Monday, 6 July 2020

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no.46

Continuing the series of passport portraits in my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
The Port of New York on 31st July 1918 and British seaman Frederick Arthur Kennett wishes to disembark from his ship. This is his portrait on the US Seaman’s Identification Card which was required of all foreign seamen arriving in the USA during the Great War. The official opinion was, 

'...a large number of dangerous and undesirable aliens are using every effort to enter the country in the guise of seamen.... It is known that many such desert.'
Fred Kennett is seen here in the uniform of a chief petty officer in the Royal Navy. The Great War will be over in four months and Fred will exploit his experience to obtain a Master’s Certificate, sailing during the 1920s and 1930s from the British ports of Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool across the Atlantic Ocean to New York and Vera Cruz. In World War 2 he crosses the Atlantic in 1942 arriving in New York on 4th October and in 1946, at the age of fifty eight, he is in Miami.

Hold on, there's someone on the line...

How else would you cross such a busy (!) road?

Friday, 26 June 2020

Out in the rain.

I was fed up of cycling in all that sunshine and at least the rain was warm.
 The thunder was a bit noisy though.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

I know how the sun feels...

I know just how it feels. 

I didn't want to get up this 
morning either.

But it soon shook off its lethargy and began to play, making interesting shadows on the road.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

I've found a new dunghill.

A touch of morning mist awaiting the sun to clear it.

Horses grazing in the fields.

And the sheep are now turned out onto the minnis. 

A minnis is an old Kentish word to describe an area of cleared grazing common land in the middle of a hill top wood.


And I've found a new dung hill on my circuit. 

That brings the total to six.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Crops in the morning sunlight.



 Beans, right

Vines, left


Too early to say what this is.


I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no. 45

Continuing the series of passport portraits in my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
Hans Koster, a 26 yr. old German journalist from Berlin was posted to London in 1935. As an alien, working in the UK, he was obliged to register his movements and changes of address at his local police station.

He lived at Museum Mansions opposite the British Museum and then at Cliffords Inn in the City of London.

Returning to England from a short stay in Germany on 27 January 1939, his permission to stay in the United Kingdom was extended until 15 September 1939. Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September but there is no record in his registration book of his having subsequently departed from the UK. Eighty years later I find this book in Spain – a Fascist country which remained neutral during the war.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Yes, but not really....

Just the sign which you do not want to see when you have cycled ten miles and are still eight miles from home.

But it's not really closed to cyclists.

If you can carry your bicycle on your shoulder and walk with one foot directly in front of the other then you can squeeze through the gap between 
the five foot deep hole in the road 
and the hedge.

And after that the road is nice and quiet. 

Because cars cannot do that.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

A morning shower.

A light shower of rain was chasing me up the hill out of Canterbury.

It eventually caught me but then I was rewarded with
a rainbow.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Can we have our coats, please?

Can we have our coats, please? 
You can't miss them – they're white and woolly and we had them 
when we came in.  

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Slow start.


Another slow start to the day but the low lying mist promising some fine weather perhaps.


 By the time I reach Stelling Minnis the day has started and the cattle are grazing loose on the Minnis.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

A Tour of the Dung Hills


 Cycling around the countryside is not all pretty flowers and fluffy bunnies.

 I see five dung heaps on my ride. Luckily, they are all within whiffing distance of the lane.


This one on the left is steaming in Upper Hardres

 Strictly speaking this on the right is not a dung heap, it is residue from a sewage farm. 

You can always distinguish it by its uniform black appearance and a distinctive metallic bouquet.

A nice vintage heap, displaying a reassuring crust for its age.

Do you know, you can even buy the stuff if you want to?

Monday, 4 May 2020

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no. 44

Continuing the series of passport portraits in my collection.
Peruse and wonder.

On the left is Mr. Patrick Hunt, a 34 yr. old stonecutter from County Wexford in Ireland. This is his photograph in his passport of the new Irish Free State. Within five weeks of its issue in 1928 he has visited the USA Consulate in Dublin and obtained his visa to emigrate to the USA.

