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

A Privilege….and not taken for Granted


Early Morning at Allestree, Derby

It is Sunday the 5th of April…. and it is a day full of Spring promise.  Early morning mist is lifting,  clear blue skies and a sun that really is starting to provide a welcome warmth.

I am one of the luck folk with somewhere to take my exercise.  I am also very much aware that many are unable to take advantage of an open air walk. It is a privilege.

So here are a few images from todays walk to share and I hope bring you just a little of the spring that is now starting to shape up rather well.


Trees are still bare, the Oak on the top of Burley Hill as stark as on many a winters day. The Silver Birch, that borders the Golf Course which is closed for the duration, waves it ever so fine top branches reaching up for warmth to encourage its leaves to burst…


But new growth is appearing, growth that over the next week will flourish into new clothes for the trees….

The Blossom on our Cherry Tree is also starting to show, but it is a few weeks later than usual….


The First of our ‘last’ batch of Daffodils has arrived alongside our first Camelia of this Spring.  So change is progressing at an increasing pace…

The more delicate flowers of the Wood Anemone are, for a short while, taking over the woodland floor, a carpet of white stars dotted with yellow buttons…


Colour is coming throughout the garden in front the Old Hall, it is the perfect compliment to a rather fine Sunday morning……

If you are one who cannot enjoy stretching your legs, even for a short while, in the sunny outdoors, then I hope these images help provide some virtual flavour to you of a sunny spring Sunday in these difficult times.

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

5th April

(C) David Oakes 2020

Silent Sunday…… Off to Church


The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew

probably best known as….

Wells Cathedral, Somerset

Last Sunday I  took you on a visit to a church that was very much smaller, but was built in the same era as Wells.

Wells Cathedral really is a fantastic structure. The stone masons skill is still clear to see today in the detailed exterior stone work.  Wells is also unlike many Cathedrals that lie within a City, in so much, as here you can really stand back and take in its shear size.

Despite its exterior size this building is a bit like a Tardis, it appears even bigger on the inside…

Yes, step inside and stand at the back of the nave,  let your gaze take in the gothic columns and arches and come to rest on the arched and beautifully decorated ceiling.  It has quite a contemporary feel and style for a building of its age (started circa 700ad, main building circa 1490ad)…..

you just have to stand and stare…  you will be amazed, maybe even overwhelmed


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

5th April

(C) David Oakes 2020