Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A Solent Crossing and an Old Gaffer

On Saturday, we had a day out on the Isle of Wight. It promised to be the last fine day for a while.

We caught a late morning ferry from Lymington, across the Solent to Yarmouth. 
It was a pleasant surprise to find that the 19th Annual Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival was in full swing.
As the ferry neared the Island several beautiful old boats sailed nearby, but this elegant yacht from another era passed in front of our bows. What a sight!

Several old boats were out on the water, some were working craft with traditional red sails and others were wooden yachts, lovingly restored.

Interesting boats were moored in Yarmouth harbour as we approached. Flags and bunting adorned their  rigging for the festival.

Driving off the ferry, we found that the small town of Yarmouth had been transformed. Stalls selling food, drink, crafts and "allsorts" lined the streets. Crowds of people massed around the town and the harbour, enjoying a Real Ale festival as well as the sight of so many historic boats out on the water.

We had another destination, but as we returned to catch the homeward ferry that evening, we were quite sorry to leave so soon. It seemed that Yarmouth was still celebrating and the night was young!

Friday, 29 May 2015

On Hambledon Hill in May

 Late spring and a green, bright Dorset day.
An unknown path through woods bursting with blossom and leaf.
Hawthorn and ash, tree ivy climbing.
Fields on a manicured farm stop dead
At lines of trees.
With a high hill fort behind.

                                 Red copper beech unfurls young leaves,
                                 Among the lime green oaks
                                 Where the hill ascends.

                                   White Park cattle graze by the gate.........

...and watch us climbing.

                              Up a steep path we walk, then rest,
                              Eyes on the far horizon.

                               Shimmer of blue and yellow flowers beside our feet.

                               Milkwort, sapphire blue, and scented thyme.

                               Burnet, Yellow rattle, buttercup and cowslip leaf.

Gateways in iron age rampart walls
Show village and farm beneath 

                                Where a solar field harnessing sunlight,
                                Glitters grey mirrors to the sky.

                               A high path showing miles of the westward view.

                              Back across curves and dips of ancient terraced hill,
                              A track leads down to a wood of oak and one dark yew.

                               Maybe a meadow saxifrage among the grass?

                              Out in the north west view, another terraced hill.

                                Cloud shadow sweeps across folds of sculpted down.

Vale of the White Hart stretches out beneath,
With villages and wide green miles of fertile land and trees.

                                Striding the high path........

                               Childe Oakford and its manor far below.

                               Orchids almost missed, hiding in a rampart ditch below the path.

                                At last, down the hill again, and
                                Calm, half-dozing cattle watch us pass.