Friday, 29 June 2018

RMAS - REME Thunderbolts Parachute Display Team


Thanks for visiting.

A buzz of anticipation went around the Arena at the RAMS Heritage Open Day.  The REME Thunderbolts Parachute Display Team would be landing soon.

It was a blustery old day, quite cloudy too.  Would it be on or cancelled?  It was all systems go.  

Here's the team after the display so you don't have to worry, although the gentleman in the kilt was not one of the jumpers!

First up, the plane flew round testing the wind with some smoke.


Waiting for the plane to emerge from the sky took a while, the excitement was building.  Then, there it was.  Six small dots appeared, one after the other.

Whoosh!  Down they came like the man delivering the box of Milk Tray.  The first one getting lower and lower above the crowd, a last minute manoeuvre, a swish and he/she landed in the field, smoke billowing.  Within a couple of minutes, they were all down, not one stuck in the trees.

Off they ran to great applause.

Still more to see, come back soon!


Thursday, 28 June 2018

RMAS - 2nd Queen's Royal Regiment of Foot and Other Events


Thanks for popping in.

The first thing I saw as I climbed the hill at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, was a collection of small white tents against the backdrop of the Old College.  The old red uniforms of the 2nd Queen's Royal Regiment of Foot stood out.  This re-enactment group brings to life the period between the Napoleonic Wars in 1809-1815 including the Battle of Waterloo and they perform all over the country as well as overseas.  Here's the history of the real regiment from their website.

Families were also involved, all dressed in period costume, living how 'they' used to live with the bonus of being able to stay overnight in their tents in the grounds of some wonderful castles and parks when the general public has gone home.

They marched to the Arena to do their display. Everyone was agog!

They showed how they used to fight in those days, loading their rifles and firing causing loud bangs (louder than in the video clip below) much to the consternation of all the babies watching!

The performances came thick and fast in an excellent programme of events.  Here's the Band of the Parachute Regiment.

The UOTC Pipes and Drums.

Away from the Arena, a Bandstand presented the Army Cadet Force Band and the Military Wives Choir.

The Cadets had a stall and demonstrated their drumming.

There was even more to see, stay tuned!


Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Heritage Open Day


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I love Heritage Open Days, don't you?

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst opens its barbed wire gates to the public just once a year in these security conscious times, after all this is the place where Prince Harry did his 44 week Officer Cadet Training Course in 2005 before joining the Blues and Royals and being commissioned as an Army Officer in 2006.  His Passing Out Parade was attended by The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Wiiliam and there is a great painting to mark the occasion in the Old College.

While, we're inside the Old College, which we've entered by the steps leading to the Grand Entrance, straight ahead is the Indian Army Memorial Room with a display of colourful stained glass windows.

Other rooms contain paintings and exhibits.

A couple of rooms were set out for a regimental dinner.

I expect you are wondering what the building looks like!

At the end of the Sovreign's Parade, the Adjutant rides up the steps and dismounts in the Grand Entrance. This tradition began in 1926 but nobody really knows why this was done.

Since 1947 when the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst opened following reorganisation of other Colleges, over 41,000 Officer Cadets and Student Officers have been trained, including those from 80 different overseas countries and it has a reputation worldwide for excellence.

Below are photos of the New College built between 1908 and 1911.

Outside the Grand Entrance of the Old College, an Arena was fenced off for various events which I'll tell you about another time.  The whole site is huge, with enormous water lily filled lakes, fields for polo and cricket matches, there was even an area devoted to stalls, food vendors and activities.   You could visit countless other buildings like the Chapel and Library, some of which could only be viewed from the outside. Lots and lots to see and steps to gather!

Until next time,


Tuesday, 26 June 2018



Thanks for popping in.

I've just finished the book Coastlines - The Story of our Shore by Patrick Barkham which I really enjoyed especially whilst travelling back and forth on the train.  Why is it so good to read on a train?

Essentially it's about a series of walks by the sea which conjure up the views through its flora and fauna, history and tales from the areas and interviews with those closely associated with them.  Luckily for me, the Author had included some of my favourite places and has tempted me with a few areas I haven't visited.

There's a map to introduce each walk and suggestions for walks, OS map detail and nearest railway station and further reading suggestions at the end of the section.

Published by Granta, I see from the I website he has also written The Butterfly Isles which may be of interest to those of you out butterfly spotting.


Monday, 25 June 2018

London Sightseeing


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By the end of my day in London another 25,000 steps were clocked up even though Mr CK kindly picked me up at the station.  We certainly had a good walk.  The pollen level must have been high as there was a fair amount of sneezing as we strode through the parks.

The Wellington Arch looked majestic with the blue sky behind.  Nearby Apsley House, where the Duke of Wellington lived, doesn't have a café, which was a pity as we would have liked to support English Heritage, however it is an impressive place to visit.

There are a number of extremely busy roads to cross in this area to be able to move from Hyde Park to Green Park and then to St James Park.  You'll also pass Buckingham Palace, looking stunning at the moment.

The London Eye and Hoseguards Parade peep through the trees over the ox-eye daisies.

Following Whitehall past Downing Street brings us to Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, still partially covered due to building works.  In Parliament Square, the newest statue of Suffragist Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, who campaigned for the right for women to vote, is the only statue of a woman in the Square.  It was sculpted by Gillian Wearing and if you'd like to read more about it, here's a link.  Even after a couple of months since it was unveiled, there were still quite a few people looking at it and taking photos.

As I write this, Westminster Abbey is holding a memorial service for Professor Stephen Hawking, his ashes will be buried there next to the likes of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.

The Abbey contains much to see including the recently opened Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries in the triforium.  It can be expensive to visit all these wonderful buildings but the Abbey offers a £10 late Wednesday opening ticket for adults, £5 for children from 4:30-6:00.  One day I will visit again.

Westminster Bridge offers a great view of the London Eye.

Just before Waterloo Station, is the Leake Street Tunnel full of everchanging graffiti.

Time to head for home.


Sunday, 24 June 2018

local walks


Thanks for popping in.

Every time you step outside at the moment, you are hit by blue skies and the urge to go for a walk, maybe that's just me though!

Even at the shopping centre in Bracknell, a couple of steps away from all that retail busyness, wild flowers are blooming soaking up the sun.  The Council have maintained their policy to let the banks be covered with wildness.  Can you spot the orchids here, growing happily. 

By the bus station there's a different variety.

In the woods, sun streams through the branches.

Down near the lakes, there's more to see.

It just makes your heart sign.


Saturday, 23 June 2018

Block Blanket


Thanks for calling in.

Another small blanket, made with Stylecraft Special DK,  has just rolled off the production line ready to head off to keep someone's knees cosy on a chilly day although there's no sign of one of those for the next few weeks.

Block stitch is really easy, the blanket soon grows with each row being worked on the right side with no turning at the end of the row.  Interspersed with the triple crochet and one chain rows are rows of single crochet and two chains which produce the small rice-like stitch.

Round the edge, amongst the single crochet rows are a few bobbles, well why not!