Pirates & Piracy #pirates #Hastings #records #drummers 

Piracy in Hastings Old Town has become a mid-July, summer celebration and each year, along buccaneer mile, a little variation keeps it ever-exciting and wildly entertaining. Pirates from all over the country, county, cities and o’er the seas come to revel and rollick.
This year includes, ‘The Tigers’ free-fall parachuting, and landing on the end of Hastings pier; fierce and feisty drummers – Section 5; drinking gin before 11am; beards, parrots and real wooden legs; the creation of the largest pirate flag in the world on the beach and filmed from air; drinking whisky after 11am and everything else onwards; dancing and a full pirate orchestra performing Pirates of the Caribbean music as well as folk band, The Pyrates from Holland, and ‘light’ Opera (Pirates of Penzance); Jack Sparrow and entourage in drunken swagger parading along the seafront. He really looks like Johnny Depp.

Arrrgh…a jolly good time had by all!’

Please take note Hastings features in The Guinness Book of Records for the most recorded pirates in one place … that’s 14,231 Pirates.  I was one of them.


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Pirates party before pub refreshments.

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Good books in High places#travel #books #Spain #locations #photos #England #reading #foreign #mystery #worldwide

Taking a break from my world in soft, autumnal southern England and going to another world of granite, forested, undulating lands in southern Spain
Flying to foreign parts of foreign tongue and on the way reading a good fictional tale of English origin, ‘The Case of Aleister Stratton’ by K.G.V.Barnwell.

It’s wonderful to be able to travel and to photograph your own book in some new, remote and distinctive locations. 

This photo was shot on a lonely, high castle cliff of a Pueblo Blanco in southern Spain, with the Mediterranean Sea & rock of Gibraltar to the South, the vast plains of Spain to the North, granite hills and farmlands to the West and to the East, cork, olives and oaks trees clinging to the cliffs. 

Quiet and solitary, with eagles and vultures circling above, the perfect setting for a dark mystery.

Wherever next?
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Buy the mystery http://www.aleisterstratton.com ‘The Case of Aleister Stratton’


In England – now! #England #Spring #blossom #seasons #poets #writers #weather

‘Seasons change winter to spring’ (so they sang in the film, Moulin Rouge).
Spring leading to summer warms the spirit and the pen, and becomes an inspirational and contemplative period for poets and writers, thinkers and dreamers, wanderers, followers and gatherers.

In May the world’s spin passes The Great Britain of temperate climate, through a gloriously green, flowery, abundant and prospectively fruitful season.  

Whether the weather brings sunny rapture or cloudy repulsion, there remains a gay, optimistic, signal of hope for this early part of the year.

From, Robert Browning, 1845

‘And after April, when May follows,

And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallow!

Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge

Leans to the field and scatters on the clover

Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge- ‘


To, A. E. Housman, 1890, whose diaries cover two areas of interest, “the variety of the seasons – mainly Spring and Autumn – the weather, and the dates at which flowers come into bloom.”

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough…

About the woodlands I will go 

To see the cherry hung with snow.”

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White Apple blossoms framed by the dotted blue of forget-me-nots, in England – now!


Women of the World #women #world #India #life #experience #adventure #english

India has an incalculable number of personalities; it is a vast, self sufficient continent and the enormity of all its offerings can be overwhelming.

Each state has its own dialect, then they converse in the united language of Hindi; on the world stage and amongst travellers the tongue is, most thankfully, English

And so I find myself, in the depths of Goa’s abundance and spiritual wealth, one friend, one ‘Woman of The World.’  I think of her now (see photo) as I return home to Britain and remember clearly her perfect English, her smile and her story. 

Her name is Natasha, dressed in a purple patterned sari, with bangles and necklace. She was married at 15, it was an arranged custom. She has 4 children: 3 girls and one boy, her eldest is 20. She loves her family, and does not wish her daughter to be married at such a young age. She wants her to study, to learn about life and to experience her youth.

Natasha is from ‘out-of-state’ and has a shop in the Goan market selling many Indian items.

I may never see her again, she shared some of her life with me, as I did with her. It was a brief yet significant encounter. We could well have been the same age, with greatly contrasting lives, but we are both ‘Women of The World’ and subjects of our country.

Travel is more than just a sun-bed and a sun-seeking attitude, it is an explosion of new and wonderful personal adventures…mind, body and soul

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Brothers in Arms and Battles #OnThisDay #anniversary #history #brothers


This month we have remembered two particular battles:
The Battle Of Hastings, 14th October 1066.
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21st October 1805.

and now ‘once more into the breach, dear friends, once more…’
we must remember another, precisely 600 years ago today – 

25th October, 1415 The Battle of Agincourt, Northern France.
It is Shakespeare’s great, patriotic play, ‘Henry V’ written in 1598 and consistently performed in England since the 1730s that dramatises the Battle of Agincourt.

The French outnumbered the English, by 5:1, yet victory prevailed in English favour.

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”

England itself is personified in the famous St Crispian’s Day speech on the eve of battle as a small island nation that valiantly overcomes powerful enemies. 

To brush up on this story, one might brush up one’s Shakespeare and watch the very many interpretations of this history play.

Henry V is believed to be the first play presented to the new Globe Theatre (referenced as the ‘wooden O’ in the play) in Southwark in 1599.  

We now have a new Globe in Southwark opened in 1997, a hundred yards from the original site.
Gentlemen please take a bow, Ladies please curtesy…

 ‘O Kate, nice customs curtesy to great kings…’

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