Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Shopping for Thematic Photography

I have to declare that my heart sank when I saw this theme. Over the years I've worked hard at avoiding shopping,  with some measure of success. I thought I had used up all my photos, deliberately taken, of shops in my recent post Sepia Saturday takes the biscuit.

However I managed to find a few.
Stocks Hill, Ketton
If you look closely you will see a flower shop. Ketton is the Rutland village in which I was born in a house less than 100 yards away from this shop. Then it was a grocer's run by Mr Hall. It was here during WWII that I bought a gobstopper a day with pennies left for me by my brother Arthur when he went off to war.

I've mentioned several times before that I worked in Norway for a number of years. So I can add some 'shopping' pictures from Stavanger.
Stavanger - Torget - SS Norway visit
Torget means the square and this is the place where the market is held and just the place to go for fish. Away from the square there are busy shopping streets like the one below and whose name escapes me now.
Stavanger shopping street
I also caught Torget at a busy time.
Torget on Market Day
Now I live in a village in North Yorkshire a few miles outside Yarm where the High Street was once voted the Best in Britain.
Yarm - Georgian High Street
Yarm High Street on Gala Day
(Taken from a window in the Town Hall)

For more on the dreaded  theme 'shopaholics' should visit Carmi at Thematic Photographic 160

Monday, 29 August 2011

Chilling Corfe Castle

A headless white lady wandering in the ruins chills the blood of those who encounter her at Corfe Castle, Wareham in Dorset.

Corfe Castle
 (by Robert Goulden - Geograph Project Collection - CC A-S A 2.0 license)

Is she the spirit of the young woman who betrayed the Castle to Cromwell’s Parliamentary troops during the Civil War?

The castle dates back to the 11th Century although some form of stronghold predated the Norman Conquest. The reference to Wareham Castle in the Domesday Book is thought to refer to Corfe rather than the Wareham timber castle. William the Conqueror himself may have been the responsible for it being built.

Towers, halls and walls were added during the reigns of Henry I, King John and Henry II. In 1210 Maud de Braose and her eldest son William were walled alive in the castle dungeon where they starved to death. Eleanor the "Fair Maid of Brittany" the rightful heir to the throne was captured in 1203 and taken to Corfe Castle where she remained a prisoner until her death in 1241.

The castle remained a royal fortress until sold by Elizabeth I to her Lord Chancellor. In 1635 the castle was bought by Lord Bankes, Attorney General to Charles I. During the Civil War while Bankes was away the castle was besieged twice by the Parliamentarian forces. The Parliamentarians withdrew after the first six week siege. The second siege lasted two months until it was betrayed by one of Lady Bankes’ (“Brave Dame Mary”) own garrison.

After its capture the castle was undermined and blown up to ensure that nothing remained– it could never be used again as a royalist stronghold.

Subsequently there has been talk of ghostly encounters, flickering lights on the ramparts at night and the noise of a child sobbing in a cottage abutting the grassy knoll on which the castle stands. The most enduring spectre remains the castle’s headless white lady – was it she who betrayed Brave Dame Mary in those Civil War days?

Corfe Castle
 (By Robert Brook - CC Attribution 2,0 generic license)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Minerals _ Sunday Stamps

I tried to match Viridain this week but thought I'd drawn a blank until I found these two stamps.

Coal Mining
Thomas Hepburn (c1795 - 1864) was an English miner and trade union leader.

Coal Mine
This was one of a series of energy related stamps.

I thought I could claim these as minerals under the title black gold.

For more stamps explore Sunday Stamps 33

Friday, 26 August 2011

Sepia Saturday Takes The Biscuit

I thought it would be a piece of cake to meet the theme this week. Then I found I had no photos of corner shops nor could I find any from years ago on the web. I had to settle for this in the end.

Jewelry - Corner Shop
Next I searched for aprons, registered milk vendors and even Mothers Choice (that was a mistake.) Finally I latched on to the Biscuits sold in Alan’s shop and found something much closer to home.

Wright's Biscuits in South Shields
 (Turners Photographic of Newcastle)
 By TWAM - Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums@Flickr Commons
Wright’s Biscuits was a well known company in South Shields. Set up as a maker of biscuits, they started out by supplying ships in 1790. After a fall in demand, Wright's turned to making more up-market biscuits. The factory closed in 1973.

There is a shop in the corner of Preston Hall's Victorian Museum which I have shown before.

John Walker's Chemist Shop - Preston Hall Museum
 John Walker was the inventor of the first safety match. Other shops in the Victorian street include this one next to Walker's.
Shop - established 1783
The only 'modern' shop among my photos is one from St Mawgan in Cornwall - Roger, the owner, makes an excellent marmalade.
St Mawgan Village Store & Post Office
 Don't forget to visit other shops at Sepia Saturday 89

If you want a prize for this I suggest you take a biscuit - but what's on offer is this:

Dog biscuit
(By Five Rings - Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported license)

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Vibrant Nature - Thematic Photography

This is the second week in a row that I have set out to take photos to match the theme. At this time in the summer there is a lot of vibrancy to be seen in nature. Here are some things that caught my eye within three miles of my home.

