I have been trawling through my old photo’s. This one does not exhibit anything special, photographically. But it does contain some interesting buildings/structures, demonstrating how Portsmouth has changed through the years.
Starting at the lower left, the white building, is Quebec House which was built c1754 by public subscription as a bathing house !!! It apparently contains baths which were replenished by harbour water.
I’m not sure I would have wanted to bathe in waters from the harbour, in times past. It would be dubious even in todays era with our modern sewer systems.
Up, and to the right of Quebec House, the tallest building at 560 feet, is The Spinnaker Tower. Conceived as a Millenium project it was given the go ahead in 1995. One of three designs which the local people could vote for, the Spinnaker won 60% of the votes. Various obstacles delayed the start of construction which commenced in November of 2001. The project was completed and finally opened in 2005. Named The Spinnaker, it represents a sail billowing in the wind. The tower is visible from over 23 miles away and its three viewing platforms give fabulous views overlooking the harbour, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the Isle of Wight and all the surrounding towns and suburbs.
Back down at sea level and running left to right is the Round Tower and The Hot Walls. Part of the ports old fortifications the Round Tower overlooks the entrance to the Harbour. Although a tower, built of wood, existed in the mid 1400’s, a stone tower was constructed in the 1490’s. A series of ramparts were later added, connecting with the Square Tower (just out of shot). The small section of beach below these ramparts, to the right, is called the “Hot Walls” by locals, as it acts as a sun trap heating up the walls.
Yet another change of architectural style, the tall blue tower, above the Hot Walls. Officially known as East Side Plaza Tower, it is commonly referred to as The Lipstick Tower because of its shape. This residential tower is 331 feet tall and was completed in 2008.
I hope this was of interest to you. I’ll see if I can dig out some more photos.
As for many of us, I have had a bit of time on my hands. Some of that time I am spending going thru my old photos. And so I have come to browse some photos from a little under twenty years ago.
I had recently purchased my first digital camera, an Olympus C-2040Z. 2001 was also the year of the International Festival Of the Sea (IFOS). This was in place of the annual Navy Days and a much grander affair. The focus was shifted, very slightly, away from the Royal Navy warships and the event became a celebration of the sea and the history and heritage from around the world.
Here, I present a selection of pictures from the day that I spent at a super event.
Whilst I am supportive, of any additional tools made available, in this worldwide fight with Covid-19, I believe the author of this article has been delinquent, in not warning of the risks associated with the use of Colchicine.
I don’t mean risks associated with the proper administration under medical supervision.
What I am more concerned about, is the potential for Joe Public to self medicate, should they, like me, have this medicine in their cupboards.
Colchicine is a drug, used to treat patients suffering from Gout. The article says that use of Colchicine could reduce Covid hospital stays. And whilst that may be true, what the article does not say is that Colchicine is not safe for long term use.
As a Gout sufferer I have been prescribed Colchicine. It was prescribed to suppress my first flare up of Gout, taken over a few days. Subsequently, it was used to ensure that a second flare up did not occur, as I started my daily regime of Allopurinol.
At that time, it was made very clear, by my GP, that Colchicine was to be treated with respect.
Since then, I have held a small supply of Colchicine in reserve, should the Gout return. Thankfully, I have not had to resort to the emergency tablets, the Allopurinol is doing its job.
My sister, also a Gout sufferer, can attest to the diarrhoea side effect, caused by the higher dosages.
My point is that at the time of the initial prescription I was warned of the toxicity of Colchicine.
From the NHS Web site ….
What if I take too much?
Taking too many Colchicine tablets can be very dangerous. It could be fatal.
Symptoms of taking too much Colchicine can include:
● feeling or being sick (nausea or vomiting)
● stomach ache
● bloody diarrhoea
●signs of low blood pressure (such as feeling dizzy or lightheaded)
Come on “The News” do due diligence and balance optimism with a required caution. There are folks out there who may just try self medicating if they start to exhibit Covid symptoms.
This morning we journeyed down into Portsmouth so my wife could have the first of her Covid vaccinations.
I won’t say that we breathed a big sigh of relief but we have probably relaxed a little.
My wife has been closeted away since last June, when we got back to the UK. Since then she has become really concerned about the covid statistics and the implications. Not just for her but for all of us.
She hasn’t ventured outside of our home more than, perhaps, half a dozen times. Most of those excursions have been of a medical nature.
Having the jab does change your perspective a little.
Of course we know that the vaccine doesn’t cure Covid, or prevent you from becoming infected. And, of course, it doesn’t mean you can go out freely. We are, after all, still in lockdown.
What it does show, is that we, as a country, are heading in the right direction, albeit slowly.
Rather these baby steps, than trying to run full tilt, lifting all the restrictions, only to fall flat on our faces. I personally think that the restrictions should not be lifted until at least 75% of the population have been vaccinated.
