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I love this area of Brighton & Hove!

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Kemptown is one of the districts in the city of Brighton & Hove.

In the 1960s, I lived there for a while and occasionally I revisit this area. It is that part of Brighton lying to the east of the Palace Pier and the Royal Pavilion and to the west of Black Rock and Brighton Marina. It is a very cosmopolitan area – historically it was known as an actors’ and artists’ quarter, but it also has a sizeable gay community.
There are a number of specialised shops, hotels, cafés and pubs in Kemptown. The area is well-served by public transport and Volk’s Railway runs between the Pier and Black Rock.
Kemptown has had many notable residents including Sir Lawrence Olivier, Vita Sackville West, Lewis Carroll (Revd Charles Dodgson) , Anna Neagle, Max Miller and Flora Robson.
Kemptown seafront is a particularly pleasant place to walk – there are three routes! Madeira Drive is the road on the seaward side; Madeira Terrace is a Victorian-built walkway built halfway up the cliff and Marine Parade is the main A259 road. St James’ Street is the main shopping thoroughfare with many cafes, bars, restaurants and shops.
I love this area of Brighton & Hove!
Last visit was in September 2016. 
Kemptown seafront © Robert Bovington
Volk’s Railway © Robert Bovington
The Arches Kemptown Brighton © Robert Bovington

other blogs by Robert Bovington:

“Photographs of Spain”
“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”
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Gibraltar

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by Robert Bovington

Casemates Square © Robert Bovington
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory occupying a narrow peninsula overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. ‘The Rock’ is just that – a colossal chunk of ancient limestone that was thrust up from the seabed millions of years ago to form what is now the highly visible Rock of Gibraltar.Its history is inextricably linked to its strategic position. Its first important military encounter was in AD 711 when Tarik-ibn-Zeyed led a huge Moorish army that was to conquer most of the Iberian Peninsula. Moors and Christians fought many battles here during the 14th and 15th centuries and the Spanish Christians finally succeeded in dispatching the Arabs back to Africa in 1462. British forces took the Rock in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession and British sovereignty over Gibraltar was subsequently recognised by the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht.

Gibraltar attractions include the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. Some 500 species of small flowering plants grow there as does wild olive and pine. As far as fauna is concerned, there are rabbits, foxes and monkeys! Yes, monkeys inhabit the Rock – the Barbary apes are the only wild monkeys in Europe. Other attractions include St Michael’s Cave, the Moorish Castle and the Great Siege Tunnels.

 Down in the town centre, Main Street is unmistakably British with Marks and Spencer, BhS, pubs and bright red post boxes. Nearby Casemates Square, however, has a more continental air with many open-air cafes.

Contrary to popular belief the majority of Gibraltarians are not of English or Spanish ancestry – Genoese, Maltese, and Portuguese formed the majority of the population when the Rock was ceded to Great Britain.

English is the official language, which is used for government and business purposes but many Gibraltarians speak Llanito, a mixture of English and Andalucian Spanish.

Robert Bovington

23 Nov 2011

other blogs by Robert Bovington:

“Photographs of Spain”
“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”

Panoramio – Photos by Robert Bovington

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Granada Alhambra

  

Salamanca University

 for more photos by Robert Bovington click on link below

Panoramio – Photos by Robert Bovington:

‘via Blog this’

Brighton & Hove ‘birdcage’ Bandstand

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The magnificent structure known as the ‘birdcage’ Bandstand is a Grade II listed building of architectural and historical importance. It stands prominent on Brighton’s seafront and commands excellent views of the coast. It was designed by Phillip Lockwood and completed in 1884.
Brighton ‘Birdcage’ Bandstand – photo © Robert Bovington

 

Below is a painting by my brother William of Brighton & Hove seafront that includes the ‘Birdcage’ Bandstand.

 

Eve before the Storm’ by Lorus Maver (William Bovington)

 

more paintings by William Bovington: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorus_maver


other blogs by Robert Bovington: 

“Photographs of Spain”
“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”

Dead Man’s Grip

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Dead Man's Grip (Roy Grace, #7)Dead Man’s Grip by Peter James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Dead Man’s Grip” by Peter James
A Review by Robert Bovington


Location: A balcony in Andalusia

Diane: “Are you going to sit out there reading all day?”

Bob: “No. I’ve nearly finished this chapter.”

Bob finishes the chapter of Peter James’ latest thriller and reluctantly goes indoors to help his wife.

***********************

It is often like this when I read Peter’s Roy Grace novels. It is as though the books are stuck to my hands with superglue, which is most appropriate in the case of “Dead Man’s Grip” because one of the murders in the book involves the ultra strong adhesive.

