Word Prompt : Smiles (being a bit silly)

When we are on holiday or even at the weekend we usually try and enjoy ourselves, go to nice places, relax, get some fresh air, eat a picnic, have a coffee and walk.

Sometimes we are just plain silly.

 

Photo Challenge Give us a Smile

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The Minack Theatre : Wow, what a view

At a place called Porthcurno in Cornwall, high on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean is a unique open air theatre called The Minack Theatre. Almost entirely built by a lady called Rowena Cade, it has grown and grown since the 1930s and every summer season thousands of people a year see a show or just go along and visit the site. We had no idea quite how magnificent this place would be.

While tackling this section of the south west coast path in 2016 we passed this very spot but didn’t go in, we just descended steeply to Porthcurno Beach. We promised ourselves that we would return when we were in a more leisurely holiday mode with no buses to catch or miles to cover.  This was exactly what we did last week while on holiday.

Our plan for the day was initially to just sit and take photos at a small cove called Porthgwarra, a tiny secluded place just two miles away from Porthcurno.

It’s a perilous, single track, car journey from the ‘main road’ down to Porthgwarra. I’m not brave enough to drive those tiny lanes – Tim is much more confident. We arrived safely (very early), parked the car, watched some sea kayakers set off then thought who else have we got to watch? Possibly no one. So we set off for Porthcurno.

The coastline is spectacular here by the way. The whole stretch from Lands End along the south coastline of Cornwall is amazing. A couple of headlands later we reached the Minack car park and the entrance to the site. Our entrance fee was £5 each and well worth it.

View from near the top

The staggering view blew our minds once we passed through the visitors centre but it was the gardens that we headed to first. We sat amongst the tropical plants which surround the theatre at the back and sides and began to take it all in.

Then we looked down over the top railing to the seating, the stage and the sea.

Many people seemed to have trouble with the steep steps – young and old alike.  It makes me worry for the future. Our walks in the hills and mountains has helped our ageing legs and very soon we were like goats leaping up and down and across where we could.

Lunchtime. Sat in possibly the best seats in the house, we had our picnic and watched people. It was a great spot – like a box in a ‘real’ theatre. We could see the stage and the rest of the seating as we tucked into our cheese sandwiches and topped up our sunscreen. There wasn’t a show on so people were taking lots of photos all over. One popular spot to take your shots was below an archway on the stage. You can just see a couple in the photo below.

We yawned and stared and chatted about the people around us…you know how that happens. Some people just catch your attention. The person in the multi-coloured jumper, the family arguements, the elderly person who looks lost, the people who just look so glum, the young woman doing a handstand near the stage (yes, that really did happen).

Then we decided to move from our lofty viewing area and went ‘on stage’. And people were probably watching us. I wonder what they thought….if anything. Thankfully it was quite quiet – although they quickly closed off the section that Tim had stood on (see Tim on stage below). We laughed about that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough fooling about we were back watching the beach visitors from a very lofty perch while having a nice cup of tea. What a view.

This post is linked to the Weekly Prompts photo challenge
Photo Challenge People

 

Weekly Prompt : Sphere

A weekly prompt with the word Sphere.  A bit of a test from GC and Sue.

I was about to give up on this but just as we finished a long walk yesterday, up along the North Norfolk coastal path, I stopped and thought, well I wonder if this might do.  A wall made of Flint with the occasional red brick.

It’s the flints that caught my eye.  If you could see those ancient cobbled stones as a whole (not half hidden in the wall) lots would be spheres wouldn’t they?

Not knowing enough about architecture or building materials I have googled ‘Flint’ and ‘Norfolk’ for a bit of information.   Wikipedia often helps…..

Flint, knapped or unknapped, has been used from antiquity (for example at the Late Roman fort of Burgh Castle in Norfolk) up to the present day as a material for building stone walls, using lime mortar, and often combined with other available stone or brick rubble. It was most common in parts of southern England, where no good building stone was available locally, and brick-making not widespread until the later Middle Ages. It is especially associated with East Anglia, but also used in chalky areas stretching through Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent to Somerset. Flint was used in the construction of many churches, houses, and other buildings, for example the large stronghold of Framlingham Castle. Many different decorative effects have been achieved by using different types of knapping or arrangement and combinations with stone (flushwork), especially in the 15th and early 16th centuries.<\em>

I will do my best to photograph a few more Flint buildings in future.

