6. Saturday · Away Days · Me And Mine · Places that Inspire

The Bard

Just a really quick post today as we are out for the afternoon and the evening but just wanted to let you know we had a lovely day out in Stratford Yesterday.  Sadly we did not have time to visit every where I wanted to so another visit will have to be arranged, isn’t that terrible lol but I thought I would share a couple of really quick pics and if you visit the Facebook page have posted a short video from our boat trip on the river.

Typical building
Typical building
The graves of The Bard and his wife
The graves of The Bard and his wife
Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre
Lots of boats....
Lots of boats….
And Swans
And Swans

I shall write more about the visit in a future post have a good weekend, must dash going out for a meal xxxx

Away Days · Me And Mine · Tuesday Reflections



This weekend we took a day trip to Whitby the birthplace of Bram Stokers creation Dracula, or rather the home of the events which inspired the creation.  I had never been before infact it had been quite a while since I was headed to that coast and I had forgotten how much I love the countryside in that part of the country.  Heading their across the moors reminds me of my roots growing up in a country village but more than that the great expanses of open space remind me of true freedom and total immersion in nature.

But yesterday was also about having a good day and exploring somewhere new, we took the open bus tour round Whitby which was great as it allowed us to see a lot more in the few hours we had there than we would have found on foot, it also ensured we are confident that there will be more than enough to do for us to revisit for a longer period.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe went up to the  ruined Abbey and looked round the church and graveyard next to it.  I loved the ruins but I will say if you are planning a visit that you should consider your visit, I had my daughter and the monster with me, it had started raining and the ruins are exposed to the elements, as my daughter was not really bothered about getting up close to the ruins she offered to stay outside with the monster while I went in and took some pictures.  The reason she waited outside?  At £6.40 for adults And around £5 for children and students it is an expensive choice for anyone who either has children who will not be kept interested by ruins or in our case who will not be happy standing out in the rain.  I was lucky my daughter is grown up and could wait with her brother but it is certainly something I will plan better for another visit.


I did have lots of fun as well snapping away with the camera, I know a lot of people don’t like Seagulls and I will admit that the are a little brash, loud and obnoxious but I think they are incredible, they have learnt to adapt and survive as human habitations take up more and more of the coast line.  They have learnt to survive when their natural habitat has been commandeered they have found new food sources and homes and if they steal the odd chip can we really complain when we sit eating their fish?


Whitby is one of the few laces where the two main industries of tourism and fishing still co exist side by side, evidence of the less glamorous side of life is apparent along the harbour, the rough working boats moored alongside sleek yachts and pleasure boats.

If you are interested in Ruins, Seagulls, boats or just Whitby in general click the Facebook button at the top of the page and it will take you over to my facebook page where you can see all the pictures from our trip, I will leave you with a picture of me and the monster out at sea on his first open air boat trip, he loved it a natural born sailor.


Away Days · Me And Mine · So it's Saturday

Busy Weekend

Hello everyone and greetings from my new workspace, it isn’t quite finished yet but hopefully before tonight it will be and once I get it set up fully pics will follow.

The weather has been lovely here this weekend and I have sadly neglected you but am sure you will forgive me as between work, and tidying up I have been to see daughters new flat, eaten out and been to watch the rugby.  It was also great Olympic gold medalist Ed Clancy was there showing off his medals.

I am tempted to sit here now and play at my new desk but half the bedroom is still piled up across the other side of the room so for now I shall leave you with some photos I took at rugby yesterday my first attempt at catching live sporting action with my camera and given how far back we  were sat am fairly happy with the results although I should point out the final score was Giants 48 – Rhinos 24 but my battery died right at the end of the match.

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Away Days · Tuesday Reflections

Tuesday Travels – A Tale of Two Halves of a City

When anyone asks me where I grew up I automatically say Leeds and while that is true lately it seems a different reality.  I grew up on the outskirt of Leeds in a mining village back in the days when they still existed.  The bus journey when I was a teenager from home to the centre of the city took 55 minutes and was only undertaken on a saturday if I was lucky enough to be allowed.  I didn’t take a whole lot of photos today as it was my grans birthday and my brothers fiancee and their two boys were with us but I managed to snap off a few round the city centre as well as a few over where I grew up a few are the same shot with different effects imposed on them.  I would write more but it was so hot today I am shattered but I had a wonderful day so enjoy the pics. ps watch carefully you will catch me and a big thankyou to Tracie Louise as when I got home my card had arrived yay!!!!!!!!!!!

