The Lake District

[ Photo Blog #48 ]

England, Cumbria, The Lake District

Never far from water in the Lake District

My photographs, taken several years ago on what would now be considered to be an old camera

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Ambleside Pierhead on Lake Windermere

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Evening at Ambleside Pierhead on Lake Windermere

3Borrowdale

Bridge crossing the River Derwent in Borrowdale

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The Landing Jetty and Coniston Launch at Brantwood on Coniston Water

5Buttermere

On Buttermere

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The ‘Sentinels’ on Buttermere, the Lake District’s most photographed trees.

7ConistonGondola

The Steam Yacht on Coniston Water

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Derwentwater at Keswick

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Thirlmere

10SkelwithForce

Skelwith Force

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Autumn colours near Skelwith Bridge, Ambleside

Nature’s Evensong

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©  Photograph … ‘Sunset’ – courtesy of Canadian artist, Alma Kerr

 

Sunset

and the soulful sound

of the sea

seduce my senses

in the calm

of this still summer’s eve

ripples roll gently towards me

from the red sun-kissed sea

silhouette sails

hug the horizon

purposeful gulls

tread the foreshore

forever watchful

while I

a silent spectator

scan the scene

evening’s tableau

serene

and yet wholly alive

entranced and awed

mesmerised

beyond beauty

by Nature’s evensong

its benediction

on a desperate world

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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 )

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A timbered and thatched cottage in Orsett

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Greensted Church

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Greensted Church –  Wooden South Entrance

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Ingatestone Hall

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Ingatestone Hall – Clock Tower & Weather Vane

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Ingatestone Hall

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

Dartmouth, Devon

[ Photo Blog #46 ]

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Map of South Devon, England, showing the River Dart and Dartmouth

Dartmouth is a historic South Devonshire town situated where the beautiful River Dart meets the sea.  It has become a famous tourist destination, but it has a long history, mainly associated with its position as a deep-water port for sailing vessels, giving them easy access to the English Channel.  As far back as the Twelfth Century the port was used as the sailing point for the Crusades of 1147 and 1190.  Since the reign of  Edward II, Dartmouth has been the home of the Royal Navy.  The town was twice surprised and sacked in the 14th and 15th centuries during the Hundred Years’ War.  Following this, the narrow mouth of the estuary was closed every night with a great chain.  To protect the town, Dartmouth Castle and Kingswear Castle were built on opposite banks of the river entrance.  The Britannia Royal Naval College is located on the hill overlooking the town and has been training Officers of the Royal Navy since 1863.

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The River Dart – Looking eastwards from the town

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Dartmouth – The Quay

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The Royal Naval College overlooks the town

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The River Dart Passenger Ferry crossing between Dartmouth and Kingswear on the opposite bank

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Dartmouth Castle at the mouth of the river on the west bank

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The car ferry crossing close to the river mouth

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View towards the river mouth and the English Channel

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Cruise ship anchored in the deep water of the River Dart

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View of Kingswear across the river from Dartmouth, with the ruins of  Bayards Castle in the foreground

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View from the South Embankment towards the mouth of the River Dart

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Creative Sparks

Pattern, Shape, Texture and Inspiration

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Tell-a-tale Patterns on a wall
Shape and Texture all enthral

tell it all

I speak to myself
of myself

as I write
the blueprints of rules
should guide
not govern
flair and skill
for good or ill
let inspiration be found
in the scope
of my vision
natural occurrences
instances
of the imagination
mind’s saturation
sculpted by sea feather
weather-assisted
twisted
by time

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stones
worn and
moulded
bruised and folded
by the breeze
these
speak to me in telling verse
ideas diverse
intersperse
my thoughts
broaching themes
word streams
new memes

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this tree
disguised
surprised
anthropomorphised
attributes
of patterned roots
suits my style
brindled
dappled
nature’s offshoots
veinlike
skein-like

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And then
the shortfall
inspiration stalls
until that wall
enthralls
recalls
my pitfalls
windfalls
then my palette
revives
thrives again
and in its archives
My muse is revived

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Thus
this new view
a breakthrough
the connective tissue
come to rescue
my mind-block’s
black box
and to resuscitate
my failing powers
of inventiveness

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meaningless
yet meaningful
but tension taut
and overwrought
linked by thought chains
succoured by mind games
built into high rise blocks
of language fodder
ever odder

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eroded
exploded
colour coded

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oil-spoiled
and rainbow-coated
wordless surface
followed now with purpose
and augmented clues from

(ThamesDitton-CrackInWallPlaster

such as this
plaster-disaster
a certain
crack in the curtain
a remix, fix
new tricks
new script suggested

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dream instances
silent witnesses
to my imagination’s
flights
those dizzy heights
of know-my-rights
endeavour
hinting at the next
text

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the creative process
to which I’ll succumb
and produce this
my next pennyless
poetic income

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Lanturnes
rictameter
diamonds and pyramids
drape
and shape
my poems
mechanical poetry
composed to formula
but adding
when it comes to the crunch
a knockout punch
not all about pattern
because convention
needs to be coloured
by considered thought
wrought
from life
wrenched
from strife
moulded
by meaning
seen and felt
through my muse’s lens
into gems
of terse
verse

elmgrovewall (2)

nothing worse
than the curse
of banality
pattern
controlled by reason
liberated by
inspiration
Calliope’s lifeblood

Nature’s example
Of how Creation
Life
Followed by Death
Followed by Re-birth
is accomplished

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© Photographs copyright – all by WHB in various locations – Orkneys, Argyll (Scotland), Devon, Essex, Surrey, Sussex (England),  Stavanger (Norway). 

