Tag Archives: dogs

Wednesday – Tackling the Backlog

We went to Bakewell today. We went to Bakewell last Wednesday too. We may not be exciting but we are consistent.

However, this highlights a problem – I still have a lot of photos from last week. I also have a food review from last week, and I already have another one from this week.

This is a small backlog, but one which, in normal circumstances I would normally ignore. Things would be left and I would move on. I don’t delude myself, life goes on even in the absence of my views on traffic, tourists and charity shops, and nobody will feel a sense of loss if I don’t get round to writing about my hot pork sandwich. As for the book reviews I was planning – I wrote a book review in January 2019 and another in December. I’m guessing that most people don’t really visit the blog for my book reviews.

However, after a good night’s sleep, a lovely day in Derbyshire and a Valentine’s Day Gift that went right (and took a load off my mind) I am feeling inspired to work.

The lack of poetry writing in my life is also a factor. If I write prose I can pretend I am too busy when, in truth, I’m lazy, unimaginative and uninspired. Being busy prevents me facing up to that. I can write “lazy, unimaginative and uninspired” and still feel good because I’m writing about eating cake and looking at ducks.

Dog owners were a notable feature of the day. I think dogs are lower down the evolutionary scale than cats, I don’t like them in cafes and I tend to think that anything bigger than a terrier should be banned from living in town. However, I have to say that the dogs today were charming, full of character and attended by a great bunch of owners, who all seemed sensible, cheerful and enthusiastic about dogs. It was good to see, and really cheered the day up, to be honest, Cats tend to be a bit aloof, and I’ve never seen one look happy on a lead.

This post features ducks, people and a few other things from our visit to Bakewell last Wednesday. It misses out the sandwich, which will be the next post. I will then move on to this week’s visit, and the cake, but that will probably be instead of writing about Thursday or Friday.

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When the price of scrap goes up I’d cut the locks off and cash them in – I am not a great romantic

I will write about them while the weekend of storms rages around my head.

An that is how the next backlog will develop. Well, it’s one way. They also develop because I sit in the living room with Julia, chat about life, watch TV, snooze and use the netbook. It does well for an ageing, low-powered evolutionary dead-end, but it can be slow and tedious when loading photos. Hmm, ageing, low-powered evolutionary dead-end – sounds a bit like me.

I’m writing this on the computer in the cold dining room. It’s less comfortable but a lot quicker.

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The river Wye at Bakewell

Magic on the Marshes

The weather was mild this morning, we had nothing pressing to do at home and the coast beckoned. We rose at a leisurely pace, had a late breakfast (with the intention of having fish and chips at Sutton-on-Sea), and pottered off.

So far, so good.

Unfortunately I set off on the wrong road and neither of us noticed because we were talking at the time. Eventually we realised and I adjusted our route to take us to the coast via Gainsborough, which is an interesting town with Viking history. Sweyn Forkbeard and his son Cnut won a kingdom here when they defeated the army of King Ethelred the Unready. The story of Cnut, or Canute as he was known in my younger days, and his attempt to turn back the tide, may have occurred in Gainsborough.

It was also England’s most inland port, being 55 miles from the sea. However, big ships no longer call, so it’s not a proper port these days. The Nottinghamshire Naturalist’s Trust have some interesting records of whales at Gainsborough, and dolphins near Newark.

But enough about Gainsborough, it’s a nice enough town but it is not our destination.

We travelled to Sutton on Sea and enjoyed a bracing stroll along the front, watching the dog walkers and their various styles of dog walking and noticing the tracks across the sand. It was about 1.00 pm by this time. I noticed that if a lot of people had passed that way, turning the sand numerous times, the sand seemed to stay moist, and the tracks showed up as churned sand the same colour as the beach. If only one or two people had gone that way the churned sand seemed to dry in the wind and leave a pale trail across the beach. I hope the photo will demonstrate what I mean.

Tracks on the Beach

Tracks on the Beach

 

I looked for the glasses I lost on our last visit. They were not there. It’s just like being at home, people are always moving things after I put them down.

The fields were full of pheasants, who clearly know that the pheasant season ends on 1st February.

