28th MARCH 2006
Haydn’s The Creation
Last night my husband, son and I went to Symphony Hall Birmingham to see/listen to Haydn’s The Creation I had not listen to any Haydn before so wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. It was in my opinion 109% of pure delight. Set in three parts, part one contains four scenes that cover the creation of heaven and earth, the firmament, water, night and day and plant life. In part two, two scenes, God brings forth creatures and man. Part three, three sense, covers the last part of the story, the forbidden fruit bit. Each new day is announced by an archangel, the songs are taken form verses of the first book of Genesis. Then parts of the text of Paradise Lost by Milton are used to fill the story out a bit in the way of an aria, (not a good way to put it I know and I dare say number 1 son will have comments to pass about it). The chorus and orchestra bring the day to a close with texts from the psalms.
While both my son and I enjoyed it, my husband said it wasn’t as good as Carmen!
You can’t please everyone.
9th APRIL 2006
My husband and I went on a visit to Chirk castle it’s a 14th century fortress and was the home of the Middleton’s up until two years ago when it became to expensive to run so they gave it over to the NT. It cost £7per adults for both castle and gardens or £4.50 for just the gardens. We stared with the gardens but didn’t do all of it, it was a very cold wet day so most of the footpaths were mud. We did see the clipped yews and the thatched ‘Hawk House’ which was very pretty. We also made friends with a one eyed cat, who I stroked and he followed us around the garden standing on our feet every time we stopped walking. We were very cold at this point and decided to go and get something warm to eat rather than continue around the garden, plus we had booked to see a behind the scenes tour, (an extra pound each). So we went into the coffee house sorry restaurant and had two very small bowls of lukewarm soup, and two very hard locally baked bread rolls £6.80p. The reason the soup was only just warm we were told was because we were too early, soup didn’t come out until 12. (The time was 10 to 12). So after that we went on our tour to look at the parts that are still being worked on. There was a lot of Pugin décor, the tour guide didn’t like Pugin and made it known. I quite like Pugin lots of dark oak and carvings. The guide said it was far to dark and gothic, well each to his own. We then went for a look around the house which was completed in 1310, some rooms were very pretty with beautifully plasterwork and tapestries. The library had a fireplace that Pugin had built from a four-poster bed and in the main hall a clock he had made from old doors. There is also a 20th century laundry, 18th century servant’s hall and a medieval tower and dungeon very creepy down there. The gardens also house a pair of the most beautiful gates made in 1719 by the Davies brothers. It’s well worth a visit, make it a nice dry day to take advantage of the gardens, and take your own flask.
Saturday, April 22nd, 2006
We spent last night at Stourbridge town hall. We went to see Star Struck performed by David Benson. What can I say? Another great performance, (this is the second time I have seen him, the first being at Wolverhampton when he did Conspiracy Cabaret. I didn’t have a web site then so couldn’t write about it, but number 1 son did so you could look it up on that site). Back to the show, the first half of the show David, (first name terms now having seen him twice), introduced us to his hero’s people he had grown up admiring and wanting to be. The great Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Groucho Marks, and so on. Then asked who we would like to be, I did so want to shout out Miss Piggy, I would love to be Miss Piggy, confident, knowing what she wants and getting it, and what a wardrobe. But I am not confident Miss Piggy so I kept my mouth shut, maybe next time. He told a very nice story about when he was a young boy and went to a signing of Eric Morecambe’s new book, not being able to afford the new book Eric had just released, he brought a cheaper scrapbook Morecambe and Wise book and stood in line. When he got to Eric he explained that he couldn’t afford the new book, Eric said it was ok and signed his book. When David got outside and read the message, it said to David, save up, Eric. Nice story. I must just add that David wore a very nice blue sparkly top for this half.
The second half of the show David meets the man he most wants to be Quentin Crisp, who tells him to be himself but takes him on a magical journey to a party hosted by Noel Coward to meet all his hero’s. While there he does a song taking the park of Frankie Howard (my favourite) and Kenneth Williams. I must say David is a very good impressionist in fact a good all-round entertainer.
I really enjoyed the evening, but as with the Arena, I didn’t feel the applauses were loud enough for all the hard work in put in, I only wish I could whistle, because I would have done. Check out his site David and get some tickets you’ll love it.
Friday, April 21st, 2006
Ode to Watercress
You peppery thing,
When put on my plate
You make my heart sing.
Raw on a plate
Or hot in a soup,
With goats cheese or Gruyere
You make me go whoop!
All green and crunchy,
All full of Iron
And very munchy
How I love you,
You grow in the water
How I wish I could too!
