The Dodgey Archive for 2015

Greetings from the Dodge household at the end of yet another year, which yet again has passed with frightening rapidity.

    OK, here goes...

An adolescent Muttley, seen here in March.


Back to Tenerife in January, and our first visit to a privately-owned apartment in the Santa Maria.

Denise is seen posing here, photographed from the La Nina hotel opposite.


Panoramic view from the balcony, which was large enough to have two distinct micro-climates !


The view out to sea at breakfast time.


Denise takes in the view on Mounte Teide.  The island of El Hierro can be seen in the background, about 35 miles away


Lunch at the 'Intercontinental' which, ironically, has the most anglo-centric menu of the lot !



Looking very serious, as they attempt to master GoPro, selfie-stick and the phone app.  You really need at least 3 arms to do all this successfully.


Going to an awful lot of trouble just to photograph the bald spot !


Sadly, Doreen Atkinson, Denise's mam, passed away peacefully in February, after a short illness.

Here she is seen with daughters Dawn, Denise and Diana in 2013.


A totally unremarkable bridge over the Berks and Hants line near Hungerford in February, photographed by Chris  as part of an ongoing project.


And here's the remains of the parapet the very next evening, after it had been swiped onto the line by one of Stobart's finest,

then hit by a High Speed Train travelling at 100 mph.

The driver said that he felt the front bogie lift, but it came back down still on the rails.

The 500 people on the train had no idea what a lucky escape they had !


The chalet at Lee Abbey was badly damaged by a rockfall late in 2014.

Hence the Roberts family get-together was moved to Saunton Sands Chalets in late February.

Here Jo and twin-brother Chris get ready for breakfast along with Matt (Jo's other half) plus Roger Beazer and Colin Smith


Muttley enjoys her first visit to a beach.


Chris continues to commute by road to Reading.  The old C3 is still going strong, and clocked up 200,000 miles in March.

Another 20,000 have been added since !


The 'smiley' partial eclipse, in early March.



Next-door neighbour Nigel watches from the Cedar Drive observatory


Four dogs on 'The Ancient Stone' in March.

The two labs are Barney and Rufus, belonging to Chris's sister Sheila.

This is one of the last photos taken at the field before the developers moved in !


After 25 years, we 'called time' on the old garden shed, which had done a good impression of having taken root !


A brief period of transition...

...concluded with the construction of it's replacement.


Chris's birthday bash in April.  In the foreground are James, Caroline, Phoebe, Jasmine and Widget Bryant.

We'll leave you to put names to the faces !


Once again it the weather was good enough for us to move outside.


Niece Lottie cuddles Muttley.


We're obviously both on a 'Late' here - Chris is already in uniform, and the shot is time-stamped 1004.

Why include this ?

We didn't know at the time, but we were to lose the field only a month later, and this was the last photo taken there beforehand.


Flown to Reading and beyond (OK, White Waltham to be exact) by Mel Cunliffe, Chris took this shot of the newly-completed railway work at Reading.

If you're not interested in the railway stuff, hit the 'Page Down' key about ten times!


OK, for those of you still with us for this bit, the new bits of railway to the west of Reading station

came into use at Easter 2015


Here a westbound High Speed Train climbs onto the flyover.


An FGW Class 180 approaches from the west on an Oxford - Paddington service.


Here, 7A15, a Merehead Quarry to Acton stone train, traverses the brand new 'Feeder Main' line just 14 hours after it opened.

This line goes underneath the flyover before joining the relief lines approximately a quarter of a mile further east.


Another HST heads west, whilst a Cross Country Voyager heads towards the station.


The flyover is certainly an excellent vantage point for railway staff !


Another Voyager climbs onto the flyover.


The feeder lines are not only used by freight trains !



As the sun sets, another Voyager heads for the station.  The brand new Traincare Depot is in the background.

The vertical girders will carry the electrification equipment in due course.


Our week of boating in the Spring was the first one ever when it rained every day !


Thankfully however we had some sun for our visit to Consall Forge on Mayday Bank Holiday Monday


Unsurprisingly, Muttley took to this new experience with great enthusiasm !

The usual suspects gathered in May for our annual Eurovision Party....


with Denise once again winning Steve's prediction competition.

Steve kindly provided us each with our own Conchita Wurst beard - all in the best possible taste !


The Dodge family bomb.

Originally delivered to Bristol by the Luftwaffe in 1940, it's been in the family

ever since Chris's maternal grandfather brought it home having found it whilst walking home from his

work as a Air Raid Warden, thus elevating the concept of 'bringing your work home with you' to a whole new level.

It's been residing in various garages ever since Chris's Gran uttered those immortal words "You're not bringing that thing into the house !"

Proper disposal of it is on Chris's personal 'to-do' list, but not quite at the top yet !


Afternoon tea being taken at Calais during this year's Booze Cruise.

It's what those pesky foreigners expect us to do aft trawl.


Cosford Air Day, in June.

Not the sharpest photo ever - it was a thoroughly murky day - but it catches a Spitfire and Typhoon displaying together.


This was the last year of flying for XH558, the last airworthy Vulcan.

Here the famous delta shape is shown to perfection.




