Moody Monday…. A Weather Change


The rain clouds rolled in.

We had just enjoyed a hot sunny visit to Helsinki… the weather couldn’t have been better.

Come the evening, as we left Helsinki and started to cross the Gulf of Finland, the clouds and rain rolled in. Not the best end to an otherwise great summer visit.  On the other hand you could say “great timing”.

An indeed it was a Monday!

Weather or mood, please….

Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

17th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

Better than Predicted……..


A Sunday morning that was so much better than predicted.  Sunshine, fast moving clouds and until mid afternoon none of the rain that was forecast……  I am glad those forecasters got it wrong.

A real spring like morning on our walk.  Certainly bright down by the Lake.  Up in the woods, a different story. It is now rather dark.  The new leaf canopy casting its shadows that will now be with us till the late autumn.



The Bluebells that have depended upon the sunlight will now fade back into the ground where, with luck, they will multiply for the next spring.  Till they do their vanishing act they are still putting on a brave display…

Even when you were out in more open areas, the trees where now casting dark shadows…. but this is spring and the feeling and the look was of a perfect day…..


Now…. if that old country rhyme is correct, we now know we are going to get wet…..  but not as wet as we might well have done.  The Oak is well and truly in full leaf – whilst the Ash is still struggling.


The year continues to make its cyclical changes, real spring weather, which on a morning like this is also a tonic.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

16th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday……. Off to Church


This past year I have relied upon archive images for the Sunday series.  When thinking about what to bring you this Sunday my thoughts recalled, not the grandeur of huge Cathedrals, but two ‘tiny’ and remote Churches.

Above is St. Martins in Martindale, Cumbria. It split stone roof still keeps out the elements . Built in 1635, on a site of an even older building, St. Martins has served a small Hill Sheep Farming community across the centuries.  Although the Church and Martindale are less than 2 miles from major Lake District Tourist hot spots, the Dale remains quiet and surprisingly remote.  It remains a treat for those in the know and as a surprise for those who stumble across Martindale by accident..

Many, many miles away, in a different country, to the north and over the seas, is the other Church we will visit today.  It can be found on the Faroe Islands

Saksun, Faroe Islands

It is Saksun Church.  Located at the head of a Fjord which it overlooks, Saksun is located in the north west of the Faroes, in the community of Streymoy. Saksun Church, built in 1858, sports a traditional Grass Roof as opposed to spit stone of St. Martin’s. But Saksun does have similarities to St. Martins, apart from its remote location.  The Church also supports a small isolated Hill Sheep Farming Community.

Very different countryside, but a very similar remoteness… which gives both churches a rather special magical feel.

Peace and tranquillity, places to contemplate…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

16th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

Gibraltar …… A destination of contrast and nostalgia.


Inspired by the UK Governments publication of ‘Safe’ Covid destinations for overseas travel, and seeing that Gibraltar is one of the few countries on the green travel list, I thought a virtual reminder of a visit to this minuscule, but vibrant  country was appropriate.

Gibraltar is officially a British Overseas Territory.  It is located at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula, an area of only 2.6 square miles.  Surrounded on the landward side by Spain, overlooking the Mediterranean and the Straights of Gibraltar…  Africa and Morocco is only 10 miles across the straights.

The famous Rock of Gibraltar dominates the town below.  A landmark for sailors over the centuries and marking the gateway to the Mediterranean.   The Rock is riddled with tunnels and caves and also home to its famous none human inhabitants the Barbary Apes.   A Cable Car links you to, very nearly, the top. The energetic can then walk to the summit and enjoy a surprisingly rich green area, very much a contrast to the very busy town below.


Once back down in the town there is no escaping the hustle and bustle of a busy community.  It is a community much influenced by its unique location between cultures and its peoples. It is also fun, despite the busy nature of the town it  has a safe secure feeling.  Want to delve into Gibraltar’s history, then a visit to the Gibraltar Museum is a must, it will take you on a journey from the earliest man, through the its strategic military importance across many centuries and its multi cultural influences that are many.

But there is no escaping the British influence, from Union Flags, to very British Post Boxes. Spanish influenced architecture with English Georgian and of course 21st century high rise buildings that reflect the commercial aspects of Gibraltar.


Gibraltar is multi cultural, but is also rather unique in its National identity.  Fiercely British in one respect, but also very determined to defend its right to independently determine its own future as Gibraltar.

Perhaps it is its unique location, naming of the tip of the peninsula as Europa Point that best describes just where Gibraltar is located…….  Europa Point it is.


Wherever you plan to travel and explore….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

15th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

The Season of Quick Change……


Late evening and a walk in the woods is a great way to finish another spring day… a day where the  weather swung from sunshine to rain and back again and again and again.

Bluebells still carpet large areas, but sadly time is not on their side and the foliage is once again falling back…soon they will vanish till next Spring.  But on the Pines there is new growth that will continue throughout the summer.

It is though a spring milestone as the Bluebells decline.  They are though a tenacious wild flower.  Given the chance they multiply in numbers each year.  Woodland floors become blue carpets…..but Bluebells do fight for every bit of space and can be found on the roughest of ground and hiding in the roots of trees…

Not that all Bluebells are Blue……  they may not be traditional, but I do love the occasional clump of “White” Bluebells

Makes a change….but just like their Blue cousins,  they are now starting to disappear….


Enjoy your weekend… and …

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

14th May

(C) David Oakes 2021