Saturday, 29 September 2018


What does an only child do to find friends when he lives in one town in which he was not born and attends school in another town which is six miles away? 
He joins the Wolf Cubs at the age of nine in 1952 to improve his social life and gain a few playmates.

By joining I was following in my father's footsteps. There were no cubs in his day so at the age of eleven he joined a Midlands Scout Troop in 1914, becoming a Patrol Leader and an adept First Aider, Woodsman, Tracker and Cook.

4th Newton Abbot Wolf Cub Pack
I am standing in the back row on the end right.

I progressed through the Wolf Cubs completing the training and earning badges for all of the tests, the first being 'how to thread a needle and sew on a badge'.     
My memory is a little hazy but I do know that we had to learn to march and to keep in step, otherwise a loud voice would shout out "Lloyd, do you have two left feet?" 
Oh the ignominy I felt when that was said. 
Eventually it was no trouble at all to keep in step with the others.

Life progressed and eventually I passed on to become a Boy Scout (or sprout) in the 4th Newton Abbot Scout Group and in 1954 the troop attended The Devon Jamboree which was an international gathering from about ten different countries. 
There were two amusing incidents that lightened up my boring stay there. One was when The Chief Scout's jeep knocked down the entrance of a local troops gateway and the second when a Scandinavian Scout fell into the latrine and was taken to hospital.

However I was very glad that I attended the jamboree and experienced all of the dumbing down by the seniors, for that gave me the impetus to join the local the 1st Newton Abbot Sea Scouts.
In those days they met in a room above the Seven Stars Public House and on my second meeting I was initiated into the fine art of imbibing beer!

After a few weeks of learning the skills of drinking we relocated ourselves to Hackney, near Kingsteignton on the upper estuary of the River Teign and handily enough only a stones throw from The Passage House Inn.
Now this fine hostel stocked not just beer and ales but that grandest of West Country Liquor - Rough Cider/Scrumpy, as well as delicious platefuls of crab sandwiches. 
Jack Hayward was the landlord, a most amenable man, who was always ready to have a laugh and not ask any silly questions regarding age.

The 1st Newton Abbot Sea Scout Group.
This time I am in the back row and the fourth from the left, 
my sailors hat was too small and made me look as if I had a high forehead.

Myself with my back to the camera being ferryman to the photographer 
and his son sitting in the stern.

Tuesday evenings were our regular Scouts' night of tuition, learning various knots and what they were used for, first aid, tracking, identification of birds found in the estuary and at sea, their calls and coastal navigation. 
We were taught to estimate the height of a tree by its shadow and to find north using a wrist or pocket watch - point the hour hand to the sun and the numeral six on the face is north. 
The Sea Scouts were able to do all that the Land Scouts could do and lots more besides, including unarmed combat.

A four man racing gig where I am the bow oar, my position, 
regardless of the type of craft that we were rowing. 
Whether it was a naval cutter or whaler, Mel was the bow oar.

Our boat crew did well at the regattas. One year we came first in the West of England Whaler Championship at Dartmouth and we also won the Ships in Harbour race.
Dartmouth College, or to use it's full name Brittania Royal Naval College, was our second home during the summer for two weeks, where we held our Summer Camp in a variety of tents.
Lots of fun was had by all and sundry. 

I can honestly say that joining the Sea Scouts gave me great pleasure for several years of my life.
Messing about in boats, whether rowing or sailing, is a very healthy life with lots of exercise that keeps a person fit and mentally alert. 
I could write a book about all the goings on however, I'm sure your imagination and a few earlier hints can fill in the dots - if only our parents had known !

Sunday, 23 September 2018


On Saturday we took a road that is now very familiar.
We were visiting a friend's art exhibition, titled 'Ancestral Breath', at the Loughcrew Megalithic Centre. This is Lar's second exhibition at the centre and it opened earlier this week, in time for Autumn Equinox.

Lar Dooley a with Mrs H

Lar is a Primitive Artist who has developed his own unique style of painting
which is very textured and almost tempts the onlooker to touch the surfaces.

He is inspired by Ireland's ancient monuments and carvings.

I am very attracted by his depiction of the Poulnabrone Dolmen, Co Clare

The artist himself - Lar Dooley September 2018

Monday, 17 September 2018

Snippets !

Our grandson's artwork and an explanation.

The rabbits are playing hide n seek in the garden with the hedgehog, it's the last game of the day as the sun is setting & they must go into animal castle for the night to be safe... The lights are on in the castle to welcome them in & the drawbridge is down ready!

Mrs H's new shoes and Toby's hairy paws. 
I wonder if she should now be called Twinkly Toes ?

I have often noticed that this particular roof is always covered in pigeons,
surely they don't nest there other wise their eggs would roll off ?

The roadside welcome to Kinvarra when arriving from Galway - City of the Tribes.

The Tribes were the fourteen merchant families who prospered from trade with continental Europe. They dominated Galway's municipal government during the medieval and early modern eras.

My new pipe arrived in the post today a gift from  Mrs H who has been encouraging me 
to replace my old one for a couple of years now.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

R and R

You may have noticed that I have been absent from the world of blogging for a considerable time and my excuse is that I accompanied Mrs H  who was exhibiting her artwork, for a little over 9 weeks, at The Loughcrew Megalithic Centre near Oldcastle in Co. Meath. It was very successful and we met a lot of interesting people from all over the world, as well as making lots of new friends and reconnecting with old ones.

Physically we both felt weary after the exhibition closed so we decided to treat ourselves to a bit of R and R to recharge our batteries.

We have a favourite place in which to do this, a world away from our habitat, a place that I can best describe as being an area of old wildness that is skirted by the sea, a place that has always revitalised us with it's gentleness.

Please enjoy the photos.
Tell me do you too have a favourite place where you recharge your inner battery ?

A refurbished Norman Towerhouse

A ladies bike with no sign of the owner and just to make sure that she had not
jumped into the sea I did take a look.

Seeing this oarsmen reminded me of a favourite piece of music, The Lonesome Boatman.

This old timer always catches my eye.

I'm not sure whether the yacht on the quay side has recently been removed from the water or if she has been there all summer. 

As for this green hulled boat I assume that it is a workboat of some kind or other.  
One thing is for sure it is the first craft I have ever seen to have exhaust pipes on 
either side of the wheelhouse.

A bird on the loose ?
Long ago, in a former occupation of mine, seagulls were known as being
re-incarnated Fleet Chief Petty Officers, others knew them as shite hawks.

Now here is a really tidy, neat and clean looking sloop to be proud of.

What about this elderly lady, isn't she in good shape for her age ?

I bet her owner is very proud of her !