Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “strawberry”

Carshalton Athletic FC Move To Second in Ryman South .An incredible victory 10-0 versus Godalming Town. A little more about the story of the game.


Godalming were doomed from the first 5 minutes when they were 3-0 down and it was always how many goals were Carshalton going to score. In truth the teams were classes apart. Not many teams could have lived with the free flowing football and the movement displayed last night. The finishing was sublime. There will be far better match reports than this but this was a game to really enjoy and wonder how far this team can go.

Clearly 10-0 victory says it all really. No sendings off, no goalkeeper injuries, just ten good goals. to their credit Godalming kept going till the end and a few minutes before the end looked certain to score but even then the Carshalton defence were battling away to keep a clean sheet and cleared the ball off the line.

00006041The fans enjoyed this game however the Godalming manager looked downcast all game and resigned this morning.

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Andy Hunt. Godalming manager looks on in dismay. 

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This maybe sums up Godalming’s night. Two of their own players crash into each other and neither get anywhere near the ball. 

Reflections on 24 Hours in Madrid


Central Madrid is a fascinating place and full of fascinating people. In some regards it is like Amsterdam in that one can walk to most places with a little bit of planning. Despite daytime temperatures being as high as 16 degrees celsius, many locals dressed in warm coats suggesting that Madrid was a suburb of Antarctica. Smoking was it seems obligatory with no actual need to buy cigarettes as breathing the air in certain places would contain just as much nicotine. I am surprised that there these many cigarettes left in Madrid. Getting from Madrid Barajas Airport is painless taking around 20-25 minutes and costing in March 2016 a fixed fare of €30 and the taxi drivers do not seem to expect a tip.

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Epidemic of smoking in Madrid

The one thing to get used to very quickly is that Spanish locals tend to push and shove more than other Europeans and I doubt a word exists for ” to queue” in the Spanish dictionary. A nice facet was that many locals did not or chose not to speak English, meaning that it was essential to at least try and convey questions in Spanish. I like this. Why should we expect the world to speak our language and make little attempt to speak theirs?

The day seems to start late for most citizens of Madrid and the streets and parks are almost empty at 11 am which makes early visiting a good option. A downside is the plethora of mostly dreadful accordion players and other “musicians” making a fearsome noise totally unwanted, then waving various sized containers in your face for money. I would happily donate to stop them playing but that seems a little mean.

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Parque Del Buen Retiro

Madrid is a busy city and most pavements and walkways even in the parks are crowded and  do not expect the Spanish to be fast walkers. Plenty of cafes and bars, and various eating places. There is another curious Spanish habit, in that they do not like their food hot in temperature. Even when food starts hot it is often served on cold plates, such as my omelette in the hotel this morning.

Madrid does seem to be divided into two very different parts. The city centre shopping area in and around Gran Via is incredibly busy and in fact I can only recall the pavements of Hong Kong being busier and almost impassable at times. Everyone carries it seems a dozen shopping bags and the entrance to Primark looks like a football crowd. In contrast the parks may get busy but are essentially beautiful places to walk and very relaxing. At the end of Gran Via however one reaches Plaza Espana with some interesting monuments and areas of grass to relax on. One statue has to be seen from a couple of directions to avoid giving the wrong impression of what is intended to be conveyed, which is the pouring of water!

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Very easy to get the wrong impression of this statue in Plaza Espana

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Plaza Espana

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The Dark Horses look like Ring Wraiths from Lord of the Rings with reflections

 

There are so many places to visit that a simple article cannot begin to make many recommendations, however I would make two specific ones:

  1. To avoid Gran Via, in the day unless shopping or the need for food outlets like KFC, MacDonalds and Burger King, are on your Madrid agenda, as the place is packed. Nightime it becomes a place where there are lively bars, with many choosing to sit out on the pavements.
  2. Spend a morning walking around Parque Del Buen Retiro on the Eastern side of central Madrid. This is a huge park with many avenues and monuments, and a large lake, making it popular with walkers and runners. The earlier you visit the less crowded it will be, and with a plentiful supply of cafes a few coffees and ice creams may get consumed. It may be a better and cheaper option also for breakfast, as I paid 19 euros for my hotel breakfast ( which was a less than astounding meal option, and in my opinion an extortionate price).
  3. Take a nighttime walk to see some of the many monuments lit up

There are three things that almost automatically appear on the table here in restaurants. An ashtray, orange juice (freshly squeezed) and a bowl of crisps. What appears less often is a waiter to take the order, it is true that a certain degree of Mañana does pervade Spain, and such thing as a ” quick meal” almost certainly also will have no specific word in the Spanish dictionary.

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Essential Spanish Meal Ingredients

Just walking around you will see many curious sights, and the price you pay in cafes is generally mostly determined by the ” people watching” quality of where the cafe is sited. While having lunch today a young well dressed male, maybe 18 years, stopped at one of the lunch tables and tore out the middle pages of the drinks menu. It occupied me for 10 minutes trying to fathom what his purpose was, and in fact I will never know as he scurried off in a furtive manner clutching his piece of paper. Small kiosks exist to sell drinks and sweets generically all over Spain, but here in Madrid there are also specific kiosks to sell cigarettes. An older woman was inside and when a customer came up she opened a small window to conduct her business, the window was maybe the size of a cat flap. Curious behaviour.

