Snap Around…

You know, here in the South East of the UK we are still bathed, perhaps drenched is the word in a 1976 style heat wave, whilst our cousins in the North have their indecisive forecasts. We are thinking of you guys! This shot taken of the beautiful wildlife Lake of St. Albans Cathedral shows just how lucky or unlucky, depending on your thoughts, you can be. Well, for me, too much sun, is too much sun!

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 67…Rebecca’s Spell (Part One)…Awakening

Esme awoke that morning to the sound of her mother’s voice calling from downstairs. ‘Esme darling, your breakfast, it’s tea and toast, your favourite. You will be late for school if you don’t hurry. Would you also like some Porridge? Hurry now my sleepy.’

She wiped sleep from her eyes, stretched, and threw the bed covers back. She sat for moments on the edge of the bed, her feet just dangling near to the floor. Somehow, she felt this was unreal, that in her mind, she was looking through a veil that formed a mist inside her head. Her mother called again, the same strange message, to get up and dress. Dress for what she asked herself. Where is Charles. I should not be here, at home with my mother. No, this is all wrong. Something was very amiss. This must be a dream. It can’t be so.’

“It is so, for the present, Esme.” Rebecca’s gentle voice whispered inside her mind. This is my gift to you. I have given my gift to Charles, now you shall have that too. Please do not alarm yourself. You will enjoy a mirrored life, perhaps, that you would have preferred in your schooldays.”

At breakfast, the conversation turned to Esme’s leisure time. Constance poured a steaming cup of tea and offered it to her daughter. ‘Please add your milk darling. By the way, I see you are friendly with that young boy at Sandy Ridge. Frank and Hilda Hepworth’s Son. I think his name is Charles. Is that so?’ Her mother’s look was warm and without any real concern. ‘What I know of the family, he seems a nice boy. Have you been friends very long.’

‘Mother. He is just a school friend. A very kind and considerate person to be with.’ Esme blushed a little, her cheeks blossomed, her mother smiled.

‘I’m sure you are both responsible people.’ her mother added.

‘Then you have nothing to concern you.’ Esme spoke gently. Her hand touched her Mother’s across the white linen table cloth.

Emily came into the dinning room to clear things away and announced that Mr. Dobbs pony and trap was outside and ready to take Esme to school. Emily was very fond of Esme and they would often talk together in secret, of distant faraway lands of a rich and a handsome young Prince who would carry them off. It was fairy-tale and fun, and their imaginings would fill the hearts of two young romantic girls.

Mr. Dobbs was a kindly old man, perhaps near the same age as his faithful and hard working horse, it did seemed to Esme. They neared the school gates and Esme stepped down and was greeted by her two dearest school friends. Celia and Bridget!

‘Miss Dyson has said we may go on a Nature Trail this morning if we wish and by ourselves because the weather is so nice.’ Began an excited Celia.  ‘She does not want us inside the classrooms, only the leisure areas. She also said we were old enough to be responsible. But we have to be back for Lunch. Isn’t that wonderful!’

‘Well, said Esme, rather taken by surprise. ‘That sounds super.’ Something in the far distant of her thoughts gave her a moment of apprehension, then was gone.

‘I say we go and explore the woods. Got to be a nature trail there.’ cried Bridget. All three linked arms and smiling in their good fortune, set off in the direction of a new adventure.



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“I just gotta catch one for supper…”

You know, some guys just love searching for ‘Tiddlers’ as I did. On the River Lea there’s no missing that thrill… And keeping your toes nice and cool in a heatwave…

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“Hey… Just look at that Guy!” Bedford’s 40th River Festival pulls in thousands of visitors…

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Author’s Note…

Ok, the heatwave is still with us here in the UK, and that makes settling down to write, even during the dark hours, as I do, somewhat uncomfortable. Guess, I’m still working on the next episode of our popular: ‘The Shriving…’ hoping to bring you that very soon. Meantime, I’ve got shots of the 40th celebration of the huge Bedford River Festival from last weekend and with fingers crossed, hoping to blog this on Wednesday. Sticky heat permitting!

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Snap Around…

Summer Paddling in the River Lea. You know, when you’ve got a heat wave on your hands. You just have to be there. Temps here in the UK are flying around 30 degrees, so you gotta get those feet into cooling waters! California record’s temps of over 40 Degs. I just hope the guys out there can cope.. 


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Author’s Note…

Well, I reckon I was took by surprise to see a Black Squirrel in my garden recently, and the little fella has been back several times for the food I set out for the small guys. Now, I thought Squirrels only came in grey and red (if you were lucky) but taking a shot on the Internet it seems there’d be quite common in my area. Well, that’s a first for me! Need to get the camera out on this one…

Ps. Well, camera and tripod set up for the past few days and the little guy has not shown. Guess, just passing thru.

Update: 17th July. Yes, this little guy has returned once or twice in the past few days, taking some food and looking smart in his ‘All Black’ endeavour. It would appear these guys will oust the greys in terms of food competition and having escaped from Woburn Safari Park as long ago as the 1930’s. Well, you could knock me down with a feather!! 

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Author’s Note…Snap Around Inside…

Guess I’m kinda proud of my Amaryllis that has flowered for a fifth year in my small apartment. Now, I’m no plant grower, so give me a camera any day, but this must be some sort of record, cause most folks, I understand, throw them after the first flowering, thinking well, that’s gotta be it! So I reckon, I must be doing something right in the horticultural world.

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Author’s Note…

Back to Back catch-up episodes of ‘The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp’ are available @

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Author’s Note…

You know, when you’ve got family and friends, you just have to show’em off once in a while. Mine are no exception. From the left is Steve Redding, Callum D. Weller, Anya Callaghan, Adrian Callaghan (Aige) Jenny Coles and Shannon McGivern… And you know, they are about the best friends a guy could have. Ok, some you lose along the way, but you take root and hang on in there…In tribute to dear Jan 1945 – 2018

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