Tuesday 31 May 2016

Wet Birdies

It poured down today, including through the top of the front door. I think it is the guttering, which needs fixing again. The water was running down the front of the house and into whatever gap there is on the top of the door. I will wait for it to dry out and put some sealant there for the moment, until we can get the guttering fixed. not that it hasn't been done before, by expensive rip off merchants who didn't do it properly. This whole house is gradually falling apart. No sooner do we get one thing fixed than another breaks! I have spent yet another day of my holiday doing reports. Editing today. Only five more to do. Then planning, Learning Journeys and then perhaps a day off! 
When it was raining this morning, these little blue tits appeared. They are flitting about the garden every day at the moment, eating the seeds off the fennel, and nest building/feeding young. Today one of the pair, the thinnest and most pathetic looking, kept landing on the washing line. I took the photos through the rain blurry and dirty windows, so am quite pleased that they came out so clearly. I had to block the cat flap as I didn't want the very interested Cassie to have a bird for breakfast. 

 The bird flew off from this shot, but I like the fennel shapes. 
 Look at his little tufty head!

Sunday 29 May 2016

Botany Bay

Today we visited Botany Bay near Broadstairs in Kent. I can't believe I haven't been to this amazing place before! I found it on the internet a while ago, I can't remember how, and am very glad I did. There are a series of bays on this part of Kent's coastline. Botany Bay is so called, as smugglers were deported to its namesake in Australia. On the beach there are lots of caves, which were used to hide goods, and there was a bloody 'Battle of Botany Bay' between revenue officers and the Callis Court Gang, led by Joss Snelling. Joss Bay just along the coast, is named after him. We followed the sat nav, and parked near a pub at the bottom of Marine Drive. We walked along the clifftop, past this flint fort on the cliff top. Look at the way the large chalk pieces have been set into the wall. Beautiful. 
We saw a path down to the beach, but Andy had found another pub further along where decided to have lunch. 
The Captain Digby was very pleasant. I had salmon and Andy had scampi. The beach can be accessed just down from here. 
The chalk cliffs have eroded to form stacks. We got a little taster of the beauty to come from the top of the cliff.

One of the many caves.
The patterns of the chalk inside, with the colouration are so interesting. It looks like a mountain landscape.

This flint sticking out of the chalk looks like a hawk. 
There is a perfectly straight crack from the top to the bottom of the cliff face here. 
This pink sail looked so pretty, so even though my picture is blurry, it will remind me. 
View through the arch. 

And back again.
Gorgeous colours of waves and boat. 
A more imaginative piece of chalk carving than just a name. Apparently you can see fossils embedded in the chalk. Next time...
More beautiful beach!

And finally, the coastguard on patrol.

A good description of the bay and some of its history  here on The Bald Hiker.

Friday 27 May 2016

Last Week

 Two badly treated dolls from the boot fair. I went last week because I felt I deserved a treat after so much work, with more to come. The boot fair is great, and didn't disappoint. I found amazing things at very little cost. I can't resist this combination. These two dolls were my last purchase of the day. The one on the left is like a very cheap ball jointed doll. Both have had bad hair cuts. I plan to make them look beautiful again!
 A face from my journal that I drew last night. The hair is a type of grey called 'Davy's Grey' and is actually a very pale green. I love the colour!
 More boot fair fare. A Kokeshi head. I bought this and a load of other small souvenir type stuff from one woman, and she asked for £1.50. I gave her £2 as I felt bad! There was another Kokeshi doll, this one with a body which turns. I love these little dolls, and these alone for £2 is a steal!
 Roses brought to me by the children in the afternoon. Some of them are from their own gardens but others are probably not. It all started last year when I wasn't even their proper teacher, and now I don't think I can really tell them to stop doing it. I may talk about where they get them from though and perhaps they can tell their parents that it may not be the right thing to do to take flowers from other peoples' gardens. They are beautiful though. 

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.