Castle moats and petrichor

Walked around the castle moat
with petrichor around
protected from the wind and rain
in here with n'er a sound

The great stone walls they towered
made us feel very small
but it was all ethereal
to captivate us all

We wandered slowly, ambling
the moment special there
enjoying here the privilege
in which we all could share


Photo – the moat of Arundel Castle, West Sussex – Jempics


Contentment in an Englishman’s castle

Yes I’m an Englishman and it is said
that his home is his castle indeed
And I do declare
and here freely share
that I’m happy to stand by that creed

For some would crave more but I’m happy right here
with my lot as with it I’m content
For I’ve so much right here
to fill me with cheer
so each word of that statement is meant


Lisbon 36

It was thirty six in Lisbon
when we climbed up to St Jorge
An eleventh century castle
built by Moors above the gorge

But it was cool beneath the olive trees
inside the castle walls
taking pictures of the things we saw
and marvelling at it all

The view was simply stunning
the Tejo river to the fore
the orange roofs of houses
churches, ruins and much more

Then later on we found a lift
which reduced much of the climb
Took us quickly to the town
for longer shopping time

Lisbon was immensely hot
but beautiful as well
Another place we really loved
these words will always tell


[‘Lisbon 36’ is 12 of 14 in the Jemverse ‘Iberian Treasures’ series]

Departures (29/8/16)
Malaga I (30/8/16)
Gibraltar (31/8/16)
Gibraltar II (1/9/16)
All at sea (2/9/16)
Lounging (3/9/16)
Three sixty degree sea (4/9/16)
Vigo (5/9/16)
Atlantic Surge (6/9/16)
In from the fog (7/9/16)
Terracotta Rooftiles (8/9/16)
Lisbon 36 (9/9/16)
Seville (10/9/16)
Malaga II (11/9/16)


We actually weren’t expecting rain
but it only stayed an hour
Refreshing as we climbed the hill
for the Vigo castle tower
The view up at the very top
took in the sweeping bay
with our ship down in the harbour
on this, our third cruise day

Then later, as the sun appeared
in Constitution Square
we sat and had Galation beer
and watched the tourists there
Vigo is a special place
at the tip of Northern Spain
and is somewhere we would gladly
come back and see again


Photo – The Thompson Spirit from the crest of the Vigo Castillo tower hill, Northern Spain – Jempics
[‘Vigo’ is 8 of 14 in the Jemverse ‘Iberian Treasures’ series]

Departures (29/8/16)
Malaga I (30/8/16)
Gibraltar (31/8/16)
Gibraltar II (1/9/16)
All at sea (2/9/16)
Lounging (3/9/16)
Three sixty degree sea (4/9/16)
Vigo (5/9/16)
Atlantic Surge (6/9/16)
In from the fog (7/9/16)
Terracotta Rooftiles (8/9/16)
Lisbon 36 (9/9/16)
Seville (10/9/16)
Malaga II (11/9/16)

A picture of England

Bodiam beckoned
as the sunshine was sent
and I took in the view
from the high battlement

This castle in Sussex
with its moat all around
quintessentially English
never fails to astound

And though I have visited
these walls in the past
its picturesque splendour
is hard to surpass


The dichotomy of the old and new

I’m pretty sure that this was not
the hill of nursery rhyme
when a certain grande old duke
decided now would be good time
to march ten thousand up and and down
but it’s nice to think ‘maybe’
that this was in fact the very hill
from that time in history

Standing here this morning though
there’s dichotomy at hand
as old and new together meet
in silence hand in hand
Clifford’s Tower atop the hill
from Henry the third’s time
overlooks a car park which
to me seems like a crime

The meeting of the old and new
inevitable these days
but surely with some foresight
could be done in better ways?
Having said that York has managed
to retain much of the past
Evident as I wander here
and hope that it will last


The Grande Olde Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
he marched then up to the top of the hill
then he marched them down again

Built between 1245 and 1262 by order of King Henry III,  York’s ‘Clifford’s Tower’ (aka The Great Tower) was built on the site of an original motte and bailey from William the Conqueror’s time. It was originally surrounded by a moat fed from the river Foss. The moat no longer exists but the grassed motte has long retained its traditional identity as ‘the eye of York’ from the days when the land was owned by the Crown. It  was sold to York City Council in 1988 for the princely sum of £1.

Castle Acre

High atop a hill of old

The crumbling walls a history told

Where maids were fair and knights were bold

A long, long time ago

Deep within the castle walls

Guarded now with rails for falls

Hiding shadows, echoes call

Only time, forgotten shows

Stretching out to fields of green

The views that countless souls have seen

Where we too now have also been

Its secrets now we know


In the valley shadow cast

By the Castle Acre walls

Castle Acre Priory rests

Its ruins proud and tall

And where once Clunaic monks trod

Its cool aisles in silent prayer

Tourists wander slowly

While sheep graze safely there.



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