After that we travelled north to Horseshoe Point. We’ve been there before, It is reached by a pot-holed road, which is getting worse due to construction traffic – they are building the onshore bit for one of the offshore wind farms here. There is a car park, some marsh, a few coastal defences left from the war and not much else.

As we parked, three vees of geese flew over, obviously intent on grazing a field before roosting. We didn’t see them later but we did see a big flock of Widgeon on the return trip. Today we had views of ships in the Humber, hazy wind turbines and a Little Egret. I was particularly pleased with that as we’d seen two in roadside fields during the trip but hadn’t been able to stop and watch or photograph them.

Little Egret - Horseshoe Point

Little Egret – Horseshoe Point

It stayed in the distance, but it did do quite a bit of walking about and some short flights. I know they are quite common these days, but it’s always a thrill to see one.

On the way back to Sutton on Sea, and the chip shop, we were lucky enough to see a hunting Barn Owl as the light fell. They are ghostly, pale birds, and suit the light at the end of the day. It flew from one side of the road to the other, banking several times to show off its plumage, which is a lacework pattern of cream, grey and beige. A magic end to a fine day. It was just a shame it was too quick for me to get the camera out.

(To be continued)

 

 

 

Has It Really Been So Long?

We’ve been back to Bempton Cliffs. It was busy, it was full of people with dogs and there were quite a lot of Puffins about.

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Puffins at Bempton Cliffs

I like Puffins.

I’m not so keen on crowds.

And I think that dog owners should have to pass a test before being allowed out in public. I had to wait at the entrance to the visitor centre as two pairs of dogs  faced off. I’ve been forced off paths and tripped several times too.

Anyway, here are some photos.

Chips at the Dolphin

I’ve been going to the Dolphin fish and chip restaurant for around 30 years. When I sold chickens to farmers in Lincolnshire I would make a detour two or three times a year to walk round Sutton and then have lunch at the Dolphin.

We have been most years, either with the kids or just as a couple. It was always OK rather than outstanding, but has always been a pleasant place to eat. Over the years various owners have made improvements, though this has been accompanied by the occasional lapse, and in the last few years, they seem to have been selling off household goods to raise cash. It did start to look a bit like a jumble sale, but when we visited on Wednesday it was a lot tidier.

It has also grown an assortment of notices prohibiting various sorts of behaviour. I can’t give examples as I didn’t really read them. I prefer my food without too many petty rules.

Haddock Special at the Dolphin Fish Bar, Sutton on Sea

Haddock Special at the Dolphin Fish Bar, Sutton on Sea

The Haddock Special was £9.95, not £8.95 as stated in various reviews, and tea is not included in that. The chip portion was sufficient, though not generous, and the peas were also served in a smaller pot than we remember. That wasn’t the worst thing though, they were a bit tasteless too. All in all, not the best “special” we’ve had.

You can’t order at the table now either. It’s not a big thing, but it is a sign of the erosion of standards of service.

Finally, on that subject, when someone asked for tapwater they were told it was 50p a glass. Now, the law states that only places selling alcohol have to provide tapwater free of charge, and they are, it seems, allowed to charge for service and use of the glass. As the Dolphin doesn’t serve alcohol they don’t need to offer free tapwater, but on the other hand, it’s another nail in the coffin of customer service.

However, if you have a dog with you, you are welcome to bring the germ-ridden fleabag into the eating area, where I have no doubt it will be provided with free water, and if that’s not enough you can even buy frozen lactose-free yoghurt for your dog.

Frozen yoghurt for dogs - what next?

Frozen yoghurt for dogs – what next?

The staff were quick, efficient and reasonably cheerful, though they were arguably too efficient in clearing tables. I finished before Julia, as I come from a family of predatory snackers and speed is the best defence against food theft. The way they whipped my plate from the table was undeniably efficient, but felt like they were trying to get rid of me as soon as possible.

So that’s the report – declining portion size and a couple of queries over peas and service. It’s clean and efficient, and the food is generally good, but not so good we can’t find somewhere else equally as good. We will probably do that next time.

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Wall tiles – Sutton on Sea