The general feeling of Madrid though is of a happy and relaxed place with no immediate visual sign of any work actually going on. Are there things I do not like about Madrid? The plethora of the fast food restaurants in nice areas is a little irritating.

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KFC along Gran Via. Not the pavement cafe of choice for everyone

On the other hand prices are mostly very low by UK standards, for example this beer at a pavement cafe in a street just off Gran Via cost    €1.65

IMG_2387Two favourite places emerged to visit when I return to Madrid. Parque Del Buen Retiro is an essential walk and stop for coffee, and Plaza Espana at the end of the day when the sub starts to set to see the monuments and the water grace the views. The reflections are simply astonishing.

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One of the many walks in Parque Del Buen Retiro

Night time is when Madrid really seems to come to life with numerous bars and restaurants and a good time to take a walk to see some of the sights by night when they convey totally different impressions.

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Plaza de la Independencia at night

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Plaza de la Independencia

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Plaza de la Independencia in daytime

At the entrance to Parque Del Buen Retiro is Plaza de la Independencia, as seen above in the day and by night. For Spain it is surprisingly easy to cross these huge wide roads around the Plaza without too much fear of death.The Plaza de la Independencia is a central square in the Spanish capital, Madrid. It sits at the intersection of Calle de Alcalá, Calle de Alfonso XII, Calle de Serrano, Calle de Salustiano Olozaga, and the Paseo de Mexico, making it the single biggest area for busy traffic that I came across. One word of warning is that the restaurants around the Plaza seem enticing but are highly priced in comparison with those even 50-100 yards away, and of course in Madrid as in most of Spain, the price you pay relates mostly to the views and people watching and has little correlation with the food quality or service. To pay  €17.50 for an average hamburger is excessive. As this was one of my favourite areas adorning the entrance to Parque Del Buen Retiro , a little history seems reasonable. The square was opened in 1778 during the reign of King Carlos III and has survived rather well in the interim.

Eating fruit in Spain is always a good option and the small shops that sell frozen yoghurt with toppings always have a good selection of kiwi, strawberries, pineapple and mango.

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Fresh Strawberries in Spain

 

The Best Photos of 2014. Maybe.


This is the time of year that I frantically try and complete a calendar for 2015.  Here is the short list of my photos. It has been a strange photographic year really. Some memorable shots but maybe not as many as in past years so it has been relatively easy to get down to a final set of 22. all help appreciated in helping me choose the final 12.

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New Malden Opium ?


Not quite. but these poppies cannot seem to keep their heads when things are going on around them!

 

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Strawberries, Ducks and Opium. What next?


With a little bit of sun gardens are coming to life. Some plants are already dieing off, Poppies and Chives for example. Strawberries however are making a grand appearance but a badly behaved duck is inclined to spoil the party!

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Best Photographs of 2014


Around this time each year I sit down and try and sort out my best 13 photographs of the year to make up my annual calendar. Not easy. This year is easier than some. These are the said photos. Each has a reason for being there and each has a story. Please feel free to share this post and this blog with your friends and colleagues. 

The first apples ever grown on the small tree in the garden we planted 2 years ago. Copyright Chris Bushe

The first apples ever grown on the small tree in the garden we planted 2 years ago. Copyright Chris Bushe

Bird of prey at Painshill Park Copyright Chris Bushe

Bird of prey at Painshill Park Copyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Iceland geysers.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Iceland geysers.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Arctic Tern on Farne Islands.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Arctic Tern on Farne Islands.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Starfish point on Grand Cayman, as lovely as it looked. Copyright Chris Bushe

Starfish point on Grand Cayman, as lovely as it looked. Copyright Chris Bushe

Meercat at Twycross ZooCopyright Chris Bushe

Meercat at Twycross ZooCopyright Chris Bushe

Lemur at Twycross zoo.Copyright Chris Bushe

Lemur at Twycross zoo.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

coffee by the canal in amsterdam. Copyright chris Bushe

coffee by the canal in amsterdam. Copyright chris Bushe

Peregrine Falcon eating a chick.Copyright chris Bushe

Peregrine Falcon eating a chick.Copyright chris Bushe

Spider in Motspur Park Copyright chris Bushe

Spider in Motspur Park Copyright chris Bushe

Strawberry from the garden. My favourite photo of 2014.Copyright chris Bushe

Strawberry from the garden. My favourite photo of 2014.Copyright chris Bushe

The Last Strawberry 2013


The few little things that we have grown in the garden this year have actually tasted great, although not exactly kilograms of them. We have a Strawberry plant that has lived outside through snow and whatever weather is thrown at us, and produces happily each year. Today I found a last strawberry hidden away on the plant.

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Apples and Strawberries from New Malden.


As my general growing and farming ability improves, I thought I would share a few decent photos of the first ever apples growing on my Cox’s apple tree and a strawberry.

Strawberry living in New Malden

Strawberry living in New Malden

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