By me 2006
Thursday, April 20th, 2006
We went to Pooles cavern yesterday. We have seen prettier rock formations both here in Britain and in Oz. But for £6.20 it wasn’t bad. The tour lasted about ¾ of an hour and the pathways were quiet safe, we have been to some that were very steep and slippery, some weren’t even pathways as such. The guild was a little on the manic side, but I think that added to the experience somewhat. They have some of the fastest growing stalagmite in Britain, i.e. 4 to5 cm in 6 years. The parking however is not free as stated on the web site, it is a pay and display. £1 for a couple of hours. On the way home we stopped off at a pub called The Bowling Green Inn at Ashborne for a spot of lunch. A very strange place couldn’t make its mind up what it wanted to be. One part was full of football memorabilia, another books. All around were Buddha’s, American Indian art work, Chinese, Japanese masks etc. The people were a bit on the strange side too, but saying that we had a lovely lunch. Steak and kidney with new potatoes and peas served in a large Yorkshire pudding. It was real food too not tinned or frozen and piping hot. £6.50 each, needless to say next time we are that way that’s were we will head for lunch.
17th APRIL 2006
Today Husband and I went to the flicks to see Alien Autopsy with Ant and Dec. If you are expecting silly Ant and Dec type antics don’t go. This was a really good film, just the right amount of humour and a story that is believable, (it is taken from true invents). Any one out there who doesn’t know about the film footage about the autopsy must be very young or not into the whole UFO thing. I love a bit of UFO, conspiracy type thingy myself. Anyway the boys take to film quite well, and are quite good actors, well worth a visit to the cinema for.
Friday, May 5th, 2006
Number 1 son took me out on Tuesday, we went into town. First of all we had a look around an exhibition of animal photos sponsored by the WWF, there were some lovely penguins and a very cute Polar bear. Yes I know not so cute when you are close up. Then on to a pub for a quick drink, then onto the Rep. to see Train spotting it was the tenth anniversary of the show or it could have been the book, I am not sure. Anyway I just loved the book and the film, and the play was absolutely fantastic. Very powerful and funny at the same time. I would give you dates, names etc but I don’t know where number 1 son put the program so you will have to visited his site for more on that. All I can say is it was bloody brilliant. There was a bit of excitement in the interval, all the main lights went out, leaving only the emergency lights on. The music stayed on, so we are not sure if it was meant to happen or not. By the look on the attendant’s faces I am guessing not.
Sunday, May 21st, 2006
Last night number 1 son took me out for tea. We decided to try the Dilshad in Blackheath having never been there before, but having heard good things about. The décor was pleasant and it was nicely set out they also have very unusual chairs, the backs go all the way down to the floor. We were shown to a table laid out for two, (I loved that bit, usually you ask for a table for two, are show to a table for four and the other place setting are whisked away, that’s if they bother) by the window and next to a mirror. I quickly took the sit in the window and left number 1 son with his refection. (Not nice I know when he was paying). The service was prompt and friendly. So to the meal we had Poppadom, (well you have to don’t you), these came with the usual onion salad and two dips, one a sweet chutney and the other a rather pleasant yellow mint dip that had a lovely warm after taste. The poppadoms were lovely and churchy and not greasy at all. I then had mixed kebabs that just melted in the mouth, followed by chicken bhoona, which I could have eaten all night, (not strictly true it was very filling but you know what I mean). Number 1 son had something with prawns in, they were as big as whales, (I am having that next time). We shared rice and naan and were both well and truly stuffed. We timed it right arriving at 6.30 and leaving at 7.45, it had started to fill up then. Its only draw back I suppose is it seems to be a family place, (go on shoot me, I have done my child rearing, work with the little darlings, I like my free time to be child free). On the table behind us was a family with a child who’s voice could wake the dead, and on the table next to us a family with not only a child who spilled the wine all over the table, but a granny who repeated everything everyone said
Person no. 1“ How’s Holly doing, suppose we will know soon”.
Granny “How’s Holly doing, suppose we will know soon”. You get the picture.
20th MAY 2006
The Da Vinci Code.
Hubby is away this weekend, (on the bikes), and number 1 son went out straight from work last night, so I did to. I went to the cinema, yes all alone, by my self, with no body with me. I felt quite liberated! I arrived a bit early for the film so I sat in the foyer (showcase cinema, lots of places to eat and drink), and slurped a Pepsi (no sugar) and watch a group of young kids try and get in to see a movie they were nowhere near old enough to see. They were escorted out by a security guard in the end. All very entertaining. Why did I go on my own, well I have been reading a Bill Bryson book in which he travels around Europe alone. I know what as a middle aged man travelling alone around Europe got to do with me a middle aged woman going alone to the flicks, well you have to start somewhere. Yesterday the cinema, next week the world.
Anyway to the film.
The Da Vinci Code.
I didn’t really know what to except, I had heard good and bad reviews and have never read the book, I didn’t find the plot confusing at all, until I tried to explain it to little someone without giving to much away. I guessed early on in the film who the bloodline was, but the Teacher was the last person I expected it to be. There are lots of twist and turns, hidden clues all of which are explained so you are not left with any lose ends. Given that it is a work of fiction it does at points make you stop and think “just image.” I really don’t see why the church is getting it’s knickers in a knot, unless they are hiding something they would rather people didn’t look to close at or the Priory of Sion does exist. Given that it is fiction I don’t see that it paints Opus Dei in a bad light either. I found the explanations about the Mona Lisa, and The Last Supper really interesting, I may even google them to find out more. There is a good car chase and no sloppy love bits, (that’s got to be a plus in this type of film). I have to say I felt sorry for Silas the mad monk, he had a rotten childhood, and when you are slightly deranged I would image that if a priest tells you that you are an angel you would believe it.
