Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Patcham windmill

Winter sunshine lights up Patcham mill seen from the Waterhall valley.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Lancing College

Seen from across the River Adur on Mill Hill. The gothic revival chapel is said to be the largest school chapel in the world. The school was founded in 1848.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Old Shoreham

St Nicolas church dates from the 10th century and is Grade 1 listed. The main picture shows the church from the south-east and shows that the chancel roof is tiled. The smaller picture was taken from the north-west and the roof of the nave can be seen to be in Horsham slabs.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Saturday, 26 November 2011

It's not just mists

This is also the season for fungus in many shapes and sizes.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Season of mists

When I set off with the dog just before 9.00 we had thick fog. By the time I got home we could see the top of the Downs above the fog in the valley. A quarter of an hour later we could see the valley as well.

Actually, that was on Wednesday but I've only just got round to downloading the pics from the camera.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Twisted tree

I don't even know what species of tree this is - near the Upper Lodges of Stanmer Park - but there is something about the gnarled and twisted branches I find attractive.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The stile again

Taken from the 17th tee of Waterhall golf course.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


There was even a blackbird singing as I took this photo!

Monday, 21 November 2011

The stile

Stiles have been made in this way all my life and probably for many years before. As a means of crossing a fence, they don't come much simpler. But they do present something of a challenge to the less agile and are impossible to pass with a wheelchair. Brighton & Hove City Council must have spent thousands of pounds replacing barbed-wire fences on land it owns with sheep-proof netting and, at the same time, installing gates. Many of those gates are in places where nobody would attempt to take a wheelchair, but I suppose some fit young mothers might take a pushchair or buggy.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

It's fallen in the water

Fern dropped her ball in the Wild Park dew pond yesterday. She is quite happy to splash her way through a muddy puddle but a stretch of water as big as a dew pond is frightening so it was quite difficult for her to retrieve her ball.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Waterhall dew pond

I find it a little disconcerting to see the ripples in the sky in this upside-down picture.

Friday, 18 November 2011


Actually, it's only the fixtures and fittings that have been sold. The new "owners" have acquired the remainder of the lease without any premium. I wonder if the fixures and fittings include the millions that Mike Holland spent renovating the building? Anyway, the new owners intent to open Stanmer House as an up-market restaurant. I suspect that the prices will be too steep for my pocket so I will not be posting a restaurant review any time soon!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Patcham Place

As one drives into Brighton, this imposing black and white building stands facing you. For many years it served as a youth hostel but is now unused and is, I believe, for sale. The circular drive round the weeping willow is used as a car park by people who are car-sharing.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Ditchling Beacon

A little further on and looking diametrically opposite the previous view. The high point on the horizon is Ditchling Beacon. It doesn't look very impressive from here but it is the highest point on the Downs for a long way.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Castle Hill

Sunday - Remembrance Day - was bright and sunny. I decided that the afternoon was too good to be spent walking under the bare or nearly bare trees of Stanmer woods and I opted for the higher ground of the open Downs. My plan was to drive beyond Falmer and head out over the Downs towards Plumpton Plain. I had in mind the glorious solitude I had experienced here back in March, although I have never since recaptured that magical feeling. Nor was I about to do so on Sunday. For a start, the small layby where I park is big enough for three medium-large cars or four small ones. When I arrived it was already full with three largish or large cars. I managed to pull onto the verge 50 yards along the road. I think almost half the population of Brighton had decided to walk that footpath on Sunday afternoon. I have never seen so many people on it. I did enjoy the views - one at the top of this post showing Castle Hill across the valley - but there was little solitude to be had.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Coombe Terrace

Yesterday afternoon I stopped off at B & Q looking for a replacement cylinder for the Old Bat's gas gun. The car park is elevated slightly from the road and offers a view of these small houses (Edwardian? Victorian?), most of which have been converted into shops with flats above and all of which are dwarfed by the old Allen west factory behind them.

Sunday, 13 November 2011


Every autumn, sheep are brought into the valley to graze the new shoots of the hawthorn and other scrub. This is so that there can be a greater diversity of wild flowers and plants to encourage other wildlife such as birds and insects.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Fairy strands

One afternoon this week the rugby pitches at Waterhall shimmered in the faint sun because of all the gossamer strands. I had to take several photographs before I managed to get one showing the fairy silver.

Friday, 11 November 2011

We will remember them

Brighton's war memorial. The inscription along the top is a quotation from verse 16 of Ecclesiasticus, chapter 41: "A good life hath its number of days: but a good name shall continue for ever" and the central panel lists various theatres of World War I.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


The spy in the garden.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

November: season of mists

It seems scarcely possible that at the beginning of last week there were bright blue skies and we were walking around in shirt sleeves. Even Sunday was reasonably bright but the last couple of days have been damp and dank. This photo was taken last year but seems highly appropriate today.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


It would seem that on Nourish Community Farm they farm goldfish.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Tilia cordata

"The small-leaved lime is found relatively rarely in Britain today but from peat-preserved pollen grains we know it to be one of our oldest native trees. Its high quality wood has been used for centuries for both intricate carvings and musical instruments alike." (Kew Gardens)

This specimen of the small-leafed lime (tilia cordata) is behind Stanmer House and was planted in 1975 by the Russian Ambassador and the Mayor of Brighton. Quite why His Excellency should have been planting a tree in Stanmer Park I really don't know.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Castle Hill

The other afternoon I set off on one of my favourite walks, a walk that has been off the agenda for quite a while as there were cows in the field, which takes me from the Upper Lodges of Stanmer Park parallel to the Ditchling Road. The views can be magnificent but that afternoon there was too much mist to see Firle Beacon which is beyond Castle Hill. Got caught by the rain, too - hence a couple of spots on this picture.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Autumn's colours

Every year at this time I try to take a picture which captures the essence of autumn and which we will use on our calendar. I sent off the pictures for our 2012 calendar at the weekend so this picture, taken Wednesday, could be in the running for 2013.

Thursday, 3 November 2011


November has started warmer than usual. Indeed, on Tuesday, when this picture was taken, I was happy to go out in shirtsleeves. Never before known in November, even if it was only just! This is the view from 39 Acres. From left to right we have University of Sussex buildings poking up over Stanmer Great Wood, then the American Express Community Stadium. Either side of that, in the distance, are the white marks of chalk pits just outside Lewes. Then we have the University of Brighton (Falmer campus). Behind that is the peak of Mount Caburn, part of an outrider of the South Downs. The blocks of flats further to the right are student accommodation for Brighton University. Nearer to us are the buildings of the Brighton Aldridge Academy - a highfalutin name for a secondary school. The South Downs proper are on the right and that is Castle Hill.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Man-made scenery

While the West Hove golf course is not unattractive, to my mind it is considerably less attractive than other stretches of the South Downs. Of course, I realise it has only been laid down for 10 or 15 years or so and there is still some way to go before tees are fully mature, but all the same, it has a distinct "man-made" look to it. I'm not singling out this course in particular; all golf courses have that look. That said, the entire countryside of the Downs is man-made! Not the basic topography, naturally, but the hills were at one time covered by trees. These were cleared and sheep were grazed on the open grassland up until the Second World War. That was when fields were fenced and land put to the plough. Since then there has been a mix of arable farming along with dairy and beef cattle - and sheep.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Totem pole?

Insect activity has turned this tree into a mass of hieroglyphics, rather like an ancient Egyptian column.