On the right is Mr. Patrick Francis Hunt, thirty four years later. He has now acquired an additional Christian name, an American passport and an address in new York.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

A lovely wet morning.

It's good to see some rain at last.

Hissing and pattering through the trees.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Amateur Epidemiologists

During this terrible COVID 19 crisis it seems that there are hundreds of people who are convinced that they could do a better job than the current experts of keeping as much of the population of the United Kingdom alive as possible.

Suddenly we are swamped with amateur epidemiologists. 

They are spreading like a virus.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Slow start morning

 This morning is really reluctant to start.... suggested by the insipid 
effort of the sun.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Sunrise on the colza.

 Was there ever a more visually monotonous crop?
It is nature's Pantone®

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Bells on Sunday

Well. bluebells, actually. They are starting to show through.

I said I would stand 
you a drink.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

My very own solar Banksy

 The Sun is getting up earlier and earlier. Does it never have a lie-in?

I think it has a hangover this morning – it's looking a bit bloodshot.

 Now it is shining on the railway bridge which carries the abandoned Elham Valley railway line over the road. This line used to link Folkestone with Canterbury. At the coastal end during World War 2 an enormous railway cannon was sheltered in a tunnel and brought out occasionally to fire on Northern France.

I use the sun to paint my own solar Banksy on the wall.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Misty morning.

The sun rising to hopefully burn off the mist.

Still struggling as I cross the valley floor.


Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no. 43

Continuing the series of passport portraits in my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
Mr. J. Milton Hubbard is a 70 year old Merchant from Boston who wants to visit Europe. He was born in 1851 and it is now 1922.

On his passport he is described as being 5 feet, 5 inches tall and having a high forehead, grey eyes, aquiline nose, large moustached mouth, broad forehead, grey hair, pale complexion and oval face. In the event that you might still be unable to identify him from inspecting his photograph, to this description is added the distinguishing feature of 'dent between the eyes.'

He sails to Liverpool where he disembarks on 1st. July 1922. He then visits France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy before returning to Dover on 16th August 1922 to go to find his ship in Liverpool.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

The Moon was not abed.

Calm but misty morning. 
Swish of my tyres on tarmac.
Alarm call from a startled blackbird.
Rumbling of lorries on the A2 driving down to the docks at Dover.

Looking in the other direction, the Moon is not yet abed.
A single bark from the lazy dog at the fruit farm.
'Oc...Oc...Oc...' from a pheasant as it flies out from under my wheels.
The machine gun rattle of gravel running around under my mudguards.
A horse snorting down its nostrils at me.
The whirring wings of pigeons as they take off in the field.
The rasping of my breath as I climb the 1 in 7 hill. 

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Sunrise over the oasthouses

The perfume of a mountain of manure gently steaming in the field 
alongside the road.

The warm animal smell of sweet bedding straw as I pass a farm.

Aromatic wood smoke hanging in the air above a knot of cottages.

A sharp yet cloying tang of a heating oil spillage in a garden.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Vapour trail before dawn.

Somebody was up early to be flying over Kent before sunrise. 

The family of deer discuss breakfast.


 And the letter box yawns as it 
awakens to another sunrise.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Is C0VID 19 virus good for hollyhocks?

I think it is.

Now is the time for you to be preparing your hollyhocks for 
a splendidly blooming display in summer. 
Here is what you do:

Remove all the dead remains from last season. Your aim is to eliminate as far as possible all the traces of last year's rust infection and most of that will be retained in the dead matter

You should remove any leaves or stalks which are infected.

Break off and remove the old canes.

You will probably remove all the darker colour leaves. 

Cut them out and uncover the fresh green shoots.

Don't be hesitant. The more infected matter – leaves and stems – that you remove now, the longer your plants will remain clean and the fuller the eventual blooms.

I have absolutely
 no authority or 
expertise in gardening which should encourage you to take any 
notice of what 
 I have just told you. 

The choice is yours.

 (Some of my
hollyhocks in 2019)

 So, why is COVID 19 virus good for hollyhocks?
Well, with all the time that you now have on hand with your social distancing, this weekend would be a jolly good time to stay in your garden.