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Blog Entries by Geograph Users

Recent Posts by David Howard

December, the darkest month

3 days ago
Tower block by Uxbridge Road, Hayes
A possible inspiration to others, I hadn't planned or expected to continue my trips to new places on the map over the winter months, as described in my previous entry, but each week I checked the map and timed the routes to see if I could get around it in time which I did each trip. Sundays were the usual method as there's far less traffic, although I have managed others as well. They have been to Datchet Photo, Croxley Photo, including a square which only had one photo in it...

The end of the season

1 months ago
Long John from Sheephouse Road
After the clocks went back I thought I didn't have much chance of getting anywhere new till the spring. I'd been Geographing a few years now for squares rather than just submitting random photos, and was running out of anywhere I could get to and wander around in time before it got dark. Photo However, referring to the previous blog entry then the extension I had was a whole month, with a plan being made for Sundays when I knew there'd be hardly any traffic so could add another hour's...
hertfordshire surrey night photography

The 2014 season draws to a close

3 months ago
Coopers Hill, Kimpton
After my big start to the season (ie when the clocks go forward) in April the elastic which had been being pulled back throughout the winter months was allowed to shoot forward to Dungeness, and then relaxed back into stasis partly as I discovered it was no longer necessary to make a few of my next planned journeys, as plan A (getting as far as possible between my furthest two points) was no longer necessary as none would any longer increase it as they were in different directions and the...
square bagging hectads map reading

The 2014 season begins

7 months ago
The beach by Dungeness lighthouse
After summarising my winter activities and spring plans, I can now update with the good news (for me anyway) after a couple of weeks of long days I took my first long trip, extending my gap between points by almost ten miles. I used a ruler on the map to measure where I could go, and at the time the shortest journey was to Kent as opposite Cheltenham, either Dover (the longest) or Dungeness, which was a lot easier. Photo I plumped for the compromise, still adding more than the...
seaside kent sussex dungeness lighthouse

Looking ahead

10 months ago
Offices by the A12 from Kingswood Road, Leytonstone
I was delighted this week when it was as light at 5pm as it was at midday (OK, we all know it's really 1pm and 6pm, but this country has to be out of step with the rest of Europe), as after a couple of months hibernating and only able to do the odd trip south at weekends when there was little or no traffic slowing me down I could now start the first ventures beyond the main red blob on my map again. My Fuji compact, bought after the Olympus had finally stopped producing uncorrupted photos,...
planning driving maps

Keeping the momentum

14 months ago
College Road, Kensal Rise
Following my last entry I had about six weeks before the clocks go back (less time now) and wasn't going to make a fool of myself trying to get anywhere really ambitious to get held up and it get dark before I made it there. As it happened I found a few old road signs in Henley on Thames after checking because there was one known there, none were new to me but better condition, plus one which may or may not be council issued which certainly was new to me, no way to river. In the end the one I...
willesden cricklewood henley-on-thames geotrips norwood sutton southall

Mission complete

16 months ago
The view from Overbury Street, Charlton Kings
July 29th actually saw the completion of a two year mission here, after uploading about 4,000 archives over winter 2010 I began making specific Geographing trips, with ambitions to get into all the compass points and adjacent myriads. I was very busy last year doing a trip a week on average during the long days, sharing the driving, and knocked off myriads SZ, TV, TR and finally TM after having driven into a field the first time and having to return to actually cross the line on the following...
myriads breaking records long distances

The new season

18 months ago
Pre-Worboys sign, Bocking Church Street
This year I set myself three simple goals for the photography season (April-September while the clocks are forward), to beat the distance between two squares, ideally enough to potentially beat two myriads horizontally or vertically (nowhere like diagonally which adds 50 miles), from 122.8 miles to beyond 125, which I did shortly after, adding one just short of 130 in Ashford. South of London is now completed unless I do the old run using Waterloo Bridge when it was still free to cross during...
pre-worboys sign essex braintree

