‘Autumn Years’

IMG_9599This was the first image which took my eye yesterday as I was over again at my favourite photographic venue in Chichester.

The sun was bright over the cathedral grounds where I had seen this elderly couple sit down to take a rest together; at the time all the other benches which line up were vacant but this was the bench they both obviously favoured?

Because not so many people were actually in the town at this time; the lady did at first glance somewhat cautiously in my direction. So I endeavoured to convince her that I was adjusting my cameras settings and I stared through the viewfinder at the cathedrals spire behind their bench seat position. This seemed to do the trick and she quickly returned back to the conversation with her husband.

Slowly I moved in a little closer and captured this shot of them both; which from the series of three that I captured; appealed to me the most.

They seemed such a lovely old couple. This lady with her floral headscarf tied neatly around her head clutching tightly to her handbag; and her husband wearing his classic tweed flat cap, his hands tucked deeply inside his jacket pockets to keep them warm.

They looked to be reflecting on times gone by and so would now and again look towards each other and smile knowingly. Occasionally though the lady would place her hand on top of her husbands knee and shake his leg playfully as they laughed more vigorously at something shared.

It was so obvious that these two were soul mates in every sense of the word. They had experienced both good and bad times together; and still their relationship remained as solid as it did in the beginning.

I would love to know how they met and maybe what they both did for a living. Wouldn’t that be fascinating?

If we were to look at our lives in terms of the seasons then it might be fair to assume that this lovely couple are both fully embracing the autumn of their years together? A beautiful season which many poets have written lyrically about.

One particularly memorable quote for me, the author of which is unknown states simply;

“You can’t hide your true colours as you approach the autumn of your life.”

“Discuss?”

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)

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Popped over to Stokes Bay this morning to take some shots of the Monster US warship Roosevelt; also known as the ‘Big Stick’

For the next few days and much to the excitement of thousands; she is anchored just off Portsmouth.

The traffic and the car parks here are absolutely full to bursting point with visitors. Many with their binoculars focused out to sea and others high powered lenses and camera equipment mounted on sturdy tripods. All hoping to get the best image of the day.

When we arrived this morning there were queues of vehicles everywhere along the seafront. The rain was just about holding off although some sinister looking black clouds hovering above us were looking very threatening to say the least.

Eventually though the heavens did open up; and how!

Hail spattered down bouncing off the roads and pavements and feeling like needles striking your head. It’s sudden torrent literally showering everyone and sending them all scurrying off in different directions in search of some shelter.

This ship though is most definitely an impressive sight; at more than 100,000 tons, laden with warplanes and missiles and with 5,000 men and women aboard. She is moored here because she is simply too big to dock in the port.

Serving alongside the thousands of US sailors and marines, as part of an exchange programme, are six aircraft handlers and a navigator from the Royal Navy.

Quite an experience just to witness this amazing ship visiting our shores having made her round-the-world operational mission to project US military power around the globe.

“So welcome to Portsmouth guys, have a nice day; and hey… let’s be careful out there?”

‘Through Tinted Glasses’

IMG_9567Well now…I just realised that my better half has actually put our clocks forward by one hour today because like myself she had believed it was the weekend to do so?

However, had I thought to read this free copy of the Chichester Business newspaper; then I would have seen that it’s not until next week.

Still; there’s nothing like a bit of early preparation eh?

So! Spring actually is upon us then folks? I know this because I inevitably ended up out working in the garden yesterday and clearing up fallen leaves; whilst my missus spread ‘chicken manure pellets’ or ‘chicken shit’ as it’s affectionately referred to by the less dignified individuals in our family; namely myself my daughter Jo and my son Duncan.

Anyway this stuff get’s chucked around the wide variety of plants which she has patiently and diligently cultivated and maintained over the many years we have resided here.

So once this had been achieved I was quite relieved to escape in my van and to pop across to Chichester for a sneaky breakfast and a walkabout; just to see if I might get any new captures.

Within a few minutes of being there I met one rather eccentric though stunningly very well dressed lady called Trudi Harrison. She certainly turned a few heads I can tell you. After introducing myself to her I managed to get her permission to use the photograph I took of her and intend to include this on my ‘accent on colour’ blog entry for Wednesday.

Then heading home I observe this chap in his blue mirrored shades standing waiting for his wife and catching up with the local news.

Those vibrant primroses and spring flowers in the foreground seemed to highlight as Robert Zimmerman once so eloquently penned “The times they are a changin”

So don’t forget to ‘SPRING forward’… only not before next week though eh?

‘Brother and Sister’

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Just wanted to include these two images of our Kaden and his sister Megan. It is rare that they get to spend a bit of brother sister time together without the interference of the one and only ‘Mad Harri’

Who on this particular occasion was with with her Nan negotiating a separate challenge altogether. This involved her being connected into to a harness and then climbing around a complex series of obstacles in a heavy duty frame.

Which needless to say; she was in her element trying to complete.

In truth she had’nt even noticed the goings of Kaden and Megan who had long disappeared off to explore how to steer a battleship or something of the sort. Harri was much more focused on overcoming each of the skill levels and concentrating on all the climbing frame demanded of her. She was brilliant of course; no contest actually! But then Harri does like to master things quickly and refuses to be beaten.

Meanwhile Kade and Meg had a brilliant time together and were equally absorbed in what they were doing by the time I eventually located them both.

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All I know is that we never had stuff like this when I was young.

Our biggest treat was a ride in my fathers VW Camper to the beach at South Shields. But if we were really lucky; then in between us picking out sand from Mums egg and tomato sandwiches; we were allowed to visit the fair and get to play the slot machines. Great memories though and those which I shall always treasure.

I vividly remember all us kids sitting in the back amongst all the picnic bags and chairs. The rear of the VW was just bare metal and without anything even resembling a seat belt between us all. We honestly slid all over the place each time the van brakes were applied and screamed in excitement when we saw the sea for the first time on the horizon ahead of us. They were some of the happiest times for me and my brothers and sisters.

Let’s hope that these days and memories are remembered with equal affection? I like to hope that somehow they will be.

‘Spot of Rummaging’

IMG_9523Took this little shot as I was leaving the cathedral grounds over in Winchester.

I had seen this elderly lady standing and simultaneously patting both front pockets of her overcoat; but with a noticeably puzzled expression on her face.

As I got closer to her she then began fumbling with the catches on the lid of her white spotty shopping trolley and mumbling to herself. At this stage she did appear genuinely bewildered about something. Then suddenly she stuck her head almost inside her shopping trolley before plunging her left arm deep inside to retrieve one black zip up leather purse.

This was obviously the item which had caused all of her anxiety in the first place; as the look on her face at the time really emphasised. She simply looked absolutely relieved to have at last located it’s whereabouts.

I have no idea what else must have been in that bag but she definitely had to do some rummaging about before grabbing it. Anyway after all of that panic and worry her purse was then secured safely inside her coat pocket.

Then with the clips on the vivid blue and white spotted shopping trolley secured; she strolled off smiling contentedly to herself.

I love characters like this old lady; they are totally unique and often fiercely independent. In fact Our paths did cross again that day; just a little while later in Winchester.

She was waiting at the bus stop. Only this time she was clutching the errant purse firmly between both hands.