Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Isles of Scilly

Bishop Rock Lighthouse

A little less than thirty miles off the tip of Cornwall lie the Isles of Scilly.  The Isles comprise approximately 140 islands, only five of which are inhabited.  Many of the others are little more than small rock formations which have been the cause of many shipwrecks over the centuries, giving rise to the building of the Bishop Rock Lighthouse.

The total population is just over two thousand, more than three quarters of whom live on St Mary’s.  The smallest populated islands are St Agnes (population 73) and Bryher (population 78).  The other two islands are St Martin’s and Tresco.

Each of the smaller islands (the ‘Off Islands’) has a single track road stretching from one side to the other or, occasionally, looping  round to rejoin the main track.  None of them has any semblance of a pavement with curb.  The only motorised vehicles are those essential to the livelihood of the residents  –  tractors, buggies, the odd ancient van or landrover.

In many ways these islands belong to a world that time forgot.  Income Tax was not introduced until 1954 followed by Vehicle Tax in 1971.  Vehicles are exempt from MOT regulations.  Law and order is maintained by a police sergeant and two PC’s, a Community Support Officer and a Special Constable.  The Isles have the lowest crime rate in England and most residents routinely leave their doors unlocked.

The Scilly Isles are reached either by boat (the Scillonian III) from Penzance, by small fixed wing Skybus planes, or by helicopter. Travel between the islands is provided by local boat services.

These islands are the southern most part of the UK and the climate is tempered by the Gulf Stream.  Frost is rare  –  a factor contributing in the past to the growth of the early Spring flower trade with the mainland.  Each of the Islands has its own distinctive character.  All have white sandy beaches  – especially Tresco.

Unsurprisingly, the Isles of Scilly are officially designated  an Area of Outstanding Beauty.

St Martin’s Flats

This channel separates the islands of St Martin’s and Tresco.  At the time of the extreme Spring tides intrepid walkers wade through the shallow waters from one island to the other, and similarly from Tresco to Bryher.  The sheltered turquoise waters and near-white sands are breath-takingly beautiful and evoke a mood of calm and tranquility.

See also scillywebcam.com, Scilly Rocks 1, Scilly Rocks 2, Scilly Rocks 3, Scilly Rocks 4, Scilly Rocks 5, Pebble Tower

For a novel set on St Agnes read Narwhal by Margaret Gill

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Filed under Colour, Nature, Pattern, Sand, Sea, Shore, Sunlight, Texture, Uncategorized, Water

Palm reading

Palm reading

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Garden in July

Garden in July

See also Pebble Pond Corner, Garden in June, Lupins after rain, Clematis, Blue Iris, The Gracious Lady of Spring, Poppy Days

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The Tempest

Tempest

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Pebble Pond Corner

Pebble Pond

See also Garden in June, Poppy Days, The Gracious Lady of Spring, Blue Iris, Lupins after rain, Clematis

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Hacking, Hypocrisy and the Politicians

The issues arising from the News of the World affair have angered us all in the past few weeks, but I am particularly irritated by the hypocrisy of politicians of different political persuasions who have, in the past, courted vigorously the support of the Murdoch media in the hope of gaining political advantage at the election box.

Like timid children in the playground they offered sweets to the bully to get him on their side.  But now that his achilles heel has been exposed they gang up like self-righteous seventeenth century witch hunters.

Yes, the magnitude and power of the Murdoch empire  –  its 200 plus newspapers worldwide, its control of television and internet interests  –  make a mockery of the notion of a free press, and the methods employed by some of his journalists extend beyond the indecent to the obscene.

But Murdoch came to this country in 1969.  The politicians have had more than forty years in which to curb his power and practices. What have they done?

I am reminded of the Russian proverb: ‘Hypocrites kick with their hind feet while licking with their tongues’.

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Water Abstract 3

Water Abstract 3

See also The Water Abstracts, Water Abstract, Water Abstract 2, Patterns under the water, Patterns under the water 1, Mountain Stream, Reflections on the Broads, More Reflections on the Broads

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