Howard Hill

…and this is my website!

Badbury Clump bluebells

Badbury Clump bluebells

Annie and I drove to Badbury Clump (National Trust). We were fairly early so had our breakfast with us. We followed our usual pattern; Annie goes for walk while Howard takes photos (that’s a walk too but with lots of stopping and starting). Then we meet up at a time and place, or text each other, or call on our walkie talkies. Over.

The wood is known for its bluebells and I got some nice shots. I also stopped and chatted to a few folk, as is my wont. After about an hour I texted Annie and we met up at our car and enjoyed breakfast whilst sitting in the boot with the rear door open.

 

Folk Weekend Oxford (FWO)

Folk Weekend Oxford (FWO)

This weekend was Folk Weekend Oxford 2021 (the event previously know as the Oxford Folk Festival). The whole shebang was put together virtually, using Zoom, YouTube and Facebook. What a mammoth task, but thankfully, no mammoths were hurt during the weekend. Well, hardly any.

My contribution was to put together a video of Rose Hips (belly dancers and band), and a video of Cornucopia (dancers and band).

The Rose Hips video was stitched together from individual smartphone videos of musicians and dancers. The second video was filmed with my 4k mirrorless cameras, but with the dancers in one back garden and the band in the neighbouring garden. Both videos were technically challenging to sync and mix, but, well, y’know me, always up for a challenge and a bodge job.

I love this screenshot. It features Justin’s fiddle face as he pays a hard bit, with me chuckling as I play along to Justin on my laptop while watch his face.

Wantage Community Church

Wantage Community Church

I was delighted to be invited to play bass in the worship band today. Annie (my minder for the day) accompanied me (no, not on tambourine!) and set up my bass amp, bass and iPad stand.

I was still suffering from dizziness, but keeping myself fairly still I was able to play and it was a real joy to be there. The worship was lead by my dear friend Jim on guitar and vocals and was simultaneously streamed to Facebook Live for those folk still tuning in from home. It’ll be good when we’re all back together but for now, we’re doing what we can, and it’s been quite an experience. Respect to Neil Townsend, Andy Bruce and team for working through the minefield of how to continue to meet as a church when we’re located all over the place. Quite a challenge, especially getting the sound up to an acceptable standard, but one which was met admirably.

 

Wantage Community Church

Wantage Community Church

Scutchamer Knob

Scutchamer Knob

Annie and I drove to the car park on the Ridgeway just above West Ilsley, and we walked to Scutchamer Knob and back. Although it sounds like a gentleman’s affliction, our destination was an early Iron Age barrow. It is a semi-circular bank but originally it was probably a round barrow. Its appearance is probably due to vandalism based on the belief it was used to hoard treasure. And due to over enthusiastic archeologists too, maybe?

 

Howard’s bird feeder

Howard’s bird feeder

It’s been a bit quiet on the garden bird front this year. However, on the 16th April 2021 I saw a pair of blue tits using the facilities. I opened our conservatory window quietly, grabbed my camera and long lens, and snap snap.