Sunday, 25 November 2012

The City of Southampton.

After my walk through the city centre five parks (see my blog dated Saturday 24th November 2012) and my ongoing history lesson, I'm now enchanted with all things Southampton and can't wait to visit the SeaCity Museum, walk the QE2 Mile, be under the Civic Centre Clock Tower at 4pm to hear the opening bars of "Our God, Our Help in Ages Past" (written by Isaac Watts [son of Southampton] - his statue in Watts Park looks up at the Clock Tower), walk the Old Town Walls, visit the Tudor House, sit on a bench in Queens Park, visit the Merchant's House and find Southampton Common. Time and weather permitting, of course.

The picture at the top shows the Civic Centre Clock Tower, Southampton, Hampshire, viewed from Watts Park, at 15:14 on Saturday 17th November 2012.

The pictures at the bottom show a wide-shot and a close-up of the Isaac Watts statue in Watts (West) Park, Southampton, Hampshire, at 15:13 on Saturday 17th November 2012.

Click on the link below for a few interesting Facts About Southampton (scroll down to item 20 to read about Isaac Watts and the Civic Centre Clock Tower):- 

Other links as follows:-

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Southampton Five Parks.

Walking through the centre of Southampton on a cold afternoon last week, I discovered Palmerston Park and made a detour to take a look.  There were statues, trees, autumn crocuses, heathers, hydrangeas, a bandstand, people walking, people sitting on benches, more trees, avenues of trees, and acres of green as far as the eye could see.  It was lovely, and the afternoon sun beautifully picked out the autumn colours.  I didn't have my camera with me, but I snatched a few shots with my cell phone and happily went on my way, determined to find out more.

It turns out that there are five Grade II listed historic and linking parks in Southampton city centre (Hoglands Park, Houndwell Park, Palmerston Park, Andrews (East) Park and Watts (West) Park); I'd actually walked through two of them (Palmerston and Houndwell) and could see a third and fourth in the distance (Andrews and Hoglands).  This was all too much for me, on paper, so a few days later I went back to Southampton with my camera and walked all five parks.  No afternoon sun this time, but some nice photos, a head full of history, a heart full of happiness and a healthy glow to my cheeks!

The pictures above show the Gas Column, and inscription, flanked by lime trees in Houndwell Park, Southampton, Hampshire, at 15:28 on Wednesday 14th November 2012.

To see more of my Southampton Five Parks photos, click on the link below:-

To read about the five Southampton Parks, click on the link below:-

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Brent Geese.

Ambling around the marina yesterday intent on capturing the melancholy of a still grey day, I barely had time to get out my camera before the cloud cleared and the sun came out!  Undeterred, I snapped away at the colours; the sky, the trees, the fallen leaves, the water... and a gaggle of Brent Geese, paddling about on the slipway, their white bottoms glowing in the autumn sunshine.

The pictures show a wide-shot and a close-up of Brent Geese on the slipway at Hythe Marina, Hampshire, at 15:15 on Saturday 10th November 2012.

To see the rest of my autumn colours photos, click on the link below:-

To read about Brent Geese, click on the RSPB link below:-

Thursday, 8 November 2012

RMS Queen Mary 2.

I suppose it was inevitable; after watching her sail by my windows dozens of times over the past few months and years, I'd slowly persuaded myself that a trip aboard the largest ocean liner in the world was an experience not to be missed.  A short, taster type of thing, that's what I'd go for.  And that's exactly what I did.  An Autumn Getaway; 5 nights, 9th-14th October, round trip, Southampton to Southampton, calling at Rotterdam, Zeebrugge and Le Havre.  It was astonishing.

QM2 is a wonderful ship and it was a real thrill to be on board, to see and feel the size of her, to be actually walking the decks.  I loved the ports of call, sailing in at dawn, disembarking, nosing around, seeing the sights, climbing the gangplank, sailing away, out to sea and into the night.  It was an incredible experience and I'll probably do it again.  But I'm still not sure I liked it!

The picture shows RMS Queen Mary 2 alongside at the Port of Southampton, Hampshire, at 08:28 on Sunday 14th October 2012 (the final day of my Autumn Getaway), seen from inside the Ocean Terminal.

To see more of my pictures on board RMS Queen Mary 2, click on the link below:-

To see my pictures of Rotterdam, click on the link below:-

To see my pictures of Zeebrugge and Brugge, click on the link below:-

To see my pictures of Le Havre, click on the link below:-

Thursday, 1 November 2012

1st November.

After a long night of high winds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning, it was good to see the sunrise this morning and the unfolding of a beautiful day. There were still rain clouds coming in from the west, but set against the blue sky, they looked very dramatic and framed the moon beautifully.  A fine day for a wedding anniversary, and All Saints Day to boot.  Congratulations and Happy Anniversary Mum & Dad; married on this day in 1947 - 65 years ago.

The pictures show a long shot and a close-up of the moon and sky over Hythe, Hampshire, looking west, at 07:57 on Thursday 1st November 2012. The moon phase today is Waning Gibbous 94% of full. The moon phase on Saturday 1st November 1947 was Waning Gibbous 92% of full. I'm not sure what I find more remarkable; the fact that the moon phases then and now are almost identical, or that I can actually find the information at the click of a button; OR, indeed, that my parents have been married for 65 years!

Click on the link below to see the moon phase for 1st November 2012:-

To see the moon phase for 1st November 1947, click on the link below:-