Exeter Cathedral

On my way back from Cornwall I stopped off in Exeter, intrigued to see a city that I have passed by a number of times on journeys to the southwest.

The cathedral was beautiful, and as it has no central tower it has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England – there are lots of great pictures of the inside here on Flickr.

On the outside there was someone halfway up a tower working on the building.

St Piran’s Day

March 5th is the ‘national day’ for Cornwall, named after one of the patron saints of Cornwall, Saint Piran. It is not officially recognised (outside of Cornwall) but petitions have called for it to be made a Cornish public holiday.

Saint Piran was an early 6th century Cornish abbot, supposedly of Irish origin (the Irish were said to have tied him to a mill-stone, rolled it over the edge of a cliff into a stormy sea, which immediately became calm, and he floated over the water to land upon the sandy beach of Perranzabuloe in Cornwall).

St Piran became the patron saint of tin miners having ‘rediscovered’ tin-smelting when his black hearthstone had the tin smelt out of it and rise to the top in the form of a white cross (thus the image on the flag). The flag however also has similarities to the old Breton flag (white flag with a black cross) and also the Flag of Saint David (black flag with a yellow cross).

The Eden Project

I spent a really interesting day at the Eden Project, and had a very sociable time. There was not much time to take many pictures, and the weather was pretty lousy with heavy rain, sleet, hail and strong winds – I was glad to be hunkered down in an old china clay pit rather than on top of a moor.

The last time I had visited the Seed sculpture by Peter Randall-Page had yet to be lowered into place within the central space of The Core education centre. To see it in situ was great – it is quite a piece of stone!

More photos from the trip to Cornwall can be found here.


Heading down to Cornwall for a few days and stopped off at Stonehenge to stretch my legs.  The weather was cold, but the sun was out and I managed to get a couple of photos from over the fence with the henge in silhouette.
If only the catering was up to scratch I would have stopped for a nice cup of tea.

Out of this world

With feet firmly on the ground I wondered if a small webcam could be attached to my old and little used telescope.

Last night I was able to get a couple of reasonable images of the moon, though it was impossible to get anything other than a small blurry blob when focusing at Mars – and those images were quickly discarded.

I have no particular desire to travel to the moon, I am not particular fan of green cheese and I think a trip to Chedder, Lancashire, Cheshire, Gloucester, Leicester, Emmental, Gouda, or even Edam, might be more fruitful cheeseful.

Rochester – a day off from walking…

With time off for a walk around the town.

The Medway towns of Chatham and Rochester have a long history. Chatham is famous for its historic dockyards, it was once the largest navel base in England (during the time of Charles II) and in 1765 HMS Victory was launched here. Rochester is dominated by its Norman castle and the cathedral – although it has a cathedral Rochester is no longer officially a city due to an administrative oversight in 2002.

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Wetzlar whistlestop

I dashed over to Germany to help deliver a glider for maintenance near the town of Wetzlar in the valley of the Lahn river. Arriving after dark and leaving early (which seemed like before dawn) left little time to explore.

Only the small Christmas Market was in full swing, most of the old town had shut up shop hours earlier, but it was lovely to wander around the narrow cobbled streets of the old town / Eisenmarkt which dates back to medieval times.

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Maiden Castle

Went with Maureen (and Rosie) to walk around Maiden Castle. Thankfully we had the best of the day, it was totally still on the plateau though it did start to rain gently as we headed back. On the way round we spotted a rather large raptor sitting on a fence post – we think it is probably a buzzard.

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Sherborne, Chantmarle and a Giant

Went to Sherborne to visit David for a few days, and went on a little tour round Sherborne and Chantmarle (which is now a very upmarket hotel and restaurant but was a Police Training College in David’s day where he learnt all his policeman’s stuff).

On the way back from Chantmarle we came back through Cerne Abbas, with its chalk figure – one of the more famous (and perhaps controversial) chalk figures.

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