I’m rather hoping that, by the time the restrictions are lifted, my wife won’t have become a total hermit.
If nothing else, we know that she will be going out again in April, which is when the second jab is scheduled.
The bus was attacked by youths throwing stones. One of the windows alongside the nurse shattered, bringing about the panic attack.
One can only imagine the thought processes going on inside the heads of these morons. They certainly have no concerns about the potential consequences of their actions.
This is yet another example of the same moronic behaviour that sees youths attacking all of our emergency service workers.
Who on earth thinks its a good idea to attack our firemen while they are trying to save lives at risk in fires and road accidents. And who thinks its a good idea to attack our ambulance crews and paramedics while they are attending those same incidents.
And then we have the police having to stoically endure interference on a daily basis, whilst putting their own lives at risk, going about their business, to protect us from these same idiotic morons.
Presumably, these are the same thought processes that make firing fireworks at peoples houses. As was happening, in Portsmouth, only a few weeks ago.
This imbecilic behaviour isn’t restricted to the Portsmouth area, rather it is endemic to the whole country.
I don’t understand the whys and wherefores and I don’t pretend to have a solution. What I do know is that the ASBO scheme isn’t good enough. Some youths see being awarded an ASBO as a badge of honour.
When I was a youth, the older folks used to say “they should bring back National Service”. I find that I am now of the opinion that is a good idea.
Going further back in time, to the 16th and 17th centuries, there were the stocks and pillory. Now the idea of these really appeal to me.
Throwing rotten fruit and veg at these miscreants would give some instant feelings of retribution to their victims. And, just maybe, these morons would be too embarrassed to offend again. They would certainly be a very visible reminder to other would be offenders.
I think today’s society could learn something from our ancestors.
Yet another development goes ahead, driving rough shod over the needs of, and ignoring the existing issues that plague, the local residents.
Proposals for 16 affordable homes, comprising 7 houses and 9 flats, to be built on the corner of Doyle Avenue and Nothern Parade in Hilsea.
16 homes, but with parking provision for only 12 cars. According to the councils own standards the site should provide 29 parking spaces, yet they approved this much reduced proposal.
Why ? Why have guidelines if you don’t stick to them ?
“The surrounding roads are past saturation point as confirmed by the highways engineer. Evenings and weekends are dire as people are parking illegally” So says Janet Rennell-Smith, a local resident from nearby Westwood Road.
Lib Dem Councillor Lee Hunt, not missing an opportunity for a dig at the current Conservative Government, said “The city council is under huge pressure from the Conservative government to build 12,000 new units of accomodation in or city and that’s what we’re trying to acheive”
Typical blame game from the Lib Dems, sounds like our honorable councillor is saying “It’s not our fault, we were just following orders”
Tory Councillor, Terry Norton, was at least prepared to stand up to all that “pressure” and requested that the proposal be rejected.
This is typical of the local councils, in this area, who crumble and give in to the all powerful developers rather that standing firm and considering the needs of their constituents, the folks that voted them into office in the first place.
Our councillors should be forcing developers to provide adequate parking for any new development and to ensure that any such development does not exacerbate any existing issues.
Portsmouth is an island city so is cannot expand past its coastal border. Any development that provides an increase residential units will always add to the traffic and the need for parking. Portsmouth is already blighted by a lack of available parking. Many folks cannot park outside their own homes, typically ending up several streets away. Portsmoth council has also created further parking issues after closing roads in Southsea, supposedly to protect people exercising during the pandemic lockdown.
This new development will only aggravate an already fractious situaion.
Earlier this month I became aware that HMS Queen Elizabeth was due to sail from Portsmouth Harbour after a short provisioning visit.
The Queen Elizabeth class is a class of two aircraft carriers in the Royal Navy. The first, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was commissioned on 7 December 2017. The second, HMS Prince of Wales was commissioned on 10 December 2019.
My wife and I took a wander along Southsea sea front to take a look. As we had been in Australia for the previous seven months and had only just recently returned, this was our first opportunity to view this huge vessel.
We found a seat right by Southsea Castle, providing us with the ideal viewpoint to watch HMS Queen Elizabeth and her escorts head out into the Solent.
Here are just a few of the photos that I took on a lovely, sunny afternoon.
A couple of weeks ago it was decided that we, and our Ozzy rellies, would take a trip across to the Isle of Wight. The most flexible way is to take your own car across on the ferry, rather than rely on public transport on either side of the Solent.
Travelling into Pompey around morning peak traffic times is always a bit like a toss of the dice. Albeit late, we eventually made it to the Wightlink ferry port. Luckily, for us, our ferry was late arriving. Apparently this was due to the low tide meaning the ferry had to take a slightly longer route across the Solent. Once loaded aboard, we made our way up to the lounge, where we had hot chocolate and toasties for breakfast. I also took the opportunity for a couple of snaps.
