201/366 Some Low Tides

The last couple of mornings have seen (for me) some remarkably low tides. The picture above shows the rails and supports for the Old Gosport Ferry. The picture was taken around 0640, the tide still had five minutes to run before turning. The distance between the low tide and the high tide mark, clearly visible is almost 5 metres. I can’t remember the the last time I have seen it so low.

Taken from near the end of the Haslar Marina Pier Wall again to demonstrate how low the tide was I am not normally able to over see the decks of the Might Mouse light ship. Here I have a clear view in to the ships foredeck.

I think we have all heard of Spring and Neap Tides. I had never realised (I should have done) that these are not seasonal but monthly occurrences. Obviously tied primarily to the moon. The app that I use on my phone to give the tidal state also, logically, gives the phase of the moon. I’m going to have to pay more attention to that.

Again, you get an impression of the tide being low from the level of the lower walkway against the bracing pillars.

The temperature is also a bit up and down. Over the last few days, the temperature has been getting colder in the morning, definitely frosty this morning. I have been really appreciating the balaclava and gloves. The metal of the tripod that I take out with me in the mornings, gets almost too cold to touch, and I have to have a glove of, usually my right hand, to operate my phone. But, I always enjoy the walks.

200/366 I’m still on the Journals

I have only got one or two leaflets left to read. I’ve enjoyed reading them. I don’t know if any more than what I have were published. There has been a lot of talk about the occupants of cemeteries, but it’s the stories of activities at “Famous” Gosport Houses, and the story of Gosport itself. Including the article I’m reading at the moment about the Ghosts of Gosport – it only talks about a few of them. I am sure that there are more of them.

Some of the articles have given me ideas either for articles of my own especially Vlogs. I know that I am procrastinating with that. Of course, things like the merging of Alverstoke and Gosport are of particular interest, and then of course the disturbances of 1830 (the destruction of jobs through farm mechanisation). The article of how the frieze above what was the Gosport Library, was conceived and installed in 1901 is something that I can really relate to as it is still there today.

One of the articles goes back to 1627 and recounts the story of how King Charles I inspected his ships in preparation of an invasion of France. That invasion was to take place at La Rochelle, again I can relate to this, having been to that very place – more than once.

Then in 1689, a book was printed. It currently resides in the British Library has the sentence “Gosport: Printed by J. Phillpott near the Blue Bell, in Middle Street, in Gosport”. It appears that the public house referred to may have been the Bell Public House at 19 High Street which was demolished in 1973, meaning it, or it’s predecessor had been there for around 300 years! Food for thought.

I can’t let tonight’s post go without commenting on being very chuffed indeed to have reached No. 200.

199/366 Walking

Completely unrelated to walking. I opened the curtains this morning, as I did so, I noticed a fluttering of wings, and what looked like a couple of yellow wagtails flew off, but I couldn’t be sure. Then, this afternoon I looked out the kitchen windows, and low and behold, there they were. What I had identified as a male, and the other bird with muted chest colours, clearly a female. They were both bobbing so madly, as wagtails it was incredibly lovely to see. I just needed to say that. It is quite beautiful.

This month, I have walked 93.94 miles. Over the past two months, I have done 193.71 miles. Assuming nothing goes wrong, I am on target to reach 250 in the first quarter, which means that Walk 1000 is achievable.

The previous couple of weeks have seen some quite variable weather, but I have been able to get out every morning, which is good. The walks themselves have been very pleasant with at least one spectacular sunrise.

“I’m not sure what is going to happen weather wise over the next week, but as long as it isn’t raining heavily, and I don’t think that is forecast at least for the first part of the week, then it should be OK.

198/366 Ideas for Vlogs

A year or two ago I read a book by Leonard White “The Story of Gosport” It was a very interesting book and I think in the context of recent activities, I probably need to read at least parts of it again. THat’s because there’s a period from 1850 onwards that is particularly interesting about the existence of the town.

Bringing Gosport and Alverstoke together as a borough was not an easy task and even ended up going to a public enquiry; this was around whether it would be Alverstoke and Gosport Borough, or Gosport and Alverstoke. It got quite lively with public meetings leading to threats.

