Sunday, 22 May 2016

Down to Upnor

It was my Dad's birthday last week, so my brother arranged lunch for us all in Upnor today. We were only there a few weeks ago, but it is a lovely place so I was happy to go back again today. 
 Is a powder monkey where you keep your gunpowder? Not sure but I like the name. There was a big heron in the muddy shallows, fishing. Until he was seen off by a small and angry black headed gull.
 A tiny ladybird crawled around at my feet. I liked the colours in this tiny scene. 
 The heron seems to have seen me!
 Here comes the gull. On Friday morning, I was looking out of the window while making tea, and a black cat appeared on the fence. It was a riveting sight for Lily and Cassie. Then a large crow appeared behind the cat, who didn't notice. The crow started to caw loudly, and saw off the cat!
 Steps up from the shore. 
 One of the feisty gulls tiptoeing through the mud. 
 An interesting grille in the wall of the entrance to the castle. 
 A nautical number sign. 
 After lunch, we drove round to the other side of Upnor. We walked along to the yacht club. I loved this combination of green and red.
 A pause and then back to a pub for coffee. 
Further along there is a beach, where there are interesting things to be found, when the tide is low. This WW2 pill box has collapsed onto the shore.
 This is a figurehead from a naval training ship. There is a training club for sailors here. 
 Interestingly distressed paint on a barrel. 
 And an interestingly distressed boat!

 I liked this mish-mash of a sign. 

 Posters against the airport that was proposed for the Thames estuary that I have mentioned on here before.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016


It is coming to the rose time of year and some of my class are bringing me roses in the afternoon. A couple with a delicious scent. 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Alphabet of April and May



Saturday, 7 May 2016

Predator, Arco Beck, Viking Sea

I woke up at seven this morning, which is when I had set the alarm, and had no idea what day it was, and a terrible fear that it might be a week day, which, if it was, meant I was very late waking up. Reassured that it was Saturday, I lay there for another half an hour before getting up to start a busy day of report writing. I didn't get quite as far as I had hoped, but I did quite a lot, and at least I started them, always the worst part. I had a few breaks, to take Andy to the foot doctor in Woolwich, to pop to the charity shop, and to potter around the internet. I ended up joining a website called Marine Traffic, where you can create your own fleets, and monitor shipping traffic around the world. I did this because I wanted to upload a picture of the Arco Beck, a dredger we saw on the Medway a couple of weeks ago, when we went to Upnor for lunch with my Mum and brother. Having read the many rules about the photos you upload, I don't expect they will let mine in, but it was worth a try. I cannot make head nor tail of how the website works. I have created a fleet with one ship in it, but how you view that ship's travels I have no idea. The map is covered with a grid of numbers (may be map references, may be ships-haven't looked too closely, and I don't know how to just show my (if only!) ship. Anyway, all that waffle is because this is a boat related post. 
When we went to Upnor, the carpark at the top of the High Street was full so we went to another part of it and parked briefly. I took this picture there, because I liked the rustiness and the lettering.
We went back to the carpark and a space had appeared. At the bottom of the High Street we saw this rusty ship. I found out today that it is a suction dredger, which would explain the weird machinery on board.
Behind the ship, you can see the pump house where my brother is working, helping his friend convert it into a distillery. After lunch we had a tour and saw the latest developments, explained to us by his colleague Abbi, the distiller. A massive shiny distilling system arrived from China and has been installed so they are a bit nearer to opening.

On Thursday, Andy sent me a text with news of a giant boat which would be in Greenwich that evening for a naming ceremony. I love seeing these boats, so, after voting, we went down for a look. It took a while to find parking, and in our meanderings we found this face.
This is Andy's photo. He managed to get the whole ship, which I failed to do. 
It is as if a ten storey building has plonked itself on the Thames. Massive!
The lifeboats are pretty big. 
Canary Wharf in the background. 
My zoom lens captures some staff chilling. 
I was thinking of that picture with a man in lots of different poses in a grid form when I took the picture below. Found it after googling variations on 'man in different positions in boxes tate'. It is by Bruce McClean. It is called 'Plinths' and is a comment on the work of Henry Moore. 

All the time we were looking at the ship, the sky was putting on a beautiful display of soft evening clouds and sunset.