It is Easter, its Good Friday……

Easter and Spring nostalgia are frequently linked. Even as far back as the Victorian era, a link has been made between the natural world, with the new life that Spring produces in abundance..

The Easter Bunny is one of those symbols that has stood the test of time

This is a Victorian Easter Card I rescued. Rather the worse for wear but as it was produced in the late 1800’s, It is perhaps not surprising. Published by Raphael Tuck, one of the pioneering Greeting and Postcard Printers and Publisher, it was printed at their Saxony Works around 1885.

Just a simple Easter Greeting for all of you…… and

Please Remember to ….

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

2nd April

(C) David Oakes 2021

It’s TIME……

_DOI1911

For those living in parts of the Northern Hemisphere its that time of year when we have to move our clocks forward by one hour………   yippee, extra daylight hours ahead, its British Summer Time (even though Spring is just beginning)

Don’t forget to SPRING FORWARD

Please Remember to ….

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

27th March

(C) David Oakes 2021

Saturday….. so lets go for a Day Out

Castle-of-Mey,-Scotland-0583

The Castle of Mey, Caithness, Scotland

As its a Saturday, I though we would have a virtual “Day Out”

On the wild north coast of Scotland, high on cliffs overlooking the Pentland Firth, some 6 miles from John O’ Groats, stands the rather fabulous Castle of Mey.

Built around 1566 by the then Earl of Caithness, and also known for many years as Barrogill Castle, it has a endured a rather chequered and neglected life.

That all changed when in 1952 (the late) Queen Elizabeth, the Queens Mother acquired the Castle.  It was I am told in a sorry state.  No electricity, no water.   But after much restoration plus some very sympathetic extensions to the building, it became the Queen Mothers much loved Holiday Haven, and the original name of Castle of Mey restored.

Despite its extreme wild location, the gardens  of Castle of Mey are as grand as the Castle its self. High hedges and wall protect it from the extremes, but even so it is a quite an achievement for this wild sea view location above the Pentland Firth.

Castle-and-Gardens-of-MEY,-SCOTLAND-0541

With a view to the Castles future, the Queen Mother established a Trust Foundation., which in turn passed to the Princess Trust to Administer. Following her death in 2002 the Castle has been opened  to the Public.  In those early days of public visits we were lucky enough to visit.  My wife Jean enjoyed a small intimate tour of the interior, a small glimpse of life at Castle Mey that the Queen Mother so much enjoyed but also much to show her love of her family.

Prince Charles  (known in Scotland as the Duke of Rothesay) has overseen the development of a Visitor Centre and Improved visitor facilities…….   Now a must on any Tour of the Highlands.

CASTLE-OF-MEY,-SCOTLAND-0532

Now back to the real world of today, so wherever you are this Saturday….

Please Remember to ….

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

27th March

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday….. An Abbey in the Borders

DRYBURGH ABBEY

Dryburgh Abbey, nr. Melrose in the Scottish Borders

Long before it became a ruin, Dryburgh Abbey was described as the most beautiful of the Border Abbey’s.  Maybe it has something to do with its woodland setting, in a bow in the River Tweed.  Or, it could be the creative use of the red tinged stone in which it is built.

Today there is very little left.  Not surprising as it has had a violent history.  Built in 1150 all started well for this Premonstratensian Order.  Being located in the Scottish Borders it later attracted unwanted attention from various English Arm aggressions.  Burnt down in 1322 then again in 1385.  Restored in the 1400’s it was subsequently destroyed in the 1560 Reformations. 

As you walk through the ruins you still gain an impression on just how impressive the Abbey must have been.  The stone carving is indeed intricate….. and that previous mentioned woodland setting just adds to the atmosphere that still exists in this fine Abbey.

DRYBURGH ABBEY

Dryburgh Abbey may well have been destroyed,  since then,  it has been the chosen location for interment of several noteable Scots.   David Erskine the 11th Earl of Buchan, The Writer Sir Walter Scott and later Field Marshal Earl Douglas Haig……  a peaceful place to rest.

As on every Sunday and indeed everyday….

Please Remember to ….

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

21st March

(C) David Oakes 2021

The Castle on the Hill…

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Not the traditional view of Corfe Castle, but one I think, that illustrates its strong strategic location. 

Built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror.  He chose the location well.  High on a hill, easy to defend on all sides. It also provided great unobstructed views over the Isle of Purbeck, to the coast and inland over the Dorset marshes and countryside.

These extensive ruins stand above the town of Corfe.  Both Town and Castle are a must to be included on any tour of Dorset.

One day we will be able to tour again….  until then…

Please Remember to ….

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

19th March

(C) David Oakes 2021