Trials,Tribulations and Happy Moments in my busy life

Friday, 31 January 2014

All Saints Tudeley

Hi folks,

as promised we continued on to this unusual church near Tonbridge. It is unique in more ways than one as you will see later. The weather was up and down so I had to dive in and out of the building a few times to get the pictures I wanted. (Good job the knee in improving). The church, most of the structure was from the 18th century although it is mentioned in the Domesday Book.

From the outside it looks quite normal and the windows look the same as any other church until you enter.

Inside is a modern organ which is new and was hand built and dedicated in 1990  and although you can just see in the shot the casing features Kentish hops and acorns. The organ is positioned high up in the roof.

Now what we came here for, the windows. These were designed and made by a Russian artist called Marc Chagall and fitted over a period of time. In 1967 this east window was installed above the altar and dedicated to Sarah d'Avigdor-Goldsmid who died age 21 in a sailing accident off Rye. She had loved the artists work and her parents commissioned him to design this window. You can see her body in the sea in the bottom left hand side of the window with her mother and other daughter in the two panels above.
The artist  was excited about the way the window was lit as in his work before the lighting was artificial. This is the only church in the world were the whole church has these windows, the only other single window of his work in England is in Chichester Cathedral. He died in 1985 at the age of 98 when the last windows were installed in this church.

This window depicts fish and birds.

Signs of hope and life depicted in these three windows behind the font.

Looking down the church from the vestry, showing the wonderful light shining into the church from outside which is what the artist really liked and came back to finish off all the church windows

More light captured by the windows

Finally the the seascape window showing the intense light. I will show more the windows in the next blog.

Thanks for looking and thanks to the website  www.   Click on the link and have a look.

Best regards, Mike

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Lovely Weather for Ducks

Hi folks,

Well what a week here in the south, rain and yet more rain. Still cant rest on our laurels and off we went to Haysden Country Park near Tonbridge to find a few water creatures.
Is that blue sky I can see? shame it didn't last long, still at least it was dry-ish.

300 mm lens fitted this Thistle on the bank.

Tufted Duck all on it's own.

Only one of these Brent Geese, seemed very strange the lack of birds on the lake.

A shot of the same Goose in better light, I later found out the were all in a field across the lake feeding off the ground.

We didn't stay long as it started to rain and I was a bit fed up after putting a pound in the parking machine for four hours and had to leave in less the one. In the car park I spied this lone Robin on a sign and it was as if he was saying goodbye.

Thanks for looking, It is still raining outside but I still have a few couple of blogs up my sleeve.

Best regards, Mike

Monday, 27 January 2014

Riverside with Rust!

Hi folks,

over the weekend we visited Riverside Country Park in Gillingham after seeing the Medway Queen. With the amount of wet weather we have had recently I thought I would have a rust theme and made a bee line for the rusting hulk of a tug on the Medway.
This shot across the river at the famous power station which is closing and will eventually be demolished.

Here she is in all her glory and with the ballast on board she didn't even move on the very high tide and winds that we have just witnessed.

I was draw to the stern of the vessel with its propeller now lost and its rivets rusting away.

In the sunshine I was intrigued with the hole which at every tide fills with water and as the tide recedes drips rust out of the hole creating a nice pattern on the side of the vessel in different colours.

Lastly lines of rivets gently rusting away the plates through the years.

Thanks for looking, I actually managed to cross some rocks to get the close up of the hole.

Best regards, Mike

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Medway Queen

Hi folks,

After a dull start to the day it brightened up so we thought of going to have a look at the Medway Queen now she is back after having a great deal of renovation work in Bristol.  She returned to Gillingham in November last year but I wasn't able to go and see because it was too soon after my knee operation, I am now able to walk steadily as long as the ground is firm so mud is definitely out. 

The paint work is looking good.

Here you can see the paddle in place, it was low tide so we found her sitting on the mud but we know when high tide is so I intend to take some more of her floating on the river.

The deck looks so inviting and their plan is to have guided tours once the gangway is built and in place.  Then run her as a going concern as a pleasure craft which she was from 1924 when she was first built.

New ropes I presume made in the Chatham Dockyard Ropery which still operates.

This is a "work in progress" of the cabin which is currently being made by the carpenters.

In the Visitors Centre was this photograph of the ship when abandoned in the Medway, the Volunteer gave me permission to photograph it for my blog.  A very poor state she was in and alot of people gave their time and energies to refloat her and raise money to get to where they are today.  They have received alot of funding and more money is being raised so that one day she can continue to give people pleasure.

I hope you have been interested in this short visit, it will be good to see her back in action where she started her life and as one of Dunkirk's Little Ships she must be dear to a lot of peoples hearts and help save lots of lives.

Thanks for looking.

Best regards, Mike

Friday, 24 January 2014

Millennium Sculpture Revisited

Hi folks,
continuing on along the riverside on St Mary's Island we arrived at this famous modern sculpture called The Mariners.  As the weather was dull the detail in the sculpture became more prominent.

Around the base the words, " Salt worn and weary eyes cast back, See hard lives carve proud history. Sailors, traders, whores or heroes. Kin of a river family. Strong, lithe and young she's sailing on. Horizons, glories grow. Future floods in, past ebbs out. A city's story, far to flow"

This sculpture made by Sam Holland to commemorate the Millennium in 2000 is situated at the end of the riverside walk and depicts sailors through the ages.

Both figures pulling against the sail.

This 35 foot sculpture depicts a "Jack Tar" bronze figure juxtaposed against a sleek "female" sailor

As we left, on the side of the wall by the sculpture colour dominated the flood wall.

Berries and flowers adorned the wall showing how mild our winter has been.

Lastly as we returned to the car, a symbol of the old and new by the corner of the wall, a large coil of rope made of concrete.

Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed our second trip to St Mary's Island.

Best regards, Mike

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Trip to the Medway

Hi folks,

well today started out dry and sunny but the rain soon came out of hiding, undeterred we set off to the Chatham Dockside for a bit of lunch in this revamped pub whilst waiting for the weather to cheer up or at least stop raining.

The rain stopped and although it was a bit dull we bravely went on a walk about, firstly capturing this mooring buoy which is very old, note the date.

This is one for Ken as he is in to depth of field at the moment.  Would be good for a caption contest!

Then I spied this Cormorant, (there were two actually) but a long way out.

Back at the Pub as the wind was bitter....... I never intended that to be a pun but Sue said I was being clever with a picture of an old beer cask, I am cleverer than I thought!

......there were a couple of beer barrels from bygone times on their carts.

Then on to St Mary's Island to have a look at the river and its Majestic Power Station behind the old  disused Light Ships.

we ventured on from here and braved the wind.

More tomorrow best regards, Mike

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Back to the Summer and some Kites I Missed!

Hi folks,
on the dull and drab Wednesday I thought I would look back and found some kite shots I took just before my knee problem and  due to the event I did not get a chance to post them. So for the Kent Kite Flyers and other interested people here are a few taken at the Hop Farm in Kent August last year.
Also some sunshine and a blue sky to cheer you all up.

Flo-tail Delta, as used by quite a few club members.

Tweety Pie

Dog inflatable on the line kite

Gareth's Rokkaku, hand made brilliant job.


another Flo-tail Delta

Frog inflatable clipped to the line with a lifter kite above and the body inflates with the wind.

Pretty line "Junk"

Thanks for looking, need some sunshine now.

Best regards, Mike