Archive for the out and about Category

News and stuff

Posted in Embroidery, everyday life, out and about, shrewsbury with tags , , , , on November 28, 2015 by suetortoise

A mixed bag of things to talk about, so I’ll start by catching up on more general topics, then those with no interest in embroidery can wander off without reading on.

Smolensk square completed

My father’s house is still up for sale in Bucknell – the property market there seems dead at the moment. Which is a shame, as it’s a good, practical house in a pleasant South Shropshire village, near Ludlow, and it wants to find someone who will love it. My sister and I are hoping that the spring brings some new viewings.

I had my annual trip to Novacon science fiction convention in Nottingham a couple of weekends ago – my only chance for a trip away this year. It was a pleasant weekend with a chance to meet up with old friends. The art show went well – plenty of variety from a fair few artists, and plenty of sales. Most of my work on show was previously unsold pictures, as I haven’t been in the mood for making much artwork this year. I did quite well in the art auction, considering, and now have a little more space in my portfolio for when I get going with new pictures.

The Christmas lights are up in Castle Street, where I live, and the shop windows below are trying to out-glitter each other. I’m not feeling sparkly yet. I think I’d rather just let this Christmas go by with the minimum of fuss and look forward to next year, when life is going to be a lot more interesting. I’ve got my plane ticket booked for a trip to Melbourne in the autumn, I’ve booked my hotel room for Mancunicon the Easter science fiction convention, which is in Manchester this year, and I’ll be back in Nottingham for another Novacon in November. Plus I’ll make sure I have plenty of days out, do things, go places, spend time with friends… Continue reading

Misty Morning in Ellesmere

Posted in out and about, Photography with tags , , , , , , on September 9, 2015 by suetortoise

I took my camera to Ellesmere on the bus, yesterday. There was heavy mist when I arrived, and although the mist slowly cleared a little, the sun stayed hidden and the air was chill. So I came back home after lunch. Despite the weather, I enjoyed my morning pottering around looking for pictures. The lack of easy views encouraged me to seek out subjects I might otherwise have missed. And although there was not a lot of colour, what there was seemed extra vivid. Here are some photos taken in Cremorne Gardens, at the edge of the Mere and in the Castlefields.






A Meridian, Giant Swans and Someone Else’s Dragon

Posted in books, Embroidery, everyday life, out and about, science fiction, shrewsbury with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2014 by suetortoise

Tanya's Dragon - started

So was Loncon 3 a good World Science Fiction Convention? Did Kevon and I have a good time? Was the art show a success for me?

Loncon 3 was a lot to take in, a bit too much at times, but overall we enjoyed it. The convention was huge, full of people and with a massive programme of events. We could only get to a small fraction of the things on offer. Some interesting discussion panels, a very good talk by Lord Rees the Astronomer Royal, among other talks. Kevon and I took part in an academic experiment on our initial reactions to real and constructed  languages – which languages sound friendly, aggressive, etc. Fascinating food for thought.

Kevon and I went off to Greenwich early on the Saturday morning, and ate breakfast sitting in the sunshine by the Cutty Sark, before walking past the National Maritime Museum and through Greenwich Park to the Observatory. (Kevon was most put out that the Greenwich Meridian was not at exactly zero according to the GPS on his mobile phone.) This pleasant outing was the only bit of sightseeing we had time for in London, as we didn’t want to miss too much of the convention.

The art show was huge, with artist talks, tours and demonstrations and well-attended workshops as well as the display of artwork. This made the show a lively, friendly place, and we art exhibitors were encouraged to be there at lunchtimes , so people could chat to us. (It also gave us a chance to chat to each other. I met some old friends and made some new ones there.) Plenty of buyers, too. I took nineteen pieces and came home with only four, so I’ve no complaints.

The Excel Centre staff were friendly, the loos were clean and there was plenty of space to sit and talk and numerous food places, serving affordable meals. And we got plenty of exercise walking from the hotel at one end to the convention area at the other – it’s a massive place! On the downside, Kev had an upset stomach the first night and I started a heavy cold on the Sunday evening.  (Then Kevon started it a few days later. It got a large number of convention attendees.) So we didn’t feel like  doing as much as we might otherwise have done.

I was very good, and didn’t spend too much money, despite the tempting bookstalls and dealers selling everything from flying drones and animated Tribbles to T-shirts, pearls and pyrogravure. On the Thursday evening, I’d gone to an entertaining talk on medieval spinning and weaving by Katrin Kania of Pallia and A Stitch in Time blog and later I bought a couple of metres of linen band from her stall. Trust me to go to a huge SF con and come back with no books, but with yet more embroidery material!

