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.

 

Cadiz (1)

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

Cadiz (2)

Monument of the Spanish Constitution (approved in 1812)

Cadiz (3)

Blossoming Jacaranda tree

Cadiz (4)

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

Cadiz (5)

Fountain and tiled majolica paving in the Alameda Apodaca

Cadiz (6)

In Park Genoves

Cadiz (7)

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

Cadiz (8)

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

Cadiz (9)

A Cadiz Roofscape

Cadiz (10)

Cadiz street entertainment

bar-yellow

Advertisements

The City of Bath

[ Photo Gallery # 84 }

Bath

Bath is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England.  It is renowned in particular for its Roman spa baths, built c. 60 AD, when it went under the Latin name of Aquae Sulis (‘The Waters of Sulis’).   In 2011, the city had a population of almost 89 thousand.

Bath is in the valley of the River Avon, 97 miles (156 km) west of London.  The town is set in the rolling countryside of south-west England, and is known for its natural hot springs and 18th-century Georgian architecture.  It has strong connections with the 18th Century author, Jane Austen, who lived here during the Regency period from 1801 to 1806 and who set two of her novels, ‘Northanger Abbey’ and ‘Persuasion’, in Bath.

Honey-coloured Bath stone has been used extensively in the town’s architecture, including at Bath Abbey, noted for its fan-vaulting, tower and large stained-glass windows. The museum at the site of the original Roman-era Baths includes The Great Bath, statues and a temple.

In 1704, Richard (‘Beau’) Nash, the celebrated leader of fashion, became ‘Master of Ceremonies’ at the then rising spa town of  Bath.  He lived in the town for much of the first part of the 18th Century and played a leading role in making Bath the most fashionable resort in 18th-century England.

bar-yellow

I hope my gallery of photographs, taken in Bath on a visit to the city about 12 years ago, will give a taste of the pleasures and architectural delights of this city, one of the most visited in the United Kingdom.

Bath10PBridge

The River Avon and Pulteney Bridge at Bath. Designed by Robert Adam in a Palladian style, it is exceptional in having shops built across its full span on both sides. 

Bath14AvonWeir

The Avon Weir, beside Pulteney Bridge

Bath15AvonWeir

Close-up of the Avon Weir

Bath18Gardens

A more distant view of Pulteney Bridge and the Avon Weir

Bath19Mozart

Statue of Mozart in the Parade Gardens, Grand Parade, BATH

Bath21Abbey

View of the East window of Bath Abbey from the Parade Gardens

Bath29Abbey

Fan vaulting on the nave of Bath Abbey

Bath30Abbey

Close-up of the nave ceiling at Bath Abbey

 

 

Bath31Abbey

Memorial to Sir Richard Hussey Bickerton (1759-1832) in Bath Abbey.  He was a British naval officer, at times, second in command to Lord Nelson

Bath33Baths

The Great Bath – the entire structure above the level of the pillar bases is a later construction. There are four main features to the complex: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the museum

Bath35Baths

The Spring rises within the courtyard of the Temple of Sulis Minerva and water from it feeds the Roman Baths

Bath37SallyLunns

Sally Lunn’s is much more than a world famous tea and eating house in the centre of Bath.  This historic building is one of the oldest houses in the city.  It owes its fame to the creation of the first Bath bun, an authentic regional speciality known throughout the world, and first introduced by the legendary young Huguenot baker, Sally Lunn, in Georgian Bath.

bar-green

West Cornwall #3

[  Photo Blog # 74  ]

Below is a further selection of the many photographs I took on my visits to South-West Cornwall and the Lizard Peninsular between 2006 and 2008.

CornwallSep06 StIves01

Beach at St.Ives

CornwallSep06 StIves4

A good day for yachting at St.Ives

CornwallSep06 StIves08

Will You Marry Me’  (No question mark!).  I trust Julie was pleased.

CornwallSep06 StIves09

Porthgwidden Beach, St.Ives

CornwallSep06 StIves12-Tate

The view from Tate St. Ives Art Gallery

CornwallSep06 StJustInRoseland1

View from the Church of St Just in Roseland

CornwallSep06 Trebah2

View from Trebah Gardens over to the Helford River

CornwallSep06 Trebah3

View from Trebah Gardens out to the English Channel

CornwallSep06 Trebah6

Another View from Trebah Gardens

CornwallSep06 Trelissick05

A Tree (species unknown to me) in Trelissick Gardens

CornwallSep06 Trelissick08

View from Trelissick Gardens towards the River Fal

Western Cornwall #1

[  Photo Blog # 72  ]

Cornwall Map

I visited the western and the southernmost extremities of Cornwall on several summertime occasions between 2006 and 2008.  For the next three Thursdays I will offer some of the many photographs I took on these journeys.   The weather was not always bright and sunny!

