Into Africa

across the seaLAST night I saw Africa from the roof of the house – purely by accident. I clambered up to view the sunset. And in the gap between the Andalucian hills – where there is usually a smudge of haze to be seen, or at best a shimmer of pewtery Mediterranean – there stretched a line of distant dark summits . . .

The horizon had lumps. Minute and pale, and barely discernible through my dusty spectacles, they were lumps nonetheless – land beyond the sea; a continent beyond the sea.

These are the Rif mountains of Morocco (click image for high-res version). They run east to west from the northerly extremity of the Atlas range. I reckon they are about 200 kilometres from where I was standing. Their highest point is Tidighin, at 2,455m or 8,054ft.

I must credit my wife, Anne, with this sighting because it was her suggestion I climb to the roof to view the sunset. Plus, I’d just discovered a praying mantis in the garden, and we all know that the females of the species are notorious for eating their partners when they tire of their company. Apparently, this is known as sexual cannibalism.

I thought it prudent to give her a mention. I expect at least half of you to approve of this action.

let us pray

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25 thoughts on “Into Africa

  1. I think you need to be at a height of 42 metres to see the top of a 2455 metre high mountain at a distance of 200 km. You had a great view!

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  2. Hi Alen. I expect the Rif Mountains to be your new Munros. Did you know that the Riffian people have blond hair and blue or green eyes. The world has always been enriched by migrants.
    A roof with a view 🙂
    All the best,
    Hanna

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    1. Enriched by slaves more like. The North Africans had a long history of raiding coastal villages in Ireland, Wales, and the Netherlands for White slaves to be sold in North Africa markets.

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  3. There’s always something I find slightly uncanny about glimpsing land beyond the sea. When I was on Grasmoor earlier this year the Isla of Man was clear as a bell and you think, ‘there are people living on that hazy silhouette out there; and crashing their motorbikes too.’

    I’m assuming your roof isn’t a pitched roof, but ‘clambering’ onto it suggests it might not have been designed for scanning the African coast. Still, quite a sight knowing you can see that far. Did your wife suggest sending you up there after she saw the praying mantis? There might be warning signs there.

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    1. The house has a flat roof, as do most of them round here. That said, the house we are buying has a pitched pantile roof, but I’ve already been up there to suss it out. It’s important for a man to know his roof.
      According to Cumbrian folklore, if you can see the Isle of Man it means it’s going to rain, and if you can’t see it it’s raining already. I hope you had your brolly with you.
      Anne didn’t see the praying mantis. She doesn’t like stuff like that. And now it has vanished. I have a suspicion that one of the cats ate it.
      Cheers, Alen

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  4. Ummh! My wife’s always asking me to climb onto the roof but never to see the sunset! Thankfully I’ve managed to avoid our pitched roof for years! Guttering height is as far as I will climb (& I live in a bungalow). Cheers!

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    1. Keep your feet firmly on the ground, Ash. Rod Hull died falling from his bungalow roof after adjusting his TV aerial during a Champion’s League quarter final between Internazionale and Manchester United. I don’t know what became of Emu.
      The house we are in at the moment is built into a bank, so it’s just a matter of scrambling up the bank and stepping onto the roof. No ladder involved. And there are no gutters either, now you come to mention it.
      All the best, Alen

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  5. Great photo, Alen, and how exciting to see Africa from your house (or your roof!) I love the connection with the praying mantis. Have you come down yet? PS I’m hoping that one of your cats didn’t eat it (having read previous comments) just in case it might give her awful indigestion.

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    1. Down again now, Jo. Another beautiful sunset tonight, but no distant mountains.
      I don’t know what became of the praying mantis. It was the cats drew my attention to it in the first place. They were meeowing at it. I haven’t found any bits lying around so I suspect it got away.
      All the best, Alen

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  6. Your comment about clicking on the photo for full resolution – did you have to code that manually? I see WordPress seem to have switched off the ‘href’ tag in the HTML and now none of my (and other people’s) photos do that – they’re just dead! I’m going to have to code all mine manually from now on – that will be a huge ballache – I found loading photos a ballache anyway and very time consuming 😦

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    1. Hey, you’ve lost me there, Carol. If I want a high-res picture then I leave it at its original size and upload it through the media button, which takes a couple of minutes. Ordinarily, I reduce the pictures before uploading them. I don’t do any coding in HTML. Hope that’s of some help.

