Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pronounced "Bouquet"

According to someone this city is green ...

Reading through the B.B.C.'s report however, I see such matters as 'education' are lassoed in the use of this term. I wonder then how bad every where else must be on the 'green scale'?

In fairness, the people who look after the city's green spaces do a grand job and I know local environment officials take their tasks seriously. The Council is a different matter.


I have abandoned my quest to discover the planning details of the massive building being whacked up on Shieldfield Lane. It is after all, a fact now.

Soon it will look like this:

(Hat Tip:

A whole section of the city around Melbourne Street sandwiched beside the railway has already been turned over to student 'flats' and together with the development of the old paint factory site ("Portland Green" – where do they get these terrible Hyacinth Bucket names from?) this part of the city is indeed to become a giant student 'ghetto' in the opinion of some. I am just worried what will happen to the Battlefield open space and the vague notions prevalent all over the political sphere that 'something must be done with it'.

I must comment sometime on the prevailing 'architectual style' (sic) being smeared like greasepaint over the face of this famous city.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Excuses, excuses

I have little to say about my delay in bringing either more information or photographs about the new development at Shieldfield Lane, apparently (see comment below by 'johnny' who provides a link. I cannot vouch for this and content for which I am not responsible.

However, given the back sliding I am guilty of, is that surprising?

Promise to do better.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"In need of landscaping" Part the Second

Out early (-ish) today I welcomed the sunshine, now at an intimidating angle. Battlefield was quiet, just a few strollers and a jogger on the running track. The air was crisp and not a cloud nor vapour trail to scar the blue overhead.

Does Battlefield need landscaping then? I let you be the judge.

A familiar high pitched 'peep' from the woods by the railway viaduct. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew by, the sun making its red patches conspicuous.

In the distance this looms into view.

I am waiting to learn more about this 'construction' which did not feature on the re-development plans put forward at public 'consultations'. It is being built by Metnor Group plc, well known business park and warehouse constructors, whose representatives described Battlefield to me as "threatening". You can be the judge of that too.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Robin Redbreast

While I wait patiently for a response to my enquiry about a development which slipped under my radar – the metal work is already up to a great height and if this represents the way things will go with construction then students will be bedding down in the finished building by January 2010 – I divert myself and I hope you also with a small item.

The mighty Robin.

These days one is supposed to call them the euro-something Robin, the result of a conference where, following years of whining, American scientists insisted 'the' was a colonialist hangover which must go. The early colonists in the U.S.A. spotting a bird with red on it called this a robin, presumably to remind themselves of the old country they soon dumped. Ah, never mind!

The Robin was chosen sometime back to be Britain's national bird. Appropriately since it is aggressive and markedly anti-social!

It has one endearing quality. It sings two songs, one in spring and the other in winter. Both males and females sing – the sexes are well nigh impossible to distinguish one from the other.

I have heard several on recent walks around Battlefield. They are laying out their stalls for the future and the song is a warning as much as it is encouragement.

The identification of the Robin with winter is certainly pagan and the early church rather than admonish, adopted customs which could feasibly be interwoven with Christianity. So the Robin is pre-eminently a winter time bird and about to appear on a greeting card near you soon.

© B.B.C. 2005