Category Archives: UK

Wooden sculptures in Bersted Park, Bognor Regis, West Sussex

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Bersted Park Community Centre area

 

 

For the last few months I have been enjoying my afternoon walks with Beano admiring the beauty of these new sculptures that have been installed in the last year, funded by Berkeley Homes and created by local artist Simon Groves as part of a community Art Project.

 

This new housing development is only a couple of hundred meters from my house and the land where it stands has been totally transformed in the last 5 years, from farmland to housing.  It would be fair to say that, although we didn’t welcome all the noise, dust and traffic problems from the building of the new site, the end product is rather pretty and it has definitely been an improvement to the area, providing affordable homes to young families.

 

The first sculpture I come across on my walk is the one of 3 egrets perched on a pole and it stands on a little island in the large community pond where a couple of swans nest every year quite successfully.  We all look forward to seeing their cygnets in early summer and they have had as many as 7 chicks in the past!  Such a joy to see!

 

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Egrets on the island where swans nest

 

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Swans nesting on the bottom left corner among reeds

 

The second magnificent wooden sculpture I come across is a most original sofa that looks very much made out of leather from a distance, so much so that when I first saw it, I really thought someone had dumped their unwanted furniture there and felt most outraged!  When it became clear what it was, I remember having a good laugh with other neighbours and dog walkers saying that a coffee table and TV might follow!!!  Needless to say we are still waiting.

 

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The comfy sofa, but where is the telly?

 

 

Next on my walk is this superb bench decorated with various carved insects, worms and other superb creatures.  Just look at that dragon fly!

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Beautiful intricate carvings on this bench by school

 

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More amazing carvings on the other side

 

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From a different angle

 

Then we come across this exotic plant that looks like a palm tree.  Again, look at the detail in the wood carving: simply superb!

 

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An exotic plant

 

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Close-up of head

 

Next is this football and cricket combination by the sports field.

 

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Football and cricket rolled into one

 

 

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A better view of the cricket bat

 

Finally , we finish our sculpture trail walk with a representation of The Sword in the Stone right by the new Community Centre and play area.  Isn’t it just wonderful!

 

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The sword in the Stone seat

 

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From the back, showing play area

 

I hope you have enjoyed your walk with me: I know I have and do every afternoon!  Thank you for coming along.

Pulborough Brooks, West Sussex, Sunday 1st May 2016

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The charming Pulborough Brooks

 

We made the most of todays’s warm and sunny weather and decided to go and do a spot of  bird watching at this lovely nature reserve run by RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) in the Arun Valley and South Downs National Park.  We are very furtunate to live within half an hour’s drive of this most charming location and our RSPB membership entitles us to free entry, another good reason to come.

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The lovely Jupps View at Pulborough Brooks

 

We spent just under 2 hours following the various trails to different hides from which to watch a number of wading birds, such as lapwings, herons, coots and egrets, one of my favourte birds.  We also spent some time listening to the enchanting nightingales, but unfortunately they did not make an appearence for us today, although we did manage to see a couple spotted flycatchers at one of the pods, a first for me!

 

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Island with shellducks, lapwings and coots

 

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An egret

 

Of course, there were other features to attract bees and other insects to the site and to encourage children to take an interest in Nature.  I particularly enjoyed the Bugs’ Hotel and the Solitary Bee Shelter!  I had never seen one before: just wonderful!

 

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The Bugs’ Hotel

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The Solitary Bee Shelter: Magic!

I was thrilled to get a close-up picture of an Greenfinch and a Long-tailed Tit , even though they may seem a bit blurry (need a better zoom lens, I think).

 

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An obliging Greenfinch

 

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A Long-tailed Tit

 

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this tranquil and beautiful corner of West Sussex and I hope my readers will enjoy the pictures too.  Do come and visit if you are in the area.

 

Fairmile Bottom, West Sussex, Sunday 16th November 2014

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The newly re-introduced Sussex cattle

The newly re-introduced Sussex cattle

We won’t be travelling again in our motorhome until 26th December, but I miss my blog and decided to share a few pictures of our dog-walk near where we work in West Sussex.