The new season 2013

20 months ago
Bar Lane at the junction of the A24
The new season officially kicked off two weeks ago, with the clocks going forward, allowing my freedom to go wherever I wanted given the opportunity before it got dark. The first was a shortish run to the Sussex border as there was a gap without any red squares it was easy to fill in, and a week later finally got to Cuckfield to get this wonderful pair of signs only found because of Dave Spicer. Photo I have a list of trips for 2013 now, that was the first, mainly as old signs are...
ambition hectads pre-worboys sign

Spring is coming

20 months ago
Beaulieu Close, Datchet
Although the calendar (read 'government') means the clocks don't go forward till the final day in March this year it's now not getting too dark for photos till 6pm, so ignoring their method of trying to cheat time and beginning my 2013 plans, even if I haven't yet carried any out yet. I was pleased to get the first medium trip a few weeks ago to the edge of Reading, as it made a little splash in a previously green void, and luckily since when I've been available more pre-Worboys road signs...

Making the best of it

23 months ago
2011 and 12 began my quest for distant squares, after spending the previous few years simply taking everything I knew well and then loading them in here. But if you're not an early riser taking photos (while stopping every half a mile for the next red square) 50 miles and beyond from home would mean it inevitably got dark long before I could do anything even with the new camera. But my other targets are pre-Worboys road signs, which can be taken with a flash, and with the camera able to take...
pre-worboys sign kent

Close season

24 months ago
Furze Field at the junction of Princes Drive, Oxshott
Having completed my last long trip to the compass points to Battle, finishing the compass a few weeks before the clocks went back, it was back to local duties until around April when it gets dark around 6pm again. Photo Luckily pre-Worboys signs continued to turn up, and with the advent of a new camera, not because I particularly wanted one but because the other was corrupting my cards at random times (possibly after I'd dropped it) and upgraded to a serious bridge camera which...
pre-worboys sign hectads night photos

What next

26 months ago
Gardens on Western Esplanade
Now the summer is almost over, and it's getting dark at 7 then this long era is drawing to a close, and with the final trip to Battle last week have now visited all eight compass points to a reasonable extent, with possibly the winter to gather new energy and begin another mission in spring 2013. The Geograph map project began last year, having previously added whatever I happened to have wherever I'd been, and began seeing what increases and records I could create deliberately. The compass...

Mission almost complete

27 months ago
View across The Cotswolds from Bourton on the Hill
Having begun my project to spread my presence as far and wide across the personal map early last year, I began with myriads (as you would), and then went for the compass points. The combination of very frequent stops (unavoidable in these cases) and a little economical car mean I can't eat up the motorway as I did in my ancient Proton, but potter around on the A roads (if I'm lucky) and get stuck at every non-bypassed town, from Luton Photo (never changes), Hertford (now found a way...
cotswolds myriads driving

Water everywhere

28 months ago
Dancers Hill Road, Bentley Heath
Having completed all my adjacent myriads the far easier job of completing my first hectad could be carried out, needing 10 squares of the 100 around the edge of Hertfordshire and two in Trent Park. I expected it to require two trips as however careful you are it's easy to miss the odd border, and as Trent Park had few clear landmarks used the pond as my second square out from the car park and assumed the other one I needed was en route. I covered the roads easily through the back of...
completing a hectad

Breaking records

28 months ago
West Hendon playing fields
My maths is something which evaporates as soon as a sum starts manipulating figures. I can however arrange them and happy with statistics, and as a result had a very good chance with the OS grid map to work out all the criteria required for maximum results and efficiency. There are various landmarks, and the most outstanding figure for me on the profile, albeit misleading, is the myriad total. Therefore using my own personal alternative criterion, measurable for each map but not recorded (a...
myriads compass records statistics

Been there, done that

29 months ago
Bridgewick Rd, Dengie
My Geograph career has gone from locating and adding five year's worth of archives to myriad and distance collections. Last year was myriads 4-6, quite enough for one summer (you can't get to many with the clocks back), and hadn't decided exactly what map locations I was after this year besides compass points. That involved getting as far as possible on each main compass point, and as NE crossed into the 7th TM myriad decided to cover both and go up the A12 to Colchester (Hythe actually) on...
dengie essex myriads collecting distances motorways southminster