May 31st, 2006
Last night number 1 son and I went into Birmingham, first to The Big Wok for tea. The décor is very much canteen style and with the 50’s/60’s music playing happily away it reminded me very much of the old Butlins camps, (where everyone sat in one big room for breakfast and tea). Number 1 son managed to get a red sauce all over his white shirt before he had even sat down to eat it, it flicked up as he spooned the food out. The food cannot be faulted, the choice enormous. I tried lots of things, but had to give up before trying all that was on offer, (just couldn’t squeeze anymore in), and the serve quick and friendly. It’s a must go and try place. Cheap and cheerful. From there we went to the Hippodrome for a pre-show drink.
Based on the music of Carl Orff
performed by ‘La cuadra de Sevilla.
Although the music and choir were recorded, the dancing was exciting and near enough non stop, this was a wonderful night’s entertainment. Here we go then
veris Leta Facies
Music and choir invite you to wait for spring /birds/girls/flowers
O’Fortuna everyone knows this bit of music
The wheel of fortune turns and offers maidens, the rhythms suggest an imaginary woman Carmina Burana.
Martinete – song
Carmina arrives in a long dress escorted by two guards and they dance.
The wheel of fortune was set at the back of the stage, dancers came on one at a time and attached themselves to the wheel with straps which then turned slowly around until all four dancers where on. The wheel continued to go around while they made there bodies into different shapes. The three main dancers were at the front of the stage doing their dance. (The male dancers had nice tight bums, sorry but they had)
The Virgin and the moon
Fortune plango vulnera
Music and choir, the virgin comes down from the sky.
Tangos of Malago song
In this short scene the statue of the Virgin Mary is lowered from the ceiling. A song about her coming from the sky is song.
The Jolly little monks
Music and choir the monks arrive and enjoy the spring, they take the Virgins half moons and try to catch the dancing maidens. The maidens offer flowers to the virgin and take away the half moons in little pieces. The monks are left behind and the virgin cries.
Pretty much as I have written.
Up to Heaven with Her
Fortune Plango vulnera
Music and choir. Soft music laments the Virgin’s tears brought on by Fortune. The tears proclaim that people must enjoy the present.
The Sorrow Of The dance
Dance and song
In scene 4 the virgin is still on stage, in scene 5 she slowly goes back up as the song about pain, and fears that without the moon we will never know love again is song
Goring By The Bull
In Taberna Quando Sumus
Music and choir the monks get drunk and have a hallucination of bull fight.
Monks are sitting and drinking and the two male dancers begin to dance. On each side of the stage there are two mechanical bulls. The men attach themselves to these and dance as if being gored. They then lie back in as if dead and the head of the bull extends out over the orchestra pit with the dancer just daggling of the end.
Music and soprano a song about how hard it is to choose between love and chastity
Horses, Monks and Women
Music and choir spring is love and horses and women dance together.
and they do, on stage come two of the famous Andalusia stallions, (dancing horses) they were beautiful. They dance around the stage with the women
The Naked Truth
Music and choir the dance costumes represent the difference between the reality of Andalusia and folklore, so the monks rip them off.
the two female dancers are on stage, the monks come up behind them and rip off the dresses, leaving the dancers in long slips.
were Diu werit Alle Min
Music and choir a cross decends and a song (which refers to the catholic duality of Christ and the Virgin Mary) is song. A crucified woman is the symbol for this tradition in southern Europe and this scene portrays this.
the cross comes down from the ceiling and is lay on the floor, much dancing and singing goes on around and on the cross. Then the woman lies down on the cross
Music and soprano the soprano sings while the cross is raised.
the woman stands on a little platform and drapes her arms over the cross as it is raised, they don’t nail her on before you ask. The cross is raised and then after a couple of minutes is lowered again, the horses are then brought back in with other people to morn her. The horses cry red rose pedals on her, its so sweet.
Music and choir the dancers and monks exit taking the woman with them
speaks for it self
carmina Burana Comes Again
Music and choir back to the beginning with the dancers on the wheel and the three dancers dancing.
Fortune Plango Vulnera
Music and choir the voices repeat in the wheel of fortune a man rises and another falls.
Thursday, June 1st, 2006
Some more of me poems
Due to popular demand, (well a couple of comments), I have decided to treat you to another of my poems. This one I penned many years ago when I worked as a school crossing parole officer. Or lollypop lady to you. It was first published in the DEDlines July 1997 and for anyone who doesn’t believe me, I can scan it.
Ode to the Lollypop
We are the lolly ladies,
We stand upon the road,
You’ll see us there almost every day,
With a runny nose,
It’s bright Red in the winter,
From wind and rain and snow,
It’s just as bad in summer,
When the sun burn starts to glow.
We are the lolly ladies,
On us you can depend,
To get you safe across the road,
Then get you back again,
We are the lolly ladies,
We are a hardy breed,
Come rain or shine or gale
We deliver what you need.
