Tag Archives: England

An Officer and a Gentleman

Britannia Royal Naval College, the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy, sits high on a hill overlooking Dartmouth in England. Royal Naval officer training has taken place in Dartmouth since 1863, but the buildings we see today were only finished in 1905, previous students lived in two wooden hulks moored in the River Dart. The foundation stone for the current building was laid down by King Edward V11 in March 1902. Sir Aston Webb designed the shore-based college at Dartmouth, which was built by Higgs and Hill and practically completed in 1905. The first term of cadets entered at the R.N. College Osborne were transferred to Dartmouth in September 1905.

King George V and King George V1 were naval cadets at Dartmouth, as were the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York. It is said that the Duke of Edinburgh met the then Princess Elizabeth at Dartmouth. Prince William spent a brief period at the College after leaving Sandhurst as part of his training with all three of Britain’s Armed Forces. Sheikh Mubarak Ali Yousuf Suoud Al-Sabah, a member of the Royal Family of Kuwait, attended the Royal Navy Young Officer Course at Britannia Royal Naval College in 2002.

BRNC is widely considered one of the most prestigious officer training establishments in the world, their website says that they are

Delivering learning that is inspiring, challenging and relevant to meet Fleet operational capability. It has been at the forefront of the education and development of world-class Naval Officers in Dartmouth since 1863.

Fourteen years ago my son joined the Navy and since then he has risen the ranks as a submariner to Chief Petty Officer. On Thursday I went to see him ‘Pass out’ as Sub-Lieutenant at Dartmouth. A very proud day as you can imagine. Here is a slide show of the day.

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The top of the Oast house in the distance

Another English Country Garden

The garden at Sissinghurst, in Kent was created in the 1930’s by Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson. Now a National Trust property, it is looked after by a large team of gardeners and is divided into ‘rooms’, each with a different style, planting scheme colour theme. Here are some photos, I have masses of flower shots but for now I’ll show you general views of the garden.

This style of planter was new to me, very effective
This style of planter was new to me, very effective
An abundance of blooms in every direction
An abundance of blooms in every direction
A rosy corner
A rosy corner
The boat house in the background
The boat house in the background
Box hedge flower beds in the white garden
Box hedge flower beds in the white garden
A nice feature
A nice feature
The tower, up we go!
The tower, up we go!
And here is the view from the top.
And here is the view from the top.
A band playing on the lawn in the distance
A band playing on the lawn in the distance
The top of the Oast house in the distance
The top of the Oast house in the distance
A view of the garden 'rooms'.
A view of the garden ‘rooms’.

Sissinghurst was beautiful, it totally lived up to my expectations. There were a good few plants I’ve rarely or never seen, and many dark purple flowers which are my favourites. It was the last day of my holiday and I was suffering from garden burn out, they were all running into one, but I hope you like this little glimpse.

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Making Entrances

Have you missed me a little?  I guess not, but since last weekend when Christine and Stuart were over from Dadirri, I’ve been away for a few days. I’ve taken around a thousand photos and these are the first few I will show you.

Entrances, doors and thresholds, they always fascinate me and I know I’m not alone. The gallery has pictures from Kent and Sussex, mainly National Trust properties, I hope you enjoy them, click for a bigger view.

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A Birthday Poem

Today is the day, but as always I plan to have a birthday month, so I spent yesterday walking beside the river Bovey. This is the result.

Rushing Slowly

I contemplate the transience of the River Bovey.

Every molecule of water that flows past my feet

has a destiny, whether it is to evaporate,

to splash onto the shingle that scratches at my soles,

sink into the peaty soil

or connect with the vastness of the sea.

Every leaf, green, frosted or baked dry by the sun

will crumble, flake along the route

or wash up intact on a beach,

ten or ten thousand miles away.

Every little stick tumbles and rolls

between east and west river bank,

to be claimed by a golden retriever

or gathered by a green consumer

to give home a few minutes of warmth.

From its source between Chagford and Shapley commons,

the Bovey glides, swirls and gushes to merge with the Teign

and rush headlong to the sea.

We are as the smallest drops, the most delicate leaves,

chasing through our three score and ten.

Transient beings, swimming, floating,

crashing against the shore of life,

relentlessly struggling to connect

with the vastness of our race.

Un moment s’il vous plait

Bristol Temple Meads: 10.40am, Saturday May 24th 2014.

The beginning of a day in costume for a soon to be wed stag and his herd. No doubt there were some sore heads 24 hours later. Maybe he is now Mrs Someone’s husband. Wherever you are Monsieur I wish you a long and happy marriage.

Les hommes

A spilt second story for The Daily Post. Join in here,

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/split-second-story/

Work of Art

nature's artwork

Nature’s fair canvas coloured by skilful brush

each billowing cloud unique and fleeting in form hue and shade

each curve and sweep of landscape carved by mystical sculptor

each line of tree planted by a master hand

each blade of myriad green springs forth to reach its zenith

burns dry in heat of summer desiccates

lies  waiting for  the cycle of rebirth

each swell of tide turns ocean brown blue

turquoise and broken by white horses

what greater work of art could this gypsy capture

than nature’s dynamic masterpiece

Michelle W chose the theme for this weeks photo challenge over at the Daily Post, Work of Art. Join in here, http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/work-of-art/

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Blackbury bluebells

Last weekend I went to Blackbury Camp, an iron age hill fort in East Devon. Iron age puts it between 800 BC and 100 AD, and Blackbury is one of several similar in the south of England. The hill fort is around 200 by 300 metres and roughly oval and has ramparts constructed from flint and clay. It has stunning views over the surrounding woodland and pastures, and is now looked after by English Heritage.

I’ve been before but this time was really special, here’s why!

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It’s bluebell time, and this little place has the most perfect bluebell wood I’ve ever seen! Come and join me for a stroll.

I hope you enjoyed the view, I was overwhelmed by it’s beauty.

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Most fragrant treasure

carpets a wood nymph’s haven

relentlessly blue

 

 

The Lively Lady on the pebbles

Beer Beach

The craft fair season has begun and today I’ve been to a regular venue at Beer, in east Devon. It was a glorious spring day with a cool breeze coming off the sea, and lovely for  a stroll.

On the way to the beach
On the way to the beach

 

The Lively Lady on the pebbles
The Lively Lady on the pebbles

 

Looking east along the beach
Looking east along the beach
Beach huts waiting for summer
Beach huts waiting for summer
Time for a sit down
Time for a sit down
Lobster pots
Lobster pots
The fish shop on the beach is as fresh as you can get
The fish shop on the beach is as fresh as you can get

Plants will always strive to grow in the most unlikely places, including high up on the cliff face at Beer, the bright yellow and purple ones are wild wallflower. I think the more delicate yellow are a type of wild cabbage and the paler mauve are a mallow variety.

The beach at Beer is very special, unspoilt and traditional,  with ice cream and crab sandwiches, pebbles and driftwood and the opportunity to try your hand at mackerel fishing.

If ever you’re in Devon, pay Beer a visit, try a crab sandwich and then perhaps a  walk on the coast path to build up an appetite for cream tea!