Hard Times…… a great read ( and re-read)


 Blogged as part of the https://wordpress.com/tag/acoffeeandabook theme

The sharp eyed will spot I wasn’t sipping coffee, but Whisky seems more appropriate for this great collection of writings.

 “If the Corncrake Calls”

It is an evocative title to a historical collection of writings about life in the Wigtownshire  and its surrounds in the South West of Scotland.  It tells of a way of life, the hard life of the farm workers thru the 1920’s and 30’s and their close link to seasons and nature.

It is a collection of first-hand writings by Ian Niall (who also has work published under his own name John McNeillie ).

What also makes this book rather special that this collection is compiled by his daughter Sheila Pehrson.

It is a book that can keep you involved so that you read it in one sitting.  But also a book that you can go back to and dip into at any time when one wants a meaningful distraction….  and that is exactly what I did this weekend.

Enjoy and escape into a very real world…..  now long gone.

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

6th April

(C) David Oakes 2020



What ever floats your Boat…… in Lisbon


The City of Lisbon is a mix of ancient and modern architecture.  Built over seven hills, it is a city  with some fabulous palaces, ancient castles,museums, more modern buildings and lots of areas to explore.  But for me the most memorable of sights was at the Maritime Museum.

Portugal was for centuries one of the leading adventurers in nautical travel…I guess explorers may be a better word.  The nations close association with ocean travel enabled it to build up trade across the world.  Its nautical heritage lives on today.


But preserved and so well displayed in this purpose built museum is the fantastic display of  ” Royal Barges “.   They must really have created a dramatic colour packed,  spectacular flotilla as they sailed up the River Tagus…. the oars men in uniform and the Royal passengers in their royal regalia.  At least we are given to opportunity to visualise those long gone days with these very special Barges

With 38 oars this barge must have moved at a pace!  ….


The colour and skill of both the boatbuilders and painters are clear to see, but I hope that you do get a good impression as to the shear size of these rather special vessels.

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

6th April

(C) David Oakes 2020