September beginneth

The header pic is the Chesterfield canal between Doefield Dun Lock and Shireoaks Low Bridge.

Charley’s dead

When I were a lad, girls would blush in shame if their petticoat, underskirt or slip was showing. The expression “Charley’s dead” was either shouted, to mock, or whispered, to covertly alert, the wearer when her underskirt was showing below the hem of her skirt or dress. Apparently the expression comes from the death of King Charles – he had pleasured so many ladies during his life that many lowered their petticoats in lieu of half-masting a flag.

Voluminous underskirts

Voluminous underskirts

In the late 50s – early 60s there was a period when lasses wore many underskirts which were starched or, rumour had it, soaked in sugar water to keep them stiffly expanded.


Alma. Strangely can't find a 'typical' picture

Alma. Strangely can’t find a ‘typical’ picture

There was a singer Alma Cogan “the girl with the giggle in her voice” who wore the most outrageous dresses with what seemed to be dozens of petticoats. She died in 1966 of ovarian cancer aged 34.


Bra straps were equally not to be seen and, if available, would be twanged by iggerant youths like wot I was. To actually see a bra was pure porn. Tights (pantyhose) weren’t really invented until the late fifties and didn’t come in until the mini skirt took over in the mid to late sixties. Consequently if stockings were worn, suspenders were required. To glimpse a stocking top or suspender was titillation indeed for callow youths. Girls also, of course, wore heels – the higher the better. They rarely wore trousers of any kind.

What were boys wearing while girls were glamming up? Strange as it may seem to today’s folk, denim jeans didn’t make it to general use until probably the mid sixties so we were wearing ‘trousers’ or ‘slacks’ and shirts with collars. I’ll just admit that I don’t own a single pair of jeans and haven’t possessed more than five in my entire life.

On with the pics:

Click pics to embiggen.
Mouse over to see (some) captions.

Monday 01 September ’14

There’s seven sparrows in this pic – see if you can spot ’em all.DSC_5944Seven Sparrows


Slugs and snails prefer damp days. Dew sticks to spider webs in the mornings; there’s a spider on the web in the first web. Who knew that hazel flowers would come out in September? Still don’t know how insects can wander round on nettles with impunity. Colours of nature: the intense blue of a fly. And another beautiful(?) slug to finish the day.


Tuesday the second

14 09 02 Turnerwood


Haven’t seen many small coppers this year: they are small – about 1cm across the wings.DSC_6140Small copper on ragwort

More dragonfly; a common blue, twice; a rather architectural seed head; smoke from the charcoal kiln in the middle of Whitwell Wood (presumably); the two wagtails were on the roof of a house at Cinderhill.


The hedge alongside the newish footpath up to Brancliffe Farm is full of woody nightshade; this dragonfly’s red – they seem to be commonest; at the rail crossing to Turnerwood workmen were preparing for action; Turnerwood’s swans are just hangin’; the canal looking very rural.


Speckled woods must be on the third generation at least – there’s a lot of immaculate ones about; you can’t beat the perfection of a dandelion seed head; magpies don’t half make a racket; large whites have distinctly yellow underside to the wings; the young lady on the tiller of Nb Robin Hood was a definite ornament; Nb Home Alone was lived aboard not quite alone by a guy with two cats.


Insects: an ichneumon wasp (I think); one of the many spiders about; and another one on a dew covered web; ragwort feeding a small white and a small tortoiseshell.


Wed 3rd

Robins are becoming much more noticeable as Autumn approaches. Apparently they’re defining their territories. This one’s on one of the new gates on Godfrey’s pond.DSC_6443Robin


There’s a patch of shaggy ink cap fungi by the towpath at Morse Lock that seems to be growing year on year. White butterflies wouldn’t stay still long enough to snap earlier in the season. Now they suck nectar from ragwort while posing.The red dragonflies, probably common darters, are the most common here but rarely settle long enough. Blue tailed damsels are still hanging on – just.


Thur 4th

Spiders are really showing up this time of year.DSC_6564Spider on web



Fri 5th

To the doc’s surgery to renew prescription. I took the long way round – via Lady Lee.14 09 05 To Lady Lee 2


There’s a pair of swans on Lady Lee. As I’ve noted earlier, the cygnets have disappeared.DSC_6791Swan at Lady Lee


Click pics to embiggen.
Mouse over to see (some) captions.


Sat 6th

Just to town and back
A rather fine enormous slug. (about 6″ long)
DSC_6858six inch slug

Has there been a ballet about cricket yet?
DSC_6896Ballet bowling


Sunday 7th

Up the canal to Shireoaks Woodlands – the old pit spoilheap.To Shireoaks 14 09 07


This wee beastie is a wheatear – female, I think. I followed it through undergrowth for a while. The ID wasn’t mine: I tweeted the pic and was fairly soon told.


Up the canal to the rail bridge west of Rhodesia …


… and then over the road to the “meadow”. This has to be the best blackberry place I’ve found.


Moer spider: the gif is of it wrapping a fly for later. Did I say earlier that the yellow flower is, surprise, called “yellow wort” (wort:”a plant,” Old English wyrt “root, herb, vegetable, plant, spice,” from Proto-Germanic *wurtiz) Here’s the wheatear again. The plane is a self build it seems. Dunno if I’d fancy that.


That’s week the first done.

9 thoughts on “September beginneth

  1. You may have missed out on the “Ringlet Bra” which I would see on the washing line. They were produced before stretch fabrics were used, and involved circular stitching into a most improbable cone shape.
    I’ve spent a happy few minutes looking this up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How times change. The sight of bra straps is now fairly ubiquitous whereas I don’t think anybody under the age of 60 wears a petticoat or slip. Hold-ups seem to have taken over from stockings and suspenders and bare (tanned) legs are seen even at formal occasions like weddings. Isn’t it a bit late in the year for chicks (moorhen)? Why are snails interesting and slugs disgusting?? Wonderful pictures as always. Thank you. PS I used starch!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A few years ago I was walking up West Street (Sheffield), admittedly it was a warm summer day. I saw a couple of young women (early 20s?) approaching.One was quite modestly dressed but t’other had on a crocheted … aah … thing on that left nothing to the imagination the effect was of a net with three inch holes over a lacy bra and a thong. Tempus fugits, dunnit?

      Moorhen chick very late – I thought that all had perished one way or another but just today saw the sole survivor cheeping after its parent.

      Slugs & snails? no idea.Some of the big ones are possibly Spanish invaders, slowly spreading across the country.



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