The Initiation Well

Friday 29th July 2016, 12.40pm (day 1,800)

Initiation well, 29/7/16

This structure looks like it might be a tower, but in fact is the opposite, a well sunk into the ground. From the bottom there are tunnels to explore. The well, called the ‘Initiation Well’, can be found in the estate of Quinta da Regaleira, which is in the town of Sintra, an hour or so from Lisbon, and full of castles and palaces where the Portuguese aristocracy used to hang out to escape the heat of the city. Now it’s just full of tourists. Of which, of course, I am one. But that happens now and again.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Beach time

Thursday 28th July 2016, 2.20pm (day 1,799)

Beach time, 28/7/16

Some people insist on doing this kind of thing every day on their holidays. I have never been one of them, but occasionally I indulge. Pictured at Praia da Rainha (Queen’s Beach), Cascais.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Carmo convent ruins

Wednesday 27th July 2016, 3.00pm (day 1,798)

Carmo convent, 27/7/16

At around 9.30am on 1st November 1755, when most of the population were at Mass, Lisbon was hit by a massive earthquake. The more I hear about this the more it is clear this was one of the most devastating single events in human history. Within a very short time a combination of collapsing buildings, fires, and a tsunami had killed 60,000 people. This building, the former Carmo convent, is one of the few remaining from that date; an attempt was made to rebuild it but not that long afterwards Portugal abolished the monasteries anyway, so it was never finished (or refinished). It now stands as a memorial to 1/11/1755, and the fragility of our existence, or something like that.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Street scene, Lisbon

Tuesday 26th July 2016, 5.05pm (day 1,797)

Lisbon street scene, 26/7/16

I said I was due a holiday, and so it began today: a 4.15am alarm call was the only downside. But here we are in Lisbon, Portugal — this blog’s 25th different country. Not a new one for me, I spent quite a lot of time here in 1990-91 when I had a Portuguese girlfriend for a little while (an experience I recommend if you get the chance…), but very little since. So it’s nice to revisit it. Today was just a settling in, but you’ll be seeing plenty more of it over the next few days, I guarantee it.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Joe and sunglasses

Monday 25th July 2016, 12.40pm (day 1,796)

Joe and sunglasses, 25/7/16

Joe gets on for the second day in a row. Or part of him does — not just the upper half of his body, but one leg seems to have gone missing. He was hoping we would pick him up a pair of sunglasses for the imminent trip to places warmer and sunnier than here.

Tagged , , , , ,

Lord of the Rings marathon — the early stages

Sunday 24th July 2016, 10.50am (day 1,795)

LotR marathon, early stages, 24/7/16

Joe and I had an agreement that this Sunday was to involve the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy in one go, and so it came to pass. The holiday will involve a change of scene soon, I promise. But not today.

A photowhack — the only photo taken on a given day. We are here at the early scenes in Bag End, but I knew there was little point seeking further shots: they would all have been variations on this theme.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Young pine cones

Saturday 23rd July 2016, 1.55pm (day 1,794)

Young pine cones, 23/7/16

I love the way these cones also look like flowers — even eggs? I guess all three are more-or-less the same thing.

Tagged , , , , , , ,


Friday 22nd July 2016, 3.10pm (day 1,793)

Duck ripples, 22/7/16

An inaugural picture in a new series: “Animals illustrate physics”…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Great Hall, Sackville Street building

Thursday 21st July 2016, 8.50am (day 1,792)

Great hall, 21/7/16

Last day in Manchester, for work purposes, until August 16th. Let’s note this annual moment in time — the threshold of my summer holiday — with a picture of a rather nice room on campus which, grandiose as it is, seems hardly ever to be used.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Platform 2, Victoria station

Wednesday 20th July 2016, 2.35pm (day 1,791)

Platform 2, 21/7/16

Still hot — and still schlepping into Manchester most of the week on non-air-conditioned trains. The summer holiday approaches, but it’s not here yet.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 798 other followers

%d bloggers like this: