Sunday 7 January 2024

'Every Adventure Requires a First Step'

Irrespective of the flooding, the grey days and often challenging driving conditions I am continuing doggedly with my one woman campaign to rebrand January and February as enjoyable months and make them count. When it's horrible outside I've been reading, researching, scheming and doing a little sewing for the first time in many months.

 Yesterday I joined my friend Ice Badger for a final brunch before she moves away to the Midlands next week [there's a trip to Birmingham now on the cards!] and today Mr GBT and I have been out on our first adventuring of the New Year to the country's largest village [apparently] of Cranleigh, Surrey. I had to snap the sign just seemed so perfect for blogging content! The quote in this post's title is from 'Alice in Wonderland' and emanates from this carved cat within the church. It's claimed that it was the inspiration for the Cheshire Cat [Lewis Carroll spent a lot of time in nearby Guildford with his sisters and is buried there after he unexpectedly died on one of his visits]. However, there are other contenders in this category! It's certainly inspired the art work on one of a series of painted bollards outside the Art Centre.

The name Cranleigh derives from a woodland clearing used by cranes. There are several references to the bird sprinkled around the centre, but I just captured my favourite one for here.

On an otherwise very unremarkable low modern redbrick building this little brick detail really pinged. It bore a passing resemblance to musical notes which when I turned the corner made more sense as it's on the exterior of the band hall. I liked the fact that someone had thought to include a small, but relevant detail.

On a bright sunny day the colours in this Jubilee window really popped. A local parishioner asked me if I wanted her to put the lights on. I thanked her for offering, but politely declined as I think it would have taken some of the impact away. It's almost ten years to the day since I was last inside St Nicolas's church [I looked it up on the blog out of interest] and I didn't spot it that time. Perhaps my powers of observation have sharpened in the intervening decade!

Should I admit that this little notice on a nearby bench made me chuckle. I do like to be active and on the go, but ooh I do enjoy a good sit down when I've been busy. My job requires several hours of being on my feet during an average week.

This rather impressive obelisk first came to be in 1794 and started out life as a watering place, but within a few years its use had changed as it was displaying road signs made by the local blacksmith [J Champion Foundry] and it came to commemorate the new turnpike road. I'm not sure whether everyone would have been quite so jubilant at then having to pay to use it. Every side lists different destinations so Horsham it had to be.

Cranleigh doesn't take long to see so it seemed a good idea to nip into the recently opened Knowle Community Park. It's a space for everyone and is to be maintained as a nature reserve. Many different bodies have been consulted so that the development plans meet as many different needs as possible with careful consideration given to encouraging and supporting the fauna and flora. Volunteers have undertaken lots of tree planting, removal of invasive species and wildflower sowing. The swans are already on the new lake and dogs are kept on leads [swimming is not permitted] so that the spot on flea treatments can't enter the water and kill insects. There is a performance area and the weekly parkrun is now held there. Although it's a rather blank canvas at the moment it will be fascinating to see how it evolves over the coming years. I'm sure that it will become a sanctuary for many.


PS Sorry can't reply to comments at present because Blogger is playing up!


  1. "Don't stand when you can sit" was our Collies mantra through her life, she also had "Don't sit if you can lie down"!
    You've found some interesting things again - thank you for sharing your photos

  2. Liking all those snippets - the Cheshire Cat especially!
    How exciting, a trip to Birmingham, in the last few years its become barely recognisable, so much to see and do. xxx

  3. Another of your uniquely eclectic collections of observations. The way you create link is worthy of a job on a radio show - we segue from this to that....


Rest awhile and smile.

I parked my ample rump on that there bench and followed the instructions on its plaque.  It wasn't exactly an onerous task to have to re...