Lewes War Memorial

Lewes War Memorial

I like angel statues. Hence, when I saw this bronze angel in the middle of Lewes, standing atop a pillar with arms stretched out, I was enamoured. I took several pictures even though the circumstances weren’t easy. The sun was behind her, and while the road wasn’t very busy, there were cars coming and going around the island on which she stood. When I went up to read the plaques I learnt that it is the Lewes War Memorial to commemorate the fallen in the First and Second World Wars. That pretty much determined that it was going to be a black & white photograph.

~ Spotted Cow

Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge

Castle wall

Most of the main walls of Lewes Castle are intact. However, in some sections like this one, only an edge of a wall remains.

In the picture you can see that the wall is leaning slightly to the right.  I straightened the doorway, but the resulting image showed the chairs & people leaning awkwardly and I had to un-do the change. The ground must have shifted in the years since the wall was built.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge

~ Spotted Cow

Lewes Castle

Lewes Castle

About 20 years ago – when we were young adults who thought we were worldly – Purple Cow and I happened upon Lewes in our travels around the south coast of England. We didn’t stay the night because there was a festival in town and there were no beds. So, we wandered around the lovely streets, thinking what a quaint town it was, before we got on the train to Brighton.

Somehow, we managed to miss Lewes Castle, which is smack bang in the middle of town, on the top of a hill. Those were the days before the internet told us everything. Nevertheless, it seems incredulous that we missed such a prominent landmark. I don’t know if it wasn’t as clearly signposted as it is now or if the tourist office wasn’t open or we just never looked up.

A few weeks ago, on a sunny summer’s weekend, I visited Lewes on a day trip. Imagine my surprise when I read that it has a 1000-year old Norman Castle built by William the Conquerer’s son-in-law, William de Warenne, and that it has incredible views over the Sussex countryside. I felt like a wally. Look at the pictures. It is incredible that we completely missed it. It’s a good thing that I’m not so slack on my travel research.

~ Spotted Cow

The Barbican

View of Lewes town from the castle

View of bowling green from Lewes Castle

The stuff other people throw out

Flea market finds

I’ve had an ongoing de-cluttering project around my house for the last couple of years and it’s been a good exercise. I don’t think that I need to own so many things, but more than that, there’s all the stuff that has been put away neatly in drawers that haven’t been used in years.

When I visited the Lewes flea market, I saw – on sale – the mass of things that people don’t want, throw out and give away. And it is literally a huge collection of stuff that some good soul has categorised and displayed for the passing footfall to view and perhaps purchase for themselves. I like the idea of buying pre-loved goods.

On this occasion I didn’t buy anything but I did go round taking photos. It was a bit of a challenge with the low lighting, the clutter, narrow corridors and people walking in front of the lens (the cheek !) All my photos were taken on ISO 1600. I contemplated going up to ISO 3200 a few times, but in my experience they tend to come out quite grainy.

Any yes, the last picture was my submission to the Photo Challenge this week.

Side note. Lewes is a lovely historic county town about 1½ hours south of London by train.

~ Spotted Cow

Underwear model in the mirror

Mannequin & mirror among a pile of random bits

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

Close up of mannequin, mirror and puppet

I snapped this while wandering around the Lewes flea market, thinking I’d use it in a post called “the stuff other people throw away” … and I might yet do that ! In particular, I liked the trio of the mirror, the Mexican doll puppet and the mannequin with the headset. The picture was originally taken in portrait but I cropped it because my blog template prefers landscape compositions in the main picture.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

~ Spotted Cow

Mannequin & mirror among a pile of random bits

Belle Tout lighthouse

Belle Tout lighthouse on the cliff's edge

If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a lighthouse, the Belle Tout Lighthouse at Beachy Head is only an hour & a half train ride to Eastbourne from London. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1902 because it wasn’t visible on foggy nights and it now runs as a b&b. In fact, it was moved back from the cliff edge in 1999 and the rails are in place if it has to be moved further back one more time.

There are spectacular 360° views from the communal top floor. Out to the east, is the working Beachy Head lighthouse down at sea level. And over to the west are the Seven Sisters cliffs – we walked 4 of the 7 before the ups & downs got the better of us, plus we had to walk back !

It was an amazing pre-Christmas weekend and we felt very special staying in the lighthouse. Didn’t everyone want to live in a lighthouse when they were children?

~ Spotted Cow

View east to Beachy Head lighthouse

View west to the Seven Sisters

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

View of Seven Sisters from the beach

Now. The view of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs from the beach at Birling Gap on the East Sussex coast. I went down there for a long weekend getaway before Christmas.

The cliffs erode about 0.3 to 0.7 metres every year – that’s one to two ruler lengths – which means that houses have had to be demolished or buildings have had to be moved back from the cliffs edge over the years.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

~ Spotted Cow

Getting a better view of the Seven Sisters

Birling Gap

Christmas, neither at home nor away

Baby Cow closing in on little deer

Ever fancied not having any responsibility on Christmas Day? Let someone else organise the food, the tree, and the entertainment. We did it one year when the idea of all of us in a small London flat with nowhere to go seemed a bit crampy. Plus, we were due to fly out on Boxing Day.

Our choice was Ashdown Park Hotel in East Sussex where we stayed from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day. It was marvellous. The grounds are enormous and on the doorstep of Ashdown Forest.  This is Winnie The Pooh country.  You can borrow mountain bikes and cycle on the bumpy forest paths.  There are plenty of secret corners and hidden gardens to explore, and you’ll encounter the wild deer that roam the estate.  We had a go at croquet – badly. There’s a golf course. And we discovered a llama park nearby.

The youngsters can use the remainder of their energy in the swimming pool while the adults enjoy spa services or one of the reading spots in front of the fire.

It goes without saying that there is an abundance of food. We didn’t go hungry and the children had far too much chocolate and cake, as well as surprise treats under the tree and on their pillows – both from us and courtesy of the hotel.

We don’t know if we’d do it quite like that again. But it suited us on that one occasion and the experience was thoroughly enjoyable.

Spotted Cow

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