The old local Sussex cattle breed has been re-introduced and we had to change our usual route to go up to the woods, so we ended up in an area of very low and ancient yew trees we had never seen before. It was all very ‘Lord of the Rings’ kind of landscape and very beautiful indeed.  Autumn was already in full swing, so we walked on a carpet of leaves, which made the whole place even more enchanting.

The mysterious woods

The mysterious woods

I love the ancient yew trees

I love the ancient yew trees

The best thing was that we were able to let Beano off the lead, so he had a very good run chasing pheasants and what-not.

Beano off the lead

Beano off the lead

The pictures were taken with my mobile phone, so they might not do the place the justice it deserves, but I hope you like them and get a feel of the place.  I must return with a proper camera!

Feeling happy on an autumn Sunday morning walk

Feeling happy on an autumn Sunday morning walk

An ominous light fast approaching

An ominous light fast approaching

Adonis and Beano walking into the light

Adonis and Beano walking into the light

Adonis and Beano walking into the light!

Adonis and Beano magically disappeared in the light on our return walk

Back to the beautiful Sussex cattle

Back to the beautiful Sussex cattle

Pirates of Bognor Regis, West Sussex, Sunday 15th June 2014

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Pirates fighting on Bognor Regis seafront

Pirates fighting on Bognor Regis seafront

Today, our lovely town held a summer carnival based on a Pirate theme and we were all for a wonderful surprise when Jack Sparrow himself landed (or more like it, was hoisted) from his modern day Black Pearl – read speed boat – to the delight of all, big and small.  

Spirit FM on stage

Spirit FM on stage

 

The event started at 11.45 am, courtesy of Spirit FM West Sussex, outside the Regis Centre and Alexandra Theatre, and we were kindly advised to look out at sea for the momentous event. We obediently followed and were rewarded with the arrival of the most famous (should that be infamous?) pirate in the history of film making.

Pirates waiting for their captain, Jack Sparrow

Pirates waiting for their captain, Jack Sparrow

 

Where is the Captain?

Where is the Captain?

 

The Captain arriving on Bognor Regis Beach in a modern age Black Pearl

The Captain arriving on Bognor Regis Beach in a modern age Black Pearl

 

A little help from the pirates

A little help from the pirates

 

On dry land at last ready to lead his team of cut-throats

On dry land at last ready to lead his team of cut-throats

 

Jack Sparrow (or rather his official double) had the tall task of leading a mob of cut-throats and a very excited crowd of locals and visitors on the parade along the promenade to the pier.  He proved to be a great fun-loving character with a marvellous people’s touch and he made sure he took time to pose and have a laugh with all those who called him and even those who didn’t.  I must admit I could not resist the temptation (why should I, anyway?) and had something better than a ‘selfie’, as I went for a proper cuddle! I was later punished for my daring behaviour and was abducted by another and equally charming pirate. Glad to say I lived to tell the tale!  I felt flattered when later on Jack approached me and said to me: “You’re crazy, you are!”  Well, it takes one to know one!  Love him!

Jack Sparrow leading the parade along the promenade

Jack Sparrow leading the parade along the promenade

 

Posing for the crowd

Posing for the crowd

 

The Samba Band

The Samba Band

 

The crowd!

The crowd!

 

A mean pirate!

A mean pirate!

 

Some wonderful outfits from the locals

Some wonderful outfits from the locals

Jack Sparrow being a good sport posing for me

Jack Sparrow being a good sport posing especially for me!

Having a cuddle with The Captain

Having a cuddle with The Captain

 

Being abducted for my insolence!

Being abducted for my insolence!

 

Some innocent bystanders

Some innocent bystanders

 

There were loads of events on the schedule, including the Nyodema Drummers (fighting poverty through music) and a dancing group from the local Laburnum School, as well as spontaneous pirate fights all over the seafront and a Zumba dance session which required audience participation and yet another fun event I was unable to resist and, of course, joined in.

