And Then The Sun Came Out . . . .

. . . . What a Treat!
The rain thundered down all night. The day dawned grey and bleak. Southwold’s beach and the North Sea were uninviting:

southwold beach

The town was drab:


And then the sun came out and lit the candy-striped beach huts:

southwold beach huts

It bathed the swans in gold:

swan lake in southwold

swan lake in southwold

And provided a stunning sunset:

sunset in southwold

Our last night before we put our caravan “to bed” for the winter was perfect.
Post for the photo challenge “treat.”

Pic of the Day

How often do you take a photo expecting it to capture the perfect scene before you only to open it up on your computer and find it’s poorly framed, the light was too wrong to fix with editing, it’s dull, flat, boring or worst of all out of focus.

Canterbury Cathedral

This photo of Canterbury Cathedral is one out of 110 that is exactly as I had imagined it. One out of 110? Thank goodness for digital cameras!

Who is Roy G. Biv?

Why Roy G. Bivolo, of course! Rainbow Raider! Have you never heard of him? Me neither. For a massively extensive list of Flash enemies, Rainbow Raider amongst them, nickname Prism, click here. Not that interested? Thought not.

Thanks to Jude for informing me that in the UK schoolchildren learn Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain as the mnemonic for the colours of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Forget comic books and history lessons and chill out with these stained glass windows from Canterbury Cathedral:

Canterbury Cathedral stained glass window

Canterbury Cathedral stained glass window

These disappointing photos were taken for this week’s photo challenge – ROY G. BIV –  with my little and easy to handle point-and-shoot camera as my right hand is still being uncooperative.

How to Survive an Alligator Attack

Meet them when they are babies . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Handle them when they are young and have a souvenir photo taken . . . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Handle them when they are older and have a souvenir photo taken . . . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Ignore the signs . . . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Make eye contact . . . . . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Observe them in the wild. See that big boy?

Alligators, Florida USA

He’s a little boy. Big mama is behind him . . . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Make them smile . . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Make them laugh . . . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Get into a conversation with them . . . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Make sure you can trust your brother . . . . .

Alligators, Florida USA

Don’t let them get hold of your arm . . . . .

arm in plaster

Great idea Jude! When people say, ‘What happened to your arm?’ I say ‘Well . . . . when I was in Florida I was attacked by an alligator.’

Much more fun than saying, ‘I’ve had an operation on my wrist.’

No one believes me but it’s good for a laugh.

A Secret History

. . . . . . or Kenilworth Castle and the Right-handed Camera

As soon as we drew up to Kenilworth Castle After we drove around the town of Kenilworth for 15 minutes looking for somewhere to park our Chevy unsuitable-for-tiny-villages truck, I leapt stumbled out of the passenger seat and grabbed my camera to fight with the zip to release it from its case. The parapets of Kenilworth Castle stood out in stark relief to the azure blue sky of a perfect English summer day.

Tiny specks of tourists wandered the parapets putting into perspective the enormity of the castle. If I was quick I could capture the scene. I managed to flick the lens cap off – it dangled on its safety cord – and held my camera clumsily in my left hand. I held it up to my face but daren’t even switch it on for fear of dropping it. Himself draped the neck cord over me and my hastily donned, stupid-looking Dora the Explorer hat and I tried again.

Kenilworth Castle, Keep on the left and window...
Kenilworth Castle, Keep on the left and windows of the Great Hall on the right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With no fear of dropping the camera I might have been able to awkwardly press the shutter button but the framing was wrong and I couldn’t possibly pull on the zoom lever.  I let the camera drop on its cord, whipped my dumb hat off in disgust and himself pulled the camera off over my head. I could have asked him to be my cameraman for the day but I was so annoyed with the whole ordeal I thrust the disgraced and useless piece of equipment back in the truck.

A right-handed camera. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. I had taken for granted that it fit neatly tucked in my right 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers leaving my index finger free for the zoom lever and my thumb for the shutter. It was a perfect fit in my right hand and clearly unusable in my left hand.

If you’ve just happened on my blog and haven’t heard me whining before, my right arm is in plaster.

English: Kenilworth Castle, panorama taken fro...
English: Kenilworth Castle, panorama taken from the east (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On a lighter note, I was free (as free as you can be with your arm in sling) to enjoy the delights of Kenilworth Castle and its Elizabethan gardens without the pressure of recording each scene at every step.

The following information comes compliments of a mature PhD student who was holding court with a history teacher and her family at the next table in the tea room. Naturally I eavesdropped.  After a quick restorative nap I committed as much as I could remember to print.

