Archives » Curiosities

A Small Aeroplane

Occasionally a micro-light flies over Son of the Rock Acres.

Less often we get a light aircraft, but last May we did.

I’ve no idea what type it was.

Small Aeroplane 1

Small Aeroplane 2

Small Aeroplane 3

Calke Abbey Chinese Bed

One of the discoveries the National Trust made in Calke Abbey was hidden away in wooden chests since it had arrived at the house in the early nineteenth century. It was a state bed, perhaps given to Lady Caroline Manners as a wedding present when she married Sir Henry Harpur, but the bed didn’t fit any of the rooms in the house.

State bed info, Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

However its seclusion in the chest preserved the Chinese silk of the bed’s hangings, keeping them in great condition. It is all housed behind glass to protect it so the photos are a bit indistinct. It’s a magnificent survival, though:-

Chinese silk state bed hangings, Calke Abbey

Chinese silk  hangings, Calke Abbey

Smaller pieces of the silk were also found in the chest:-

Chinese silk, Calke Abbey

Chinese silk, Calke Abbey

The wooden chests:-

Chinese silk store chest

Another eclectic item in the house was this organ with mandolin above:-

Organ, Calke Abbey

Soviet Aircraft Parts and Art Deco in Rye

The first place we entered in Rye, apart from the hotel, was an antique shop.

Imagine my surprise to find the tail fins from a Soviet MiG Fighter for sale!

MiG Fighter Tail Planes

There was also this Art Deco poster of Bexhill-on-Sea, featuring the town’s iconic Art Deco/Moderne De La Warr Pavilion:-

Art Deco Poster of Bexhill-on-Sea

And a jolly elephant (the company’s logo is an elephant) on a French (language) advert for Côte d’Or milk chocolate with the added bonus of an Art Deco style building in the background:-

Art Deco Picture

St Barbara’s, a Greek Orthodox Church in Chester

Another striking sight in Overleigh Cemetery, Chester was the presence of a Bulgarian Flag on a church within the grounds.

This turned out to be St Barbara’s, a Greek Orthodox Church, and the building is the former cemetery chapel.

St Barbara's exterior, Chester, orthodox church

St Barbara's exterior

The inside is sumptuous and full of iconography:-

St Barbara interior, Chester

St Barbara interior, Chester, orthodox church

St Barbara interior, Chester, orthodox church

St Barbara interior altar, Chester, orthodox church

The vaulted roof is a bit less ornate though:-

St Barbara's, Greek Orthodox Church, Chester

A Socialist Utopia?

The keener eyed among you will have seen from my side bar that I have just finished reading Chinese SF author Cixin Liu’s collection entitled Hold up the Sky.

In it there were two separate references to characters requiring medical procedures that were too expensive for them to afford.

I also heard on the TV news recently that those receiving a test dose of a vaccine newly produced in China against the Covid-19 causing coronavirus also needed to pay the equivalent of £45 pounds for the privilege.

China is reviled in certain quarters as being a Communist country.

I must say that on the evidence above China must be far from being even a socialist utopia, the minimum requirement for which I would have considered to be medical treatment free at the point of use.

Cockenzie House

Cockenzie House is a mansion House in the town of Cockenzie and Port Seton, East Lothian, which we visited in September last year as they were hosting a small antique Fair in Cockenzie House.

Cockenzie House

In its grounds there is an unusual memorial – to Cockenzie Power Station – which stood in the town and whose twin towers could be seen for miles around and were even prominent from Fife across the Firth of Forth. It was built in 1968 and demolished in 2015.

Cockenzie Power Station Memorial:-

Cockenzie Power Station Memorial

Stoneware, Pitmedden Garden

More photos of Pitmedden Garden.

Gates with steps down to formal garden:-

Gates, Pitmedden

Heart shapes by the gates above:-

Heart Shapes in Stone, Pitmedden

Bottom of steps:-

Below the Gates Pitmedden Garden

Drinking fountain at steps:-

Gates from Formal Garden, Pitmedden

Steps and gates above:-

Gates and Stairs, Pitmedden

Another set of gates. There is a private area beyond:-

Gates, Pitmedden Garden, Second Set

Human sundial:-

Human Sun Dial, Pitmedden

The human acts as the sundial’s gnomon by standing where indicated, according to the month. It obviously matters what the weather is like. I tried it but cast no shadow at all:-

Human Sun Dial Plaque, Pitmedden

Unusual Shop Window, Berwick

A stunning piece of window glazing on The Brewer’s Arms, Berwick-Upon-Tweed. There’s almost a hint of Deco on the building’s upper portions and roofline.

From south(ish):-

Shop Window Glass, Berwick

From north:-

Window Glass in Berwick Shop

Windows close up:-

Shop Window Glass, Berwick

A Rocket Hovering

What a great photograph.

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 25/7/20.

This is a Long March 5 heavy-lift rocket after taking off with its Tianwen-1 mission payload to Mars.

It looks like it’s hanging in mid-air.

Tianwen-1 in mid-air

Helsinki, Finland

Next stop after St Petersburg was Helsinki, capital of Finland.

A lot of the buidings in the city centre are in the Art Nouveau style. These are the ones I photographed on the way to the Sibelius Monument.

Art Nouveau Building, Helsinki

Helsinki, Art Nouveau Building

Yellow Art Nouveau Building, Helsinki

Another Art Nouveau Building, Helsinki

The one in the centre here shades into Art Deco in the windows:-

Art Nouveau/Art Deco  Building, Helsinki

Note the giraffe figures on the balcony here:-

Giraffes In Helsinki

I have absolutely no idea what these were about:-

Giraffes in Helsinki, Close-up

free hit counter script