Back to work, and photographing bridges again.  This is Moulsford Viaduct


Chris was able to cadge a lift with the contractors working on it to get some 'water level' shots.




June 21st.  Midsummer Day.  Glorious sunshire.

To Uphill Hill for Weston-Super-Mare Airday....


...and well wrapped up against a 25 knot wind in a cool 16 degrees !


The redevelopment of Birnbeck Island begins....


Chris's Mum decided that she'd like to go to Teignmouth for her birthday day out this year,

and being 92, she gets to do whatever she likes !

Here she is at Shaldon, with cousin Dennis Hill, who joined us this year.


Left to right:  Nephew Ed, niece Lottie, Dennis, Margaret, Chris with brother-in-law Phil and sister Sheila closest to camera.

Photo by Denise...

.... who was later to be seen well in touch with her Inner Child on the beach.



One of our favourite photos of the year, this is taken at the town of Dole, on our first night in France.


The view of the River Doubs from the Roman Citadel above the city of Besencon


Panoramic view looking across the Citadel


Denise photographs the city, in absolutely perfect conditions.


Stuart and Caroline McIntyre aboard their boat 'Robert', with whom we cruised for two thoroughly enjoyable days.


Our little 'Cirrus', photographed by Denise whilst aboard 'Robert'


"Caniche Royale" cried the local population as Judith and Roger Hutchinson joined us with Remmie.


Returning to Dole from the East


Back at home in August, it was time for a new kitchen.  Unfortunately what should have been two weeks of chaos

was more like four, and it was two months before the installer actually finished.

This is what was there before, dating from 1992.


Just one day later, it was stripped back to this.


Jensen makes his feelings abundantly clear !


Howden's kitchens do not come as flat packs !


Five days in, the new stuff starts to take shape.



It was however a further five days before we got to this stage.


Temporary arrangements for washing up - thankfully the weather remained dry !


All finished apart from the paintwork.





Muttley's first experience in 'the doggy bag'.  She loved it.


Meanwhile, things were not looking good over at the field.....


But a polite request to the Site Manager meant that we got 'The Ancient Stone' recovered to a new location.


Boating again in September.

Once again we returned to K52N at Defford, this time to do The Droitwich Ring.


Muttley - now fully grown, and enjoying her boating.


As ever, the catering was first class !


Dire weather was forecast for this week, but the jetstream was kind to us.

On a day which was initially forecast to be a washout,

Denise enjoys an afternoon pint at The Camp House Inn, north of Worcester


'Omniscient', moored at Tewkesbury.


A lovely peaceful spot for our last night.


No Flying Proms this year, but a visit to the September display at Old Warden.

Here three rare Hawker bi-planes are seen on the flight line before the display.


One of the visitors was the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight Douglas Dakota.


There are some wonderful aviation oddities in the Shuttleworth collection.

Here, the resident Cub tows the Fauvell glider to height.


A wonderful little aircraft, and almost certainly unique.

Please note, this is a controlled descent, not plummeting !


And seen here just before touchdown.


Yes, that is a very young Denise photographed with fellow geordies in the mid 70s.

In the centre is Wendy McCubbin, who turned 60 in October, and who invited us up for her party.


Here she is, posing with 'children' Andrew and Lindsey.


A fine weekend spent catching up with old friends.


Roger, Nick, Lucy and Colin pose at Clovelly during our first 'Winter Weekend' of 2015.

Sadly, Bonzo was seriously ill that weekend, so she and Denise had to stay at home.

Bonzo, on a drip and feeling very poorly.



Weird selfie of the five us, done by passing the phone from one to another.


Only Colin could face the walk back up to the carpark - the rest of used the Landrover taxi.


Panoramic view of Instow....


...from where Chris phones home for a further bulletin.

Thankfully, Bonzo made a full recovery.


'Drake' decorated for Halloween


"Ouch" ! or words to that effect.  Denise's take on it was "You need to get that looked at".


In the midst of being treated at Southmead Hospital.  The nail has been removed, the nail bed is visible.


Next door neighbours Nigel and Sally's eldest daughter Hollie married Alex in November


The ceremony took place in St John's Church


Hollie's sister Faye took on the unusual role of 'Best Woman'


Top Table at the reception...


The bride's mother's hat was able to pick up over 200 satellite channels !


Sarah Rendall put the lights from the table decoration to a fresh purpose...

of which the Bride's father clearly approves !


The post-reception pre-party (at least we think that's what it was) was held in Steve & Sarah's room.


Denise enjoys afternoon tea with sister Diana during a visit to Nottingham in November


A surprise for Denise at the Vets4Pets Nurses' Congress..... she wins the 'Client Nurse Of The Year' award !


Back to Foxdown again, just the two of us this time, for a weekend in 'Raleigh', the one with the stable door open.....


....where Denise is producing a fine fry-up !


Just five weeks after her illness, Bonzo managed six miles behind the bikes,

absolutely refusing to ride in the doggybag.

Muttley likes it though !


The fields meanwhile, look as though they're being prepared to mark

the centenary of The Battle Of the Somme


What we still think of as 'our' field !



Merry Christmas everyone, and a happy new year !


Chris & Denise

P.S: If by any chance you feel the urge to look at previous years, here are the links:

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