Monday, 28 January 2013


My birthday today and a juicy morning to start the proceedings: clear sky, full moon, slight wind from the west, rising sun, turning tide, cold & damp. A perfect day for a run and a fine day for a birthday.

The picture shows the morning moon over the trees in Hythe, Hampshire, at 07:22 on Monday 28th January 2013.

Click on the link below to see the current phase of the moon:-

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Bells.

Out for an early morning run, enjoying the cold air and the sunshine, I suddenly remembered the bells.

I love the sound of church bells and around this time last year, and in search of a new project, I decided to look into bell ringing.  My maternal grandfather, Bertie Godwin (1901-1968), worked as a bell hanger, travelling the length and breadth of the country to hang some of the finest bells in England - a career cut short by the Second World War.  I had a romantic idea that by becoming a bell ringer I'd discover an innate connection, a latent talent.  I started the project in earnest.  I listened more keenly to Bells On Sunday, I made a chart, I did lots of online research, I looked at pictures of bells, I questioned my mother, I went along to local churches and collected bell ringing contacts.  And that's where it ended.  I think it was the empty churches, the abandoned graveyards, the desolation, the echoes of the past. They left me cold and downhearted.  I wanted to be uplifted, but I felt flattened.  I wanted a passion, but it was a trial.  It wasn't for me.  It wasn't a good fit.  Maybe it wasn't the right time, or maybe it just wasn't meant to be.  Either way, I did the right thing, abandoned the project and felt instantly happier.  I still love the sound of church bells, I still tune in to Bells On Sunday, and I still think of my grandfather.

I don't know why I remembered the bells - that's what happens on a morning run, thoughts come and go, memories, ideas, flashes of inspiration.  Or maybe I was thinking "new year, new project".  This year it's all about the piano!  But that's another story....

The picture shows The Bargate curfew & alarm bell, Southampton, Hampshire.  Not a church bell, but a very ancient bell dating back to 1605, photographed on a beautifully sunny afternoon last November, and very possibly made by John Taylor & Co, the largest bell foundry in the world, established in the 14th century, one of only two in the UK and still operational today.

Click on the link below to take a look at John Taylor & Co, The Bellfoundry, Freehold Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire.  My grandfather, Bertie Godwin, lived in a house on Freehold Street in Loughborough and worked as a bell hanger at John Taylor & Co!

Click on the link below to read about The Bargate, Southampton, Hampshire:-

Click on the link below to visit BBC Radio 4 and listen to Bells On Sunday:-

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


As a new day dawned, I woke to a spectacular sunrise and the realisation that Facebook is now a reality for me!  I signed up last night in the spirit of adventure and bonhomie... and in my continuing quest to capture the moment (see my blog dated Monday 7th January 2013).  With that in mind, I grabbed my camera, threw open the windows and took a few shots of the beautiful sky.

The picture shows the sunrise over the rooftops and Southampton Water, Hampshire, at 07:54 on Wednesday 16th January 2013. A new day indeed!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

What A Difference A Day Makes.

Blue skies today, sunshine and a bitterly cold easterly whipping across the water, a high tide, people out and about, well wrapped up, fishermen fishing along the shoreline; a complete contrast to yesterday.  There was no-one to be seen yesterday.  It rained yesterday.  It rained so much I never thought it would stop.  From early morning until late afternoon storm clouds rolled in from the south-east unleashing torrents of driving rain.  It was relentless. And to start the proceedings, just before daybreak a bolt of lightning and a colossal thunderclap shook the house and blew out the lights on the top floor!  What a day.  A beautiful day, but a very different day.

The picture shows storm clouds over Hythe and Southampton Water, Hampshire, at 08:10 on Saturday 12th January 2013.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Time And Tide.

I don't know if it's the time of year, the world, the weather, my mood, ageing and ailing parents, or all of these things, but my own mortality has lately come into sharp focus.  I have the keenest sense that I need to make every second count, that time is running out.  I want to capture the moment, hold it in my hand, smell it, feel it, because I know it's important.... it's vital. I want to get on, do this, finish that, start a new project, do something, do anything - make a difference. These thoughts are loud and persistent, they're not with me all the time, but when they are, instead of feeling the desire to be up and doing, I feel a rising sense of panic and confusion that quickly dissolves into despair and overwhelming sadness.

How can this be?  I know that all things must pass, tomorrow's another day, the tide will turn, but what's to be done in the meantime, how do I break the spell?  Well, I started the day with an early morning run - that helped, it always helps.  I'll probably make a list, lists are always a good idea.  I could even make a chart, I love charts.  And, of course, I'm sharing my thoughts in this blog, sifting, sorting, writing it down, and wondering if anyone else feels the same way.

The picture shows the cruise ship MS Queen Elizabeth leaving the port of Southampton, Hampshire, in a blaze of fireworks to mark the beginning of her World Cruise on Sunday 6th January 2013 at 17:38.  Evidence that I have been able to capture the moment, as recently as yesterday!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

1st January 2013.

A starry night, clear skies and a beautiful morning moon to greet the first day of 2013. High time for a run round the marina. Happy New Year everyone.

The picture shows the moon over Hythe, Hampshire, looking west, at 07:48 on Tuesday 1st January 2013.

Click on the link below to see the current moon phase:-

To see what happened an hour later, click on the link below:-