01 Glendurgan

Glendurgan Gardens – owned by the National Trust

02 Glendurgan

The beach at Glendurgan on the Helford River

03 Glendurgan

Glendurgan – The Beach

04 KingHarryFerry

On the King Harry Ferry

05 KynanceCove

Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsular

06 KynanceCove

Kynance Cove

07 LamornaCove

Lamorna Cove on the Penwith peninsula approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Penzance

08 LamornaCove

Lamorna Cove

09 LamornaCove

Lamorna Cove

10 LizardLighthouse

The Lizard – Lighthouse

11 LizardLighthouse

The Lizard – Lighthouse

12 Marazion-StMichaelsMt

St. Michael’s Mount – from Marazion

13 Marazion-StMichaelsMt

St. Michael’s Mount – from Marazion

Arundel Castle, West Sussex, U.K.

Arundel is an ancient town situated on the River Arun in West Sussex, England.  Its castle, massive and dominant in the landscape, dates from the 11th Century, although considerably altered and added to since that time.

Arundel Castle has undergone many restorations and extensions since it was first built in the year following the Norman Invasion of England in 1066.  It was officially  established by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067.   By the grace of William the Conqueror, he was the first to hold the earldom of Arundel.   The castle has remained in the possession of his descendants ever since and is now the home of the Duke of Norfolk, who is the Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England.  The current duke is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk.

My photographs, featured below, are amongst those I took on a recent visit there in October 2017.

Arundel01-map

Arundel, showing its position just a few miles inland from the English Channel and about 65 miles from London.

Arundel02

Showing how the castle position dominates the town and the surrounding area

 

Arundel03

Looking up to the massive southern wall of the castle

Arundel04

The Castle’s Western Gateway

Arundel05

Part of the extensive castle gardens, looking towards Arundel’s Roman Catholic Cathedral

Arundel06

The more private part of the castle where the present Duke of Norfolk lives

Arundel07

Further view of the gardens

Arundel08

The Root Garden, planted with the upturned roots of trees lost in the great 1987 Storm

Arundel09

It was pumpkin time in the castle vegetable gardens, and Halloween was approaching

Arundel10

A medieval montage within the castle keep

Arundel11

An important 12th Century visitor to the Castle

Arundel12

A re-enactment of 12th Century knights in battle

Arundel13

More Norman knights

Arundel14

A view of the River Arun and its bridge at Arundel after several days of rain

 

sline6

Westonbirt National Arboretum

[ Photo Blog #60 ]

Westonbirt Arboretum can be found near the historic market town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England.  It is the UK’s National Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission, and is perhaps the most important and widely known arboretum in the United Kingdom.  The arboretum’s 18,000 specimen trees and shrubs sourced from all over the globe provide a remarkable place for people to enjoy and learn about trees. It has 17 miles of marked paths which provide access to a wide variety of rare plants.

When I visited there in 2003 there happened to be an exhibition of what, only in the broadest sense, could be called ‘garden sculpture’.   I offer below some of my photographs taken at the time . . . 

 

Westonbirt00-Arboretum

bar-green

Westonbirt 01 (1)

Just taking a work break

Westonbirt 01 (3)

A pointed remark

Westonbirt 01 (4)

Tear-drop Tree

Westonbirt 01 (5)

All wired up …

Westonbirt 01 (6)

… and suitably pigeon-holed

Westonbirt 01 (7)

Water-glass

Westonbirt 01 (8)

A hairy situation

Westonbirt 01 (9)

‘The green trees transported and ravished me, their sweetness and unusual beauty made my heart to leap and almost mad with ecstasy.’

Westonbirt 01 (10)

Mirrored garden #1

Westonbirt 01 (11)

Mirrored garden #2

Westonbirt 01 (12)

Mirrored garden #3

bar-green

Three Essex Villages, England

[ Photo Blog #47 ]

Just a few of my photographs taken in three beautiful villages in Essex in South East England – to the north and East of London.

Greensted Church, in the small village of Greensted-juxta-Ongar, near Chipping Ongar, is the oldest wooden church in the world, and probably the oldest wooden building in Europe still standing, albeit only in part, since few sections of its original wooden structure remain. The oak walls are often classified as remnants of a palisade church or a kind of early stave church, dated either to the mid-9th or mid-11th century.

Ingatestone is a village in Essex, England, with a population of about 4,500.

Ingatestone Hall is a Grade I listed 16th-century manor house in Essex, some 5 miles (8 km) south west of Chelmsford. It was built by Sir William Petre, and his descendants live in the house to this day.  William Petre bought Ingatestone manor soon after the Dissolution of the Monasteries for some £850 and commissioned the building of the house. Queen Elizabeth I of England spent several nights there on her royal progress of 1561.

The hall represented the exterior of Bleak House in the 2005 television adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel and also appeared in an episode of the TV series Lovejoy. Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s novel Lady Audley’s Secret is set at Ingatestone Hall and was inspired by a stay there.

