A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – GAP


This is a photo challenge from Sue Llewllyn and her chosen word this week is -GAP

My photo is here –

Looking at Barcelona

Looking at Barcelona

A different view of Barcelona – between the trees in the distance, you can just make out Gaudi’s ‘Sagrada Familia’

You can see more photographs here http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/a-word-a-week-photograph-challenge-gap/

Phoneography Challenge – Macro


I usually only ever take quick snaps with my iPhone and so wondered how a macro type close up would look. The first shot is of a baby fern frond I came across at the back of the garden, just starting to unfold. The next is one of the flowers on the orchid on top of the bookcase – I’ve always been fascinated by the way the centre of an orchid looks to me like a fierce predator. Hope you like them.

Fern frond

Orchid monster

 

You can see other photos in this Phoneography Challenge by clicking here

A summer beach in Cardiff Bay… and a little bit of history


According to statistics, the summer of 2013 is the best in the UK for seven years. Making the most of the lovely weather is the Cardiff Beach, a new attraction that has transformed Roald Dahl Plass in Mermaid Quay.  There are live bands, lots of eating places, traditional seaside rides and stalls, for the energetic amongst the crowds there is also beach volleyball in the specially created beach area. The atmosphere was fantastic the day we visited, everyone seemed to be having lots of fun.

Cardiff Bay 2013

Cardiff Bay 2013

IMG_0156

Cardiff Bay Fair 2013

A little bit of history…

Across the water, you can see the tiny Norwegian Church. In the 19th century, Cardiff was one of largest sea ports in the world. Ships from Norway transported Scandinavian timber to South Wales, for use  in the mines as pit props, they would then take back coal to Norway. To serve the religious needs of the Norwegian sailors and many expats who came to live in and around the dock area, The Norwegian Church was founded by Carl Herman Lund from Oslo in 1868, on land donated by the Marquis of Bute at the entrance of Bute West Dock. It became known as “The Little White Church” a well-known navigation point and home from home for sailors.

The Church also acted as a seaman’s mission, offering food and shelter, Scandinavian newspapers, magazines and facilities for them to write letters to loved ones back home. During WWII many Norwegian seamen could not return to their homeland as it was occupied and as many as 70,000 Scandinavians were said to have worshipped in the little church every year.

In the 1950’s shipping trade had moved away from Cardiff and the mission’s work was discontinued. Eventually, in the early 1960’s the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission withdrew its patronage and the church was closed. It was finally de-consecrated in 1974.

But, that’s not the end of the story.

With the planned development of Cardiff Bay in the late 1980’s, the proposed building of new roads around Atlantic Wharf threatened the destruction of the now derelict and vandalised church. The community however, was not prepared the see the little  church demolished and so the Norwegian Church Preservation Trust was formed to try to save the building and have it relocated to another part of the dock. The children’s writer Roald Dahl, who was baptised in the church in 1916, became the first President of the Trust.  In partnership with the Norwegian Support Committee in Bergen, the trust raised over £250,000 which enabled the church to be dismantled in 1987.  It was preserved and stored pending reassembly on its new site. The remaining original features were rescued, the pulpit, one side window, the chandelier and the model ship were all returned to the church.

In the early 1990’s reconstruction of the church began, on land gifted by Associated British Ports.  In April 1992 the church was re-opened by Princess Martha Louise of Norway in a ceremony attended by VIPs and local people who were  delighted that the doors to the “Little White Church” were open once again.

Today, after considerable refurbishment, including the gift of external wooden decking by the town council of Hordaland, the centre now offers exhibition space in the Dahl gallery, a great coffee shop and function rooms used for weddings, concerts and other events. You can find more information here

Phoneography Challenge – Nature


Here are my iPhotos, taken with my iPhone5  – my contribution to the Phoneography Challenge 2013

This week the theme is NATURE

We have a grapevine growing in the garden – a challenge in itself for a garden in South Wales. Following the lengthy spell of hot sun during the last four weeks, I was delighted to find that we have some grapes at last…some in plain view…

Grapes

and some in hiding…

Grapes in hiding

we also have apples…

First fruits

All the photos were taken this evening, after the rain had stopped…

After the rain

You can see other entries for this week here  it is well worth stopping by.

Watching Trooping the Colour wearing tight pyjamas


Saturday 15th June was the Queen’s Birthday Parade in London.  We  had tickets to watch the pomp and pageantry in Horse Guards Parade; our seats were in a row that backed onto the gardens of Downing Street.

On Tuesday 11th June my husband complained of feeling unwell. He got worse throughout the day; our doctor decided that he should go to hospital and arranged for us to attend the Acute Assessment Unit at A&E.  We arrived at 9.00pm with overnight bag at the ready and were seen almost immediately for a blood pressure check and blood tests.  Next, my husband was sent for X-rays, and then we were told to return to the waiting area to be seen by the duty doctor.

We waited with a lot of other people; some moaning softly in pain, some just staring into space, some playing games on their phones or talking with friends and family. One woman was having an argument with her husband over the fact that he never took the rubbish out; he just sat and held her hand, understanding perhaps that this was her way of handling the uncertainty of what lay ahead.

At 12.30 we were called in to see the doctor. The results were back and it seems my husband had a kidney infection.  We were given antibiotics and pain killers and sent home.

I wasn’t convinced.

For one thing one of the antibiotics had to be ‘taken with or after food but NOT on an empty stomach.’ As my husband hadn’t eaten properly for three days and wasn’t about to have anything to eat now, I knew we were going to have problems.   He went to bed with one of the other tablets as I crossed my fingers and hoped he would have a peaceful night.

Wednesday dawned and things weren’t much better. He still didn’t want anything to eat but managed a piece of toast so he could take his tablet. He still felt ill and had a high temperature, but didn’t want me to call the doctor.

Om Thursday he seemed worse. I rang the surgery and spoke to the doctor. He asked a lot of questions, then told me he was going to admit my husband to hospital and I should take him over there straightaway.  On the way, I realised that I had forgotten to pack his pj’s.  We called in to a large clothing store on the way to the hospital, they had no pyjamas only ‘Leisure Wear’.

Once in hospital, we waited for what seemed like an eternity before he was admitted to a ward. Finally about 11.30pm he went to get changed into his ‘leisure wear’.He wasn’t impressed with my purchase; the top was too tight and the trousers too long.  I kissed him goodnight and left him in the care of the night staff.

I left the hospital and went to stay at my son’s house, not wishing to be on my own that night.  My daughter-in-law had laid out a pair of her pj’s as I had nothing with me. I was touched and amused that she thought her clothes would fit me; she is at least two sizes smaller than I and a good four inches taller. We had a hot drink and discussed what had happened during the last few days, then I climbed into their spare bed in a top that was too tight and trousers that were too long, but I was too tired to care.

The following morning I switched on the television to watch the Welsh Guards trooping their colour on Horse Guards Parade and wondered who was sitting in our seats.

In Horse Guards

Trooping the Colour

In the Mall

(More photos and full report @ BBC)

And a couple of balcony shots, courtesy of my tv.

On the balcony

On the balcony 2

Red Arrows over Buckingham Palace