June 1st, 2006
Yesterday I decided to go to the Birmingham Museum and Art gallery, I have not been for years. I used to spend many a happy hour or two there when number 1 son was little, (and the science museum, which no longer exists, its millennium point now. Been there was not impressed). I got there a bit early so I had a wonder around the shops, Boy have they changed it or what! It as been years sense I have wonder round the town. I brought a Big Issue and had a chat to the man selling it, about the weather, (very British). I went into The Works and was very restrain, I only brought one book, (I love cheap book shops). I brought Beyond the Da Vinci Code by Rene Chandelle and I shall read it when I have finished the book I am reading now. I can only read one book at a time unlike number 1 son who as many books on the go all at once. I still had a little time left so I wondered around and took a few photos of some of the old buildings, wheel, and eternal flame. Then on to the museum.
I was a little disappoint with it, it to as changed, I know move with the times. But it’s lost its museum feel, for me at least. They haven’t got the old fire engines or coaches anymore, or the dinosaurs, rocks, stuffed animals and birds, (the ones where you pressed the button and heard a very bad recording of bird song). They do still have the figurehead from the warship the Swallow (1800) and the old toys, now called the Pinto collection. I was pleased to see that the mummified man, chick, cat and falcon were still there to.
There was an exhibition by Ana Maria Pacheco and Kathe Kollwitz, the paintings were very dark, people being sucked dry of their life, and a very scary sculpture called man and sheep. The sheep being people, the eyes followed you around the room.
There is some nice pre-Raphaelite art, I liked the 3 pencil draws by Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893) based on the poem by lord Byron, ‘Parisian’ the first picture is called Study of the head and shows the head of Parisian, the second is called Parisian sleeps and shows Azo strangling his wife after allegations of an incestuous affaire. The third is called the Head of Price Azo, in this one he has a very evil expression as he contemplates the tragic consequences of him murderous intentions.
I also liked the painting of Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)
It shows Proserpine empress of Hades who was conveyed by Pluto (God of the underworld to be his bride). Her mother Ceres implodes her return, however she can only return if she as not eaten any of the fruit. Poor Proserpine had eaten one grain of Pomegranate so had to stay. The painting shows her in a very sad pose holding a pomegranate, with a piece of ivy in the bottom of the picture, which is the symbol of hope.
They have some new bits to, a room dedicated to Ethnography nice costumes and old photos. The wonder wall which had all sorts of bits and bobs in, some reminded me of my Nan’s house and it had a mummified crocodile,( no not nan’s house) did you know a crocodile is the only animal that is mummified with all its internal organs intact? Well now you do. Lifetimes, little rooms made to look like 1940’s to 60’s homes. Visions of Birmingham, couldn’t make my mind up what that bit was supposed to be about.
June 2nd, 2006 by me
These were wrote in 1996 by little old me. (Are you sure you want to read on)?
I have a little cat,
he eats up all his tea,
what really makes me mad is,
when he pukes it up on me.
How I envy her shiny hair,
her sleek, slim body,
her graceful air.
Her almond eyes with their spark of light.
She’s never rushed,
just stands and stares,
sometimes with a contemptuous glare.
I watch her as she grooms herself,
then stretches out,
to curl into a ball and sleep.
I had a little duck,
I called it half-past ten,
why I’ll never know,
so lets just start again.
Look I never said I was good at it.
Another poem (I was depressed when I wrote this).
June 2nd, 2006 by me
by me 1996
I was depressed OK.
June 10th, 2006
Make it so smeg head, shouldn’t your pants be on the inside? And while your about it watch what you are doing with that monolith!
Last night saw us, (hubby, no.1 son and little old me), in Birmingham. First at the Weatherspoons for tea then on to Symphony Hall. CBSO doing Sci-Fi. When we arrived, there was a jazz band playing and it was free, so we sat and listen to the end of their mini concert, an added bonus as you might say. Then to the main event. The conductor Carl Davis was a bit of a charter, I quite liked him. He talked about most of the pieces before playing them, but nothing highbrow. His dress caused a bit of a giggle, first half he wore a long blue shiny coat, after the interval he appeared in a black coat with twinkly stars and plants on the back and for the encore, (two of); he had a cream jacket with black swirls. Anyway down to the good bit. They opened with, (one of my favourites) Strauss: Also Sparch Zarathustra, (you know it, 2001 a space Odyssey). This was followed by Sibelius: At the Castle Gate.
Holst: Mars, (from The Planets another piece of music I love).
Bliss: Things to come The March
Williams: Harry’s Wondrous World, (from Harry Potter)
Goldsmith: E. T. flying theme
Elfman: Batman Suite.
Then the interval. The second part started with Williams: Superman
Gray: Thunderbirds March, (for which we had to shout the 5 4 3 2 1 thunderbirds are go)
Williams: Jurassic Park
Grainer: Doctor Who theme. This had been re-written for an orchestra and was very good.
Shore: The Fellowship of the ring
Goodall: Red Dwarf and finally Williams: star Wars the Room and Finale. Then two encores of Ghostbusters, and yes we did have to shout Ghostbusters when he asked.
I loved it.
June 5th, 2006
Today (Sunday), we went on a little visit to the places below.
