Quest

I’m glad the weekly photo challenge is back this week, does anyone know what happened last week? This weeks theme, Quest, seemed tricky at first but then it fell into place when I remembered meeting this knight.

questWhose particular quest was to get me to take photos of him!

And then a song sprung to mind from my infant school days – yes I can still just about recall those dim and distant times.

When a knight won his spurs, in the stories of old,
He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand,
For God and for valour he rode through the land.

No charger have I, and no sword by my side,
Yet still to adventure and battle I ride,
Though back into storyland giants have fled,
And the knights are no more and the dragons are dead.

Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed
‘Gainst the dragons of anger, the ogres of greed;
And let me set free with the sword of my youth,
From the castle of darkness, the power of the truth.

By Jan Struther circa 1931

Anyone else sing that song way back when?

Traces of the past

It’s Traces of the Past at Paula’s black and white Sunday this week, so I thought I’d bring this old weaving loom. I believe it’s from the early 1960’s.
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It can be seen at Coldharbour Mill, in Devon.

The Weavers Song
The loom goes click and the loom goes clack
The shuttle flies forward and the shuttle flies back
The weaver’s so bent that he’s like to crack
Such a wearisome trade is the weaver’s

Now that it’s made into cloth at last
The ends of work they all make quite fast
The weaver’s labours for now have passed
Such a wearisome trade is the weavers.

Anon, circa the Industrial Revolution.

Traces of the past

Paula’s back with her black and white Sunday challenge, and ‘Traces of the past’, will be a regular theme as it’s so popular – I love it!

I found these figures in a little church, St Mary the Virgin, in the village of Uffculme, Devon. The church was probably founded in Saxon times, but first gets mentioned in a charter of 1136. The figures are in 17th century costume.

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Paula is always happy to have people join in with her challenge, pop over and see her!

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,

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

Traces of the past

Many of my friends here in the UK will have come across a particular brand of notebook, journal or address book. They have beautiful covers, some vibrant, some more subtle, but most rather desirable. I have several, including this one.

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I couldn’t help thinking about it when I saw these at Montacute last weekend.

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IMG_3630_edited-1I wonder if the manufacturer was influenced by something like these, what do you think, does the design of mine show traces from the past?

Paula’s Thursday special this week is ‘Traces of the Past’, this is what she says,

For newbies – if you are interested in participating in Thursday’s Special photo challenge, you should publish a post with a photo (or several photos) having in mind the given theme (in this case anything related to the past either near or distant), link that post to this one and leave me a note in the comments section. 

The Goodhart collection

Montacute House is Somerset has an exhibition of some of the 300 samplers collected by Doctor Douglas Goodhart since the 1950’s. The good doctor gathered together an internationally important collection, dating back to the 16th century.

I visited Montacute for one of my birthmonth days out last weekend, not knowing they were there. Had I  known I might just have taken a tripod, because flash photography was not allowed, hence the quality of these photos is disappointing, but you can get an idea of how beautiful they are.

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As some of you know I love mermaids, and I’m not the only one here, so this is my favourite.

And this last one is so precious, see the date?
emb7I think it fits the bill for pure.

Weekly Photo Challenge, Admiration

This weeks photo challenge has the theme of admiration, I have a tremendous admiration for those creative people centuries ago, who left us a legacy of treasure, in the UK and worldwide.

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This sea chest has sailed the high seas, filled with wonders.

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I can’t help wondering about the delicious meals that have been served from this tureen.

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The embroidery around this four poster bed has graced the bed chamber for centuries, no daylight lamps or computerised sewing machines, just small hands and candlelight to work with. Click the link above to share whatever fills you with admiration!