Storm Eunice damage along the Kennet & Avon Canal in West Berkshire

After one of the worst storms in decades hit the south of England including West Berkshire with storm Eunice on Friday 18/Feb/2022 there was a lot of damage. When I write this on Saturday afternoon the village of Aldermaston (just over a mile down the road from where I write this in Aldermaston Wharf) still hasn’t got any power and might not get it back until late in the evening or potentially even Sunday. I know of at least two trees having come down and having hit houses in Aldermaston Wharf, luckily as far as I’m aware nobody was injured (and I believe there was no serious damage to the houses). This morning I went out for my regular daily walk (slightly extended as it is Saturday, where I usually go on a longer walk than on weekdays), here is some of the storm damage I spotted along the way:

One of the first things I saw was also one of the scariest, a quite large tree had fallen across the canal and the top of the tree had hit a moored canal boat (Pictures 01 & 02). The owners had already cleared most of the tree off the boat and as far as I could see there was no significant damage to the boat itself, only the solar panels were rather smashed up.

Not very far down the canal along a field with cows and sheep there was more damage: Three smaller trees had been snapped off (I suspect the wind had enough space to run up across the field and hit them hard) and were pretty much blocking the towpath (pictures 03, 04 &11). I managed to squeeze past two of them, for the third one I had to climb over the fence for a short ‘detour’ across the field (luckily the cows with their calves were far away, so it was safe). Luckily I didn’t have to do that when I returned about an hour later as kind boater had taken his chainsaw to the trees and cleared the towpath.

After that it wasn’t too bad on the towpath, of course there was branch debris pretty much everywhere, but there wasn’t really any blockage. The fallen trees were either away from the towpath or left enough room to get past them without much difficulty (Pictures 05, 08, 09 & 10).

But my walk was stopped by a fallen tree just before where I usually turn around anyway on my longer weekend walks. While I just managed to squeeze past the first tree (Picture 06) the second one, a large tree covered in Ivy, fully blocked the path (Picture 07) and I couldn’t find a way past it. So I turned around and walked back to Aldermaston Wharf.

Just before arriving back home I couldn’t resist the obligatory fallen fence picture (Picture 12), I believe that’s a standard for after the storm pictures. Interestingly the fence at the communal garden below my flat was swaying precariously yesterday, I think at least one of the posts is pretty much gone. So far it’s still holding up, but will it survive the next storm?

Squirrel outside my window

Back in January I noticed a Squirrel in the tree just outside my window. I quickly grabbed my camera, which luckily had the big telephoto lens attached, and quickly took a few shots before the Squirrel moved on. Then something else came up and I kind of forgot about about the pictures. Today I remembered I them and decided to edit a few of them. Here’s the result, hope you like them:

Considering I took these pictures through the window on a dull overcast day with not much light I’m quite please with the results (and Photoshop’s help to get the best out of them). What do you think?

BBC Radio 6 Music’s Indie Forever podcast

Just a quick recommendation for those of you who like Indie music: Subscribe and listen to the BBC 6 Music’s Indie Forever podcast. Or if you’re up at that time listen to it live at 00:00 – 01:00 hours every Saturday very early “morning” (well, it’s the night from Friday to Saturday). I’m not, so I’m listening to the podcast.

That’s pretty much it. It’s a “BBC Sounds exclusive” from the looks of it, so I can’t embed an RSS feed or share it here, all I can tell you is to follow the link to the BBC 6 Music’s Indie Forever podcast and take it from there. I hope you’ll like it as well.

Robins in the New year’s sunshine

On the second day of the new year 2022 I managed to get out for a short photo walk around Aldermaston Wharf, returning as the rain arriving from the west set in. I didn’t see an awful lot, but managed to capture these two Robins in the mild New Year’s sunshine high up in a tree:

As usual, click on the pictures to view the larger version and visit the gallery. I hope you enjoy the pictures of the two Robins, if I remember correctly the most popular bird in the UK.

Three New Bands (New to me) in 2021: (3) Fontaines D.C.

For the third band in this series we move from Chicago with Beach Bunny to Dublin in Ireland with Fontaines D.C. Again a band that has been around for slightly longer but only really appeared on my radar this year, I think mainly through BBC Radio 6 Music playing them a lot. One of the songs that made me listen up was this one:

Fontaines D.C. – Liberty Belle (Official Music Video)

An earlier song I quite like is Winter in the Sun:

Fontaines D.C. – Winter In The Sun (Official Music Video)

A popular song is Boys In The Better Land:

Fontaines D.C. – Boys In The Better Land (Darklands Version)

To close one of their several KEXP appearances, this one having been filmed “at home” showcasing their latest album:

Fontaines D.C. – Full Performance (Live on KEXP at Home)

And that’s it for this year’s Three New Bands (New to me) series. I hope you enjoyed at least one the bands I discovered this year, maybe even two or three. And hopefully I’ll discover three new bands (even if they’re only new to me) in 2022, so that I can continue the series.

Nothing but the truth…