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Face Your Fear

Face Your Fear (Box Hill Fort)

Face Your Fear

This rather dark image is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge. This is Box Hill Fort, set behind the visitor’s centre and cafe at the top of Box Hill. Last Wednesday I went out chasing butterflies again and I was looking for several species on the chalk hillsides of Box Hill. The fort was a rather stark contrast to the delicate little butterflies I was looking for. I was really struck by the graffiti on this wall. It’s not the usual splurge of spray paint or some unreadable moniker! No, this is polite, Surrey graffiti. It’s even been written using the local chalk from around the hillside, which means no lasting damage! And it rhymes; GO TO THE DOOR FAR FROM HERE, HOPEFULLY YOU’LL FACE YOUR FEAR. There’s actually no visitor entry to the fort these days as it’s now home to bats, which are a protected species in the UK. So, if you fear bats and you’re by the far door at dusk, I suppose you may well face your fear! In the bright sunshine all I found was a holly blue butterfly, which was more delightful than awful. I’m still not certain why the writer thinks that readers would be hopeful of facing their fear. I find it intriguing and perhaps that makes it art. What do you think?

Source: Wikipedia

The Old Fort is one of 13 mobilisation centres (known collectively as the London Defence Positions) built in the 1890s to protect London from invasion from continental Europe. The six acre site of the fort was originally purchased by the Ministry of Defence in 1891, and construction began in 1896. Box Hill fort was laid out in the form of an infantry redoubt, typical of the period, but also included magazines for the storage of artillery ammunition. Box Hill fort was designed for the use of the infantry only and the stored ammunition was intended for the use of mobile field artillery, which would be deployed nearby as required. A reform of defence policy by the Secretary of War, Viscount Haldane, in 1905 resulted in all 13 centres being declared redundant, and Box Hill Fort was sold back to the estate trustees in 1908.

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Golden Crown

Guild Castle surrounded by daffodils

Golden Crown

Yesterday I joined a group of local photographers for a photoramble around Guildford. We picked the wrong day! It was absolutely tipping it down with rain and most of the group gave up before reaching the Castle Grounds. Well the daffodils were truly glorious, crowning the hill with gold. Shame about the sky at the time which was grey and featureless! For my Fotospeed Challenge image I decided that I would merge a beautiful spring-blue sky from Saturday into my photo of the castle. The resulting composite is the sight that I had been imagining enjoying and capturing on our day out! Despite the rain I loved going around the grounds, seeing the beautiful daffodils, primrose and blossoms. There was so much birdsong and a real feel of life springing up around me! I am looking forward to seeing the grounds carpeted with tulips soon 🙂

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101 Reasons To Visit Kos Island

Kastri Island viewed from the ruins of Agios Stefanos

101 Reasons To Visit Kos Island

Pictures speak louder than words, so I have 101 photographs that I believe will speak directly to your hearts on the beauty and appeal of this fascinating Greek island.

My piece of advice to you all this week, as part of the WordPress Discover Challenge, is to believe what your eyes see through my images of Kos and not what the world’s media would have you believe! Visit Kos and other Greek Islands, they are affordable, welcoming, enthralling and perfectly safe. You won’t regret it!

All these photographs were taken between June 21st and July 5th 2016. Most were shot on the Sony a6000 mirrorless camera, NFC transferred to my Sony Xperia Z5 smartphone and edited in Snapseed and Adobe PS Touch Apps.

Part of WPC: Look Up for the wonderful birds of Greece!

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Travel Theme: Interior

Brooklands Museum-73

Travel Theme: Interior

I’m so glad that Ailsa picked this topic for Travel Theme as it forced me to search my folders for inspiration. I discovered a whole treasure trove of unprocessed photos, from both DSLR and my phone, of Brooklands Museum from almost a year ago! All these images are from the different areas inside the museum and some are the insides of engines and a variety of automobiles, old and new!

My first gallery has some family photos with my friend Sam, her children and her sister, Charlotte’s two boys. Amazing to see Matthew only a couple of months old! I love the photos I got of both Zach and Callum inside the F1 race car 🙂

My second gallery is from inside the London Bus Museum which is within the grounds of Brooklands itself. The boys were so excited about this exhibit! It was really hard to get them out again.

