Tag Archives: rain

Wet, Work and William and Mary

The slightly melting look of the header picture comes from the filtering effect of rain on the windscreeen. Yes, it was that sort of day again.

I wanted a couple of shots because a post always seems better with pictures but, in the absence of anything inspiring, it didn’t seem worth getting out of the car and getting wet.

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Embankment, River Trent at Wilford

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Trent Embankment, Wilford, Notts

After dropping Julia off at work it was just ten minutes around the ring road and I was at work – 50 minutes early. Nothing like ingratiating yourself with the boss.

Unfortunately he wasn’t there, so it didn’t quite work out.

When we eventually got going I refilled the albums of modern coins (I’m still getting used to the idea that decimal British coins are collected) and then sorted a box of halfpennies ranging from William and Mary to Victoria. There was only one William and Mary in the box, with the majority being George III, and many of them were heavily worn, but at they have seen some history.

We did a few other things, but those were the highlights.

And Finally…

We ended up in Windermere, though the photos are taken in Bowness, on the side of the lake. There was plenty to see. This included raindrops, though there were also Jackdaws, pigeons and boats.

We once went on a boat trip in weather that was only marginally better than this. However, we are older and wiser and less able to put up with freezing rain these days, so we just walked round a bit, took photos and went in gift shops. We went into a shop called Pitlochry in Lakeland. It turned out to be the Edinburgh Wool Mill under a different name. If you want tweed, Scottish knitwear and shortbread biscuits, this is the shop for you.

It also includes all those essential ingredients of shopping in England – a shop assistant on the phone whining about working conditions, another swapping phone numbers with a passing friend and a third taking ages over a simple task. Serving customers? Don’t be silly.

There was quite a lot to see, even in a short walk. I resisted the temptation to post too many leaves. I couldn’t resist the shrink-wrapped boat though, or the sculptures. According to the local paper there are plans for sculpture trail between Bowness and Windermere, but sadly no clue to this load of scrap iron in the park.

They look a bit like leeks, I don’t know. What I do now know, after googling “sculpture bowness” is that Dame Barbara Hepworth had a son-in-law called Alan Bowness and that there is a lot of sculpture, including fibreglass Herdwicks, in the Lake District. I’m not sure if any of the sheep are still about to be seen – I will, however, have a look next time we go.

I tried to be artistic, but people aren’t very adventurous in their choice of umbrella. Some people really have no consideration for photographers.  They also kept moving and others got in the way, destroying a well-composed shot of the big green and white umbrella group. One of the culprits with a random head in the frame, was my own dear wife. Pah!

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The view from Bowness – mainly rain

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Boats on Windermere

Food in the Lake District

Conveniently close to the Travelodge at Skipton – next door in fact – is a branch of the Keelham Farm Shop.  It has a good selection (as you will see if you click the link) of fresh fruit and veg, bread, booze and pies. It also has an exchange scheme where you can take in home-grown produce and swap it for other things, a cafe, and a varied programme of events.

If you are up that way it’s worth a visit.

Later we visited Tebay services. You can buy a small pork pie at Tebay for just £2.20, if you can get to them as all the gangways seemed to be clogged up by members of staff who were doing frightfully important stuff. You can buy one at Keelham for £1.10, though their pies lack the plastic packaging. Next time I will buy my pies at Keelhams as they are (a) cheaper and (b) better for the planet.

You can buy hot pies for £3, so we had them for lunch. Julia had the Lamb and Mint and I had the Steak and Ale. They both had plenty of healthy vegetables in them, which lightened them up a bit as a pie full of meat can be a bit hard to digest.

I have mixed feelings about Tebay. They have a massive selection of items, including books and clothing plus the usual farm shop stuff, but with pots of jam over £5, for instance, I always feel this isn’t my natural habitat.

They also fall down on minor details – water on the floor in the Gents, a missing knob on the teapot lid and the muddy surroundings to the duck pond, which always look a mess. I just have the feeling that the quality stock, and the excellent dining areas, deserve attention to detail.

So – if you want a Farm Shop go to Keelham. If you want a gift shop go to Tebay. I can’t really comment on the pies because I haven’t eaten at Keelham.

A Day in the Lake District

As part of Julia’s birthday celebrations I planned a long weekend away in the Lake District. The plan did not go well, and was shortened by both her cold and a visit from Number One son. So, on Sunday we headed off for our Plan B break – a day in the Lakes.

After dropping Number One son off in Leeds we headed off for Skipton and the Travelodge. We passed the night there in relative luxury, with a quiet heating system, water that was, if anything, too hot, and nice fluffy towels. We were even able to complain about it being too hot.

It started to rain shortly after we arrived, continued through the night and was still going when we woke up.

At least we were able have a decent breakfast, provided by the Little Chef in the car park. Soon, I suppose, it will be something else. At least one I know has already been turned into a Starbucks and another is going to be converted. You can tell something is going to happen to them because very little has been spent on maintenance recently and a lot of them seem to be closing early.  They really have had a troubled history after the glory days when they virtually owned the roadside. According to the above link, they will all be closed next year.

The days of wine and roses are not long, as the poem says.

