A long time ago in a place far away, a seagul joined a voyage of discovery.

          On December 13th 1577, Frances Drake traversed the Magellen strait and discovered the way now named “Drake’s Passage”, to the south of Cape Horn. .


          Our seagul then joined Frances Drake on the Golden Hinde as he sailed North and in June 1579, landed in California, taking possession of the region in the name of Queen Elizabeth, naming it Nova Albion.

          After circumnavigating the globe, Frances Drake returned to Plymouth on September 26th 1880 and was knighted on the Golden Hinde in the presence of Queen Elizabeth on April 4th 1881. 

          Today a descendant of our seagul sits proudly on the head of a statue to commemorate the voyages of Sir Frances Drake. 


          More from before : “Plymouth” .




          As a cute little girl of about six I did what many little girls of that age did, and joined the Brownies. I can still remember my badge, it was a yellow pixie.

          Although I no longer have any of my badges, or my little brown dress which they would have been sewn onto, I can remember working towards some of them, and enjoying my time in Brownies.

          The brownies I joined was part of The Salvation Army and as a natural progression I went along to Sunday School and learned about the bible and The Salvation Army way of life.  I became a “Young Soldier”, I joined the Songsters (the choir) and the Timbrels (the tambourine group). The Timbrels I enjoyed immensely and spent many a sunny Sunday morning at one of the meetings at one particular garden on the prom rattling my tambourine and playing along with the band music.

          As I grew older, too old for Brownies, I moved onto the Girl Guides.  I didn’t enjoy the more intense activities at Guides and so didn’t stay for very long.  At about the same time it was expected that I would move on from being a Young Soldier to a fully fledged Salvation army officer and I found that although I enjoyed the lifestyle and agreed with many of their core values, I lacked the belief and commitment to go further and gradually drifted away. 

          As the cute little girl I’d often wondered why some of the older members had smiled at my name so much, apparently Sallyann was a friendly nickname used for the Salvation Army in times gone by.  During a short stay in Bath, we came across this Salvation Army Citadel, and a little cafe incorporated into one corner of the building brought back a few long forgotten memories and raised a few smiles.


Steamy windows

          A few window views taken along the trip from Paignton to Dartmouth on the “Dartmouth Steam Railway”…






          More from before : Brixham, Paignton and Torquay …  Aka “Torbay“.

Age of steam

        What age do little boys grow up?

          A question I’ve asked with raised eyebrows on many occasions, but it seems there is no answer, little boys don’t grow up at any age… They just turn into grumpy old men.

          We make an “entertaining” pair at the moment because my being one of “those women” at “that age”, means moods have been known to swing from a sweet six year old to a raging mad axe women in a matter of seconds, Hubby is just as capable of changing from a little boy into a grumpy old man at the flick of a switch.

          It was with the aim of appealing to the little boy in him that I planned a day out from Paignton to Dartmouth on the “Dartmouth Steam Railway“.


          We were in Paignton the day before and so although not really necessary, we bought tickets then to avoid any queues which might happen before our train.  As it was, we were up and about earlier than expected so we’re pleased to find that our tickets were valid at earlier times than our booking.


          On arrival we were still early for the train before ours so Hubby went out onto the platform to enjoy the sunshine and I poked around in the huge gift shop. I didn’t really intend buying anything, but I enjoyed just wasting the time with all the brightly coloured gifts, the tiny little trinkets and the variety of children’s toys on offer.  By the time I arrived on the platform it was becoming quite crowded so I just took my photo of the platform avove their heads.


          The train arrived and strangely, the engine wasn’t pulling the carriages, it was pushing them, but my chance for a photo arrived when it began to swap ends ready to go again.


          Inside the carriage everything was beautifully refurbished.

          Whereas many of my childhood holidays were spent in Torbay, Hubby’s were spent in the “Isle of Man” , he comments often about the place, a place which Ive visited as an adult and enjoyed very much, but adult eyes can never quite compare to happy childhood memories.

          Beautifully refurbished as it was, I had to agree with hubby that maybe there would have been a little more charm, and of course excitement with an older, more rickety carriage.

          If you ever get chance to ride up to “Snaefell” on the old Isle of man steam train… You simply must go… I insist.


