Traces of the past

Over to the west of Dartmoor a thatched cottage is growing out of the earth, or perhaps it’s sliding into the earth. Built in the 17th century this curved house has a passage through the middle, which might have been a division between house and livestock originally. It was the old post office for a period, and although it looks abandoned, there are also signs of work being done and the thatch seems to be in good condition. I hope it’s restored to it’s former glory, that would cost an awful lot of money.

Paula’s Thursday Special this week is traces of the past.

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Thursdays Special

Paula over at Lost in Translation has asked us to post photos of the same scene in landscape and portrait format. I often forget that I have a choice, and landscape is jut there isn’t it? I hope this challenge will make me thing more often about how totally different an image can be, just with a turn of the camera.

Any thoughts or preferences?

 

Vigilant, a Thursday Special

Vigilant : Alertly watchful especially to void danger, Merriam Webster.

Paula’s Thursday Special for the first week of June is ‘pick a word’, I’m choosing vigilant, from her list of five.

The river Dart, strangely enough, runs into the sea at Dartmouth. At the estuary stands the 600 year old castle, one the loveliest settings anywhere for a fortress.

Gun tower

The gun tower was one of the first of it’s kind in the country and has been standing vigilant for nearly as long as the castle has existed.

You can walk out to the castle, along a path with beautiful views, or you can go by ferry. I’ve done both, most recently last week, when I walked out and returned by boat. When you arrive at the jetty, there’s a board that you turn around, the ferryman sees it from way across the river and makes his way across to take you back to town. A perfect way of spending £2.50 on a sunny day.

 

Traces of the past, Exeter’s City Wall

Parts of Exeter’s city wall is nearly 2000 years old, built in Roman times and nearly 70 % of it still exists. Through the centuries it has been repaired and added to many times. This section of the wall is close to where the Southgate would have been.There is archaeological evidence that the gate would have had two towers, being the area of the city most vulnerable to attack, because of its proximity to the river.
of the city

Roman wall

The building inside the wall is the White Ensign Club, for serving and ex-service men and women. Formerly the Holy Trinity Church and built in 1820, on the site of a much earlier church, and the King’s Prison.

The City Wall trail is around a mile, a nice way to see some historic elements of the city.

Join Paula’s Traces of the past, she’s in Venice this week!

 

Vernal Orchids

High on a headland of Devon’s red cliffs, you’ll find an area of grassland that’s being managed for the green winged orchids, Anacamptis morio. If you visit from April to late May you can dance through a hazy carpet of them.

They range in colour from white to the deepest purple and are a real sight for sore eyes, I hope that Paula thinks so too! Note to self, take a camera.

Thursday Special, Illusion

St Pancras church in the hear of Exeter sits right in the centre of a shopping centre. It’s built from Heavitree stone and is mostly 13th centuryn but with an 11th century font. It’s tiny, 46 x 16 feet, and is one of the oldest churches in the country with a chancel and nave.

As well as shops, it’s now surrounded by restaurants. I caught this i phone photo though the window of Comptoir Libanais. I’m not sure if the lady in the roof is real or just an illusion, maybe Paula will know, I’ve posted it for her Thursday special.

Rani Sati

October 2005, I find myself in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. It’s early evening and I’ve just had one of the most moving experiences of my life. The elderly lady in the photo below has hugged me, put a red bindi on my forehead, and entered the temple I’ve just left.

I’d seen an Aarti ceremony in the Rani Sati temple, after  the congregation offered puja. The temple is at least four hundred years old and was built in memory of Narayani Bai who self emolliated and became Sati Ji.

The ceremony was incredibly loud, with drums and bells reverberating through every cell in my body. Water was sprinkled around, some of the crowd ran heir hands through flames, before circling the central shrine. We were welcome to take part but there were no expectations. Caught up in the atmosphere and the heady incense, I followed, with thoughts of Rani Sati, who was beloved to be an incarnation of the goddess Durga, running through my mind.

I have no words to describe the feelings, my journal that day had a line, ‘if I have to go home tomorrow, then it’s okay because I’ve had the experience of a lifetime’.

This post is for Paula’s Traces of the Past.

 

Remote Ghana

It’s pick a word Thursday over at Paula’s place, Lost in Translation. This weeks choices are radiant, alimentary, arboreal, frontal  and remote. I may find some more but for now, remote is my choice.

This isn’t the best photo, taken through a bus window in torrential rain, but I’ll always remember driving through this village in northern Ghana.

remoteIf it was sunny it would be okay, but it was really sad to see that day. It felt really remote, we’d left Mole National Park far behind, but the vibrant city of Kumasi and the sunshine Cape Coast were a long way south.

 

Hanging on through winter

These agapanthus are drained of all colour, just six months ago the flowers were a beautiful blue, surrounded by lush green foliage. They look very wintry now don’t they?

But I won’t worry, they’re very tenacious and will be back in July. By next year some of those dark seeds may even have spread new plants around the garden.

This post is for Paula’s Thursday Special, this week it’s ‘Wintry’.