Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Pier Head

Pop along the Pier Head and here is the Port of Liverpool Building, once of headquarters of the Mersey Docks.  They no longer occupy the building having moved to where the action is today with the coming and going of containers at Seaforth Dock.  But when this Edwardian Baroque building was constructed from 1904-1907 they were at the heart of things. The building is made of reinforced concrete and so has deeper than normal foundations and the whole thing is dressed with Portland stone, the combination makes it very fire resistant. The inside and outside are very ornate.  When the Luftwaffe came calling in the 1941 blitz of WW2 a bomb in the basement did much damage but with a bit of shoring up this sturdy building was reoccupied. After the war the building was restored which cost more than the original £259,000 it took to build. When the Mersey Docks left the building in 1994 it was again substantially refurbished into residential and office space at a cost of an even bigger amount of £10M.

The red and white striped building seen to the right was once the White Star Line offices who were owners of the ill-fated Titanic. 

The Port of Liverpool building is considered one of the three graces of the Pier Head, the other two being the famous Liver Building and the Cunard building
the Pier Head as can be seen is a popular place to stroll along.
 Or perhaps take the ferry across the Mersey to Birkenhead and board the good ship 'Stena Mersey' for the trip across the Irish Sea to Belfast.
But for something with futuristic lines stay on the Pier Head and see a High Speed Catamaran the 'Manannan' manoeuvre out of its moorings to
head on the short journey to the Isle of Man. Originally built in 2001 as the USS Joint Venture, when it had a flight deck on the top for the US Navy helicopters, it was refitted and a sky lounge added and renamed ManannĂ¡n mac Lir after the Celtic sea god. In 2009 the sea-cat started making its trips from Liverpool to Douglas. How fast can this catamaran go, well apparently a pacey 50+ knots, unfortunately passengers will not experience that as fully laden it comes down to (a still impressive) 37.5 knots.

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

Friday, 26 October 2012

Fair Weather

Duddon valley Nr Broughton in Furness
Sunshine and fluffy cotton wool cumulus, the perfect day for a walk through Autumn.

See the world's skies at SkyWatch Friday
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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

By the River Ore

Its a sunny day so I will take you on  a walk along the sea wall by the side of the River Ore.

Where red sailed boat skim across the water

Board the Lady Florence for a meal or a sunset cocktail. Sailing year round with something I imagine is a necessity in the coming winter - a cosy coal fire.  The River Ore is the final section of the Alde as it runs into the North Sea past Havergate Island and the shingle spit of Orford Ness.

Saltmarshes fringe the Ore and beyond the fishing boat is Havergate Island two miles of lagoons, mud flats and grazing marshes ideal for avocets, terns and wintering wildfowl.
The lapwings collect on the land in Autumn but these two were in the priory church of St Bartholomew, Orford. There were dozens of cushions and something I have never seen before, a book with the designs listed with the names of those who had created them against each.

Here is the lighthouse (which can just be glimpse on the horizon beyond the Lady Florence photo) keeping everyone safe and of course the cushion includes the church to sing "for those in peril on the sea".
Ah back on dry land for this landlubber. I took no photos of the sturdy church of the cushions (St Bartholomew) but attached to it are the ruined chancel of the priory church and who can resist flowers and a romantic ruin.

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

Friday, 19 October 2012

Peek A Boo


Waiting for the sun to reappear... 

Ah here it comes, turn and click the picture. 

An entry to Skywatch Fridays around the world.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Nesting in Nectar

Buff-tailed humble bee
Autumn comes and we leave behind the buzz of the bee but here in a photo of summer the search for nectar is in full flow. This species of bee usually make their nests under the ground.
Large Skipper butterfly
This nimble skipper darting from flower to flower both patrolling and taking nectar, its distinctive spread  wings in resting attitude, although they can close their wings above the body like other butterflies. They are particularly fond of nectar from Bramble and Thistle.
Gedgrave Road, Gedgrave, Suffolk
 This hedgerow does not have any bramble but it does have a nesting post box which I did not notice until I
Post Box Number IP12 6369 Gedgrave, Suffolk
went to get a closer shot and a lot of droning and wings flying about my head made me make a hasty retreat.
The population of Gedgrave is 30.  I suspect they don't use this postbox a lot. Brings a new meaning to air mail. 
The nearby field had lots of sunflower nectar on tap.  The flowers are facing east like my camera. 

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

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Mea Culpa

Walking through Grizedale Forest a figure spotted in the distance in the dappled shade.  Was it running?
Coming closer I discovered the figure was not running but pulling.  Both figures connected by the rope.
His face gazing sightless the rope behind and around his neck.  A struggle between two joined figures
One being hoisted into the air.
The two larger than life figures (about 10 feet or 3 metres) are a sculpture called "Mea Culpa" (My mistake) by the artist Robert Bryce Muir.  Seeing it in its deep forest setting it is like seeing some ancient cullture in the silence of the forest being continually enacted.  Are they working together or against each other.  I think the atmosphere will alter with the seasons. 
 It is interesting to see how the strips on the tree echoes the strips of riveted metal of the figures.

I discover Muir's explanation of his installation is that the figures are locked in a mutually dependent struggle for survival .  "A clash of titans and neither will yield like the final conflict between Achilles and Hector in Homer's Iliad, a monumental struggle which is both a flight to the death but also a fight for life".

Achilles is the hero of the Iliad he is the son of the king of the Myrmidons and when he refuses to fight to annoy Agamemnon the Greek commander his gentle and amiable friend Patroclus appears in the armour of Achilles at the head of the Myrmidons and is slain by Hector. Now you know this is not going to end well. Hector is portrayed by Homer as the noblest and most magnanimous of the Trojans but that will not save him for after holding out for ten years he is killed by Achilles.  "Alas the gods have lured me to my destruction..."  Here is the story of the end of Hector and Achilles.

An entry to ABC Wednesday - journey through the alphabet. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Lookout for the Lifeguards

Southwold, Suffolk
Dog and binoculars at the ready, boards oiled and laid up. I wonder where the lifeguards are?  Perhaps inside or patrolling the local beach.
Southwold, Suffolk
Looking over the landscape in case someone is lost at sea.
The South Lookout, Crag Path, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
But for the ultimate high rise lookout this lofty tower is quite a landmark on Aldeburgh beach. This 19th Century three storey building is a listed as being of special architectural interest.  It was built in competition with the North Lookout which is now part of the lifeboat station.  I didn't travel north as was too busy licking ice cream on the south shore  
For a lot of laid-back looking, this balcony would be the ideal locale for watching the sun rise, or just having a lazy day.   I thought this was a converted lighthouse but I learn that is an old mill that once ground flour for the locals.
An entry to ABC Wednesday. A journey through the alphabet