I bought a book on Thursday last week. A very new book. Children’s author and Shrewsbury resident Pauline Fisk produced her My Tonight From Shrewsbury blog in 2012 – a year in the life of the town from January to the end of December – people, places, events, history, little known facts and hidden corners.  I’ve mentioned it before. It’s an excellent piece of journalism. The heart of the blog has now been condensed down to a book: Behind Closed Doors in an English County Town. On Thursday I went to the launch party at the new museum. It’s a good book, and I think it will do very well as there’s plenty to appeal to locals in it as well as plenty to interest visitors to the town.

For the launch, Pauline made a big cake and iced it with a picture of Shrewsbury as it is shown on a Tudor map: complete with the castle, old streets, walls, fortified bridges, houses and churches  – and the swans on the Severn larger than most of the buildings. The light was poor, so I couldn’t get a very good photo, but here it is:

Pauline Fisk's Book Launch Masterpiece

The multi-talented and amazing Tanya Bentham of Opus Anglicanum blog, is doing a ‘stitchalong’ project on the blog as an introduction to medieval laid-work embroidery. The first design is a little dragon, based one from a 12th-century church pillar. I’ve wanted to have a go at this type of work for some time, but I’m allergic to wool and this is a technique that won’t work properly with threads without a bit of spring in them. After considerable experiment, mine is being worked in acrylic yarn on linen rather than hand dyed crewel on wool. (I’ll talk about where the yarn I am using came from next time I write on this project.) If you want to join in, Tanya’s instructions start with the materials list here, and she also has kits for the project for sale on her Folksy site.

After working with fine threads on a small scale for so long, my first reaction is how surprisingly fast this piece is growing. Just a few stitching sessions, and I am over half-way through the first stage. I’ve never taken part in a ‘stitchalong’ before, so it’s all new to me. The entire project is for a small bag with a silk lining, but I will probably only do this one dragon.

One other piece of good news to end with: I had a hospital appointment yesterday, for them to see how my bladder is doing, after the removal of a small malignant growth earlier this summer. And the camera showed that all is well in there. That was a great relief. I will get another check-up in six months, but it looks like they’ve not left anything behind and no sign of anything new. Thanks for a job well done, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.




Art Show a-Go-Go

Posted in Digital Art and Fractals, everyday life, out and about, science fiction with tags , , , , , , , on August 10, 2014 by suetortoise

ready for Loncon3

I’ve been busy. I’ve now got nineteen pieces ready for the Art Show for Loncon3 in the Excel Centre – which is all set to be the biggest ever World Science Fiction Convention. (A scary thought, as I don’t enjoy being in large crowds.) There will be far too much going on for me to see everything, I’m spoilt for choice. Somewhere among those nearly 10,000 people will be  lot of good friends that I am looking forward to seeing again. And an Art Show.

For my fractal artwork, I have splashed out on good, ready-cut mount boards. The framer around the corner from me here in Shrewsbury retired a couple of years ago, and I miss his selection of ready-cut frames. So I tried Cotswold Mounts, online at I’ve not used Cotswold Mounts before, but I will certainly use them again in future. My order arrived a few days later: securely packed, clean, sturdy and flawless. I added some of their precut backing boards and cello-bags to my order, too, which made mounting the pictures a brief pleasure rather than the usual long, slow chore that I dread. Most importantly, the black-cored mount board gives the fractals a lot of added ‘oomph’ and brings out the colours. Now I just have to show the finished pieces next weekend and – with luck – sell them.

I’ve not been doing much stitchery. Apart from finishing that art show stuff and the day job, I’ve been engaged in furious housework. The flat has been getting a long overdue tidy up, spring-clean and sort out, ready for my Australian friend Kevon, who is coming over to London for the convention and who will be coming back to stay with me for a week afterwards. I’m just about ready now, so we can relax in civilised surroundings.



This Fragile Townscape

Posted in discussion topic, everyday life, Flickr, out and about, shrewsbury, Uncategorized on February 16, 2013 by suetortoise

I recently came across author Pauline Fisk’s interesting new blog, My Tonight From Shrewsbury. Pauline is fascinated by the less-known, the hidden and the curious side of Shrewsbury, which she celebrates in words and pictures. As someone who also loves the strange little details of Shrewsbury buildings, this is right up my street.