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Away Days · Tuesday Reflections

Last of the Summer Wine Country

Okay am late posting today two reasons the first as you know from my last few posts the Lennox campaign has been something close to my heart and I have spent the last couple of hours helping spread the word about various petitions and discussing some Anti BSL rallys happening here in the UK this weekend if anyone in the UK would like to know more about that please feel free to email me.  I do have a favour to ask of any dog lovers who may be reading this… The TV programme “Dispatches” on channel 4 have said that they will investigate BCC if they get enough requests.So get if you could spare a few minute to email the address is dispatches@channel4.co.uk.

Okay back to normal service the other reason I am late is I spent the day away from the computer out in the countryside with the other half.  For those not in the UK who might not have a clue what the title of this blog refers to bare with me all will be explained.

Rooibos and Parma Violet Soaps

I good friend of mine Claire makes the most amazing jewellery recently she branched out and started making soap. Today she was at Holmfirth Market so I decided to go lend my support aswell as help myself to some lovely new soaps.

If anyone would like to see her full range and her fantastic jewellery including the Tiger’s Eye set she created just for me take a look here at Claire’s Gems.

So back to the title a programme UK followers will have heard of is Last of the Summer Wine basically a comedy about a group of pensioners getting up to all sorts of mischief.  When I mentioned to other half was going to write this post he said you gotta have the bathtub, and I guess it does explain the show pretty well so here is your first clip….

It is not the clip he meant but I don’t want to spoil it too much for those who get a taste for it.  The show is filmed mainly in and around Holmfirth so I have a few pictures that you may recognise and will post a few pictures and clips to show those who have never seen it.

Nora Batty’s cottage

This clip shows the legendary Nora Batty,she of the wrinkled stockings.  The house used now bears a blue plaque in honour of the show.  Many other places used in the show also exist around the village.  at the end of this post will be a slideshow see how many you can match with clips you have watched lol

Sid’s Cafe

As it was such a lovely day we required cold beverages and therefore ended up in the local pubs but anyone wanting a warm drink could always try the cafe which features in the show.

The other half spent a lot of his teenage years

Other haf reminescing he watched Live Aid in the beer garden behind this pub on a normal tv wired up to extra speakers, no big screen tv in pubs back then lol

living up here so he knew all the pubs lol

If you ever get the chance to go have a look round I recommend it.

The old cobbled streets and the hills do make it tiring but I loved it.  We hope to go again soon and explore a little further out into the countryside.  I leave you with the slide show some of these photos were taken from the bus (which took the scenic route) back into town but didn’t come out too badly.

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Away Days · Tuesday Reflections

Lazy Sunday – More Warwick Castle

Its sunday and the weather is grey and while not actually raining yet you know it is thinking about it.  Have spent the morning being productive here on the blog I have finished sorting out the awards page plus set one up for the reading challenge and after this post thats what I intend to spend the afternoon doing..reading.  A few of your blogs still have posts for me to catch up with and I only have around 50 pages left of The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice to read.  I also have something different to read @StephenJMyers has published a story via twitter which I am quite looking forward to having a look at and seeing how it works.

I debated what I should post today and I decided that I would try to go back to my original plan of having a sunday Photo blog so what would you like to see decisions, decisions…in the end I decided rather than skip back and forth between posts working out which pictures I already posted I would simply put up a slide show of all the Warwick Castle photos for you to skip through at your leisure.

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Away Days · Tuesday Reflections

Warwick Castle

Last december I visited Warwick Castle I posted a few pics in my post Clinging to the Flagpole but as I took loads of pics thought you would enjoy seeing a few more.

Horses Armour on display in the Great Hall it is fascinating to see the work that has been put into the animals protection is of the same quality as that of it’s rider.  The armour was not just for battle purposes but a sign of the wealth of its owner very much like todays car the horse was not only a means of transport but also a status symbol.

