The Ambitious Drifter

Words, Images and The Occasional Noise

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St Pancras and Rochester

I only had a few days in London, mainly to catch up on sleep. I did managed to book a train to Rochester from St Pancras for a day trip. The day before, I wandered down to the station to have a look. Just behind the busy station is a quiet area with an ancient church. Unexpectedly, there was Mary Wollestonecraft. Not sure who reads her ‘Vindication of the Rights Of Women’ anymore, but you’ve all seen her daughter’s work.

The next day I took the quick train to Rochester. The cathedral, second oldest in England, has long been on my to-do list.

It was a good start to the trip.


Celebrating The End

I’m finally on the road again, after sheltering for the past three years. I’ve just started to look at the photos I’ve made in the last three weeks. These will do to get started.

I was in Narbonne, the first Roman settlement in France. These are casts from a funerary enclosure, so either a chapel or a tomb. I can’t find too much more about them as yet. The site is still being dug by archeologists. The stones seem to celebrate life…. fruit and flowers, drinking and dancing. I’d like to think that the person portrayed was an entertainer.


La France Profonde

Relaxing at home today, so I’ve got time to write something for the Daily Prompt.  Profound?

I’m lucky to be living and travelling in La France Profonde… it means, I suppose, Deepest France. It’s not Paris, or even Toulouse. It’s beautiful countryside with entrancing medieval towns (and cities), stunning views and oh…. the food. La France Profonde is about localisation, the specialities come from locally produced goods. Here it’s duck, goose and a plethora of wonderful cheeses. A lot of the cheese is from the milk of goats or sheep. We’re getting close to the mountains, so the land isn’t suitable for beef cattle.  The fruit and veges you buy are seasonal…. alas I just missed out on the cherries this year!

A word you see often is ‘terroire’… which can simply mean territory or area. Here it’s also the place of your soul, your homeland. The word has deep meaning, it’s where your roots are.  The Aboriginal people of Australia have much the same relationship with their land. I suspect people everywhere, deep down,  feel the same thing.

La France Profonde, a profound experience.




Photo Safari 3

I’m planning three Photo Safari posts this week. They’ll all be more sights of Adelaide, architecture, the railway station and the legendary Largs Pier Hotel.

Despite the best efforts of successive generations of councils, there are still some interesting buildings left in Adelaide.  Often you have to look up to see them. One floor above the underwhelming Rundle Mall  ‘shopping experience’ you can still find quirky buildings with personality.

A standout is the CML building on the corner of Hindley and King William Streets. The odd decoration scheme makes it look like the headquarters of some gothic super villain. You can spot Aztec style owl gargoyles, rampant lions, green men and a host of odd shapes.


Boring clothes shops and fast food joints cropped out using Aviary


Photo Safari 2

Like all good drifters, sometimes I ride across the dusty plains back to my home town.  I stride like Clint Eastwood through the wide streets while men dive back into the saloons and women peer out from behind the curtains.

The dusty plains are now covered by smart new housing estates and some of my favourite saloons are long gone.

It’s Adelaide, South Australia. There’s nothing like being a tourist in your own town to start noticing the quirky buildings and slightly mad architecture.    I’d taken it all for granted.

Here’s a selection of some of the sights I’d forgotten.

One for the door fans. I like the Inca motifs. wpid-img_20150212_105958.jpg

A deco Inca/Aztec temple in the backstreets, just round the corner from the ancient Pancake Kitchen, site of many exploits.


The Beehive corner, where Adelaidians still meet. Over the top Italianate stylings, it’s got gothic crocket finials and moorish hints too…. and, of course, a bee on the top. This one’s worth clicking on to enlarge for the details.


The East End Markets, now developed into housing and posh shops. I miss all the musty mysterious smells.  Highly recommend the Eros Kafe for lunch.

NB. There’s a weird thing on top of the roof, it’s a TV aerial, a relic in itself now.


Taken from a car window, another closed down cinema, such a brilliantly modern look. On the Anzac Highway.


Ah memory!  Such fun I had there in my youth. Next trip (soon) I’ll take the SLR and make it a proper photo safari.

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Photo Safari 1

Now that I’m back in Australia I’ll be blogging a few of the sights {and sites) that I love. Expect more writing from the crabs on the beach and the wonders of inner-city Sydney.

Today, King St, Newtown, home of my imaginary time-travelling coffee lounge and many other interesting places.

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

The Aboriginal flag flies proudly. Back in the ’80s there was a fabulous indigenous band that played brilliant Creedence covers on a Saturday afternoon.

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

The Marlborough has never been a rough pub!

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

Newtown terrace houses.

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

Street art opposite Mostly Frank’s Coffee Lounge.


Annotated phone, somewhat kewl, as Quarksire would say.