A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Isle of Wight Day 5 4th July - The Needles Breezer Part 2: Yarmouth, Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater and the Buddle Inn, Niton
The Breezer travels along a coast road to get to Yarmouth. The zoom lens on the Canon came in useful for this photo of Hurst Castle - well worth a visit. We went there on a boat trip from Yarmouth on our last Isle of Wight holiday.
We got off the bus in Yarmouth for a quick look round.
I do like Yarmouth - it is small and pretty and not, in my view, too touristy. There is the castle (this is one place we have never yet visited), a pier (longest remaining wooden pier of its type in the UK) an interesting church, some good craft shops and second hand book store and, of course, the harbour and the tidal waters, salt marsh and mudflats of the Western Yar.
Osborne plucked up courage to sit on this "sea monster" seat - I think this is new as I don't remember seeing it before.
Osborne wanted to know why we didn't have a boat of our own - just so he could go on a sea trip!
Mosaics at the entrance to Yarmouth Castle which was built in the last years of Henry VIII's reign as a result of international problems between England, France and the Holy Roman Empire.
More on the church on the last day of the holiday when I managed a brief visit.
Back then on the Breezer to head back to Freshwater and Dimbola Lodge which was the home of pioneering photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) and now a museum and art gallery run by the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust.
Sculpture of Jimi Hendrix in the garden.
Such a shame the bookshop was closed :(
Julia Cameron was a very important person in the early days of photography. She was a lady well ahead of her time and was ambitious and free-thinking.
The photos she took are among the most famous portraits of Victorian "celebrities". She experimented with close-up and diffused focal techniques which were to influence future photographers.
In 1835 she met Sir John Herschel whose many scientific interests included the use of chemicals in photographic processing. In 1863, when she was living at Dimbola, her daughter gave her a camera for Christmas to cheer up her loneliness as her husband was away from home at their coffee plantations. She took to photography with real enthusiasm converting a glazed "fowl house" into a studio and using a coal house as a dark room. Within a year she was elected a Member of the London Photographic Society. A sitting to have your portrait taken could have taken hours and Tennyson (from nearby Farringford house) told the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow before his sitting that "you will have to do whatever she tells you; I will come back soon and see what is left of you".
Local people were also used as models e.g. the local cobbler's daughter Mary Hillier was used as a model for Madonnas and a porter from Yarmouth posed as King Arthur.
There were three phases in her photography. Between 1864 -66 she didn't take many portraits as her main theme was religion, for example, Madonnas. Between 1866 and 1870 she focused on portraits of famous men and women. Through Tennyson she met many leading writers, artists and thinkers. After 1870 she concentrated on portraits devoted to illustrating poetry.
The museum contains exhibits of Julia's photos, a timeline of her life and details of the photographic techniques she used. There is a changing exhibition which features work by present day photographers/artists, a Victorian Dressing Room with outfits to try on, displays of vintage cameras and an Isle of Wight Festival display with photos, posters, sculptures from the largest ever-staged festival held in 1970 at East Afton Farm.
There was a frame here containing smoky glass so you could try and recreate some of her effects. Sadly not the best of photos of Osborne - I had to hold him myself as D had disappeared and the camera card holder was playing up big time as I tried to hold it shut and click the shutter at the same time.
I didn't take too many pictures of her photos as with them reflecting lights it was difficult but this is one of Tennyson "The Dirty Monk" taken in 1865.
"The Freshwater Circle"
Dimbola was frequently visited by bohemian artists, poets and writers such as Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, G F Watts, Lewis Carroll and William Thackeray. In 1853 Alfred Tennyson with his wife and family moved to Farringford House Freshwater (I believe the house is opening to the public this summer) where he wrote "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Crossing the Barr" and "Maud". Many writers, actresses, models and painters stayed with him such as John Herschel, Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell, Edward Lear and Ellen Terry.
Note for Rosie - I picked up a free leaflet at Dimbola on the Freshwater Circle which has a map showing various houses, churches etc. connected to the Freshwater Circle - worth looking out for :)
Display of old Olympus cameras
Some items in the Isle of Wight Festival exhibition
I found Dimbola exceedingly interested and was glad to have finally visited as I have wanted to go for years.
Insect drawings in the paving slabs on the way back to the car.
In the evening we went out to celebrate D's birthday at one of our favourite Pubs - The Buddle Inn, Niton which is a traditional 16th smugglers' pub with great coastal views.
"Sun Dogs" (second photo) in the sky on the drive home as sunset approaches.
A slice of the Dorset Apple Cake I made served with clotted cream. It didn't rise as well as usual as I had to use a bigger and shallower cake tin!
*D - Photos taken by D with the Canon bridge camera SX 50
References - Various leaflets bought from Dimbola on the subject of Julia Margaret Cameron
Day 6 - we visit the East side of the island (Ryde and Bembridge) and Tennyson finally gets an outing!
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.