Wordless Wednesday….. Another Favourite Place


Location:- Selworthy and Dunkery Beacon, Exmoor on the Somerset/Devon Border

15th May

(C) David Oakes 2019


Saturday Excursion….. Bremen


The Town Musicians of Bremen

I thought I would present you with another Saturday Excursion, an excursion to somewhere visited once but highlighted as a “must go Back to” location.

I have to admit that Bremen wasn’t really on my radar to visit….but a Day Tour ( a shuttle bus to the centre so we would be free to explore) had been organised from a cruise we were on, seemed a good idea, so we joined….and we were so glad we did.

Nor did I know anything much about Bremen, though I was aware and enjoyed the Brothers Grimm Fairy Story of The Town Musicians of Bremen, now honoured in a rather unique statue in the main square.

Situated in North West Germany on the mighty River Weser, Bremen is steeped in history.  It is a medieval and a modern City, a Cultural Centre and also very proud of its Hanseatic past.  Architecture matching the various styles over the Cities long history and Statues, like that of the mighty Roland, all worth more than a passing glance….plus some more modern creations.

The Schnoor district by the River is worth a visit all on its own.  Narrow streets, tall buildings, once warehouses, workshops for crafts people reliant on a marine trade plus Offices of Shipping Companies, Merchants, Importers and Agents.

Enjoyable as it was, one day was certainly not enough.  We couldn’t get into the magnificent Cathedral as it was closed for restoration work, nor did time allow to explore any of the many Art Galleries and Museums. So those alone are good reasons to return. What we did enjoy was exploring a rather smart city full of friendly folk, a city that had many styles. Oh! and I should say we also enjoyed the Coffee shops and the great choice of Restaurants.

So here is a quick visual excursion for you to join…


The weather could have been better but it didn’t slow us down, though perhaps we did linger a little longer over lunch….  so with a farewell kiss, we did say ” we would go back “


11th May

(C) David Oakes 2019

Surprise, Surprise……. Summer Temperatures in February



It is true….temperatures across the UK were generally in the 17/18c level and in some places a 21c.  Lunch on the patio for 3 consecutive days absorbing some very welcome vitamin D. Yet this is still February, it shouldn’t be this way.

Here in our corner of middle England I can confirm that we have had (so far) little rain, two days of what one would call a proper frost and on those days the lake did freeze, lots of sunshine and temperatures above the seasonal average culminating in this mini summer.

In reality it is very spring like, lots of growth in the woods and garden.  The trees are someway off bursting but buds are swelling and bulbs are flourishing and herbaceous plants sprouting well…and as mentioned yesterday Bee’s a plenty.

Friday it is the 1st of March and the Meteorological Office dictates that is the start of Spring…astrologically is still away off. But I have this feeling that we may well see the arrival of hard winter weather during the month.  Global warming?, Jet Stream?, warmer Gulf Stream? all may well be creating this current February Heat Wave.… but what we have noticed is that for a number of years now the cyclical seasonal change from one to another has slipped back each succeeding year by at least two weeks.

We do know this good weather cannot last. It is too good to be true!

So thinking wistfully of  summer days to come, and living  bang in the middle of England, miles from the coast, I thought I would remind myself of sunny, summer days on the beach to come.  If you are lucky enough to live on the coast then enjoy this early bonus and take a stroll along the sands for me.


26th February

(10am and already 13c and rising)

(C) David Oakes 2019

The end of a journey…..CADIS


Plaza de San Juan de Dios, Cadis

Early morning and we arrive at Cadis.  It is the last port of call on our Andalusian trip. Cadis has the honour of being the oldest  inhabited City in Europe, some say the western world.  The name Cadis is understood to come from the Phoenician word ‘Gadir‘  which means ‘enclosure’. Founded about 1100bc it rapidly became the gateway to the New World and a bridge between Africa and Europe. It was Phoenicians that established Cadis as a trading post. Cadis has a history influenced by all the many cultures, of which there are many,  that have either invaded, passed thru or indeed settled here making this a relatively small but captivating City, one of the friendliest on the tour.

One treat as we explored Cadis was a Flamenco Singer and Dancer, a display that was just so full of Spanish emotion, power and energy that gave even us a ‘bounce’ to our steps even though the temperature hovered around 30c… and the girls loved him!


The Local Police seemed rather laid back, in pairs with one always on the phone…which I discovered was a football match they were keeping a close eye on! Then you go round the corner and there is a Bride with her Groom on the way to their Reception…



Cadis was our last Port….but it was also a Port that Fred Olsen Cruise Lines chose to assemble there small fleet of 4 vessels all together at one time. We were at the end of our cruise, others ships were mid journey and one was just starting its voyage.  So it was celebrations in the Port and at the end of the day all 4 Ships sailed out of Cadis together.  Escorted by Fireboats.

With all 4 Ships pausing ‘bow first’ in a Thank You for a great days hospitality and as salute to Cadis….


A very fitting end to a memorable trip. Sun and blue sky for the most part, temperature a dry 28 on average and only 5 minutes of rain….not bad 🙂

13th October

(C) David Oakes 2018