Tuesday, February 7, 2012



I can't believe I haven't used this photo before for the letter "D"  but my search says no.
My husband took this photo a few years ago when we were in Australia.  A didgeridoo is a wind or horn-like instrument  that is distinctive to the aborigines of Australia and is thought to have originated as much as 2000 years ago.  As I recall it sounded a bit like the blowing of a conch.  I'm sure all our ABC fans in Australia and New Zealand are well aware of what this instrument is, but we thought we were pretty privileged to see and hear one.
All the time I have been wondering what else to use for the letter 'D', and here it has been staring me in the face for weeks.  My banner painting is of 


Danes' Dyke is on the East Coast of Yorkshire and is part of Flamborough Head.  The headland juts out into the North Sea about 6 miles.  If you have been following my blog for very long at all you will know that Flamborough was where I spent 10 years of my young life.  Living there was a transforming experience for me and some of my happiest days were spent exploring the headland, cliffs and beaches..  That is why my blog is called Flamblogger.

Danes' Dyke is an earth work or ditch which some say was cut across the headland in order to make it an island.  It is similar to other earth works across Britain and was probably used as a defense.  It certainly very effectively isolates the village of Flamborough, which until the last 50 or 60 years has had a reputation of being very independent from its surroundings.  The village of Flamborough is thought to have been inhabited by the Danes and Vikings from around the 8th - 10th centuries.  It used to be known as Little Denmark.  

Danes Dyke is quite heavily wooded on its southern end and almost disappears at its northern end, the land at that end being very rocky with cliffs as high as 400 feet.  The southern end reaches the beach  where there are many fossils to be found.  Part of the Dyke was excavated in the 1800's when arrowheads and such like were found, but nothing very exciting.  I  think there are a good number of archeological treasures to be found in this area, but so far no-one has recently taken the time to look.  In one sense I'm glad for that because the longer Flamborough can keep its uniqueness the better it will be. It is generally believed that the Dyke's history goes back further than the Danes after which it is named.

As children we roamed the Dyke at will.  A small stream runs through part of it to the south side of the Head and the banks on either side rise as high as 20 feet or more.  All kinds of birds, flowers trees and bushes are to be found there.  I particularly remember the loud popping of the broom seed pods in August as we played in and out of the bushes.  Today there are well-kept nature trails and bird blinds to discover. 
The Manor House was located there and I remember it clearly.  It was a great Victorian building and was the home of Mrs. Cotterill- Dormer.  After the family vacated it, it stood empty for many years and was said to have housed a priceless collection of stuffed, rare birds from all over the world.  Sadly the house was pulled down in the late fifties, but there are some tourist facilities and parking where it once stood.

One more "D" is for my DOG, Rip who lived with me there in Flamborough.  I recently came across this photo from about 1950.

Here he is in such a cute picture with two neighbor children and my sister (on the right.)  He thought he was just one of the kids and was thoroughly happy to be included in this circle of friends.  What a sweet dog he was. He went everywhere with us and we all had the freedom to roam the headland together in safety and with great fun -- not the least of which for Rip, was to chase the rabbits on the cliffs.

This is my contribution for ABC Wednesday.  Do join us and if nothing else take a look at what a great many others have contributed for the letter "D".  Please click on the LINK.


Wanda said...

Chris, what a wonderful and informative read. Love that first picture...like out of National Geograpics. And what a sweet picture of your dog, Rip, and your sister and friend. Love old pictures. In fact, that's what I posted today...an old picture of my "Dad".

Jane and Chris said...

I love old pictures..I see that although many things change over the years,somethings never change.
Jane x

VioletSky said...

Having a tourist facility and a parking lot is a poor substitute for the Manor House, I'm sure. Still, it sounds like a wonderful place to visit.

Werna Gail said...

You described everthing so well I feel like I have been there.Loved the picture with the dog, so cute.
Great D words.

Roger Owen Green said...

