Cheam – A London village

Despite being in a London Borough there’s still very much the air of a village about Cheam Village. It’s too small to attract the shopping chains, although the café and restaurant chains have got a foothold.

On a day that threatened some nasty weather, the morning was sunny and warm enough to allow the taking of some bright pictures with the phone.

The croquet lawn has stimulated me to look into the game’s rules and to find out a bit about the village club. The walk in the grounds of the church provided some nice images, and I liked the new bench in the grounds of the library.

Kitchen window view (approx)

Another dead afternoon so why not have another go at not being an artist? Here is my preparation – note the image on the laptop as it’s my kitchen window and is my intended subject. I’m not happy with my effort, but that’s no big deal. It’s the taking part that’s important, eh? My non-progress can be seen on the page NotAnArtist.

A visit to the library

The libraries are open again and there are the necessary Covid precautions – masks, a one-way system and an ID registration. I must have been there three-quarters of an hour yet I was the only visitor. After several circuits of the shelves I was almost resigned to coming away with nothing but then a flurry of possibly interesting reads appeared. In addition, the library was disposing of copies of Matt Haig’s Midnight Library, leftovers from World Book Day. Well thank you very much, I’ll have one!

Writing without structure

It’s been a little while since I last wrote a blog post – life has been a bit dull (apart from Chloe reaching 7 years!). In a blog I follow, an artist accompanies his fine sketches with a stream of text. There’s punctuation and word spacing but no paragraphs or blank lines. I wonder whether this ignoring of normal formatting might be a way to overcome the difficulties I have putting down my thoughts. So here goes. Instead of an artist’s drawing, an image taken this morning on a walk around the local park. Using a phone app that takes images in raw format there’s a noticeable improvement on the over-sharpened images of the default app. Of course it’s necessary to process raw images before they can be used, but I’m in control of how the image looks rather than leaving it to the default camera app. Yesterday was a typical Saturday – the papers, the bakery. A coffee in the gardens of a new vegan / vegetarian café was disappointing – a latte was nowhere near hot enough and our reticence in not complaining was something we regretted. Entertainment was provided by the couple whose dog lead got tangled in their table, bringing plates, cups and saucers crashing and smashing to the ground. Embarrassing! We’d visit the café again if only because on a nice sunny it’s so nice to sit outside with a drink and reading the papers. In the evening we watched the first episode of a re-run of series-1 of The Killing. Great stuff – 19 episodes to go and all available on streaming for binge watching at our leisure.

Sleep cycle

My son put me on to an app for monitoring sleep patterns. You put your phone next to your bed at night and the app listens out for noises and decides what the noises mean. It can sense the sound of your breathing and movements and from this decide whether you are awake, asleep, in deep sleep, snoring, talking.

These are my 6 days of using the app. The sleep patterns are all over the place and I couldn’t see a relationship between the patterns and how well I felt I had slept. Also, I suspect that the awake peaks in the middle of of the night are my wife going to the loo! I’m not sure how the app can work when there are two people in close proximity to the phone. With the app draining the battery 50% or more, my curiosity is exhausted and I’ve deleted it – at no cost.

Just another walk

On another 13 mile walk I came across this chalk hole, confirming that the North Downs is very much a chalky landscape. That’s a great tumbledown shed in the background!

I like this signpost

White bushes were everywhere

A typical path through the trees

In an enormous field populated by many sheep, interesting shadows

Slopes make for an interesting image

And near the end, a lovely tree and hedge

Wagon Wheels are not bland!

Nearly 7 years old Chloe says Wagon Wheels are bland! I was astonished that she could think this but also that she knew the word ‘bland’!!

Her Dad thinks they taste of cardboard. <shakes head>

Sleep cycle snow

It’s the day after my birthday and I woke up to check the results of an app I had loaded onto my phone to monitor my sleep cycle – just a bit of fun. I don’t know whether this chart is good or bad. I woke up feeling grotty, but that’s normal. There doesn’t seem to be much deep sleep happening, but is that good or bad? I’ll see how the following nights go.

We weren’t expecting snow! By the time I got out for a modest hike it was no longer snowing, and on the return leg the snow had disappeared.