The air was full of house martins and swallows and it seems that they are practicing for the departure for the warmth of Africa.

Swallows/House Martins on telelephone wires
Above them stretch high voltage power lines; how they miss them in flight remains a mystery to me.

The haws and sloes light up the hedgerows wherever you look.

Haws on a hawthorn hedge
If nothing else a bottle of sloe gin should ensure you feel vibrant.

Farmyard Cow
She certainly was making her feelings known and no - she hasn't swallowed the fence.

Lesser Burdock
The burdock in a roadside verge has picked a spot where its burrs will get picked up by man or beast and deposited elsewhere for next year's vibrant plant.

Common Knapweed
Here the knapweed has atrracted a hoverfly and a battered Meadow Brown butterfly. Below an even more battered Comma.

Comma on knapweed
But there is now danger of mistaking this vibrant butterfly.

Peacock butterfly
This one however as had a rough time somewhere even if his colours are not dimmed.

Peacock with damaged wings
This intruder from abroad has taken over whole swathes of hedgerows with a mass of vibrant shades of pink.

Indian Balsam
This yellow flower may have a common name but farmers are meant to destroy it on their fields as it poisons cattle. It thrives however in hedgerows and on uncultivated land. Bees and hoverflys love it and help to maitain its vibrancy.

Coming full circle on my tour it's back to the vibrant power of the sun and that created by man.

Power Pylon
But let's not forget the energy stored in the crops beneath the high voltage power lines.

Wheat field
For further injections of vibrancy don't forget to visit Carmi's Thematic Photographic 159

Monday, 22 August 2011

Blog Campaign

Rachael Harrie's Third Writers' Platform starts today and for my sins I've signed up. The Campaign  links peoples in the writing community. and runs from today 22 August to 31st October,/

Dates for Campaigner Challenges have been set for 5 and 22 September, and 11 October. The list to sign up closes on 31 August so make sure you join before then.

Check out Rachael's Third Writers Platform  to learn more.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

All Shapes and Sizes - Sunday Stamps

As a boy I was fascinated by stamps of different shape to the square of rectangular ones in use at the time. Great Britain stamps seem to have remained conventional except for these two which I had fogotten were in my collection.

Great Britain
If you don't fancy doing Darwin's jigsaw you could always relax with a pear. We often eat kiwi fruits but the bird from New Zealand is a different shape.

New Zealand Kiwi
A number of countries have diamond shaped stamps like this from Angola:

I included a Mongolian stamp when I posted Olympic stamps earlier; they seem to favour the diamond shape.

You will see that a triangular bird stamp was also included along with the Olympic stamp. I showed a set of triangular stamps from the Camerouns before when the topic was flowers so I won't repeat them here.

Perhaps those of you in the USA can tell me what these heart shaped stamps were for.
The stamps that caught my eye as a boy all came from Hungary; it took me ages to find out what Magyar Posta meant.

Scanning and and cropping these stamps has been an interesting exercise but for more entertaining stamps ckeck out Viridian's Sunday Stamps 32

Thursday, 18 August 2011

I Can't See The Wood For The Trees - Sepia Saturday

"Off all the trees that grow so fair,
Old England to adorn,
Greater are none beneath the Sun
Than Oak, and Ash, and Thorn."

(from A Tree Song by Rudyard Kipling: full poem/song at Kipling)

Trees must be a favourite topic for me because this is my second post with the same title (See Thematic Photography). I make no excuse for repeating the picture of a tree that caught my eye on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly. Our children treated my wife and I to a holiday there for our golden wedding anniversary in 2008.

Tresco Tree
What few trees there are on Tresco tend to be stunted by the wind, but not those in Tresco Abbey Gardens where you can find specimens from all over the world.

Trees in Tresco Abbey Gardens
All five of us stayed at the Tresco Island Hotel where I managed to get another shot when trees were not on my mind.

Block House Point from Old Grimsby

The next land to the west of the Scillies is North America. That gives me an excuse to finish with a shot of Sam. my daughter's late dog, out in the woods and the snow.

Sam in the winter woods
Robert Frost had an approriate name for a for his poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening which ends:

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Before you sleep take a look at other trees at Sepia Saturday

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Glassy Eyed - Thematic Photography

I mentioned in earlier posts that I lived and worked in Norway for 10 years.The last project I was involved with was for Norske Shell in Tanager during the planning stage for the Troll 'A' Project. I left reluctantly when beaten by the Norwegian Tax Man!

My parting gift from Shell has become my favourite troll. He fits this week's glass theme.

I travelled backward to England every third weekend during my time in Norway. During that time I bought a number of Hadeland glass animal ornaments. It was my intention to show you a series of pictures of them. However glass, light and reflections meant I ws not very successful in photographing them.

Hadeland Glass Animals
By this time I was feeling rather blue.

Blue mood

My mind cleared a little and so did the bottles.

Blue Bottles
On reflection I decided I did not mind the shadows here and that I would try to swim with my dolpin one more time.

Hadeland Dolphin
But even he was in a reflective mood. It was enough to drive me to drink.

Not that this did me much good as even the decanters were empty.

You will just have to console yourself with other glasses on offer at Carmi's Thematic Photographic 158 Made of Glass.