Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Cycling through the Counties

Haverigg, Cumbria
 Like the track seen here what passes for summer this year has been a bumpy ride but it hasn't put the cyclists off.  I travel up a hill on the way to work each morning which has a lay-by popular as a meeting place for road racing cyclists about to set off for mega miles.  No matter whatever the weather there is never less than three cyclists waiting for the rest of the group to turn up.
Coniston Water, Cumbria
They may be travelling past Coniston Water which is not too far away.  Monday here, as can be seen by the clouds, was a day of sunshine and showers, just the day for messing about on boats, or under cover in the launch. 
Cherry Orchard, Boughton, Chester, Cheshire
Or if it turns really wet, travel south to relax in the Cherry Orchard pub in Cheshire.  I see they too have a special Wednesday but rather than an ABC it is a quiz night with sandwiches at half time to keep those little grey cells in shape.
Clown Fish, Blue Planet Aquarium, Chester
Not too far away another indoor attraction at the aquarium are the fish that Disney made famous in Finding Nemo - Amphiprion osellarais - the clownfish, in its natural habitat found in the coral reefs of the Pacific.

An entry to ABC Wednesday - a journey through the alphabet now on its 11th circuit

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

ABC Wednesday - Bandstand

The bandstand stands silent in Barrow Park, surrounded by bushes and clipped hedges in the middle of the 45 acres of the park,  originally designed by landscaper gardener Thomas Mawson
Wandering around the other side and shooting into the sun which, from the notice on the gate,  it will be hoped will be shining on Sunday
when there is a Bandstand Picnic with music
 And maybe one of the teams will be on the bowling greens.  No matches on Monday, no players and not a trace
 of a bowl like this on the green only two seagulls so as no action photographs to be taken here is another game played with spherical objects - 
boules players in Belgium.

An entry to ABC Wednesday. A journey through the alphabet.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Antwerp from An Angle

On a overcast day by the side of the Scheldt River the signs tell both walker and sailor where they are, Antwerp or its Dutch name Antwerpen.  The building is the Zuiderterras cafĂ© and restaurant which in a country that has two languages Flemish and French appears to combine the two in this word, so we have the south terrace.  Interesting how languages shift and adapt.
Walk further along and the goddess of wisdom and patroness of the arts and trade Minerva stands gazing down the river.  The tall tower belongs to the Cathedral of Our Lady and its 404 feet can been seen from every part of the city.
 Its other end is just as unique.
To get the best view of the Antwerp skyline a walk from the city through the tunnel under the river takes you to the verdant banks on the other side. On this still sunny day the sound of the church carillon on the clock drifted across the water. 
as we walked along the river path which had lots of photo opportunities which will make another appearance for this round of ABC (if I don't absent-mindedly forget, a common occurrence).  But lets head towards that red square building the MAS (Museum aan der Stroom) where one can get  
a 360 degree view over the city.  The building is situated near the location of the old Red Star line quay where 2.7 million emigrants set sail for North America. Today the area is being regenerated and there are more yachts than liners.

Setting sail for another round of ABC Wednesday

Saturday, 14 July 2012


An entry to Sepia Saturday "Using old images as prompts for new reflections"

From the gardens of the Schloss Belvedere and the wonderful needlework seen on the Sepia Saturday prompt picture lets journey to northern England
and wave.  I'm waving at my father here but was told I used to wave at everyone from the pram; I still enjoy waving.  This is Bardsea Road one Sunday in June 1950 it encompassed a walk which I would take with my mother Sadie shown here until her old age, you had to take up a brisk pace because she considered that slow walking tired her out. While browsing through the many pictures of me in a pram I noticed for the first time the pretty woven basket which seems to vary from half to brimming full.

Wheeling back in time a month to
May 1950 here at Canal Foot by the side of Morecambe Bay, the railway viaduct just visible in the background.  Now there are two elements from the prompt both a pram and a blanket. My mother and her life long friends Julia and Harry Boyd share a rug while it looks as though my 'Aunt' Julia is instructing her son Roger to do something or more likely not do something, I'm an 'innocence bystander'. 
Five years later and I don't think I quite fit a pram although it was good fun to roll up and down the garden path in it. The month is August and the photo says it is a warm day; I look brown so, unlike this year, it has been a good summer. I once stayed with Mrs High, the mother of my friend here Marion (who you can see is blond with complexion to match).  She tried to scrub the 'dirt' off my knees in the bath until I told her it wasn't going to come off because that was me.   But lets get back to the pram, I suspect this is the one from which I saw a tyre in a stream and insisted on visiting it every day which meant that the Bardsea Road walk in the first photo was one that my mother could not deviate from for some time.

Not long after this photo only the wheels survived of the pram when they were turned into Go-cart, not by me but one of the neighbourhood boys, although I did get rides on the completed construction, bliss. You never see home made go-carts today and I have no photos of these particular wheels but to relive those memories of simpler times with the help of Flickr and the National Library of Wales
The Longden Bay Go-cart Racers, September 1953 - Photographer Geoff Charles (1909-2002)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Zeilen with the Zeescouts

On the banks of the Scheldt River in Belgium, it being midweek and not a Zaterdag (Saturday) it was a school day and the Zeescouts boats were covered and not taking part in any adventures like this one for

"The Day of the Seascouts", and there was I thinking it was just messing about in boats when really there was potential for piratical adventures.  No hint of this on the thin sign outside the Zeescout hut
(which did not photograph too well in the light) but does have a question at the bottom which made me take this photo.  If it had been in Flemish I would not have seen the whimsy of it but it was in English and said
" are you waterproof".  The answer would seem to  be yes.  It also had a hand (which is the symbol of Antwerp) and the message the group was a partner with MAS
which means the new Museum Aan de Stroom on the other side of the river from the Sea-scouts base and seen  back left of this photo.  It houses a wonderful maritime history of Antwerp along with art, design and a panoramic view of the city from the top.  Its a superb attraction to visit. 

Scouting started in Belgium in 1910, the girl guides in 1915 followed in 1916 by the sea scouts, all using the Baden Powell name, as in the banner shown above today. I did a double take on those last two dates slap bang in the middle of World War 1 when fighting was going on in Belgium but they are dates quoted in more than one source.  The Belgians obviously didn't let a little local difficulty stand in the way
 UK WW1 poster
of scouting adventures.  Baden Powell's older brother Warington wrote the manual of seamanship for the sea scouts, he was an experienced sailor who paddled a sail canoe around the Baltic Sea in 1871 for fun.   
Time to set sail/zeil?. (to use one of the many wonderful Dutch words starting with Z.

An entry to ABC Wednesday. A journey through the alphabet that has reached the Z.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Look Yonder

 Yo sandstone fox what are you looking at yonder
Nope, I can't see it, not a yap, I'm off 

The sandstone fox has stood near Bogle Crag since 1991 and is the work of Gordon Young, a local artist who specialises in public art and  has a fondness for typographic installations. The cursing stone in his home town of Carlisle caused some controversy for he made an ancient curse (of 1525) manifest in the shape of a granite boulder. Floods and foot and mouth disease coincided in the aftermath of its  installation, yikes. 

Happily his latest project in the seaside town of Blackpool is on a lighter note.  The Comedy Carpet is a 2,220m² granite pavement of jokes , songs and catchphrases of comedians and writers who have appeared on the town's stages over the decades. Located on near Blackpool Tower it looks like this

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet from A to Z