The Last Days of Thunder Child

The Last Days of Thunder Child
War of the Worlds - spin off adaptation novel.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Always Look Out for New Sci Fi Books

New Sci-fi books are always looked out for. Good sci-fi books are in the realms of the reader opinions. For good or for bad, best new sci-fi books can only be hoped for by the author. Therefore, keep readers happy and hope for good sci-fi book reviews.

For one of many such top sci-fi books Click Here

War of the Worlds Adaptation Retro Science Fiction Novel (The Last Days of Thunder Child)

The story sells well in the USA, but I've always wanted to see how it would do in the UK. 

Under EU law the pastiche can't be published until September of 2016. 

This pastiche SciFi story was inspired by H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds set in Victorian Britain in the year of 1898. I suppose it crosses a number of genres in this day and age. Obviously Science Fiction, but also Alternative Reality and even Steampunk. 

I went on a journey of discovery trying to imagine what H.M.S. Thunder Child might have looked like and fell fancifully in love with the first revolving turret ship without sails. It was H.M.S. Devastation - blogs of which are featured here. She also had a sister ship called HMS Thunderer.

At first, these revolving ship's had muzzle loading guns with short stumpy barrels that barely protruded from the gun ports. I wanted to keep these on the ship of 1898. Even though they were obsolete by such times. I used poetic license to do such thing and used a credible excuse.

The whole endeavor of this written work was done during an evening school writing class and it sort of developed from there. It was a wonderful project that I found most absorbing. I got it edited properly and a front cover picture from an artist living in Cambridgeshire.

It cannot be published in the UK or the EU until September 2016, but the USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND are selling the novel now.

Read H.M.S. Thunder Child's adventure against the Martian tripods. Victorian Britain is now a dystopian land. The world has gone mad and the British Empire is exposed for all the weakness it has against an alien technology it cannot compete against. One small outdated ironclad steps up to the mark with a brave crew. In the River Blackwater, Thunder Child makes a defiant stand. Follow the crew and her last voyage.

My Pastiche novel about H.G. Wells' fictional battleship H.M.S. Thunder Child (The Last Days of Thunder Child) was based on H.M.S. Devastation. In my imagination, I could see this design for Thunder Child going into battle against three Martian tripods on the River Blackwater in the county of Essex, England, the UK in 1898.

Muzzle loading guns went obsolete around 1889. All Royal navy ships, including Devastation, were converted to Breech loading. However, I invented a political excuse to keep Thunder Child antiquated and still retaining the short stubby muzzle loading guns inside revolving turrets. 

This was to give Thunder Child a feeling of being behind the times, but still plucky when the occasion demanded. The diagram above was found in a library book and then I was fortunate enough to find it online. This gives a great internal view of the working of H.M.S. Devastation and I used this plan for my vision of H.M.S. Thunder Child in The Last Days of Thunder Child by C.A. Powell. 

The book is only on sale in the USA at the moment but will be able to be sold in the EU and other places in 2017. On USA kindle, the novel is available for download and it can be bought in print too. Check out the advert below.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Never Let Them Kiss You - Adult Fairy Tale (Novella Coming Soon.)

Nothing in the world will ever be the same again. Depression and paranoia kicks in and the kissed host will begin to despair. They are compelling and alluring. People can't resist the charm of a look, or an innocent smile when glimmered by such strange and mischievous beings.

Once kissed, forever smitten. Such naughty impish little mites. Selfish and unconcerned after the ruinous kiss. Gloating upon the misery that such small favour will prompt. Discarding of the attention induced, and feeding off of the forlorn and hopeless dream they have inspired. This is why you must never let them kiss you.

You will welcome the catastrophic approach. You will scream 'NO!' inside the inner alcove of your mind, but none save you, will hear.

"Look, look into the eyes that make stars look dull in night time skies." This is what they say, in their devious impish way. 

A simple kiss is all they do. That's all they need to get to you. This is why; You must never let them Kiss you.

What Could Go Wrong in this Futuristic Utopia?

 I wonder if humans will ever go to other planets or learn the art of terraforming worlds. Imagine planets the size of Earth or bigger - so many that each planet only has a population of say; 20,000 people. Also indulge the thought of having vehicles, like in the above picture. We would fly everywhere and leave the Eco system alone as much as possible.

Could it ever be done? Would we be smart enough to do it? Definitely maybe?

