Looking up at the Alcazar

Nancy says that,

Going about our day, we often don’t pay attention to what’s directly above us. We’re more likely to focus on what’s in front of us rather than what’s overhead.

But like some of my friends here, I look everywhere when I’m out and about, you never know what your camera will find otherwise.

If I hadn’t looked up when I went to the Alcazar in Seville last year, I would have missed loads of photo opps, like these.

And then there was naughty Neptune!

al5 Are you observant, do yo look up? if you have images to share go visit Nancy at the Daily Post.

How to choose a coffin

Frizztext reminded me in his post today of when I visited a coffin makers shop in Accra, Ghana, quite a few years ago. He has seen a film about funerals over there, Frizz you’ll be amused to know that I danced at one! He was impressed by the choice of coffin designs and says he would like to be buried in a giant guitar shaped one.

Me, I would choose the mobile phone because I’m a techno hen, but I’d like it to be a smart phone, not the kind that was around all those years ago!

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Which would you choose?

Partners in mischief

Sabah, Christmas 2009, at the Sepilok orang-utan rehabilitation centre. I was beginning to feel pretty rough, dizzy in fact and I didn’t get better for a few days. It was annoying because we’d found somewhere to have an English Christmas dinner and I could only watch my friends enjoying it. Before that though, I’d seen a troup of orangs arrive for lunch in the centre. There were lots of long tailed macaques, cashing in on the free tuck. Very cheeky monkeys, who would sneek up behind you to see what they could find. Like the baby orangs they were cute when tiny, but here are a couple of pre-teens.

partnersI don’t know what they were up to but they were definitely partners in mischief!

Beside the City Wall

Yesterday I grabbed a little bit of sunshine and walked the dogs in towards town, with no particular plan. They aren’t very keen on the High Street, so I took a right and headed up Northernhay Street to the park. It was the first time I’ve been there for years and a perfect day for a peaceful stroll. Back in the days when I worked in the Civic Centre, it was a regular lunchtime spot in summer. When I was little and when my own children were, it was a favourite spot, along with the adjoining Rougemont Gardens, for roly-polys, so there I was again.

At the Gate
At the Gate

The first borders on my left were mostly new to me.

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And I don’t remember this Paperbark Maple (Acer Griseum)

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Acer Griseum
Stunning borders
Stunning borders

Time to walk up the steps

mw10This is part of the old city wall.

mw11But it feels like I’m walking in the woods.

mw12One of the old gates, walking on past there are places to peep through.

mw13Dido and Daisy prefer the shade and would like to run off into the trees, I like the sun on my face.

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One of the city’s great and good on a nice curvy path

This wall cries out to stroked.

mw14mw17Ahh more steps!

mw18But the view makes it worth it.

mw19This is the entrance I was looking for. The path through Athelstan’s tower leads to Rougemont garden where you can walk inside the wall.

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I didn’t linger in Rougemont, a sign said no dogs, but I ignored it long enough to spot the teenagers through the trees above.
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And to get another angle on the tower.

Okay, time to follow the rules and back through to Northernhay. By the way the ‘hay’ part means field and we have Southernhay as well.

A rather show offy foxglove variety.
A rather show offy foxglove variety.

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I walked up past the war memorial, to the little pond at the bottom of the slope.

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When I was little there were goldfish that I loved to see, but no-one’s home now.
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This is a short circular walk, part of the longer City Walk Trail, perhaps I’ll take one of the Redcoat Guide tours one day. For now I’m nearly back to the beginning, with the wall high above me. Northernhay is actually England’s oldest public space, it was created as a pleasure walk for local people in 1612, 400myears and still giving pleasure. I hope you enjoyed it, are you walking with Jo this Monday?

mw32A last little bit of treasure.

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Exeter’s history began nearly 2000 years ago, when the second Augustan Roman legion settled here in 55AD. A fortress was built overlooking the lowest crossing point of the Exe, known as Isca and manned by 6000 soldiers. An earth and timber rampart with a deep ditch in front protected the fortress.
Over the centuries the original grey volcanic rock was repaired using Heavitree Breccia, white Triassic sandstone and a pink Permian sandstone was used in the 17th century.
When the fall of the roman empire the city was pretty much abandoned and the land inside the wall returned to farmland, and little is known until Saxon times and from the 9th century the city grew quickly becoming one of the most prosperous in the country.
King Athelstan is credited with repairing the wall in time to withstand Viking attacks in 1001 AD and William the Conqueror in 1068 AD.
This photo is of a print I have, showing the city in the 17th century with the wall still intact, about seventy percent remains now. You should be able to click for a bigger view.

Exeter, inside the wall 1618
Exeter, inside the wall 1618

Curves inside and out

Cheri at the Daily Post has chosen the theme of curves for this weeks photo challenge. I have a friend who likes straight lines in imagery, but I’ll always choose the curves and swirls we find in nature, in any design or art.

I took this first photo a few weeks ago at Coldharbour Mill, in east Devon. It was leaning against a wall at the back of a courtyard and I had to capture it.

curvesa1Next, there’s a humpy hedge behind these curvy evergreens. Apparently when it was a baby hedge, there was a very harsh winter and it was weighed down by snow. The gardeners tried to repair it, but failed and knowing they’d lost the battle, they decided to allow it to grow it’s own curvy way.

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A few weeks ago I posted a black and white version of some William Morris wallpaper,

curvy

There were several comments about the original colours, so here it is, colours, curves and even a well placed ceramic plate.

A Spare Landscape

Pamukkale is a town in Western Turkey and its name means cotton castle. Part of the landscape looks like a large terrace of ice, but it is in fact a travertine terrace formed by mineral rich water cascading down a steep valley.

pamukkale

When I went, you could walk on the terraces, barefoot and at your own risk, because they were rather slippery. Now I believe you can only look from above, well done turkey for protecting this very unusual Unesco site. On a sunny day the surface looks turquoise, but here under a grey sky, and looking into the misty distance the landscape looks quite spare.

A Glowing Fountain

It’s Paula’s special Thursday and I’ve got the day right! Paula says that we all need light and glow in our lives, and she wants to see glowing images. I’ve picked this one from Barcelona last year, maybe I’ll get a better shot when I go back in September.glowIf you want to join Paula with a glowing image she would be delighted.