Saturday, April 29, 2006

Cruise Ships

Cruise season starts in ernest from Southampton this weekend. The waters of the Solent are plied by many floating palaces and here are two new ones. The "Freedom" is the current world record holder for dimensions but will be overhauled next year we are told. The "Legend" appears small by comparison but is gigantic up close.

Freedom of the Seas

Legend of the Seas

Thursday, April 27, 2006


No commentary really necessary for these 3/4,000 year old monoliths. No admission fee should be payable but it is...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Gunwharf Quays

I am not a shopping person but today I was persuaded to visit a shopping centre in Portsmouth. The 45 mile drive was worth it for the photo opportunity afforded by the proximity of the shops to Portsmouth's historic naval dockyard. Here is what I saw.

The Spinnaker Tower cost $15M and was five years behind schedule. I am too nervous to take the lift to the observation deck even though the panoramic views would be superb. For miles around it appears on the horizon as a tall ship in full sail.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


This is a pastoral English village known the world over for its legendary 3-day summer rock festival. In a chilly spring breeze the rolling farmland seemed a far cry from the churned mud and summer rain which is home to 150,000 souls and draws the very top rock acts.

Today we drove the 80 miles across country with my eldest son and future daughter-in-law principally to visit a purpose built shopping village full of factory outlets. I was bored rigid having bought a pair of shoes in the first 10 minutes then hovered around for another 3 hours waiting for all the necessary browsing to be done.

I made sure there was time on the way home for a short detour north to climb the famous tor which dominates the local country skyline. The monument on top is only of passing interest and in any event has been hijacked by druids, mystics, hippies and all manner of earthy leftfield groups. It seems to mean something different to each.

I had never made the long steep ascent before and was rewarded with spectacular views of the county of Somerset.