Sometimes I look at great images like this and dream on. A city with no roads going to or from and the wilderness can continue. Perhaps the agricultural fields growing all the food are on giant wheels in space - revolving cylindrical platforms with artificial light from giant solar panels. Here such agricultural needs could be produced without too much damage to the environment. I don't even want to imagine man made fields on this lush, wild and untamed planet

It does make one realise that large groups of people require vast areas of land just to feed ourselves. I think that's why I'm fantasising that there are cylinder ring worlds for growing food, leaving planets free from too much people infection. Maybe there are robotic crews tending the fields with a skeleton crew of humans doing the maintenance work. You know – fly out of the city and up into space to the agricultural cylinders with the robotic combine harvester and robotic fruit pickers etc.

Creating the vision is the foundation of ideas, but plans never always work out the way we view them on a drawing board. There is always some unforeseen factor thrown in. I keep thinking that this wonderful city in the wilderness of an untamed planet needs fields for food - huge areas of cultivation - something man made and scaring the landscape - corrupting it to feed the inhabitants of the picturesque city.

What things could go wrong? What things are being neglected in this fine image of Utopian and futuristic beauty? 

Giving You Ragdoll Bob - Our Cat

Our cat Bob is a big old lump. He is getting on for seven years of age now. When we got him as a kitten, he was a tiny little white thing, but as he got older his top fur developed a sandy colour.

We had a specialist cat groomer come around because his fur gets knotted and she thinks he has Ragdolls breading. He does look like one, but he does not have certificates and all.

He was always coming back with his ears torn and fur ruffled from fighting with other Tomcats. Then on one occasion, he went missing for well over a week. We thought the worst, but to our delight, he turned up, when we had given up hope.

He looked ruffled and nervous as though he may have been locked in somewhere. He hates closed doors and can be rather insistent when he wants to come in or go out. He starts meowing and scratching the glass of our side doors.It leads to Carole or I cussing him, but we always comply with his wish.

All these things happened in the old place we lived at in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. We have since moved to March in Cambridgeshire. We had to leave Bob and our other cat Lilly in a cattery for over a month during the move.

Fortunately, both cats took to the move well. Lilly, the late girl cat, loved the open farm fields to the front and was always off hunting for small rodents, the way most cats do. Bob quickly established the garden as his place, plus the surrounding gardens of both neighbours. He did not seem too keen on the farm fields to the front.

After the straying incident, that happened about four and a half years ago in the old place, we had him neutered. This led to Bob staying around the vicinity of the garden. He developed a liking for the shed roof and would still stand his ground with Tomcats that strayed into our garden, and of course our new garden in the new place.

The only cat Bob showed affection to was our female black and white moggy called Lilly. Bob got on very well with Lilly and would often play with her in the garden. She was sadly killed in a traffic accident over a year ago while coming back or going to the fields. She was found by our neighbours.

The front drive is about as far as Bob goes in this direction of the house. He prefers the back and wanders among the chickens and ducks, taking little notice of them. Usually giving them a wide birth.

Our dog (Dotty the Rat slayer) gives him respect too. She began to try and intimidate Bob at food times, but the other day Bob decided he had had enough of the bitch and gave her a quick swipe across the snout. Dotty yelped and ran off to lick her wound for a while. Bob just wandered off, thinking he had done some good - like he usually would.

Fashion and Trends - UK Retro

Fashion or trend is, and remains, an ever metamorphosing thing - a living personification that sweeps over the population. Things seemed very prominent in my growing past, and with each fashion, I could not see what was coming next. It was great fun and I wonder what would happen today if I stuck to high waist band trousers, thick wedge heeled shoes, centre parting, blow wave haircut and open-necked, big collared shirts?

We adopt trends with glee and ruthlessly discard them at a whim. Then years later we use such 'retro  - bygone fashions' as a nostalgic anchor for our own self-indulgent memories. We can skim or touch a time when we were young and more care free. We swoon with pride when we recall our retro times to our off spring. I remember my Mum and Dad telling me about the 50s and Teddy boys etc.

