Cadiz

 [ Photo Gallery # 93 ]

Cadiz – Spain

Cádiz is a city and port in south-western Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia.  In my Photo Gallery today I include just a selection of the photographs which I took whilst wandering around the city on a visit there in 2006.

There are narrow streets, beautiful tree-lined plazas, a magnificent seafront promenade adorned with wonderful fountains, paved with colourful majolica tiles, and surrounded by a variety of trees and flowers.  Alameda Apodaca is a beautiful spot in the city of Cadiz, ideal for a stroll and to cool down on hot summer days.  It is a broad avenue with cobbled streets, and a variety of cobblestones and majolica tiles forming geometrical designs.

 

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View of the city from the sea with Cadiz Cathedral dominating the skyline

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Monument of the Spanish Constitution (approved in 1812)

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Blossoming Jacaranda tree

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Arbol del Mora, giant Moreton Bay Fig Trees (Ficus macrophylla) planted around 1900

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Fountain and tiled majolica paving in the Alameda Apodaca

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In Park Genoves

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In the amazing Park Genoves, a botanical wonderland filled with over 100 species of trees and shrubs

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 On one of Cadiz beaches, below the statue bust of Paco Alba, composer and creator of the  Carnival comparsa of Cádiz.

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A Cadiz Roofscape

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Cadiz street entertainment

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A Dream Enriched

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Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones: ‘The Love Song’

A DREAM ENRICHED

 She came to me
A dream enriched
When I was most in need.
Long summers passed
And she was there
She held my hand
Until with time
My troubles did recede

 And then
When age had bitten back
She gave her love to me
Without a qualm
She took my arm
For she was Spring
As Autumn came
And I was home at last.

 

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RYE, East Sussex, England

[ Photo Gallery # 90 ]

RYE is an English town near the coast in East Sussex.  It was one of the original Cinque Ports and parts of the original walls and town gates, once built to guard against invasions from the French, still remain.  Over the centuries, however, the sea has receded leaving Rye Harbour and the coast of the English Channel about 2 miles (3.2 km) downriver from the town.  In the town centre, cobbled lanes like Mermaid Street still exist lined with medieval, half-timbered houses. The redbrick Lamb House was once owned by writer Henry James. Nearby, the tower of the Norman St. Mary’s Church overlooks the town. 

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Low tide on the River Rother at Rye

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Ancient Rye Mill, reconstructed in 1932 after a fire destroyed much of the superstructure

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Fascinating weather-worn textures in part of the ancient town walls

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Looking uphill along the cobbled Mermaid Street to Lamb House at the top right

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View across the roofs of the town from the roof of St. Mary’s Church tower

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Another view across the roofs of the town from the roof of St. Mary’s Church tower

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View towards the River Rother from the roof of St. Mary’s Church tower

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A Burne-Jones stained-glass window in St.Mary’s Church

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A lovely corner window in the town

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House front near St.Mary’s Church

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One of the ancient town entry gates

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The green plaque is inscribed ‘Radclyffe Hall (1880 – 1943), Novelist, lived here.’

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The  FOLLY

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THE  FOLLY

 

It might well be a fancy flight
a seemly sight
to pierce the night

The ruin stands by planned design 
stately in its verdant dell
beside the lake
a tableau there 
no history to tell

Reflections guaranteed to please 
float beside its stones
imaging false contrast
in the water’s mirror
a mirage of a potent past

To build a ruin seems absurd
why would you do it
the thought occurred

Perhaps to glory in the past
show time has passed
and nought can last

But as I wander within its wall
dark and damp
and weather worn
stained in moss
and ivy clad
I feel that here
real history lies
a tale so sad
a mystery

I do recall how
in its recent age
it yet was young
was burnished bright
both stone and tiles
a comely sight

To see an abbey in its prime
no sort of crime
merely a jest with time

Fanciful, a fantasy, 
undoubtedly a fallacy
yet
reflection of a legacy
portrayal of a history

 

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On Ageing Disgracefully – Reprise

[ Wednesday Replay # 3 ] 

[  First posted on    ]

‘Age I do abhor thee’

Whilst the following rhyming couplets in no way describe my own experience of encroaching dotage, the verses are my attempt to express a view of the feelings and needs of a ‘grumpy old man’ contemplating his future, isolated by senility from his nearest and dearest.

