October 17th – the weather here continues to be unseasonably warm, with daytime temperatures in the 26 – 28ºC range. I have been busy with things to do, but hope to have something new for you tomorrow.
The continuing warm weather draws people to the beach. On Sunday afternoon it was 24º with a very light breeze.
The local wildlife was also enjoying the sun.
The downside of this weather is that everything is so dry. Trees and shrubs with deep roots are surviving the six months of almost total drought, but grass has long since gone.
And here is a graphic example of what can happen if you ignore that little shrub growing high up on the wall!
Still no sign of anyone actually building anything. Some material has been dumped here and there but the weeds are taking over in many places. The little park is a mystery as it is still locked and barred with no-one able to use it. The nicely restored wells are a pleasant feature. Given the continuing drought, maybe they have will have start drawing water again. Meanwhile the older part of the marina was bright in the hot sunshine. It was 26º this afternoon, not at all bad for October.
Picture taken on Sunday 26th September near Hadlow, Kent. A scene that has not changed for maybe 150 years. Green fields, distant hills and oast houses.
In Tonbridge, near the castle, the local squirrels are very used to humans. They are totally brazen and come up asking for food.
A friend in the UK has acquired a sixty year old AJS motorbike, a 1962 Model 8 he says. Some pictures for the enthusiasts. It is so old that it is exempt from tax and testing. It is roadworthy, he used it to get to the pub.
I am currently spending a few days with friends in Eastbourne. The town, population about 104,000, is on England’s south coast. In times gone by it was a fairly popular seaside town despite the beach being pebbles. There are still many grand buildings from that era, still frequented by visitors. On a sunny September day (temperature was 21º) there were many people out and about enjoying the sunshine. Tea rooms and cafés were busy. The classic British pier was gleaming in the sunshine.
Pie and mash, jellied eels and when I were a lad you could get change of sixpence. Not sure about a gin parlour though! Faded sign at the Duke of Devonshire pub in the town centre.
This is where I am staying for a few days. Sovereign Harbour was carved out of a vast bank of shingle known as The Crumbles and is now home to around 12,000 people and a lot of nice shiny boats. Most of which never move, I am told.
I took a walk around at the weekend while laptop-less. Some pictures for you to see.
In the distance is one of the chain of Martello Towers, built in the early 19th century when the French were threatening to invade England. (They are also found in other parts of the world.) Many of these along the southern coast of England served again during both world wars as anti-aircraft gun platforms and observation posts. One or two still have a function in the 21st century with weather stations and communications equipment on the roof. The concrete is a later addition. The exposed brickwork of the less well kept towers is often in very poor condition.
I spotted this blackbird (or maybe it’s a crow, don’t ask me!) busy in a puddle looking for its lunch.
Sorry for delay. I found that I had more to do back home than expected and it was too hot (40ºC) to think much anyway. Final pictures from Bordeaux, from the eastern side of the river. It was quite a long walk, 11km!
There is a great deal of building going on. Former industrial areas are being transformed, with new apartment blocks, offices and commercial centres springing up. Cranes fill the sky. This view of from the Pont St Jean across to the Belvedere development.
To the right of the bridge was the terminus of a railway than ran down to the small town of Eymet. A fire station occupies the site now. The former trackbed is being rebuilt as cycle path. A few km along the way are the remains of the station La Souys. Passenger traffic ended in 1951, the final freight train ran in 1994.
And here it is when open. Not sure of the date but could be early 20th century.
The rather grim looking Arkea Arena, opedn in January 2020, occupies a former industrial site in the suburb of Floirac. Capable of holding 11,500 spectators it is used for concerts and similar indoor vents.
Then a walk back along the river to the city. This area has changed with linear parks replacing factories and quays. Across the river, some of the new architecture can be seen. It was by then becoming very dark and cloudy, although it didn’t rain.
The 15th century bell tower of St Michel from across the river. It stands 114 metres high and is physically separate from the church itself.
A part of one of the linear parks, Quai de la Souys.
When opened in 1853 this was the Gare de Orléans, terminus of the railway from Paris. It lasted as such only until 1860, when the bridge was opened across the river to the present main station of St Jean. It served as a station for local traffic until complete closure in 1951. It’s now owned by the city and contains restaurants and nightclub.
Juast north of here is the Quai Deschamps. I found this nice little picture from many years ago on a large fence at a building site.
The growth of trees makes it impossible to get the same view now, but this is almost the same place.