I felt that buzz when I saw this SKA skinhead girl dancing to the SKA music of late sixties early seventies times. It's strange, but I completely forgot about that little period until seeing this girl's skirt and blouse, plus footwear etc. The haircut too and, of course, the dance routine. It brought back memories of East London's Poplar district where the elder teenage kids were cool and wore such attire. It all seemed so modern

There was a little craze of this in the later 60s early seventies - I remember Ben Sherman shirts were a must and think it was a development from the mod times of the mid-sixties. I could be wrong, but that is how it seemed to me. Still, it seems to be a nostalgic Brit thing that I remember and the sight of this girl doing this strange SKA dance brings back memories of the teenage fashion of that time. I was around ten years of age then, but remember thinking they looked great. Fashions is a strange and charming thing, it comes and goes. Suddenly there was a new look - it was upon us and it seemed to have gone out of the back without me realising it. By the time I did, everyone was moving onto platform shoes and Gypsy style long hair cuts for glam-rock.

It's good for us to do such things - to migrate, for a short period, into the realm of a comforting nostalgic memory. We often kid ourselves that things were much better then. Back then we used to laugh at old people who told us it was better in their time. We all think our times were better.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Raptors Return To Fenland

Red Kites Are Appearing Too

In the Fens, many birds of prey are beginning to re-appear after an absence of some decades. Much of it was blamed on pesticides. Farmers would use these products on the rodents, (mice and rats.) A consequence of this was that Red Kites, Common Buzzards, Sparrow Hawks etc would kill these rodents that were already dying from poison. In turn the raptor would become poisoned too. 

There seems to have been a concentrated effort to re-introduce the raptors in area of eastern England. It has been successful, but I think there various wildlife and nature concerns are looking at ways to increase efforts.

Also, farmers are not using the same type of pest control toxins. In many parts they are putting up owl boxes and so forth to attract birds of prey. Slowly, but surely this is having a positive effect. The buzzard population has increased tremendously and the number of barn owls is up too.

The marsh areas are attracting Marsh Harriers too, as I have photographed upon this blog. I've seen many Red Kites too. Well... it is probably the same two on several occasions. One is often just outside Marrch town in the fields where the A47 runs towards Westry and the Whittlesey turn off. The other, I have seen along the A16 between Crowlands and Spalding in Lincolnshire. 

I'm off to Spalding today. Maybe I'll get lucky and see something along the way.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Wolf Cub

This wolf cub was captured in a great photo shot. I do hope it was somewhere in the wilderness, and not some zoo pen.

It is a wonderful creature that looks so innocent at such a young age. It conceals a terrible and savage beauty that it must possess in order to survive.

As it grows it will need to be a ferocious killing machine that will only have warm feelings towards others of it's pack.

These animals have that small bubble of comfort for one another within their wolf pack. The one place where they will enjoy a form of solidarity.

Anything outside of the bubble or it's wolf pack is a threat or potential food.

Theirs is a raw innocence that will gradually darken with age as the eyes become older and wiser to the trials and tribulations of life. There will be nothing but hostility or apathy to anything beyond the pack world of this beautiful creature's domain.

Let Nostalgia Simmer as we Move Through Life's Adventure

I felt a little nostalgic seeing the pier and remembering the nice times I had living in Southend-on-Sea. I was here for twenty five years. From age 28 to 53. I met a lot of wonderful people who became good friends. I had many adventures and, of course, I met Carole.

We stayed for a night while visiting our grown kids and grandchildren. We also went out into the town to see some old faces. It was nice for a while, but then we found we were wanting to get back to the Fenland by Sunday morning. The nostalgia was wearing off.

It is always good if one can move on and do new things without being tied to a place. I'm certain that it is good in the long run. However, people are very individual and some stay in a place all their lives. I've lived in so many different places, but Southend-on-Sea was the town where I stayed longest of all.

I still support the football club and always check their scores each week. I was a steward there for a short time. I went to see so many of the home games over the years, plus a few away ones too. I would never say I would not move again, because the idea of Portugal or Spain is now simmering away for the future.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

The Blustery Southend-on-Sea in Winter.

Taking a walk around our old town was a little sad. Some of it is a little run down, but new building will be going up - no doubt, in the near future. We left the pier hotel and had a nostalgic wander, but one can't get the feel on a mid December winter's day. 

In the Summer, the place is rammed with day trippers and all the arcades are alive with punters. Still it was nice to have a walk about. It was better coming home to the Fenland though. I lived in Southend-on-Sea for 25 years and have fond memories of the place. However, I think I wore it out and it was time to move on. Moving on is always a good thing. It stimulates a person to get up do do more things.

A Brief Return To Southend - on -Sea

As it is getting close to Christmas, Carole and I decided to go to Southend - on -Sea, the old place where we used to live before moving to the Fenland. Carole has two sons and a daughter and one son and the daughter are still living here. I have four sons, all of whom live here.

