Saturday, 10 July 2010

'Spirit of the Sea'

My Generation (The Who)

This is the power generator at Southwell Primary School on Portland. For many months, probably years, not only has it provided 'free & green' energy for the school, it has also been an eye-opener to just about every pupil. With an easily accessible and readable meter in the foyer the children could read energy generated, used etc, but now all of that has come to an end. Herring Gulls, not uncommon hereabouts have been flying into the blades regularly and often 'quartering' themselves as they do so. In the name of humane practice and to save the youngsters meeting with the carnage each morning it has been turned off. A great pity in my view, as I'm told the kids love it, but I guess the sensible option.

Magpie family (at least one young bird, right, with short tail).

As may be seen from the top picture, today was foggy to say the least in fact at the top of the hill at Portland a proverbial 'pea-souper' (an English expression for something you cannot see through). I was alerted to this as I left home in clear conditions, but all around me was surrounded by low visibility. As there is no restrictions on the 'bus pass' at the week-end I headed straight for Portland and coupled with High Water Spring Tides also bye-passed Ferry Bridge.

With little more than the Magpies to entertain me, the day was saved by what is always excellent conversation with Martin Cade (Warden PBO), John Lucas et al, and as added bonus re-meeting Simon and Deborah Earwicker. In fact after a brief chat at the Observatory I met them again on the East Cliff and had a further 40 minutes or so. Certainly look forward to seeing you 2 again!

Today also sees the middle of the annual 10 days 'Spirit of the Sea Celebration' in Weymouth, and day one of the 2 day 'Dorset Seafood Festival' so what better reason for heading back to town? As I walked along the sea-front you could already smell the crabs, scallops, prawns and paella cooking, but if there is one thing I believe they get wrong it's the extortionate prices, wot £2.00 for a side of Mackerel. Otherwise EXCEPTIONAL!

Stopping on the promenade, I can never resist the temptation to view the ever changing 'sand models', this month depicting The Mad Hatter's Tea Party (Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There). From left, the Queen of Heart's, March Hare, Mad Hatter, Alice, Hare's Pal and Bandersnatch (or is it a Jabberwock?).

Sand sculpture's whose work became one of the most famous attractions at Weymouth was started nearly 70 years by Fred Darrington. Mr Darrington died in 2002, just12 days short of his 80th birthday, but over those years what joy he brought to what must total 'millions'. Since his death his grandson Mark Anderson (b. 1966) has taken over the work. My personal favourite has always been what must have been his most intricate work, Westminster Abbey but a close second came his tribute to my 'all time hero'.

James (Jimi) Marshall Hendrix 27 November 1942 - 18 September 1970 (a photo from the archive) depicted in sand. All sculptures were made of just sand and seawater (plus water-based paints of course).

A little further along I came across this 'Steam Driven Car', a real novelty. The owner/driver told me he gets 40 miles to the tank full (water that is).

Arriving at Weymouth Quay-side, not surprisingly,the crowd had beaten me to it.

'Ernest & Mable' the Weymouth Lifeboat.

'Standard Diving' exhibition,

also called 'Hard Hat Diving' as the picture shows.

The Model Boat Society were here in force with everything from Motor Torpedo Boats to Nuclear Submarines,

local Fishing Vessels to Search and Rescue Cutter,

and even a pair of 'radio controlled' Mute Swans and a

pair of Canada Geese which, by looking at the man in the blue shirt, was gaining great pleasure as he made them 'honk'.

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