Friday, 22 August 2014

Four centuries of sunsets

Mill House, Cheadle

Sunset on red brick is literally a warming experience.  Mill House in Cheadle is a seventeenth century building - it has seen nearly four centuries of the sun coming and going.

The other thing that struck me was that the sun went down today about eight o'clock - which, at first, I thought as terribly early... but of course, the season is turning.  Why do we human beings forget that the things we are experiencing in the moment - like cold, heat, summer, winter - do change?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Grimacing grave

Tombstone at Tamworth

The weathering on this tombstone has left a rather macabre shape... it looks like a grimace of broken teeth to me.  Maybe that's just me though.

This grave seems to be in a rather odd place - round the back of Tamworth Library!
(However... the library was built on the site of the churchyard - but the graves were left in place, which all explains that).

Monday, 18 August 2014

Keeping feet dry in Milford

Stepping stones at Milford

As you'd expect of a well-kept estate like the Shugborough environs, these stepping stones across the stream at Milford are almost too tidy to be believable. 
Still, they are very useful !

You'll see lots of walkers - and bicyclists - on these paths... not surprisingly, as the location is very attractive.  You'll find a very good, flat walk that passes along these stones on the mapmywalk website.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Flying the county

Flag of Staffordshire

One sees the flag of Staffordshire (actually,,, the flag of Staffordshire County Council) relatively rarely, but I think it has a rather good-looking design, so it'd be nice to see it a little more (IMHO).

The knot and the chevron are both symbols that have represented Staffordshire in one or another way for many centuries.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Living inside the cliff

Rock Houses on Kinver Edge

The Rock Houses on Kinver Edge either look appealingly rustic or chillingly primitive, depending on your outlook.  These homes, actually cut into the side of the rock-face, were lived in right until the 1950s...
They are a tourist attraction now.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Thou wall, O wall

Wall in Whittington

I was walking along this road for about a mile - and this wall and I stayed together nearly the whole way. 
It struck me that I had never come across a wall that was so long and straight (ie without a corner).  It is continuous - apart from just a couple of small sections where it had crumbled.
The wall borders one edge of a large estate in an area called Fisherwick.

Surely a wall as long and straight as that must be setting some sort of record (?) - for the region at least...

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pre-loved stately home

Ingestre Hall

Ingestre Hall is a lovely old Jacobean mansion, now taken over and used for education courses and such. 

A spate of such lovely stately homes came on to the market following the Second World War; and, often, as in the case of Ingestre, the local county council would step in to buy the house - to save the property by re-using it. 
I don't think any council today, even citing good heritage reasons, would feel it could justify the expense of any similar conservation project.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Erotic library

Books display

Who'd have thought it???  The library in Leek has this display, on one of its window-sills, of books of erotica for women - under the generic label Shades Of Grey (after the book by EL James, of course).
Actually, I congratulate the curators at the library.  As half the female population (or so it seems) has read EL James, maybe they are just reflecting popular reading habits...

Well!  In my day, the most rousing book one could hope to find in a public library was usually one on anatomy.  We live in changing times.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Golden fields

Harvest field

This spell of hot dry weather, which itself followed days of successive warm rain, means that the harvest is already under way, and actually has been for some days.
In the light of the late afternoon, the wheatfields produce a startlingly golden effect.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Women in WW1

WW1 memorial stained-glass in Gnosall Church

The commemorations for the 100th anniversary of World War One went with some dignity I thought, which was good to see.  The ceremonies that I saw remembered those who died quietly and solemnly.

One interesting 21st Century element in these remembrances was the determination not to forget the part played by women in the conflict. 
In some cases of course, as in this memorial piece of 1920s stained-glass in Gnosall Church, women (nurses) were already properly remembered, as well as the male sailors, soldiers and airmen.