          I couldn’t resist a picture of the platform through the open doorway of the carriage.  The picture, I’m sure. Is not to everyone’s taste, but I do like to peer through things and add frames to the inside of my pictures.  The open window of the door itself features in many pictures I took along the route.


          After a little while Hubby announced that we were coming up to a tunnel.  His mind works on logic, cause and effect, and rightly so he prides himself in knowing more often than not what will happen before it actually does.  He saw the lights come on in the carriage and sumerised the carriage would soon be plunged into darkness… As we weren’t expecting a sudden eclipse of the sun, the most logical happening to expect was a tunnel.

          I don’t notice the clues, I bumble through life blissfully unaware of any impending doom and marveling at the beautiful things as they happen along the way.


          As predicted, the tunnel arrived, and the carriage glowed beautifully in the light from the ceiling.


          We arrived in Kingwear for our ferry connection to Dartmouth and again the engine changed ends to push the carriages back to Paignton.  People waited on the platform for their pictures… I’m short, so very often have to find a different vantage point for my pictures so I climbed up onto one of the platform benches to shoot above their heads.


          Before long the other passengers had their pictures and wandered off leaving me an almost empty platform for my turn with the camera.


          More from before : Brixham, Paignton and Torquay …  Aka “Torbay“.

Paignton harbour


          After spending a few days in Torquay, reviving a few old memories as well as making a few new ones, Hubby and I found ourselves on our last afternoon, in Brixham Harbour, making the decision of which bus to catch back to our holiday base in Paignton when we realised we could catch a boat back instead.

          Earlier in the day we’d taken a bus to Torquay to investigate the street and craft market, followed by a bus to Brixham but for some reason it had completely slipped both our minds that Paignton had a harbour too and we could get a boat to there.

          We both boarded our little ferry with an air of curiosity as to where we would be dropped off.  I’m quite used to the feeling of uncertainty, I’ve been living with it for the last twenty-five years or so since “Eclampsia“, happened, but Hubby very seldom forgets anything, it must have been a strange feeling for him indeed.

          However, as our little boat pulled into the harbour, and as we walked towards the cream and blue harbour buildings, we both remembered times gone past.

          Hubby remembered the little stalls and the shops and drinking establishments along the road looking down on the harbour and I remember visiting the toilet buildings with our girls and Mum-in-law, as well as recalling a strong feeling of being “told off” as a kid myself for running ahead through the stone corridor through the harbour buildings and out towards the harbour itself. 


        More from before : Brixham, Paignton and Torquay …  Aka “Torbay“.

Growing life trees

          My first attempt at a tree of life was a very basic affair, I asked Mr Google for a little advice and a few pointers in the right direction.  I found a design I liked and made a start but rapidly rediscovered that I’m not good at following instructions and so in my usual way of “Progressive planning”, I followed the basic picture and made the rest up as I went along. 


          A morning spent at an enormous bootsale with my sister resulted in a treasure trove of lampshade rings of all shapes and sizes so I attempted something a little bigger. Of course bigger trees need more branches, something I didn’t work out until I’d finished, but it’s OK, we’re planning some sort of moon charm to fill the gap.


          My latest tree of life, my third attempt, is something a little more difficult, also something I can only forsee repeating just once more.  It’s made using a lampshade ring again, but the design of this particular lampshade gave me two double rings when I took it apart and so working on both sides of the rings at the same time and overlapping some of the branches has made my tree a little more 3D. 


          More from before: A little peek further into the world that I’ve “Created“.

Scent from heaven

          My most eagerly awaited rose. 

          (Rose of the year 2017)

          “Classic large ‘hybrid tea’ type blooms of orange-salmon colour with an exceptional fragrance, which will flower freely throughout the season.  Very good disease resistance.  Attractive glossy green foliage. Grows to approximately 3m to 3.5m.”


          I was taking a bit of a risk here, I’m not one for flowers usually, I love the pretty colours, and there is nothing better than walking into my kitchen and being greeted by a vase of pretty flowers on the table, but  their scent is too strong for me, I find lots of flowers so overpowering that I struggle to breathe.

          My flowerbeds however are at the far end of the garden and since my relaxing part of the garden is nearer the house in the shade, I thought I’d risk the “exceptional fragrance” of this rose because it was (of course in my opinion) such a beautiful colour. .


          See also “Masquerade” and “That’s Jazz” to complete the picture.

          More from before : going’s on in my “Garden“.