Saturday, January 30, 2016

TREAD CAREFULLY....

Sorry in a way to feature Portheras Cove again but I found it quite captivating, not just for the scenery but also for a little story that surrounds it.   It was the site of the shipwreck of the MV Alacrity which ran aground off the Cove in thick fog on 13th September 1963 whilst en route from Swansea to Brussels with a cargo of Anthracite.  

Over the years, the ship broke up on the shore of the cove leaving thousands of razor sharp fragments littering the beach, which was declared out of bounds.  It wasn`t until 2004 that the beach was declared safe but during winter storms fragments are still brought to the surface and so visitors are advised to tread carefully and wear footwear as protection.

As for me, I was just happy to be there and be fortunate enough to capture the spindrift blowing off the top of the waves against the backdrop of the granite rocks forming the majestic cliffs that surround Portheras.........


(Please click on photo for larger image)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

IF CARLSBERG DID BOATHOUSES....

.......they would probably do this one.   It`s the boathouse on the Bantham Estate in south Devon.  The estate covers over 700 acres and includes the village of Bantham, a beach, golf course, the estuary of the River Avon and the Boathouse.   The whole of the estate has been in benign ownership for almost 100 years but was bought in 2014 by Nicholas Johnston - the owner of the 4000 acre Great Tew Estate in Oxfordshire - for over £11million and he has promised to manage the Bantham estate with the same degree of care and consideration as the previous owners, which can only be good news for the villagers and visitors alike.  


The thatched boathouse, known as the Coronation Boathouse, was built in 1937 to commemorate the accession of King George V1.   I managed to take this photo at the end of a long walk around the coast path, the golf course and some fearsome downhill paths....

(Please click on photo for larger image)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ANOTHER FAVOURITE COVE....

Take the road from the village of Pendeen on Cornwall`s north coast down to the lighthouse at Pendeen Watch.  Park the car, admire the view but then take the coast path eastwards and you come to Portheras Cove. It`s a very quiet, almost out-of-the-way fishing cove and one of my all time favourite places to be.   Here it was on a fine, blustery day - the perfect combination of a magical view and bracing fresh air to lift the spirits.......


Sunday, January 24, 2016

ANOTHER MURKY MORNING...

This was the scene yesterday morning here in deepest Kent.  It has turned milder but damper and murkier and I think I might just prefer the cold, crisp, bright days we had last week. But, whatever the weather might be here, I`m just thankful not to be caught up in the mega blizzard on the eastern seaboard of America.  Anyway, here`s yesterday`s image from here.......


Friday, January 22, 2016

IF YOU GO DOWN IN THE WOODS TODAY...

Deep in the New Forest on the quiet road between Bolderwood and Emery Down you pass a curious looking relic.  It`s a fireplace - just a fireplace, no house, no bungalow, no building of any kind - just a fireplace.   It originally formed part of the cook-house of a unit of the Portuguese army, stationed here during the First World War to lend assistance to the depleted local labour force in the production of much needed timber for the war effort. 

The Forestry Commission have retained the fireplace not just as a memorial for those men who lived and worked here at the time but also in acknowledgement of the assistance given by the Portuguese government which helped towards the cost of renovating and preserving this surprising yet poignant memorial.........




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

ON THE EDGE....

There`s a wonderful stretch of coast path between East Portlemouth and Gara Point in south Devon and whilst we were walking along, I saw this sheep munching away very close to the cliff edge.   I felt a bit sheepish taking this photo but the sheep didn`t seem that bothered.......


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

MISTY MORNING...

Well, the coldest night of the winter duly arrived on cue last night and tonight is supposed to be colder still.   The consolation, of course, is that once the early morning mist has cleared, we are left with the kind of bright, sunny days that winter ought to be.   Anyway, here`s one I took early in the morning as the sun was beginning to make headway through the mist and glinting on the lake......


Sunday, January 17, 2016

A RETURN VISIT....

There`s so much to choose from that it makes it impossible to decide which is my favourite stretch of the south west coast path around Cornwall.   So many stick in the memory and make me determined to revisit some of them this coming summer - hips, knees and bunions permitting of course.   But a real treat is the path between Pentire Head and Lundy Bay on the north coast near Polzeath and as you get near to Lundy Bay you pass the dramatic natural arch known as Lundy Hole.   We were lucky to catch it on a fine day with the incoming tide rushing through the arch - I really must see that again.......


Saturday, January 16, 2016

ALMOST DESERTED....

