Monday, 30 July 2018

The fourth plinth

This is the 12th commission in  the Mayor of London's Fourth Plinth Programme.
 There is a plinth at each corner of Trafalgar Square. Three are occupied by sculptures of historical figures but funds ran out and the fourth plinth remained empty since 1841. In the late 1990s it was decided to display temporary pieces of art commissioned from national and international known artists. The artwork is on display for a year.
The latest installation is called 'The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist' by Michael Rakowitz. It is the recreation of a treasured sculpture from c700BC destroyed by ISIS in 2015.


Close ups of the cans he used to recreate this sculpture.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

100 years of the RAF

2018 is the centenary year of the founding of the RAF. To commemorate the event, last week there was a flypast of 100 aircraft down The Mall and over Buckingham Palace.
 The Mall was crowded but I managed to find a space not too far from the Palace.

The Royal Standard flag was flying so we knew the Queen was in residence.
The crowd patiently waited for the sounds of the first aircaft approaching.

The doors opened and the Royal Family appeared on the balcony.
From left to right Prince Edward, his wife Sophie, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla,  The Queen, Meghan  and Prince Harry.

Behind the lamp was Prince William and then his wife Kate, Princess Anne and her husband, Vice-Admiral Tim Laurence.

I have no idea of the correct name of any of the aircraft so I'll just call these helicopters!
Hurricane and spitfires?

The red arrows

Oh good. Prince William has come out from behind the lamppost.
It was an excellent show. Not sure how they had managed to get all these aircraft in the skies above London at the same time and coordinated their arrival over The Mall within seconds of one another. Now all I had to do was fight my way back through the crowds to the train station.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Playing at Wimbledon

On Friday I was at Wimbledon to watch the men's semi finals with my daughter- in -law. Centre Court doesn't open until 1 pm so we had time to watch some of the matches going on on the outer courts. On Court 12 there was a Veterans match going on with Greg Resedski partnering Fabrice Santoro against Clements and McLagan. I offered a helpful comment to Greg which he heard and as a consequence he came to find me in the stands and asked me to take his place on the court! What an opportunity. Playing tennis at Wimbledon. Definitely a day to remember.

My d-i-l videoed it but I doubt it has downloaded.

After that excitement we went to Centre Cort to watch the longest semi final match ever between Kevin Anderson and John Isner. It didn't make for a good match to watch as these two are very fast servers and they couldn't break one another's serve so not that many rallies. After nearly 6 and a half hours Anderson finally won and then we were treated to the highlight of the day, Djokovic versus Nadal. This match was very different. Fast and exciting rallies.

 After 11pm the match had to be suspended to be completed the following day. Wimbledon Tennis Club is in the middle of a residential area and matches are not allowed to continue playing after 11pm. It is a great pity they didn't put this match on first but there you go we had to watch Djokovic go on to win the match on TV the next day.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Trip to Finisterre

The day after arriving in Santiago de Compostela we went on a coach trip to Finisterre. The place the Romans called 'Earth's End'. The guide gave a running commentary in both Spanish and English, all the way there. How relaxing it was for us not to be walking. We stopped at a couple of places enroute.

Our first stop was in the village of Pontemaceira with a medieval bridge, stone mills and graneries.

It was a very picturesque village. One of the houses had this old grain store, an horreo as well as a cross within its grounds.

Our next stop was the harbour village of Muros

Looking out from the harbour we could see the mussel beds. These platforms produce about 300,000 tons of mussels each year.

We drove on along the coast. The views were stunning with the white sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters. We were heading for the other side of the bay. There was no time for us to get out and walk along the beach so these photos were taken through the coach window as we drove past.

Our next stop was at the Ezaro Waterfall. This is the only river in Europe that reaches the sea as a waterfall.

Then we arrived at Finisterre. The name is so familiar to those of us who listen to the shipping forecast on the BBC. It was part of the forecast from 1949 to 2002. The loss of this area as part of the forecast was mourned by many as it was mentioned in every one of the Met Office's four daily weather forecasts. It was taken out of the forecast by international agreement, since one of Spain's meteorlogical areas bears the same name but doesn't cover the same area. The name of this sea area for shipping has now been change to Fitzroy. But many of us still think of it as Finisterre when we we hear the familiar recital of the 31 sea areas during the shipping forecast.

Some pilgrims continue their walk from the Cathedral in santiago to Finisterre and here is the final waymarker showing 0.00km. We had taken our pilgrims passports with us so we get the final stamp in them.

There were a few boots cast aside, left by weary travellers. This one had the best view point though .with a great view looking out. It really does feel like the end of the earth from here.

On our return to Santiago we made one more stop at the Virxe da barca Sanctuary. If you have seen the film 'The Way' with Michael Sheen. It is here that his pilgrimage ends when he scatters his son's ashes out to sea.

There is the church of 'Our Lady' here which has a sloping floor to allow the sea to flow back out, as it is often flooded by the enormous Atlantic waves.

We returned to Santiago for our final night in the city before flying back in the morning.

Here we all are. The end of another great trip. All being well we will meet up in a year's time for our next adventure. We have already decided our next one will be back in the UK.