Sunday, 30 September 2012


Marking the centenary year of the launching of the legendary liner, the Titanic Exhibition in Belfast has been three years in the making; exactly the same length of time that it took for the ship to be built. The exhibition is housed in a specially designed building constructed on the very same spot as the ship was built 100 years ago.
Part of the Titanic window in Belfast City Hall
The city was known as Boom Town Belfast at the beginning of the 20th century with it's famous Harland and Wolff shipyard, the perfect location to build the biggest ship in the world.
The whistle has blown and it is time to get to work in the bowels of the ship.
Launch day dawns, and is greeted by hundreds of excited spectators. The launch is shown on film in exactly the same spot as it happened 100 years ago.
A birds eye view of the interior of the new building which has nine galleries including the Fit-Out: The Maiden Voyage: The Sinking: The Aftermath: Myths and Legends: Titanic Beneath - shows a journey to the bottom of the sea where Titanic still lies in her watery grave.
On her maiden voyage at 23.40 on 14th April 1912 Titanic struck an iceberg; 2½ hours later all was silent.  
She sank beneath the waves with the loss of over 1500 lives.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

A Spiders' Web

Joining in with ♥woolf♥ on her mandala challenge.
early morning September sun rise with mist
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness together with intricate mandalas, cunningly and cleverly created by spiders
via wikipedia

Home again...

and the geraniums are still flowering.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Islands around Britain

☀Rose-hips from the garden☀
In a few days time we shall gingerly dip our toes into the cold ocean. Turning our backs to the coast we shall sail off into the sunset. Our destination one of the larger British islandsWe seek Camel, Harp and Organ, Drumlins, a country home or two, a Mediterranean garden, and a Temple of the Winds.
Japanese Anemones in the garden☀
Back soon.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Sunday, 16 September 2012

September - Still Life

I am going to experiment with some photographs. Hopefully I will improve, but this is the first one.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Innkeeper

This is a photograph of the Abinger Arms, Surrey taken in 1890.  The Inn belonged to our Grandchildren's Great Great Great Grandfather whose picture is below. The timber-framed parts and the massive chimney date from the sixteenth century, when it was a large house known as Perrotts, standing in ten acres of land.
What a jolly looking character he seems. I think that he must have enjoyed a large jar of ale on a regular basis judging by his portly size and the pot he is holding. How lovely it would be to own the vessel now, I wonder what happened to it? May be it was broken and thrown away or possibly it resides to this day in someone's home?
In 1894 the Abinger Arms was enlarged and a new frontage and entrance added on the eastern side. The new part of the building was done in typically Victorian style whilst the rear retained its Tudor origins.
The Innkeeper's wife
This husband and wife were H's Great Grandparents on his father's maternal side.
via wikipedia
You can see the Abinger Arms today just beyond the village clock. 
courtesy wikipedia
Underneath the clock is the figure of Jack the Blacksmith, who strikes the hours with his hammer.
This beautiful Surrey farmhouse was lived in by H's Great Grandfather on his father's paternal side. Called Hatch Farm it is a splendid Tudor building built on the site of an older manor house, known as Harms Hatch. It is situated in Gomshall, the neighbouring village to Abinger Hammer. The name hatch indicates the existence of a gate across the road at the parish boundary.
Painting of Hatch Farm, Gomshall, done by Edward Wilkins Waite (1854-1924), landscape painter, who lived for a time at Abinger Hammer. He was born in Surrey and much of his work depicted rural scenes in the county.
H's paternal ancestry in this area of Surrey can be traced back to the time of King Richard I, known as Richard the Lionheart (1157 - 1199), when he granted the family a charter to mill on the river Mole. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

The land in this part of Cumbria had been owned by the Deincourt family since the 1170s. When Elizabeth Deincourt married Sir William de Stirkeland in 1239 the estate passed into the hands of what eventually became known as the Strickland family, who owned it until it was gifted to the National Trust in 1950. It is still lived in by members of the Hornyold-Strickland family, so no photos from inside.
On 29th June 2012, and within minutes, a freak overhead cloudburst, caused a torrent of water to run down this driveway entering the main entrance. The water gushed through the front doorway and out of the back entrance which stands high above a lake. It caused damage to a rare wooden brick block floor, which has now been conserved and refitted by the National Trust. Luckily all of the living quarters are safely positioned on the first floor. In its 800 year history there is no record of this ever having happened before. Was it just a freak of nature, or is this global warming?
courtesy BBC
The white labels on the wooden brick blocks show location references in order to assist the conservators. 
The core of the medieval castle is a 14th century solar tower surround by a Tudor house. It was extended during the Elizabethan period and has richly carved oak panelled interiors, complete with furniture from the same period. Some of the panelling is extremely rare being inlaid with poplar and light oak. The contents including the wall panelling of one bedroom were sold to the V&A Museum during the last part of the 20th century. The museum intended to set it up as a room but never did. In 1999 it was all finally returned to the castle where it is on a long term loan. Around 1770 the building was again expanded in the Georgian style.
The family made their money by keeping flocks of sheep and owning large swathes of land in the north of England, which they leased out to tenants. They were an important family defending the King's northern borders with Scotland.
Rock garden
Walled garden
Tropaeolum speciosum
We have tried to grow Tropaeolum over our pillared golden yews without success. Alas it will not thrive with us, it hates our alkaline dry soil.
The back of the castle showing the door where the water ran through to the lake.
The Dutch garden