Author Archives: quercuscommunity

Bridlington Harbour

I was looking at some old photos yesterday when I found these from the end of May. Things were a bit hectic then and I hadn’t used them. They are from Bridlington Harbour, where a dredger was working.

I always thought dredging needed a purpose-built dredger, but it seems a digger on a ship is all you need.

It’s an interesting place, with at least one statue and a windmill based on the idea of white horse sculptures on hillsides. Ah, I just checked – it’s a lighthouse. I suppose it makes more sense. They cite the White Horse at Kilburn as an example.

There is a wide variety of boats in the harbour, from traditional cobles to trawlers, and the obligatory gull on the prowl for chips.

 

 

Puffins – up close and personal

After leaving Flamborough Head we drove for ten minutes and ended up at Bempton Cliffs, where we were even luckier with the Puffins. From our first viewpoint we managed to pick a couple out but someone told us the try the next one down. That proved to have some excellent views, and we didn’t even need binoculars. The blur in one picture is a blade of grass.

We also saw the usual suspects (Rock Dives, Herring Gulls, Jackdaws, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Razorbills and Guillemots) and there were good numbers of immature Gannets, including chicks.

As you can probably tell, the day was becoming dull again after the sunshine so we didn’t hang around too long.

We rounded off with excellent fish and chips at the Fishpan in Scarborough. It’s never disappointed us yet, unlike some of the posher places we’ve tried.

We were home for 8.30 pm and exactly 12 hours later I dropped Julia off at work. She’s salvaged an old PE bench from the school skip and we restored it to live with a drop of glue and half-a-dozen screws. It’s nearly as good as new now, though there’s quite a bit of chewibg gum to dislodge from underneath.

After that it was off to the doctor for a blood test and on to blogging. Which brings us bang up to date.

Flamborough Head

Flamborough Head is a chalk outcrop on the Yorkshire coast. It is the site of the UK’s oldest complete lighthouse (dating from 1669), which is built completely of chalk.  It is also a site with an impressive variety of seabirds, plants and chalk habitat.

We haven’t been there for over 10 years, and it’s a good place for puffins so we thought we’d make the North Landing our first stop on the coast today. We were rewarded by a small flock of Puffins on the sea and several more on the cliffs. The photos were small and hazy but we got better ones later at Bempton, so will add them to that post.

I was luckier with close-ups of insects.

I also saw an optimist staring out to sea, and a wooden statue of a smuggler.

It started off overcast and hazy, but became warmer and sunnier as we sat there. Well, I sat, Julia walked down to the shore.  You can see this from the brightness of the later (insect) photos and I could also tell from the sore feeling on the top of my head, which is a lesson to all bald men.

Looks like I’ve missed another day (it’s now 00.17 on Thursday) – sorry about that. I really must try harder.

Close, but no banana…

It started well with Three Fruit Marmalade and granary toast. We’ve just finished a jar of cheap marmalade (Number Two went shopping last month and, in true student style, bought the cheapest he could find).

I’m seriously thinking about my diet, and can’t shake the idea that a grimmer breakfast would probably be better for me – porridge or bran flakes for instance. (I’m expecting a Scottish backlash about the porridge, but it’s grey and with the traditional water and salt it’s hardly luxurious.) It’s always tempting to say that porridge is the world’s only grey food, but according to this link there are others.

We moved on to collecting cardboard from a market stall. Julia had arranged that on Saturday as she needed cardboard to supress weeds in the polytunnel. There’s an area at the back of the raised beds which isn’t easy to reach so she’s choking the weeds with a mulch of cardboard and wood chip.

As it was a nice day, and  we then set off for the coast. The curse of the mobile phone then struck, and to my dismay I heard Julia arranging a meeting for the evening at a time that we couldn’t possibly make if we went to the coast first.

I don’t think she really understands the concept of “day off”.

And that was how the day failed to live up to the promise of the Three Fruit Marmalade start.

The Sneinton market area has been a busy centre for the fruit and vegetable trade since the 1850s when the original market was built on the site of a clay pipe works. It was improved in 1938 andmore buildings added in 1957. That was when the Fyffes warehouse was built, complete with its sculptural bunch of bananas. Julia has been meaning to take a picture of the bananas for years, so here they are.

The wholesale market was relocated again in the 1990s, leaving a small remnant of a market and a numbr of small business units.

A Bunch of Irises

I try to buy Julia flowers nearly every week. The “nearly” is significant as it stops her taking me for granted. Even after 28 years of marriage I feel it’s important to stop complacency setting in.

I also feel you have to ensure you buy them often enough to avoid the suspicion that you are feeling guilty about something.

Mostly I buy roses because they are very reasonably priced all year round, apart from early February of course, and they last well. Younger men may buy with romance in mind but the more mature gent shops with value as his guide.

There is a delicate balance involved – on the one hand it’s an important business in Kenya and I’m supporting an industry in the developing world. On the other hand I’m exploiting poor Africans and the growing and transporting of flowers is damaging the environment. I keep thinking that we should grow our own flowers for cutting, but I always end up leaving them in the garden and buying more.

I try not to buy out of season vegetables, but don’t seem to apply the same thought to flowers, and have never, ever checked the air miles associated with chocolate.

Once the roses start to die back Julia dries the petals of the dark coloured ones for use in pot pourri. That is why I tend to buy the red ones -I feel less guilty about the ozone layer if we upcycle the dead flowers.

However, the choice of roses has not been good recently and I’ve been looking at alternatives. he alteratives are often dire, but they had irises this week. I like irises. Fortunately Julia likes irises too.

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Irises

The lighting seemed to good to miss, and the tight framing emphasises the beauty of the blooms. It also hides the fact that the living room isn’t as tidy as it could be…

The Secret Garden

There are a number of green areas in the middle of Nottingham (I know this, because I’ve just been Googling them) but probably the most surprising is the green area around the North Zone of the Victoria Centre Car Park. Sorry about the formal tone but there is no street access and if you use the wrong car park all you will see is concret.

The Victoria Centre is built on the site of the Nottingham Victoria Railway station, which was demolished in 1967. The original clock tower is incorporated in the modern building and the railway hptel is still in use. It was built in a deep cutting, as you will see when you descend to the lower levels of the car park.

There were a few birds around I saw two wrens and two female blackbirds, whilst several pigeons flew over and a crow dropped by. The plants are mainly buddleia with some ferns, ivy and brambles. There are some maples in the bottom on one side and some birches growing near the top, where two traffic cones also find a home.

Someone seems to have dosed a lot of the brambles with heavy duty weedkiller, which isn’t going to help the birds when winter comes. It’s a balancing act, I suppose, and there will be limits on cost so if you want to keep it looking like a lawn rather than a bomb site chemical shortcuts will be involved.

In the picture just above this is a view of concrete pillars supporting the bus station. When you know that you start to wonder who thought of the design, and whether they were sober at the time.

Ideally I’d like to see the space full of birds, butterflies, children and people drinking tea (there are no Costas in my daydreams). It would be nice to see fruit and vegerables there too, but seventy years of railway working may well have polluted the soil beyond economic recovery.

The tunnel entrance is to the Mansfield Road tunnel, a 1,189 yard long tunnel that used to run between Carrington Station, sited in what was, at the time, a prosperous suburb. It closed in 1928 due to competition from the trams, though the line itself did not completely close until 1968. If you want a look inside the tunnel, try this site.

Having parked there many times I have been guilty of taking it for granted over the years. It’s an interesting facet of blogging that I’m now looking at things from a fresh viewpoint. Even if that viewpoint is desperation for new material.