The Gallery: Week 79 – Faces

For this prompt, I’m going to show you some photos taken the a ceremony held in Derby on September 3rd, 2009, to mark the 70th anniversary of the start of World War Two, when wreaths were laid at the war memorial in the market square.  I have already drawn on this event last week, from a different standpoint – it was a very simple, very respectful, and very moving occasion.  I witnessed it purely fortuitously – I just happened to be in the city centre at the time.  This underlines the maxim: Carry your camera – always.  So first, I’ll just illustrate the ceremony:

Now let’s have a look at the face of the standard bearer as he remembers the fallen:

…and then, as he presents the standard.  (Yes, it’s the same man!)

Now see the solemn respect in the mien of this young sea cadet, who hasn’t known war for himself directly:

On that day, however, the square was not entirely filled with sadness.  These four veterans had time for a picture, a chat, and, despite some grim memories, a laugh!

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Vegeburger, Anyone?

To make (a little) sense of this post, first of all look here to understand what prompted it.  Been there, done that, got the apron?  (You’re going to need it.)  Then read on…

The Supremely Sweet Vegeburger

Bake some sponge cakes in small (10cm) tins and set aside.  Meanwhile, make Krispie cake (from puffed rice cereal) also in 10cm rounds, and coat in chocolate.

Sandwich a krispie cake between two sponge cakes with a little whipped cream.  If desired, include a square of thinly rolled marzipan.  (That’s if you like almonds.)  And a little thinly chopped angelica adds a nice touch, don’t you think?

By the way, making these, not to mention eating them, can get incredibly messy.  The best way to cope with this problem is to wrap your hands in newspaper.

Back on that link, you’ll find more interpretations of the theme.
(For your further enjoyment, as they say.) 

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Mystery Picture – Week 2

Here’s my mystery picture for this week.  For details about this theme, look here.  Please have a go and leave your guess as a comment.  Thank you for visiting.

The answer will be published next week-end, at the start of the week 3 post, with a link back for your convenience.  I’m only just launching this theme (as you can see) so in the meantime, your references/retweets on Twitter are much appreciated.  Thank you.

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I’m afraid I don’t feel equal to the task of writing for this prompt in a personal way, much as I can strongly relate to the concept.  Instead, I shall fit a few words to a photograph (as I rather tend to do.)  So here it is – a picture of Wollaton Hall, Nottingham.

This Elizabethan stately home, now a museum, was built between 1580 and 1588, for Sir Francis Willoughby (1547 – 1596.)  Despite his great wealth, his business affairs were complex and some ventures were unsuccessful.  He had no sons, and when a relative, Percival Willoughby, inherited the hall when Sir Francis died, it was encumbered by debts. What was missing, quite simply, was money.

In early 1944, when many American servicemen came to Britain before D-day, the park surrounding the hall was used as a camp for the 82nd Airborne Division.  Men saw this ornate building, together with deer roaming the park (as they still do today) and dubbed it ‘Nottingham Castle.’  Over 2,000 paratroopers were billeted there.  When they returned some time after D-day, the tents were not so full.  What was missing, sadly, was men.  Men to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.

This post was prompted by the ‘Writing Workshop’ here.

Other responses are here.

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Mystery Picture – Week 1

First of all, a special thank you to all of you who’ve dropped by and looked at my ‘Silent Sunday’ posts for the last three weeks.  You will recall that they took the style of a ‘mystery picture’ for you to guess just what it was.

I have now decided that it’s better to separate this idea from ‘Silent Sunday’ and post it as a theme in its own right, so to speak.  I shall be glad of any feedback and suggestions, and, as always, your comments are welcome. Please also leave your guess(es) as a comment – you’re welcome to have as many guesses as you like!

Oh, and just a few guidelines:

  • The object will always be something reasonably common – I’m not expecting you to know what all the components of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN look like, or anything like that.
  • However, the picture may show the object from a long distance away…
  • Or alternatively, perhaps magnified.
  • It may also be shown viewed from an unusual angle.

So here is the picture for this week – what is it?

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Ode to Autumn

The autumn leaves remind us of a growing season over.
There are berries in the hedgerow, but no flowers on the clover.
From cottage chimneys wood-smoke curls, and daylight sooner ends –
Lamps shine out from windows, for family and friends.
A drizzle falls in droplets fine –
Makes pathways shine.
Frost threatens:
Winter beckons.

This post was inspired and prompted by the ‘100 word challenge’ here.
(Just fifty words, plus the three ‘prompt’ words, were allowed this time.) 

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The Gallery: Week 78 – Inspirational People

Aside from those who inspire me personally, whom I don’t wish to discuss here, I often think that those who have given their lives for their country, so that many privileges, that we take for granted, have been preserved and passed on to us who live now, are a source of great inspiration to us – or certainly should be.  So, too, are those who carry respect for all such people in their hearts.

This photograph was taken at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the start of World War Two – the third of September 2009.

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Moments, Minerals, and Things Marine…

So what do I collect?  Well, I suppose, first of all, I collect moments.  Points in time that were part of the future, but are now part of history.  Moments of shape, line, perspective, colour, and contrast.  Most people just call them photographs, or, more clinically still, images.  But to me, many of my photographs, indeed all of them in some sense, are moments.  Several of them appear elsewhere on this blog.

But what about things you can see and touch in reality?  Sure, I’ve collected stamps and a few coins in my time, but my main enduring inclination as a collector has been, and is, towards minerals and sea shells.  The marvellous blend of beauty and history, I think, is what appeals to me.  Most of the things like this that I collect, I gather from beaches or other open spaces, for no cost.  One or two are purchased specimens.  Either way, I rate them as more interesting souvenirs than twee ornaments with the name of a seaside town emblazoned on them.  I’ll just show you a few: first, some shells…

Next, an interesting pebble…

and here, another pebble with fossils on it, rather prized…

and finally,a piece of fluorite…

This is one of my few purchased specimens.  It is, indeed, a very impure sample of ‘Blue John’ fluorspar.  The colour is said to come from oil, trapped as the rock was formed.  Whenever did the remains of dead sea creatures make something look so beautiful?

This post was prompted by the ‘Writing Workshop’ here.

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