M&S think it’s Christmas

So there I was at one of those “unexpected items in the bagging area” machines at M&S and next to it was the plastic bags.

These were Christmas bags….

It’s March! Oh you can’t get those shortbread tins either now…

Actually part of me thinks this is quite a good thing, means we were using less plastic bags when they thought we would use more, so had overstocked.

Walking down the seafront

Living in Weston-super-Mare and not being allowed to travel due to Covid-19 restrictions, we often make use of the seafront for our allowed exercise. It’s not as though we never walked there before, but now with limited choices, and only so many times you can walk around the area where we live, it’s nice to pop to the seafront. Its a short drive to the seafront from where we live and it was easy to park close to the seafront.

Today it was beautifully clear day, the sun was shining, and it wasn’t too cold. However it was quite windy.

You could see clearly over to Brean Down and even further across to Cardiff and Newport in Wales.

There were kite surfers making the most of the strong winds and the high tide.

Generally we don’t see the sea, as the tidal range in Weston is so huge that for most of the day the sea is some distance away. Today as we walked along the seafront, it was high tide, combined with the winds there were waves crashing down onto the sand.

We walked all the way along the seafront to Knightstone Island and Marine Lake. 

Then it was time to turn around and head back to the car to drive home.

Driftwood

We went for a walk along the seafront.

There was a large amount of driftwood on the beach, including this tree trunk.

No idea where it has drifted from, I did think it might have washed down from the River Severn following the flooding they’ve had recently.

It was snowing…

While a lot of the UK was having snow, it did miss us in Weston-super-Mare.

However today it did start to snow and we went out for a walk in the snow.

You can just about see the snow.

Alas it stopped and it has now all melted.

We’ve had some serious snow before as you can see from this photograph from December 2010.

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2020

So in 2018 I published 89 posts to the blog, in 2019 it was 68, though 36 of those were in December.

So how did I do in 2020, well I published 423 posts…

Okay so 366 of those were of the photo a day project I did in 2020, so really I published 57 additional blog posts.

Most of the top ten are nostalgic posts about the Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s.

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three

Bristol from the air in 2005

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Six

The Longleat Miniature Railway

Potions Classroom

Diagon Alley

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Changes at the railway station

Remembering the Bristol Temple Way Flyover

My top ten tweets of 2020

Last year I posted my top ten tweets for 2019 and I did the same in 2018, 2017 and 2016 which was interesting to see which tweets of mine were popular.

So the most popular tweet of 2019 was this one about keeping the old Twitter.

Alas the hack didn’t last too long so we have to use the new Twitter.

So in 2020, my tenth most popular tweet was this one, a response to one about signage in the libraries.

The photo was from an April Fool we did at the library in Gloucestershire College. What was interesting was that it didn’t work, no one noticed the new signs or paid them any attention,.

Though it should be said we never had a problem with swimming in the library again.

The ninth most popular tweet of mine was from an event I attended in February on trans national education and I posted a sketchnote.

The tweet at number eight was about the lack of a door in Matt Hancock’s home office.

The seventh most popular tweet was a picture of Buckingham Palace!

It was a response to an original New York Post tweet that has now been deleted. It talked about the UK Christmas covid-19 planning with a picture of Paris.

Number six, was a link to a story about how students realised they could game an assessment as it was been graded by an AI and not a person.

Wasn’t cheating, it was just doing what was required to get top marks.

Fifth most popular tweet was about shopping centre clocks.

Fourth most popular tweet was another tweet in response to that original New York Post tweet that has now been deleted. It talked about the UK Christmas covid-19 planning with a picture of Paris.

Luckily someone managed to get a screengrab.

The third most popular tweet was about The Sovereign Centre shopping centre, which appears to be chasing the title of the UK’s Worst Shopping Centre…

Back in January I misread a tweet from Stephen Fry and that was the most popular tweet at number two.

So my top tweet  of 2020 was me reminiscing when WHSmith in Bristol went all Dexter.

No Christmas markets this year!

That’s not surprising and probably a good thing too. What with Covid-19 most if not all Christmas markets that I have visited in the past years have been cancelled for 2020. 

On this day ten years ago I was in central Birmingham for a meeting. When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see they had a Christmas Market, it looked so much nicer than anything I had seen before.

After my meeting and before I headed home on the train I had a good look round. They had a wonderful range of stalls selling toys, Christmas ornaments and a range of delicious looking food.

If I recall I didn’t actually buy anything, but had been sorely tempted.

Shaun the Sheep (and friends)

One of the things we missed this year (not that it happens every year) was doing a statue trail.

Back in 2015 we did the Shaun in the City trail across Bristol, the wider area and finished off seeing them all at Covent Garden. We managed to see 62 out of the 70.

In 2018 we did the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail which as well as Shaun the Sheep and Gromit, also had Wallace getting in on the act as well. This time we did manage to capture all 67 sculptures.

So it was quite nice on a visit to the Mall at Cribbs Causeway to see a few sculptures in the Gromit Unleased shop.

There was the vanilla Shaun the Sheep.

There were a few Chinese inspired sculptures as well, including Kansashi

Then we had Year of the Gromit.

Also Shanghai Shaun.

I quite enjoyed seeing Caractacus Paws again, which was one of my favourite Gromit from the Gromit Unleashed 2, though Bristol’s Own was probably my actual top sculpture.

The other Gromit there as The Sea of Hope.

Though not a Gromit or a Shaun, I did quite enjoy seeing the huge Morph as well.

Down at the beach

During my government sanctioned exercise we cycled down to the seafront in Weston-super-Mare. Compared to the a previous visit,  back in the middle of April, it was much busier, but to be honest pretty much deserted.

There were a few people like us doing our exercise, walking, cycling, running. The odd dog walker as well.

In addition there were people kit surfing in the sea.

The council closed all their seafront car parks in an additional move to dissuade casual visitors and at the time of writing they are still closed. So in the end the place is deserted with only a few people exercising.

Just to note that I am following government advice during this national emergency and the photograph was taken during my government sanctioned exercise.