Down by the river
I decided that I would take the day off Poppy selling and go for a stroll down by the river instead to see what there was to see. The tide was out so all the birds were a long way off but I managed to get a few pictures anyway even though I don't think any of them will win any prizes.
Here is one of my old favourites, the Little Egret. This was one of a pair that was flying up and down the river, stopping off to feed here and there. They really are an impressive bird to see and well worth the effort of a walk down to the Crossness Outfall where you will often find them feeding.
This is a Gadwall, bigger than a Mallard. if you live in Gadwall Way in West Thamesmead, it's named after this fellow.
Here is a picture of a couple of them in flight that I took a while back
A really common bird around here is the Black Headed Gull, so called because its head is never black - no, really. In the Summer, it's a sort of dark brown, then, in the Winter it goes completely white except for the tiny dark crescent mark behind the eye. It's still possible to get an interesting picture of one if you take enough time.
Cormorants sitting in the Sun. Nobody really knows why they do this, so if you do, let me know.
Juvenile Black Backed Gull coming in to land.
One of about a million Redshank that feed in the mud during the Winter.
I don't just take pictures of birds. There are some really interesting shapes and colours in the mud and the water if you look at it in the right way. It is never the same any time you look and the light and patterns change constantly.
Back to the grumpingEnough of the art class, time to do what I do best which is to have a moan about something.
The Morrison's Assault Course
While I was down in Lower Belvedere selling my poppies for the Royal British Legion, I decided to drop into the new ASDA to pick up a few bits. It seems to be quite a nice store and more importantly, it's been laid out to make it easy for customers to actually do their shopping. I had forgotten what a pleasant experience that could be.
To do a shop in Thamesmead Morrison's you first have to get into the store; the management seem to have decided that they only want committed customers, not those who will turn back at the first obstacle or indeed, the twenty first. The first challenge is called 'fight your way past the people queueing at the cash points', which have been strategically placed in such a way as to ensure the shop entrance gets blocked easily.
Once inside, you are immediately confronted with a huge pile of cardboard boxes, these will contain whatever the staff can find that takes up the maximum space and are spread the whole width of the entrance, leaving a small space either side. You then have a choice which is to either move to the right and confront all the nicotine addicts queueing for their cigarettes or, try the left option and find yourself facing a table displaying cakes. (This isn't the cake section but what the hell, anything to make life difficult). This leaves just about one trolley width so if you meet someone coming the other way you have a problem.
Assuming you have managed to get into the shop proper and not just given up at this point you then have to meander your way past more boxes placed in such a way that, heaven forbid, if you have forgotten something and need to turn back, forget it, you will be facing an oncoming rush of customers desperately trying to get their trolleys past the obstacles.
The rest of the store offers much of the same as you make your way round. In the cake section (remember the cakes at the entrance) you are stopped in your tracks by a large container full of bacon. Again, here you will find a log jam of trolleys as there is only room for one at a time to get past and only in one direction. The next isle will present you with a sea of green anoraks as warehouse staff try to fill shelves, blocking traffic with pallets and stacks of goods. We come at last to that real favourite of all customers, the Self-Service Tills.
To make things easy for customers who are waiting for the next vacant till, there is a system of lights to show the status of each one. If the light is green, it means the till is open, or perhaps it is not open, or it might be open but only accepts cash; in any case, it definitely is green so it must mean something. If the light is flashing amber or red, ditto the above. By the way, no - I am not interested in buying double glazing, Sky Broadband or signing up to NPower.
Big issue, Big Issue, Big Issue...............................