These thoughts were generated by a re-reading of the madrigal verses, Crabbed age and Youth’, attributed to Shakespeare, coupled with watching again an episode of Victor Meldrew’s character in the TV comedy, ‘One foot in the Grave’.


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CRABBED AGE

(On Ageing Disgracefully)

So who can we say will look after us
When we get old and cantankerous?

Can we rely on those near and dear? 
Or are we forsaken, alone in our fear?

We who were once so unstinting and kind
Do we not earn at last true peace of mind?

BUT . . .

All is not clear . . . To be truly sincere, 
The man I was then is no longer here.

FOR . . .

I’ve changed, and not for the better 
I’ve lost it now – down to the letter.

No one can know the way I now feel. 
I’ve got the worst of Faust’s done deal.

Bad-tempered with age; rancorous, unkind,
Left, with my youth, all my humour behind.

My bilious mien, my irascible stance 
Will never win friends or my nature enhance.

I’m old now and weary and decidedly bent 
My spirit and mind to perdition I’ve sent.

Choleric, petty, liverish, sickly, 
A curmudgeon, malcontent, surly and prickly.

I’m grumpy, I know, and I’m sad.
I’m thoughtless and tetchy and bad.

I’m full of regret and I hurt,
Bombastic and bitter and curt.

I know when I’m right, but not when I’m wrong,
I know where I live, not where I belong.

Selfish, caustic, hurtful, snide,
This present-day world I cannot abide.

My life is defiled, and I’m full of bile;
A fossilised drone, sterile and vile.

NEVERTHELESS . . .

I need you beside me all the day long.
Don’t tell me you’re tired – I know that you’re wrong.

I remember those vows that we once affirmed 
When the future was all that you and I yearned.

But I’m near to the end, so I’m taking a bow,
Who once was your soul-mate Is only a shell now.

The love that once held you so closely to me
Has gone since I’ve grown to be bitchy and gloomy

I know that you don’t want to stay any longer 
I’m just in your way now, it’s you who is stronger.

I’d hoped I could ask you to restore my dreams 
But time has dealt us its last blow it seems.

SO . . .

I relinquish my hold, and consign all my sorrows 
To a life that defeats me – and all our tomorrows.

 

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The illustrations are from the Irish illustrator, Harry Clarke’s, 1921 edition of Goethe’s ‘FAUST’.

NEXT WEEK . . .  ‘On Ageing Gloriously’ !!!

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The GREEN MAN

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‘Green Man’ . . . Pen&Wash – WHB ©

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The GREEN MAN

He is my history
Lusting after the hills of my youth
He strides the moorland paths
Amidst the bracken and the gorse
Drinking the sun’s warm ale
Savouring the wind’s heather-toned tang
Turning time to his advantage
Tuning in to its connecting wavelength

He is great Nature’s spirit
Rising and falling with its moods
Sad yet serene in Spring
Holding the hope of the future

Bright and bubbly in the summer rains
Rich and expansive in the sun’s bright gaze

Brought to magnificent autumn richness
Coloured by russet tints
Fruitful in his beneficence

He is the winter too
Drifting with the whiteness of its moods
His flocks penned for winter warmth neath the mountain crag
Shielding the gentle crocus
And the blanched snowdrop

He is the spirit of the trees
Lord of copse and wood
Guardian of Grove and greenwood
Verdant Monarch of the forest

Of the landscape’s lakes
Running with the cool waters of streams and rivers
The stillness of Its ponds and pools

Both past and future
Gone yet still to come again
his cyclic journey unfolds
From birth to death
From death to resurrection
To new life and resurgent hope
Maintaining existence
Midst promises and threats
To bring renewal in the name of life

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Joy In The Wind

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‘Wind On The Orme’ – Pen & Wash … WHB  2017     © 

 

The Wind In Springtime

As the leaves sway in the gentle breeze
And branches stir with crackling joyous glee,
So the wind sings songs amongst the trees
Displaying its delight in being free.

And as the zealous air disturbs the sea
White horses top the breaking vernal wave;
I’m minded of what Springtime means to me
How for its reappearance we all crave.

As waves furrow their path towards the shore,
And full-sailed yachts are snared and driven along,
I now can celebrate and lust for more, 
And yearn to hear its plangent soughing song.

Here as the fire’s flames leap up to the sky
And buffeted they dance with intense glee,
They spread their warmth as every breath drifts by,
Flickering now in every shadow I see.

Thus do I greet the season’s steady hope,
To pray that all its promises are kept, 
That midst bold Nature’s green kaleidoscope
Only our triumphant tears are wept.

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Faustian Offers Refuted

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From ‘Le Triomphe de la Mort’ by Iean Holbein

FAUSTIAN OFFERS REFUTED

 

He has brought me here 
Recycled my life 
To revive my youth
Its promise given to me again 
To tempt my taste for change

Had it been different 
choices changed 
Those faustian offers not refuted 
Where would wishes 
Then rejected 
Have taken me

But I know 
I am no more fitted now
Than I was then  
To take the right course 
Choose the salient path

So once again I must reject the offer 
Renew my current course 
Leave longing for reason 
For that unknown and unknowing 
Certitude

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‘The Way Things Might Have Been’

[ Wednesday Replay # 2 ] 

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 ‘. . . For two years I went to the woods every night. I made a little shrine out of that spot and kept my slippers and his letter there.  I read a lot of books while thinking about him, in particular one by Hazlitt, which I didn’t fully understand, but which gave me melancholy pleasure.   Three lines I learnt by heart, reciting them over and over, as the light began to fade and my childhood with it.’

“MAN IS THE ONLY ANIMAL THAT LAUGHS AND WEEPS; FOR HE IS THE ONLY ANIMAL THAT IS STRUCK BY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT THINGS ARE AND THE WAY THEY MIGHT HAVE BEEN.”

William Hazlitt,  English essayist (1778 – 1830) . . .   From  ‘Lectures on the English Comic Writers’ (1819)

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N.B.  Presumably to emphasise the wistful mood she is trying to convey, Beryl Bainbridge slightly alters the usual last phrase of the Hazlitt quote, which normally reads: ‘. . . and what they ought to be.’

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Previously blogged on 11th August 2016

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Early 20th Century Autograph Books

[ Wednesday Replay # 1 ] 

Previously published on Roland’s Ragbag on August 6th 2016 at:
‘Early 20th Century Autograph Books’


 

Autograph books, where they exist, are now used mainly for collecting the signatures ( or at least the scribbled ciphers) of the latest popular music or sports star.

Compare this scribble below by Wimbledon Champion, Andy Murray, in 2013, with, from my own autograph collection (of 2), this perfectly legible  autograph of England and Yorkshire batsman, Len Hutton, obtained in the 1940s . . .

100 years ago Autographs Books were primarily more for the collecting and usually exchanging, of aphorisms, homilies, comments,  pithy verses, simple drawings, personal messages, with friends and relatives.

These autograph books of the first half of the 20th Century, give a clear picture of the social mores and conventions of the time.  Their contents can be clearly seen as a means of passing popular wisdom on to subsequent generations. Nowadays they may be thought of by some as schmaltzy, even maudlin, but they do present a picture of the tastes and sentiments of that time and help to remind us of a much simpler and less cynical age.

 REPRODUCE BELOW, In Slide show format) SOME OF THE SKETCHES FROM MY OWN FAMILY’S AUTOGRAPH BOOKS – THE MAJORITY OF THE ENTRIES ARE DATED 1929.

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. . . AND HERE ARE THE TEXTS OF SOME OF THE MORE DISCERNING ENTRIES . . .


Beware sweet maid when men come to thee
And say they seek their soul’s affinity
When all they want, the base espousers,
Is someone to sew buttons on their trousers.


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‘Just a few lines from a would-be poet’


It’s very hard to find a friend
When your heart is full of hope.
It’s harder still to find a towel
When your eyes are full of soap.


In ascending the hill of prosperity
May you never meet a Friend


It’s not the one that knows the most
That has the most to say.
Nor yet the one that has the most
That gives the most away.


Love is like a mutton chop
Sometimes cold – Sometimes hot

Whether cold or whether hot
It’s not a thing to be forgot.


‘Taint what we have,
But what we give,
‘Taint what we are,
But how we live,
‘Taint what we do,
But how we do it,
That makes life worth
Going through it.


Make new friends but keep the old,
One is silver, the other gold;
Cheeks may wrinkle, hair grow grey,
But friendship never knows decay.


When the golden sun is sinking,
When your time from care is free,
When of others you are thinking,
Will you sometimes think of me?


Written in faltering, scratchy handwriting …

This is a damned bad pen you’ve given me!

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