Thursday Doors – Clevedon


While in Somerset for our son’s wedding at Walton Castle, we took a walk into the town of Clevedon and ended up on this Victorian pier. From the end, you get a great view of the town.



The restored 1869 pier  is one of the earliest surviving examples from the Victorian era and has a Japanese pagoda with a glass restaurant, where we had a delicious hot chocolate with marshmallows to warm us up. There are some more photos of it in this slideshow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I love the architecture in Clevedon, most of the older properties are very well preserved and cared for, from the small cottages to the imposing townhouses.

I still have a few more doors of Clevedon to post but I’ll save them until next week’s Thursday Doors. I hope you’ll join me again but in the meantime, why not have a look at what Norm has posted on his blog this week.



Posted in Britian, Historical buildings, History, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel, victorian society | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Thursday Doors – Walton Castle

In December 2017 we stayed in a fabulous venue for a family wedding and it was the perfect place to capture some Thursday Doors. Walton Castle was reconstructed from the ruins of a 16th century structure and what a setting it made.


The wedding party rented the castle and its surrounding turrets for the weekend. Mr. R. and myself had our very own en-suite turret to sleep in. There was also an underground heated swimming pool that I’m sure wasn’t part of the original build.

The wedding ceremony took place under the arch in the courtyard and although the weather was cold the sun shone all day.

Of course there were some very interesting doors to photograph.

The windows were lovely, too.

The theme for the wedding was Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which explains why the meal was eaten in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – and the food was out of this world. We had partridge for our main course.


Some of the characters in the grounds around the castle looked a bit strange.

The Grenaways, a Celtic alternative folk band from North Cornwall, provided some fabulous entertainment for the evening. Here’s a sample of what they sound like. This video is from a festival they performed at in 2013.

Thanks a million for joining me on my first Thursday Doors of 2018. I hope the year ahead is a good one for you and your loved ones. If you’d like to see a great selection of doors from around the globe, have a look at Norm’s blog and click the blue froggy link at the end of his post.

Walton Castle

The Grenaways


Posted in Britian, castles and ruins, entertainment, Historical buildings, Music, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 47 Comments

My Dad


Jack Parker (1933-2017)

I’m sorry that I’ve been neglecting my blog these past few weeks but on Thursday 21st December 2017 my dad, Jack Parker, passed away. He went into hospital for a day and ended up staying for almost three months. A few days before he died, the doctors were hopeful that he would be home for Christmas but that was not to be. My mother and I were with him at the time, so thankfully he was not alone when it happened.

My father was a voracious reader and I have him to thank for my own love of books, which ultimately led to me becoming a writer. Every time he read a new book he would pass it on to me, anything from Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods to James Plunkett’s Strumpet City – one of our favourite books. He told me that as a child, Jack London was his favourite author and The Call of the Wild was a much loved book. He fished and hunted duck and rabbit and many a time my parents would tell us the rabbit stew we were eating was chicken because of the fuss we kicked up over the ‘wee bunnies’ hanging in the shed.

Dad was a great sportsman, from his school years right up to the week he went into hospital. When we were children he was a goalkeeper for various football clubs and also a fantastic darts player. He even wrote a book on how to play darts but never published it. In those days, golf was his favourite pastime and he won five scratch cups over his lifetime of playing, I think if he didn’t have the responsibility of a family to provide for, he would have become a professional golfer. He was a coach builder and carpenter by trade and very good at his job.

Chess was another game that my father loved and he would teach anyone who wanted to learn. My sisters and myself have known how to play since we were very young and would set the pieces up for our parents whenever my father managed to talk my mother into giving him a game. In their later years they both took up bowls – indoor and outdoor – and were quite competitive, especially when playing on opposing teams. My dad was never a bad loser, except when the winner was my mum, but he always said ‘you play to win’ and his motto was to practice, practice, practice. I was very proud of him when, in his mid seventies, he studied to become an umpire/referee in bowls. He passed his exams and was well known and respected in many clubs over the years. At his funeral, which was on Christmas Eve, some of his bowls friends formed a guard of honour while his grandsons carried his coffin to the hearse.