This book is totally gripping. As usual, most of the action takes place in the vibrant city of Brighton and Hove. Student Tony Revere is killed which is rather unfortunate for the unsuspecting characters who are directly or indirectly involved in the fatal traffic accident. His American parents have Mafia connections and hire “Tooth”, a psychotic hit man to exact terrible revenge on those involved with their son’s death.

As with all the books in the Roy Grace series, the attention to detail is exemplary, especially police procedure – author Peter James’ painstaking research ensures that the police action is believable. His characters, too, are credible. There are the normal suspects – in this sense I mean Roy Grace’s team including sidekick Glenn Branson and the politically incorrect Norman Potting. Also featured are the threads from previous books including Roy’s girlfriend Cleo and his missing wife Sandy.

This is another addictive crime thriller and I particularly like the Brighton connection because I, like Peter James, grew up in the area.

I do, however, sometimes wonder whether the crimes are a bit far fetched. Or are they! I think I’ll remain in Spain rather than return to my roots!

View all my reviews

other blogs by Robert Bovington:

“Photographs of Spain”
“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”

The Girl Who Played With Fire – a review

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The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2)The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The Girl Who Played With Fire”
There ought be a health warning with this book – I found it so enjoyable, I couldn’t put it down and I therefore sat reading all day instead of going for a walk.
I really enjoyed “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and couldn’t wait to start reading the sequel. In my opinion, this second book of the “Millennium Trilogy” is even better.
We get to know more of the enigmatic Lisbeth Salander who is wanted by
the police in connection with some brutal murders. Of course, our heroine (if we can call someone that has been labelled a raving, sociopathic, murdering, satanist, lesbian a heroine) is eventually found to be innocent of the crimes. More than that, we get to understand more of why Lisbeth is the way she is.
There are other interesting characters, both good and evil including the other main character from the first book, journalist Mikael Blomkvist.
This book is full of excitement and twists and turns and I can’t wait to read the third book in the trilogy. What a shame that the author Stieg Larsson died before writing further books. I’d love to read more about Lisbeth Salander!

View all my reviews

other blogs by Robert Bovington:

“Photographs of Spain”
“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”

Familiar Spanish Travels (book review)

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Familiar Spanish Travels by William Dean Howells
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“Familiar Spanish Travels” by William Dean Howells
A review by Robert Bovington

In October 1911, American William Dean Howells travelled to Spain. The author wrote about his experiences in “Familiar Spanish Travels”.
As an avid reader of books about Spain, I have mixed feelings about this book. Certainly, I did not enjoy it as much as other books that I have read on the subject. I found Howells’ literary style too verbose. I wonder whether the author thought: “Why use two or three pithy adjectives when two or three pages of text will do the same job!”
He describes with great detail the strangers that he encounters on his travels, yet often provides little detail on the principal sights. Many of Howells’ sentences are inordinately long – 40, 50 words or more! Yet, despite his longwinded descriptions, Howells manages to convey his thoughts to the reader in both a poetic and an extremely descriptive manner. The reader can easily imagine the bleakness of the Meseta and the “insurpassably dirty and dangerous” gipsy quarters of Granada and Seville. Howells certainly was not, what we today call, politically correct. He frequently describes some of the Spanish women as fat. Nor did the author view his surroundings with rose tinted spectacles. He mentions bad breakfasts; freezing hotels, cold rainy streets and “the thick and noisome stench” of Cervantes former home in Valladolid. But he waxed lyrical about a great deal of his experiences too: the incomparable grandeur of Burgos Cathedral; the glorious masterpiece that is Murillo’s “Vision of St Anthony”; the unparalleled beauty of the Alhambra and the magnificent structure that is the Puente Nuevo in Ronda are shortened versions of just some of his descriptions.
I know people’s tastes are different but what really surprised me was the author’s likes and dislikes regarding the places he visited. He did not like Córdoba but, to be fair, it was raining during his visit and he described the houses as “wet and chill”. However, he was also disappointed in that city’s beautiful Mezquita. Yet he really liked Algeciras! Certainly, from the author’s text, I gathered that he preferred ‘people watching’ to visiting the famous sights, which probably explains the imbalance between his descriptions of people and his accounts of the places visited. But, then, the whole expedition was unbalanced. He spent only half an hour in Toledo’s magnificent Cathedral and not much longer in the Mezquita, yet he visited Seville Cathedral every day during his fortnight’s stay! He appears to have enjoyed Madrid, especially the Prado and he was greatly taken with Granada though, more for the views from within and without the Alhambra than for the wonderful Arabic architecture. He preferred the Palace of Charles V to the Nasrid Palaces in that magnificent monument to the Moors rule in Spain.
Notwithstanding the author’s idiosyncrasies, “Familiar Spanish Travels” will probably be an enjoyable read for those readers who wish to partake of a “warts and all” commentary of life in early 2oth century Spain.

Robert Bovington
April 2011

View all my reviews

“Photographs of Spain”
“Spanish Impressions”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”

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