I found a news paper report from 1891 about that meeting. My initial thought was that the news when I was young, in the 1970’s would be quite an interesting period with the minutes from the council and newspaper articles would be quite plentiful, I would look for items in the news papers that were controversial or funny and then do a vlog about it. But then I thought, OK that could be a bit dodgy, as time wise it’s relatively close to now. So then I thought, that OK, I know I can get newspaper articles from the 1850-1900 period (the report on the lively meeting was a very good read).

Now it’’s how to approach the Vlogging that is going to be interesting. I very much want to do this, but in my way.

197/366 Putting Pen to..Err, Fingers to Keyboard

I started doing this /366 thing, because I have had an urge to write for a long time. I have a couple of notebooks that are filled with rubbish that can only be dated between 2005 – 2008, with the particular job that I had at the time. I have other bits of writing as well, between then and now. The trouble was that there was no coherence to the writing, no theme, no purpose. Well, perhaps there is a purpose. To satisfy my need to write, in which case if the need is satisfied, do coherence and theme (or are they the same) matter?

Having a daily theme has certainly helped to focus my writing, but within the theme, it’s still a bit random. To be honest, I’m not sure what to do about this. Perhaps I should just accept that is the case. Just for a moment, I’m going to think about the Gosport journals. These have given me a couple of ideas about Vlogs. I’m kind of reluctant to write about them at the moment, I need to do some more planning and research.

Having said all of that, I feel that this weeks writing schedule has gone quite well. Once again, I don’t feel as though I have been blocked with ideas. Putting those ideas in to this blog, has made the week quite enjoyable for me. It’s nice to be able to just sit and type, and the words just seem to come out. Most of the time they make a reasonable degree of sense. Well, at least they do to me.

196/366 It changes

After last weeks cold weather, this week has been positively balmy in comparison. So far, I have been able to get out for a walk every morning and tomorrow is looking good as well.

Having said that though, there have been a couple of mornings where there has been quite a breeze blowing. I’ve taken to wearing my balaclava as a neck warmer. I probably don’t need to, as the coat I wear has a high neck that does up quite tightly, but I’ve got into the habit. Where it has been breezy, there has also been a chill to the wind, on one occasion, it was causing three or four degrees of windchill. On another occasion, the wind was so brisk that I was concerned that my hat might be blown away, so it was good on both occasions to be able to pull my balaclava up over. It was also very comfortable.

Of course with the variable weather comes the dramatic skies and spectacular sunrises, we’ve certainly had a couple of of those, here’s a couple of examples;

I have to confess, I don’t always relish getting up at half past five in the mornings. Mostly it helps if I wake up a little earlier than my normal get up time, or especially if I have a purpose to the walk. For example if I want to photograph something specific, or if there is something I especially want to discuss on the #Breakfastclub. Sometimes, it is just nice to go for a walk and enjoy the weather.

195/366 A bit of a dilemma

I haven’t checked, but I am pretty sure there’s another post that has the title “A bit of a dilemma”. I have actually, no really, taken the Tom Ang Digital Photography Masterclass book of the shelf and opened it. Of course, I haven’t bothered with the pre-amble, and have gone straight to the assignment. The first set of tasks relates to City lights – and to be honest, that is as much as I know. Except, part of the assignment is to explore different camera settings. I’m just not sure how easy that is to do with the iphone. I bet there’s an app that will give a proper manual mode. Should I explore that?

Of course, upstairs I have a very nice Nikon D5300, OK not a top of the range, in only just slightly more than entry level, but it is a Nikon, and I’ve always wanted to own one, and now that I have one I have barely used it over the last three years. Using that would be much easier for accessing the different camera modes, but of course, it does mean more bulk to carry in the morning, although I do have a very comfortable camera strap. The other problem as well, is with the strap, it’s fiddly to use the tripod, and with any kind of low light photography, I really do need to use a tripod.

It seems that doing the exercises in the book provides a perfect opportunity to re-familiarise myself with the Nikon. I’ve recharged the batteries, and all seems OK. I’m going to give a try I think. I may have to get the manual out – I’ve forgotten some of the things.