The huge tressle tables in the great hall were laid for a more modern manner of feasting but gave a really good impression of what it must have been like to attend a medieval banquet in such splendid surroundings



I wish I had got a picture of the other half stood next to this as one of the things that struck him quite profoundly was just how short people were back then.  My other half is six foot one and was almost a foot taller than the tallest suit of armour we saw.  It is also interesting when you considered how strong these men must have been to wield weapons while wearing these cumbersome suits.  Was also good to see the vulnerabilities especially as the novel I am writing is medieval fantasy it helped me envision the type of armour I want my characters to wear.

When you consider the alternative to death on the battlefield though I think if I was facing defeat I would have been tempted to simply strip my armour off and throw myself into the fray in the hopes of a quick dispatch. The medieval form of justice certainly would be seen as a deterrent these days basically you are thrown into a dank cell if you are lucky and then have to battle it out with the other occupants for any sort of nourishment that is thrown in.

If you are unlucky then special treatment awaited you in many forms which I may blog about at a later date so I shall not dwell on it right now I know you guys have the imaginations to come up with a few forms of torture without any prompting.


I thought it might be good to include another pic of me just to prove there were no lasting effects of me clinging to that flag pole. There were the most stunning views over the river from here and the steep drop behind the castle shows just how difficult it would have been to capture the castle.

The next few pics are of the Trebuchet and the Ballista that they have there both are working examples and if you time your visit right then you can see them in action.  Sadly we didn’t but I hope to see the ones in action at Cardiff Castle this summer.

Well I hope you enjoyed a few of the masses of photos I took over my two days in Warwick I shall leave you with a few more castle pics and at some point will post some of the ones I took round Warwick itself.

Away Days · Tuesday Reflections

Beltane Blessings

Okay first an aopolgy I had been trying to keep up on reading everyones posts by phone but have realised when I click like on there it isn’t posting so if it looks like I haven’t been visiting or liking thats why.  I have about 30 posts to catch up on at the minute and will be doing that inbetween writing the next part of my post Disintegration and a million other things.  For the min thought I would share with you the reason for yesterday laxness.  I attended my first Beltane ritual.  Before Christianity and other modern religions Paganism was celebrated across the globe in many different forms.  Its basic premise is the link between individuals and this planet we inhabit.  I am not going to go into a long diatribe just giving the pics context.  Like all religions/beliefs it has its own symbolisms and cermonies Beltane is about welcoming to summer calling forth the elements for a plentiful bounty from that seasons crops.  I know there are a few Christians who visit me and who respect our differences and I hope that although you may not share my views you at least enjoy the pics of people damncing round a maypole. You never know next year I may even do it myself.


Away Days · Tuesday Reflections

Snapshots of a brook

As part of yesterdays stressful day we went out for a meal at a local pub while the teenager was watching the toddler in the ball pool I took a few minutes out to go for a stroll behind the pub and found a lovely little brook.  At home I played with the images and learnt how to do something new on my photo editor.  I love it when I find new ways to be creative, some people will laugh having worked out how to use theirs as soon as they load the software but it takes me a while lol So I thought I would just share a few with you.  These are the sorts of places I find really inspiring they allow me to relax and focus my thoughts.


Away Days · Tuesday Reflections

Lyme Park, Cheshire, UK

As promised for Heidi a Sunday Photo Blog of another stately home I visited last year. It is also the home of the famous lake out of which the gorgeous Colin Firth appeared in the BBC Adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.  It is not the most impressive of homes inside. It is not as large as Chatsworth or as imposing as Burleigh but from outside it is breathtaking and that lake well even without Mr Darcy emerging you could happily sit beside it for hours.  Surrounded by miles of park land you can ramble through there was far too much to explore in one day and I shall be returning.  also my camera batteries died in the Orangarie so I have to lol.



Last two pics are of my daughter the first on the bridge in the garden and the second by the smaller lake next to the old sawmill buildings which are now a shop and a cafe

Me gazing out over the lake waiting for Mr Darcy to appear, sadly despite me throwing a few coins in the wishing well he stood me up.

Sat in the rose Garden.