Grass Ruins: Admiral's Advice: Newark Revisited: Bosch Bosch!

Ruined Scarps

Climbing up steps to greet,
top slopes in 
clear air.
No cries of pain or shouts
gutturally expressing 
the need for action; 
the possibility 
of a serenade,  by
whizzing golf balls.

Here  I stand on Kimsbury
Hill Fort.
Where barbarism
is wholly civilised.


@CTFCOfficial  Cheltenham Expects --
                                                               Often in penalty 
                                                               Areas allows
                                                               Lots of
                                                               Scoring opportunities.
Score GOALS Robins. COYR


Last Friday (4 / 4 ) D. and I visited the National Trust  property Newark Park, near Dursley in
 Gloucestershire.In 1550, in the reign of HenryV111, the property started its life as a Tudor Hunting Lodge, passed through many hands until in 1949 ,  it was taken over by the National Trust.

It was not open to the public, but was used as a  nursing home. It gradually fell into disrepair  until rescued  by a Texan Robert Parsons ( 1920 - 2000 ) who renovated the building and worked out an agreement, whereby he had his own apartments, within the premises and for two days a week during opening times,  the public were not admitted,
An admirable scheme, which allowed him privacy; whilst allowing the NT to pick up the 'tab' for further maintenance.

To my mind the view from the upstairs windows at the back of the house, looking as it does,  over the Ozleworth valley is unsurpassed  in the county.

Not only is it easy on the eye, but has remained unchanged over the decades.

Here you see a panorama taken outside at the back of the building.

Upon the top floor D. and I visited an exhibition entitled " Wild Gloucestershire " by local artist Steve Roberts.

The pencil and acrylic  bark studies  ( top and below ) caught by eye. I liked the idea that Steve used old pieces of wood, which he had re-cycled into frames.

My favourites pictures , which really caught my imaginations, were his ' boot ' studies. I thought they were terrifically  creative and so impressed  that I was moved to write in his book; " You've really made your mark. "

The exhibition runs until April 21 and in our opinion well worth a look.

 Whilst in the building, we were taken on a guided basement tour, which included the original Tudor kitchen; the bakery and the wine cellar.

In the wine cellar, our guide produced a little corkscrew-like object; known as the "Butler's Friend. "
So called because it allowed the Butler to remove the cork from the wine bottle without damaging it,  allowing the odd illicit slurp, before topping up said bottle with water and finally replacing the cork. A perfect scam.

Newark Park has a delightful lake and sloped garden areas. Alas the spring flowers were in the process of ' going over '

Nevertheless,  it completed a very satisfactory visit indeed.

Newark Park


I first discovered the books of Michael Connelly, some years ago. I got to know his disgruntled  L.A. cop Harry " Hieronymus ' Bosch quite well over his 17 novels .
Harry is now of retirement age and is extending his police career  investigating the so called "cold-cases . He lives with his teenage daughter Maddie in LA. and saw active service in the 'Nam war; where he had the dangerous job as a tunnel - rat, crawling underground . The legacy left him apprehensive of enclosed spaces  needing  to see the sky above him.  Harry is soon to 'appear' in a television series named " Bosch."

With the advent of the " Game of Thrones " series of books and my ongoing  readership of Lee Child with his character "Jack Reacher" ,  I let go of Michael's books, but recently, seeing one I hadn't read (" The Fifth Witness " )  in the library, I borrowed it and found myself caught up with the narrative again.

I have always admired Michael Connelly, because it seemed to me, he understood, that in the 21st century, you need to communicate with your readership. Thus he was the one of the first authors to have a dedicated website, which not only  gave a list of his written  material, but in addition released videos relating to  episodes  found in the books and also actual photographs of locations within his novels.
In addition, by subscribing to his Email, one was  sent  exclusive offers which sometimes included special downloads of short-stories.
By all these methods, one felt drawn to the author in this virtual-reality world.

Here is his website. Have a look for yourself.

Michael Connelly


Well a week of haze and dust. Let's hope for fresher weather in the week ahead. Palm Sunday beckons, at which date I will be able to drink coffee again, having given it up for Lent.



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