Sunday, 28 December 2014

Friday, 26 December 2014

'Twas the day before Christmas...

and finally after nine days straight of work I could stop and let the fun of the Christmas preparations take over.

Mince pies were made, to strict criteria. I don't like too much pastry, hence the stars. Andrew however follows in his father's footsteps and mince pies have to come with removable lids. This is so that whisky and cream can easily be added.

Even though I'm vegetarian I insist that Andrew bakes a ham, the smell is just Christmas to me.

The tree was decorated

and presents wrapped…

And we actually made it into the new dining room. OK it's not finished, and I'll back track progress on the next post, but it was good enough to have Christmas lunch in there.

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and best wishes for the New Year from all of us at Nelson House.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Sovereign Harbour and Martello Towers

A couple of weeks ago we had a short stay at Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne. Sadly it was for work not play but walking Mortimer did mean an opportunity for some photographs and a delve into the area's history.

Sovereign Harbour is a huge marina development started in 1993 and to a degree still continuing. Tucked between Eastbourne town and Pevensey Bay, on an area originally known as The Crumbles and owned by the Chatsworth Trust, the site now has four separate harbours. The marina can be accessed from Outer Harbour through twin sea locks to the calm of the marina development.

A view of the lock and the resident RNLI lifeboat
Although there are a few 'gin palaces' and 'plastic fantastics'

Pleasure boats and penthouse apartments
there is also a small but very active fishing fleet.

Crab pots
In contrast to all the new houses and apartments are two Martello towers, part of a chain that run along the south coast. There is a wide shingle beach, often empty, and one tower sits here. Unused for many years it still stands, despite being built during the French Revolutionary Wars to keep Napoleon from our shores.

Martello tower - spot the next one in the chain

These small defensive forts were built throughout the British empire. Their curved walls and thick masonry were meant to resist cannon fire. The flat roof acted as a platform for a single, moveable piece of artillery that could cover 360 degrees.

The sea facing side takes the brunt of the weather
The second tower, at the entrance to Outer Harbour, is used. Not the building as such but the roof holds communication and navigational aids.

Here you can see how close the forts were built.

The two towers
Many martellos have new uses. The one at Pevensey Bay, about a mile or so east, is used as a social club for the village. Many have been turned into homes and The Landmark Trust have restored one for holiday rental.

Calm seas

Thursday, 27 November 2014


The ditches and dykes have all been cleared in preparation for the winter storms.

Ready for winter rain
There are a lot of foggy mornings.

Misty churchyard
I much preferred the first frost of the season.

View from the bedroom - the first frost
Using the last of our neighbour's tomatoes to make chutney.

Mixed tomato chutney
Hunting down more squash recipes.

Squash risotto
Being the only people on the beach.

Hunstanton on a wet Sunday
And finally starting some Christmas shopping at the Ely Cathedral gift and food fair.

Ely Cathedral Christmas fair

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Ely Cathedral

I did promise you more on Ely Cathedral a while ago but as you may have gathered from the paucity of recent posts (and apologies to those whose blogs I follow for the lack of comments) things have been a little fraught here recently. I'm not sure things will improve before the New Year however I really wanted to share Ely with you.

For a much better history of the building then look here but briefly Etheldreda (later Saint) founded a Christian community at Ely in 673AD. For centuries her shrine was visited by medieval pilgrims and the present cathedral was started in the 11th century.

Saint Etheldreda
I usually take a small camera about with me as it fits nicely in my pocket but sadly it does not do justice to a buiding on this scale so I've tried to capture the feel of the cathedral with more detailed shots, although I couldn't resist adding in some panoramic views to give you a sense of scale. I hope you enjoy this pictorial visit.

Andrew in admiration

Ceiling detail

Detail from a tomb

Repainted in the original colours - it would have been stunning

Tomb detail

Weeping cherub

The Victorian heating system still works

"Encounter" by David Wynne
 The cathedral has several pieces of modern sculpture which contrast beautifully with the ancient building. The one pictured above is of a distraught Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus on the morning of his resurrection and failing to recognise him.

This section of floor dates back to the 1320's

The cathedral also houses a wonderful stained glass museum with pieces spanning the centuries.