The following pictures show the scene around the ferry.
Portsmouth Fishing Fleet with Viviers in the background
Portsmouth Fishing Fleet with Viviers in the background
In the background, above the fishing boats, you can see Viviers Fish Market. They are the suppliers of some truly scrumptious fresh fish. Proof is, as they say, in the tasting and we have recently had some superb Halibut, a couple of Bream and a couple of dressed crab.
The bland looking building is the Land Rover BAR building. Having now seen it several times, I’m still not sure about the design. It looks like they are waiting for the wrapping to be fully removed, to expose its true shape.
The ferry was soon underway and after a short voyage, arrived at Fishbourne. We disembarked and made our way to our first destination, Osborne House.
Osborne House is a former royal residence, built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as a summer home and retreat. Now under the care of English Heritage, both the house and grounds are made available to the public. A few pictures are posted below.
Fountain – Osborne House
Ornate Steps – Osborne House
Clock Tower – Osborne House
Large Painting – Osborne House
Ornamental Gardens – Osborne House
Fountain – Osborne House
Clock Tower – Osborne House
Unfortunately, due to filming of a new drama about Victoria and her indian servant, the fabulous Durbar Room was not available for viewing. In addition, photography was prohibited in other rooms as they were dressed for filming. Apparently, any images would be copyright, because the film company had installed some of their own furniture.
After touring the house, we had a pleasant lunch in the Terrace Restaurant and Orangery. Suitably refueled we headed down to the Swiss Cottage
and on to the sea-shore via the Rhododendron Walk, dotted along which there are a variety of carved animals and birds.
Beach Shelter – Osborne House
Queen Victoria’s Personal Bathing Machine – Osborne House
Queen Victoria had her own “Bathing Machine” in which she would get changed. The “machine” would be run into the sea and she would descend the steps into the bracing waters of the Solent. Also on the beach at Osborne is a decorated “alcove” which during our visit gave shelter from the brisk breeze blowing in off the sea.
Returning to the house we spent some time, and of course money, in the gift shop.
From Osborne House we headed off to view The Needles, a row of three distinctive stacks of chalk that rise out of the sea off the western extremity of the Isle of Wight. They are also home to The Needles Lighthouse built on the western most stack.
An unusual sight was this, apparently tame, fox being enticed to feed.
Not sure about the fashion statement this guy is making.
It was soon time for us to think about a spot of dinner before travelling back to the mainland. We had already decided to head to a regular haunt of ours, The Folly Inn.
The Folly is a rustic pub perched on the banks of the River Medina, just up the river from Cowes in Whippingham. They serve good food, good beer, are friendly and provide a great location to chill and watch the yachty world go by.
View From The Shore – Folly Inn, Isle of Wight
View From The Shore – Folly Inn, Isle of Wight
Suitably replete, we headed back to Fishbourne for our ferry ride back to Portsmouth. With the autumnal evenings drawing in we were welcomed back to harbour by the Spinnaker Tower.
Driving out of Pompey was a lot easier than our rush hour entry. We were soon home and relaxing with a nice cup of tea.
Did you see it ? The ISS (International Space Station) that is.
If you were in the Perth, WA vicinity it would have been visible this evening from around 8:43 PM, for around 6 minutes. According to NASA the ISS would track across the sky, appearing 10° above NW. Reaching a maximum height of 84° before disappearing 11° above SE.
Of course, all of the above assumed a clear sky.
Had you been in the Perth area today you would be aware that today has been a scorcher, with clear blue skies, all day.
So all looked set fair for a great evening for celestial viewing.
Imagine my thoughts when I stepped outside at 20:30 to see the skies obscured by broken clouds.This is typical of my luck regarding all celestial events. Blood moon scheduled to make an appearance, I go to the top of Portsdown Hill but its cloudy. The Perseids meteor shower makes an appearance. Not in any sky that I have access to.
Still, ever hopeful, I settled in to see if my luck had improved. Gerry, Steve and Denise all came out to join me and after a couple of false sightings, the ISS appeared in the sky. Tracking from the far corner of the garden, as expected, and passing almost directly overhead. The bright “star” passed rapidly across the sky, disappearing from time to time behind the clouds. It couldn’t be mistaken for anything else, traversing as it did in an apparent straight line.
We all waved to Tim Peake, the British astronaut, wishing him Merry Christmas. Did you see us Tim ?We commented on what a special achievement the ISS is and that Tim has joined a very unique group of people. It s a very small group that have actually travelled to outer space and Tim has also joined an even more select group, those that have spent Christmas in space.
So we wish the folks up on the ISS all the very best, good luck with their missions and of course wish them safe return.