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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Of poetry festivals and Exeter Events

This is my writing groups blog, so I thought I’d share via Lucid Gypsy

WordWorks Exeter

The first of October heralds a feast of words here in Exeter. It’s Exeter poetry Festival until the 7th, with events at the City Gate, Phoenix and the library, something for everyone.

This year Kimwei McCarthy, the current Bard of Exeter with be there, as well as the wonderful Matt Harvey, one time official Wimbledon Poet, Joanna Trollope and many more.

Later in the month, Literature Works is offering a free half day training session for Devon based (or nearby) poets who may be interested in working in Memory Cafes.

The workshop is at Exeter Central Library on Wed 19 Sept from 1.30 to 4.30pm. Full details at https://nationalmemoryday.org.uk/national-memory-day-poet-training-session-in-devon/

October 4th  is National Poetry day, this year the theme is Change, very timely for the UK.

Finally, a little teaser, we’re in the early stages of planning another Wordworks event.  November 9th, save the date.

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Walking to the mill

One of my favourite  short walks takes me along the mill leat in the Riverside Valley Park. There are three bodies of water in the Valley Park, the canal, the river itself and the mill leat running roughly parallel, for about a kilometre. My walk begins less than a kilometre from the quay, at Salmon Pool Lane, where I pause on the bridge over the leat, hoping to spot a kingfisher.

No such luck.

There’s some major flood prevention work taking place on the river, so I head over to check it out.

This is the view up river.

And this is down. I can’t make any sense of it, but the work’s been going on for  several years already. Retracing my steps I pause to admire what I call the photo posts ( they make a great setting for family photos).

Then it’s back to the path.

Where I find this Hairy Dragonfly lady, quite happy to pose for me.

The flora and fauna get together, and give each other a helping hand.

Now, I hope that someone can tell me what this wildflower is, Jude perhaps? I only saw one.

Flora and George are keen to get going now, it’s such a hot day, they’re tempted by the water.

As it’s shallow they give it a try.

But not for long.

Someone’s been busy.

Next we cross the wooden footbridge.
This is the point where the North Brook joins the leat, just before it re-joins the river.
So we walk across the wooden footbridge.

The dogs know there’s rabbits around, but they have no hope of catching them.

The bright green plant intrigued me, it’s further away than it looks, could it be a Gunnera escaped from a garden?

We’re getting close to Mill Road now, the Mill was an overgrown ruin when I was a child. A grade 2 listed building, it belongs to the city council, and quite a lot of restoration has taken place. The first mill was built in 1284 by  Countess Isabela. It was powered by the leat and was used to grind corn, but from the 1630’s paper making using rags began. Through the 18th and early 19th century, the quality of paper produced changed to good writing paper, notes for private banks and news print for the Times of India. In 1816 a fire destroyed the old mil and this replacement was built.

At it’s height, 200 people were employed, the Industrial revolution was here and it was one of the first to install machines.

Once rag paper was replaced with wood pulp, the mill went into decline, such a shame. I’ve always been interested in the building, it’s so striking.


I think it would make a fabulous hostel, for walkers on the long distance South West Coast Path, just a hop, skip and a jump down the road. With a café and interpretation centre wouldn’t it be nice? If only the council thought so too!

I’m sharing with Jo, for her Monday Walk, the  first time for ages, Jo save me until another time, you’re probably all set for tomorrow already.  🙂

Crenellation, roof and tanka

Today at lunch I took one of my regular strolls, trying to keep in the shade and walking much slower than usual to try to stay cool. I’ve walked past the lodge countless times and never given the crenellations any thought. But I grabbed it for Becky.

Freshly painted door

jars a little with the stone

and gentle roses

but just give it time, sun, rain

inevitable winter

 

Then I thought, it’s Thursday tomorrow, I could post at haiku, which became a tanka.