Another glorious Spring day. I wanted to go back to Stocking Wood to try and get a macro photo of a wild garlic flower, so that's where Basil and I headed early this afternoon. The macro effort was disappointing. In truth, you need to stack a series of photos at slightly different focal lengths to get a flower wholly in focus. I guess the prognosis is: keep trying. The garlic was still lovely to see so I've included a shot as an extra for today.
On the way to the wild garlic area, we passed a couple in a dense patch of last year's dead bracken. They were collecting very young ferns. Ones that had just emerged from the ground but not yet uncurled. The lady was South Korean. Her husband explained to me that they were collecting the young ferns for cooking. Bracken is very toxic to humans, but if you soak the young sprouts in cold water for 24 hours, you should find a brown oily slick on the surface of the water. Discard that water and soak the ferns again. Repeat until the water no longer has a brown slick on the top.
Remove the buds and trim the bases, and steam the stalks! But please, DON'T try this unless you're absolutely sure of what you're doing. I wouldn't want to be held responsible for cases of bracken poisoning.
On to the main event of the day, a trip into Leicester to try and get a glimpse of the Leicester City Premier League victory display. We drove to Kat and George's, parked the car, and walked round the corner to catch the no. 14 bus, which dropped us off just round the corner of St Margaret's Bus station. Then it was simply a matter of walking up Churchgate towards the Clock Tower.
I was pleased that there was still a reasonable view from the top of Churchgate, with 20 minutes to spare before the open top bus was due to depart from Jubilee Square. Len and I nipped into Highcross one at a time to use the loos. Basil was apprehensive because of all the noise.
When I came out, the bus had just arrived at the end of the High Street and fortunately was stood still. I'd brought my Fuji 100-400mm lens for the occasion and managed to grab three photos that were in focus. I'm still having problems with the focusing using this lens.
But you can see the result here. Not only Ulloa but also Vardy and a glimpse of Mahrez, Schmeichel, Ranieri and THE cup. And I'm pretty sure that's Mark Albrighton at the back.
Lots of noise, vuvuzelas calling, flags waving. As soon as the four buses had turned fully into Gallowtree Gate, the crowds began to stream away making poor Basil more scared than ever. Len and I formed a shelter for him.
Once the crowd had thinned enough around the Clock Tower, we ventured into Haymarket. A policeman told us where to find the new bus station. Basil was wavering all over the place on his lead. And then we spotted Geoffrey sporting a Blue Army t-shirt with his daughter Sarah going in the same direction. Everybody was happy. We'd seen a momentous event.
On the bus, the lady next to me had a t-shirt with the slogan, Leicester City Football Club - the People's Champions.