A Raft of Apples

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Sea Yonder

Taking an amble along Albert Dock we spotted this lively little dog scampering around the yacht in the early morning sunshine and spent some time enjoying its antics as it ran around the ship and in and out of the cabin.  Who can't resist a sea dog.  There was no sign of its owner who I suspect may have been still snoozing below deck.   For some reason I thought it was an Australian yacht perhaps because it was coloured yellow and green and I was concentrating on capturing a fast moving dog. but as discovered when I downloaded my photographs, the Sea Yonder is registered in London
There is always a nice mix of yachts moored  here from the modern to the historic although to catch a yacht in action take a turn left and look yonder
there might be one speeding along the River Mersey. This one is sailing past the LPG tanker Gas Pasha. 

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


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Xystus

On a sunny midday in April (which as it turned out was warmer than any day in May) I took a walk around Holker Hall formal gardens and along this path under a tree canopied garden walk - a xystus.

 Here one of the excellent gardeners who keep the gardens looking immaculate making her way, bag in hand, between the xystus
If one takes some steps back amongst the forget-me-nots and tulips (and the bare branches of the willow leaf pear tree) then in the distance can be spotted a gateway
which leads out from the formality of the the manicured gardens and into the meadows. The mown pathway
leads eventually to a sundial.  In the synchronism of ABC Wednesday it was exactly one year ago I featured it here because of its Roman numeral X. 

The Holker Hall gardens are near the garage I take my car to for its annual service so they make a nice diversion to while away the time (while hoping nothing expensive is wrong with the car). If you noticed that in my second photo the planters were empty it is because image was from 2014 when the gardeners were finished with Spring and getting ready for the next planting. There is always something to delight the eye in the gardens so here is this year's April planter.
and one of the many x factor plants in giant bushes and trees that people come to see in May and June
     When the azaleas and rhododendrons are in full exuberant flower. 

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

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Wild Boar

Wild Boar Hotel, Beeston
  John Naylor was a timber merchant from Warrington so when he came to build himself a country home in 1866 of course his impulse was to feature wood and so was created Beeston Towers, a sort of mock Tudor extravagance.  It sits on a hill surrounded by woodland and when he lived there was also above his work-sheds.  After his time it was sold and converted into a girls school  but that eventually moved to Chester. The building was once again sold and became a restaurant but today it is the Wild Boar Country House Hotel and a popular wedding venue.

I don't know why the name Wild Boar was chosen but I imagine in past times the area would be one that would be the perfect terrain for these animals, although it has been hundreds of years since they roamed around the woods, wiped out by hunting.  Despite this their name lives on in names of inns and here
River Ure
 
 in Cumbria as Wild Boar Fell with its distinctive flat top  I can imagine them roaming the fells and drinking water from this stream which eventually becomes the River Ure.  Despite wild boar becoming extinct in Britain it has accidentally been reintroduced as these wily beasts have escaped from farms and zoos.  They haven't made their way back to Cumbria but there are pockets of wild boar around the country, mainly in southern England.  Unlike other wildlife escapees they find the climate perfectly to their taste as they were originally a native species and these pictures of them in the Forest of Dean show them foraging in the snow here.

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

Friday, 12 June 2015

Lamb Blossom

Two sturdy lambs on the Kirkby Pool moss enjoying this years late arrival of summer.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Velocipede

This speeding velocipede attracted my attention in London and as an added benefit when our velocipedian's stint as a living statue ends for the day she has her own transport to get home.  I have difficulty sitting still for five minutes so can't imagine how it must be to sit like this for hours on end and how much the muscles must start to ache.  There are many living statues here in Trafalgar Square because the pitches are a free for all but if wanting to ply their trade elsewhere, such as on the South Bank or Covent Garden, then a licence is required. On a Tuesday the pitches are allocated by a lottery system
which this person must have won. We passed him as he was putting on his gloves and getting ready to set up for the day on the South Bank. I imagine this is a very good pitch because of the high footfall of people and also it was a Sunday which means there are all-sorts of other attractions to gather the crowds.

Living statues have increased in recent years but it is a tradition that goes back to medieval times when they were assembled as tableaux vivants (living picture) for festivities and royal pageantry.  In the present day companies hire out living statues for parties and events and there is even a World Championship every year in Arnhem in the Netherlands when the 'statues' will be judged in four ways - Content (what is their story), Craftsmanship (do they look like a statue), Aesthetic (are they beautiful in some way) and Entertainment (how do they interact with an audience).   The World Living Statue Festival website shows some of the participants here

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

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Pearl Izumi Round 6

A beautiful sunny evening and Round 6 of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series around the centre of Barrow however the icy wind made if feel as if it was March rather than May. No wonder the pace was high by the riders here seen in the early stages of the race with Pedal Heaven in the lead and ultimately would lie in third place.
The winner of the sprint finish Team Wiggins rider Chris Lawless with Will Bjergfelt in his sights.
 And a great nights racing was had by all
 As an amateur rider the enthusiastic Will Bjergfelt seemed to take more enjoyment from his second place
than Chris Lawless did by winning it.
So here is Will in action
 Madison Genesis team leaders on the night





Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Underneath

What goes on under here?  Not being a petrol head I haven't a clue but I do know its a Lotus and in particular I think a Lotus Esprit. These were made from 1976 to 2004 and possibly familiar to James Bond fans as they appeared in at least two films (For Your Eyes Only and The Spy Who Loved Me), one even going underwater having been turned into part car part submarine by Q, the gadget boffin. The model in the photograph is from the 1980s and with the help of wikipedia I learnt that it had a turbocharged engine under the bonnet and the chassis had been redesigned. Maybe that is why one observer is on his knees or perhaps he is checking for rust underneath.  Lotus still specialise in sports and racing cars. I do like the pop up headlamps (or perhaps its more the use of them for dramatic effect in films) but believe that the 2004 Lotus Esprit and Chevrolet Corvette C5 were the last volume production cars to use them.  For the full 1980s vibe of the Lotus Esprit see the Simply Eighties site here.  

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