Sonel’s B&W Windows and Doors

Today I’m packing for a week’s cruise on the Rhine River, which will take us from Basel to Amsterdam. My 100-year-old mom-in-law is treating her close family, and of course she’s coming along too. I’m so looking forward to seeing the stately German castles which stand close to the river bank, and we’re going to do tours of those in Marksburg and Heidelberg. There’ll be a stop off in the magnificent city of Cologne, and we’ll experience the lush landscape of the Black Forest region. It’s many years since I’ve seen Holland’s famous windmills and beautiful canals, In France I’ll be seeing Strasbourg for the first time. and then we’re promised that we’ll experience the nightlife of Rüdesheim’s Drosselgosse, which has been described as ‘the merriest street in the world’. I’m sure the six of us are going to have a load of fun.

Sonel’s B&W Photo Challenge is coming to an end, so I decided that I really must take part in it this week. Here are a few photos of some of the windows and doors I saw on my recent visit to Cornwall.

I really fell in love with the leaded windows at St Michael’s Mount, which is said to be the ‘jewel in Cornwall’s crown’.

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Here are beautiful windows in the 15th century church which stands in the grounds of Landhydrock House, the “finest house in Cornwall.”

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The harbour town of Polperro has so many picturesque cottages, and I just had to capture some of those old doors and windows.

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The Blue Peter Inn, described as “the last pub before France”, is where we had dinner on the last evening of our holiday. Hubby had the Cornish pasty and a Guinness, and I had home-made fish cakes and a beer shandy.

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So tomorrow I’ll be off on yet another adventure, and I haven’t even finished telling you about my last one. I’ll try to pop in on some of you, but if you don’t see me around, you’ll know where I am. Have a great weekend.

To see more entries for Sonel’s challenge, just click on the badge below.

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A lingering look at the windows of ‘St Michaels’ Mount’.

I have just returned from a five-day visit to Cornwall, and one of the many historic places I really enjoyed, was St Michael’s Mount, the most famous of Cornwall’s landmarks. This majestic castle is built high on a granite crag, and dates back to the 14th century. When I have more time, I’ll do a post with more photos, but for now here are just a few of the wonderful windows which look out across Mounts Bay.

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Every window has a magnificent view.

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I could imagine myself sitting on this window seat for hours, reading a book or just staring out to sea.

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Each window had a special charm of its own.

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Just take a look at this ornate window fastener. So beautiful.

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This one just had a plain pane of glass, but the gorgeous view certainly made up for that.

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It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I really loved this one.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my lingering look at windows. To see more, click here to visit Dawn’s latest post.

WPC: One Shot, Two Ways

This week I’ve been rushing around the Cornish countryside, trying to see as much as possible in the short time we have. I thought I would do a short post just to show you all I’m still here. Yesterday we visited the Wheal Coates tin mine on the cliff tops between Porthtowan and St Agnes. I had been longing to see this place for myself, ever since I saw wonderful photos of it, taken by Cornwall photographer Chillbrook. His amazingly beautiful pics really sparked my imagination, and I was not disappointed when I saw it in real life. This morning on our way to St. Michael’s Mount, hubby and I were delighted to be able to meet up with him for coffee at a quaint old pub in Victoria, where we sat and chatted for about an hour. He was just as nice as I had imagined him to be, and it was like meeting an old friend.

He told us that ‘Wheal’ is Cornish for ‘place of work’. The tin mine on this site was worked for centuries, but the surviving buildings date from the 1870s when deep underground mining began here. These historic buildings were stabilised, preserved and maintained by the National Trust in 1986.

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Whilst we were looking around, a hang glider came into view. Looks like a very dangerous sport to me.

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I have hundreds of photos of beautiful Cornwall, so expect to see many more posts once I have sorted them, and have a bit more time to blog.

To see more posts for the challenge, ‘One shot. two ways’, just click here.

Seen on our journey to Looe in Cornwall.

Today we left MiL’s house for a few days in Cornwall. We were intending to stop off at Stonehenge on the way, but after sitting for an hour and a half in a dreadful traffic jam, decided to just wave at the stones as we drove past, and try again on the way back.

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I’d quite forgotten how absolutely beautiful the English countryside is, and we had to stop to get a couple of pics of some of the gorgeous horses which seemed to be  everywhere, just grazing along the side of the road as we crossed Bodmin Moor.

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This momma and her baby were just the loveliest sight to behold.

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I love the old-style sign posts. They have so much more character than the modern ones.

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Colliford Lake is a tranquil looking reservoir on Bodmin Moor, popular for trout fishing.

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This ancient stone at the side of the road, really intrigued me. It obviously had an inscription on it at one time.

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Our GPS took us along miles of narrow country lanes, often wide enough for only one car, so there were a few times when we came face to face with another vehicle, and one of us had to reverse until we found a wider bit where we could pass one another.

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Eventually we arrived at Trenderway Farm where we are to stay for five nights.

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We were delighted to be immediately sat down to enjoy tea and scones with home-made strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream. Absolutely delicious!

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Tomorrow we will go exploring in Looe, which is said to be the cutest town in Cornwall. Wishing you all a great weekend.

WPC: Masterpieces, man-made and natural.

The photo challenge this week brought to mind the thrill I felt when I first saw the majestic beauty of this man-made masterpiece carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore. I just couldn’t imagine how someone could conceive of such a fantastic project. The sculptures are 60 feet high, and the entire memorial covers 5.17 km². The construction of this masterpiece commenced in 1927, and was completed in October 1941 at a cost of $989,992.

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Just imagine how David Livingstone must have felt when in November 1855, he suddenly  found himself face to face with this masterpiece of nature, which he named Victoria Falls, in honour of Queen Victoria. The indigenous name ‘Mosi-oa-Tuny’, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’, continues in common usage as well, and in this photo you can see why it was so named. This colossal waterfall is the world’s largest sheet of falling water, being twice the height of Niagara falls, and twice the width of Horseshoe Falls.

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To see more interpretations of this week’s challenge, just click here.

The Queen’s ‘telegram’ arrives, and 100th birthday party.

Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many.”

Saturday was the day before my MiL’s 100th birthday, and in the morning there was great excitement, as the postman was due to deliver the 100th birthday congratulations card from the Queen. I was waiting at the bedroom window, to snap him as he came down the drive.

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None of us had ever seen one before, so of course we couldn’t have breakfast until it was opened.

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Family soon started to arrive, as we were all to have lunch at  ‘The Barn @ Alfold’, in the next village. This restaurant is one of my MiL’s favourite places for eating out.

This historic  building dates back to 1590. and the original oak beams are believed to have been fashioned from timber taken from the ships of the Spanish Armada. Ernest Hemingway frequented this establishment in the 1940′s, during the second world war, and is said to have spent many an afternoon enjoying the ‘cream teas’ at ‘Gibbs Hatch’ as it was then called. The party started off in the bar, where we all had a few glasses of excellent French champagne.


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The main dining room was filled to capacity with many members of our family.

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The food and service were absolutely wonderful, and the lady of the moment was looking absolutely sparkling. Here she is with her eldest granddaughter.

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Sunday was the day of her actual birthday  and she looked really stunning for her big party for 140 people at the local Village Hall.

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We all had a great time, with lots of chatter and tasty tidbits to munch on.

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It was wonderful to meet up again with family, some of whom we hadn’t seen for many years, and also absolutely amazing to see just how many really good friends had come along to congratulate her on this awesome milestone achievement.

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She gave a marvellous and very interesting speech, followed by very complimentary ones from my husband and also our son and daughter.

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Then it was time to cut the cake and propose a toast.

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What a lot of fun we all had, with beautiful weather so that the little children were able to play outside on the grass and jungle-gym.  At the end of the proceedings, our two youngest grandchildren just couldn’t wait to get their hands on some of the balloons.

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My dear mom-in-law gave away a few of her secrets for longevity. She said, “Try not to worry, but take each day as it comes, and have a glass of red wine and a couple of chocolates every evening.”  So now I’m thinking to myself, “If this is what 100-years-old looks like, with life still being full of happiness and fun, I’ll not be afraid of old age, but be looking forward to it. ” 🙂

The Centenary is almost here.

Here I am in England on a scorching hot summer’s day. It’s 30º C, and my mom-in-law’s garden is probably longing for some rain.

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There’s not a cloud in the sky, but happily the weather forecast says the temperature will drop a little in time for the weekend.

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In spite of the heat, the fairies continue to dance across the lawn, always observed by the ever-watchful black cats.

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The flower pots are looking lovely,

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but this waterlily really steals the show.

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The cards have started arriving ahead of the centenary birthday celebrations this weekend. So exciting!

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Stay tuned for more pics and a report on the proceedings. Tomorrow we will go and pick up the cake, and in the evening, hubby and I are taking the train up to London to meet our son and daughter and their families, who are over from South Africa and the USA, and we’re all going to see the show ‘Wicked’.