Wearing a beanie for the first time

Caps, and hats are my preferred head gear. I’ve a selection of caps from which to choose, blue baker boys, eight piece tweeds, and some panama hats. I’ve also a selection of baseball-style caps, collected, if that’s right word, over many years. Flat caps are my favourite, with my blue baker boys my top choice. Caps fit snuggly on my head, and afford me the opportunity of touching or doffing my cap to acknowledge someone and to show respect.

While we, my wife and I, were recently tidying the contents of some of the drawers in one of our chest of drawers I noticed some of my wife’s beanies. One of which was acquired on our trip on the steamship SS Shieldhall on last year’s August Bank Holiday. The trip was good fun, though the sea breeze was chilly, so much so that she bought a beanie while I bought a baseball cap.

My recent heathland walks offered a chance to try out the SS Shieldhall beanie. I found it was warm, and covered the tops of my ears, but wasn’t great for my hairstyle, such as it is. I think I’ll stick with wearing caps. See photos of SS Shieldhall beanie and HERE for me wearing an SS Shieldhall cap in the video.

More road works on Guildford Road in Lightwater

I’m not complaining about more road dislocation, really, I’m not. I’m taking a positive view. Having a generous Monday attitude, it can be seen as investment in our infrastructure.

Anyway, you’ll want to know what the work is all about. I looked on Surrey County Council highway website map and discovered it’s about raising the kerbs at the bus stops, and footway patching. Personally, I prefer the word pavement to footway.

Here is the photo of the warning sign in the village centre, and a screen capture for Surrey Highways website. I have noticed a discrepancy in the dates.

Nature lifts the spirits

The variety of bulbs in our gardens, front and back, are showing strong growth. We’ve mostly named daffodils, with unnamed crocus, and other bulbs where we’ve foolishly lost their name tags.

While the daffodils are encouraging, the winter sun, lovely though it is, is not helping our large camellia. It’s flowers are beginning to appear in abundance, while the frost and winter sun are doing their damnedest to ruin them. Ah, well, there are plenty of flower buds so hopefully the full show will come.

Winter sun good for heathland walks, bad for driving

Winter walks in our local heathland are good fun in the winter sun. That low winter sun is not so good for driving. Driving towards late afternoon winter sun is not so good, it’s almost blinding when you’re driving straight into it.

Anyway, off for another winter walk on this crisp, dry, cold, and sunny day.

UK electricity generation almost 50% from renewables

I don’t know what prompted me to look at the websites that show sources of electricity in the UK. But in doing so, I found that today at 13.10 GridWatch showed 49% of electricity was generated by renewable sources.

A key reason for the high percentage is the current warm weather that means that the UK requires a smaller amount of electricity generation, and therefore renewables provide a higher %. While the wind we’re experiencing on land is low, offshore it’s high.

There are a number of websites that monitor UK electricity generation, and surprising don’t seem to be in agreement with their numbers. I looked at three websites, GridWatch, Iamkate, and GridWatch templar. For example I took a screen shot of GridWatch and Iamkate within a minute or two of each other, and here’s what I found,

Surrey Heath Museum calendar celebrates royal connections

Not bought your 2022 calendar yet, here’s a calendar celebrating Surrey Heath Borough’s royal connections. It’s available from the Heritage Gallery – Surrey Heath’s Museum – at 33 Obelisk Way in The Square in Camberley.

As Princess Elizabeth, Her Majesty lived in Camberley for a time, so royal connections are strong, which the calendar uncovers over its pages.

Here’s a photo of the poster advertising the calendar on the window of the Heritage Gallery, and one off the calendar promotional poster.

Finding an easier way down to Folly Bog

Taking to the local heathland for a Boxing Day walk I discovered some major heathland vegetation clearance. Unable to resist investigating the changes, I followed the cleared area from the heathland track down to the fence line of the Bisley and Pirbright ranges [see my photo below].

When near the fence I realised that there was a chance for scramble through the heather to Folly Bog. Accessing the boggy area of Folly Bog has become progressively more difficult, with no easy path down to it from the heathland track, so to find an easy way to reach the bog I determined to walk through the undergrowth.

