My Ma has had Chicks…

…or rather her bantams have.

Sadly, most of my photos could be captioned – “Let’s dive under Mum!”

Ma thinks she’ll call then Victoria and Albert. I suggested we call them Albert and Ernest (after the Prince Consort and his elder brother), as they’re bound to be both boys!

NO2ID (for bears)

OK – this shot is slightly fuzzy (like the bear) – but in our increasingly police state, even teddies have to carry ID. Gone are the days when a young fellow-me-bear could just turn up with a packet of marmalade sarnies. Poor old Paddington would have had his seams unpicked and found himself on the next plane back to Peru!

[On a serious note check out the NO2ID site – and find out why this really isn’t a matter for complacency]

My Latest Trip to Bodiam Castle

I’m just back from a few days in Kent visiting the APs. As I was there for more than the usual weekend dash, I had time to visit various childhood haunts.

This is Bodiam Castle – when I grew out of children’s parties (for which my Mum sewed me long party dresses – how times have changed!), I always chose a trip to Bodiam.

The castle was built (or rather a house extended and fortified) to repel pirate raids. As the sea has receded it’s hard to imagine that this was in dangerous territory – although the WW2 tank trap is a reminder that invasion was feared not that long ago (although with a sodding big castle, why do you need a tank trap?).

[The Boy tells me that this is because a tank would “Blow the shit out of the castle”.]

The moat is full of huge carp.

I was rather taken by these sheds – they’ve weathered nicely.

Handwash only?

From this angle (where the drawbridge would have been) you can peek through the castle.

As long as I can remember – I’ve loved this place.

St Boltoph’s

When I was in Cambridge, I stumbled into St Boltoph’s – a church I’d never visited before. As a lover of Victorian Gothic, I was in seventh heaven.

Here is the roof detail.

I was very taken by Gabriel, annunciating to..

Mary. In religious art, the large gap between Mary and Gabriel in annunciation scenes is symbolic of the importance of the news. here they have the whole aisle between them!

And if that wasn’t enough – there’s this magnificent Laudian font.

Cambridge Details

Here are few Cambridge images that caught my fancy…a chap with a lot of windows to clean…

…an academic dress shop…

…the ticket office at the bus station…

…a chemist’s sign (and it’s still a chemist underneath)…

…some fierce little boars…

…the Lensfield Road lump…

…snooty lions (outside the FitzWilliam)…

….an interesting bike….

…pretentious graffiti…

…a lovely sundial…
…with lovely curve.

As I spend so much time with ‘dirty bargees’, I keep my eye out for boats.

This looks a nice spot to moor doesn’t it? Although, one would be woken early by rowers.

Now…that’s what I call a boat!

A Tourist Once More

The last few days I’ve been visiting friends in Cambridge (more pics to come when I’ve processed them).

It’s been rather strange – I lived there for about four years, leaving ten and a half years ago. It’s the first time I’ve been back for an extended period rather than a quick trip, and I found myself a stranger there, not a flicker of belonging. It was very dislocating, until I allowed myself just to play tourist.

Half-mourning

At this time of year, my dear friend Gwen (loved by so many), made lavender bags. I’ve spent the last little while making bags of my own, and remembering her – the many happy times we had, and how much she loved lavender.

It seems apt that lavender was traditionally one of the colours worn during half-mourning. The smell will always remind me of Gwen.