Happy Yew Year:Toffees eat Robins:Feel the Heat: Crickley Walk.

Wednesday January 9th.

As we move into the new year, it's good to notice things which have a sense of continuity.
No better start, than our friendly Yew Tree, which really lays down roots in all senses.

This foot shaped beauty, helps guard the west door of St. Edward's Church, Stow on the Wold.

Here's a fuller version, both photographed today in Stow. Long may they grow and give us their support.

Thursday January 10th.

Extreme Weather
" Look at Mother Nature on the run in the twenty first century. "  so ends ' After The Gold Rush, ' a song by Neil Young,  as recorded by Patti Smith ( from Banga ). Well., we certainly are living in a world climate, where Nature is cranking up to beat previously set temperature records. The era of Extreme Weather

So the year has started  with very high temperatures leading to bush fires in Australia.

The above remarkable picture was  taken  by Commander Hadfield aboard orbiting craft ISS. More:
@Cmdr_Hadfield ( Twitter account). It shows the blazing fires clearly over Australia.

 The extreme high temperatures, pushing 50C have forced The Australian Bureau Of Meteorology to extend the temp range to 54C ( from 50C ) and to introduce two new colours deep purple and pink onto the weather maps.
David Jones, the bureau's climate  monitoring and prediction manager said " The current heatwave, in terms of its duration, its intensity and its extent is unprecedented............Everything that happens in the climate system now is taking place on a planet which is a degree hotter than it used to be. " ( Source ' The I )

Cousin T. in urban Australia ( away from fires) explained the strange daily behaviour of the temperature range. " Tuesday started off cloudy; it looked like it was going to rain but gave up in the end and brightened up and warmed up to 35C- then about 5pm,  a cold front came in and the temperature dropped 15 degrees............ predicted temps:  Fri 37C; Sat 25C and on Sun 21C ( as he says ) temps basically all over the place."

 Clearly one must be concerned for the loss of life and property connected with such disasters; never forgetting the human aspect to it all; but this shows a early pointer to troubled  climate times ahead globally this year.
I intend to monitor world climate and report findings to the blog as the year progresses.

P. S.  11/01/ '13 Snow falls in Israel! The main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv was closed yesterday.


Friday January 11th.

Cheltenham Town AFC ( The Robins ) entertained Premier League club Everton in the FA Cup. They were well beaten 1- 5; but in so doing gained a lot of valuable lessons, in dealing with a top side, who brought a strong team; according Robins great respect and thereby showing a desire to win the cup themselves.

At the very least, the Robins had the satisfaction of putting the ball into Everton's net; more than they achieved against previous Premier teams; Newcastle and 'Spurs.

Here is what manager  Mark Yates had to say:"We kept going and showed a lot of quality at times and passed the ball well. We're a really good side and they know we were in the game. Our players can learn a lot from it so they can be proud of their performance and their efforts. Now we've got the rest of the season to get to where we want to get to. 

"Scott (Brown) has made two saves, literally. One from the free kick and one from the shot by Naismith, but apart from that he didn't have a chance with anything. It was great to see the respect Everton gave the FA Cup. It shows the quality within the club and of the manager and the quality in their squad. 

"You have to learn from games like this massively. We've done ourselves proud and we competed. We started off fantastically well. I was really pleased with the first twelve minutes. They got the ball in the back of the net from the first time they got anywhere near our penalty box but that's what happens against good sides." 

Everton, at this time are a top price 11/1 ( Coral's ) for the cup. Given a good draw, they seem a reasonable each-way bet.

Cheltenham, meanwhile have a home League 2 game against York City this Saturday, giving them a chance to consolidate their 4th position. COYR.


From the pen of: Peter Tinniswood

 Two Cricket Player Profiles

" Mr. D . B . Close

( Yorkshire, Somerset and England )

He was without a doubt the finest header of a cricket ball of his generation.

Dr. W . G . Grace

( Gloucestershire and England  )

I confess, I blubbed shamelessly when I heard the news of his death.
                I never met him myself in person.

                However, my second cousin in Matlock once saw him
  ' in action ' at Nuneaton.
                He described him thus:
                ' A tall, broad figure with a large, flowing black beard.'

                 I am prepared to take his word for it. "

The incomparable wit of the Late Peter Tinniswood, taken from " The Brigadier's Collection. "  Pub. 1986.

This leads me to an unexpected find this week in Stow on the Wold; namely a Cricket Musuem.

It lies, alongside a select number of  shops in Sheep Street; very near the Main Square of the town.

It also houses a coffee and cake bar, with seating and a useful space to browse the many exhibits.
I believe Dr. Grace would have approved.

More details here: Cricket Museum


Today, in glorious sunny weather D. and I parked at Birdlip View Point and then followed the road round to Birdlip Hill; walked down about 100 Metres to join the Cotswold Way  upon the right. Then walked up through woodland to the hill slopes and back to the car.

Here are some shots for you:

Next week promises a colder snap, so watch out for those untreated surfaces.

 Enjoy the change.




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