Mast & Rigging

Inside Boathouse No 4 at Portsmouth Historical Naval dockyards, you can see the restoration of boats, give yourself a lift while discovering how block and tackle works, spin yourself some rope and climb the rigging in a mock up of a small sailing ship.

We watched a father and son climb up the rigging and walk along the mast to ring the ship’s bell, all safely on dry land.




Receiving instructions, before the climb.




Climbing the rigging,  a high-five from dad, and a walk along the mast to ring the bell before being lowered to the ground.  Well done, dudes.



The luscious green before the bloom




The Wind


The wind blows happily on every thing.

The very weeds that shake beside the fold

Bowing, they dance, do any thing but sing

And all the scene is lovely to behold:

Blue mists of morning, evenings of gold.

How beautiful the wind will play with Spring:

Flowers beam with every colour light beholds,

Showers o’er the landscape fly on wet pearl wings

And winds stir up unnumbered pleasant things.



I love the luscious green before the bloom,

The leaves and grass and even beds of moss,

When leaves ‘gin bud and Spring prepares to come,

The ivy’s evergreen, the brown green gorse,

Plots of green weeds that barest road engross.

In fact I love the youth of each green thing:

The grass, the trees, the bushes and the moss

That pleases little birds and makes them sing.

I love the green before the blooms of Spring.



John Clare

This Happy Spirit

Selected & edited by R. K. R. Thornton & Carry Akroyd


Sunday in the Park

I had anticipated nothing more than a quiet walk around Lever park and possibly a stroll along the terraced gardens and, if I was feeling more energetic, a climb up to Rivington Pike to take in the view.  Nothing more distracting than that.

I reached the ruined remains of the replicated 13th century castle and stumbled on a photography shoot  – I could tell the photographer was a professional as he had an umbrella and it wasn’t even raining.


A perfect setting for a bit of cosplay.

cosdream 1

There were plenty of other folk either just out for a walk or exercising their dogs.  We passed a few runners and mountain bikers as we made our way to the café, but before we got there I was distracted by something whizzing above my head.


Look up – in the tree tops a group of people about to leap off down a zip-wire.


Go Ape – is now firmly established it seems wherever there is a bit of woodland.


The Great House Barn Tea Room is very popular, though dogs are not welcome inside, they were happy to take an order and serve us outside.  I can recommend the quiche and salad – though next time I’m going to try out their pie and mash.  The coffee tasted good too.  This place is very popular with bikers and chaffinches.

DSCF0245onwards and upwards, past the Great House itself, where people had gathered for another activity.


Past the ruined gardens


Where you can take a dip, if you are so inclined.


Play Hide and Seek –

spot the dog

Where’s Max?  Can you find him?  He’s in there somewhere.


Taking in the view.

More than just a stroll in the park.