Tag Archives: travel

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A Garden by the River Dart

My last post from Greenway focuses on the garden. A lovely relaxing place, like most gardens it’s at it’s best in high summer but still plenty to see in April. Views of the river Dart are ever present and often make you stop and draw breathe.

Here are a few photos, click for a larger view and enjoy!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top

Sara Rosso at the Daily Post says that ‘On top can be a feeling, a perspective, or a physical location’ and asks us to share photos that express On Top this week for the photo challenge.

My photos were taken On Top in Bikaner, Rajasthan,

from the roof of a temple.

This is a photo that I’ve posted before. O don’t what it is about it but it’s one of my all time favourite photos, so I’m sharing it again. It’s the same place as the gallery facing a different direction.

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Join in at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/on-top/

Agatha Christie, an American Connection

The volunteers at National Trust properties are a mine of information and very friendly. When I went into the library at Greenway I was immediately struck by a frieze/mural high on the walls, so I listened and joined in with another visitor asking the volunteer about it. Apparently the house was requisitioned by the army in WW2 and the painting was done by an American soldier.

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The mirror also has a tale behind it. There was a painting on the wall where it now hangs, of Churchill and Roosevelt together. When the war was over and the family were able to reclaim their home, they found the continuous gaze of the pair somewhat oppressive and painted over it!

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I’m sure the mural has been restored over the years, but I’d love to know who the soldier was and if he’s still around. Any ideas from my lovely American readers about how to find out?

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Cotehele, in the details

Anyone who has been following my blog for while will know that I love to look at the small details of a place or subject, especially when I visit a historic house. Last weekend at Cotehele was a real feast for my eye, so I thought I would share with you. I hope you enjoy this little gallery, click for a larger view and let me know which is your favourite!

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Looking Through the Squint

I’ve had a really lovely weekend, full of creativity and sunshine. Yesterday I went to a National Trust property just over the border in Kernow – Cornwall. They say that Cotehele probably originated around 1300 but most of the building took place in the late 15th century. I’ll post some more photos later but meanwhile here’s a little squint. A squint is a small peephole built into a wall, so that that owner could look down on other rooms to check what people were up to, they were often added in mediaeval times. At Cotehele this on looks down on the Great Hall.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

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‘A place reveals itself on its streets, from pedestrians strolling during lunch time, to performers entertaining tourists on sidewalks, to the bustle of local markets, and more. Whether you’re shoveling snow from your own driveway or walking a familiar route to work or getting lost in a foreign city, a snapshot of a street (or road or path) can tell a tale.’ So says Cheri Lucas Rowlands over at the Daily Post.

I’ve chosen street life from four different countries, each with many tales to tell.

The first is my own city, Exeter, in England.

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Fiumefredo in Sicily.

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Okohia, my ancestral village in Nigeria

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The last one is in New Delhi.

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Click for a bigger view and join in with the challenge at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/street-life/

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Killerton Spring

The weather forecast got it wrong this morning, so I walked the dogs and then took my camera to Killerton to make the most of the unexpected sunshine. I’ve taken you before, for the Christmas decorations and a fashion exhibition, but this time I wanted to see how the grounds were looking in their spring costumes.

The Magnolia blossom was spectacular

Everywhere you look, flowers both woodland and cultivated

Shrubs and assorted loveliness!

Killerton is a National Trust property a few miles east of Exeter, I hope you enjoyed your spring walk.

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Back on Foot with Elephants

Okay, so this is a post from my early days of blogging but I’m re-posting in response to a weekly writing challenge from Crista. If you knew me back then please ignore!  http://fireflydance.net/2014/01/24/weekly-writing-challenge-worldly-writers/ 

I missed the elephant in the swimming pool by one week – in Mole national park, northern Ghana. It had strolled up the hill for a chlorinated swim by way of a change. But it was okay because I got closer to them than I was comfortable with, in a jeep, with my friend and two rangers. One of these guys was smaller than we were, and I am sure that an angry elephant would have been no more frightened of him, than of one of the baboons that were as populous as sparrows in my garden. The second warden came complete with a safari suit and a rifle. Or maybe a replica rifle. I don’t think I’ve ever been very close to a real gun, but it didn’t look like it could shoot a bullet big enough to even graze the hide of these healthy, well fed  pachyderms. I could only hope that the plan would be to scare them away with a little bang.

We were bullied, no ahem, persuaded into exiting the jeep, which was tied together with string anyway, to take photos of each other with three of the giants in the background.

‘We need to drive around that way, a bit closer’ said small warden without safari suit.

‘Closer, why closer?’ ‘I don’t want to get any closer thanks’. We were perhaps thirty feet away.

‘Please, speak in whispers and if they smell us they may charge, we have to be behind the wind’ he said. Now, I hadn’t felt any wind, it was as hot as well …Africa, as still as a graveyard before a thunderstorm, and my adrenaline was telling me to run back to the jeep pdq. These guys are probably used to re-assuring wussy travellers who like the idea of a gentle stroll, to see some cute wildlife just like Attenborough, but then turn chicken in the end.

‘Don’t you want to show your friends how close you were to elephants?’

No actually I want to throw up but I suppose that would be too noisy.

‘Okay, I guess I probably should do this.’ They led us closer and I snapped the two of them with my friend. Then I realised that I had to turn MY back on them, no more than twenty feet away. Needless to say my face tells all in that photo. I’m glad I did it; I still love elephants – from a distance! IMG_4285

We only stayed in Mole for two nights. It was a brilliant experience, a lot more rugged than a safari I did in Botswana a few years earlier, where the lodge was the height of luxury. In Mole, the water and electricity in our chalet was only on for a couple of hours a day and there were creepy crawly things that I’d rather forget. The atmosphere was great though and the view was about as good as it gets. Just before sunset herds of elephants of all sizes come to bathe in the waterhole down below the veranda. A much more relaxed way to see them!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Michelle at The Daily Post says,

‘In a nutshell, a three-picture story is a way to help you think about storytelling with images. To create a three-picture story, gather:

  1. An establishing shot: a broad photo of your subject.
  2. A relationship: two elements interacting with one another.
  3. A detail: a close-up of one part of your subject.’

It took me a while but I think I’ve got it right, what do you think?

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So this is my broad shot, my subject is there 420 metres high, but furthest away.

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Here, two elements are interacting as I took this shot from the top of my first distant subject.

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This is the close up of my subject, the Kuala Lumpur Tower and it shows the 335 metre high 360 degree pod that I had been inside!

Maybe you will join the challenge, http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/weekly-photo-challenge-threes/