New Year in Portmeirion, North Wales

PORTMEIRION



WELCOME TO 'THE VILLAGE'...

We decided to go away for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day this year, as we had the opportunity of a four day break, which in retail is extremely rare at this time of year, as you may guess !! Adam took it into his head that it would be interesting to go and see one of the most iconic TV locations in Britain today - the little hotel-village of Portmeirion. The older readers in here may possibly recognise this place from the late 60s cult TV Sci-fi drama "The Prisoner" starring Patrick McGoohan, and a whole raft of other British thesps drafted in to play Number 2 to Patrick's Number 6 (I am not a number - I am a free man !!)
(The amazing panoramic shot above is an amalgamation of two panoramas taken by my friend Russ, who accompanied us on this trip and contributed several of the photographs herein...so thank you Russ !!)

We decided to drive up to North Wales, on Sunday 30th December, and stop on the way to take a look at Ironbridge near Telford,  another place we wanted to see, so I'll natter about that in my next post. For now, come and see the amazing architectural surrealism of Portmeirion in all its glory - it's a long one, so be prepared for about eighty-five or so big pics...

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New Year 2013

TO ALL MY LJ FRIENDS...



IMPORTANT : COME AND LINK TO THIS POST...

Wishing all my brilliant LJ friends a Very Happy New Year...
I have had a bit of an epiphany today - If like me, you have had that shrinking feeling where LJ is concerned, let's do something about it - let's take matters into our own hands and get ourselves known out there:-

I got wind of this from a couple of other journals who are hosting similar things to this, so I thought I would too, as I think it's a great idea...
If, like me, you are getting a bit low on LJ friends, and would like to attract new readers to your journal, post in here with a brief description of your own journal - what you like to write about, what you like to read about, and what kind of people you would like to be friends with. Then, most importantly, go and post on your own journal with a link to this post, and urge your existing friends to do the same - hopefully, we will all get to know some new people and make some new friends in here..let's make this go a bit viral...feel free to make new friends galore !!

I mentioned two other people hosting similar ventures - here are the links to their posts :-

http://users.livejournal.com/lindalee_/1336803.html

http://blue-eye.livejournal.com/1145005.html

Please support them, and me in this, as I'm sure you agree, we could probably all do with some new friends - it's lovely to meet new people...
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Happy Christmas

TO ALL MY FRIENDS...



Christmas is once again upon us, and - hey look - we're all still here, despite the general nonsense going around about the world ending, just because some ancient Mayan couldn't see past yesterday's date !!
Live Journal is so quiet these days isn't it - even I don't post nearly as often as I used to, which is a shame, because this used to be such a lively place - with discussions and debates, and interesting posts - and a dedicated place on your Home page where you could find interesting journals as well as the most popular communities...but not any more !! The demise of the LJ Spotlight has had a really detrimental effect on my fashion journal - I can't get it highlighted every so often to boost readership levels any more, so my readership has suffered a natural drop-off, and now I only get around 200-300 hits per day instead of the usual 900-1000 - quite a drop in numbers, as you can see...
Where is everyone ?
This weekend, it's still raining I see, so perhaps I will post a couple of posts today, concerning my recent Christmas decorating at work, and at home...come and see when the posts appears !!
How about we all post some photos of our own homes decorated for Christmas - I could do with some Good Cheer !!
Cocktail

Deal Castle, Kent

 CANTERBURY TALES : 2



DEAL CASTLE - HENRY VIII 'S BORDER CONTROL

Here we are down in Kent again - this time, we're off to one of King Henry VIII's Tudor Rose-shaped fortifications that he ordered to be built all around the South coast of England - very wisely actually, in view of two important facts:-
Firstly, he had just divorced himself from his wife, Catherine of Aragon, in favour of a newer, younger model, thus pissing off his greatest ally against France, the King of Spain.
Secondly, he had just established himself as the Head of the newly created Church of England, thus pissing off mightily the Pope - possibly the most important man on the planet at the time...
Therefore he knew that England stood a great chance of being invaded by Spain/France/the Pope's forces - or any combination of these !!

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Canterbury Cathedral

CANTERBURY TALES : 1



CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - A MEDIEVAL MASTERPIECE !!

We've enjoyed a couple of weekend trips to the fine city of Canterbury recently, with our good friend Russ, who lives in nearby Herne Bay, so I thought I'd regale you with the highlights of the various historic places we've seen there, starting with a mega-post concerning one of Britain's finest churches.
Put aside a good half hour to read this and absorb the inspiring beauty within. It must be said that whatever else we do, us Brits can produce a fabulous cathedral...


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RHS Wisley in the Autumn

AUTUMN COLOURS AT RHS WISLEY :



THE 'TASTE OF AUTUMN' FESTIVAL

Yesterday we went off to enjoy the rich Autumn colours and taste the great food at the 'Tastes of Autumn' Festival, down at RHS Wisley in Surrey - and as you all know, this is where Adam works. He used to be the Head of Wisley Shop, but is now their Buyer of Books, not just for the Wisley shop, but for all the RHS Gardens, from Rosemoor down in Devon right up to Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire. He changed his job recently and therefore is now responsible for, amongst other things, getting great writers in to sign their books and speak about what they do best, especially when there is a fabulous foodie festival going on and loads of people about !!
This year, Adam managed to get one of our great garden designers, Cleve West, to come and speak about his new book on allotment gardening, called 'Our Plot', and so he had to go in to work on Saturday, for about six hours, to make sure that Cleve had everything he needed for two one-hour long talks and book-signing sessions. What a great opportunity for me to go along with him, and have a good look at all the great produce stalls, buy a few goodies, and photograph the stunning Autumn colours currently on show around the garden itself !!
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Verulamium - St Alban's

ROMAN VERULAMIUM...



A DAY OUT IN ST. ALBANS !!

Yesterday, Adam and I, accompanied by our other Ancient Roman fan-friend, Russ, decided that a day-trip out to St. Albans would be just the ticket !! It's only about 45-50 minutes drive out from where we live in West London, and has perhaps one of the best Roman mosaic floors ever found in Britain - astoundingly, we've never seen it - and as you all know - I just love a good mosaic floor !!
Here's where we went, what we did, and what we found there...


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madness video

MADNESS PERFORM FOR HER MAJESTY...



For anyone who missed that amazing concert last Monday evening, this is one video you simply MUST see - it's just fabulous !! Put it on full screen mode to get the full effect.
( I wonder what Queenie thought of this ?!! )