Photo Challenge Sphere

Comfortable kit : best buys

Another weekly prompt photo challenge from GC and Sue has made me think.  Best buys?  Well, how about our walking kit and gear.  It’s what we love spending our money on.  Here are three items with detail about how long I’ve had them and how many miles they’ve travelled.

A new and fairly recent (last Christmas) purchase was my Rab alpine jacket. This jacket was not cheap.  Infact it was three times more expensive than my previous puffer/padded winter jacket.   But, this one has a hood and more importantly it’s purple!  That’s what matters most doesn’t it – the colour?

Fingers crossed for many warm winter walks with this.  So far i think it’s travelled about 150 miles including trips into and around our fine city of Norwich.  Here’s me sporting the jacket in Norwich Cathedral cloisters.

Two years ago I bought my Tilley sun hat. This famous Canadian brand has a great reputation and lifetime guarantee.  An heirloom for one of my nieces? Who knows.  So far so good with this hat…..scrunch it up and put it in your back pack and out it comes as good as new.  It’s probably travelled about 500 (often sweaty) miles.

About 25 years ago I bought a pair of Leki walking poles and they are still going strong.  Used all over the Lake District, Peak District, South West Coast Path, Snowdonia, Scottish lowlands and of course our home country of Norfolk.  They also went on holiday to Switzerland, Madeira and Mallorca.  They must have covered many thousands of mile, helping me uphill, downhill and all sorts of terrain inbetween.  They are, however, due for retirement.

The thing is will a new pair last as long?  Will they see me through into my old age?  Can these new light weight, shiny models be as good?   Decisions, decisions….

Me with Leki Treking Poles, on Cat Bells (fell) in the Lake District National Park : about 20 years ago.

Me with Leki Treking Poles on Crinkle Crags (fell) in the  Lake District National Park : 3 years ago

Photo Challenge Best Buy

Orange – A glow in my heart

My favourite colour?  Maybe.  A colour that definitely belongs to the Dutch.

I was born in the UK but my mum was born in Holland.  This makes me half Dutch doesn’t it? Not officially of course but that orange colour certainly makes me glow.

So here goes with a few photos of orange things.

These can now be grown in the UK.  Global warming? or maybe you need a greenhouse?

Tim is now a fan or orange too and loves to wear his orange crocs.  I am, thankfully, just out of shot or maybe too far away – swimming in the North Sea.

Our trusty beach umbrella was bright orange a few years ago – now it’s a much paler shade.  Couldn’t resist this photo though – last summer on Southwold Beach.

Mid summer – beautiful flowers with bee.

On Southwold seafront parked outside one of the beach huts I spotted, well couldn’t miss, this bicycle.  Apparently imported from Holland.  Very tempted to steal it!

Finally, a shot of something that comes to mind when thinking of Holland.

Photo Challenge Orange

Ancient monument with fencing

Sunday 24th February.  Glorious weather for our local walk today.  No jackets were needed!

Ludham village to How Hill then onto St Benets Abbey – it’s about 8 miles across fields and along paths skirting marshes. This is in the heart of the Norfolk Broads and not too far for us to get to – about 20 minutes or so in the car.

After 5 miles of walking we reached this spot.  An ancient monument – popular with artists and photographers who have come along and enjoyed this ‘middle of no where’ spot for at least 200 years.

Set on the banks of the river, only the ruined remains of a gatehouse and a mill which was built much later (next to/inside the gatehouse) still stands. Though there are some outlines of what was thought to be a nave or alter at ground level further away.  The gatehouse remains are 14th century.

I have no idea why there is iron fencing around one side – the purpose is a bit of a mystery to me!  It makes for a nice shot though.

We sat on the river bank just behind my photographing spot and enjoyed watching sail boats and cruisers, listening to geese and other water loving birds and just thought, wow this is amazing…..

Photo Challenge Fences

 

Don’t forget to look upwards

Even though we spend lots of time travelling on foot we stop every now and then and take in the view.  Sometimes the view is mixed in with just having a rest or a coffee or, more importantly, having an ice cream.

Last week, on my birthday walk, we arrived in the small sleepy coastal village of Walberswick. We stopped.  Well we had just walked 14 miles!  And I’m another year older.  Then, glancing upwards, “hey look at that”.

A newly thatched roof had these characters in place. There are some wonderful craftsmen/women out there still keeping these old trades alive with impressive skills.

And a slightly closer view..

Photo Challenge Up