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      1. That’s how I loaded them but it doesn’t work any more – it loads a kind of ‘dead’ photo which, if you hover over it, doesn’t have a caption (which it should) and, if you click on it, it doesn’t go full size and full screen, it just stays within the post 😦 I figured out the ‘href’ tag had gone missing from the HTML code behind the post and am now having to start keying it in manually for each photo – my next post has around 50 photos 😦

        Wonder why yours is still working? I put something out on the support forum but didn’t get any answers from WordPress techies, just another guy having the same problem.

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        1. I’ll have a look into it when I get a chance. I’ve not had much time to look at things in the past few days. WordPress have an irritating habit of changing things then telling you about it weeks later.

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  7. Tynemouth…etc. Into Africa ? Fog on the Tyne ? These put me in the mind to write another song along these lines….as me and my best friend once attempted for the Eurovision Song Contest. ( In days of old when er I’ll leave there,actually as long ago when Hughie Green (father of Paula Yates,to boot ) ran the elimination contest,and perhaps before the beautiful Katie Boyle (no relation to Frankie or daughter of Hughie) regaled us with “Royame Uni..Nil Points,to become familiar part of our rich tapestry. I hope that this roof climbing does not become widespread in our fair country….as at present we are suffering (since the 5p levy on plastic bags)a massive theft of supermarket trollies (the butler reported 14 in the moat this very morn…sadly all empty) Perhaps a new Oylimpic Sports event? What drug the Russkies could use,I know not ! Back to the Fog on Tyne is all mine….see,already progressing….reminds me of a relative,Harold ..better known as the mad bull b+++++r+r of Bellingham…he was shortly employed at the mouth of the Tyne as a ‘hailer of ships during fogs (pre Marconi days) and as the SS Anna arrived he bellowed through the fog “Whots yer nyem? Anna,came the reply.”Whots yer NYEM !!? ANNA! Came the reply. “a naw ye naw but how the hell do we naw? He did not hold onto the job.Sadly he had two wooden legs (as a result of the battle of the Alamo)was in the Salution Pub fire 1893 was burnt to ground and as expected the insurance company said he didn’t have a leg to stand on. Savil still etc….Why not try a jet pack? You might Gateshead from Andelucia(is this correct spelling…Ed)pip pip.Peter.

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    1. Blood hell, Peter, you’ve covered some ground there. I don’t know where to start. So I won’t.
      I never did like Hughie Green. I always thought Michel Miles had the edge on him.
      Loved the SS Anna bit. You have to read it in a Geordie accent to appreciate its subtlety. I’m not sure subtlety is the right word, but you know what I mean.
      Keep them coming, Alen.

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  8. Tynemouth etc.Hi McEff. Thanks for the reply.Re Michael Miles,did he have the ‘Open the Box’ with him beeing the ‘Qiz Inqisitor…and Bob Danvers-Walker as the gong-banger in the ‘Yes/No interlude ?. I used to think myself as quick but Bob was unbeatable. I recently saw a documentary about Hughie Green. He was born in the UK, went to Canada late on during the war to train as a RAF fighter pilot and did not see much action. He arrived back in the UK maintaining the Amaricain accent. Although very popular on TV (he launched Les Dawson’s career via Oppurtunity Knocks ) Towards the end oh Hughies career he became so patriotic of this country, with songs and monologues that the bosses of ITV thought he was going mad and had him retired,quickly! Michael Miles,if I remember,was last seen well Olivered at Heathrow,staggering and shouting before boarding a plane to Oz and we never saw him again……Chuckle Bros still in Panto…Savil still d… (If you are repatriated,the is room here at the Schloss …as ma inlaw now calls it. Pip pip Peter.

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    1. Michael Miles gave you the option of opening the box or taking the money – at which point the audience used to shout their advice. Bob Danvers-Walker was great. He had the best job in the world – just standing there with a gong and a hammer. I didn’t know that about Hughie Green going to Canada, but that explains his accent. Wonder what happened to Monica Rose (just looked her up and she died in 1994).
      And on that note I shall open a bottle of beer . . .

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