Parke, HQ of the Dartmoor National Park –  15 November 2022

Parke, HQ of the Dartmoor National Park – 15 November 2022

The appropriately named Parke Estate near Bovey Tracey is now owned by the National Trust, and the grand old house is now the headquarters for the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA).

The estate also hosts the weekly ParkRun where Mrs C and I, along with a hundred or so other brave or foolhardy folks, run a 5K route every Saturday.

While running this uneven track up hill and down dale, I’m usually too preoccupied with the mud, stones and bits of stick on the ground to take in much of the natural beauty, but the other day, we took Lottie for a leisurely stroll, and I got to appreciate the landscape. Just after we arrived, the rain stopped, the sun came out, and a double rainbow appeared.

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Retro Motors, November 2022

Retro Motors, November 2022

Classic Cars

I always like it when I stumble on something serendipitously, and this trip to Newton Abbot was one such occasion. Mrs C and I had no idea that a classic car rally was being held in town, so it was lovely to find these gleaming cars on display.

I often hanker after cars such as these, but I know that the owners spend a great deal of time and money on keeping their vehicles in showroom condition, and I haven’t the time or the expertise.

Long-time followers of my photos might remember that exactly the same thing happened a few years ago, though I think the photos were posted on a different site. If you’ve been around long enough to remember that, thank you very much!

I hope you enjoy the photos. I’m afraid I didn’t note down the makes and models of the cars, although some of the manufacturers will be obvious in the photos.

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The Season of Swirling Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness, October 2022

The Season of Swirling Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness, October 2022

Autumn in Devon

The earth turns, the seasons roll around, and so we head into autumn once again.

A good, crisp, clear autumn day, with the leaves turning golden, the air still sweet with the memories of summer, a juicy blackberry plucked from the hedgerow, and the promise of a hot drink when we get home, make for a joyous experience.

There I go, waxing poetical, but there’s something about autumn that brings out those wistful emotions. I think it must be something to do with saying farewell to the summer and preparing for the winter. There’s a theory that our ancestors revered shorelines along the edge of lakes or the sea, because these were places of change, the solid land giving way to shifting water. They were ‘between places’, perhaps symbolising change and impermanence, so people dropped valuable items into the water as offerings.

I wonder if our ancestors also revered the ‘between times’ of autumn and spring, the cycle of darkness and light, cold and warmth. Make an offering to autumn, perhaps with a great bonfire, and the spirits will help you to get through the winter. It’s interesting to wonder how much of the ancient ways have been passed on down the centuries. We now know that behaviours can be stored in our DNA. Are we so different from our ancestors?

It’s something to ponder as I spend the evenings by a crackling fire, especially if I can get my hands on an apple pie or an apple and blackberry crumble. Delicious.

Now I’m hungry, and I’d better go and walk Lottie before it gets dark.

I hope you like the photos.

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The City of Bath – 28 Sep, 2022

The City of Bath – 28 Sep, 2022

The City of Bath – Ancient and Modern

Mrs C and I took a break to visit the city of Bath, and we enjoyed it immensely. I’d been once before, and I knew there were many historical treasures in the place, but I hadn’t realised the modern city was so vibrant and busy. Living in such a small and quiet village, we find it quite a novelty to have a choice of restaurants and entertainment venues on our doorstep.

I took lots of photos, and I hope you enjoy this selection. As always, you can see the full set and leave a comment when you sign in. Registration is free.

We began with the Jane Austen Centre: a small museum where you’re shown around by a character in full costume. There’s a chance to dress up for a photo, so we gave it a go.

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Cooling off down by the lake 14 Sep, 2022

Cooling off down by the lake 14 Sep, 2022

Cooling off during the recent heatwave.

We’ve had some unprecedented temperatures in the UK recently, and that’s not great for dogs, especially black dogs of a certain vintage, so Sue and I took Lottie up to a nearby reservoir to cool off.

We took a picnic rug and just sat in the shade of the leafy bank, looking out at the water. It was a lovely thing to do. I don’t know about you, but I rarely just sit down and do nothing, not for long anyway, and this experience reminded me of the joy of just chilling out whilst surrounded by nature.

Lottie enjoyed it too.

If you’re interested, this is Tottiford reservoir, and I hope you like the photos.

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Palm trees and a profusion of colour in the Eden Project 1 Sep, 2022

Palm trees and a profusion of colour in the Eden Project 1 Sep, 2022

A recent trip to the Eden project in Cornwall.

I’ve been to the Eden project several times over the years, and I always enjoy strolling through the biomes: domes contrived to replicate particular habitats. The tropical biome is always a favourite of mine. It can be slightly arduous to trek around the place because it is kept warm and humid, but on this occasion the UK was having a heatwave, so it really wasn’t all that different to the temperature outside.

There’s also a mediterranean biome, complete with grapevines and orange trees, and that’s a more relaxing place to wander around.

At one time, many years ago, I started a degree in plant biology, so I’ve long been been interested in the natural world. I didn’t finish that degree, but I’m still fascinated by the diversity of life on our precious planet. To see such a profusion of colour and greenery is an uplifting experience, but it’s also a poignant reminder of the habitats we are losing every day. I was learning about such things on my degree course back in 1983, so the climate crisis is not by any means a new phenomenon.

I won’t climb on my soap box. I’m sure many of you value the natural world too, and in that spirit, I hope you enjoy the pictures.

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