The Nyodema Drummers

The Nyodema Drummers

 

The Nyodema Drummers

The Nyodema Drummers

 

Dancer with the Nyodema Drummers

Dancer with the Nyodema Drummers

 

Dance group from the Laburnum School

Dance group from the Laburnum School

 

Dance group from the Laburnum School

Dance group from the Laburnum School

 

 

Captain Sparrow mingling with the crowd

Captain Sparrow mingling with the crowd

 

 

More young dancers

More young dancers

 

Having proper seafront fun

Having proper seafront fun

 

There was also a sea rescues demonstration show from the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).

RNLI sea rescue show

RNLI sea rescue show

RNLI sea rescue show

RNLI sea rescue show

 

The carnival ended with a presentation of prizes to the best pirate outfits presented by Jack Sparrow himself at 4 pm. A fabulous and fitting way to finish a fun-filled day. And a good time was had by all!  Can’t wait for next year!

Prize giving and closing of events

Prize giving and closing of events

But the pirates still fought on!

Will these pirates ever have enough?

Will these pirates ever have enough?

 

I am also very proud to say that the whole event was filmed by my son’s film and video company’s crew Storms Edge Productions: http://www.stormsedgeproductions.co.uk/

Storms Edge Production team member

Storms Edge Production team member hard at work

 

My son with Storms Edge Production hard at work on the stage

My son with Storms Edge Production hard at work on the stage

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Bognor Regis 10K Road Run, Sunday 18th May 2014

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It’s a glorious spring day down here in the West Sussex south coast and we have come down to give some moral support to the brave people who are taking part in this race. I have run it twice before to raise funds for a couple of charities, so they certainly have my full support, as I know most of them will be doing just that.

I understand that Paul Wells, our Mayor, is taking part in order to raise funds to restore Bognor Regis Pier, a subject close to my heart too and which I am proud to sponsor.

Bognor Regis beach and Pier in the background

Bognor Regis beach and Pier in the background

 

I took my son to join the St John’s Ambulance volunteering team earlier in the day and then Adonis and I returned with our puppy, Beano, half an hour before the race started at 10.30 am to enjoy a stroll along the lovely sea front we are so privileged to have so near our home.

It was lovely to see so many people along the way to support the runners. These are some of the shots I took. I hope you like them.

The first runners and their escort

The first runners and their escort

 

Slowly building up

Slowly building up

 

More and more

More and more

 

Nice to see some people make the effort to dress up

Nice to see some people make the effort to dress up

 

Good on you!

Good on you!

 

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Some other pursuits on the seafront

Some other pursuits on the seafront

 

Strolling back through the Marine Park Gardens

Strolling back through the Marine Park Gardens

 

Beautiful irises

Beautiful irises

 

And the fountain is on!

And the fountain is on!

 

My son as a volunteer for St John's Ambulance.  So proud!

My son as a volunteer for St John’s Ambulance. So proud!

 

The most important people (and dog) in my life: Adonis, Pepo and Beano

The most important people (and dog) in my life: Adonis, Pepo and Beano

 

Pepo giving Beano a much needed drink of water on a very hot day

Pepo giving Beano a much needed drink of water on a very hot day

 

The entertainment at West Park

The entertainment at West Park

Bognor Regis, West Sussex, 19th February 2014

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Bognor Regis sea front looking west

Bognor Regis seafront looking west

 

It is half term week and, as we can’t go away in our motorhome due to Beano’s leg injury, I have taken this opportunity to go for a long walk along Bognor Regis seafront, which is delightful and charming and never fails to lift my spirits, even in the winter.  My son was on an early shift at the Picturedrome in order to entertain children on holidays, so this is where my walk began after dropping him off at its doors.  Come and join me on my morning walk and enjoy!

 

The Picturedrome

The Picturedrome, where my walk began

 

I just love this sign!

I just love this sign!

 

It is so often the case that one is so keen to go and discover far-flung resorts, that it is very easy to forget the natural beauty that surrounds us every day. We often go for walks on the promenade and beach and I consider myself very lucky for living down here. Even now in the midst of the worst storms in over 100 years, we have been spared the terrible damage and grief that other parts of the UK have endured. Bognor Regis also claims to enjoy more hours of sunshine per year than any other town in the UK.  And let’s not forget the stunning South Downs National Park nearby for long hikes.