On the 14th of February, Pauline’s blog dealt with the subject of rooftop exploration. And this is something that I feel quite strongly about. Strongly enough to want to talk about it here, at more length than I could do in just a comment on her blog. Rather handily, there is a building under renovation a stone’s throw from her street door and from mine. I took a few photos from my living room window this morning, which illustrate one of my main concerns.
fragile townscape 1

As the urban explorer Pauline interviewed told her, people don’t often bother to look up at the buildings they pass every day. I have lost count of the people I’ve spoken to who are totally unaware of all the little carved heads flanking the windows and doors of Shrewsbury’s railway station. They are great fun to photograph and use as inspiration for digital artwork. You’ll find a set of them here on Flickr. Also on Flickr is my photo-collection of hopper heads, the decorative tops to rainwater downpipes. Shrewsbury is rich in them – The Square, in particular, has some remarkably fine ones. These are things you can look at without leaving the ground or trespassing.

What bothers me in particular about people clambering about on rooftops, however well intentioned the explorers, is the sheer fragility of the buildings. Many – very many – of those fine plastered Georgian and Victorian frontages, with their sash windows, parapets and architectural flourishes, are just additions to the older buildings that were on the site before. It doesn’t take much knowledge of building materials to realise that a rigid brick front on a flexible timber structure, isn’t that happy a combination. And as hidden timbers rot and crumble, as the rumble of traffic, as roadworks, earth-tremors, alterations and the weather all take their toll, the cracks and chips appear. Patches, mortar and fresh plaster, and then more decay…
fragile townscape 4
fragile townscape 3

Look at what has been happening under the plaster on this building. The builders’ netting obscures some of the detail, but you can see the cracks and crumbling wood. Some urban explorer leans a little too heavily on a parapet, and a chunk of brick or stone drops into the busy street. While I know that the serious Urbexers are never intentionally destructive, our roofs and ledges won’t stand a lot of weight safely. And where the careful ones go, the less careful may follow. Some were on the roof right above my flat a few weeks ago. They may have taken only photographs, but they left three or four cigarette butts on the tiles, and I was quite spooked by the noise they made before I realised what was happening. Across the road, the pinnacles on the Darwin Shopping Centre have been bent and broken; one urbexer grabbed an aerial pole for support on the way back down and the television shop below lost its signal until a repair team could get out to re-align the aerials. Drainpipes are often brittle cast iron, held on with rusting nails. Tiles shift and crack, leading to water ingress and further damage….

Not just the less-careful follow them, either. To glamourise climbing buildings without proper precautions risks attracting those who are too young, too drunk or too thoughtless to be safe at a height. Accepting explorers as a feature of the skyline, also gives cover for those who are ready to be tempted by a skylight or a roof hatch, or simply by the lead on the roof.

When I was younger, had I been fitter and possessed of less common sense and a better sense of balance, I might have been tempted to take my own camera up there too.  But now I am willing to forgo the grand views. And if I see shadowy figures on the Shrewsbury skyline, my first reaction is to let the police know about it. Not because I want to spoil innocent fun, but because I love our fragile townscape.

fragile townscape 5
Any comments?

A Fairly Positive Update

Posted in everyday life, Family and Friends, out and about with tags , , , on April 24, 2012 by suetortoise

 I apologise for the delay in updating this blog. On the Sunday before Easter, my mother was rushed to hospital in Hereford with breathing difficulties. The last three weeks have been rather frantic. At first, Mum was in the emergency ward and we were wondering if she would last until my sister came up to see her on the Thursday. She did. A few days later, she’d rallied a bit, and was transferred to a medical ward. Now she’s made more progress and has been transferred from Hereford County Hospital to Ludlow Community Hospital – much nearer her home in South Shropshire, to a ward with a very pleasant, friendly atmosphere and caring staff. They are trying to build up her strength and recover some mobility. She’s still on oxygen to help her breathing, but she’s looking much better. Life is a little less fraught again.

It takes me as long to get to Ludlow on the country bus as it takes to do the 50-mile trip to Hereford on the train, but it doesn’t cost much and it’s an entertaining journey with several long detours from the main A49 along narrow, winding roads into little towns and villages, with frequent stops to let people on and off, and manoevers to pass other vehicles. All this in the lovely South Shropshire hill country in springtime. (I could go to Ludlow by train in half the time, but at more than twice the fare.) So I’ve been travelling to and from hospitals and dealing with all the various problems arising rather than doing much else outside of work.