Soho House home to the industrialist Matthew Boulton. There’s not a lot to see, but if you have a spare half hour it’s worth a look. The lunar room was the favourite meeting place of the lunar Society, who met there on each full moon to discuss everything from the abolition of slavery to advances in science. Admission free.
Blakesley Hall is one of the last surviving examples of a timber framed farmhouse in Birmingham. Originally built for the wealthy Richard Smallbroke, it reflects his aspirations with wall paintings and a gallery usually seen in grander houses. It has some unusual artifices including a petrified cat and bird found hidden in the walls. This was believed to keep the evil sprits away.
A nice place to have a look around, even if the guide does look like Riff Raff from the Rocky horror Picture Show. (That is a must see film/show, absolutely out of this world).
There as been a mill in Sarehole for over 450 years, however not this one. Nice if you have never been to a mill before but otherwise you are not missing a lot. They rely heavily on the fact that Tolkien wrote his books based around here from childhood memories.
We did all three in about 3 ½ hours that included having a good look around and a cup of tea.
All are free so it’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
July 21st, 2006
A bit more of me poetry
(For all Bikers who use cars in the rain).
I am a big butch biker,
you’ll see me in the town,
when the sky is blue and bright,
and the sun is shining down.
But when the sky turns grey and black
and frost is on the ground,
you’ll find me tucked up safe and sound
with a little frown.
There’s a special star in heaven,
who watches over you everyday,
he’ll love and protect you forever,
cause angles are made that way.
I wrote the poem above for three children who had lost their father.
“What is the meaning of life?”
I asked a man I know,
He shrugged his shoulders, scratched his nose,
And told me all his woes.
Life is all up’s and down’s
It’s laughter, smiles and frowns
And when at last we take eternal sleep,
The meaning of life becomes complete.
I know, they don’t get any better!
hi I am back.
Hi ya I am back, Tired, FAT and sad to be back!
We set out at 5.54 and took the pretty route.
At about 9.30 we were at Clovelly. Clovelly is a small fishing village set 400ft down the side of a cliff, the only way down is to walk the steep cobble pathways, (not for the faint hearted). The cottages are all over 5oo years old, there are no privately owned homes and no cars are aloud. Deliveries are made by sledge, great fun to watch.
Once at the bottom there is a quaint harbour.
Then it was time for a cream tea, (well you have to).
From Clovelly we went to Instow beach, where we walked hand in hand in the surf, until hubby saw an ice-cream hut. At which point he took of like a bullet from a gun dragging me behind him, with my little legs going ten to the dozen to keep up. It was very nice ice-cream, made with clotted cream, I would have just rather not have run the 4 minute mile for it.
From there it was on to Arlington Court
The court has a wide collection of carriages and stables. There is also a very large garden, but by this time it had started to rain, so we headed for Lynmouth and our hotel.
(The Bath hotel as been a family run business for over 60 years. The owners Neil and Sharon are friendly and chatty without being intrusive, and will happily chat about the history of Lynmouth and the hotel.
We spent one evening, (Ok a few more than that but I am taking about this particle one), sat in the bar and Neil showed us old photos of the hotel and the flood that nearly wiped out lynmouth.
On the 15th august 1952 after a day of rain, the east and west Lyn Rivers rose and filled with the Exmoor catchment flooded Lynmouth. The waters brought boulders with it that smashed everything within its path. 39 people lost their life’s and Lynmouth was never to be the same again, The river was deepen and the road moved, the harbour was also changed so that if the unthinkable ever happen again, water would be channelled hopefully away. There is a small memorial hall in Lynmouth, with pictures and news paper articles, interviews, all of which are heart breaking. The Gorge has markings on the wall to show the height of the water and mud at its highest. Even looking at the markings it’s hard to image that amount of water charging at you! There are stories that locals love to tell and the photos are a testament to the people, the next day after the flood the tearooms were open serving cream teas to the rescuers. Lynmouth is a must visit place and should be on everyone list of places to see).
If I have a criticism of the Bath it’s the food and wine, far too nice, (I have put on nearly a stone).
After tea we took a walk along the front and watched the suffers. Then to bed to be woken at 2.30am by the life guard…
As soon as it was light we dressed and walked up to the harbour to see what all the fuss had been. When you anchor up near the shore without reading your tidal waves guide it’s not going to end well!
Fun over we went back to the hotel for breakfast and decided over a full English a boat ride would be nice. So after finishing our 3 and a bit course breakfast we headed back down to the harbour and sat waiting to book our ticket. While we waited we watched a man walk the water powered train line to make sure it was clear
The train goes up to Lynton which is the sister town to Lynmouth. You can walk up to Lynton, (if you are feeling full of life, or go up on the train. It is a very steep walk up a winding pathway).
The boat trips had been cancelled due to it being too rough out at sea so we took the train up to Lynton, where we were told Ilfracombe took boats out most days. So we walked back down into Lynmouth and headed for Ilfracombe.
The boats had been cancelled there too, for the same reason. So we went up to look at St. Nicolas church, this church stands on top of a steep hill and was used as a light house as well as a church, as it over looks the sea.