Plan ahead continued

30 months ago
First sight of the sea, Shorefield Road
I remember my previous hobby, from 1970 to around 1996, when the last privately issued small train tickets left the national rail system on the Isle of Wight ferry. Being much younger and fitter, as well as various reasonably powered cars and friends without families I'd go off into the distance to get tickets from wherever they were issued, knowing they were destined for removal from 1982 onwards, finally leaving the last national station in 1988 at South Merton as far as I know. A handful...
planning myriads

Doing your best

30 months ago
Gridlock on the A12, Mountnessing
Alternatively titled when life gives lemons make lemonade. The fun of the planning and chase, as well as the map entering to me is as much fun as taking the photos themselves. It is a circular process until maybe me or my car (or anyone else's) run out of steam and go back to seeing how many different views I can preserve of Golders Green. When reading the map for the spring when the days were long enough to allow a free run I made a list of map directions unvisited within reason, and by May...
essex braintree chelmsford

The spring is here

31 months ago
Idsworth Down
Now the figures are in I see people do actually read my blogs here, so will keep going. The clocks going forward have now given me back my freedom, the dark months saw me consolidate areas with green patches, and am now about 10 short of my first full hectad when I get round to doing the rest of it. Having spent a year previously on Geograph-specific trips am now running out of many under 50 miles, so the stakes are rising as each new target is further away than the previous one. But I have...
hampshire petersfield pre-worboys sign harlow essex

When cameras behave badly

32 months ago
The B2027, Chiddingstone Causeway
My 6 year old Olympus compact digital has known limits, and if I keep within them (shots at night, moving objects etc) I get perfectly good results. But about two years ago it (OK, I had dropped it a while before) it froze during a little film I was making and had to format the card. Ever since it's done the same about twice a year, but each fault was different, and my father offered the obvious solution to carry a spare card which I now do. It's previously lost (initially) all my takings...
cameras faults recovery programs

Beating the clock

34 months ago
Brook Road, Buckhurst Hill
Having spent my first year doing specific Geograph trips, the almost sudden switch to getting dark at 4pm originally worked to put the mockers on my plans for some while, as I'd spent six years already with the digital camera covering local views and other trips made generally, and was round to the long hauls (relatively anyway) for me and there is no way I can get 50 miles and then record half the return journey by 4pm. But I kept going by filling in green patches till January or so, and had...
ilford essex newbury park gants hill goodmayes pre worboys sign

Following the 102 bus

34 months ago
Sainsburys on Hall Lane, Chingford
The 102 bus used to pass the bottom of my road in Finchley heading to Chingford Mount (now cut to Edmonton), but had never actually been there, and only to Chingford once in memory, so to celebrate the opening of the new dual carriageway section on the North Circular Road just beforehand headed east to Chingford and beyond until it got dark. Being near the shortest day this was around 4pm otherwise I would have got a bit further. You can see this trip plotted on a map on the Geo-trips page...
geo-trip drive chingford highams park buckhurst hill essex

North to Bedfordshire

34 months ago
Clay Hall Road, Kensworth
I was alerted to a pre-Worboys direction sign in Markyate (I collect photos of them) and somewhere I'd never been before as off the beaten track. Once collected I carried on west into the countryside and got some nice views of the Chiltern Hills on the Bedfordshire borders before heading back home to North London. You can see this trip plotted on a map on the Geo-trips page LinkExternal link .
geo-trip drive

Deepest Surrey

34 months ago
A trip from the A25 in Betchworth to Rusper, and return to Dorking. I try and return on a different route to double the map coverage. You can see this trip plotted on a map on the Geo-trips page LinkExternal link . After a while you get to know the good roads, and once checked the personal map see the furthest I can get before it gets dark or I run out of steam. The A25 is a backbone along the North Downs, and alongside the M25 serve to allow...
geo-trip drive sign pre-worboys betchworth rusper newdigate surrey sussex

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