 

 

Then I passed the Minigolf green

Then I passed the Minigolf green, right on the sea front

 

Bognor was the very first English resort specially developed for bathing, after Sir Richard Hotham fell in love with the little fishing village and decided to create and up market resort towards the end of the 18th century. He built his home here, Hotham House, in 1792 and it is still regarded as the best Edwardian house in Sussex.  Bognor became very popular with the upper and middle classes, who came to enjoy the soothing waters, even Queen Victoria referred affectionately to it as “dear little Bognor”.  So if it was good enough for Queen Victoria, it is certainly good enough for me.

You can find out more about Bognor’s history here: http://www.bognor-regis.org/History/history_home.htm

 

And then I got to the Pier

And then I got to the Pier

 

Bognor Regis has been our home for the last 15 years and I can honestly say we have been very happy here, buying our home, raising our child and meeting some amazing, supportive and reliable people, starting with our next-door neighbours and, of course, our colleagues at work. So why not take a couple of hours to photograph my favourite and iconic sights of our home town? 

 

Early morning walkers on the beach, seen from the pier, looking east

Early morning walkers on the beach, seen from the pier, looking east

 

The Pier from the promenade, looking east

The Pier from the promenade, looking east

 

The Royal Norfolk Hotel, opposite the beach

The Royal Norfolk Hotel, opposite the beach

 

My walk took me west from the pier, as I was heading for the Marine Park Gardens, which I really love, and I found the damage caused by the storm being cleared by the maintenance team. You can see all the shingle on the promenade here.

 

 

 

The promenade covered by shingle after the storm

The promenade covered by shingle after the storm

 

shingle on the pavement too.

shingle on the pavement too.

 

A typical sea front house

A typical and charming seafront house

 

 

The start of the Marine Park Gardens

The start of the Marine Park Gardens

 

Signs of spring, looking towards the sea

Signs of spring, looking towards the sea

 

And after the devastation of the rains and storms, there is hope in the new flowers coming through, heralding the spring.

 

New life

New life

 

And to confirm that Spring is only round the corner, here are some early daffodils! 

 

Daffodils, a sure sight for sore eyes!

Daffodils, a sure sight for sore eyes!

 

Some more interesting buildings near the gardens

Some more interesting buildings near the gardens

 

After the Marine Park Gardens, I strolled back to the beach and headed back east.

 

Fishing boats waiting for better weather

Fishing boats waiting for better weather

 

And the quintessential British beach huts

And the quintessential British beach huts, looking east

 

These ones caught my eye for their personalised decor

These ones caught my eye for their personalised decor

 

Fishing boats enjoying the calm after the storm.

Fishing boats enjoying the calm after the storm

 

A bit of seaside chick and fun

A bit of seaside chic and fun

 

Feeling thirsty by now?

Feeling thirsty by now?

 

Another British classic: the Band Stand.

Another British classic: the Band Stand.

 

Some modern accommodation on the sea front

Some modern accommodation on the sea front

 

I had planned to finish my walk at Butlins holiday resort, as I have very happy memories of bringing my son here for the day when we first moved to Bognor Regis. I always took advantage of living in the PO21 post code area, which entitled us to a day pass for £5 during the school holidays all those years ago. My son loved it, as he got to meet some of his favourite characters, like Postman Pat and Noddy and I loved the acrobats, the swimming pool with its water rides, the theme park and the cinema. I was very pleased to see young families queueing up to get in, as it brought it all back. I am sure they are all having a wonderful time now.

 

Butlins: my final destination

Butlins Day Visitors’ entrance: my final destination, with young families queuing up

 

Butlins from the sea front

Butlins from the sea front

 

 

Walking back to my car, looking west

Walking back to my car, looking west

 

A busy High Street with iconic buildings

A busy High Street with iconic buildings

 

There are lots of hotels and B&Bs to stay in in Bognor Regis, but if you have a motorhome, you can always stop at Rowan Park Caravan Club Site, within walking distance to the town itself and the sea.  For more information look here: http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/caravanclubapps/applications/uk-caravan-sites-and-parks/SiteDetails.aspx?csid=21969