Friday, 27 May 2016

There's more!

Well, the OB and I decided to go out last night.  We do, every so often; but never as late as we left home yesterday evening.  I felt quite the young thing leaving home to go into town at a quarter to ten at night!  The reason for this was we wanted to see the son et lumiere (sound and light) production, Dr Blighty, that I trailered yesterday.

As it says on the 14-18NOW website, "Created by award-winning arts company Nutkhut for Brighton Festival, which is celebrating its 50th festival this year, Dr Blighty throws a spotlight on the Indians who travelled across the world to fight for the Allies, bringing to life the experiences of the injured Indian soldiers brought to recuperate in Brighton and the locals who came to know and care for them.

"Between 1914 and 1916, Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Estate was used as a hospital for Indian servicemen who had been wounded on the Western Front. The focus of Dr Blighty is an immersive walk-through installation in the gardens of the Royal Pavilion capturing the essence of the hospital, animated by actors and enhanced by a specially created soundtrack. The hospital installation will be complemented by a series of related performances and participatory outreach activities, drawing parallels with contemporary events while bringing back to life this moving episode in Brighton’s history.

"For four nights, a spectacular after-dark production will incorporate video projections on the Royal Pavilion, evoking memories of a very distant home for the soldier convalescents."

I was astonished just how many people there were thronging the Royal Pavilion gardens and surrounding streets to watch the 10 minute presentation.  It ended with flames, as you will see if you watch the following video to the end, which possibly represented the funeral pyres which were lit on the Downs in accord with the religious requirements of Sikh and Hindu soldiers who died here.

The Chattri is far across the Downs.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Royal Pavilion . . .

. . . as it's never been seen before! All part of Brighton Festival.

I wonder what the prince Regent would have thought?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

'Nuf sed!

Borrowed (or stolen) pic

Monday, 23 May 2016

Ladies Mile

"They" say that one of the best ways to meet people is to walk a dog.  Well this afternoon I thought that saying was coming true - and my luck had changed!  There I was, walking the dog in the ladies Mile Nature Reserve when a rather attractive young lady (who was coming towards me) made to stop.  As I say, I thought my luck had changed - but she merely made a fuss of the dog and went on her way.

Ah well, I can dream.

Anyway, Ladies Mile.  My approach is along a stony track through banks of nutty-smelling cow parsley.

There are possibly hundreds of hawthorn trees, not much more than bushes really, towards the far end.  Some of them are so smothered by blossom that it's difficult to see any leaves.

It looks from a short distance as if the trees are sprinkled with snow.  I was up here last week on a dull afternoon - and without a camera - when I noticed that the grass in front of  a group of well-covered hawthorns was almost smothered by cowslips.  Despite the crap forecast, today has been warm and bright and I thought this would be my chance of a photo - but the cowslips I wanted had mostly faded - although there were plenty of others in full bloom still in other places!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

It never rains etc

Why is it that everything has to come to a critical state at the same time?

Somehow - and I really don't know how this happened - I ended up doing almost all the preparation for running the beer tent at Hove carnival last year.  That was the first time the tent had been run by Brighton Lions, taking it on after Hove Lions Club closed.  And because of a family wedding that weekend I wasn't even there!  Once again this year, I seem to have the job and have been trying to work out from incomplete records how much stock to buy and go out to buy it.  And take care to see that the tent will be lent to us by a local Scout Group, who will also pitch it for us.  And sort out the license and necessary signage and equipment.

At the same time I'm trying to put together the combined menus and place cards for our Charter Night.  These are all produced individually to show the menu selection of the named guest - and each has to be printed separately, one page at a time.  A time-consuming task.

And the Lions Housing Society is getting near to completing the purchase of a plot of land which is involving to-ing and fro-ing between us, the solicitor acting for us, the Council (from whom we are buying the land) and the bank, who are lending us some of the purchase price.  Meanwhile, we are dealing with a firm of architects who are acting as our agents in a planning application for another site where we have bought a large house.  We hope to gain permission to redevelop that and the neighbouring plot, where we already have six bungalows, with a block of flats.

If nothing else, all this helps to keep my mind active!

Friday, 20 May 2016

The blues

It was more than half a century ago that I bought the girl who was my wife-to-be a ring, a beautiful sapphire surrounded by diamonds.  Mind you, if she were to stand beside the Duchess of Cambridge and compare her sapphire to Kate's...  Well, there is just no comparison!

But this week I have learned of a ring to put even Kate's into the shade.  This ring is not a sapphire but a diamond, a rare, blue diamond weighing in at an enormous 14.62 carats.  The Oppenheimer Blue was sold this week at auction and fetched very nearly £40 million!  I really cannot imagine spending that much on a ring - and i don't know any woman who would dare to wear it outside the house!  Come to that, few women I know would dare to wear it INside the house!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Lilac time

It was a good many years ago now that the head of Brighton Parks department decided to plant dozens of lilacs of different varieties in Withdean Park.  This ended up as the second largest collection in the world with over 250 different varieties.  It was designated by the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens as the National Reference Collection for the species and cultivars of the genus syringa (lilacs).   Regrettably, the Parks Department has been unable to allocate sufficient funds to maintain the collection to a suitable standard, and the National Collection status was lost in 2009.  However, at this time of the year, when the remaining lilacs are at their peak, the scent is almost overpowering.

I can't get that scent onto the blog, but here is a picture showing some of the varied colours of both the blooms and the leaves, along with a photo-bombing horse chestnut tree!