Shortly before the day when we remember 100 years since the end of WW1, we passed through the valley of the Somme on our way to Normandy. In the news there was controversy over President Macron who is apparently keen to downplay any triumphalism tone and instead be respectful of the millions who died in the conflict. My grandfather was one of the fortunate ones, he served in France during WW1 in the cavalry and returned safely home.
Juno beach, where we were staying, peaceful and beautiful now, but it is impossible to walk along those sands without reflecting on the events of June 1944.
Northern France has been witness to the ravages of both world wars during the 20th century, the appreciation and respect for those who fought and died is very present in the grave yards, memorials, towns and villages.
To all those who have fought to defend us, in whatever field, we remember you and we thank you.
With spring tides and settled weather the conditions must have been good for local prawn and shrimp fishermen. Every afternoon at low water there would be maybe 20 or so fishermen out in the shallows with their push nets.
It didn't seem to be an especially commercial activity, more people going out to fish for supper. At high water the shrimpers were gone but there were more than a few casting rods from the beach.
We've been away for a few days to Normandy and enjoyed some mixed but unseasonably good weather which allowed us to enjoy the fabulous beaches at their best.
With the car loaded up with top box, luggage, bikes and even a sewing machine (Mrs BB likes to take her hobbies on holiday) there was no room for the kayaks which would have been perfect, I think that an inflatable one of these is in prospect, easy to transport and get out on the water.
It was a perfect settled day for sea kayaking - note to self, I want to do much more of this next year.
Who needs a spa treatment? Early morning run along the beach at first light, it doesn't get any better. We did loads of cycling, walking and running and felt thoroughly relaxed and rejuvenated after what has been a manic few months. It it weren't for a few too many cakes we might even have lost some weight, but it was a holiday not a punishment :O)
There's been a Kestrel 22 in the harbour at Hill Head for several years so this may or may not be the same one, but it's certainly a nice and well kept example.
The Kestrel One Design Class dates from 1955 to a design by J Francis Jones, a former pupil of the famous naval architect Kim Holman. Jones, from Woodbridge, Suffolk was inspired by shoal-draught sailing on the East Coast and incorporated strong clinker (lap-strake) construction with a lifting keel.
Following the Flying Marrow,we spotted this beast in Hamble, looking very much like a Lotus 7 (or Caterham 7).
Apologies is you can't see from the picture but that inlet manifold sticking out through the hole in the bonnet says 3.9, presumably a large capacity version of the all aluminium Buick/Rover V8 engine and which by the look of things is attached to a turbocharger.
No windscreen just a couple of carbon fly screens to divert the airflow, think I might want to drive this wearing a crash helmet.