Hobo was a street cat who adopted my son one day when she walked in off the street and took up residence in his house. She was well known among the locals, and every day while he was at work she would walk about, visiting and greeting old friends along the way.
A few years ago my visit to family in the UK coincided with an ‘Art In The Window’ event, where retailers, restaurants and individuals showcased artwork in shop windows and even the front window of their homes. My son and his partner, both talented artists, had joined in the fun.
The town became an open air art gallery, and it became impossible to “quickly pop out to the shops” – on any journey outdoors I found myself distracted and delayed as the various and varied displays along the way caught my eye.
One morning I was sitting in my son’s front room when I heard a commotion outside on the street. There was lots of ooing and aahing and laughing and a small crowd had gathered in front of his house.
I snuck outside to join them and to try to eavesdrop on what they were saying about the art.
As well as the art on display, they were also looking at this little poser, and wondering how much she was selling for.
Kilmartin Glen is a small village in Scotland somewhere between Oban and Lochgilphead. The Glen is home to more than 800 ancient monuments within a few square miles, and is said to have one of the richest concentrations of historical sites in Scotland.
Starting between the 7th and 8th century candidates for King would place their foot on the sacred Dunadd’s Inaugural Stone, signifying he was now married to the land.
Last summer I was fortunate enough to visit this area with my family, all of us in one way or another tracing our Scottish roots.
Nether Largie South Cairn is the oldest of the series of cairns found in the valley, probably dating back to the fourth millennium BC. It’s incredible to think that structures such as these still remain standing after so much time.
The small entrance to one of the cists, or coffins, found at Nether Largie South Cairn. Was a King buried here?
Along the lane from the South Cairn to Temple Wood, even the stone walls are ancient.
Temple Wood – or Half-Moon Wood – was so named only in the 19th century, after the planting of the trees around the circle. It is thought that the site was first used for burial around 3000BC
No-one is really sure of the significance of the Nether Largie standing stones, but it has been suggested they were erected 3,200 years ago and used to predict the movements of the sun and the moon.
Reaching back in time
Even a year later, looking back on these pictures I am left feeling nostalgic for a time and place I have never really known.
In an effort to motivate myself to contribute more to this blog I have decided to do a make-over. You may have noticed the name change, from Far Out in Africa to the more appropriate and less restricting (at least I think so) I’ll Give You a Letter For That.
For now not much else will change, but I think the non-Africa posts will seem less irrelevant.
Let me know what you think.
I know the title says A photo a week, but I’m terrible at making decisions.
So I’ve included a number of pictures that ‘may’ fit with the theme, which I took during a visit to the UK to visit family last year.
If you want to play along please visit Nancy Merril‘s post, where you can read the rules and hopefully join in the fun.
This week I have chosen a few of the pictures I took in Manchester’s Northern Quarter a few months back for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. Anyone can take part in this challenge – the rules are listed on her page.
This week’s topic is Numbers and Letters. You need at least one number and one letter displayed your photo.
My last post was a collection of some of my favourite photos which I took on a recent visit to Ainsdale Beach, which is in Merseyside, close to Southport in the Northwest UK.
In that post I mentioned that Ainsdale was one of the places my Dad, Peter Taylor, most liked to visit when he was a child growing up in Manchester and today I am delighted to have him here with me reminiscing about those days.
Peter Taylor – “I’ve always been interested in herpetology and the attraction of Ainsdale is that it is the home of Britain’s rarest toad, the natterjack, and rarest lizard, the sand lizard, both of which have a specialised habitat requirement – sand dunes.
As a child, our annual holidays would be at Gronant, a small coastal village in Flintshire, North Wales. Gronant had, in those days, extensive sand dunes (which I believe now no longer exist) where natterjack toads and sand lizards thrived. Gronant was a train journey of several hours from Manchester, whereas with Ainsdale, during the long summer days, I could cycle there and back in a day, with several hours to spare in which I could play around and so was able to visit with ease.
Ainsdale had, and still has, extensive sand dunes which are now protected but weren’t in my early days, and there was a healthy population of natterjacks and sand lizards.
This way to the natterjacks!
I used to catch natterjacks and take them home to Manchester, a practise that is now thankfully illegal!
There were natterjack tadpoles in this pond
Natterjacks are the most vocal of the British amphibia and some people complain about their nocturnal mating calls!
The red squirrels didn’t interest me all that much, mainly because in those days they were still relatively common and not considered threatened. The red squirrels now exist in the wooded area to the south of the reserve near Formby.
Formby Squirrel Reserve
There were no motor ways in those days and far less traffic than is the case now. For most of the way I would cycle along the East Lancs Road which had a cycle lane making it pretty safe and I always went with a friend.”
I’ve recently been on a trip to the UK to visit my family. Now that I am back home I’m pretty busy with boring stuff like catching up with work I missed and don’t have much time for blogging. I am posting this in haste while the Daily Post Photo Challenge: On The Way is still current. This post is also my entry into this week’s Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge.
I took these photos over the Bank Holiday weekend a couple of weeks ago. First Born and his wife had recently moved over to the UK from South Africa and they wanted to do some exploring, Archie (Last Born’s hyperactive dog) needed an outing and my Dad wanted to show us one of his old childhood haunts – as a child he would cycle from his home in Manchester to Ainsdale Beach – so we all piled into the vehicles and drove to the seaside. An hour or so into the journey someone shouted “there’s an elephant!” Wishful thinking I thought but sure enough, there wasan elephant deep in the wilds of Merseyside! As tempting as it was to turn off to have a look, we continued with our original plan. Hopefully soon I will be up to date with my work and will have time for the more important stuff in life, like getting back in touch with the World of Blog. Until then, Happy Thursday.
I’m sure many of you are sick of the sight of it but I’ve not had many opportunities to see snow (to be precise, twice) so when it snowed on Boxing Day while I was visiting my family in the UK I was delighted. That the snowfall coincided with First Born’s first night in the UK – and his first ever experience of snow – made it all the more exciting.
As the first flakes fluttered down we all rushed outside, immediately built a snowman and then gathered as much snow as we could to throw puny snowballs at each other. Our laughter and screams of hilarity drew confused neighbours to their kitchen window and we laughed even more when we heard one of them comment “Oh, it’s OK. They’re foreign”.
It’s not much to look at, but it’s Ours!
The following morning my Dad took us all for a long walk around Shire Hill. I love the crunchy noise the snow makes when you walk on it!
The snow had hardened by then but that didn’t make the views any less spectacular.
Looking down on Glossop from Shire Hill
More snow was flung around.
And again the neighbours came to have a look.
What’s with these foreigners flinging snow all over the place?
Half way up the hill we found this poignant memorial and we stood still for a moment, the only sounds coming from the wind whistling through the trees and the occasional plaintive bleat from the sheep.
Come and sit for a while, and remember me
We all felt a little sobered, so it was a great relief to the eyes to see a small splash of colour among the white to cheer us up. First Born’s reaction was delightful – “But that’s so English!”.
To participate in the Ragtag Daily Prompt, create a Pingback to your post, or copy and paste the link to your post into the comments. And while you’re there, why not check out some of the other posts too!
Do you want to beat the bite of mosquitoes? This is a summary of research projects and publications dealing with mosquitoes, mosquito-borne disease, insect repellents, urban wetlands and urban ecology (as well as other Medical Entomology activities) by Dr Cameron Webb (University of Sydney & NSW Health Pathology)