Sunday, 23 February 2014

A break in the clouds

A weekend day with no rain? Unheard of!

Quick let's go to the seaside and enjoy the sun...

Beautiful blue sea and sky at Weymouth

Even a miniature ruined castle. Built in 1541 most has been lost to coastal erosion.   It was designed specifically as part of the king's network of coastal defences to protect against both French and Spanish attacks.

After 1664 it  was  considered to be of no military importance and was struck from the military register. The castle dungeons were even used as a mint for striking coinage at one time.

 The weather had been so bad that most of the boats seem to be tucked up for the winter still. Many of the harbourside houses have sandbags heaped up against their doors to keep the high tides they've had recently where they belong.

Chesil Bank . One of three main shingle features in the UK, this is a barrier beach. Although the ridge is 48ft above mean high tide, the recent weather saw waves breaking over it and the JCBs are busy putting the shingle back where it belongs.

This seems appropriate given the Winter Olympics going on at the moment. Weymouth hosted the sailing events for the London 2012 event.

One final shot  - sunset over Portland Bill. No time to really wander around here so a return trip will have to be planned.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Given Up but Going for Gold anyway

No not blogging! But trying to go walking in this weather. Spent a very nice afternoon in Bath though listening to Prof. Hutton give a talk on the Ancient Mysteries. Much better than trying to tramp through the mud at the moment.

These are a few pictures from the new Dvizes Museum's Stonehenge exhibition showing the treasures excavated around the monument.

It's a new £750K state of the art gallery which means lots of space around the artifacts and lots of pretty graphics. Personally I prefer the older style displays with more content than style but then I'm a bit of a luddite I guess.

Still on with the pictures:

Firstly a reconstruction of the Bush Barrow burial

Many of the artifacts on display were found here including the two gold lozenges. A very high status burial indeed.

This large lozenge was found on his breast

And the small one to his side. It is somewhat overpowered by the display!

Another small gold disc. This is a gold fitting for a dagger sheath.

Some gold jewellery as well  - a gold cylindrical bead bracelet or necklace

Finally more body adornments- these were labelled as belonging to the Shamen.

It was lovely to be able to see some of the finds from Stonehenge and the surrounding area and fitting that they are now displayed at Devizes rather than in a remote museum in London.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Imbolc? Candlemas? even Groundhog Day...

Getting tired of all this rain.

Thankfully I don't live on the Somerset Moors ( the Levels) but even up high the rain is endless, the ground sodden and the grey depressing. It hasn't even been terribly cold so it doesn't feel like winter has even begun let alone started to give way to spring.

Unusually there was a bit of blue sky today but no one felt like going far. More storms are forecast and it is only a temporary respite.

So we headed out to Stoney Littleton barrow again with the plan of walking a bit in the general area.

 Some definite signs that things are starting to grow. But then again they haven't really stopped. There is still flowers and ripening fruit on the alpine strawberry in my front garden. It really shouldn't be doing that until early summer...

An absolute torrent rushing through the stream which is far higher than usual.

The barrow  - I've photographed this many times before and really my heart wasn't in it today. Still it looks pretty.

There was someone just inside communing with the ancestors so we didn't want to disturb him by lingering long.

Walking on  it was muddy. Really really muddy. Even with proper boots and gaiters it wasn't pleasant and wellingtons would have been better.

We did persevere for a while but faced with this and a long stretch that was actually flooded we gave up and retraced our footsteps back to the car.

I opted out of the boot cleaning that was subsequently required. Well it wasn't my choice of venue so it wasn't my fault the boots got so filthy was it!!

A nice afternoon spent watching the rugby instead especially as Wales won yesterday so no need to fret about the score. That may change through as the competition progresses...
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