One of the delights of the season: Balwen Black Welsh Mountain lambs - with their black and white markings, they look like a cross between the sheep and the sheepdog.

One other thing that I have been doing is working on a forthcoming exhibtion at Shrewsbury Museum – this is of writing inspired by items in the museum collection. I’ve been helping Adrian Perks, the curator of it, to prepare the written material for display and create the object labels; we are also producing a small booklet with the same material. It is something I’ve never done before, and has proved quite an interesting challenge.

The Elizabethan-inspired embroidery test piece of my last blog post is progressing slowly. I am about two-thirds of the way through now, and having fun making little strawberries with corded buttonhole stitch. This isn’t something that I can do while sitting on the bus to Ludlow, it’s too fiddly, so I am also making another one of my stitched boxes. These are ideal for travelling: portable and easy to see. So long as the bus is not too crowded, I can make good progress on a box as we judder and twist through Condover and All Stretton, Leebotwood, Wistanstow and Onibury.

A Grab Bag

Posted in Embroidery, everyday life, out and about with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by suetortoise

Florentine stitch sample

So now it’s March, spring is starting to happen in Shrewsbury, and it’s about time I caught up with the blog. This picture is a slight cheat as it’s not a new piece of embroidery, it’s a sample that I made thirty or more years ago, probably in the late 1970s. I found it in a pile of old papers and samples and charts last week. The fabric is a fine mono canvas (about 17 threads to the inch, 7 threads to the cm). Petit point canvas . I think it came from The Needlewoman Shop in Regent Street, London – I worked there for a little while in the early Seventies, and left about a year before it closed for good. The thread is just undivided stranded cotton – some from a big bag of old Anchor threads that I had picked up a boot sale in the village where I was living, and some from a box of Peri Lusta: a mail-order ‘bargain’, bought sight-unseen from an advertiser in the back of an embroidery magazine. The basic stitch is over four threads of canvas, just straight stitches, the steps always rising and falling by two threads. There’s the occasional half-stitch over just two threads where necessary.

I made this little piece to try out a couple of border patterns designed to go with the simple Florentine all-over pattern in the central section. I had a project in mind that would use these three linked patterns. It was to be a tote bag, with the front and back in the main pattern, but with the lower band used as a border on the top and bottom of each side. The upper pattern was for the side gussets. I was going to do the handles in the lower pattern, too, but then I realised that handles made of webbing would be far more durable than canvaswork, and white webbing over piping cord could also run along the open part and along the seams, protecting the embroidery at the points of most wear.

Needless to say, that particular bag never got any further than this sample and some thinking. Most of the thread which I had set aside for it was eventually used on other projects. So all that is left is the sample. If any of you want to take the patterns and use them for a bag, or in some other way, or just take the idea of doing something similar, please do. It will mean I have not stitched the sample in vain.

The Florentine patterns on the sample are very simple ones. There are many more interesting patterns around, and new ones waiting to be discovered. Florentine, which is also known as Bargello, Hungarian Point and Flame Stitch, is very easy once the first few rows are in place to set the pattern. It uses quite a lot of thread, as the ground fabric has to be completely covered. It’s generally worked on mono canvas, often with crewel wool, or Persian wool, but it can also be worked on any fabric with a suitably open weave. (For soft fabrics, it’s better worked in a frame.) Needle-books and glasses cases, worked in silk, rayon or cotton on fine evenweave; bold wallhangings and cushions in rug-yarn on coarse canvas, and everything in between. The Georgians covered whole armchairs in it – often with very intricate patterns. They must have had rather more patience than I have, and far more time!

* * *

Having reached Georgian times by way of the late Seventies, let’s get back up to date. What else have I been up to in February 2012? Embroidery-wise, not much, as you may have gathered. There was Shrewsbury’s annual Darwin Festival, with some good science talks (I got to five talks this year). Interesting audience discussions after the talks, too. (Shame about the lack of response from my blog-readers on my own attempt at a discussion topic. It’s not too late, folks, if you want to have a say.) There have been some more meetings down at the local museum, talking about the things the volunteers can do next, when we’ve got to the end of the huge cataloguing project. I’m hoping to get involved in some of the writing and research needed for the displays in the new museum.