We stopped for fish and chips before heading back to Lynmouth via the moors and Minehead, where we decided to have a walk along the sands. It was so windy that it was causing mini sand storms and we were sand blasted. Well it got the fake tan off my legs!
Then back to the hotel for another 4 course tea.
We took our evening stroll and watched the line dancers, (all done for charity) in the street and took a few more photos.
Then it was time for a night cap or two, three, four. OK we left the bar at 12.40, very merry indeed, (I was on my holidays, I don’t make a habit out of it)!
After another big breakfast we decided to try for another boat ride so took off for Ilfacombe again, and just missed the boat by about a minute! OK let’s go to the Valley of the rocks instead. We got as far as Black Rock and had to pull onto Exmoor National Park centre.
The car had died; well the radiator pipe had gone.
I reclined the seat and took a nap while hubby wondered round the car park swearing at the car and trying to find a phone, (no reception on the mobiles out here), so that he could ring the AA.
An hour later a very nice man from the AA turned up,
And half an hour after that we were on our way.
Then on to woody bay.
As its name suggests this bay is at the bottom of a very steep and winding pathway through trees,
It is quite a walk down a steep hill to get to the beach and even worse coming back! But when you get to the bottom it is well worth the walk. It is a small cove with a small waterfall, and rock pools.
Then it was time to head back to the hotel for another 5 courses, (have I been saying 4? It is 5. Now you can see where all the weight as come from).
After tea out for our stroll, the nights entertainment was Morris dancers, it was a laugh.
And so to bed, after a few in the bar.
After packing and sulking, a last big breakfast and another sulk, (glare at the people on the opposite table, after all they have a few more days here), we decided to have one more go at a boat trip. Again they had been cancelled because of bad weather out at sea, (what’s wrong with them all, they have life jackets don’t they? I think they just didn’t want to clean up the sick)!
So we did a little Christmas shopping, (yes that’s right, they have some lovely craft shops) and packed the car and headed homewards, still sulking. We popped into Watchet. Which is a little harbour town, with a little lighthouse and a statue of the Ancient Mariner. Then we came home along the coast as far as we could. We spent an hour by the river in Stratford watching the boats, then home still sulking.
August 16th, 2006 by me
Lament for poor old Pluto
Poor old Pluto,
They’ve done you in.
A planet no longer,
Where to begin.
You’re not big enough
Their evil reply.
They don’t say that to posh,
I wonder why.
So now you’re a star,
So twinkle away.
To me dear old Pluto,
You’re a planet anyway.
August 23rd, 2006
Off to wales, Day 1
So here we go, we decided to go to Wales for a couple of days this time and in the car so as not to get wet, again.
We headed out and stopped for breakfast at the OK Diner in Leominster. it was much better than we had expected it to be, a very nice breakfast and tea/coffee for £4.95 each. The inside is done out 1950’s stile, but the seats are very low. My chin was on the table, I nearly had to ask for a booster sit.
From there we went to Dolaucothi gold mines. These mines were used by the Romans and Victorians. On ground level there is an exhibition of mining tools, video and machinery. There is also a place where you can pan for gold, yes we did, and yes we found some, (well, OK then we know it was only fools gold, but we enjoyed ourselves and brought it home with us). We were allowing our inner child to play.
You can take a tour through the mines but you have to be fairly sound of body. The entrance is up the side of an 80ft steep hill. If you decide to do the tour, as we did. You are kited out with helmet and lights. I was really pleased to find that yes you did need them, (so may places give you theses to add to the effect), there was no light down there at all. It was one of the best mines we have visited. Well worth the trip.
Then on to Aberaeron for dinner. (Chips), you have to it’s the seaside and it’s the law. Go to the seaside, you must eat chips. It was getting late by this time so we headed off over the mountain road, (which starts at Tregaron) to Beulah, the scenery is unbelievable.
We arrived at hubby’s mom and dads just in time for tea.
After tea we took a walk down the lanes and around the village, (again with touches, very little street lighting out here). Then back to sit on their decking with a cup of tea, to watch the stars. Because there is very little light pollution, we could see thousands of stars; I even saw a shooting star, that’s only the 4th one I have seen. “There are lots of stars up there you know” father-in-law kept telling me, “yes I know” I kept telling him. Well he had a glass or two.
Up and away, we took the mountain road over Rhayader. to Devils Bridge. then through Aberyswyth to Clarach. We stopped here to get a cuppa and breakfast, but it was shut! No I am not joking, 10.40 on a Tuesday in the summer and the place was shut. So we went on to Borth. and got breakfast, I love Borth. There’s not a lot there and that’s just the way I like it, no amusements or penny arcades, just piece and quiet. We sat on the dunes and watched the sea and boats, very peaceful.
Then it was time to head for home, a quick stop at Harry Tuffins for a cuppa in Church stoke, and a stop at bridgnorth, where we walk along the castle promenade, then home.
I spent the day at the Birmingham Artsfest, things didn’t go as planned.
To meet number 1 son, do a few of the shows, meet hubby do a few shows and go to tea, sounds easy doesn’t?
