The difference a year makes…

Last year I was involved in a fascinating project run by Lisa of the blog NorthWest Frame of Mind to show what was happening in different parts of the world at the same time of day. One of the most interesting and challenging projects I have participated in. Anyway, one of my ‘hours‘ was to show the back of my Ludlow house and the abandoned allotment.

At the back
THEN
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NOW

Last year poppies flourished and all matter of weeds wild-flowers grew. This year the plot is smothered in Valerian of all shades – deep red, deep pink and even white. Of the poppies there has been no sign. But the most magnificent rambling rose is tumbling over the wall and the potting shed has practically disappeared from view as the ivy reclaims it.

Last Year

This Year

And a neigbourhood cat has claimed it for his crash-pad.

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I shall link this post to the WPC Muse as Ludlow seems to have been a major source of inspiration for my photography over the last four years. The history of this Medieval town is fascinating; its importance hundreds of years ago when royalty lived in and visited the castle; the battles fought here in the War of the Roses. Its very position on the Marches – the turbulent Welsh/English border. With the rolling countryside surrounding the town and the wonderful open-air markets selling local produce along with all the festivals held each year this place has contributed enormously to my blog. I just hope I haven’t bored you :-D

Pendeen Watch

It was our first day in Bojewyan – a bright cornflower blue sky, cloudless and bright. Though the wind was sharp for the time of year and lazy at that as it cut straight through you. We walked the mile into Pendeen for a cooked breakfast at Heather’s café and sat outside in the minuscule courtyard, sheltered from the wind, basking in the sun and ate a full English along with a mango smoothie, followed by a flat white. It tasted good. It felt good. And it set us up for our stroll down to the coast to look for a lighthouse.

Looking back at Pendeen from the lighthouse road

It’s only about a mile, but it took us a while as we stopped every few yards to take a photograph. So much to stop and look at. Chimneys on the horizon of abandoned and disused tin mines. Drystone walls brimming with wild flowers. A ruined cottage. The sea. Interesting gates featuring roses and an engine house.

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The sea in front of you, the road winds down hill, sheltered from the westerlies by high stone walls, simply crammed with wild-flowers. Foxgloves erupt everywhere in vibrant pinky-purple tones.

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A first glimpse of coastguard cottages and the top of the lighthouse

Rounding the last corner brings you to the cliff-top and the sea is now on your left. A rather magnificent stone wall on your right is covered with clumps of thrift and sea campion, but if you look a bit closer you will find stonecrop and sheep’s-bit scabious and lichens.

The final stretch
Thrift covered drystone wall
A Cornish wall

On arriving at the lighthouse we were disappointed to discover that it was closed to the public. But no matter, it had been a lovely walk and although I would have liked to have continued to Portheras Cove still some way further along the coastal path, the lack of amenities made me turn round. OH of course stayed well away from the cliff-edge and found a comfortable bench on which to sit and admire the scenery.

I wandered a little way down the coastal path to try to catch a glimpse of the sandy cove and was happy to find a Whitethroat which perched long enough on the gorse bush for me to grab a quick shot. His sweet song filled the air. A pied wagtail led me back up the hill to the lighthouse.

Coastal Path to Portheras Cove

If you don’t want to walk all the way from Pendeen there is a car park at the lighthouse and also a smaller one a little further down the track if you want to walk down to Portheras Cove. There are no amenities at either place, no café, no W.C. and you will need to clamber over rocks to reach the sandy beach visible at low tide.

If you enjoy a walk, long or short, then have a look at Jo’s site where you are welcome to join in.

Bench series #26

For the month of June I’m looking for a bench with ‘Art Effects’ 

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Split screen, monochrome and colour – Lake Burly Griffin, Canberra

(This month I want to see photos with some post-processing – use your imagination, it can be subtle or bold as long as it includes a bench or even part of a bench!)

If you would like to join in with the Bench photo challenge then please take a look at my Bench Series page. No complicated rules, just a bench and a camera required :)

  • Create your own post and title it Bench Series: June
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag ‘bench series’ so everyone can find the benches easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new bench theme comes out on the first Sunday in July.

This is your last chance to post your arty benches as next week we move on to another theme :)

And for those of you who are interested here is the original:

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Cropped at right-hand side to reposition the Carillion more to the right and the pathway on the left. Contrast adjusted, then Creative effect ‘Helena’ applied in Pixlr which splits the image into two B&W sections and a colour section in the middle.

My Picks of the Week:

Karen has been playing around with arty effects. See if there is anything you fancy here.
Jo sneaked in with some delightful edits at the end of last week and only a slight hint of rebelliousness.
Aletta has produced a pretty effect with her bench
Gilly has gone Gothic on me and Lisa (Daily Musings) has created a comic-book effect that is rather impressive. Finally one from Sylvia which is not only an amazing photo, but also beautifully enhanced.

Thanks to everyone for joining in with the creative benches, I have enjoyed seeing the results of you clever, artistic people and realise I need to play with learn how to use software editing packages.

National Cream Tea Day

June 26 2015

There seems to be a national day for anything these days and I’d love to know who decides on what and when, but as a cream tea aficionado how can I let this one pass without a mention?

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”
~ Henry James

And surely there is a no more perfect one than the cream tea – whether Devon style (with the jam on top) or the Cornish style (with the cream on top) what matters most is the freshness of the ingredients. Light. melt in the mouth scones, fruity strawberry jam, and lashings of golden crusted clotted cream. Are you drooling yet?

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The Waymarker, near Constantine, was named champion of the ‘Truly Cornish Clotted Cream Tea‘ in 2014 but I am doing my best to seek out decent rivals :)

Where and what is the best afternoon tea you have experienced? My most memorable is High Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe – tiny crust-less sandwiches, Petit fours, scones, cakes and Earl Grey tea served on Stanley Terrace with spectacular views of the Victoria Falls bridge down the Batoka Gorge with the spray rising from The Falls.

A Mermaid in a Church?

That’s right. You didn’t misread the title. There is a little church in Zennor, west-Cornwall that is home to a mermaid.

Why a mermaid?

Before the Christian era, mermaids were one of the symbols for Aphrodite, Goddess of the sea and of love. In one hand she held a quince (love apple) and in the other a comb. Later the quince was changed to a mirror, symbol of vanity and heartlessness.

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In the Middle Ages, when Cornish mystery plays were performed, the mermaid was used as a symbol to explain the two natures of Christ. She was both human and a fish. He was both a man and god.

Mermaid frescoes are found in other Cornish churches – Breage, Poughill and Altarnun – but Zennor is the only one with a carving.

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The mermaid reminds us that St Senara also came by sea and founded a church at Zennor more than 1400 years ago.

The Legend of the Chair

The only remaining Medieval bench ends carved over 500 years ago are linked to the chorister Matthew Trewhella who, it is said, was lured into the sea at Pendour Cove by a mermaid who came into the church to hear his beautiful singing.

source: Zennor Church

Dawn of Lingering Look at Architecture has churches as the topic for the month of June so I am linking this post to her challenge.

And I shall link it to Paula’s Thursday Special too as she is interested in things from the past this week.