Thursday, March 31, 2016

HOW MUCH FURTHER ?..

An essential element of walking the south west coast path is having a faithful companion. But it comes to something when your faithful companion seems more keen on having a rest than you might be.   This was Barney, on the path in sight of St. Mawes, slumped to the ground and wondering how much further it will be before he can get home for his tea and have a good lie down........


Monday, March 28, 2016

BILL, GERRY, JOHN, KURT AND SYD...

I` an unashamed fan of Classic FM - it`s the default station on my car radio - and just before Easter they ran a competition linked to their Easter extravaganza playing the top 300 in this year`s `Hall of Fame.`   For the last few years the top choice of listeners has been Vaughan Williams` The Lark Ascending and we won`t know until later today whether it has retained top spot as the nation`s favourite classical piece.

The `competition` invited listeners to nominate three pieces for inclusion into the `Top 300` although I`m not sure what the prize might be - perhaps a trip to Match of the Day when it`s next in your area - but I don`t expect to win anything as my nominations were a bit random.   In the end I went for three pieces by English composers:-

 - Touch her soft lips and part, by Sir William Walton from his Henry V Suite;

 - Romance in Eb major for string orchestra, Op 11 by Gerald Finzi; and

 -John Barry`s theme from the film Walkabout.

Now elsewhere in these rambling pages I have already posted videos of these pieces of music (click on the `music` label to find them - there`s a list of labels down the page on the right) so I thought this time I would treat you (and me) to another in the long line of John Barry film scores.  This is his wonderful main theme for `Out of Africa` which was written by and directed by two other movie heroes of mine - the screenwriter Kurt Luedtke and the director and much missed Sydney Pollack, both of whom along with John Barry, were Oscar winners for this memorable film........





UPDATE :  Well, The Lark Ascending has come top of the Classic FM Top 300 for the third year in a row.   But John Barry`s Out of Africa was placed a creditable 92nd.  Another of my favourites - Ladies in Lavender by Nigel Hess came 67th.

Friday, March 25, 2016

THE LONGEST AMEN....

I first heard Mozart`s Laudate Dominum at Aylesford Priory which is just down the road from where I live.   It was sung by a soprano whose name escapes me, more`s the pity, backed by a wonderful chorus and the music left a deep impression on me.   Now I`m not a religious person by any means but I do enjoy some of the religious music and none more so than that by the sainted Wolfgang Amadeus. This piece - the solemn vespers - has at the end quite possibly the longest and most heartfelt `Amen` known to music.    Here it is sung by the incomparable Dame Kiri te Kanawa.......


SOMETHING ABOUT THE LIGHT....

OK, on this Good Friday morning with the sun up, albeit just for today, it`s days like this when my mind turns again to those precious moments when the dawn breaks over Nare Head and the ubiquitous Gull Rock to herald another day in my very own little paradise. 

Besides which, I think this is just a nice photo.......there`s just something about the light 


(Please click on photo for larger image)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

QUACK TWICE...AND ASK FOR ROSIE..

Spent some time in Canterbury today.  It`s a big touristy place what with the Cathedral and all that - queues of foreign students waiting to go into the Cathedral (£10.50 for adults, so I declined gracefully.)   What I did notice was an apparent absence of `comfort stations,` `public conveniences,` or just plain loos and so when `my moment` arrived I had to ask some gentlemen who were working for Kings School if they could point me in the right direction.  The kindly let me use their `facilities,` for which I was most grateful whilst they volunteered the information that `the Council have closed most of them down.`   Such a sense of corporate responsibility in a city whose economy must surely rest largely upon attracting visitors.......

Anyway, I noticed this and couldn`t help photographing it as it reminded me of something rather touching.   In Dylan Thomas`s `Under Milk Wood,` Rosie Probert announces herself thus : "Rosie Probert, from thirty three Duck Lane, Jack.  Quack twice, come on up and ask for Rosie. "

Maybe Canterbury isn`t such a long way from Llaregub after all.........


Monday, March 21, 2016

FEELING SHEEPISH...

Well, Spring is supposed to be here but yet the temperature remains doggedly in single figures.   Despite which, lambs are gambolling in the fields, spring flowers are blooming and green shoots are appearing in my `garden` - I use the word advisedly as I`m not sure any real gardener would approve.   Anyway, these three seemed determined to hold on to their territory so all I could do was to feel a little sheepish as I took take this photo from below and hoped for the best....... 


(Click on photo for a larger image)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT....

Back to more tranquil waters today after my blast from the past.   I`m never really sure which is the best time of day - the bright, crisp sharpness of early dawn or the languid glow of evening, so I thought I might show a photo I took of each and leave you to decide.

