Friday, 26 August 2011

FMTSO HIGH AND LOW - Hills & Ghylls

FMTSO - High and Low for this weeks theme.  I've been quite literal in choosing my shots.

  High is Balcombe Ouse Valley Viaduct, a stunning piece of architecture which I find hypnotic.

  Sussex is full of hills and ghylls ( a ghyll is a steep dip between the hills which often has a brook or stream running through it).  On a drive through the country less than 40 miles from home, we were driving down a small country road, turned the corner and found this just a field away from the road.

The viaduct is on the main rail route between London and Brighton, it is still in use today with 110 trains every day using it.  Next is my favourite shot of it and is probably the most photographed angle, you can see why!

The viaduct is 1475 feet long and took 11 million bricks to build, give or take a brick or two, at the cost of £38,000 in 1842.

My low is the brook that flows at the bottom of it, not overly impressive, I feel it must have been a bit larger when the viaduct was built.

This is a FMTSO  post

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Sepia Saturday 88

My tree as you may notice is missing a bit, admittedly a big bit, but it is still a tree.  Just!

Posing on the tree stump are my brothers, sisters, a cousin, myself and in the front Henry the Wonder Dog.

This photo is from the late 1960s probably 1968, at this time we lived on a large Estate that my father worked on as a stock-man.  Our home, a tied cottage, was a gate house at the bottom of a very long drive on the edge of a large wood.  Through the woods and over a large stream took us to the fields and beyond that farm buildings.  All of this was our playground, as you can imagine it was a pretty amazing place for children. 

Back in the sixties our world was a very different place from the world our children inhabit. We were allowed the freedom of the woods and fields as long as we behaved, told Ma where we were going, how long we would be and we all had to stick together.  Oh yes and we always had to take Henry the Wonder Dog, not that he would stay behind without us, keen was not the word.  Henry the Wonder Dog was our guardian and protector and Ma knew that no one would be allowed near us if he came too.  As the Estate gamekeeper found out one day.

Well here we are on the edge of the woods taking a break from a game of cricket, my cousin a frequent visitor, is in charge of the bat.  The photo is taken by Ma, it has her telltale mark of the camera flap in the bottom left of the photo.  Me?  I'm the youngest right in the middle.
Henry the Wonder Dog is still a pup in the picture but he grew and grew and grew, he walked with Ma to school and back twice a day, a total of 8 miles for them both whatever the weather as there was no car or bus for the journey.

Kids of today have access to the world through computers and phones, everything on demand and transport wherever they want to go.  We had no phone, few buses, no car and we walked everywhere.  

But I know which childhood I would choose...

This is a Sepia Satuday post

Quote, Unquote

         If you are not too long, I will wait for you all my life.
                                      (Oscar Wilde)


                             Be proud to be different (Anon)

This is a Friday My Town Shoot Out!! post.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The sun, the sea and the South Downs

                    The sun is rising over the sea and it feels like a day full of promise.
                     Come and join me on a walk over the South Downs to the hamlet of

                             A long climb up the first hill takes us up towards Beachy Head. 
                                Turn around, look back and see the pier, the sun and the sea.

                                                         Onwards and upwards,

                                         quite literally, to the highest point, Beachy Head,
                                                   more than 600 feet above sea level.

                                            The lighthouse stands over 100 feet tall
                                      it protects shipping from the out crop of rocks and
                                                 has done so for the past 100 years.

                                               Turning to follow the South Downs inland

                                  takes us past the golf course and on to the oddly named 
                                                                        Butts Brow. 

                                                  Once over the Brow you look down onto

                                     the distant hamlet of Jevington nestled amongst the Downs.

                                A welcome rest at the church to admire the beautiful

                                      I just love the stonework of this old flint walled church.

                     The horse in the field adjoining the churchyard enjoys the last
                                                    warmth of the sun.

                              The shadows are lengthening and it's time to make 
                                                                 our way back.

                                  With the sun setting it will be dark before we arrive home.

                                              How different the town looks all lit up,
                                        yet it's the same view as when we started our walk.
                                           Nearly home now, just the other side of the pier.

It wasn't a long walk about 12 miles all round, it is a walk that never fails to bring me contentment and the realization of how lucky I am to live in such a place with the sun, the sea and the beautiful South Downs......

                                                         I hope you enjoyed your walk? 

                Perhaps you'll join me again sometime soon on another trip around my part of the world?