My part-time job continues, three days a week. I am still enjoying it, but we have been so quiet in the office lately, I wonder how much longer it will continue. For at least few more weeks, I hope. Back home, I’ve been making fractal pictures again – still finding new images after more than four years playing with Apophysis. I’ve been trying to get back in practice with the guitar, after too many months virtually ignoring it. (My latest musical doodle has been Flanders and Swann’s The Sloth. Great fun!) And I’m busy trying to get the Tortoise Loft looking tidy and presentable again: an endless task for someone who does so many different crafts and ‘bitty’ things and who keeps so much junk in the hope it might come in handy one day; and when there are so many much more interesting things to do than housework. Even writing blog updates, if I’ve no other good excuse handy!

Strange Folk

Posted in Family and Friends, Music, out and about, shrewsbury with tags , on September 11, 2011 by suetortoise

I am pleased to welcome Tortoise Loft‘s first ever Guest Blogger, Mr Kevon Kenna of Australia.

Kevon came over here on holiday in August. We started with a day at the Shrewsbury Flower Show. Where Kevon’s pleasure in the musical fireworks of the Band of the Coldstream Guards was equalled only by his pleasure in the musical fireworks of the, er, musical fireworks – Kimbolton’s pyrotechnic finale being the best I’ve seen yet. We spent a couple of very pleasant days in York – with time to see the National Railway Museum and the Castle Museum as well as stroll around the walls and along the riverside. The holiday ended with the Shrewsbury Folk Festival. I asked Kevon if I could post his comments on the Festival here on Tortoise Loft. I’ve added a couple of pictures that I took at the event; the words, the links – and the opinions – are Kevon’s own.

Lucy Ward


The third day of the festival found us in the Sabrina Marquee. The Shrewsbury Folk Festival is neither small nor cheap. It has about 6 venues in fairly continuous use from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon of England’s famed August Bank-Holiday Weekend. The venues range from a circus tent with computerised coloured spotlights and smoke machines, down to more intimate spaces that only hold a couple of hundred. The opening performance in the circus tent was all amplification and coloured lights, which is not my idea of Folk Music. I want to hear the words; not be pummelled by the bass. Perhaps the smaller Sabrina Marquee will be an improvement?
The first act was three old men with fiddle, melodeon, and I forget what else. They sang traditional songs and I could hear the words. This was good. After them came four young poms, one of whom works for NASA in the USA. They began with a quiet song; restful, contemplative; full of long silences and instrumental solos; perfect for a warm Sunday afternoon. As near as I can recall it went:

(Start with refrain)
This is the sound-check; this is the sound check, baby.
This is the sound-check; this is the sound check, baby.

This is the sound-check, we’re just checking;
That our instruments are all plugged in.
(repeat refrain)

This is the sound-check, it’s not a song.
We make it up as we go along.
(repeat refrain)

They also did the story of Rhys and Meinir; the traditional Welsh love story that ends when Rhys finds his beloved’s skeleton in an oak tree, still in her wedding dress. He dies too; and all live happily ever after.

When they had finished a girl wandered onto the stage and told us that she had a sticky mouth from the lunch she had just eaten. She had a guitar. She also had green hair and the strap of a thong showing above the waist of her leggings. I considered leaving. I checked the programme notes : “Her …strong, pitch-perfect, delivery and the maturity of her songs can reduce an audience to tears, …” It can. She favours songs about women’s hardships. She was the best act of the day. Her hair wasn’t green either; it was blue. It looked green in the light that filtered through the yellow canvas of the tent. Appearances can deceive. —

The last act, the one that I had come to see, was a group of five mature men singing sea chanteys. They were good too, but Lucy was better.


At least once every day there was a ceilidh in the dance tent. In deepest England; as far as can be from crofts, skerries, bogs and uisge beatha; we are having traditional celtic night gatherings in daylight? Wikipedia explains :

What is now called English ceilidh [ … ] has many things in common with the Scottish/Irish social dance traditions and can be considered part of English Country Dance [ … ] English ceilidhs always use a caller who calls the dance figures the dancers need to make. [ … ] Most of the dances involve couples staying together for the whole dance, though people often change partners after every one or two dances.

The one I went to was lively, crowded, and great fun. The caller invited couples to form fours, or parallel lines, or concentric circles. Some of the couples were boy and girl, many girl and girl, some were parent and waist-high child, and one “couple” was a wheelchair with pusher, occupant, and occupant’s partner. The caller described the steps of the dance and talked the dancers through a few sequences, then the music and mayhem began. There was Strip-the Willow, The-Dashing-White-Sergeant, and I know not what else. Couples galloped between lines of their fellows, ducked under arches of outstretched arms, separated to swing around strangers and meet again 4 bars later. Groups of six or eight formed mini-centrifuges. There was a lot of flailing about, looking for the correct hand to grab next but, remarkably, things mostly kept skipping, galloping, spinning, and swinging, more-or-less in time to the strong beat of the band. Perhaps some of them had done it before.