Although he hated flying my father decided in his seventies to visit places that had been on a wish list for most of his life. He took a short flight to St. Andrew’s golf course in Scotland, one of the oldest in the world, as a practice run for a much longer trip to Poland. It was the first time he had been to mainland Europe and we were quite concerned about him as he was travelling alone. However, there was no need to worry, my dad had it all sorted. In case he got mugged, he had photocopied his money and put it in his wallet, while carrying the real notes in the shoes he was wearing. We were terrified he would forget and pay for something with the fake money by mistake and end up being arrested for passing on forged notes. He tried hard to blend in by dressing like a local in Warsaw, hoping to avoid pickpockets who targeted the tourists and was amused to find other tourists giving him a wide berth – I can’t blame them when he described what he was wearing.

One particular place that dad wanted to visit was Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. He was twelve when the second world war ended and the concentration camps had left a deep and lasting impression on him. From Warsaw, he took the train to Berlin but didn’t get to spend as much time at the former site of the Berlin Wall as he would have liked, as he had to catch a plane to Alicante in Spain. We were living there at the time and he stayed with us for a week, soaking up the sunshine and swimming in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. I’m so glad I have the memories and photographs of that time we spent together. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P. Dad.


Posted in Writers Resource | Tagged , , | 58 Comments

Thursday Door – More from Castlerock


Still in Castlerock for this week’s Thursday Doors and if you love stone buildings and old stone walls, this is the place to see them. They’re everywhere.


Some of them even have red doors.


How could I take a shot of this old wall and ignore that view?

Some of the newer buildings are designed along the same lines as the older structures, which makes them fit in nicely.


Whoever is building this one is making sure the house blends in well with the older buildings by adding some lovely period features. With an entrance like that, maybe it will be a guesthouse or a small hotel.

Thanks so much for stopping by and to view more wonderful (and sometimes weird) Thursday Doors, have a look at what Norm has posted on his blog – he may have gone a little ‘off the rails’ this week. 😉

Posted in Ireland, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Thursday Doors – Castlerock


Thursday Doors this week comes from Castlerock, a seaside village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is situated five miles west of the town of Coleraine and is part of the Causeway Coast and Glens district. It’s very popular with summer tourists, being near the Giant’s Causeway and the Dark Hedges (Game of Thrones) but it was lovely to visit at this time of year, when the beach was practically deserted. To my surprise, there were lots of red doors there.


But the beach definitely stole the show. The town overlooks it and the views are spectacular.




I’d like to try painting one of these images if I had the time, the lighting was so good that even my not-so-great phone camera couldn’t take a bad shot that day. The cropped photograph below is my favourite.



Castlerock is a 1km long stretch of beach between the cliffs of Downhill to the west and the Lower River Bann estuary to the east. The dunes to the east extend back upstream of the Bann estuary to Grangemore (some of the oldest dated dunes in Ireland) and a National Trust bird sanctuary. The beach and dunes is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and I can see why.

Now that you’ve seen the views, next week I’ll post some images of the buildings, old and new, that make up the village of Castlerock. For a great selection of Thursday Doors, have a look at Norm’s blog and thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Ireland, nature, photography, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 42 Comments

Thursday Doors – Final Vintage


This is the last of my vintage Thursday Doors and it’s certainly a very mixed bag. I’ll start with the vehicles that have actual doors attached to them, like the Kenworth truck above.


There were a few tractors with doors but the older ones without them were much more interesting.



These motorcycles definitely didn’t have any doors attached either.


For anyone who loves vintage, whatever era, this event was fascinating. Being in a DIY frame of mind with our house renovations the following images really meant a lot to us.



One Hundred Years of Hammers (1890-1990)

There was so much to take in, this slide show is only a fraction of what was on display.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I particularly liked the painted tractor seats, they would make great bar stools although I might add a cushion for comfort. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this drive down memory lane. For a great selection of international Thursday Doors, have a look at Norm’s blog and click the blue ‘frog’ link at the end of his post.

Posted in History, Ireland, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Thursday Doors – More Vintage


Continuing with the vintage theme for this week’s Thursday Doors, we go even further back in time with these beauties.



Some older models were quite colourful.


This next one has an interesting history attached to it.

Our first car wasn’t quite as vintage but worth including, I think.


Did anyone else own a Renault 4 at any stage? We sold our motorbike when we were expecting our first child and took off at weekends, camping all over Ireland. In the photo you can see our dog, Bruno, chewing happily on a bone, he came with us on every trip. The back of the car served us well as a kitchen and the tent was almost tall enough to stand up in. Sure, what more could you ask for on a camping trip? Unfortunately and ironically, five months after this photo was taken, a motorcyclist crashed into us head-on on a bend, (he was overtaking a car) and we lost both the car and our poor dog. Thankfully, our daughter was born healthy and none the worse for the accident. The motorcyclist and his passenger were both fine, too, in spite of being thrown off their bike. The passenger went over the roof of our car and landed on the road behind us. It was a good job Mr. R. was driving slowly and carefully, it was a road with many sharp bends, or we could all have been a lot worse off.

