Optimistic Swan

I'll hang out with this guy, he looks like he might have some bread...
I’ll hang out with this guy, he looks like he might have some bread…

In response to this week’s photo challenge: optimistic

Fancy a go? Click here for the link: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/optimistic/

 

 

2016 Predictions: Land of Hope and Glory

Field becomes lake with haystacks
Field which has become a lake with haystacks

I returned home yesterday from visiting friends abroad. The view of England from the plane was one of waterlogged wheat fields and mossy-looking bog. I took quick snap-shots from the Southern Network train from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Central. It all looked green and glorious with the sun going down. More like April that January.

I have seen a few seasons like this in my time. When people worked hard to pay rent or mortgages and made great efforts to build up their homes, Mother Nature came along and just laughed at them.

In December, farmers that waited to bring in crops for the Christmas tables have suffered, as have field-reared animals such as sheep.

Predictions for 2016: Being a glass half-full person though, I predict a good building industry using new innovative technologies. I predict a good production of crops in Britain later in the year. Lamb and beef will be expensive, but pork and chicken will be cheap and people will try other birds like partridge. People will give locally grown foods their strong support, but there will be a big demand for imported exotic things like bananas, coffee, rice and especially pineapples. Mushrooms will be added to everything, Brussel sprouts will be eaten all year. Salads and chillis will grown in window boxes. British beer and even wine will become a world-wide trend and, of course, there will always be whiskey in the jar-o.

Roads become rivers
Roads have become rivers
Birds enjoying swamped fields
Birds enjoying swamped fields
Abundance of green
Abundance of green with constant water supply
Impossible to plant crops
crops (such as potatoes) will be late
Rivers widen
Boats become the preferred way to travel
Arriving home over the Itchen River, Southampton
Arriving home over the River Itchen Southampton

Haiku in a Hampshire Garden

This is my first attempt at Haiku. I spent time taking photos in a beautiful English garden in Hampshire. These are my results:

The scent of roses draws insects to petals. I want your softness
The scent of roses
draws insects to petals.
I want your softness
Tender bleeding hearts pollenated by bees. Tread careful, my love
Tender bleeding hearts
pollenated by bees.
Tread careful, my love
Lavender and vine Stretched along the red brick wall. Sleep, drink and be mine
Lavender and vine
Stretched along the red brick wall.
Sleep, drink and be mine
Autumn comes early to some lives in the garden. My Summer is over
Autumn comes early
to some life in the garden.
My Summer is out
I rest by the wall. Mistletoe orbs on tree tops. Kiss me at Christmas
I rest by the wall.
Mistletoe orbs on tree tops.
Kiss me at Christmas

All photos and words © southampton old lady

(permission usually given to reproduce with credit, when requested)

Decaying Old Grandeur 5 – Boats on Southampton’s River Itchen

Grand boat 1

On Southampton’s Itchen River, the mudflats are a grave-yard for once-glamourous boats.

Photos © Southampton Old Lady
Photos © Southampton Old Lady

grand boat 5

grand boat 4Grand boat 8grand boat 6

Grand boat 10

Decaying Old Grandeur 4 – The Royal Pier Southampton

The Mecca Ballroom at the end of Southampton's Royal Pier  burnt down in the 1970s
The Mecca Ballroom at the end of Southampton’s Royal Pier
burnt down in the 1970s

Royal Pier postcard

The Royal Pier at its best with the Pavilion leading to the Mecca Dancing ballroom at the pier's end
The Royal Pier at its best in the Victorian/Edwardian eras (top) and 1960s (above), with the Pavilion leading to the  ballroom at the pier’s head

I stare out at the gangrenous remnants of a burnt-out and buckled boardwalk.

I once walked along here in my long white gown to my wedding reception at the pier’s head.

A teenage discotecque, held every Saturday afternoon, paraded the latest fashions.

Mecca Ballroom danced the night away, and in the early hours there were women

Weeping over fights among bouncers and drunks.

Southampton's burnt pier, still an eye-saw in 2015
Southampton’s burnt pier, still an eye-sore in 2015

New wooden jetties, hoping to entice wealthy yachts and bearing ‘No Swimming’ signs, have become diving platforms today for sunburnt disobedient boys in trunks.

Diving boys

Diving through oily green waves of frothy seaweed, they wiggle down with the pipe fish and grey mullet to boat wrecks, over-stewed and stuck in the bed of blue-grey clay, razored with cracked cockleshells and broken bottles.
Here is the underworld city to hermit crabs, sea slugs or the occasional murder victim anchored by heavy slabs of concrete.

by Southampton Old Lady – August 2013

The Royal Pier, Southampton. Pavilion decorated in time for 1953 Queen's Coronation.
The Pavilion at Southampton’s Royal Pier, decorated in time for The Queen’s Coronation in 1953.
Privatised, the Pavilion opens as a restaurant:  'Kuti's Royal Thai Pier' in 2010
The Pavilion opens as a restaurant:
‘Kuti’s Royal Thai Pier’ in 2010

Decaying Old Grandeur 1: The Star Hotel, Southampton

StarHotelI just love decaying old grandeur.  Man builds homes made from Earth’s riches. These compete with embellishments of wealth and status. Then, Mother Nature creeps in and slowly claims it back again. I took this photograph of The Star Hotel in Southampton.
In 1883, the Queen Victoria, when she was still a Princess at the age of 14, opened the Royal Pier while staying at this hotel with her mother The Duchess of Kent.
This is one of the hotels snapped up by the Britannia Group. This company is notorious for buying up grand hotels, then letting them rot. The hotels are usually in excellent locations throughout Britain, and rates competitive. Reviews are one of shock — holiday snaps consist of mildewed bathrooms and peeling plaster.

Something about May Hill

Walking the wide, grassy ride that inclines so disconcertingly slowly up May Hill,

Mushrooms tightened their plate-sized parasols against the mist.

Fruits in abundance hardened themselves on to branches:

Leafless crab-apples, damsons, red rowans, black bramble-berries

And uncultivated chestnuts which spike out green armour.

Under the tall fir-copsed brow lay a docile herd of Belted Galloways,

Their marbled meat spread about in a Turkish bath of a fog.

Coal-black, their fluffy white belts resemble steam-room towels.

Water pearls weave their way through laced spiderless webs

No view today of any one of the twelve counties.

Still and silent.

Straining, I can hear echoes of bird twitters chorused by traffic.

And see dried, feathered grasses twitching nervously.

Everything seems to wait, wait.

Wait for what?

Something, is in the air.

Something, is about to change.

Southampton Old Lady wrote this on September 3rd,  2014