One of these was my first motorcycle,my pride and joy,couldn't stop looking out of the window at it for quite a few weeks.Bought for the princely sum of £360 on credit naturally...about the same as a decent helmet these days. It was a nice comfy bike,350cc very frugal with a large tank of petrol that would take me from London to Devon without stopping but if I did it at nighttime which I often did, the lights would get dimmer and dimmer and the last few miles across Dartmoor would be in total darkness. It later met its end on a traffic island where I went to avoid a little old lady who thought the best way to cross the road was to run.
Our family dog Roger,sort of Essex marshes mongrel black Labrador master of all trades.Somehow and with no doubt the cooperation of the local bus crews he learned how to catch the bus from the stop outside our house and go of to Colchester quite a few miles away and spend a few days with his girlfriends before catching the bus back(from a busy bus station!)We would hear the bus stop outside the house and he would quietly sneak in, tail between legs for he knew he was up for a couple of days on the end of a chain. He loved water and would swim for pleasure which was handy as he normally stank of mud, dead fishy things and seaweed. As he was so fond of the sea I taught him to crew my sailing dinghy which he was very good at,obeying lee-oh commands and holding a sheet etc.and did seem to enjoy it. I had to take care as when I went out alone as he sometimes would attempt to join me in the boat.I was once sailing down Pyefleet near the Colne when I saw a black object being swept out to sea,at first I thought it was just a seal but looking again saw it was Roger frantically swimming against the tide and no doubt when I sailed up to rescue him wagging his tail underwater. His other hobby was trying to catch rabbits on the far side of the field behind our house,he would charge in a straight line gathering speed all the way but when he would get to the bunnies they would step aside and not being able to stop as he was going too fast he would skid and somersault for the next twenty yards or so just as they do in Disney cartoons. a dog of all dogs...an Essex dog.
Was a common site in London streets and great fun to ride on as they rattled and banged their way along the tracks.some alarming swaying, missing trams coming the other way by inches.With wooden slat seats they were almost indestructible.Ideal for today's coming out of school kids. Big Beeching type mistake getting rid of them.
I am somewhat frugal and keen on saving the planet and always put just enough water in the kettle to make one cup of tea for myself and no more .but when I come down in the morning for the first cup the kettle has been filled to the top......This house is exceedingly old and does have a few inhabitant ghosts , maybe this joke is carried out by my late departed wife who was always good for a laugh bless her.
A very typical view of my old hunting grounds (the house on the left) taken ten minutes ago,with its cold winter mists over the marshes.Sometimes we couldn't see out for days for the fog but more usually like this. Picture taken from the Strood cam which shows the state of the tide over the causeway http://www.stroodcam.co.uk/
A trip down the river in the early 60s when the money men hadn't yet built their temples and it was an honest hardworking area,though come to think of it the docklands were not exactly that as they seemed to be on strike most of the time,just a different type of banditry
this blog author as a newsreel (B.C.I.N.A.-Visnews) dispatch rider in the 60s.seemed a brilliant and well paid job at first but actually was cold,wet and highly dangerous in reality with a lot of boredom thrown in. Never the less it was about bikes and some sheer enjoyment at times to balance out the bad stuff. It was also great for chasing birds as they used to say.I did it for five years and was still alive at the end.(And lucky)
Its my belief that these trees talk to each other during the night and in all probability are more of a part of this earth and wiser than you or I... This was taken about 5 AM in the early morning mist. 35mm Olympus OM4
Serious amount of snow that year in London,for a few hours things came to a complete standstill and silence reigned,didnt seem to cause a national crisis and a run on the currency like it would these days.Less city gamblers around maybe ?
Shop fronts are so boring these days,all plastic, glass and uniformity though I suppose the Estate agents and Banks will be disappearing soon,lets hope we go back to the old look long before civic planning and health and safety made their mark. Think this is a good time for a revolution and bringing forth personal freedom...Death to the planners !! Praise to the the eccentrics....