Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch

Happened to drive past Shoreham’s new lifeboat station today; thankfully I had my camera with me, so was able to stop and complete this week’s challenge!

The lifeboat has only been launched once so far this year – on New Year’s Day – when fortunately, the paddle boarder reported to be in distress was found to be safe and well and paddled into shore under his own steam.

The last call-out of 2011 didn’t have quite such a happy ending – sadly this fisherman’s severed hand could not be located and was presumed washed overboard.

Here’s a few more photographs taken around Shoreham’s lifeboat station, which conducts daily visits for anyone wanting to find out more about this vital service.

What would Linus make of Slindon’s Great Pumpkin Patch?

The village of Slindon is just a short stroll away from where I live. OK, the most direct route dices with death across the busy A27 trunk road, but is the quickest route into the National Trust woodland. Safer, although longer, is the route through Fontwell village, taking the underpass to reach the woods.

At the top of the village is the now famous Slindon Pumpkins, where every autumn over 80 varieties of squash and pumpkin form an impressive display for locals and visitors alike, as seen on BBC’s Countryfile on 23 October.

Here’s a few pictures of this year’s display:

And a special mention must go to this interpretative piece of modern art on display from a Year 1 pupil at the local school. Amidst the brightly coloured pumpkin paintings, there was a single piece of yellow-painted A4 paper with the caption, “I couldn’t fit the edges of the pumpkin on the page. I was too close to the pumpkin.” Brilliant.

I will leave you with the lyrics of ‘The Vigil’ from Snoopy: The Musical. On Halloween, Linus, along with a reluctant Snoopy, awaits the arrival of the Great Pumpkin during “The Vigil” in the pumpkin patch.

“One pumpkin patch looks an awful lot like any other…”

Me as Sally Brown with Linus in Snoopy: the Musical in the Theatre Tent at Guilfest'08

 

I wonder what Linus would make of Slindon’s pumpkin patch?

Devil’s Dyke, West Sussex

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The Family made the most of the sunshine last Sunday, driving over to Devil’s Dyke near Brighton, an historic beauty spot on the South Downs Way, that is named after the huge dry valley that carves its way through ridges of rolling chalk grassland.

None of the photographs I took do justice to the depth and scale of the valley. The panorama above, taken from the eastern side, completely conceals the 300 foot deep valley, which according to one of the many stories in local folklore, was dug by the Devil to allow the sea to flood the churches in the Sussex Weald. The digging disturbed an old woman who lit a candle, or angered a rooster causing it to crow (depending on which legend you ‘believe’), making the Devil think that morning was fast approaching. The Devil then fled, leaving his trench unfinished.

Anyway, Children of Mine – my own little Devils – thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon out.

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Especially Daughter of Mine, who delighted in all things yellow (her favourite colour – check out those shoes – and yes, she does like butter), including all 395 of the Cinnabar Moth caterpillars she and her brother counted that were feeding on the yellow ragwort.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Refreshing

I deliberated over this week’s challenge. Mainly because I was hoping to capture a new image to fit this week’s criteria, then I wouldn’t have to apologise to Pseu over at her blog for ‘copying’ her idea (maybe I could thank her instead for the inspiration?).

 

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Anyway, this fountain is at Nymans Gardens, a National Trust property in West Sussex, which the Family visited over Easter. I was pleased with this shot, despite not really knowing how I achieved it. If I could shoot it again then I’d go for accurate symmetry with the background, but hey, I was just pleased I got the water droplets in focus!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Worn

The Family ventured out to Climping beach on a rather blustery Father’s Day for a walk, a spot of metal detecting and some fresh air.

We certainly got the fresh air. The weather was so bad that we spent less than a hour down there, watching the waves crash on the shingle; Son of Mine trying his hardest to get soaked by leaving it until the last minute to run away from them.

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Alas, we didn’t find a treasure trove this time; just dug up a lot of tin foil carelessly discarded by casual picnikers.

There is a car park at the end of the no-through road that leads to the beach, bounded by a concrete sea wall.

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Completely eroded in places, I thought a picture of this fitted the challenge far better than the other option I had in mind.

A self-portrait.

Going nuts?

Somebody has read my blog!  A bit of it anyway.  And made a comment.  Just not on here.  But hey, things are looking up… it may be of interest to some people, someday, somewhere. 

The friend who has “read a bit of it” does seem to get the gist of the lonely goatherd connection, confessing that she started singing in the office.  Except I’m a closet shepherd… not goatherd – I like sheep because they remind me of being on a mountain – but I digress.  As for the comment, it was on Facebook, which then led me to look more closely at her posts as they’ve been linking to her profile on Blipfoto in recent weeks.  She’s taken some fab photographs… viewing these then led me to wonder whether I should document my oh so exciting life on Blipfoto as well on a blog.  I take LOADS of photos, strictly on a “point and click” basis, but some of them come out pretty well, and of course another half-baked idea in the back of my mind is to learn more about photography at some point… 

I take a quick reality check and decide that it would be just one more thing on the giant “to-do” list in my head – I can post the best of my photos on High On a Hill, and not be tied to only posting them on the day of shooting, which I’d never get around to.  Blipfoto seems like a great site though, I’m definitely going to use it for inspiration.  I have enough trouble keeping my Facebook status up-to-date and as for Twitter, well I’ve tried it, but don’t think I’ll become a long-term user – I “talk” too much for 140 characters…

So today’s photo wasn’t taken “today” but yesterday in Hotham Park – it’s amazing how easy two children with handfuls of nuts find it to tempt the pesky squirrels down from the treetops!

Rambling on and on…

Right.  Probably about time I mentioned a hill in my blog.  I got into walking early on my relationship with Husband of Mine*;  in a field of cows on the Isle of Wight; on the South Downs and then in the mountains of Slovenia – in fact, it was Svinjak near Bovec that pretty much cemented things in 1988 (he proposed; I accepted). 

Svinjak from east of Bovec

This was followed a couple of years later by a holiday in the English Lake District, carting the In-Laws of Mine’s* luggage from B&B to B&B while they walked the Coast to Coast walk, in return for the use of their car for the duration of the holiday.  Despite the lousy campsite at Bassenthwaite, I fell in love with Keswick in the North Lakes, and it is here I escape to in the flesh, or in my head – when times are good, or bad, or in-between.  The header at the top of my blog is one of the most photographed shots in the Lakes – Catbells from the shores of Derwentwater – with another favourite family climb, Castle Crag, just visible in the foreground at the end of the lake.  I’m proud to say the photograph is one of mine – I’m no expert, but then to me the mountains never fail to show their best side when I point my camera at them.

The Family – Daughter of Mine* and Son of Mine* – now have to share our love of walking; at the moment it seems quite happily.  Here’s a snap taken last weekend on a walk from Amberley to Arundel – casting our family shadow across the Arun valley.

*The Family of Blood – Doctor Who, Series 3 – share such scary coincidences with my immediate family that I thought these pseudonyms to be appropriate.  The resemblance is most apparent in Son of Mine and Daughter of Mine, who are indeed sometimes “gaseous entities that can control Human bodies” (namely mine – “twist”, “little” and “finger” are words that come to mind).  And The Family are all fans of DW – past, present and future…