Thanks for stopping by this week and for the next Thursday Doors I’ll still be in vintage mode but with an agricultural slant. For a nice selection of interesting doors, check out Norm’s blog.



Posted in Ireland, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , | 37 Comments

Thursday Doors – Vintage

Some unusual Thursday Doors this week from a huge vintage event that was held at the Cavan Equestrian Centre last month. I reckon a lot of love and a ton of elbow grease went into producing the fabulous shine on these cars.

It makes me feel old to think we once owned a Mini and felt cool to have a fairly modern car, lol. By the time we bought a Beetle they were considered retro. Sadly, it never made it onto the road but our children had a great time driving it around the acre of land that we lived on at the time.

Next week I’ll step even further back in time with a few more vintage beauties. Thanks for stopping by and if you carry on over to Norm’s blog, you’ll find a wide and varied selection of Thursday Doors on offer. Click the blue ‘frog’ link at the end of his post to access them.

Posted in History, Ireland, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , | 44 Comments

Thursday Doors


I’ve missed a few Thursday Doors posts lately as we don’t yet have the internet in the house but at least I can access it three days a week in our local library or on the boat, so I can’t complain. This week, I’m posting the last of my photographs from Scotland and they are all very different from each other. This first one is of a storage container at my grandson’s school. Cheerful, isn’t it? The next structure is less colourful and very different from the original buildings in East Calder.


It’s the new Civic Centre and has a ‘green’ or ‘living’ roof. The brick walls are supposed to reflect the grey stone of the old houses in the village. What do you think?



This is what the main street looked like in the past, at a time when most of the residents had to collect their water from wells situated throughout the village.


Well, I’ve returned to Ireland, having spent a wonderful time with family in Scotland. They’re moving back soon, and then all of our grandchildren will be within a few hours drive and I won’t have to board any planes to see them (I hate flying). I’m also really looking forward to exploring county Cavan and the surrounding area. Last weekend we attended a huge event at a nearby equestrian centre, so next week’s post will have an unusual selection of doors – and they have nothing to do with horses. Here’s a sneak preview:


Thanks a million for stopping by and if you scoot on over to Norm’s blog you’ll find a wonderful selection of doors by clicking the blue ‘frog’ link at the end of his post.




Posted in Historical buildings, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

Thursday Doors – East Calder


Still in Scotland for this week’s Thursday Doors and I really feel at home here. The countryside reminds me a lot of Ireland but the villages are quite different. Most of the town houses in Ireland are painted and maybe that’s to brighten everything up a bit in a climate that’s prone to wet weather and grey skies. Although Scotland gets its fair share of cloud and rain, I haven’t seen too many painted houses, at least not in this area. But I’m not complaining, as I love the look of a stone building. Here’s a sample of what’s to be seen in the village of East Calder;

This quaint little village stands on the banks of the river Almond, which flows through some beautiful woodland.


I was so chilled out on my walk in this lovely setting, I almost forgot to take photos.

It was my daughter who pointed out a tiny door across the river that I could use for my post this week. Can you see it through the branches of those trees?


The road through the village was known as the Great Turnpike Road and was previously used by the drovers who herded their beasts from Edinburgh. Others drove their cattle from the Highlands and Islands via Perth, Crieff, Falkirk and Linlithgow (featured in last week’s post) to Mid Calder which was a market village. With the widening of the road gave local people employment, among them some of the smaller landowners. The money they earned enabled them to purchase more land and cattle and the district became a major milk and butter distributor to the city of Edinburgh. With the advent of the Railway in 1846 the population of the villages increased. East Calder in 1861 had a population of 552, in 1871 it was 589, in 1881 the total was 754 and in 1891 it grew to 974. Today it is in the region of 5,600. *

I hope you enjoyed this week’s tour around East Calder. I’ll have some more images from around the town next week. If you’d like to have a look at a selection of international Thursday Doors, click the ‘blue frog’ link on Norm’s blog.

Source *

Posted in Britian, Historical buildings, History, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments