Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ramblings for The End of March

These last 3 months have been so full and passed so quickly. It has been hard to choose which direction to go sometimes when 3 important events have clashed.

Like this past weekend for instance, I had to choose between a residential weekend at Pilgrims Hall for team and trustees or a conference at my church.
I chose the conference in the end as there were lectures on some very important issues we face in our world today.
I have been asked to post on the conference but that would be impossible so I pass on a link instead for those interested
(Go to Homepage and click on audio/video on the menu bar)
Professor Dr. Peter Jones who is the director of truthexchange shared his Godly Wisdom and insights on the infiltration of 
Neo-Paganism into some of the church and society at large
He has written many books on the subject

We first met Dr. Jones last year and as an aside it is a small world.
Although he lives in San Diego, California, he was born and bred in my home town of Liverpool and was a friend of John Lennon when young
It turns out that he and I were awarded an Art Scholarship around the same time but my parents would not allow me to take a place at art school insisting on grammar school instead of the art school that some of the Beatles attended

That same weekend, as members, we had an important AGM of our local Conservative party to attend where there was some crucial voting to make sue that our Christian Member of Parliament had a team around him who would support him in his Godly endeavours.
We had the largest turn out for our town ever and the opposition were so fazed that they phoned the local Fire Brigade to try and have the meeting stopped on grounds of health and safety. The meeting went ahead with fantastic results.

Our weather this last week has been fantastic
Temperatures in the low 70's f. Virtually unheard of for March
While some were enjoying it others were dealing with 
3 wild fires around the UK
Added to that hose pipe bans are due to come in beginning of April as we are in a serious drought situation after 3 dry winters

Well the good weather brings lots of hard work with it
Much pruning and tidying etc of the garden but we are also planning and working on lots of changes. A garden is never static and lots of things need to be replaced and we are also getting rid of one of our sheds and our greenhouse. I no longer do the raising of my own plants so the green house has ended up a dumping ground recently and our bottom shed is falling down 
More on that later

Friday, 23 March 2012

Maison Dieu, Faversham

Driving past this interesting site in Faversham, Kent we stopped to take a look
Unfortunately we were not able to go inside as it is only open on Saturdays

However, a significant fragment remains of this medieval hospital and hostel for kings built early in the 13th century.
For more than 3 centuries until it's foundation was dissolved in 1519 on the instructions of King Henry VIII, to grant all it's revenue and possessions to endow St. John's College Cambridge, the Maison Dieu was a considerable landmark along the pilgrim route for travellers to Canterbury, Dover and the Continent. 

I understand that the other part of the remains of this hospital is privately owned

Just a quick post as I will be at a conference this weekend and unlikely to get to my computer
Do hope that it is a good weekend for everyone

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The White Cliffs of Dover

This top picture is of 'The Seven Sisters' at Beachy Head so shows how the white cliffs are not just  situated at Dover but stretch far along the South coast westward.

Yes, they really are white - they are chalk cliffs
for safety one is advised to stay 5 metres from the cliff edge as they are constantly eroding

One has to be on a boat to get these views so give credit to Google for these two pictures

We visited this light house, a 2 mile walk from the car park at the top of the cliffs at Dover, on our last visit and were able to look out from the top

Here we have left the castle and have come to walk along the cliffs and drink tea while looking down on  the Ferry Terminal
After all the walking involved in visiting the castle this is a welcome break - sitting down drinking tea that is!

If your screen is big enough you can just see France on the horizon in the centre of the picture 22 miles away

Trucks and cars waiting to load

Constant ferries in and out and a cruise ship near the centre horizon
Did you notice the cloud coming in while I took these pictures

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Dover Castle - Pt. 2

At the heart of Dover Castle lies the inner bailey and The Great Tower. Built by King Henry II.
Glimpses of life in a Royal palace of this kind in 1180's has been recreated for visitors to explore

Obviously a servants area which seems to be a mixture of kitchen and laundry

These steps show the thickness of the walls and obviously one had to walk up the sill to look out

The nursery

the lavatory

Dining Hall

Throne Room

The Well

servants area

Here we have someone dressed as a king for the children's benefit

King's bedroom


chain armour

These different areas are all on different floors so can't imagine what it must have been like constantly walking up and down the rough stone stairways and in the footwear of the day

Friday, 16 March 2012

Dover Castle Pt. 1

For over 2,000 years these fortifications have protected the English coast. Henry II built the present castle in the 1180's, and over the next 800 years it's buildings and defences were adapted to meet the changing demands of weapons and warfare

For Alan and and I, it is a pleasant day in August and we find the car park full so are directed to this overflow field which soon fills up
There is a shuttle bus to take us to the castle but I prefer to walk rather than waiting around
It's not just a walk across the fields but by road right around the hill
First down the hill and then back up another hill 

This is not our first visit

The Battlements with the Spur Casements which go right around the castle

We arrive at Constable's Gate -the main entrance
It has taken us about half an hour from the car and I am hot and somewhat breathless 

Once inside there is a lot of tough walking but there is a land train for those that need it

Alan charging ahead while I am stopping to take photos

The Port of Dover

The drawbridge and gate to The Inner Bailey

King Henry II's Great Tower

Up and up we climb
there are about eight levels that take us quite high

In the centre of the photo here we see the curved hill that takes us to our car

Overlooking the town of Dover

and the Port

and here we are looking down on the cafe where we had lunch

more of Dover

and looking down here from one of the corner towers on the roof we look across to the top of the White Cliffs of Dover and the English Channel

The castle church to the right - St. Mary-in-Castro, the finest late Saxon building standing in Kent

We have now left the Great Tower
and in the next post I will show you inside where we will see some of a royal palace recreated to its 1180s glory

These Garrison buildings on the right mostly house various exhibitions - the only one we visited today was the museum of the Regiment of Diana the Princess of Wales

Now on our way down

to the Regimental Institute Restaurant where we have tea
before that long walk and climb back up the hill