English: Gaunt's great hall in Kenilworth
English: Gaunt’s great hall in Kenilworth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He let us them know that much of the information was not available on the internet. You would need to go to the Tower of London and read and copy out documents by hand as he had done as you cannot borrow or photocopy any of these ancient documents. He also let us them know that this was privileged information that would be divulged in his dissertation. Am I about to reveal . . . ?

According to Mr. Not-Quite-Doctor, Kenilworth Castle is mentioned in the Domesday Book – a survey of much of England and parts of Wales ordered by William the Conqueror and completed in 1086.

Kenilworth Castle was the most powerful castle in the land, much more so than its neighbour Warwick Castle, at one point housing 6000 troops as compared to the 2000 troops at Warwick.

Killing pits with weight sensitive trap doors were used at entry points. Attacking troops would fall in and be at the mercy of the castle troops. Lime mixed with water was a form of torture that would cause eyeballs to burst and fatal burns. It was a political stronghold.

English: The restored Elizabethan gardens at K...
English: The restored Elizabethan gardens at Kenilworth Castle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I knew of Warwick Castle but had never heard of Kenilworth Castle until I picked it off the road atlas map as being the nearest garden to our campsite near Coventry. You revolutionaries in the US may not have heard of either castle.

John of Gaunt, 1st  Duke of Lancaster, turned the medieval castle into a fortress late in the 14th c. He was one of the most powerful men of his time owning 30 castles and land in virtually every county in England. His legitimate heirs included Kings Henry IVHenry V, and Henry VI.

Rulers were always wary of castles as they were seats of power so according to Mr. NQD the very first Act of Parliament was to destroy Kenilworth Castle as it was a threat to the seat of government.

Part of Kenilworth Castle was destroyed by Parliamentary forces in 1649 but I can’t substantiate this as a first act of parliament and that is way past John of G’s time. In fact, the dates are completely wrong. Is this one of Mr. NQD’s secret facts or did I zone out after a dose of sunshine? If he’d known I was listening he’d have kept his voice down. If I hadn’t had a tantrum over my frustrating (albeit temporary, yes I know that) disability I would have had my phone with me and could have recorded him verbatim and could wow you with many more fascinating facts.

English: Kenilworth Castle The ruined keep beh...
English: Kenilworth Castle The ruined keep behind the formal Elizabethan gardens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have padded this post out with some Google images but none of them are as perfect as the pictures that are in my mind’s eye: the jutting ruin and every space within filled with families picnicking, children frolicking, couples courting, teens bounding, all on the green, green grass under the blue, blue sky. The fact that it was at odds with the gory, impromptu history lesson made the present day scene even more delightful. It was a lost photo opportunity. I just hate that.

Do you have any missed photo opportunities that play on your mind still?

Do you have a right-handed camera? Is there such a thing as a left-handed camera?

Where’s Yogi?

Hoping to see Old Faithful and Yogi Bear when visiting Yellowstone National Park, I found Old Faithful but was disappointed not to find the Bear. But better still, and to my utter delight I discovered these Vivid pools:

Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park

These astonishing colours have an astonishing explanation: heat and bacteria. if you want to know the science click here.

If you want to see more pretty colours in the WordPress Photo Challenge, click here!

So where’s Yogi? Have you seen him?

Ode to my Left Hand

My life has got quite tricky.
I’ve just one arm to use.
The other is quite useless.
Asked, ‘Can you . . .   ?’ I refuse!

I’m typing with one finger.
Four others are on strike.
They’ve come out in sympathy,
With the five I’ve on my right.

There are so many things, I find,
It’s difficult to do.
I can’t zip, peel spuds or style my hair.
No biggy there, it’s true.

My dresser/sous chef has stepped in
And I can wear a hat,
Cause he won’t learn hairdressing,
And I can tell you that . . .

It’s hard to clap one-handed,
Or tie a knot or bow,
Or spread on some hand lotion
Or skip rope, don’t you know.

I cannot put my watch on
My left arm any more.
I cannot put it on my right,
Because it is too sore.

To brush my teeth is difficult.
Two hands are a must,
To squeeze the tube and paste the brush,
Is really quite a fuss.

I’ve been practicing you see.
My right hand is redundant.
My left hand has come up trumps,
Though it was not incumbent.

My left hand is first team now,
My right is second squad
It sits around and whines a lot,
And refuses to applaud.

I shall be ambidextrous
When all of this is through
My left hand is quite nimble now
My right hand says ‘thank you!’

I’m feeling slightly better now,
Than when I wrote this ditty.
I am no longer shouting ‘OW!’
Like when I was feeling . . . . . . . . lousy!

There’s an upside to being frail.
I’m waited on hand and feet.
It’s like living in a fairytale.
This Princess says, ‘That’s sweet!’