Orsett is a village and ecclesiastical parish located within Thurrock unitary district in Essex

( Information based on entries in Wikipedia )

OrsettCottage

A timbered and thatched cottage in Orsett

Greensted01

Greensted Church

Greensted02

Greensted Church –  Wooden South Entrance

Ingatestone01

Ingatestone Hall

Ingatestone02

Ingatestone Hall – Clock Tower & Weather Vane

Ingatestone03

Ingatestone Hall

Ingatestone04a

Ingatestone Hall – Roadside slogan – ‘Never Underestimate A Minority’

One evening in July

One evening in July

swift-swallows

High in the sky
crescent wings spread
swallows swoop in the setting sun
sweeping the sky in graceful bursts
of focussed energy

JulyEvening1

squirrels scamper back to hide
in the broad bold arms of the copper beech
massively dominant
heart-fulcrum of this garden’s universe
dark and russet red
against the pure blue of the dying sky

all movement
matching mood
the random respite in the dreamy breeze
the occasional breath of the wind’s touch
and sporadically
 complete stillness

JulyEvening3

greens, so many greens
each tree, shrub, plant
varied in their shades
proving their uniqueness
setting themselves apart
by shape and colour
claiming their own personality

offshoots of dandelion down
breeze-drift ever upwards
losing themselves in the beech’s canopy
awaiting an eventual
descent to earth
and re-birth
to live and breed again

JulyEvening4

a low-key insect hum
a buzz about the borders
and the beds
those ‘I-must-be-about-my-business’ bees
bustling flower to flower
seeking out colour
honey essence
on the move
feasting
surviving

other minutiae fuss and flurry
in their chosen domains
butterflies, beetles,
hoverflies
nature’s drones
engaged with their own agendas

the collared dove cooing on the rooftop
the chirrup, twitter, chatter of
evening’s bedtime birds

the whole garden sings softly to me
showcasing summer’s sustenance
the season’s splendour
acknowledging the diurnal cycle
preparing for the sun’s departure
and the oncoming darkness
bringing languor and tranquility
paving the way for the
life of the night
to commence

banner-pink

 

SIDMOUTH and John Betjeman

[ Photo Blog #43 ]

SIDMOUTH and John Betjeman

 I supplement my photographic gallery post of Sidmouth a week ago with a further collection of photographs of this’ jewel of England’s Jurassic Coast’.  The town was beloved of our 20th Century poet laureate (1972-84), John Betjeman.  He wrote a poem as the sound track to a 1962 television film on the town.  In the poem, called ‘Still Sidmouth’, he says of the town :

‘Gothic or Classic, terrace or hotel,
Here does the backbone of old England dwell.’

On my own recent visit there I made a point of looking for what Betjeman describes in his poem as the ‘bright and outsize Devon  flowers’ in Sidmouth’s Connaught Gardens.

Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (111)

The Betjeman Plaque in Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth

‘Pause on Peak Hill, look eastward to the town,
Then to the Connaught Gardens wander down
And in the shelter of its tropic bowers,
I see its bright and outsize Devon flowers.’

 Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (112)

As befits the Jungle theme of just one part of these gardens, most plants here originate from the Far East.  There is a fascinating bamboo collection, but what, in particular, caught my eye was this exotic plant which reached up tall into the sky and leant at an angle over the pathway.  So far I have been unable to pin down it’s name.  There is a lot of information about these gardens on the internet and on the plants it contains, but nothing I can find which matches the description of this tall, broad-stemmed creature. It has a myriad of small blue and mauve periwinkle-like flowers encircling the massive central stems, which, at the time I photographed them, were covered in honey bees.

The following four photographs give a better idea of its exotic character . . .

Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (114)

Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (115)

Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (116)

 

Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (117)

Below I include 4 more of my photographs of Sidmouth flowers, wild ones this time, which John Betjeman would have seen and loved . . .

Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (72)

Seashore Foxglove

Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (73)

Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (44)

River Sid Daisies

Devon-June2017-Sidmouth (46)

 

bar-curl4

 

My Bird Of Paradise

Balloon Bird1

My Bird Of Paradise

Balloon Bird2

 When I awoke and drew the blinds
One bright and sunny day
A sight awaited my poor eyes
Which filled me with dismay.

When looking out my bedroom window
I’ve never before found
Something which has so puzzled me
It truly did astound

Exotic birds do not frequent
My garden usually
But yesterday I gazed at one
Amazed – excusably.

Was it a bird of ill omen
Sent to cause me worry
I told myself, “I doubt that much,
At least not here in Surrey.”

Perhaps a Bird of Paradise
Had managed to break free
From its New Guinea jungle home
And come to delight me.

Maybe a Rainbow Lorikeet
Toucan or Golden Pheasant
Peacock or a Red Macaw
Sent here as a present.

I was quite mystified you see
Until this afternoon
The gardener came, looked up and said,
“It’s an escaped balloon.”

I was quite mortified to find
I had not recognised
My own discarded birthday gift.
… I’m so demoralised.

Balloon Bird3