Monday, 4 August 2014

Green Avenue, Rocking Horse and Force It

"Green Avenue" :- This view instantly made me think of Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass". It felt as though I was wandering through some film set and I was half expecting a couple of rotund twins to come lumbering through a gap in the hedge or simply see a large grin appear in mid air. It's actually part of the very ornate and extensive landscaping at Nymans, a National Trust Garden, House and Ruin at Handcross in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, England. Over the last couple of Centuries the gardens were created by the Messel family before finally coming to fruition in the 1930's whereiupon it was opened to the public. The house & 275 acres of woodland became the home of Leonard Messel's daughter Anne Messel and her second husband the 6th Earl of Rosse before it was willed to the National Trust in 1953. Anne Messel was the mother to Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon (who's more famously known as Lord Snowdon the photorgapher) who married to Princess Margaret (the younger daughter of King George VI, and younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II).

"Rocking Horse" :- I have lived in the village of Ovingdean for many years which obviously means that I have driven, ridden and walked in and out of the village thousands of times. There's a large 1930's built building on Greenways that overlooks the Ovingdean roundabout, coast and A259 road (Marine Drive). For many years I knew it as St Dunstan's but a couple of years ago it received a brand new name and identity and is now better known as Blind Veterans UK. In all that time I had never ever set foot in the place, not even walked up the driveway so I was delighted when I got a message from Barbara Byrne at the Women's Institute asking if i'd like the chance to join them be shown around. Needless to say I jumped at the chance as I only live a few minutes away and have always been intrigued as it's another place that you hardly see people going in or coming out of! So last Thursday (31st July) I got my chance and joined the ladies of the WI for a tour. It is a remarkable building with incredible facilities and has its own sports room, trophy room, arts & crafts room and wonderfully large swimming pool. All the hand rails are marked so that the partially sighted or fully blind know when they are near a fire door or coming up to a corner etc. I was knocked out by the dedication of staff and the fortitude of the residents. It's an incredible place that runs purely on donations as (like many other things in this country) it's not government funded. I took this image halfway through the tour. I loved the light bouncing off the walls and floor and was also charmed by the silhouette of the wooden rocking horse on the window mantle. The rocking horse and all works of art that you see in the building were made by the blind residents. Donations can be made to Blind Veterans UK via their about page :-

"Force It" :- Shapes & patterns are in everything if you look hard enough. Colour also plays a large part. something made me stop and take this image, I can't remember what it was as it was taken some time ago on 2nd November 2012. Looking at it now there is a shape and flow to it all, not much to look at but sometimes the mundane can become fascinating purely because of its plain, boring look. It's as though it's shouting "Nothing to see see here, move along" which makes me stop and look harder. This old tap within a box with a missing door panel is on a wall on the undecliff walk at Saltdean on the south coast of England.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill