The Mist has gone…its warmer BUT the mist has been replaced by lingering Fog


The weather forecaster tell us the weekend will be better…maybe even some sun. But in the meantime we have been left with fog.  Fog that lingers all day creeping damp cold into all the bones.


Fog does have one benefit…it smothers most of the sounds of daily life.  Distant rumbles of traffic are no more, the sound of planes heading north and south pass silently.  But very strangely the sound of the birds across the woods seemed amplified…. and no its not my imagination that bird song sounds very much like the song of Spring.

So until that promised sunshine arrives we just have to enjoy the ghostly skeletons in the wet clouds….


And as dusk falls the fog just gets thicker


25th January

(C) David Oakes 2020

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Transport


Steam Locomotive No. 70013 “Oliver Cromwell” in full steam…

Just another idea for Cees B&W Photo Challenge this week on the topic of Transport.

Join in on this link:-


24th January

(C) David Oakes 2020

An Aptly Timed Discovery…….

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Whilst visiting friends in Stourbridge we came across this rather fine Bronze Statue. A seated figure with trilby hat feeding a starling… finely detailed, skilfully crafted and so lifelike.

On the wall behind the figure was a plaque.  It simply stated….

The statue of Major Frank Foley was unveiled by HRH Duke of Cambridge on September 18th 2018.

This simple plaque left so many questions which needed investigating and so my knowledge of our history was expanded.

Major Francis ‘Frank’ Foley CMG  was born in 1884.  He became a Secret Intelligence Agent for the British Government.  Prior to the Second World War he was station at the British Embassy in Berlin and was responsible for the Passport Control Office.

In this position he was able, as they say, to ‘bend the rules’ and by so doing was able to ensure that several thousand Jewish Families could escape Nazi Germany and the terrors and deaths of the Kristallnacht.  He also had the respect of the Embassies of several other friendly countries who he was able to persuade to cooperate in the issuing of Visas for their counties.

Major Foley has been recognised as a ‘British  Hero of the Holocaust’…..the British Schindler.

I did say that this was an aptly timed discovery as this Thursday World Leaders met in Jerusalem for the World Holocaust Forum ahead of Mondays 75th Remembrance of the Liberation of Auschwitz.

After the war Major Foley retired in 1949 and lived in Stourbridge where he died in 1958. He was held in great affection by the local community where he contributed to the town and its peoples. It was folk from the community who arranged for the statue to this unsung war hero to be commissioned and Sculptor Jonathan Sells was contracted.

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Major Frank Foley can be found sitting peacefully in Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands.

24th January

(C) David Oakes 2020

Cold, misty….. and some frost


“Where sheep may safely graze….”

The mornings mist gave an extra air of calm to day…. frost was sparse, but even so the sheep did there best to graze in the areas where the sun had started to melt the frost and no doubt welcoming some warmth on their fleeces after a cold night in the open.

The month moves on and whilst the days seem to get just that little longer, the sun remains low, cutting through the woodland mists and lighting the Pines

It may only have been a thin covering of frost, but it lingered far longer than I expected creating a great contrast between meadow, shadows and the black skeletons of the Ash Trees.

It was indeed cold, well colder than most days this winter.  Cold enough to form Ice on parts of the Lake but for the most part it remained clear…


One thing you can be sure of…if there are Black Headed Gull around then there will be lots of noise and trouble….and there was…


Away from the Lake peace soon returned….


If our forecasters are correct, then that is the last good day for awhile, even high winds and heavy rains over the weekend….. as always we will see 🙂

23rd January

(C) David Oakes 2020