It wasn’t as difficult a scramble as I imagined, as after going not to far into the undergrowth I found traces of a path. What did surprise was that the path was underwater, not by much, but enough to require me to carefully pick my way through to the boggy area. I was pleased to find so much water and boggy ground, as the ground has become much drier, especially in the summer and autumn, such that I’ve struggled to find the signs of the small Sundews – see my photo taken in May a couple of years ago – the insect eating plants, which are found in marshes, bogs, and fens.

I did get wet, wet shoes, and wet trouser bottoms, but am happy to find an easier way down to the bog. Prior to ending my walk I had a quick peek at the volume of water coming of the boggy area into the start of the Lightwater stream. Maybe you can’t see it on my photo, there was a huge water run-off from the ground into the stream [see my photo below]. An enjoyable walk was had justifying a nice cup of tea and a biscuit back home.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you dear readers

Dear readers, I wish you a happy, hearty, and healthy Christmas. Thank you for visiting this little blog and reading the meanderings of a simple brain, and huge thanks to those readers who’ve generously found time to post comments on the blog, or perhaps just to post a like. All very much appreciated. Photo of Father Christmas and helpers looking down from their platform onto a Lightwater street.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Learning library tips from a friend

I’m an inveterate book borrower, whether it be from a public library or one of the many free book sources.

When choosing a book to read I struggle to remember whether I’d previously read a book when teasing a book off the shelf – authors John le Carre and Donna Leon always present a problem as I’ve read so many of their books, and often found that I’d chosen a book I’d read before.

A solution to my problem occurred when I met a friend, also hunting for a new read at Lightwater Library, who was referring to a list of all the books he’d borrowed from Surrey Libraries.

Just what I needed. He said that I could do the same, by logging into the Surrey Libraries website, which I have now done. Here’s how you too can create a list of books you’ve borrowed. Your first action is to join Surrey Libraries – sorry to say it’s a longish form to create an account with the Library. Having done that you login to your account with your library card number along with the pin number you chose when completing the joining form.

Annoyingly there’s no guide to tell you how to get to your loan history. Clicking on the ? icon on the top line of the home page gives plenty of information about library services, but none about loan history. So, here are a couple of screen captures below that should help you. When you’ve logged into your account, go to the Personal Information page. At the bottom of this page you will see an item Preferences. Click on Preferences and tick the boxes for Record my loan history, and Show my loan history.

Next to the Personal Information is a box titled Loans/Renewals. Click on this box and underneath the list of books you have on loan there’s a box titled Loan History. Click on this box and a list of all the books you’ve had on loan will appear. Not sure why, but my list doesn’t show anything prior to 2017.

What I did next was to highlight all the items in my Loan History and copy it. I then pasted my copied list into an Excel spreadsheet so that I could sort into the sequence I wanted. It’s up to you where you want to place your copied list. Hope I’ve helped, and not confused you. Screen captures below,

Christmas lights show friendly neighbourliness

I’ve not spoken with any of the homeowners in a small cul-de-sac in Lightwater. I’ve assumed, hopefully correctly, that they are all happy to extensively cover their homes in Christmas lights, in a friendly non-competitive way.

There are sure to be places all over the country where there are pockets of decorated houses next door to one another. It’s just that lazy me hasn’t looked for them, especially when there’s one close to where I live, here in lovely Lightwater.

There must be a way of photographing coloured lights and flashing lights. If there is, I haven’t found it. One expedition to record the Christmas lights on my iPhone camera proved to be a total disaster, everything blurred and out of focus. In the second visit to the light show I used my digital camera. Again not hugely successful, though an improvement from my first effort.

I really can’t go back again, otherwise someone report me for loitering. So, here are my best photos. There are some homes that have spectacular lights and a variety of animals in lights where my photos are just rubbish, and not worth posting.

What is good is my conclusion that the homes in the cul-de-sac exhibit community spiritedness. Passing by the cul-de-sac I see the glow from all the lights and think good thoughts about neighbourliness.

I’ve posted my photos as a slide show.