Chocks Away

Regular readers may have seen my recent post Projection describing the joy Macfee and myself felt watching the Festival of light, hosted by our local shopping mall, we stumbled upon it by accident and were truly thrilled.

Whilst there we discovered Chinese New Year celebrations would be held at the same location this coming Sunday and that was going to be our next “day out”, however whilst browsing the local news on-line this morning, I discovered the city’s eagerly anticipated Cultural Quarter consisting of art and creativity zones had finally, after much delay, got its opening “extravaganza”

Now I DO like art and creativity, but I have to be in a certain frame of mind to go and enjoy someone else’s and would much prefer a quieter time too peruse than a “Grand Opening” would allow…. but the article mentioned a Spitfire would be on display in the Guildhall Square so off we trotted.

We’ve been lucky enough to have seen Spitfire in flight a few times over the Solent, due to the aircrafts connection to our local region, but never have we seen one close up.

The sound they make is like no other aircraft and on a recent trip to the Isle of Wight it was the noise of the whining engine that drew our attention skywards, just in time to catch a glimpse of the iconic plane above. Practising manoeuvres for a forthcoming display we assumed.

The one in the Guildhall  Square was a lot smaller close up than I’d anticipated and I can only imagine the huge amount of Courage  our Battle of Britain pilots must have possessed, sitting in the tiny cockpit, knowing so many of their comrades had perished.

We spent a good half an hour or so taking photos and Macfee got chatting to some one at the railings. The guys hosting the event were all ex-servicemen, so a trip down memory lane was inevitable and very enlightening.

It is easy to get caught up in sentiment about long passed  wars with long buried heroes, but today the men I observed had all served time during more recent conflicts (The Falklands and The Gulf War) and they had all their own particular stories of camaraderie and Courage to share.

I left them to it for a while so they could offload without restriction, (it’s good to see men sharing their emotions) and took some more pictures.



Todays post includes the daily word prompt:Courage



This week our local shopping mall put on a free display for the benefit of passers-by.

Macfee and myself had just enjoyed our Valentines date to the cinema (We were both thoroughly enthralled watching  Darkest Hour, the Oscar nominated film about Churchill. We highly recommend it).

Living in the city centre it’s only a short walk home, thankfully, because it was absolutely tipping down with rain, but our eyes were drawn to the magnificent light show being projected against our city walls.

We really wanted to stay and watch but the weather was truly awful and we weren’t really dressed for it, so we promised ourselves we’d return today at dusk.

It was well worth it.  We were treated to dancing multi coloured water jets, children ran through them excitedly, paying no heed to the still bitter weather.

The projection on the walls depicted faeries, witches, bubbling cauldrons, fiery dragons huge giants and a fearless Knight in full battle Costume riding through the forest to see off the dragon and save the day…

Apparently  it was based on local folklore, I’m eager to check that out!

There were also light mazes, multicoloured spheres, a field planted full of globular flowers that changed colour and hummed a hypnotic tune that hung on the breeze, and trees projected on to the wall that grew and shrunk, in random order, to the delight of the ourselves and the gathered crowd.

The photos I’ve included really don’t do justice to the actual event, the colours were truly kaleidoscopic verging on psychedelic, but I do hope they convey some of the awesomeness.

The same space will play host to Chinese New Year celebrations this coming Sunday and will include the traditional dragon dance.

We are sure to be there!

Cate x

Todays post includes the daily word prompt:Costume

Voyage of discovery

We decided to go for a jaunt in the country,

But why oh why did nobody warn me,

That air so fresh and Skies so clear,

Would lead us to feel we might sleep for a year!


Of course, it could of been the hike by the river,

A headwind so bracing it made our bones shiver,

The groan of the old trees all curled up and gnarled,

We stood at the trunks to further regard.

Listening to trees that appeared to be talking,

To the delight of us two crazy fools out walking!


We’d spotted some sheep way off in the field,

But on the way back,

To us they did yield,

They’d all raced over so close to the fence,

And the one they’d made leader demanded recompense!

So Macfee gave him a pat on the head,

I was in awe, so no words were said…


It may of been the size of our dinner,

My fish and chips a definite winner!

Batter so crisp and melt in the mouth,

I daren’t once give thought to my diet (gone south),

Or could it of been the small glass of gin,

Flavoured with rhubarb another win win.


Perhaps it was the stars of the night,

That against the black sky gave me such delight,

As they twinkled and glittered and canvassed the sky,

A gift from the Gods to my weary eyes.


But whatever is was that made us relax,

Shrug of our cares,

Our worries dispatch,

We’ll know where to go to discover again

That heaven on Earth…

That unspoilt lands end!

Stapleford montage

Stapleford montage