I left the house at 7.50 to travel to Bearwood to get my nails done,(Number 1 son text me to say meet at the Rep), nails finished I text him to say I was on my way and would see him in half an hour. Got to the Rep, (after getting off at the wrong stop) no number 1 son. So I decided to text him and found I had run out of credit, (this has never ever happen to me before), I don’t know Birmingham that well so panic set in, I all but ran into the town to find somewhere to put credit on the phone, and before you all start to tell me where I could have gone, it’s no use when you don’t know where you are going. Then back again to the Rep, text number 1 son, got reply I am still at the train station, well actually it said tram and I deleted it, but number 1 son says he said train so we won’t argue about it. So I walked back to Chamberlain Square and sat on the steps to wait for him. I text him to say I was by the museum.( Hey fast fingers I could see your grim reaper) A short while after the phone went off but I couldn’t find it, by the time I had he had hung up. I rang him back, ‘Where are you I am by the museum but I can’t see you?’ ‘By the fountain’ After a few moments I saw him staring into the crowd so I wave my arms about a bit and he found me. Later that day we met hubby, but he wasn’t feeling to well and after we had lost him once he decided to go home.
What we saw in no particular order
At Chamberlain Square
CBSO Youth Orchestra Quintet, they were very good
The Void these were good to, I would say they were in the early to late teens.
Mothertrucker, (number 1 son writes about these quite a lot), rock band. Very good, although a very strange lady decided to do a very hippy dance in front of the stage, could have been because the BBC cameras were there, but who knows. She may like to hippy dance to Rock, it made a change from the head banging dances I used to do to rock music, (too old now I fall over and have to have a rest).
At the Waterhall
Solo Plus Theatre Company presents Medieval Mystery Plays, basically The Passion in 20 minutes with sign language on the side, very bizarre.
At the rep Door
Big Brum Tie co presents The Balancing Act by Edward Bond. they performed a little scene and asked the audience’s opinion on it, it was interest to see how these things come together.
Marcus Eyre Productions presents The Next Drink
Treefrog Theatre Company presents Don’t Pick Sport!
They were all good.
At the Flapper & Firkin
Tindal street press presents tell Tales 3, three short stories, well one really the other two were extracts, but the full one was very good. I am told that the Flapper is to be pulled down, what can I say? After being in it I can see why, dark, dank, with sticky floors and a smell of pee.
At the CBOS Centre Bar
TNI, we saw a couple of Afro- Caribbean singers here. I missed there names, but they were really good; if anyone out there saw them what were they called. They did an a cappella version of the lords pray.
At centenary Square
Fola, an Irish folk group
The Birmingham Royal ballet who did extracts from Fire Bird, The four seasons and the Nutcracker. Also three dances to swing music.
From there we walked across town to café Soya and had a set meal for two with a bottle of wine. We had great fun, have you tried to eat cashews with chop sticks?
Saturday, October 13th, 2007
Performed by Inspector Sands and Stamping Ground Theatre.
Weird or what! Set in a restaurant two people are having a very strange date. He is an academic, who every now and then races to the other side of the stage, while the acting behind stops and goes into lecture mode. She is a slightly manic events manager, with a thing for bananas. But for me the waiter made it, not one word passed her lips, but she conveyed everything with her facial and body language.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2007
Last night we went to the Arena, (Wolverhampton) to see Fallen Angels. Set in a field hospital, two people fight for their life, one will live and one will die.
I found this very confusing I will admit, the start of the play is a film reel showing clips of two female kung foo type fighters, a prehistoric cave man and dinosaur, and a French woman call Emanuel. (All parts played by the 4 actors in the play), the footage then moved on to a man in a red shirt getting into a car then 4 medics getting into a jeep and going off. The film stops and the actors appear on stage. A bomb goes off and they are left alone and in search of the war, so they travel through the desert. At the end of the play the one remaining man meets with the kung foo fights and defeats the black queen, kills the dinosaur and falls in love with the French woman because he has her dead husbands’ eyes.
So if anyone out their saw this, or knows someone in it, can you please explain it to me. I know the travelling was the operation, but who were the other people supposed to be?
The tempo of this play is fast and switches between live action and the film reel, very cleverly and well done.
All that said I did really enjoy this production
September 17th, 2007
All that fun, and it’s free
Arts fest has been and gone, and what a lovely time we had. Number 1 son and I set off on the train on a bright and sunny morning. First stop was the Levity 11 – Architects of the Air, a huge installation, (think bouncy castle with out the bounce). Lit by natural light defused through colored plastic, a mini maze of tunnels inspired by the repetitious forms found in the bazaars of Iran and little domes to sit in and listen to the relaxing music.
I could have happily stayed in there all day, but too much to see and do to do that. So after a wonder around the Levity and a little sit in one of the domes we headed out and across the road to the Curzon Station, (the oldest surviving railway terminus in the world) where we saw the fossilized cat.
The station had an exhibition of photography including the Severn Valley railway and a very touching series of photos of the people lining the tracks as the RFK Funeral train went past.
