There’s nothing quite like hosting friends from another country for honing your observation skills.

As it happens, I didn’t take many photos during the few days we were together: we were probably too busy or something! Here are a few highlights from the visit and associated doings.

First up, at the suggestion of a Beatle-impersonating Jerome, we went to the Saturday Flea at the Custard Factory. Preparations were underway for an event in the pool.

back of the net


We moseyed around bits of the Flatpack Festival and were very taken by the Floodgate Kino space. We stayed for the Knitflicks shorts and, having moved to stand at the back so as to be able to see the screen, I was suddenly struck by the realisation that I was sat in a warehouse with a hundred or so other folk watching films about thread. Excellent! The cake was nice too.

The exchange rate is very much in favour of my Japanese friends right now, so I was witness to a lot of shopping. I’m not saying I was bored or anything, but… I did notice this:

panda ambush

The Diwan was rammed [that’s right Mum, not crammed, but rammed. Same but different.], so we went to Ladypool Road and took pot luck. I can’t remember what it was called, (possibly a green frontage, just down from Dawat) but it got a big thumbs up for the curry and for the sweets. My favourite part was the restaurant version of the boogie-ing coke can.

Jiggling Jug from nikkipugh on Vimeo.

We opted out of Stratford-upon-Avon for reasons of cost-effectiveness, deciding instead to spend a few hours in Oxford on the way down South.

Pitt roof

I love the moment when you push open the heavy front door to The Oxford University Museum of Natural History and find yourself in the large, daylight-lit main exhibition hall. This time around (Red Nose Day) the central area was given over to slightly less terrifying beasties than usual.

terrifying beasties

Red-nose Rex

I like the way the one third back on the right is peering round to see how much longer he’s got to wait in line for.


Elephant bones. Dumbstruck by how well they fit together.

perfect fit foot

perfect fit leg

Deoxyribonucleic acid from nikkipugh on Vimeo.

Having achieved down-south-ness we went to Lymington: fish and chips, a lot of time spent mooching in a chandlers and I also took the opportunity to introduce my friends to the way of the charity shop. I suspect we had a better time than the local pigeon population:

pigeon spikes

We parked at Keyhaven then walked along to Hurst Spit.


Climbing the spit to find ourselves next to the sea seemed to go down quite well:

beach jump

Map stone:

map stone

shingle running from nikkipugh on Vimeo.


View from near Hurst Castle across to the Needles on/off the Isle of Wight:

zig-zag and needles

Bricks are a thing of wonder if you’ve grown up surrounded by prefab and concrete. Realising now I forgot to present one as a souvenir. Damn.


sliced sun

A two-hour walk at Deerleap with the part-time wild ponies. I spent a lot of time here doing my GSCE Geography coursework, but haven’t been back to for at least a decade. First time I’ve ever seen Bailey swim (admittedly it was only for about a foot, but that’s still progress)


More jumping.

forest jump