Greece – an Aperitif

Introducing what will be a series about my holiday in Greece.

INTRODUCTION

I am just back from a week in Greece, mainly in places without internet connections. I have huge numbers of photos to edit, so to keep things going for the moment I am presenting a selection from across the week, plus the return flight, on which I had a window seat.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS

Lizard I
The first few pictures here are from in and arouns Tseria, where I was staying.

Lizard IICleopatraLizard IIIButterflyButterfly IIHeraldic Double EagleButterfly - folded wingsMule trackButterfly on spiky plant

Map
This map is part of the decor of the shop from which my new Sandals came.

Fish in rockpoolred beetleOrange Butterfly

Me at the gateway to Methoni Castle
My new profile pic – me at the gateway to Methoni Castle.

View at Methoni Castle

The Bourtzi of Methoni
The Bourtzi of Methoni.
The bridge connecting the Bourtzi to the main castle
The bridge linking the main castle and the Bourtzi
The main castle from the Bourtzi
The main castle from the Bourtzi
Heraldic lion, Methoni
A heraldic lion set into the stonework of the outer wall of the castle

Giant green beetle

The Bath of Nestor
The bath of Nestor, Pylos

Yellow butterflyHopping insectNatural Window

House Martin nests
House Martin nests, Agios Nikolaos
Adult House Martin visits one of the nests
An adult House Martin visits one of the nests
Distant view of Karytaina Castle
Karytaina Castle
Waterfall, open-air museum Dimitsana
The next three shots show water power – all taken at the open-air museum of water-power, Dimitsana

Waterfall, DimitsanaWater power, Dimitsana

Karytaina Castle from below I
Two shots of Karytaina Castle from below

Karytaina Castle from below II

Lousios bridges I
The first of four shots of the bridges over the Lousios.

Lousious bridges II

Alfios
The Alfios, the other river guarded by Karytaina

Lousios bridges IIIruins at KarytainaLousios bridges IV

Small castle between Tseria and Kalamata
A tower between Tseria and Kalamata, the last picture taken from ground level to feature in this post.
Major bridge from 37,000 feet up
Even with 37,000 feet of vertical distance between me and it this bridge looked impressive.

Seaside town from the airOverhead shot of a near sea townCoastal land from the airCoastal developmentCoastal Town

Bridge links two landmasses
Another fine bridge (two shots)

bridge closer-upAerial View

Sharing our airspace
This aeroplane was flying at a lesser altitude than the Airbus A320 that I was aboard
Stretch of coastline
A stretch of French coastline.
White cliffs
The approach to Britain – I believe we flew directly over Brighton, if the combination of a large pier and a major cricket ground (Sussex CCC’s HQ if I am correct) is anything to go on.

Homeward Bound

My account of the homeward journey from Fort Picklecombe.

INTRODUCTION

We have reached the penultimate post about my Cornish holiday – the last day. This post details the long journey home.

STARTING OFF

The length of time it took to get from Plymouth to Fort Picklecombe on the Thursday was playing on my mind, and I wanted to be sure that we were away before 9AM, since my train was due to depart Plymouth at 10:44, and I reckoned that a single ticket from Plymouth to London bought on the day (London-Lynn would still have been valid on the original ticket) woulkd probably cost more than my original ticket (in this assessment, to borrow from history, there was the proverbial “cubit of error my way that does not obscure the 99 cubits of error the other way” – actually said ticket would have been fractionally less. Nevertheless, I did get a few lasy pictures before leaving the fort:

Sun on waterthree boatsTwo boats

Heron
A first for me – the first time I have captured a heron on camera.

On the journey into Plymouth I managed to snap two pictures from the back of the camper van:

Water viewBridge, Plymouth

I had some time to kill at Plymouth station and did so by taking photographs…

Platform 7, Plymouth

Gull waiting for train
An avian passenger?

