Friday, 25 June 2010

All Our Yesterday's & Today's

The sun is shining the weather is sweet yeah, makes you want to move your dancing feet! (Finlay Quaye), so it cannot possibly be Wimbledon or Glastonbury?

So, if it stays fine, which it is forecast to do, we won't have Cliff Richard warbling at the All England Tennis Club and the ganja should stay dry at the latter. I guess we have all said at one time or the other, "where did those years go" but to see that today marks the 40th 'birthday' of Glastonbury beggars belief. The natural continuation of what used to be the world renown 'Bath Blues Festival', these musical gathering did run side by side in the beginning, with the BBF finally giving way to the much bigger event. I was at the very first of these now defunct gigs, where for the princely sum of £2.00 you got to see the bands mentioned on the poster below where, like the Isle of Wight Festivals that followed the saying was "if you could remember it you weren't there"! I do have some vague recollections, though a smoke filled (purple) haze, of Rory Gallagher chiseling yet more chunks off his already battered Stratocaster, Stan Webb (then of Chicken Shack with the incomparable Christine Perfect on keyboards & vocals) venturing into the audience with his 'trademark' extended guitar lead and Kieth Emerson (of The Nice, later to become ELP = Emerson, Lake and Palmer) knifing to death yet another set of ivories. Add to that the very first outdoor appearance by the then budding Led Zeppelin, who had release their debut album (I) just 2 months earlier and where showcasing (II), Jimmy Page took a violin bow to his Gibson Les Paul, for the first time publicly, during the seminal Dazed & Confused.

This poster commands 'pride of place' at the top of my stairwell, so each time I climb the 'wooden hill' I'm taken back to the Bath Rugby Ground.

John (Ginger) Prince, former Leading Seaman in charge of the Seaman's Mess aboard HMS Undaunted, and his lovely wife Val visited me last evening for a long awaited dinner date. Prior to my return from South America in February Ginge and I had only met briefly once since my 21st birthday in 1967. It was through the pages of this Blog that we met up once more, and it was great to see you again 'Old Ships' (and Mrs 'Old Ships').

Ginge and Val with the 'Cook of the Mess' poking his nose in.

Obviously, much of the conversation was centered around the Grey Ghost of the Dorset Coast (the colloquially dubbed HMS Unwanted) but by the end of the evening most of the world's Sea Areas had been 'visited'.
On the crest of a wave.

With the black topped funnel marking, denoting Captain of the 2nd Frigate Squadron, HMS Undaunted in her heyday. Seen here carrying out a RAS (Replenishment at Sea) with one of the fleets oil/stores vessels, this maneuver requires best 'seamanship' practices by all concerned.

One of a whole flotilla of Type 15 anti-submarine Frigates she met a useful but ignominious end.

Towed hundreds of miles into the Atlantic Ocean, her final hours were as a target for Exocet missile trials.

Disappearing into the deep blue sea.

A Magpie Moth that strayed into the garden overnight, and then on to Ferry Bridge and the Bill. The only signs of birdlife at the Bridge were c2 Common Terns, as the Little Terns continue to feed young and incubate eggs.

At the Bill there were plenty of Large Skippers on the wing,

plus a representative of the ever growing population of Pheasants there.

There were c4 Common Swift feeding above Top Fields, which were bedecked with

Common Mallow

The best sight of the day came while coffee-ing at the side of the Observatory pond, as this Emperor Dragonfly commenced

ovipositing (laying her eggs) below the water service.

Thought to be Hedge Bedstraw

An overflying Fleet Air Arm helicopter is an unfamiliar sight over Portland since the Squadron was disbanded and the Heliport closed down to all except the Search & Rescue 'chopper.

Field Bindweed

A Falmouth (FH693) registered 'crabber' heads for Portland Harbour.

and finally, Upstaging the 'Dorset Echo'.

A bit of action to report from today's walk which will doubtlessly appear in the local press in a few days time.

Turning to leave the Ferry Bridge foreshore, palls of dark smoke were rising above Wyke Regis from a domestic house fire. It certainly looked serious enough, but as if to endorse that theory 3 fire fighting appliances raced to the blaze.

and reaching Sweethill, I encountered the Dorset Echo photographer snapping away at the Weymouth & Portland Dog Warden and a lady on horse-back. They were obviously there to further the story of a Stafford Terrier that, despite being on a lead, attacked one of the local horses. The story as I got it was, a young man taking his girlfriend's dog for a walk, lost control of the lead as the dog raced to attack what at first I thought was a foal. It turned out to be an adult of a small species of horse that the dog had quite badly bitten at the top of its front right leg. The dog owner then disappeared, but later returned to face the music, after which the story becomes dim. So you'll have to buy the Echo!

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