Thursday, 13 May 2010

My winter wonderland...

This is a sculpture in Reading by the riverside. I have been told it looks like a clock, others say it looks like a wheel. What it actually  is a half circle sculpture which I took and reflected on itself having made one half black and white and the other half in colour (you can work out which is which). Why? because originally it was meant to be a reflection but also an image that brings about study and discussion so please do let me know what you think. :-) 

So winter 2009/2010...what an amazing event it turned out to be! I was meant to go to Scotland for Christmas to see my dear friend Marlene & the gang as well as take some great images of snow covered landscapes, but one thing or another made it impossible so I stayed home. But there is cause to celebrate! (no the Cava was not consumed by me but what a great shot! :-) God brought the snow to me!!!!!!
The following are a selection of my winter shots which I thought were great because of the subject or have some social significance. For example this bottle of Cava left outside a house tells a tale of Christmas or New Years celebrations teamed with bubbly and merry song...
 The snow was so heavy down south that buildings, traffic signs, roads ...everything pretty much was covered in snow. Cars got stuck and black ice followed quickly making the roads dangers to travel on.
I lived on South Street in Reading at the beginning of winter and the images above are of my street, the roads around my my house and the river where I saw such majestic swans swimming in the snow and river boats stationary and covered in snow... Public transport almost came to a stand still with many rail tracks and roads covered in not only snow but ice which is significantly worse for trains...

I then moved house during this period with help from dear friends  (you know who you are...x) and Harcourt Road in Bracknell became my new home and where I spent the rest of the winter months including the severe snow storms in early January 2010 (see pictures below).

Though trapped in the house  (the images above were taken from an upstairs window in my house of our street) I could not resist a quick snow ball fight (not a real one just a photo op to show I was there in the midst of all the snow :-) And in case you are wondering...yes I was ffffffffffffffrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggg! but it was fun :-)!

 The last image is captioned "wasteful Briton" because all of the things (aside from the bins of course) in the image have been abandoned outside one house or another! Yes washing machines and chairs... Its crazy but true, Briton throws things away on a daily basis. Not just because they are beyond repair; more often than not they are not even broken just a year or two old in some cases or a newer model has arrived. It is indeed a shame but certainly part of the culture here (though most people take their unwanted items to the tip, give them to charity or sell them in a car boot sale).

And thats it, the highlights of winter...oh just one more...I managed to get a picture of holly!!!! :-)

Where I live...

  This is Bracknell or otherwise known as Bracknell Forest where I live. Well the picture opposite is a compilation of the town centre map and images outside the train station where I spend a lot more time than I would like! 
Brief History of the Bracknell Forest - People have been living in the Bracknell Forest area since the Iron Age. Bill Hill is a Bronze Age barrow and Caesar's Camp, a hill fort, was built by the Celts well before the Romans invaded England.  
The name of Bracknell - then called 'braccan heal' first appeared in an Anglo-Saxon document as a landmark on the boundary between Winkfield and Warfield.  The meaning of the name is thought to be ' a piece of land belonging to Bracca on a projecting spur of the parish'. In 1086 the Domesday-book first mentioned Easthampstead  meaning 'the homestead by the gate'.  All of this part of Berkshire was the Royal Forest of Windsor and the gate allowed deer to move to another area.  By 1535 it was called Estehampstead. Old Bracknell is mentioned in a Goring charter of 1463 and on Norden's map of 1607 there are two nearby places Old and New Bracknell.  In 1759 a new road from Virginia Water through Priestwood Common to Reading was constructed, now called the A329.  By 1847 Bracknell was 'a small village situated on the main road to the west of England'.  The railway came in 1856 and a market started in 1870 which was held where Bracknell and Wokingham College is now. In 1948 it was decided that Bracknell would become a New Town with a population of 25,000.  It was to be ‘a self-contained country town combining the amenities of town life with the advantages of the country'. Residents moved into Priestwood, the first neighbourhood, in 1951. Bracknell Forest was formed in 1974 and became a Unitary Authority in 1998. By 2006 the population of Bracknell Forest had reached 112,200. []                             

   Bracknell railway station is a railway station serving the town of Bracknell in Berkshire, England. The station, and all trains calling there, are operated by South West Trains. It is on the London Waterloo-Reading line. The station was opened by the Staines and Wokingham Railway in 1856, and was taken over by the London and South Western Railway in 1878. Following re-development in 1975, the entrance to the station is situated directly underneath the Bracknell Quintiles building. The station's goods sidings closed in 1969.            

                                        The Forest - Up until researching for this post I honestly believed that Bracknell Forest was exactly that! A town within a forest, but apparently that is not the case...  There is no forest called 'Bracknell Forest'. This name is often confused with Swinley Forest (or Woods), which is an area of the Windsor Estate between Bracknell and Bagshot. Owned and managed by the Crown Estates, it comprises 2,600 acres (11 km2) of woodland (mainly Scots Pine). It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and has protected areas for the birds that live there. [].  
Easthampstead Baptist Church is literally across the road from where I live. The building is charming and I eagerly wanted to photograph it from the day I first saw it and here, I present to you my impression of this sanctuary for worship of our Creator. It was established on its present site in 1962. Initially this was a small group of Christians who met in their homes.  Today the church is a thriving organisation that exists to demonstrate the love of God through community activities, Sunday gatherings, children's work, school's work, social events, action events and prayer meetings. Over 200 people (adults and children) regularly attend one of the 3 Sunday morning gatherings. Chris Porter is the Senior Minister there and they also have a number of other members of staff and leaders. 

This is the power distribution point round the corner that supplies electricity to my neighborhood (Easthampstead). I thought it was really cool so I took a picture of it!   

The last image I have is that of traffic speed cameras. We have one on the  South Hill Road (the main road my road comes off -- The speed camera is diagonal from the Baptist Church). 
 I dislike speed cameras but fully support the concept of safe driving. Car accident statistics indicate that at least four people involved in car accidents die every hour. These accidents could be due to the fault of the driver, the other driver, or due to a faulty vehicle. he main causes for car accidents are reckless and negligent driving and alcohol. Teenagers, according to the statistics, cause most car accidents Inexperience coupled with irresponsible behavior and a lack of respect for the safety precautions are the main causes for such a high number of teenage car accidents. Another reason is the inattentiveness of the driver. []. 

So there you go, a little look around my local neighborhood and town :-) hope you enjoyed the images and the whistle tour through history...


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