Day Twenty-eight

The theme for Becky’s  April Squares challenge is ‘top’ 

    1. On Top of the World – summit, crown, peak or uppermost part of something
    2. Under the Big Top – topping or covering (or if you’re really lucky circus)
    3. Room at the Top – first or highest in position
    4. Cherry on Top – something made even more wonderful by becoming square
    5. Top and Tail – or maybe you’d prefer to play around with word combinations such as top dog, top stitch, top full, top line, top fruit, top hat, top secret, top knot, top drawer and top dollar!
Top Row

This wonderful row of candy-coloured four storey Victorian townhouses (mainly holiday apartments, B&Bs or hotels) is situated at the beginning of the Esplanade above the rocky cliff and stairs that lead down to South Beach in Tenby, South Wales. What a commanding view they have of the monastic Island of Caldey and St Catherine’s Castle.

But be warned, this town gets extremely busy in the school holidays and parking is almost impossible to find. It’s the Welsh equivalent of St Ives, Cornwall and also boasts three fine beaches. Take a look for yourself by clicking the link above.

April Squares | Day Twenty-eight

Simplicity

We are living through a very strange period in our lives. One that affects us all. No matter where we live or who we are. A time when we are isolated like as never before. When life is reduced to the simple pleasures. Uncomplicated. Free from excesses and distractions.

Patti’s challenge got me thinking about what this means to me. I live at the best of times in isolation, although I don’t live on my own, but I enjoy my own company and I am never bored even though it would seem to others that I do nothing.

It’s not that I am anti-social, I am just very self-contained. And I have the time to enjoy the simple things in life and appreciate what is around me.

Preferably in the natural world. Trees, water, rocks, views. Although I can and do enjoy a city visit now and then as long as I can find a peaceful place to recharge my batteries. And not just those of the camera.

I don’t need much in life. I am happiest when wandering somewhere, anywhere, where I can disappear unnoticed with my camera in hand.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #91 | Simplicity

The Birks of Aberfeldy

Popularised in a song by Robert Burns, the fine circular walk up the steep gorge of the Moness burn reveals several waterfalls.

Begin along the obvious trail from the car park, bearing left to cross the large bridge over the foaming Moness burn.

This lower part of the Birks is in fact mostly a beech wood. The walk continues along the path beside the attractive burn with several small waterfalls.

“Now Simmer blinks on flowery braes,
And o’er the crystal streamlets plays;
Come let us spend the lightsome days,
In the birks of Aberfeldy.”

The Birks (Scots for birch trees) still cloak the steep slopes of the Moness gorge, along with oak, ash, elm and willow.

“The braes ascend like lofty wa’s,
The foaming stream deep-roarin’ fa’s
O’erhung wi’ fragrant spreading shaws
The birks of Aberfeldy”

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89 | River

On Reflection

Whilst looking through some older posts I came across one about Painshill Park in Surrey which I wrote about over 4 years ago. Time flies…

The Chinese Bridge with just a small reflection in the somewhat weed-ridden river

The five arched bridge

Lady in Pink

The ruined abbey

The vineyard

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 | Reflections

Here be dragons

“Here be Dragons” means dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of a medieval practice of putting illustrations of dragons, sea monsters and other mythological creatures on uncharted areas of maps where potential dangers were thought to exist. You may well be thinking there’s nowhere quite like that left in England, but you could be mistaken…

It was the Easter holidays when I took my then teenage sons to North Yorkshire to spend some time with them bonding in the great outdoors. We stayed in Runswick Bay a few miles away from the delights of Whitby with its maritime heritage and tales of Captain Cook, Dracula and the 199 steps to the Abbey. We were in a teeny cottage clinging to the side of the steep cliff. It was barely big enough for the three of us and certainly had no room to swing the cat, which fortunately we’d left at home.

We were woken early by a squillion gulls that perched on our roof screeching annoyingly down the chimney: no alarm clock required. Our days were spent trudging over the moors on ancient Roman roads, watching steam trains or stepping over streams on lumps of rock, the boys trying, and succeeding, to keep their balance and not get a soaking. I admired the masses of dancing daffodils clustered under hedgerows and smiled with motherly concern as I watched newly born lambs wearing their wrinkly coats, gambolling in the fields on wobbly legs.

We discovered sea urchins and lumps of ancient coal on the beach and got soaked from the heavy sleeting showers before warming ourselves with mugs of real hot chocolate, along with heavily buttered toasted teacakes, in a steamy little café in Staithes. Returning to the cottage along the hazardous coastal path, the wind tangled our hair and blew us backwards.

We set out each day on an adventure as if we were the ‘Famous Five’ albeit with two members missing and no dog; armed with stacks of corned beef sandwiches, bottles of lemonade and cheese and onion crisps. Teenage boys have hollow legs and require feeding at all times. Pre ‘Sat Nav’ (GPS) made exploring the many narrow lanes an adventure in itself. Arriving at a junction or a fork where there were no signposts (removed in the war to confuse the enemy should they land and which have never been replaced) the boys would take it in turns to shout out directions to me – left, right – it didn’t really matter as we always found somewhere to park and explore.

One such wintry day on our way back from climbing up Roseberry Topping in the snow (which is where Cook glimpsed his first sight of the sea) we saw a rainbow. Not just any rainbow, this was a magnificent example, a 3D Technicoloured arch, the rainbow of all rainbows spreading over the blackened sky with both ends touching the earth. We decided in an instant to head for one end of the rainbow and zigged and zagged over the moors, sometimes even going under the bow itself in an attempt to reach the end. We didn’t of course, but the journey was exhilarating and eventually we reached our cosy cottage in fits of giggles to spend yet another evening pouring over the road map to try to guess where we’d been today and wonder whether there were any more dragons left to find tomorrow.

(originally posted in 2015)