Showing posts from June, 2019

Setting for most popular poem in English

(Above image is a capture of St Giles Church, Stoke Poges) Today, we visited the church and churchyard at Stoke Poges, a village located about 25 miles west of London. This churchyard was the inspiration for the poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray (1716-1771).The first few verses of the subject poem are provided below. 1 The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, 2 The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, 3 The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, 4 And leaves the world to darkness and to me. 5 Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, 6 And all the air a solemn stillness holds, 7 Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, 8 And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; 9 Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower 10 The moping owl does to the moon complain 11 Of such, as wandering near her secret bower, 12 Molest her ancient solitary reign. 13 Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, 14 Where

Hike River Thames Path, England

  (Above image is a capture of the River Thames near Goring-on-Thames.) Today, with temperature around 30 C/ 86 C (very hot for England) we embarked on a relatively modest hike tracking the River Thames from Moulsford to Goring-on-Thames and back. This was a leisurely trip so we took our time, taking in the sites and availing of refreshment. Swimmer in River Thames In course of the hike we encountered: Yacht sailing on the river. Two ancient parish churches ( Church of England/Episcopalian) in close proximity to each other. Interesting architecture. River scenery. Locks and a weir. Wildflowers Swimmers in the river. Wildlife in form of waterbirds such as ducks, geese and swans.  Yachting near Goring St Mary's Parish Church, Streatley. Church dates from 13th century but on site of an earlier Anglo-Saxon church, maybe around 8th century AD. Originally Catholic but protestant since around 1530. Reformation around 1530. Restored in 19th century. St.

Cruising River Thames, England

(Above image is a capture of a heron.) Today, we joined with friends, rented a small pleasure boat and spent about four hours pootling around the River Thames in Oxfordshire. Weather was just about perfect, warm, sunny with a light breeze. During this trip we encountered a diversity of sites and sights including a WW2 Pill Box, extensive bird life, a diversity of river traffic, exotic architecture and various waterside pubs. Riverside pub  Wild geese and goslings Canine swimming session WW2 Pill Box Large river boat Our pleasure boat Swan and cygnets Beetle & Wedge restaurant Raptor (Kite?) Sculler Egyptian House Grebe Boat traffic on River Thames

Canoeing on River Thames, England

Today, we enjoyed a memorable experience, spending about four hours exploring a central part of the River Thames by canoe. Weather conditions were optimal. In a short space of time we encountered an elaborate boathouse, an angler, interesting riverside flora, a raptor at work (possibly a kestrel), swans and ducks, a wide range of river boats plus some high end real estate. River scenery Elaborate boat house Riverside angler Riverside flora Raptor in flight (Kestrel?) Swan with cygnets Swan in flight An interesting, heavy-duty vessel with mast. Impressive riverside real estate

Hike through Oxfordshire Countryside, England

(Above is a capture of a thatched cottage at Dorchester-on-Thames.) Today, we undertook a superb four mile (approx.) walk through the delightful countryside of South Oxfordshire which entailed connecting with: Lush, green countryside heavily populated with trees and wildflowers. Two iron-age forts dating back over two thousand years. A delightful small village with ancient church and connection with Oliver Cromwell. Quaint, thatched houses. A bird of prey, possibly a kestral. Upper reaches of River Thames. A film set in form of Dorchester-on-Thames used for some Midsomer Murders episodes. Castle Hill fort is a huge site the interior of which extends to 4.5 hectres and indicates a high status, probably tribal power base, from around 800 BC-100AD. The scale of the earthworks suggest construction may have taken 20 years or longer, especially bearing in mind work was undertaken by human muscle using deer antlers and leg bones of large animals for earth moving.The site was d