swerves round what was the tollbooths and Tuesday there was no tailback but perhaps the traffic was lighter because of a M25 closure further back.  Returning yesterday north bound there was a tailback because traffic still goes through the automatic barriers though the booths have gone.

mo 1 Dec

Dartford Crossing tollbooths in 2011 ~ pic by Darren MeacherIf like us you sometimes go down the A12, turn left on to the M25 and then use the Dartford Crossing to avoid getting wet you need to know you can longer pay at the tollbooths, as far as we can see it's going to work like the congestion charge.

su 26 Oct

Zombie in CambridgeWe couldn't really see the attraction of being chased by zombies during a cross country run cum obstacle race but attending Zombie Evacuation's Contagion in Cambridge yesterday we got it ... it's fun.  The zombies when not chasing were friendly and unlike elderly popular singing artistes pleased to be snapped.  High spot for us was when three curious young teenage boys fled anxiously looking over their shoulders when chased for free by one of the very scary nurses.

mo 11 Nov
Remembrance Day

Just off the A12 by the B1389 junction near Vegetarian? Weird? Gay?Witham is a coffee stall where lorry driver food and smart rejoinders are served from a very clean van.  For what seems like the 20 years we've been asking for a strong coffee there's been a poster advertising eggs and cheese starting Vegetarian? Weird? Gay?  The day we finally man upped to photograph it the sign had changed ... #Essex eh?

th 31 Oct

The last surviving aborigine world war II combatant in the state of Victoria Australia Bill Edwards died earlier this month, he was buried in the Framlingham Australia cemetery near where he grew up.  In Framlingham Suffolk this weekend the White Horse is having the first of regular table top sales.

tu 6 Aug

Not unreasonable to assume road works imminent on the A12 just south of Witham at the B1389 junction as multiple average speed cameras have appeared.

we 26 Jun

♫Not surprisingly Gretchen Peters was pitch perfect last night inGretchen Peters Great Bardfield Essex, slightly surprising as just a trio with husband Barry Walsh, enigmatic Canadian Christine Bougie and slightly quirky instrumentation they could get such a driving sound.  A moist eye with happiness evening was made even more special when we got to ask support act Ben Glover about his chum Mary Gauthier ... and on the way home we saw a badger crossing the A120.

fr 8 Mar
International Women's Day

Greg Butler is really committed to analogue.  For his Cambridge 105 radio show yesterday he humped in and out a load ofGreg Butler (L) and John Halsey (R) gear, dutifully kept changing cartridges to match the disc, used a kitchen sponge to drip soapy water on to some crackly vinyl whilst it played (audibly quietening the surface noise), and played a Rutles transfer on a cylinder ... I will repeat that ... on a cylinder.  His guest John Halsey is now landlord of the Cambridge Castle Inn but 1988(ish)-1995 John was the Stradbroke Queens' landlord and he's also had a long career as a drummer including Beatles parody the Rutles, Viv Stanshall, lots of others and is effectively the only remaining member of Patto a 1970s band we still admire and enjoy.

mo 10 Dec

There's a bit of what was the A11 north of Bishop's Stortford that for competitive cyclists is the E1 time trial course.  As a teenager we raced it's neither sporting nor drag strip rolling route through Essex and Cambridgeshire.  Maybe 25 years later we returned to spectate our nephew compete in the national junior (under 18) 25 mile championship.  Time may have gilded the memory but we recall he came something like eighth in a time that would have put him in the adult elite twenty years earlier.

Nephew Ben racing as a veteran

On our spectators' side of the road the verge was wide enough to have bushes and teensy trees amongst which a tramp lived.  He'd decorated his camp with small chipped plaster figures of dogs.  The tramp appeared, his face was heavily streaked with dirt and he was pushing a wheelbarrow with a small dog in it.  We said Good Morning and he flashed an enormous smile made more gleaming by the contrast with his filthy face, presumably passers by mostly pretended he didn't exist.

Maybe we should all try to acknowledge estate agents, town councillors, management consultants and the like because after all they are our fellows ... sort of.

mo 13 Feb

Like cycle speedway (we saw it for the first time in Norwich just a few years back) it's taken us a lifetime to get round to seeing cycle polo and then it was in Cambridge and we couldn't give it much attention.  In cycle polo you have to make a penalty dash if you put your foot down so surprising that single freewheel is favoured these days rather than fixed, apparently it makes a long stretch easier.

sa 11 Feb

In the way of the working man (remember bendy toys on the front of dustcarts?) a warehouse in Sackers scrap yard Great Blakenham has been decorated with metal pub signs.  They're all that once good brewer Greene King (including a rather gay Green Man but with a big stick), except the Yeldham Stone & Faggot which we think must be Little Yeldham over the border west of Sudbury.

we 1 Feb

People in daygloIn a chilly Great Blakenham this afternoon people in dayglo were standing around looking at other people in dayglo trying to look interested in a crate of knives as the conclusion of the constabulary's Bin A Blade amnesty.  You can't help wonder if some people got it as included were keys, forks, and scissors ... but also blades it's comforting to know aren't on the street anymore, especially if like Holly Watson you lost your brother to knife crime.

sa 14 Jan

♫ With a sound like a charging rhinoceros bass guitarist Jack Bruce is going out on the road again including the Cambridge Corn Exchange in March.  In his BIG blues band is trombonist Winston Rollins ... who looks to us suspiciously like Dennis Rollins.

mo 17 Oct

Young cyclocross riderIt's been a couple of years since we've seen a cyclocross and though a nice day may have helped it was still impressive youthful involvement at the Amis Velo Supacross in Colchester.  Old timers complained like they always have that the course was too easy and national junior cross champion and Ashfield cum Thorpe resident Hugo Robinson won the event with such ease it must have been little more than a training run for him ... mind you he still broke sweat.

we 17 Aug

Last Sunday the 10th annual Goodwood roller marathon had an incredibly mixed 1000+ fieldHuge bunch start of the self propelled raising money for the NSPCC; some real tinies, hurtling lines of mostly in-line skaters, a girl competing with her arm in a sling and huge support from roller derby ... from Cardiff a coach load of Tiger Bay Brawlers, Southend's Seaside Sirens, the Brighton Rockers, a fledgling yet to scrimmage league from Eastbourne, Haunted City (where's that?) and loads more!  Looking forward to next year already.

we 6 Apr

A camera found in Orford possibly belonging to a teacher with connections to Singapore and Norfolk.

fr 4 Mar

The coalition? What do you think of it so far? What do you think of it so far?

su 2 Jan

We think William should dump Kate Middleclass (his dad did it for christ's sake and he was married at the time) and wait for Karen from Outnumbered ... she's played Princess Margaret in The King's Speech so she's forewarned and it would mean a really sensible consort for the monarch later on this century ... who's with us?

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