Between us, Carole and I have sixteen grandchildren with a seventeenth on the way. My son Lloyd and his wife expect the new edition in January.

Carole and I thought it would be a good idea to book a hotel room over looking the estuary to the North sea. From this base we could visit our various children (grown up and married) and our many grand children - deliver all the Christmas presents and set off home on Sunday afternoon.

We walked about the seaside town taking photos and doing the camcorder. We even had breakfast in the arches along the sea front. It was nice to see some of the old faces, but it was also grand to come back.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Mutts Fall In

Dogs are wonderful creatures. They are so full of emotion and are capable of learning too. I'm often amazed by our dog Dotty. I'm sure she picks up on what we say and they can understand much of our language.

She sits upon the top of the sofa back rest by the living room window, which overlooks the drive as I come home from work. She goes there about twenty minuets before I come home and waits. As soon as I come into the stony drive, she's off barking, running round to the side entrance through the kitchen to greet me home.

Giving You The Plague Doctor Steampunk Creation

Woow! What a wonderfully hideous looking monstrosity this is. But during the Black Death in the 1350s, Europe was awash with plague doctors who patrolled districts and provinces in various countries.

They were fore runners to witch finder generals. A mixture of religious zealot and herbal remedies. Some may have worked but if you were an old lady living in isolation and you possessed such knowledge; you could find yourself accused of being a witch.

What an horrific time the people must have lived in putting their faith in such diabolical zealots who believed in their placebo powers of healing and hunting out demonic evidence amid the infected and non-infected population.

It makes me grateful on how far we have come from such terrible times. Could they ever return? Could such human effigies ever come to haunt us again?

The compelling costume with its steampunk twist looks ghastly yet compelling. It's easy to see how people would be spooked into believing in such powers. It would be half the battle for a plague doctor worth his weight in gold.

I wonder how some of our professions will be viewed from the future. Could a tobacco seller smiling from behind a counter, or a butcher amid joints of meat be looked at in the same forbidding fashion by some sort of futuristic liberalised humans?

It's all about how we change and adapt as we move through time in our carbon based vehicles. Carbon vehicles that shut down one day to be viewed as history by new carbon life forms who would believe themselves better then us as we believe ourselves better than the abomination in the picture. Are we?


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Dotty Roaming the Garden Looking for Rodents.

Graham with Dotty's dead rat.
Dotty the Rat Slayer is our little cross breed dog. She is a very happy little thing who loves hunting for the field mice that come into the garden shed looking for scraps in the guinea pig den, the rabbit den and the duck and chicken coop. Also the shed where much of the chicken feed is kept seems to attract the smaller rodents.

With even had a couple of rats come too, but they are easy to spot, because Dotty knows straight away where they are and where they burrow. It is always under the chicken coop.

We do the hose and as the horrid rodent zooms out Dotty pounces like a blur. I’ve never seen anything like it. Burrow hole filling with water – a rat zooms out in the blink of an eye – within that blink of an eye Dotty has the rat dead as she shakes it with her jaws.

The big problem is to get her to let her prize go. We have to say, “Dead Dotty. Let go now.”

She does, but reluctantly.

Finding the Camcorder and Going a Bit Silly in Fenland Town March

I was like a kid with a new toy, but the camcorder is so easy to use for a variety of little things. I could not help playing about with it today. So I took it with me, going to the town centre. It seemed like a novel thing to do.

Carole thinks I've gone cuckoo, but hey! Its my day off of work and its dull and horrid weather so I might as well do something.

Wandering to March Town Centre, Fenland After the Steam Engine Let Down.

We took a stroll into March town centre today. I have found a camcorder among Carole’s things and we have been doing the rounds. We were hoping to get the steam engine The White Rose, but that all went west with the train standing still for an hour just short of the level crossing before March Station.

Instead we went for a walk into the town centre along the river Nene. It was one of those rather dull days, but it was nice to get out and have a stroll. We went to the Costa coffee shop first before getting a few bits and pieces from the shops.

I would have gone to the Manea bird hides again if I had known what a dead loss waiting for the steam train was going to be. Still, spring is on the way and the Fenland starts to look so much more appealing then. The wild flora is great.

The Big Let Down That was all Hot Air

It was not the fault of the White Rose Steam Engine. It was the signals from London to Cambridge and then to March where a group of sightseers had gathered with ill-deserved confidence to see the wonderful steam train pull in before continuing its journey to York.

