“They told of dripping stone walls in uninhabited castles and of ivy-clad monastery ruins by moonlight, of locked inner rooms and secret dungeons, dank charnel houses and overgrown graveyards, of footsteps creaking upon staircases and fingers tapping at casements, of howlings and shriekings, groanings and scuttlings and the clanking of chains, of hooded monks and headless horseman, swirling mists and sudden winds, insubstantial specters and sheeted creatures, vampires and bloodhounds, bats and rats and spiders, of men found at dawn and women turned white-haired and raving lunatic, and of vanished corpses and curses upon heirs.”Susan Hill.
“The thing about football
the important thing
about football – is that
it is not just about football.” Terry Pratchett.
A hot Sunday afternoon in September saw a resounding 5-2 win to home team Brighton. Controversial VAR aside, it was uplifting to see old and young, singles and couples and loads of families all united in enjoying the beautiful game.
A steaming hot day in London was the order of the day yesterday. we kicked it off with street food in Camden Market, followed by a walk up the Regents canal- a bohemian, arty area in parts that was fascinating to walk.
The start of the canal walk is right by the market, over the bridge. The path along the Grand Union Canal takes you along the northern edge of Regent’s Park, right through London Zoo, where the wild dogs and bird cages line the walk for a short way.
The canal opens out into the Grand Union Canal in Little Venice.
So how did Little Venice get it’s name. Two theories abound. One is that when Robert Browning’s wife, Elizabeth Barrett
Browning, died in 1861, he returned from Italy and moved to Warwick Crescent. Local history has it that Browning referred to
this area as “little Venice’. Another theory has it that Lord Byron
named it as a joke – no one knows for sure. Victorian writer Anne Thackeray Ritchie, a friend
of Browning’s described the canal as
“touched by some indefinite romance, cool and deep’. I certainly like to believe so. Although I wouldn’t want to walk there after dark. A bit spooky and unsettling.
While we were in the area we took a quick glance at Warwick Avenue…
Also Lords Cricket Ground.
There’s a breathless hush in the close to-night Ten to make and the match to win A bumping pitch and a blinding light, An hour to play, and the last man in. And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat. Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame, But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote “Play up! Play up! And play the game!”
Sir Henry Newbolt
We said a brief ‘hello’ to Eros- the Greek god of erotic love-in Piccadilly Square.
Had a drink in The Nags Head in Covent Garden .
And finished the evening off at Kinky Boots the concert, showing at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Last train home saw us getting back to the South Coast at 2am, tired but having had a great day in, in my opinion, the greatest city in the world .
“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.”
Charlie Chaplin (1888- 1977)
A short stop in Waterville today. A small town on the Wild Atlantic Way, Western Ireland where Charlie Chaplin, English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film, liked to holiday.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.– H.Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You
Which is why I travel at any opportunity. I don’t want to regret not seeing somewhere 🧭.?
“One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and – pop! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”
Aptly spotted on my Sunday morning run 🐛 .
‘…Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’
William Shakespeare (from Henry V)
Happy St. George’s Day 🏴
“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.”
– Paul Theroux
“Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life”
John Paul Friedrich Richter.
There has been nothing roaring about 2020, but music has been a lot of people’s moonlight in these dark times.
And on that note here is a little bit more from the Funky Blue gig at the Grove Theatre, Eastbourne last month (October 2020).
‘Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore’
Even the humble shores of Newhaven in East Sussex. Newhaven ferry port overlooks the English Channel, one of the busiest shipping channels in the world. It is located on the south coast of England in the county of Sussex at the mouth of the river Ouse. It is the closest port to London with Ferry links to France, and is ideally placed between the seaside resorts of Brighton and Eastbourne with quick and easy access to the rest of the UK.
On my way to work I pass this ferry. The pull to hop on and cross the channel is always there!
How many kinds of sweet flowers grow
In an English country garden?
We’ll tell you now of some that we know
Those we miss you’ll surely pardon
Daffodils, heart’s ease and flox
Meadowsweet and lady smocks
Gentain, lupine and tall hollihocks
Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, blue forget-me-nots
In an English country garden…
English Country Garden Song by Jimmie Rodgers
‘Early in the morning men prepare their souls and their equipment for the forthcoming battle. Sounds of stone on blades and murmured Latin prayers are soon drowned out by the din of the drums calling the men to muster.’
On the 22nd August 1485 Henry Tudor brought a small rebel army to face the much larger Royal army of King Richard III.
The Battle of Bosworth heralded the dawn of the Tudor Age. England would never be the same again. The Church of England was founded and the British Empire was born.
‘Why, our battalion trebles that account:
Besides, the king’s name is a tower of strength,
Which they upon the adverse party want.
Up with my tent there! Valiant gentlemen,
Let us survey the vantage of the field
Call for some men of sound direction
Let’s want no discipline, make no delay,
For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day.
William Shakespeare. Richard III Act V, Scene 3 Bosworth Field.
Brushed up on my Battle of Bosworth today at: https://www.bosworthbattlefield.org.uk/
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.