Four and half miles

As some readers will know we recently bought a flat in Old Portsmouth. We’re not rushing anything so each visit involves a little work getting the place how we want it and some time just relaxing and getting to know the area.

Up until now the front room is totally unfurnished and Karen makes do with a stool and a couple of canvas garden chairs. We have beds and, as of yesterday’s delivery from Ikea, bedside cabinets, a gate leg table and a sideboard. However we only made the former yesterday and so the rest of the furniture is still flat packed in its boxes.

We don’t have a TV or the Internet yet and so the day’s are very different to the ones spent in Beckenham. For  example, yesterday we were up early and so had bacon rolls  and tea for breakfast and then took a little wander to the Point and Bath Square to take in the sea air and watch and ships and fishermen before making  the bedside cabinets up.

BreakfastJune 2017 Portsmouth (2 of 2)

The day before was hot and so we decided to get to know the area a bit more so we walked to the local shopping centre at Palmerstone Road and then on to the Guildhall, then another shopping centre and then back.

The GuildhallJune 2017 Portsmouth (1 of 2)

Today we worked out that we’d walked and wheeled four and a half miles on the first day. I can’t remember when I last did that. The fact that Portsmouth is so flat is wonderful for a wheelchair user and the fact we are getting to know this place together makes the whole experience stimulating and exciting. Life is good just now….

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People, poses and places

We all like photos as mementos don’t we? When Alex and Ruhie visited for the weekend I took a typical couple of shots of them with Karen.

The first  emphasises them rather than the placeOld Portsmouth Portraits (1 of 3)

We then turned around and I took a shot that did the oppositeOld Portsmouth Portraits (2 of 3)

But this last image captures more of a sense of the day!Old Portsmouth Portraits (3 of 3)

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Looking forward, looking up, looking down

We’ve just returned from a few days in Portsmouth. Karen mostly worked (painting, wallpapering) but we had time to explore some more.

Bath SquareOld Portsmouth Harbour (2 of 5)

Looking upOld Portsmouth Harbour (1 of 5)Old Portsmouth Harbour (3 of 5)

Looking down: a swan has made its next just in front of our flat. You can see the two eggs at the bottom left of the photo below. They’re better protected when the tide is low. Old Portsmouth Harbour (4 of 5)

Of course we had to spend some time just watching the sea traffic.Old Portsmouth Harbour (1 of 1)

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Portsmouth phase 2

As some readers will know we’ve recently purchased a flat in Camber Dock, Old Portsmouth. It’s not totally wheelchair accessible yet, but I can get by for a couple of nights. We arrived the other day and, as luck would have it the weather was kind to us.

Our location is facing the dock and so the view is ever changing with the tide and type of craft present, as the dock is home to fishing boats, pleasure craft and working tugs and craft. Here’s a night and day view.

Spinnaker Quay phase 2 (1 of 7)

We spent a little time sorting things out but as the weather was so good most of time was spent outside enjoying it. The time passed quickly, partly because of the ever changing view. Spinnaker Quay phase 2 (3 of 7)Spinnaker Quay phase 2 (4 of 7)Spinnaker Quay phase 2 (5 of 7)Spinnaker Quay phase 2 (6 of 7)Spinnaker Quay phase 2 (7 of 7)

There’s quite a lot of variety very local to us: Camber Dock, Gunwharf Quay, Clarence Parade, with its funfair as well as the  usual things like the beach and associated attractions. Of current interest is the BAR team’s headquarters for the 35th America’s Cup. In fact I don’t think we’ve explored one percent of the place yet. Anyway all to soon it was time to head back to Beckenham with one last view from the front.

Spinnaker Quay phase 2 (1 of 1)

I suppose we betting start thinking of furnishing the place…..

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Karen working

Making a new home…untitled-2830

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The wheel slowly turns: phase one complete

We collected the keys to our new flat yesterday. The views weren’t too bad at all…

A couple of views from the balconySpinnaker Quay (4 of 4)Spinnaker Quay (2 of 4)

Another view from over the roadSpinnaker Quay (3 of 4)

So that’s phase one complete. Now we have to make the flat accessible. Thankfully there isn’t too much to do apart from some work in one bathroom and some decoration. Now phase 2 begins….

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Collaboration Oxfordshire Artweeks

A colleague of mine – Rhiannon Evans – is running an event in May that’s about birthdays. Anyone can join in – see here – and the brief is wide:

A playful exploration of birthdays: real and imagined, near and far; past, present and future – all from my front room (-ish).
The Birthday will reference our common experiences of exchange and celebration. Bring along party games and toys, or memorabilia.
Embrace the coincidences and paradoxes of a local life in our global village.
Share your ideas on ‘what art is?’ in today’s society and make ‘art’ together over a cup of tea and birthday cake.
Reminisce – fast forward – and join the party!

So I’ve sent Rhi two images. One I can’t show yet as its for my eldest son’s birthday, but the other is shown below and entitled No More Birthdays.

Nomore birthdays (1 of 1)

The images was taken just after dad died on June 8th last year. He was 88 and I think the photo speaks of the long life lived because of the photos on the wall. Indeed is seems as though dad’s almost looking back at his life lived in the images.

But maybe this is too macabre for the show….

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