Steam trains are a rare sight now days and most are used for tourists and enthusiasts. I’m not really a train engine person, but I don’t live far from March Rail Station, where the White Rose was to stop.

So I thought, “Hey! Why not get a few shots for the blog?”

With great aplomb, Carole and I set off and within fifteen minutes we were at the station. There were a number of passengers waiting to do the journey on the steam train and many, like me, waiting to get a few snaps.

We waited, and we waited. It was running late due to signal failure at London. Then we heard about another at Cambridge. Then when it did come around the bend in the track, it was being pulled by an old diesel engine obscuring the view of the White Rose steam engine.

Just before it got to the level crossing it stopped. The diesel engine was uncoupled and moved forward to the station, where we stood, eagerly upon the bridge waiting for the White Rose to move forward into March station.

We waited…

And we waited…

There were rail workers buzzing around the steam engine that just seemed to be hooting streams of smoke for a few seconds then did nothing but continue to stand still.

In the mean time we waited…

And we waited…

Then the level crossing barriers went down and we all perked up.

“At last!”

A passenger train from Birmingham pulled in behind us going along the other side of the track out towards the stationary White Rose SteamEngine. It was not the beautiful train finally moving forward. It was the normal passenger rail traffic leaving for the way the old engine had come.

So we waited…

And we waited…

The level crossing barriers went down often, but it was either freight trains passing through or other passenger trains. The stationary White Rose did let out other bursts of steam, but the steam would stop and the engine remained where it was.

While we waited...

And waited...

I’m British and love my country, but what really frustrates me is that everything we do is either late or has something missing. What an absolute let down. For weeks the local newspapers had been plugging this event and people were being charged good money to ride and have dinner, while on the journey to York. These people were on the platform waiting and becoming more vexed. What an absolute let down.

After an hour of looking at the White Rose stationary along the track, just before the level crossing, we got fed up. It was not the old steam engine, but the poor services of the railway tracks that was the let down.

We had waited…

And waited…

Once again we were delivered a big let-down that turned out to be nothing more than a distant load of hot air.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

At the Old House Prior to Moving with our late cat, Lilly

I stumbled upon this little bit of film. Carole was wandering the house filming. She can't remember doing this. I'm in the clip too, though I confess; I can't remember her using the camcorder at all. It was packed away when we moved to the Fenland and we have not even thought about it for the last couple of years.

There is an old steam train called the White Rose coming through March Rail station on route to York Therefore we are re-charging and hoping to get some shots of the train coming in.

I've blogged this old clip because there is a little bit where Lilly, our little moggy, is lying on the chair. She was run over and killed last year in March. The clip, therefore, has sentimental value. Lilly had two litters of kittens and is missed by us.

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Fens Flood Plain by River Delph

Ely Cathedral in the Distance

Today, Carole and I arrived at the bird hides and we were thrilled at once when we saw the vast lake across the flood plain of the fens. The River Delph had burst her banks and flooded as always in the winter months. The water fowl move in to the delight of all. These birds come in thousands.

There was so much to see and the entire area looked so different from the summer months just a short time gone now. We walked along the dike between the flooded River Delph on one side and the parrelel canal on the other side of the dike. This side was not flooded and looked no different. 

It was not until we crossed the bridge, by the small water station, and went up the scarp of the dike, that we saw the extent of the flood plain. It looked like a whole new world - a lake world. It gave me some idea of how all of the fens must have been in the past. It was a place where bandits hi during the middle ages and Saxon resistance aginst Normans lasted longest.

Also the Ancient Britons were able to hide from the Roman Empire too. Their Ninth Legion was stationed in scattered forts along the perimeter of the Fenlands.

Once again it was a crisp and pleasant winter day in Manea. It had obviously been raining, but well before we got here.

I looked across to the Cathedral at Ely, its tower in the misty distance was the only familar sight from summer.

The River Delph's banks have overflown into the Fenland to create a vast shallow lake.

The water was spread across the Fenland

The water fowl were in abundance

Everywhere in the lower fen

The birds did not seem to mind

On the canel side of the dike, things went on as usual

Kestrels were hunting all over

Blue Tits were every where

There was no shortage of hunters either

We only stayed for a couple of hours, but it was a pleasant way to spend the morning. I have managed to get three blogs out of it too.

Marsh Harrier Turns and Flies Away To Come Back Another Day

A Marsh Harrier is, I would guess, more formidable than a crow. However, when set about by many during flight, the Harrier is at a disadvantage. This is often seen with Common Buzzards and Red Kites too when Crows, Rooks and Ravens gang up to see the birds of prey away from their nesting area. 

I think the Crows like tall trees overlooking fields and this Marsh Harrier came across the flooded fenland, over the dike and bird hides and into the inner fields where a line of trees were; the bird of prey set off a panic among the carrion birds. 

Carole and I were walking between bird hides. The one we were at was close to a shooting group who were blasting away at water fowl and using whistles to direct the gun dogs. We decided to go further along the dike and away from the shooting group.

It was upon the muddy bridal path that we see the Marsh Harrier incident. Again, I was clicking away at distance and most shots are too far, but I've managed to salvage a few to give the reader an idea of what happened.

Even I could tell the Marsh Harrier. It has a distinct flight signature and it looked menacingly graceful and elegant as it swirled about by the tree tops. The serene incident did not last long as the carrion began to squawk and gather to defend their trees and airspace.

On the final shot, the Marsh Harrier is in the bottom right hand corner with a Crow behind and others in pursuit. It was seen off across the flooded Fen, but did return again later. 

Wonderful Views of the Flooded Fen from Bird Hides of Manea

Carole and me at the bird hides Manea

Carole and I went to the bird hides of Manea again today. We were ambling about the house on my day off and I was about to do some blogging, when I realised the notion of a trip to the bird hides might be a good idea. Carole was in the garden tending her chickens, ducks, guinea pigs and rabbit when I went out and suggested it to her. I know she like the bird hides and I also know she has a great eye to spot things. Better than I can. Sometimes she can tell at distance if a bird is different from more common pigeons or sparrows.

Today was the same. We went up and down the dike overlooking the Fen towards the distant Ely Cathedral. The entire fields, that had cattle grazing upon on it up until a few weeks ago, are now a gigantic marshy lake. The River Delph was gone because it's banks have burst and the natural flood plain of the fen has taken all the water. From the dike and the various bird hides we had a great view.

The entire marsh lake is alive with all sorts of water fowl. Thousands of them Coots, Moorhens, Green Shanks, Grebes and many more. As we were making our way between the various bird hides, we saw a Marsh Harrier drift over the tree line where there were many crow nests. Bad mistake!

I managed a few shots at distance but only a few were any good. Then the crows came out and began to drive the Marsh Harrier away by swooping and harassing the bird of prey in flight.

Carole pointed out, what I thought to be a pigeon, in a tree. She said the perched bird's gait and tail was not a pigeon. I was not convinced, but took some shots anyway. The camera was clicking away like a machine gun when the bird took off from the tree top. I was pleased I did so because it was a kestrel and I got a few splendid shots of the fine bird in flight. 

Obviously once loaded on the computer and enlarged, one can see it is a kestrel. It seemed to sit there for ages. 

I know they have excellent eye-sight and I'm certain this bird of prey is making me out clicking away with the camera.

It was on the other side of the canal. Carole and I were on the dike with the River Delph on one side and the canal water way on the other side.

How I thought it a pigeon, I'll never know. If I was on my own, I would have walked past and not noticed it at all.

I took a multitude of shots and selected just a couple of it perched in the tree top.

Then my luck changed for the better as the kestrel launched itself from the branch to go upon a hunting foray over the dike and the Fenland flooded by the River Delph's burst banks.

I did not realise how kind the shots in flight were until I loaded them onto the computer. I was very taken with the flight shots as one might agree.

I always need to take Carole along because I would miss a great many things.

The kestrel went out over the flooded fen and began to hover. I took more shots but the bird was more distant and they were not really good enough to put in the blog. 

Still these few are good enough and so far, they are my best kestrel shots. I might put one of them on my front twitter page. 

I put the Marsh Harrier encounter with the crows on another blog. 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

If This Ain't Roots; I Don't Know What is... ?

We went to see my wife (Carole's) Dad on Saturday 12th December. It was his 87th birthday and he was born in this little town of Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex in 1928.

He worked as a shipwright close to where the photograph of the telephone box is. It is a dead industry now, but he goes out for a walk along the sea wall every day. He even used to swim by the creek until the summer of this year.

He likes to eat his lunch out every day and goes to the many pubs, cafes and restaurants in the small town. He is the alfresco man of Burnham-on-Crouch, joke Carole and myself.