The Museum sits on the site of the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, constructed in 1907. Brooklands was the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation, home of Concorde and the site of many engineering and technological achievements throughout eight decades of the 20th century. Of course it’s far more than a simple museum with scores of events held throughout the year! This last gallery shows many of the exhibits from the main interior of this brilliant venue.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy – Newark Priory

Newark Priory with circling birds

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Newark Priory

Memories held in
Bricks and mortar, ruined yet
Standing steadfast still

 

The rafters are gone
Yet sanctuary remains
Birds flock to her walls

 

On ancient marshland
Cattle graze and chew the cud
Splendour lost on them

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Weekly Photo and Travel Theme Challenges: Strength and Endurance – Industry

Industrial

Weekly Photo and Travel Theme Challenges: Strength and Endurance – Industry

My photomontage this week is in honour of Industry in the UK. It comprises images of steel cables from the 19th Century Llanymynech Lime Quarry, the upper structures of The Shard building in London and a bronze sculpture entitled Help by artist and poet David Payntor.

The UK was the pioneering nation in the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries. As technological advances spread across nations, the World was brought closer and standards of living started to rise for many. This was a period of history that sparked a new era of evolution for us. We are still evolving as a species and evolving the industries that support humanity and our economies.

The landscape of the UK is a monument to the progress of industry; the enduring structures built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the great shipyards of the 19th and 20th Centuries, abandoned quarries and mines, the old steel works of Sheffield, the many docks on the Thames in London. Our industrial history is built on the back of metals, minerals and manpower. Current and future industry is driven by the development of new technologies and the legacy of engineering genius.

For a strong and enduring economy, led by industry, the people of the UK have had to adapt and embrace change again and again. In 2013 the UK was the 4th largest exporter in the world. The financial services industry is particularly important and London is the world’s largest financial centre! The British Aerospace and Pharmaceutical Industries play an important role in our economy.The automotive industry is also a major employer and exporter. Our Construction Industry continues to grow, employing over two million people. The largest current project in the UK is Crossrail, it’s the biggest construction project in all of Europe! Due to open in 2018, it will be a new railway line running east to west through London and into the surrounding countryside with a branch to Heathrow Airport. The main feature of the project is construction of 42 km (26 mi) of new tunnels connecting stations in Central London. Isambard Brunel would be proud!

This is a gallery of the images used to create the montage in Photoshop:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

Decoding History

Last year I photographed singer/songwriter Anna Neale at The British Museum, performing songs from her album River Man as part of the museum’s Up Late In Pompeii event. While Anna and the band were setting up I took the opportunity to wander around the exhibits.

I can honestly say that the most popular and crowded piece in the museum was the Rosetta Stone! Not surprising really, it is, after all, probably the most famous piece of written language in the world. The inscription comprises of three languages, Ancient Greek, Demotic (common Egyptian script of the era) and Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs (language of the Gods). I spent just a few moments in front of the stone trying to capture some images of these beautiful scripts!

 

This week’s images are my interpretation of the scholastic journey of the rediscovered Ptolemaic Decree. International scholars spent decades decoding these inscriptions, starting with the Greek, before using recognisable Egyptian names to begin translating the other two languages, which contain almost the exact same text. This discovery finally unlocked the mysteries of the Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs, whose meaning had been lost to the world for around 1500 years!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

There are many things in life that I treasure but my heart truly belongs to Simon. He is precious beyond measure to me!

We both thoroughly treasure the time we get to spend together, each year, on the beautiful Greek island of Kos.

Kos itself is full of treasures, historical and natural. I thought I’d use this week’s challenge to show you just a few of these from our 2012 holiday!

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Travel theme: Illuminated

Travel theme: Illuminated

Travel theme: Illuminated

Now that I’m not fixed into creating a new photograph to post every day, I thought it would be nice to join in with some of the other challenges hosted by fellow bloggers.

I’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone’s posts for Ailsa’s Travel Theme. I hope I can entertain you all with some submissions of my own! This week’s photo was taken in Manchester over the Christmas period. We were only there for the day visiting my friend, Rachel, and her family but we had a bit of time to see the city illuminated after dusk.

Primark is a retailer of extremely affordable items (that’s my generous description!). I rather like the irony of such a shop being set in this grand and elegantly lit building. Originally built in 1877 for Lewis’ department store, this is Victorian architecture at its best! Whatever I may think of their produce, I must say that the owners of Primark have done us a great service in restoring such a wonderful piece of Manchester’s historic City Centre.