Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 23 May 2016

The Swing Bridge

Always seems to happen when you are in a hurry. Two weeks ago as I was returning from Manchester, the traffic was stopped to allow a small boat with a tall mast to travel down the River Irwell.
I had plenty of time to find my camera and photograph the bridge as it swung round!
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Our World Tuesday

Friday, 13 May 2016

Reflections in London Covent Garden


67 mirrors have been placed around Covent Garden Piazza in London to conceal essential building works. The mirrors cover 32,000 sq ft, They will be in place for the next 8 months but the angles will be adjusted to create ever changing reflections.


















Sunday, 8 May 2016

Cameos

Whilst in Naples we saw this craftsman carving cameos from pieces of shell.

The shell is perfect  as the inside is a different colour to the outside so the outer surface is removed to reveal an image on a contrasting background.










Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Cloisters.

These photos are from my recent visit to Naples. The 14th century arches provide a beautiful backdrop to the garden behind Santa Chiara church.

The garden was designed by Vaccaro in 1739.









There are 72 octagonal pillars punctuated by seats.
They are all decorated with Majolica tiles painted by Donata and Giuseppe  Massa.


















Saturday, 30 April 2016

Sorrento

There are many places to visit in Naples and with its good transport links it makes the ideal base. However, it is one of the dirtiest modern cities I have ever visited. There is rubbish strewn everywhere, bins overflowing and graffiti on every brick wall you see. So today we were leaving Naples behind and visiting Sorrento for the day. We took the local train with its 33 stops on the way. You can get an express train but they wouldn't sell us a ticket at the main station. It was a bizarre experience. When we went to Pompeii it took a visit to four different ticket booths and much persuasion before they would sell us tickets for the Express. It is more expensive but much quicker. Whilst waiting for the Express train 4 different people told us we had to go on the local train! So today we gave up trying and just went with the flow on the slow train to Sorrento.

It was a day to browse, drink, eat and watch the world go by in a very clean town.




                                                               Even time for a selfie.















Lemons were everywhere.

















We took the lift down the cliffs so we could walk by the sea but being Italy this isn't so easy as it seems that the seafront is owned by bars or restaurants or hotels.

But once we were near the ferry port we had a much better view of the sea and could see the Island of Capri in the distance. 






Unfortunately it then became quite hazy and the warm Sirocco wind began. Not too bad to begin with but by the time we sat down for lunch outside a restaurant overlooking the sea, it blew the salad off the plate!


Time to call it a day and walk back through the town to the station






Friday, 29 April 2016

National Archaeological Museum, Naples

 It took three visits to the Archaeological Museum before I finally saw the mosaics from Pompeii. On my first visit on Sunday the rooms containing Pompeii antiquities were closed but the rest of the Museum was open. I wandered around and in the garden saw these three figures, part of a superhero exhibition by Adrian Tranquilli. There were many of his figures throughout  the museum. ( They were exhibited as a future civilisation amongst the ancient civilisations of the Museum's permanent collection.) Ideal for Weekend Reflection




On Tuesday I forgot the Museum closed for the day but on my last full day in Naples I finally got to see what I wanted. It was worth all the effort. I was bowled over by the colours, detail and size of the mosaics. Most of the mosaics shown here were from walls and vaulted ceilings in Pompeii. Used for decoration and to record events or images of family members and pets, some were just 20cm square. I do not recall any detailed information about individual mosaics so just sit back and admire how Romans decorated their homes 2000 years ago.
















































This is the faun from the House of the faun as I mentioned in my previous post and all the following four mosaics are also from that villa.