Now, as I said earlier the first set of tasks relate to city lights. As you might imagine the photographs in the book will be of somewhere like Leicester Square. What do I have? Gosport High Street! Actually, there is quite a variation of lights there. Perhaps not to London’s scale, but different.

Now, the other thing is timing. I’m going to have to read the assignment properly, which means I have to dedicate some time to properly read the assignment. I think that’s a weekend thing.

194/366 Lovely Skies

Amongst other reasons, this is why I get up and go for a walk in the morning. This morning was an excellent example. As soon as I stepped outside I saw that the sky was brightening. The first part of the walk I normally take has me heading west, away from the sunrise. I do a sharp U-Turn at the end of Stoke Road and then have about a mile and a half until I reach the waterfront.

The skies like this occur for me, timing-wise, over a fairly narrow window. Give it a couple of weeks I will be walking in daylight throughout. I admit, that some of the pictures during daylight can be as boring as pictures taken when it is dark. On the other hand, I am about to get the Tom Ang book out and look at what the first assignment in the book is. Obviously, I won’t be able to go to places as grand as his pictures were taken, but I will attempt to adapt it. One thing I will have problems with is portraiture – but tonight is about the waterfront, not photography.

One notable thins this morning was the water in the harbour had a distinct swell;

I don’t think any of my pictures show it, and it’s difficult to say how high. But it was much rougher than normal. We’ve been over on the Gosport ferry a couple of times when it was rough. It’s quite bouncy when you sit in the front of the boat.

Talking of the ferry, they don’t just go between Portsmouth and Gosport. They run trips. We’ve been out to see the cruise ships go out, to see an American Aircraft carrier close up and for parties. They always serve nice food. But, they usually end up doing a Grand Harbour Tour. Now the first couple of times you do one of these they are great. Then, third and successive time you go out , after you come back, and are itching to get off the boat and you hear the announcement “We will give a Grand Tour of the harbour” it’s not necessarily the first thing you want to hear. Still, it has been quite a while since we been on one. It is quite impressive, the first time you do one.

193/366 The Gosport Journals

Out on my walk this morning, I stopped to have a chat with this gentleman. This was about 0630. He’d been there since midnight and hadn’t caught anything, but was not in the least disheartened. He was on the verge of packing up and looking forward to going home to wake up his kids.

I’m still reading the Gosport Journals. I’m about halfway through, reading leaflets that were written around 1973. Understandably, given that it is the Gosport and Historic Records Society the contents of the leaflets are not contemporary. They focus on the 18th & 19th century where solid records are most likely to be available. Indeed on one piece where I have identified a potential topic for a vlog I have found a news article from 1891, which I suspect forms the basis for this article and a book about Gosport that I read a while ago.

The leaflets are interesting, and I am very much enjoying reading the leaflets, but I’m not sure if they were what I was expecting. For a start, I did have a quick look at the volume before I bought it, so I had a rough idea of what I was getting. I think I may have commented on this before, but the leaflets were written between 1970 – 76. I think what I wanted to read was about what was happening in Gosport then. This is 50 years ago, half a century. At a period in my life which was, shall we just say interesting. So, now is the time to write about then. I think I can access newspaper articles from that time. Can I get at the council minutes from that time? I shall explore that. That could be next years blogging project. I’ll consider that.

192/366 Out for a walk

We went out for a walk today around lunchtime. We did just under three miles. Like I always say not a large distance but better than nothing. I had to take a couple of Amazon packages for return so it was useful that the route we took had us passing the drop off point.

It also happened that the drop off point was very close to the promenade, so it made sense to take a wander along there. I must admit, that we did pause to admire the scenery. It’s just so nice to be outside.

There weren’t a lot of people out, the promenade wasn’t crowded, which was nice. The route took us past the park with the Cockle ponds. We said hello to a couple of friends who were heading in the opposite direction, it was nice to see them.

It has been a good walking week. I’ve met my walk1000 target for the week. I didn’t go out on one day (Wednesday), that was because of rain. Yesterday (Saturday, 20 Feb) it wasn’t a walk, but a run. I’m doing Couch to 5K again. I should be on week 5, but I didn’t go out at the week before – it was just too cold. I re-ran week 4. The next week definitely gets a bit heavier.

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