We went for a ride out yesterday afternoon and I thought we’d have a look at Budby Flash. All was not well.
The smell should have alerted me, a very ripe and festering cabbagey sort of smell. However, it didn’t, and as I scanned the pond, looking at a few apathetic mallard, it was Julia’s observation from the other side of the bridge that alerted me to the full horror of the situation – “I don’t think the Kingfisher will be diving into this lot!”
I had a look at the other side of the Flash, and was amazed at what I saw – acres of blanket weed. Thick weed, too, not just a light covering but swathes of weed several inches thick.
In the distance a Moorhen was actually walking on the weed instead of swimming.
It’s a hazard to fish, though the few we saw seemed healthy enough, and I’m not sure what, if anything anyone will do about it. So there you are – a useless report, which proves that facts, though factual, are not necessarily interesting.
I could use that as a subtitle.
Vile Vista of Blanket Weed
Geese coming in to land – Budby Flash
Framework Knitters Museum at Ruddington
Snowdrops at Ruddington
Crocus at Nottingham
There are actually four cottages in the block you see – one at each end and L-shaped back to backs in the middle. Victorians knew how to cram them in. Water came via the pump you can see in the middle of the photo. The toilets are behind me and the wash house is in the end of the left hand building. No indoor facilities then, unless you count guzundas.
Urinals – Framework Knitters Museum
Privy – Framework Knitters Museum
Toilet block – Framework Knitters Museum
These are the toilets – there were approximately 100 people on site so the provision is hardly generous. They also appear to be unisex. Not sure if women worked there, but if they did it’s hardly the Victorian approach I’d have expected.
The effluent falls down the privy and emerges through the arches in the side of the pit. With 100 people using it, you’d think they’d need something a bit deeper.
Knitter’s Parlour – Framework Knitters Museum
Kitchen – manager’s cottage
Manager’s parlour – Framework Knitters Museum
Framework Knitters Museum – Manager’s Bedroom
The cottages are very well fitted out, though I’m not sure they have the smell right. I’m sure that with candles, crowds, open cesspits and and a lack of washing facilities the smell must have been well to the forefront of your life in those days. They have smell sprays at Jorvik to give you more of an idea. I didn’t think they were terribly convincing twenty years ago, but they may have improved.
Sorry about the low tone of this post, but like any man, there’s a small boy lurking just under the surface, and small boys are fascinated by toilets.
Sherwood Forest – Robin Hood and Little John
Sherwood Forest – carving
Owl carving – Sherwood Forest
When I picked up my old camera last week there were nearly 1,400 photos on it. Each one is a memory, even if the memory is “…and that’s one I took in case the first photo wasn’t any good…”.
The first photos I’ve taken off are from Sherwood Forest – I presume three of the sculptures are still there despite the remodelling of the visitor centre, though I suppose the Robin and Little John statue will have gone as part of the demolition of the old one
Old Oaks of Sherwood Forest
Oak leaves of Sherwood Forest
The last photo of this set is an outlaw in the car park – I’m afraid that there probably won’t be any outlaws in the new car park. Well, there are no trees, for one thing. This is progress.
Robin Hood lurking in the Forest
I’m quite enjoying a stroll through the old photographs, though some are a bit painful when you think about the passing of time.
It was difficult knowing what to do with my afternoon off. By the time I’d been round Aldi to track down their prize-winning mince pies (which weren’t that good in the end) and eaten lunch, there wasn’t much time left.
Clumber is a bit too far, so I thought I’d have a look at the oaks of Sherwood Forest. Well, was I in for a surprise. The car park is closed, the new visitor centre is in place and they now have a new car park. It’s about 400 yards away from the visitor centre and across a main road. When you get to the visitor centre it’s a long way from the proper forest. I say this from distant observation as I couldn’t be bothered with the walk.
Several people feel the same way if Trip Advisor is to be believed.
In shock, I tried Budby Flash. It’s nothing much, on paper, just some flooded subsidence with a few birds, but it can be quite magical at times.
Budby Flash, Notts
The sun tried to be entertaining, a flock of tits came to frustrate my camera skills and despite a lack of funding to build a visitor centre I left feeling cold but happy.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I picked Number Two Son up from work this morning. At 6.30 it was still dark. In fact at 7.00 it was still dark. A few weeks ago I witnessed a fine sunrise at this time and a month before that it was full daylight.
The year is clearly declining.
However, by the time he got to the car at 7.10 the sunrise was starting and after we’d driven a couple of miles it was forming a great backdrop to pictures of trees and electricity pylons as they rose from the early morning mist.
On the other side of the road a power station rose, massive and mysterious, from more mist. The mist of the Trent Valley is one of the under-rated sights of Britain.
I had my camera with me, but there was nowhere to stop.
This is a shame as I can’t share the glorious morning with you.
But it’s also a good thing, as these photographs rarely look as good as the real thing. I have, several times, cheapened my memories with photographs that don’t reflect the true beauty of the scene.
It’s very tempting to add a haiku to this and claim it as poetry. In the next post I will explain why I didn’t.
We had an excellent cream tea at Clumber Park on Monday – our second visit of the year. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
National Trust cream tea
Rodda’s – what else?
National Trust jam
Clumber Park cream tea
There are many things I could say about the National Trust, and they wouldn’t all be compliments, but they do know how to put on a good cream tea. At Clumber they may have staffing issues, as we’ve found on both visits, but the teas, when you eventually get them, are excellent.
To be fair, if you take scones, jam and cream it should be hard to get it wrong. On both visits the food has been excellent but the service has stuttered a bit.
The traditional wasp
Tea room decor at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
There is actually a Cream Tea event coming up –
More Cream teas at Clumber
I finally got my act together and found the lead to connect the camera to the computer. It had been hiding in plain sight masquerading as part of a reading lamp. There are just too many bits of wire in the modern house.
Aconites are out
Damaged tree – looks like a branch was removed badly
As are the snowdrops
The flowers are starting to show now. I’m particularly captivated by the aconites because of their multitude of alternative names – aconite, monkshood, wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, mousebane, women’s bane, devil’s helmet, queen of poisons, or blue rocket. Obviously the ones in the picture aren’t blue rocket, and to be honest I always thought that wolf’s bane was blue too. I may have to look into it a bit more.
Peter Livesey used it as a poison in one of his books – I forget which one – where a wife killed her husband by feeding it to him in a curry.
There’s a case on the internet of a gardener dying from touching wolfsbane. This gives me pause for thought because I used to work with it regularly in one garden I looked after, and never thought to wear gloves. I thought you had to eat it to poison yourself.
Cormorant at Arnot Hill
Cormorant on the duck pond
Information board at Arnot Hill Park
There seems to be something causing a glitch in loading my photos, but I’ve got round it by posting and then editing. If you’ve read part of this post and wondered why it ends abruptly, that is the reason.
I’ll end with a film clip of the Cormorant.