Posters 1Plymouth PosterPenzanceDevon PosterDevon Poster 2Departure Board

PLYMOUTH – LONDON

This train was a service called “The Cornish Riviera”, which starts in Penzance and snails up through Cornwall stopping pretty much everywhere and then makes up time by calling only at Exeter St Davids and Reading between Plymouth and London. Although I had an aisle seat on this journey, and no opportunity to move to the window seat I was not going to be denied at least some photos. I got a good few between Plymouth and Exeter and a handful thereafter…

Across the water from the trainAcross the Water from the train IIBridge from trainThe seaCliffsAcross the water from the train IIIHeadland from the trainTown across the water from trainBoats and buildings through the windowBoats and Buildings from train IIBoats and buildings from train IIIAcross the water from train IVBoat and housesboat and buildingsRed cliffsRed cliff and two big housesStately homeRed cliffs, buildings and treesRed cl.iffs and red houseWaterfront buildingsWaterside viewView through the bridgeAcross the riverLarge churchLarge church IILarge church IIITwo towersSpire through treesSpire II

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Exeter St Davids (two images)

Exeter St DavidsMonument

Chalk Horse
This chalk horse, carved directly out of the hillside, is visible at distance at a time when the train is at full speed.

Chalk Horse II

Reading
Reading station
Royal Oak
Royal Oak – the Hammersmith & City line’s last station west of Paddington. The next station towards Hammersmith, Westbourne Park, used to offer an interchange with mainline railways but nowadays Ealing Braodway is the last mainline station before Paddington. Back in the old days there was a connection – the first locomotives to run over what was then The Metropolitan Railway were supplied by the Great Western, while this extension to Hammersmtih opened in 1864, only one year after the original.

LONDON TO KING’S LYNN

I crossed to the Hammersmith and City line platforms, nos 15 and 16 of the main station, and waited a long time for an eastbound train, then discovering that it was terminating at Edgware Road (very odd indeed for a train from Hammersmith), so I had to change again. I arrived at King’s Cross and was just in time to catch the 14:44 to King’s Lynn, which was not overfull (as the 15:44, the next service, certainly would have been). This means that I was at home and unpacking by 5PM. 

Paddington 1View from the Hammersmith & City line platformsPaddingtonH&C trainCablesTrainEdgware RoadEdgware Road from aboveEdgware Road Plats 1&2

Hammersmith & City line
This picture was the cause of minor quarrel – I was challenged by another passenger as to why I was taking pictures of his friend, and it took my a while to get the point across that I was not, and that it was this map which was my target. His friend’s hat did appear in the uncropped version, but no face was visible, and my only interest was the map. I was perhaps a little harsh as I was fully expecting to miss my intended connection at Kings Cross due to the delays on this leg of the journey.

Great Portland StreetEuston Square

Kings Cross clock
The platform from which the train to King’s Lynn was l.eaving was revealed with a mere eight minutes to spare, and if you going to Lynn you have to go to the front of the train (or else get out and dash along the platform at Cambridge).

Kings Cross arched roofTrains at Kings CrossKing's Cross just before departureJourney PlannerAeroplaneStansted ExpressStansted Express 2

Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral.

 

Uppsala – A Bit More Exploring Before Checking In

The latest installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. This post picks up the story from the end of my visit to the Uppsala University Museum, which I covered here.

CONTINUING MY EXPLORATIONS

On leaving the museum I took a brief walk in one direction, before deciding that it lacked appeal, and on looking for alternatives I found the University Park, and headed that way. Before making that firm decision I had taken these photographs…

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After taking the picture above I entered…

THE UNIVERSITY PARK

The University Park features runestones, a central statue, a view of the main university building (swathed in scaffolding on this occasion) and various other points of interest…

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A runsetone
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The explanation

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If this arrangement of statues with the man on a raised pedestal looking down on the woman at ground level was this close to a UK or US university building there would likely be petitions circulating demanding its replacement on grounds of sexism!
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The building itself
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Close up of the name.
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A close up one of the two pieces of bronze work that flank the name on the university building.
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The cathedral from this vantage point
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zooming in on the clockface
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The crosses at the top of the twin spires, with an aeroplane in the background.

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The statues again

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BACK TOWARDS MY ACCOMMODATION

I continued my explorations a little longer, buying lunch from the Pressbyran in Stora Torget, the main square of the city and taking some more photographs. In Stora Torget I saw some heavy duty evangelising going on, a sound system having been set up to enable these individuals to preach to anyone who passed – the only such incident in over two weeks in Sweden (not a claim one would ever be able to make in the UK).

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The cathedral from below.

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The view from the bridge that gives access to the folk museum.