Morris and Clog

It’s hard to describe Morris Dancing without making it sound ridiculous. A half dozen or so grown men, with solemn mien, tie bells to their legs and caper in unison. You can get a bit of an idea of the leg-work by watching John Cleese from the Ministry of Silly Walks. There are many styles, but to the uninitiated the main difference is that sometimes they wave white handkerchiefs,
Hankies Aloft
and sometimes they bang sticks together.

The dancing is accompanied by a Melodeon, a kind of squeeze-box, but where normal dancing follows the music, a Morris Melodeon player follows the dancers. It they need more time for a step, the player will extend the beat as required. This can sound awkward, and it requires the musician to walk backwards when leading a parade. The antiquity and origin of Morris is uncertain, but it may have originated as a celebration of casting the Moors out of Spain. Morris = Moorish, perhaps? In any case it is old.

Along with the Morris dancers we had cloggers. Clogging is not old. In the Industrial Revolution lots of mills were built in Northern England, and lots of lasses worked at t’mill. The traditional mill-girl’s shoe was a wooden-soled Clog, and a Clog makes a satisfying bang when stamped on a wooden floor. Clogging is girls having fun; and it is fun to watch.

We also had Rapping. Weavers must periodically push the weft threads together to close them up. At t’mill this was, apparently, done with a rapper. From a distance a rapper looks like a sword with a handle at both ends. Some teams danced with these, and wove them together as they swung around each other with the rappers held aloft. This must require great skill and fitness,  but the clogging looked like more fun. I could have watched Morris and
Clogging all day.

Thank you, Kevon. ‘I could have watched Morris and Clogging all day?’ You are a braver man that I thought. (I had not realised the Folk Festival would be your first real exposure to it – we take chaps wearing bells for granted in these parts.) I prefer to have Morris in much small doses. But you were right about Lucy Ward’s fine singing – definitely a name to watch.

The Shropshire Olympian Festival

Posted in Flickr, out and about, Photography, shrewsbury on July 5, 2011 by suetortoise

In 1864 (in the year that the building holding the Tortoise Loft was erected  – the date is on the hopper-heads of the downpipes), The Olympian Festival which had started in Much Wenlock in 1850 was brought to the Quarry Park in Shrewsbury. It was a roaring success, and the National Olympian Association was founded the next year. The rest is sporting history. On the weekend of the 17th to 19th June, 2011, Shrewsbury held a re-enactment of this event.
The Friday was mainly a sports day for Shropshire Schools, the Saturday incorporated the Shrewsbury Carnival, the Sunday was a day of varied events, including coracle races on the River Severn and picnics on the grass, concluding with a massed choir singing the anthem ‘Floreat Salopia’, a fitting finale to a remarkable weekend. The costumes and events were a feast for a photographer.
I was there for a while on the Saturday afternoon and all day on the Sunday, when I was one of several Official Photographers producing black and white images for the Retrospective exhibition. The next week was a flurry of photo-processing, to prepare the work. The exhibition is now on show at Theatre Severn, in the Chapel Bar and is well worth seeing. A number of my pictures were selected, among many fine shots from the other photographers. I’m showing some of those that were not selected on this page, and you can see my full set from the Shropshire Olympian Festival on Flickr.
Thank you to all who were involved, and particularly those who were happy to pose in their fine Victorian costumes.

Snack trolley

Posted in everyday life, out and about on April 4, 2011 by suetortoise
On the train to Bucknell on Saturday, we had the drinks-trolley chap who thinks that he is a comedian. Every male passenger is addressed as Dave, every female passenger as Mary and the purchase of a cup of coffee produces a litany such as
Coffee, Dave? Yes, I might have a magic one left
There you go, Dave.
Milk, Dave?
Milk, Dave.
Sugar, Dave?
Agitator, Dave?
Agitator, Dave.
It gets wearing after a very short while. When not attracting any custom (he can’t get the trolley along the gangway of the small single-carriage DMU) he walks up and down offering:
Ice cream, anyone?
(Needless to say, he has no ice cream on the trolley.)
Ice cream, tea, coffee, squirrel on a stick anyone?
Squirrel on a stick?
Ocelot spleen, anyone?
Coffee, Dave?