Yes, it's always nice to have a find in your blog. I didn't write about that? I've written a couple this year I thought I had written about LAST year.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Gill - That British Woman said...

Hi Chris,

I have changed my blog around, so you can now be a Follower. Also only people living in Canada can review the books for the company I review for.

I did ask them about people in the States and they suggested contacting Bethany House Publishing or Revell directly?

Gill in Canada

kaybee said...

Great history of Danes Dyke, Chris - very interesting!

I loved Rip, even though he was your dog. He sort-of became mine, after you left home, for the remainder of his years.

Love that didgeridoo - what a great name!

ChrisJ said...

Thanks for the info Gil. I wasn't looking to review the books but thinking it would be a quick way to look up the book and the cost and where it would be for sale.

ChrisJ said...

Violet Sky: The big old Manor House had stood empty for many years and I suspect it would have cost a small fortune to restore or repair it. I don't think it was much older than Georgian times and being quite isolated from the village I'm sure it would have been a target for vandalism. I'll have to look for the Dotterel-Dormer family.

chubskulit said...

Very interesting piece of instrument. I love your picture with the dog too.

Dolce & Gabbana

Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

Thirteenth Man said...

Wow now that is an instrument I wouldn't mind having. I love collecting such different stuff :)

PhenoMenon, ABCW Team

Scriptor Senex said...

As I think I've commented before, I love your Danes' Dyke painting. The only place I have seen a didgeridoo was, believe it or not, being played on Exeter High Street. It made a change from the chaps with guitars who usually strum their little songs on that particular corner!

photowannabe said...

Love the photo of the didgeridoo. I have only heard it on travel shows.
Love your sketch of the Dyke too. It looks like the ideal place to play as children.

snafu said...

Rolf Harris made the British public aware of the Didgeridoo when his Austrailian flavoured songs charted during the 1960s, although younger folk will not have picked up on that:) I have met Rip but never got to explore Danes Dyke fully. It is a shame that poverty in the land owning families struck deeply in the 50s and many old houses were demolished due to lack of funds for their upkeep.
Coincidence or what? the word verification word contains Offa, the name of another Dyke in Shropshire UK...

Reader Wil said...

Thank you so much, Chris for this post and telling us about good old England. I have often been to England and Wales but never in Yorkshire, which I long to see. Your stories are so wonderful.
The didgeridoo is a wonderful mysterious instrument. I have one made by Roy McIver, an Aboriginal artist, whom I told about in one of my former posts.He is an uncle of my daughter's first husband, who was Aboriginal.These people are very modern.They speak their own language and English as well.
Thanks for your visit!Have a great day!
Wil, ABC Wednesday Team.

Gill - That British Woman said...


I really have sorted out it now...LOL With playing around with my blog I sent the followers link to never, never land, got it back now though!!!!

Gill in Canada

MorningAJ said...

Fantastic photo of the guy with the didge. I love the noise they make and my other half can actually get a sound out of one (he used to play the trumpet). You have to be able to 'circular breathe' to keep them going - in other words, blow through your mouth while you breathe in through your nose.

Gattina said...

Very interesting post, especially about your home town. I heard the didgeridoo once, reminded me the horns in Switzerland (a little) the picture is very creative !

Anonymous said...

great way to start my day - thanks

Ann said...

didgeridoos are really hard to make music.

jabblog said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. Flamborough is in your blood and your memories are crisp and clear.
Sweet Rip - these animals never leave us, do they?

Carver said...

Very informative and well illustrated post. Carver, ABC Wednesday Team

claude said...

Hello Chris !
I love read your posts about each letter of alphabet.

jennyfreckles said...

Interesting post. Of course Flamborough is not really all that far from here and I have been, though not lately. I don't remember the Dyke. Maybe that's an expedition for the summer... I'm most impressed by that noble Aborigine and his didgeridoo - (snafu, I remember Rolf Harris!) ChrisJ, many thanks for your lovely comments on my blog.