Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘England 2013’ Category

Okapi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beast that’s sensitive and shy
was rarely seen by human eye
its home the Congo far away
discovered in Victorian day
by Stanley, the explorer whom
said ‘Dr Livingstone I presume’.

The Okapi was found to be
part of the giraffe family
long neck, large ears that help it hear
whenever predators are near.
It is distinguished you will find
by stripes on its legs and behind.

A plant-based diet every day
plus salt and minerals from clay
all gathered with prehensile tongue
this mammal also feeds its young
but each one tends to live solo
except at breeding time, you know.

There’s some resemblance to a deer
But deer cannot lick its own ear
the Okapi’s the only one
by whom this behaviour is done.
How do I know all this is true?
I saw one in the London Zoo.

Read Full Post »

Anglian Alphabet S-V

S is for Squirrel

Squirrel in St James' Park

Squirrel in St James’ Park, London

What else could it be?  My favourite English animal.

T is for Thatch

Thatched cottage at Pirton in Hertfordshire

Thatched cottage at Pirton in Hertfordshire

These houses always seem to me like something out of a storybook.

U is for Underground

Lode in Wheal Mexico

Lode in Wheal Mexico

Not the London transport system, but a lode in the tin mine at Geevor.

V is for Venta Icenorum

Roman wall

Roman wall

This Roman town was the capital of Norfolk for 300 years from 70AD,  The photo shows part of the remaining wall.

“There’s such a lot of things to see
in alphabet S, T, U, V.”

Read Full Post »

Anglian Alphabet P-R

P is for Penzance

High Street, Penzance

Here’s the High Street with flags flying

Q is for Queen Victoria

Her footprint was preserved in brass at St Michael's Mount

Her footprint was preserved in brass at St Michael’s Mount

R is for Royal Wedding

This knitted group was displayed in a window at Bridport

This knitted group was displayed in a window at Bridport

“We took a trip down Bridport way
where knitted folk were on display.”

Read Full Post »

N is for New Forest

Thatched caravan

Thatched caravan

That’s where we saw this wonderful thatched caravan.

O is for Okapi

Okapi

Okapi

This amazing animal lives at London Zoo.  It’s native to the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Although its striped markings resemble a zebra, it’s actually more closely related to the giraffe.

“A wondrous beast, the strange okapi.
A zebra-bottomed giraffe chappie.”

Read Full Post »

L is for Labyrinths

Labyrinth at Ely Cathedral

Labyrinth at Ely Cathedral

This is the one at Ely Cathedral. constructed (the labyrinth, that is) in 1870 by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who also designed ChristChurch Cathedral.  The fact that it was just inside the main door meant people were walking across all the time which made it hard to concentrate.  If you walk it, as I did, you will have covered 66 metres, the same distance as the height of the ceiling above.

M is for Mousehole

The quintessential Cornish fishing village.

Mousehole Harbour

Mousehole Harbour

Mousehole (pronounced Mowzel) is absolutely delightful.  We were there on a sunny day when children were playing on the beach.  This photo was taken later as the sun was going down.

“We saw so many lovely sights.
The English countryside delights.”

Read Full Post »

K is for King Arthur’s Car Park

Car Park at Tintagel

Car Park at Tintagel

This park at Tintagel was definitely an anachronism, but I guess they just couldn’t resist.  They might have added an apostrophe!

I doubt King Arthur would have stopped to park his horse.  He’d have simply ridden on over the causeway to the castle.  We lesser mortals were obliged to take a long hot walk to the castle entrance.

“I doubt King Arthur would stop here
and pay a fee to the cashier.”

Read Full Post »

J is for Julian of Norwich

Julian was a writer and mystic who lived from 1342 to c. 1429.  She was the first woman to write a book in English, and she did this while living as an anchoress/hermit in a small room attached to St Julian’s Church.  The cell had windows, through which she could speak to the many people who came to her for comfort and advice.

Doorway to Julian's cell

Doorway to Julian’s cell

The cell was pulled down during the reformation, but rebuilt after the second world war, and is now a place of pilgrimage for many.

Votive candles inside Julian's cell

Votive candles inside Julian’s cell

Although Julian lived a solitary life of prayer and contemplation she would have had a cat for company and mouse control.  Julian’s most famous saying is “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”.

“I was privileged to see her cell
where she announced ‘All shall be well’.”

Read Full Post »

I is for Ibis

At the London Zoo we saw Scarlet Ibises which were most spectacular.

Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis

Their natural habitat is tropical South America and the Islands of the Caribbean, and they have protected status throughout the world.  The Scarlet Ibis is genetically the same as the white Ibis, except for their pigmentation.  Apparently there are some hybrid Ibises, which have pale orange or pinkish plumage.

The Scarlet Ibis is a sociable and gregarious bird, and very communally-minded regarding the search for food and the protection of the young. They live in flocks of thirty or more. Members stay close, and mating pairs arrange their nests in close proximity to other pairs in the same tree.  For protection, flocks often congregate in large colonies. They also regularly share time among other avian creatures, gaining additional safety through numbers: storks, spoonbills, egrets, herons and ducks are all common companions during feedings and flights.

“The Ibis is a social bird
friendly to ducks and storks, I’ve heard.”

Read Full Post »

H is for the Hiz

The Hiz is the river from which the town of Hitchin in Hertfordshire (lots of Hs) takes its name.  It’s a tributary of the River Great Ouse.  The final z of the river’s name represents a ‘ch’ sound, and the name should properly be pronounce “Hitch”.  The name comes from the Hicca tribe who inhabited the area.  An entry in the Domesday Book of 1086  records “Rex Willelmus tenet Hiz” (King William holds Hitchin).  The Hiz can be seen in the grounds of Hitchin Priory (founded 1317).  Here you can still see Roman bricks lining the Hiz.

River Hiz at Hitchin Priory where Roman bricks can be seen

River Hiz at Hitchin Priory where Roman bricks can be seen

Further towards the town centre the river is wider, and enjoyed by families of ducks.

A more modern view of the Hiz

A more modern view of the Hiz

“Some call it Hiz and some say Hitch.
The ducks don’t really mind just which.”

Read Full Post »

G is for Gorillas

When we were in Norwich we saw Gorillas everywhere.  There were 53 Gorilla sculptures on display around the city as part of a programme to showcase the creativity of Norwich while highlighting environmental issues and the plight of one of the world’s most endangered species.

Floral Gorilla

Floral Gorilla

Gorilla beside the Cathedral

Gorilla beside the Cathedral

Earnest

Earnest

Earnest had lines from “The Importance of Being Earnest” written on the white stripes of his pinstriped suit.

The gorillas were painted by various artists, and after being on the streets for ten weeks they were auctioned for charity and raised a total of £270,000.

“A gorilla you are like to meet
When walking on a Norwich Street.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »