Monday 30 August 2010

Sandbanks Chain Ferry

pic by peter lloyd from Wikimedia Commons

We crossed on this chain ferry from Studland to Sandbanks today as part of a round trip drive out through the gorgeous Portland countryside and back to Poole. At first waiting in the ferry queue was a pain. Then we moved up near to the slipway and had a first class view of all the sea-going traffic heading in and out of Poole harbour.

Because it's a bank holiday here today, it was really busy. The short crossing is the only entrance to the enormous harbour area from the sea. People were enjoying themselves in craft small and large, slow and fast. There were water scooters zipping along in a shower of spray; cruise boats loaded with passengers; Sunseeker power boats with millionaire owners on board; fishing boats and pleasure boats.

And once we were on board the ferry had to wait as the harbour master's little boat led the way out for a small tanker with half a dozen containers on its deck. That crew had to work, bank holiday notwithstanding.

Friday 27 August 2010

Holes Bay Path

I can't beleive how fast the time is going. It's over 13 months since we moved here and I took this photo almost a year ago. It's of the path alongside Holes Bay on one of my favourite walks.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Lancaster and Spitfire at Bournemouth Air Show

This is just for Laane, whose father flew a Lancaster in World War II, and who is having a tough time today. Please join me in sending good vibes her way.

Monday 23 August 2010

Memorable days

The last of my visitors, my seven year old granddaughter, left yesterday. I miss her a lot, and the hoards of other people I have been entertaining over the last couple of weeks, but it is good to be able to look forward to getting back to routine, once I have completed the mountain of laundry, cleaning and tidying that now needs to be done. A good start has been made, alongside a couple of new writing assignments I've got that will help to defray the costs of it all.

And I'm left with some lovely memories. It's been great just observing all the children enjoying themselves. One day a stepdaughter and her family joined us - a rare occurrence - and we were quite an assortment of people and a dog picnicking at our local beach. The next day a number of us went to a birthday lunch for my son.

Another memorable day was just hubby, youngster and I visiting Monkey World, a local primate rescue centre. I took this picture through a window into the woolly monkey enclosure.

I had to crop a lot out of this one of some orangutans as they were quite a way from the viewing area. It's still quite difficult to see what's what, but you can get the general idea. It looks to me like there could be a mature adult, a young adult and a baby. We certainly weren't close enough to make that out when we were there.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Bournemouth Air Festival

Last Friday we headed for Bournemouth beach to enjoy the festivities there and watch the air show. The weather wasn't great and some displays had to be curtailed or cancelled because of the low cloud and windy conditions. But what we did see was great. It wasn't easy to get photos with my fairly standard lense, but when I cropped out lots of sky and added more light to some of them, I thought they were good enough to share.

Before the aircraft displays the navy treated us to a demonstration of landing forces on a beach and we saw marines shin down a rope from a helicopter and drop into a landing craft. You can see how choppy the sea was in this picture. (NB. The air festival was sharing the beach with children doing their usual beach activities.)

One of the most popular air displays was the barnstorming wingwalkers. Here you see two girls performing their amazing acrobatics in the air.

This was a display by the Blades aerobatics team. You can see they are all breaking in different directions and one is actually flying upside down.

This fast jet was from the Netherlands air force.

Here are the very famous red arrows, although minus one aircraft which was grounded for repairs.

Finally here is a pic of some of the audience, with Bournemouth pier in the background.

It wasn't easy to select what to show you and one pic I haven't included is of a Lancaster followed by a Spitfire, which were rolled out in honour of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, with an inspiring commentary about the bravery of the airmen that flew them at that time and saved us from defeat in World War II.

Monday 9 August 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Pic of Torquay's inner harbour by Laura H. at Wikimedia Commons

The last couple of weeks have gone by in a blur. I really need to sort out what I want to remember from them. I took the bus to Torquay last Thursday week and spent time with my sister and some friends. I rode the Jurassic Coast on the top of a double decker bus and it was just fantastic.

I went to two very different National Trust houses. One was a Gothic Revival house designed by William Burges for a wealthy family in the 19th century. The other was a holiday home of Agatha Christie on the banks of the River Dart - I'd seen the garden before but not inside the house, which is crammed with her family's collections.

I returned home a week ago and that was another adventure, as I got a lift part of the way from my brother-in-law in an enormous artic lorry - a first for me. He had to drop me a mile or more from Yeovil Junction station as he couldn't take the lorry down the narrow lanes that surround it. I had a pleasant country walk to get my train.

I did last week's regular work and then this week's before last Friday when Hubby and I took off for a family wedding in Leicester. The ceremony was in a Leicester church, then we headed away from the city to a village and hotel a few miles out. It turned out to be a very historic building with a Templar Chapel attached and the place where William Wilberforce drafted his Abolition of Slavery Bill.

Highlights for guests were: being greeted with a glass of fruity Pimms; a beautifully cooked meal in good company; a chocolate fountain available for several hours; buffet and disco in the evening; and having to light a Chinese lantern and watch it float away with about 50 others once darkness had fallen.

Came home yesterday and have spent today preparing rooms for guests arriving tomorrow - a very old friend and her two grandchildren - and staying a week. More people arriving on Thursday, more on Friday, and possibly more on Saturday.

It's definitely all go here. Middle of next week I shall crash. Hope to get around to sharing more details of places after that.

Thursday 5 August 2010

My Clematis

Despite all our worrying, and losing some of the growth, both the clematis are giving us a wonderful show of flowers. They have grown out of their planters attached to either end of the trellis over our seat and mixed themselves together beautifully.

Monday 2 August 2010

A Concrete Poem

Many moons ago, when I was at college, my English lecturer told us that a concrete poem took the shape of its subject, and we all had to try to make one up. This was my effort.

The Tree at the Top of the Hill

I remember the days
when I climbed up your hill,
and rested awhile in your shade,
gazing out on the slopes to the stream and the mill
at the birds on the wing and the deer in the glade.
Now my eyes must look out on the flat city streets
where the park has its trees but the trains rush on by.
While there’s shade, there’s no peace on those seats
with the roar of the traffic nearby.
But I remember those days
of climbing
and resting
and gazing
and seeing
the living
of wild things
not sad things
but glad things.
With everywhere still,
From the tree at the top of the hill.

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