Back to Dartmoor

A few weeks before Christmas I posted some photos taken on an afternoon trip to the moor, At the time I said I’d be back with a few more, but then l forgot.

I asked if anyone could guess the location, only Jude would have a vague idea, but she was a few miles out.

Think Hounds of the Baskervilles!

Yes, it’s Houndtor, my favourite place on Dartmoor.Well, one of two, or three!

 

 

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A winter poem

 

 

My first poem of the year was inspired by this painting by my mum Pat, thank you!.

A sense of woodland

Trudging through mud and leaf litter,
with his faithful companion Ned
a man surveys the landscape,
testing his path with a stick
from the same birch wood.

At the gate the dog pauses,
paw suspended, alert, ears wide,
and the pungent stench of vixen,
barely perceptible to human senses,
overwhelms its olfactory nerve.

A gleam of solstice light falls
on a startle of rabbit, a clear acre distant.
The man fumbles for his pipe and baccy,
scrapes squelchy leaves from his soles.
Ned flops with a disappointed grunt,
a screech of jays laugh from naked branches.
Then once more the silence is palpable.

What’s inspiring you right now?

 

The 19240

Today is the centenary of the end of WW1, and at 11 am today events have been held around the UK, and the world, to honour those who’s lives were lost in that atrocious war.
The Shrouds in my post below have travelled to London, where they will lay until November 18th, in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Lucid Gypsy

Three years ago, Rob Heard was feeling really low while recovering from an accident. Watching soldiers returning from Afghanistan on TV, led to him thinking about the loss of lives in wartime and the incredible numbers involved. He found it impossible to imagine the 19,240 men who died in just one day, July 1st 1916, at the battle of the Somme.

From a list of the names of every one of the 19240, he created a hand stitched shroud containing a 12 inch figure, crossing off names as he went. Rob didn’t have a plan when he began the project, but a friend, Steve Knightly a musician from the band Show of Hands, contacted the city council, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Exeter Chiefs rugby foundation. This has become the UK’s largest WW1 commemoration and has featured in the national news this week.

If you’re in the area, the…

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Yes but is it art?

For number two of my occasional street art post, I’m in Warsaw. With apologies to the artist, this work reminds me of those colouring books for adults, does it you?

And is it art or graffiti?

Graffiti writing and street art are often confused with one another. Both are subversive art movements where work is displayed in public rather than a gallery setting. While graffiti artists place their work in public, . . .

Maybe this work isn’t finished, perhaps by now it’s in full colour.

 

 

We’ll get the airport coach next time

Little did I know that when I touched down in the UK after a lovely flight, that it would take three times as long to get home as it did to fly in from France.We arrived bang on time, picked up my car and left the airport at 11pm. Half and hour later on the southbound motorway, my car was making strange noises. My friend asked if my tyres were okay, she’s considerably more practical than I am, most people on this planet are. So I had no idea. She said we should probably stop at the next services a few miles ahead. Two minutes later she said we need to stop NOW.

I pulled onto the hard shoulder and we saw that my car had a puncture. So it was cold, drizzling and very dark. Most of the traffic was huge lorries driving at crazy speeds and we were stood in a ditch, behind the barrier with cold, sandaled feet hoping my tiny car didn’t get hit.

It took a while for me to remember who provided my breakdown cover, but luckily there was a good signal and once details were taken a very efficient Green Flag lady said someone would be with us as soon as possible.

Pretty soon I had a text letting me know the name of the technician and the registration number of his vehicle and that he would arrive by 1.44am. That was an hour and 20 minutes to wait!

I didn’t know they’d sent another text saying the technician would be there by 2.15, probably just as well, we were already pretty miserable by then, but singing nonsense songs to cheer ourselves up.

Normally on the motorway, we see police cars buzzing around hooping to catch speeding drivers, and the breakdown company had informed Highway the we were an ‘incident’. It would have been reassuring if one had nearby and stopped to check we were okay. No such luck, I bet there would have been if I was speeding though!

Lewis from Newport arrived just after 2.15. He’d driven around 70 miles and had us back on the road in half an hour, driving home on a compact spare tyre at  50 mph. I crashed into bed at 3.40 am.

Breaking down on a motorway late at night is most women’s worst nightmare isn’t it? But never mind, I’ll focus on the nice parts of the journey home from Marseille.

Happy travels everyone!

Paula’s Thursday Special, Frontier

Paula at Lost in Translation is making a flying visit this week with a Thursday Special challenge, with five words to choose between, I’ve chosen ‘Frontier’.

Burkino Faso FrontierAm I the only one that hears a place name like Ouagadougou and wants to go there? The answer is probably yes, unless you say otherwise!

I didn’t cross the border, and the advice for Burkina Faso is currently only essential travel.  This was as close as I could go when I took this photo.

There are four more choices this week, gushing, aperture, triplets and tapered, perhaps you’d like to join in?

 

 

A Contrast of Elderly Men

I met Bill couple of days ago and I must admit I was relieved, it’s been weeks since I last saw him. It was a foggy morning, 7.45 and I was on my way to work. I heard him before I saw him, although he didn’t sound quite himself. He has a string of people he talks to on his way to and from the local shop, mostly women with nice smiles.
Over the years I’ve seen him go from walking slowly to using a stick, then a wheelie frame with space for his bread and milk. All change again, he purred towards me in a mobility scooter, grinning from ear to ear. We were equally happy to see each other, he told me that his scooter cost £240 and his friends had chipped in to help pay for it. He laughed when I complemented him on his choice of bright, shiny blue, that matched his sweater. He’d hardly been going anywhere until he got it.
He looked tired bless him, but he’s still looking after himself and can scoot to see his lady friend now. The last time i did see him he told me proudly that he won’t see 90 again’
Here’s a post from a few years ago about him.

Lucid Gypsy

I’ve tried to speak to an elderly man who lives around the corner and walks to the local shop most days but he doesn’t make eye contact with me at all. I always smile hopefully. He leans heavily on his stick and is slow as if in pain. He must be well into his eighties and seems so miserable and alone. I wonder if he has anyone in his life. It’s not just me that he ignores – there is another man his age that he passes by without any acknowledgment.

Elderly man number two is a darling. He has a beaming open face with a warm smile and I also see him most mornings, in fact if I miss him for a few days I start to wonder. He also has a stick because he has very bad joints. He’s very happy to talk about his ailments, he has…

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