Dorset 2011 – A Few Things That Caught My Eye

Dorset really is lovely. As well as the countryside, here are a few other things that I enjoyed looking at.
A little stained glass window…
…some mulberries (which were delicious)…
…an adolescent seagull…
…a tandem mountain bike (one for Abigail & Paul?)…
…and an elderly Paddington.
With all the fish ‘n’ chips that are eaten, I bet these lorries run day and night (I recommend ‘Herbie’s Dino Bar‘, on the seafront in Lyme. Fish sourced from Lyme Bay and cooked to order).
Now is this a CAD monkey? Or a gentleman who’s well, a bit of a rake (but would you advertise?).
A fisherman at rest.

The guillemots of Glenarm

From Bangor, we sailed north to Glenarm, one of the famous Glens of Antrim.

At the lovely little marina, we moored next to this handsome boat.
Glenarm has claims to be the oldest town in Ulster, with a 12th century charter, and a castle. More recently, its major source of employment was a lime and sandstone quarry.
Big chunks of rock decorated the harbour edge…
…and could be glimpsed under the seaweed in the clear water.
Glenarm was clearly very prosperous at one time.
However, like a lot of the places Dad visited in Ireland, it’s clearly in decline. Sadly, the PO had just closed.
The marina opened in 2002, but as there’s no where to eat in the village, I’m not sure how much money the yachties bring into the local economy.
As in Bangor, nesting holes had been left for the local black guillemots.
Dad and I thought that these chaps had only recently fledged, as they made quite a meal out of flying.
Sadly we didn’t have the chance to visit the walled gardens at Glenarm Castle…
…so we contented ourselves with a walk round the old harbour.
Bye,bye Glenarm.

The day I went to Bangor – UPDATED

Last Friday I flew into Belfast, then took the train to Bangor to met up with my Dad at the marina.

Bangor is a lovely little place…

…with plenty to wander round and see…
…including some old life boats…
…fishing boats…
…and a mine sweeper.
I fell in love with the black guillemots who nest all over the marina.
They are totally habituated to people and and hang around like little penguins.
I’m glad that I had the chance to see Rose the seal (who habitually hangs around the marina)…
…and these well dressed minature schnauzers.
Bye,bye Bangor.

Turkey 2010 – Kaklik Cave

Our last port of call, was Pamukkale, near Denizli, to see the Travertines, huge calcium cliffs. As we had a decent amount of time there, we visited the Kaklik Cave, to see a calcium deposit at an earlier stage.

The smell of sulphur was quite noxious…
…and it was very hot and airless.
Looking at this deposit it’s easy to understand the name Pamukkale, cotton castle.
The shapes we’re quite fascinating…
…and very beautiful.
As we came up into the air, the cave mouth was full of swallows…
…coming back to their nests.

I always keep an eye out for a fig tree. This one is especially brave!

Turkey 2010 – Ephesus Hill Houses

Over the last 10 years or so, some high status houses in Ephesus have started to be excavated.

You have to pay an extra fee to see them, and it’s well worth it.
Some of the work is like a huge jigsaw puzzle.
The scale of the houses is quite astounding.
The fresco work is, by all accounts, the finest outside Pompeii.
My jaw dropped when I saw this.

As you can see there are lots and lots of finds.

Look, a Roman goth (although goth meant something quite different then!).
Each house was built under the terrace of the house above.
A Roman water pipe.
Lovely little cherubs…
…and a nice lion.
More jaw dropping stuff…
…astonishingly well preserved.
I thought you might like a better look at the ‘goth girl’, she even has black lipstick.
My fave was this pigeon…
…although this fish was fabulous too.

Turkey 2010 – Selçuk Storks

Storks nest everywhere in Selçuk…

…minarets, towers, telegraph poles…

Adam took this great shot of two stork ‘sentinels’.

I was rather pleased with this stork in flight…

…but this photograph of Adam’s trumps the lot, fabulous.

Phillip Island Koala Reserve

And so to the Koala Reserve…I rather liked the sign.

It was more of a koala hunt really, as they’re quite hard to spot against the silver grey bark of the eucalyptus trees.

Koalas spend most of their time asleep, as they’re stoned on eucalyptus leaves.

They have snoozing off to a fine art.

They do it…really…

…really well.

Good thing they have strong paws to hold on with.

They get into some amazing positions.

There were also some wallabies…

…magpies…

…and other pretty birds.

Back to the koalas…

…so cute…

…so stupid (this isn’t a eucalyptus tree).

Oh…there was a little baby one…yeah, I squealed.

Oh look…

…they move every now and again…

…this si quite a balletic leg isn’t it.

MissT and friend.

Tamar Island Wetlands Reserve

Our last port of call in Tasmania, was this lovely wetlands reserve.

Despite being only 10 minutes drive from Launceston (which IMHO is a dump)…

…it has that melancholy ‘edge of the world’ feeling.

That mood is heightened by the rusting remains of ships…

…and rotting docks.

This is the domain of birds now…

…old and young.

Time to head back.

Cat Crime


“Hello, my name is Billy, I am a cute cat”.

“Erm…Billy, what’s that on the chair?”

“It looks like a feather.”

“Ah…”