There aren’t many pictures, I’m afraid, as the combination of rain and low light meant you’d need to be a magician to get a result, rather than a mere photographer. Grey mist, leaden skies, slate grey water and, at best, light black hills, don’t make for easy photography. And that was when we weren’t troubled by low cloud.

When there was light and a view we couldn’t park. Julia did take some video clips as we drove along, but I can’t get any of them to load.

Later on we did get a few photos, and some meat pies, but that will be another post. Hopefully I’ll get caught up tomorrow.

Day Off

Well, this is vexing. I wrote this post and pressed the buttons and sat back as it loaded. I had added (Part 1) to the title, but when I switched on to write Part 2 I tried to link it to Part 1 and found it wasn’t there. This means that, for the first time in 72 days I have failed to post.

I am not happy. Ah well…

It was a day off today, and instead of making me drive to a distant tourist spot Julia allowed me to relax with a short trip to the Mencap garden.

We managed to fit in a Harvester Unlimited Breakfast on the way – so it wasn’t an entirely bad start.

At the garden, instead of making me walk round and look at things, and probably enjoy myself, she allowed me to do a number of jobs including refilling bug boxes (using hollow stems from the scabious we’d cut back a couple of months ago) and putting some bird boxes together.

I fear I may have seemed a little ungrateful for the opportunity to spend our day off working for an organisation that won’t allow me to volunteer officially. (For those of you new to the story I’m not allowed to volunteer to work with my wife, as I’ve been doing for the last five years, because of “conflict of interests”.)

We had a fig each after that, and I took some photos of the vine leaves.

It wasn’t one of my better days, though building nest boxes is always a good thing to do. So is eating fresh figs.

After that, we returned home for a cup of tea. I downloaded photos and, whilst snoozing happily in my chair, dreamed of Derbyshire.

At that point Julia demonstrated the depths of depravity to which a wife can stoop, waking me up to remind me I’d said I’d give her a lift to Wilkos to buy paint for nest boxes. Obviously I’d meant I’d give her a lift if I wasn’t asleep and it wasn’t too close to Pointless. I don’t ask much from life and a snooze and a TV quiz seem quite modest requirements. So does freedom from being woken up to go shopping.

We went to Arnold, and I took some photos from the rooftop car parks at Wilkos and ASDA (who are currently renovating their car park). They aren’t great photos, but they didn’t offer much in the way of scenery. The main theme is Rain, with a secondary motif of More Rain.

 

 

I went to Leeds today. It rained. And to make things more depressing I trusted the satnav, which never ends well. If I ever enter Mastermind my specialist subject could well be “Being lost on the Ring Road in Leeds”.

I’m home now and watching The Apprentice. It gives me no hope for the future. If I was the producer I would rewrite it as a horror movie and  kill one every week in a horrible, ironic manner. The one selected from tonight’s show, to make and sell burgers, would be in serious trouble if I had access to an industrial-sized mincer.

To be honest, if I was in charge I’d feed the lot of them through it, including Lord Sugar and Baroness Brady. I give them their full titles because I know, from reading his book, that he considers it important, even if most of us find the current honours system a bit of an embarrassment.

Fair play to him though, if you excel in your field you deserve an honour. Not quite sure what field the Amstrad email phone was a leader in, but the principle is sound.

I like Claude Littner, I’d let him have his own series. Well, with my plan for the rest of the cast you’d have quite a few weeks to fill in.

After leaving Leeds we went to Skipton and visited a farm shop. We bought rhubarb coulis, samphire, marmalade with orange and chilli and a big steak pie. I will try to take pictures tomorrow if I have time after eating. It’s a big pie and will take some shifting.

Today’s photos were snatched during a dry few minutes. Sorry there are no better ones.

It could have gone better…

We went down to the Mencap garden tonight to drop off a donation of plants from one of the neighbours. We have Japanese anemone, Michaelmas daisies, buddleia and raspberries. I’ve also donated my tea plants as they can make a better job of looking after them than I will.

The Magpies were waiting.

There were two on the roof of the shed, two perching on the fence and two standing on top of a lamp post. One was perching in a tree and one was pottering around in the grass. He’s the one that we think acts like a stroppy teenager. We assume it’s a “he” because girls don’t act like stroppy teenagers. If Magpies wore baseball caps his would be on backwards.

We’ve never seen eight at one time at the gardens before.

The first part of the afternoon was less interesting.

It involved eating soup (which went well) but then deteriorated as I took two bags of books to the charity shop. It started to rain as I parked the car. I grabbed a lightweight rain jacket from the back seat and managed to empty one of the bags of books onto the floor.

As slapstick goes it was a polished and faultless move.

After parting with the books, which still hurts as I talk about it, I decided to use the available light to photograph some bits and pieces. (I find the light in the car better than the interior of the house at this time of year). I hadn’t locked the door of the battery compartment last time I opened it.

They fell out.

I put them back.

And at that point I realised I hadn’t put the card in.

I was so wet I steamed up the inside of the car. This took a while to clear and gave me time to brood on the unfairness of life.

Then I went home, where Julia told me she had a job for me. That brings us back to the top of the page…