Thursday, 24 December 2015

The Toy Train

Wishing a everyone a Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

XXIV Hour Clock

Would I be able to work out the time after an Xmas drink or two with this clock? My brow might furrow. At the time of its installation in 1852 it was a cutting edge Galvano-Magnetic Clock (electricity at the time was called Galvanism).  As can be seen by its accumulating number of Xs it is a 24 hour clock.  The minute and second hands are conventional but the hour arm goes round the dial only once in 24 hours, or should I say in XXIV hours.
This man stood a long time at the clock which welcomes one into the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and is called simply the Shepherd 24 Hour Gate Clock.  Of course there are also the explanations of The Time Ball (which drops down at 13:00), the Ordnance Survey Bench Mark and the Public Standards of Length. Ah yes the good old days of feet and inches. The inscription of 'Shepherd Patentee' on the clock is significant because there was a dispute when he installed the clocks at Greenwich whether or not he was the inventor (he was).  The galvanism or electric signalling transmitted time pulses from Greenwich to slave clocks throughout the country and rather than each area of the country having a different time (nightmare for running a railway system) there was one single time. Eventually, as Shepherd envisioned, the pulses were also sent via submarine cables across the world.  The Gate Clock is the visualisation of unified time although there is a rather more workmanlike, but just as interesting, master clock in the observatory.

The Royal Observatory says the Shepherd clock is one of the most photographed objects at the Observatory ( here is an early c1870 view).  I proved the Observatory right by taking a picture of the clock location as I entered the gate and a close up of the clock as I left.  There was lots to see in-between those two times, not to mention tea and cake on the Gagarin Terrace.

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

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


We have had a lot of water recently weeks and weeks of rain  as the storms come in wave upon wave from the Atlantic but here on the sunny May days of my photographs there is not a drop is in the air.  Silently and unseen an underground water supply makes its way to the taps of the valley.  Nature gave us a dryish summer and the boating house of the local park lake closed up because water levels were too low but they were high enough for the resident water fowl. 
The Goose family were too quick for me, taking to the water as I approached.  I often saw this pair in May always attentive to their lone chick, the other eggs cannot have hatched and probably fallen victim to a predator, I suspect the local herring gulls who are always after an easy meal.  Inland the gulls are nowhere to be seen and in a water fountain
this duck is showing off  its waterproof feather as it made a slow turn changing direction under the rhododendron trees
the sunlight dazzlingoff the droplets. 
Russell Square fountain, London
Was this little boy about to test the waterproof nature of his clothing (nil) or skin (good)?  Water fountains are an irresistable attraction with their frothing water but I think he is undecided and one small step might be enough. It was a rather chilly day, as you can see from the number of people wearing jackets and scarves.

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

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Verdant Veg

 As I come from an area of heavy clay soil the Suffolk free draining sandy soil fascinates me. Half of the land in this corner of East England grows cereal in its light soil but sugar beet is often grown in rotation as it returns organic matter to the soil. I'm rather fond of crop lines following  the roll of a landscape so these verdant leaf lines were irresistible. This is also England's driest and sunniest corner so all sorts of vegetables can be found in the fields
along with a few interlopers. Who does not love the intense colour of a field of sunflowers but the surprise of finding
a bright yellow face shining out of a sea of green brings its own pleasure. With the changes of farming practises the unproductive (in farming terms) margins of fields have become an important habitat for
native flowers, grasses and fauna.  Larger fields often mean fewer margins but in
the case of this old footpath running down the middle of a field, the margin is also in the middle.  It is a way that must have been walked for hundreds of years through many seasons and rotations of crops to and from Orford's 12th century castle, church and the village.

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

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Union Jack on Holiday

Union Jacks being flown at the entrance to Port Haverigg Holiday Park to welcome the residents.  There was a discussion at the time Scotland was voting whether to become independent of the United Kingdom what our national flag might look like without the St Andrews Cross on it and a number of possible designs produced.  As it never happened no need to buy fresh flags, yet.

Lets take a walk down the road
To the Lighthouse
and something unexpected may be seen outside one of the holiday homes which overlook the Hodbarrow Lagoon.  A miniature lighthouse, complete with little door, cottage and boathouse made with beach pebbles. Our artist has also included a windmill. Perhaps the miller and the lighthouse keeper go to the
 little church across the path on Sundays.  It doesn't show up too well on the photograph but the snaking sign says, or should I say hisses, "Pleeesse Water'. A plea to the unheedful gardener?

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