A Raft of Apples

Tuesday, 18 July 2017


Bray is a seaside town on the east coast of Ireland just about 12 miles (20k) south of Dublin in County Wicklow.
I visited in June so the summer season was yet to be in full swing with its bandstand concerts.

but the little striped huts selling ice cream and all the usual beach paraphernalia were open. The mound in the background is Bray Head from where can be seen the
full sweep of the bay
Someone rock pooling or bait digging is intent on a smaller universe here.  In the summer there are also outdoor movies on the beach every fortnight which is appropriate because
Bray is also the centre of the Irish film industry and we happened to catch one of the studios setting up the cameras here at The Bray Head Hotel as we walked past. The hotel is located on the path up to Bray Head at the end of the promenade.   Built in 1862 it has been used in a number of films in the past including The Commitments, a film which happens to be set in Dublin which is just a train ride away
on the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) seen here rounding Bray Head on the Dublin-Wicklow line which was designed by the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel although at the time it was called Brunel's Folly because of the high maintenance cost of running the line along cliff edges.
Time to relax and take a dip in the Irish Sea, the red and yellow flags are flying meaning its safe, the colour coordinated lifeguards are also in place so
 dive in.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at B here


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Tootling Along the Anglesey Coast

We were travelling to Ireland last month but took the opportunity to stay overnight on the Welsh island of Anglesey at a hotel on Bull Bay on the north coast. Our hotel window looked over the bay and as we were in the middle of a heatwave the waters glistened in the sunlight.
The coast weaves and crimkles in a mixture of bays, inlets and caves.  It is a popular destination for geology field trips because of the complexity and age of the rocks.
They can share their enthusiasm with those who prefer flora and fauna

and who walk along the coastal path.

The next day we took a leisurely drive along the coast road
Standing Stone and Wylfa Nuclear Power Station, near Cemaes Bay
and admired some of the standing stones we passed along the way. The area is rich in megalithic monuments.
We were nearing our destination of Holyhead whose hill can be seen in the distance when we stopped at this little shingle and sand bay.
and my little Lumix zoomed to its limit to catch the high speed ferry making its way into port.
The Dublin Swift catamaran  twin hulls lowered now makes a leisurely entrance. Although the name suggests speed it is actually named after the Irish poet, satirist and political pamphleteer Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Later in the day I'm standing on the deck of rather rather more sedate transport while trying to get a framed picture of a passing ship as the vessel sways and we are on our way from Anglesey across the Irish Sea to Dublin. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, now in its new home with Melody at the helm.  The 21st round starts here


Tuesday, 4 July 2017


Briefly settling among the Rose of Sharon or Hypericum is a Meadow Brown butterfly which are on the wing from June to August but before I could zoom in any further it had flown on its busy way to make the most of summer.  These little brown butterflies are quite similar to the Gatekeeper butterfly but can be distinguished by the fact that they have only one dot in their wing 'eye' whereas the Gatekeeper has two.
I imagine the dots on these rhododendron would identify them but all I know is I thought them pretty as I zoomed in for a closer look.

This is the nearest I could find to a letter Z in my collection for the last letter of the alphabet
which warns that one could by zapped by electricity if vaulting over the fence, not only that but the double helix sign warns that the "premises are marked by a security system using a DNA system" so when laying comatose or dead  perhaps one would be adding even more DNA.
Stay safe, heed the warning, but don't ignore the post box for sending words on paper 

but for those in electronic format next week's post will be in the new home of ABC Wednesday hosted by Melody so the invite is for everyone to zoom over there and zap in your entry on July the 12th and begin the  21st Round of ABC Wednesday.  

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet this week  for the last time at Z here

Friday, 16 June 2017


Oriental Poppy
A Raft of Apples will be quiet for a few weeks as I take a hop skip and a jump over to the Emerald Isle.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017


We've had a lot of elections in the UK recently, last month it was for the local councilors, this month a unexpected snap election for national government which turned out to have an unexpected result of a hung parliament so we have yet more chaos wished on us by the incumbent government.  My local polling station is Cambridge Street Primary School who were enjoying the election because it meant they had an unexpected day off.  There is always something interesting on the wall at the cloakroom entrance to the classrooms, last year there were rather impressive paintings done by the children inspired by famous paintings by people like Van Gogh, Monet and Da Vinci, this year there were balloon wishes
such as the wish "to go to every party I'm invited to"
"Open a Sweet Shop" - "Play in the Yard with My Dog"
"To Have A Sleep In" - "To Be Famous"
"To work at a snake centre"
There were lots more such as "To be able to eat loads of sweets" (not the person to be employed by the child who wanted to open a sweet shop), "Go To France" or someone wanted to go even further and "Go To Asia" although one homebody only wanted to "Go To Southport" (a seaside resort just down the coast) and a sporting enthusiast wanted "To Go To Old Trafford".
Time for me to vote and follow the arrows around the corner and wish we we were not leaving the European Union, wish for better politicians and wish there were not evil psychopaths who blow children up in the city of Manchester, home to the football ground of that last child's wish. But I will not end on a negative note and wish for hope not hate and also wish that our children's dreams can come true. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at W here 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Viewing Platform

A viewing platform set on top of a knoll in Millom Park, in olden times this area was once a deer park connected with the castle, but today it is a forestry plantation.  We had set off for a walk in sunshine but as can be seen from the photograph by the time we reached this point the weather had changed.
The viewing platform is a sturdy structure but with a nice shaped struts. On a clear day there are good views of the hills
and the estuary, but as you see this was not a clear day so I concentrated my happy snapping on the viewing platform.  A few years ago the fir trees had grown tall obscuring some of the view but 
the chain saw has been swung so now the knoll looks quite desolate. I imagine they will replant but this coming summer will soon green it up.
In the meantime the views will be magnificent, weather permitting.  I must pick my day better next time. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet,  this week sojourning at V here 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


A golden brown cow unwinds on a hillside on a warm late spring day
My grandmother told me cows lying down can be a prediction of a good weather, or rain and thunderstorms, depending on whether they lie at the top or bottom of a hill. Pity I can't remember which she said was which.
 It seemed as everyone was chilling out and unwinding
 or under shade.

Take time to unwind as the wandering Welsh poet WH Davies most famous poem says - 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at U here