Looking at this photo you might be forgiven for thinking that it was taken in the winter time, as the popular beach at Daymer Bay looks almost deserted.   In fact I took it one evening in October and I wanted to try to capture the enormity of the beach which, when the tide is out on the Camel Estuary, stretches all the way down to Rock.   I wonder what it`s like there on this cold January morning.......




Thursday, January 14, 2016

THE BLEAK MIDWINTER....

Just got back from a walkies with Barney, our Retriever and my goodness it`s turned cold. There`s a biting north-east wind blowing and according to the forecast we`re in for the coldest spell of weather for three or four years.   And here we were admiring the spring flowers all coming into bloom , the grass still growing and every sign of global warming in the air.   That`ll teach us.   Anyway, snow could be here over the weekend and the last time we had snow here in our Kentish enclave, I took this photo of one man and his dog battling the elements.   Could be Barney and me over the next few days.   Brrrr.......

(Please click on photo for a larger image)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I KNOW, I KNOW...

One of the classic, unmissable sights of Cornwall is the Crowns engine houses perched on the cliff at Botallack  in the St. Just mining area along the north coast.   The history of the Crown mines is extraordinary with the mine shafts stretching 400 metres beneath the Atlantic at a depth of 500 metres which represents an astonishing physical and engineering achievement.   I was as impressed as anyone would be by the industrial legacy we have inherited from those heroic mining exploits of the past and yes I know, I know that this photo has been taken many times before.   But I couldn`t resist adding this one of my own.......



Sunday, January 10, 2016

EARLY MORNING.....

.....and here`s St. Ives harbour in the early morning light.   We obviously got there before the crowds arrived.......


(Give it a click for a larger pic)

Saturday, January 09, 2016

GARDEN MAINTENANCE ?....

I`m quite fond of my front garden but it does need a lot of looking after.   This one in St. Ives seems only to need the sand being swept now and again.......


Thursday, January 07, 2016

WISH YOU WERE HERE ?...

My last post, showing an early morning scene at St. Ives in Cornwall, took me back to the times we have stayed in nearby Carbis Bay and, looking back through my pictures, I see there were quite a few rather nice ones from that neck of the woods.  Well, ones that I thought were rather nice.   Over the next few posts I will put up a few more so you can judge for yourself.   Starting with this one which I took from Godrevy Towans looking across towards Carbis Bay when the sea, the sky, the interesting light and the beach all came together to produce a peaceful and tranquil scene......


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

EARLY ONE MORNING....

......just as the sun was rising, I caught St. Ives in a different light.......





Monday, January 04, 2016

CONTENTMENT REVISITED...

Some months ago, before my conversion to born again Mr. Nice Guy, I posted a rather wistful piece following a return home from a favourite Cornish holiday home.  I went so far as to suggest that it may have been the last time I would go there and, indeed, quoted from AE Houseman`s `A Shropshire Lad`........`That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain.  The happy highways where I went.  And cannot come again.`

Now, after the intrusion of the season of goodwill, people`s minds traditionally turn to summer holidays and they start scrambling around looking at newspaper ads, TV commercials and wonder where to go and what to do.   These exhortations revolve largely around foreign holidays, cruises and the like, where sun and riotous times are guaranteed escapes from the drudgery of modern day life.

Well, I`ve thought about it and decided to go back to my own personal land of lost content because I like it and I want to go again.   Here it is - a quiet happy highway of a lane leading down from our holiday retreat to a glorious beach with the Llaregub-esque village on the hillside beyond.   Suits us very well -  we booked it up weeks ago !!.....


Friday, January 01, 2016

A VIVID MEMORY...

Here`s a picture I took from the end of Hythe pier, looking back to towards the village where I spent my boyhood.   



The building with the pointy windows is my old primary school, which I attended for about six years before being shunted off to the secondary school at Hardley.   That was all of 70 years ago but I still bear the scars of what passed for my `formal education.`

I suppose my most vivid memory of Hythe Pier was from 2003. In those days I had a season ticket to watch Southampton Football Club and I always parked the car in Hythe, took the ferry across to Southampton Town Quay, met up with friends and walked to St. Mary`s Stadium.  On 1st November, 2003, we watched the Saints lose 2-0 to Manchester City. That was depressing enough but just after I had walked back along the pier on my way home, a 700-tonne dredger ploughed into the pier causing £300,000 worth of damage and putting the pier out of action for some weeks.  Mercifully, no-one had been injured as a result although the railway tracks still look a bit wonky.

The dredger captain, who was found to have been two and a half times over the drink-drive limit, was jailed for eight months, but in 2011 he was found dead having fallen into a pond near his Portsmouth home, all of which made the 2-0 home defeat pale into insignificance,