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The main building in Stora Torget

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Both sides of the map I was given at the tourist information office.
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The Map itself
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The attractions, quite a few of which I got to see.

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MY ACCOMMODATION

I had booked accommodation in a four-bed dorm room at a ridiculously cheap price. The room was windowless, and I my bed was a top bunk, accessed by way of a wooden framework (to call it a ladder would overstate the case). My official review for booking.com can be seen here.

Pictures From The Stockholm Archipelago

The first post about my travels in Sweden, with lots of photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This is the first in what will be a series of posts about Sweden, where I am currently on holiday. If you enjoy this post I recommend that you make Anna’s blog your next port of call.

AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES

Although I have only been in Sweden since Friday night, I already have a huge number of stunning pictures to share. For this first part of my stay I have been in the company of a cousin and his Swedish fiancee Ida. My cousin met me at Stockholm central bus station (Skavsta airport, where my flight landed is too far out of town for him to meet me there, so I got the Flygbussarna into town on Friday night. On Saturday we travelled to an island that has been owned by Ida’s family for some time. This journey entailed a bus to Stavsnas, a boat out to the nearest island reachable by commercial boat, and a walk across said island, on the other side of which we met Ida who rowed us across the sound to the island on which we would be staying. Here are a few pictures from this part of the stay…

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These first couple of pictures were taken through the window of an aeroplane from high above.

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The remainder were taken either from the bus to Stavsnas or the ferry.

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The Island

This Island has no flushing toilets, and save for the main house no running water. It only got electricity in the 1940s. The sea is lovely to swim in, as I can attest from personal experience. We start with the house itself…

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Here some pictures from inside the house…

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I will be looking at more detail at the insect life I have encountered in a future post, but to whet the appetite here is a rare butterfly whose English name is Apollo…

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Now, some general pictures taken while on the island…

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As a lead up to the next section, here is a map of the Stockholm Archipelago.

SAILING THE STOCKHOLM ARCHIPELAGO IN AN OPEN BOAT

Richard and Ida had too much stuff to take back to their flat in Stockholm for the way we had reached the island to be appropriate, so we were escorted by private boat, along with Ida’s brother and his daughter. Here are some pictures from the Stockholm Archipelago…

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Lars (skipper of the boat), setting off on his return journey to the island from Stavsnas

Stavsnas to Stockholm

The last stage of the journey to the flat in which I write this, before heading off later today to catch a train to Kristinehamn, southern terminal of Inlandsbanan was by bus and tunnelbahn (the Stockholm Undergound, which I will be covering in a later post) yielded a few more pictures…

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These last six pictures feature central Stockholm, as seen from the bus as it approached Slussen.

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Cricket, Images and Links

A somewhat delayed account of Monday and Tuesday, with plenty of photos.

INTRODUCTION

A few brief commenst and some pictures.

AUGUST IMAGING

I havce made sure that nothing big has been left unimaged, with my flgiht out to Sweden now only three days distant. Here are a few imaghes from the last couple of days…

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AN EMPHATIC ENGLAND WIN

Although for various reasons I did not catch much of the action in the second test match betwen England and Pakistan I congratulate England on responding in emphatic style to their defeat in the first match. While I consider the decision by Cook not to enforce the follow-on when looking at a first innings advantage of 391 to be bizarre, at least his team still managed to win. Possibly the most red-faced captain of all time over a decision not to invoke the follow-on was the Hon Freddie Calthorpe who in the final match of the 1929-30 series in the West Indies declined to do so with an advantage of 563 on the grounds that the match was scheduled to played to a finish. Unfortunately for him a combination of the weather and England’s return journey caused the match to be abandoned as a draw anyway. Six years earlier in a county game Calthorpe had suffered a different kind fo embarrassment when his Warwickshire side made 223 in their first innings, bowled out Hampshire for 15, and had them 177-6 after following on. Hampshire then made a spectacular recovery to reach 521 in that second innings, with Walter Livsey who had only reached even double figures three times in the course of the season before then making a century at no 10, and bowled a dispirited Warwickshire out for 158 in the second innings. Back to the present, and in the test match that finished yesterday evening Joe Root had the kind of match which had it been presented as fiction would undoubtedly have been laughed out of the publishers office – 254, 71 not out, four catches in the first Pakistan innings, and when given a bowl late in their second innings he picked up a wicket with his second ball!