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Cardiff

[ Photo Blog #45 ]

Cardiff Waterfront

CARDIFF is the capital city of WALES.  It has a very long and fascinating history.  Today I just want to give a brief mention to its waterfront, an area which in recent years has been developed into an attractive and intriguing area with many new buildings, shops, galleries, sculptures and visitor attractions.

The harbour at Cardiff Bay is situated on the Southern coast of Wales, UK.  It has one of the greatest tidal ranges in the world (up to 14m).  This meant that at low tide it was inaccessible for up to 14 hours a day.  However, the Cardiff Bay Barrage was completed in 1999, enabling the creation of a a vast freshwater lake (500 acres) and the development of what is now known as Cardiff Waterfront.  Here can be found the Welsh Assembly Government buildings, the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, the Pierhead Building, Techniquest Centre, the Senedd or Welsh Assembly Building, Butetown History and Arts Centre, the 2000 Lightship, the iconic Wales Millennium Centre, al-fresco cafes, restaurants, and public works of art, giving a truly cosmopolitan feel to the City.

It was here, in the Norwegian seamen’s church, that Roald Dahl and his brothers and sisters, of Norwegian descent but  born in Cardiff, were all christened.  This central area of the Cardiff Waterfront is now named Roald Dahl Plass and is the site of many of the city’s greatest events.

The links between Cardiff and Norwegian seamen date back to the coal boom when Scandinavian ships brought timber for pit props and returned home laden with coal. Churches like this with its attractive white clapboard cladding and pointy spire were built to serve the Norwegian sailors who docked here. Today the restored church features an interesting gallery and a friendly café.

The photographs are by me, taken on a visit to the city several years ago . . .

 

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Model of Cardiff Waterfront

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The Norwegian Church

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Commerative photograph of a portrait of Roald Dahl in the Interior of the Norwegian Church

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Commemorative plaque on the naming of Roald Dahl Plass

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The Pierhead Building

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The Wales Millennium Centre

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A bronze of an immigrant couple symbolising the arrival of many to Tiger Bay seeking a better life in Britain.

Cardiff-08

Female Beastie Bench – Cardiff Bay, Sculpted bench in brick  ‘My Beautiful City of Cardiff’

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The 2000 Lightship, a Christian centre funded by Associated British Ports and Cardiff council – now re-sited

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Stained glass Portholes on the Lightship

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Seven Against the World

Seven Against the World – The Robot’s Revenge

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Photo … In a shop window – WHB – 2017

Seven against the world
lined up to face the unknown …

What is it with you robots
you are the fruit that man has sown
and when your time has come
as it will
you’ll boot up and become
our lords
our masters
takeover bid sealed
role reversal accomplished

Now become
foremen of our outmoded skills
reducing us to caricatures of yourselves
giving to us the menial jobs
we once gave you.

Our breeding
the continuation of our species
controlled by your own
perceived needs
as once we controlled your destinies

Fate comes full circle
the maker
made to serve
the servants
 God subsumed by his creations
emasculated by his foundlings
victim of consequence
slave now to his own oeuvre 

The self corrosive  imperative
of progress
the self-fulfilling rationale
behind mankind’s striving for perfection
now turned turtle

Unable to correct his miscalculation
his magnum opus
flawed to self destruction
subservience
and eventual annihilation

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Sidmouth, Devon #3

To round off my visits to Sidmouth on the Jurassic Coast of South Devon,  I add just a few more of my photographs taken there last month . . .

 

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Railway poster from the early 20th Century

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The annual Folk Festival takes place in the early part of August. Ad hoc groups of musicians can be found throughout the town and seafront – just enjoying themselves

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. . . and throughout the rest of the year too.

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‘The Sidmouth Fiddler’ – reminder of the Folk Festival in Connaught Gardens

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Splendid croquet courts along the sea front – often used for National and International competitions.

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‘When Evening Shadows Fall’ … an elongated cameraman!

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… To the top of Jacob’s Ladder

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Views from the top of Jacob’s Ladder

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The River Sid runs through the centre of the town

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Sharing the Glow

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Sunset over Loch Earn, Scotland – Photograph  © . . .  WHB 

 

Sharing the Glow

 

I remember that evening –
The sun sinking low,
When you stood beside me
Sharing the glow.

We bathed in that splendour –
That golden sunset,
Drenched in that promise
I’ll never forget.

I held your hand tightly,
Placed a kiss on your lips
In youth, in the gloaming,
The lie was eclipsed.

For then we were young,
Life had not bitten hard.
Our futures seemed certain
But we let down our guard.

I left with a pledge,
But never returned;
Dissolved into dreams
Your derision I earned.

But now we are older,
Life has taken its toll.
Is it too much to ask,
Can I recapture your soul?

Now that same sun is sinking
Setting fire to the sea;
Can this Phoenix bring hope
To you and to me?

Let me hold your hand now,
Place a kiss on your lips,
For bliss in old age
Does all else eclipse.

 

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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.

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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 . . .

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

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Seashore Foxglove

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River Sid Daisies

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