Head To Head


A patch of mostly dull and cold weather is giving me ample reasons for continuing with the scanning of the negatives of the long walk of the rather hot July of 2003. Today we are again back on the River Thames in South Oxfordshire.

Couples walking 7.03

This was still near enough to normal civilisation for elderly couples to be out walking along the banks.

If there were any footpaths on this stretch, they lay beneath the ripeness of Summer requiring negotiation, in the form of wild flowers attracting bees; grasses in seed; plantains trip over; broad backlit leaves bearing shadows of other floral forms; and convovulous carrying tiny beetles.

Convolvulus reflected 7.03

One of the latter plants trailed over the river, reflecting on the murky water.

Derelict hut 7.03

An avian trio perched on the coping stones of a derelict shed in need of replacement tiles;

a pair of peacocks entered into head to head negotiations;

Mallard and ducklings

a mallard paddled along ahead of her imprinted offspring;

Swans and cygnets

and a pair of swans introduced their cygnets to further reaches of the Thames.

Sheep and farm buildings 7.03

A flock of sheep grazed alongside what I took to be farm buildings of some sort.

The sun-baked natural world disregarded the two young men taking a leisurely row along the sleepy waters, passing a dangerous-looking weir, and negotiating a narrow lock.

Here, at home, dusk this evening lent a dramatic air to the looming skull of the virtually gutted North Breeze next door.

Shelly and Ron gave me a couple of very good Blason du Rhone Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015 wines for Christmas. I drank a glass this evening with Jackie’s excellent chicken jalfrezi, and aromatic pilau rice, served with vegetable samosas. My lady finished the Coquimbo.


  1. I’ve never seen a peacock in the wild. Your photos are the next best thing, Derrick. I love the shots of the elderly couples strolling…they should be holding hand though! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks a lot Quercus. I’ve not mentioned next door before because the story of what’s going on keeps changing. The jungle has, however, been completely flattened and the rats are gone.

  2. I see the duo is still negotiating claustrophobic locks and weirs in the elegant rowboat while their patron saint goes about capturing fascinating silhouettes and shadows in wild vegetation. I love peacocks. We used to have a lot of them around our hometown, they are vanishing gradually due to the continued poaching and ever spreading madness of urbanisation. Dramatic is the burnt down North Bridge in the crepuscular light! And hey, Derrick, enjoy those vegetable samosas! They are the best things you can have on the planet.

  3. Love that derelict shed, imagining the workmanship when it was created. I suspect the sheep are grazing next to a Shearing shed, very similar to ours in Australia.

      1. No worries mate, normally where there is a good flock of sheep, you can bet your bottom dollar, there’s a shearing shed not too far away.

  4. It is always a delight to see your scan photos Derrick, thought today it was sunny skies although cold today, But I took myself off for a walk..
    Love the reflection of the flowers in the water, and the derelict building.. ๐Ÿ™‚ And the sunset very dramatic view ๐Ÿ™‚ with the sharp angles of the building.. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope you are enjoy your week Derrick <3

        1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just tried to link to the Spitalfields post – took several goes to get on then got database error when I commented and tried to follow. Thanks anyway – it looks good

  5. I love that photo of the elderly walkers, two by two. Love that shed (feeling a bit like it).

    I can see what happened to Narcissus ๐Ÿ™‚

    I wonder what would happen if the peacock got into the water – would it get dragged under by the weight of those plumes?

  6. A beautiful day back in 2003, Derrick! The shed is interesting. Are those terra cotta tiles? They look like they would weight a bit. The support structure underneath appears to be buckling.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: