Tuesday, 30 August 2011

ABC Wednesday - Grange Geese

A seagull having memorised the the wildfowl names on the noticeboard is looking to see how many can be spotted, unless someone appears with food. The ornamental lake in Grange-Over-Sands park has in addition to the native species lots of geese and ducks not normally found in England. Although the two Ruddy Ducks resting in the distance are a North American species they are an established English breeding bird, the result of escapees from the Slimbridge reserve in the 1960s.  I have looked at this notice from time to time but the names have not settled into my brain so lets turn from the lake and take a walk on the grass
and spot a growing chick, mother goose wondering if the grass is greener on the other side of the wall
although this family seem to have found lots of interest. 

"Me and my shadow"
Photos taken on a sunny day in June, now the days are growing shorter and the little chicks will be a whole lot bigger. 

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

ABC Wednesday - Fir

The first colours of autumn are starting to appear, a fluttering of leaves are floating to the ground but the firs will remind us through the winter that the green will return. These three magnificent trees stand at the side of a field, this photo was taken in March so there is no surrounding colour, apart from the blue of the sky.
Sometime firs can provide their own colour. Technically I suppose this is not a fir but I'm considering its spiny leaves and cones can come within that generic title for ABC purposes.  This is a larch, the only common cone-bearing tree that looses its leaves in the winter. These pretty female flowers are sometimes called 'larch roses'.

And lastly a domestic fir,

looks like a leylandii that I poked my camera around to photo  this fabricated shed with its cheery fa├žade.  Who lives in a house like this?

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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

ABC Wednesday - Embroidery

Embroidery is one of the oldest arts, and a perishable one, what remains from past ages are very precious. Heraldic and Ecclesiastical embroidery was full of the splendour of gold and silver thread but these cushions from the choir stalls of Winchester Cathedral are not luxurious but tell stories and show off the art of needlecraft. The Winchester Cathedral Broderers' Group was founded in 1931 and produced over 600 kneelers, canvas work, cushions and alms bags for the building.  When the cushions that I show were created in the 1930s they were originally laid out on the choir benches to tell a linear historic story, but to prevent wear today they are moved around.  It must be quite interesting for the choristers, as the cushions are moved, to see who they are sitting on today.  I don't think anyone would have be able to 'sit' upon Henry Beaufort (1375-1447), the embroidery shows his cardinal hat, unusually he was both a cardinal bishop and a Plantagenet (his half brother was Henry IV),  heavily involved in the politics of the time and also went into battle. He is possibly most famous for being the interrogator of Joan of Arc and instrumental in condemning  her to death.
It is interesting to see how each Borderer interpreted their story.  Here is Henry VIII, a Tudor and the red dragon of Wales.
The date on this cushion of 1642 is the start of the English Civil War

The first date of 1736 is the date the fund raising work of the Rev Alured Carke came to fruition with the admittance of the first patient into the first hospital founded in Winchester.  The second name will be more familiar, Florence Nightingale, the lady with the lamp, and one of the founders of modern nursing. I do not know the significance of the second date, 1868, but the 1880s was when Florence Nightingale introduced trained nurses into they hospital system so perhaps that is when they arrived at the Winchester Infirmary.

So there is a random selection of ecclesiastical cushions, unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the choir stalls because I was taken with the glitter of the eagle on the lectern in there

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

ABC Wednesday - Dry Dock

Berthed by the side of the resplendent rigging of  HMS Victory (Nelson's flagship) in the  Portsmouth Naval Dockyard this little ship in dry dock is often overlooked despite being painted in the dazzle anti-submarine camouflage she wore for most of 1918.  The HMS Monitor M33 is one of only two World War 1 warships to survive both war and time.  The Monitors were a shallow draft coastal bombardment vessels who steamed into 'enemy' waters to discharge their 6 inch guns.  The HMS Monitor had a long life under different names and guises but during that time many of the original features were removed, now located in Number 1 Dry Dock, Portsmouth these features are being replaced or reconstructed to restore the ship as near as possible to her 1915-1919 configuration.

The ship in the background is HMS Illustrious built in 1976 at Swan Hunter but due to be decommissioned in the next few years. She is an Invincible class light aircraft carrier, the first in class being built in 1973 in the shipyard of the town where I live, at some point the Invincible would also have been in a dry dock (used for construction, maintenance and repair of ships).
 I wonder if it was this large one in Devonshire Dock , maybe not for this photo is on a postcard from the 1920s.  The photographer has climbed the Vickers Crane which was very high and dominated the town, as did its replacement, both now gone, are as all the chimneys in the background which I think must be the old steelworks.

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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Easely Seen

This artist's workshop was closed when we passed through Rochefort-en-Terre, a shame because the sign was so inviting.

An entry to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

ABC Wednesday - Clock

The Winchester clock, recently repaired,  restored and in place again on its gilded timber bracket. The building was originally the 'new' Guidhall built in 1713 now it is the Lloyds TSB bank and the present Guildhall is a much larger and grander building.

The statue is of Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch  and says in Latin "Anna Regina, Anna Pacifica", which I think translates as "Ann queen, Ann peacefully".  Not that she had a peaceful life but the burgers of Winchester wished her this. Here is a sketch of the Guildhall
  as it originally appeared when the coat of arms of the City of Winchester looked like this
and in fact the city still continues to use the 16th Century arms in its original form without adding crests or motto. Winchester is the ancient capital of England  and the design features the Royal Lions or the Lions of England

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