This first one was taken as dawn broke over Gull Rock just off the coast at Rosevine in Cornwall.......



And this unsuspecting group were caught in the light as the sun went down over the Camel Estuary.......


I love the dawn and the dusk - but sometimes it`s the bit in between that can be less agreeable?.........

Thursday, March 17, 2016

THE ULTIMATE ?


Do you ever get a song in your head that you just can`t shift?  I woke up in the night and for some reason this one popped out of the remnants of my memory. It`s years old, produced in 1984;  didn`t `chart` very prominently, making No. 58 in the UK list but seemed more appreciated in other countries. 

Now, we all have our favourite pop songs and there are thousands to choose from but in many ways this one by the Alan Parsons Project could well be a contender amongst the more discerning as one of the ultimate pop songs ever. It`s memorable to me as it`s produced in the style of Phil Spector`s Wall of Sound;  has a terrific saxophone solo ` a soothing yet destitute wail` from Mel Collins and vocals from the late, much missed Eric Woolfson, who left us too early in 2009 at just 64.   Here it is......

Monday, March 14, 2016

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT..

The last visit we made to Trebah Gardens in Cornwall coincided with the flowering of the Paperhandkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata.)   It`s a remarkable tree, named for Father Armand David (1826-1900) a French missionary who lived in China.  The tree was introduced into Europe and North America in 1904 and is a popular ornamental tree in many parks and formal gardens.   It`s at its best in late May, when I was able to take this photo showing the white bracts against the backdrop of the nearby Acer.......


Saturday, March 12, 2016

NOW THIS IS FUNNY - POSSIBLY...

I am always grateful for comments and reactions to my posts on here and I`ve been particularly encouraged by the kind person or persons unknown who have put a tick against the `funny` option on each and every one of my recent posts.   Never mind what the subject might be - to them it`s `funny;`  all of my photos are apparently `funny` and so as a special treat for whoever might be amused by my efforts here, today I`m posting something that really might be `funny`....possibly.  How about this.......



Well, I lol`d.




Friday, March 11, 2016

IN SHARP CONTRAST....

.......to the crescendo of Led Zeppelin, here`s a photo I took at one of my very favourite places to be.   Just along the quiet stretch of coast path at Pednvadan, between Portscatho and Pendower, there`s a very welcome seat, where I was sitting and took this picture.  Hardly anyone comes by and you are left with the lapping of the sea, the cry of the sea-birds and a peace and quiet as far removed from the mayhem of the world as it`s possible to get........

(Please click on photo for larger image)  

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

A TEAR TO THE EYE....

As a change to the advertised programme I thought it might be `cool` to post the occasional music video - music I enjoy and hope you might too.   I couldn`t resist this one. Years and years ago I became enraptured by Nancy Wilson out of Heart.  She and her sister Ann produced some memorable albums and I particularly drooled over Nancy, in her rock chick days, performing Bernie Taupin`s "These Dreams."

Anyway, Nancy is now well beyond rock chickness - she`s  nearly 62 and her sister Ann is 65!!  And it`s Ann who takes the lead in this uplifting tribute to Led Zeppelin`s immortal classic "Stairway to Heaven."   Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones seem to appreciate it and it`s particularly poignant that the drummer is the son of the late, former Led Zep drummer, John Bonham.   The whole thing seems to bring a tear to Robert Plant`s eye as well as Jimmy Page`s....and mine too when I first saw it.   Keep on rocking.......







Sunday, March 06, 2016

STRANGER ON THE SHORE...

It`s not always easy to find a deserted beach and I thought I had found on at Soar Mill Cove on the South Devon stretch of coast path between Hope Cove and Salcombe.   But closer inspection reveals that there was someone down there having a paddle, no doubt seeking the peace and tranquillity of just getting away from it all.  I`ll keep searching.......

(please click on photo for a larger image)

Friday, March 04, 2016

SAFE HARBOUR.....

There`s something comforting about being alongside a safe harbour when the wind is lashing the spray over the harbour wall and the boats are bobbing about safely at anchor. This was the scene at Portscatho, on Cornwall`s exquisite Roseland Peninsula, on a windy yet invigorating day.   It`s somewhere we have been each year for many years - almost a home from home - and I`m  looking forward to being there once again next month.......


Thursday, March 03, 2016

ANOTHER CLASSIC VIEW....

This photo may not be very imaginative but the problem is that, when you visit places with a classic view, it`s very hard to resist photographing the classic view.  I`ve lost count of the number of times we`ve visited and stayed at Cadgwith on Cornwall`s Lizard Peninsula and each time I like to wander up to The Todden which separates the two `beaches` at Cadgwith and it`s from there that the classic view comes, well, into view....