Everyone knows him and he always talks of old school friends that have passed away every time we visit. This is sad, but he keeps his chin up and plods along. Besides my wife Carole, he has three other children (all grown up) Two sons and another daughter. A son and a daughter live in the streets close by.

He is a very active man who likes to get out and about as often as possible. He does not enjoy the winter months too much because this hampers outdoor movement for him as he feels the cold more then most younger people.

After our pub lunch, we went for a walk along the sea wall and I took some snaps on my mobile phone. The shipwrights where he worked all of his working life is no longer there. His father and grandfather did the same trade too. 

His grand father used to be in a racing yacht crew for Kaiser Wilhelm II before the Great War and Carole's Dad did work on Edward Heath's Morning Cloud yacht. He always tells many interesting stories and on this visit he spoke of the great floods of 1953 when he was 25 years old. He was enlisted to help make sand bags to prevent further flooding. He said the wall of sand bags only just held, but it was touch and go when the tide came back in.

I always enjoy going to my wife's town of birth because it is still so cut off and remote. A bit like March, where we live in the Fenland.

Being from East London's Bow and Poplar districts, I always knew I never wanted to live in the city for the rest of my life. Despite being a city kid, it was never in me. I enjoy a day visit, but to live in the city... No way! I like the rural things with a nice town close by. 

Burnham-on-Crouch as this appeal. The shipwright's that Carole's Dad worked for sent him all over the world. He always came back to Burnham-on-Crouch - the little town of his birth, his fathers town and his father's, father's town. If that ain't roots; I don't know what is... ?

Driving Home to the Lights in Fenland Town of March in England.

March looked Great on our Return Home
I went to see my Dad today. He lives in the eastern suburbs of London. The county of Essex to be precise, but many call it East London with flowers. Hornchurch is a great place and I came of age here from 11 to 28. I have fond memories of this place and swoon with nostalgic memories when I go to see my Dad.

He lives in my Grandparents house and it is the first place I stayed on the first night of my life when born in February of 1961. It is where the old Hornchurch airfield use to be during WWII. It was full of Spitfires and Hurricanes in the day.

My sister arrived too and we all went down to his club for a drink and my Dad saw his friends. He has been having treatment for an illness of late but seems better. He has finished his course of visits to the local hospital and is now getting back to his normal social routine.

Carole and I left early but got caught by the darkness along the M11 motorway. We turned off at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and drove the country lane in total darkness. (No street lamps in the country fields.) We, of course, had car head lights that we turned to full beam and then down for approaching traffic. This was rare as we approached the Fenland by night. 

We had Beth Orton again on the CD player and Carole and I chatted about the day in general. We have done a great deal of driving over the weekend. Saturday to her Dad's little town of Burnham-on-Crouch and Sunday to my Dads, district town of Hornchurch. 

We are always pleased when we get through the Fen to our little isolated town of March. Suddenly there were the Christmas lights in the town centre and everything was lit up. Just in the little town's high street, but that was enough for us. We were home to our Fenland town again and back to the bungalow over the little railway crossing. 

March town lights sparkle

Towards March Bridge over the River Nene

Friday, 11 December 2015

A Visit To Ely on Carole's Birthday

It is my wife, Carole’s birthday today. We were up early and pottering about the place. It was my day off from work too. We went into March town first and had a breakfast. I bought her a blouse that she wanted and a hamster hut that she also wanted. She has acquired two new guinea pigs (Female) to be with the other two guinea pigs (male) that we already have. I’ve a strange feeling that there will be more of them soon.

We got a few bits in March before driving out past Doddington to a farm where we get our potatoes. Carole always takes the lady some eggs from our chickens and in return the lady knocks the price of the spuds down.

We came out of the farm and decided to visit Ely. We had not been there for some time. I put on Beth Orton in the car and drove along the Fenland road past Chatteris towards Ely.
Once there, we had an amble about and even found a shop selling nut crackers. For some reason we have had a bit of a job finding this commodity, so we had a little result there. It was a pleasant afternoon. I took a few shot of the Cathedral on my mobile phone. After this we drove back to March along the back roads and stopped off again in March to pick up a few more bits of shopping.

It has been a fine winter’s day today and tomorrow we set off for Burnham-on-Crouch to see Carole’s Dad. Then on Sunday we go to Hornchurch in Essex to see my Dad. It looks like  a Dad’s weekend ahead.