SOME FINAL PHOTOGRAPHS

I conclude this post with a few non-work related pictures:

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Pictures, Links and an Open Letter

A post prompted in part by Mike Sivier’s excellent open letter to Angela Eagle and in part by having a few other things to share – enjoy.

INTRODUCTION

This post is a bit of a pot-pourri, although one of the links and the open letter are related.

THE OPEN LETTER AND RELATED LINK

The author of this open letter is Mike Sivier of Vox Political, on whose blog I found it. Here is the open letter in full, followed by a link to the blog post in which I found it:

Dear Ms Eagle,

As a Labour voter of many years’ standing, and a member of the party for the last six, I am writing to express my outrage at your comments following the vandalism of the Wallasey party office.

We can agree that the damage to the window – like any crime – is unacceptable. However:

How dare you claim that it was carried out by a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, “in his name”? Do you have any evidence? Do the police already know who did it? I think not – otherwise we would no doubt have heard about it.

In fact, Mr Corbyn has made it abundantly clear – many times over the past few weeks, that he finds such behaviour abhorrent and wants members of the party to discuss their differences in a cordial manner. This leads me to my second point:

How dare you try to pontificate to the rest of the party about “bullying”, after the behaviour you have forced Mr Corbyn to endure, together with the other 170+ PLP rebels?

Look at the behaviour that has occurred in YOUR name:

Months of secret plotting against Mr Corbyn after he won the Labour leadership last year;

The intention to mislead the public into thinking the Labour ‘coup’ was prompted by Mr Corbyn’s performance in the EU referendum when it had been pre-planned over many months;

The co-ordinated, on-the-hour resignations of shadow cabinet members throughout June 26 in an effort to BULLY Mr Corbyn out of the Labour leadership;

The purchase of a web domain entitled ‘Angela4Leader’ the day before those resignations;

The hasty and unconstitutional calling and passing of a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Mr Corbyn in another attempt to BULLY him out of office;

(It has been implied that some, or indeed many, Labour MPs were BULLIED into supporting that vote)

The attempted BULLYING of Mr Corbyn himself at a Parliamentary Labour Party meeting;

The many letters by your fellow Labour MPs, trying to BULLY Mr Corbyn into resigning; and

The fabricated smear stories intended to undermine Mr Corbyn’s support among members and, again, BULLY him into resigning – including your claim today about this broken office window.

If you are serious in your claim that bullying “has absolutely no place in politics in the UK and it needs to end”, then perhaps the best way to start would be by ending your own challenge to Mr Corbyn’s leadership, submitting yourself to the mercy of your constituents who are holding a ‘no confidence’ vote on your conduct later this month, and considering your own future in politics.

With kind regards,

Mike Sivier

Link: Vox Political

A NEW POST ON WWW.LONDONTU.BE

I have just put up a new post on my London Transport themed website centred on the Institute of Education.

IOE Close Up

SOME NEW PHOTOS

Just a few photos that I have not previously shared:

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A work colleague who knows of my interest in railwayana gave me this badge. By the way, this union was one of those amalgamated to form the Rail and Maritime Transport workers union (RMT).
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Moorhen with two chicks, upper Purfleet, King’s Lynn
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I saw this near Lynn Sport on Sunday

A Selection of Images

After my last post was pure text I suppose you c ould describes this one as compensating for the photographic deficit!

INTRODUCTION

As well as items that feature in James and Sons July Auction I have some pictures taken in my own time to share.

AUCTION LOTS

The images here are some of those I have produced since Thursday…

Now for some…

NON-AUCTION PICS

SNAILS

Moving on to a rather more garecful creature beginning with s…

SWALLOW

A MIXED BAG TO FINISH

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The first of five pictures from the Five Greatest Warriors (Matthew Reilly) to appear here – this is Genghis Khan’s shield, depiciting the six temple shrines wherein a pillar has to be placed – by the time West gains possession of this item two of the pillars have been successfully placed.
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Descriptions of all six vertices in the Word of Thoth, a language comprehensible only to the Siwan oracles

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The first of two decorative plates in the window of the Salvation Army shop.

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A bee – we need more of these!

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