Then we popped over to Millennium Point to see the Nachdey Hasdey Bhangra Group, full of life these dancers, I felt tired just watching them.
From there we popped into the think tank to use the loo and found an exhibition of the ‘coming soon’ VTP200 which will be a 200 meters high observation and leisure tower. It looks fantastic! I want to climb to the top.
Then on to the Arcadian Centre to see the Art of Japanese sword fighting, a bit disappointing this, number 1 found it disappointing too. Not a lot of go in it, as it were. So we set of again this time to Chamberlain Square to the beachside stage for coconuts and comedy, which wasn’t funny, we didn’t stay long granted, but not even a titter did we hear. So we headed for Centenary Square, through Paradise forum. Now whose bright idea it was to put a show on in the middle of here needs their head looking. It’s not big enough to walk through on an average day, you couldn’t move! With a lot of jostling we got thought and out into the open air again, ahh bliss air, (excepted it wasn’t really air, it had got very hot by this time) and headed for The Drum Presents… Moseley Cultural Arts, these were kids of varying ages playing African drums and they were brilliant. We watched these for a little while, but it was much to hot.
So we went inside the Rep and had a drink, then into the Door to watch Language Alive do Hansel and Gretel, which was fun. They had the children from the audience playing the parts of H and G and the woods. We had to do the sound effects, (a very drunk man in front of us was having a whale of a time). That finished and we came back out into the heat to see the Bai Ling Chinese Acrobatic Arts Co.
We only watched a few minutes then moved on to watch Capoeira Conviver from Brazil, which is marshal Arts to music, sort of. Number 1 will explain it better, it was fantastic!
Then we went for tea at the café Soya.
After a very nice meal and bottle of wine we headed back to Centenary Square where we staked our claim over our little plot of land for the rest of the night. We listened to the City of Birmingham Young voices, saw Jasper Carrott get is star for the walk of Stars, (Ozzy had the last one) and
Then it was Classic Fantasia,
CBSO and the Birmingham Royal ballet, followed by the CBSO and the Birmingham Opera company, then to top it off a fire works display as the CBSO played the 1812 overture, Land of Hope and Glory, Dam busters, William Tell overture, and the grenadier song from Carmen
What more could one ask for?
Then it was time to get the train home and in bed for 12.30 for the next day.
Day two and it’s still free.
So off we set again, (this time on a Sunday still warm and sunny) on the train and into Birmingham. First we headed for the flea market at the custard factory, (not part of the Arts Fest), but a very nice little market just the same. From there we went to the Arcadian Stage for a bit of Irish music, then over to the Mail box for a multi sensory, interactive sound and light installation, in the Neverland Lagoon. Don’t get excited, a few cut out trees, people drawing on walls and a few cushions, doesn’t spell multi sensory to me. So off to Chamberlain square to watch Punch and Judy done with real people, very bazaar, but good. Then across to centenary square for a bit of Merengue dancing, go on give it a shake. By now it was very hot, so we popped into the Rep for a drink and went on to the City Centre Gardens Activity Space to see a lovely little kids play about some pirates, who all get what they want in the end, but not the way they want it. Ahhh sweet. The name of the company escapes me at the moment, but number 1 will remember.
Things were getting a little boring by now so it was time to head for home.
August 25th, 2007
Have you ever been to a place where you feel totally different? Lighter in mood and sprit? For me the place is Lynmouth, I have been to many places but Lynmouth makes me feel ‘well.’ And that is where I have been for the past couple of days, doing a bit of walking. Before we went hubby was telling a friend that I love to walk, but have trouble with steep inclines and declines, (well they were properly having a good laugh at the fact I have to go up on all fours and come down on my bum), and hubby’s friend told him to get me a walking stick, so we did from a walking shop, (no the shop wasn’t walking). I got quite excited about my stick, it has suspension! And it worked I was up and down the hills like a mountain goat. Anyway I digress. Let’s start at the beginning.
Hubby decided he wanted to see Stonehenge, as he has never seen it, I have, it was about 23 years ago. It was my first (and last), attempt at camping, 4 of us plus camping gear packed into a mini. Off to Stonehenge we went, the only place we could find to camp was the back of a pub, in a dip, it rained and rained and rained and rained, the tent started to fill with water, four of us slept in the mini. Never again will I go camping! Anyway back to the story.
Off we went to Stonehenge, (yes miles out of the way that we wanted to go), got there, hubby looked at it over the fence, said it’s not worth the £7 to get in, because you can’t get up close to it and drove off. Just like that, did I want to kill him? (Answers on a post card).
We eventually arrived in lynmouth and booked into our favourite hotel The Bath, only to be told it was being sold, Sharon and Neil are to lose their jobs and home, What, what.! I love The Bath, but it is Sharon and Neil that make it feel like home. (Never fear they are buying there own hotel and as soon as I get the details I will link them).
A walk along the river and into The Lyn Valley café for a cream tea, then back to the hotel for a rest and tea. Oh I didn’t tell you hubby had a welcome pack put in the room, big fluffy robes, wine, fruit, fudge and a mug and posh tea. Ah he spoils me.
After tea it was a stroll along the beach and back for coffee and baileys, and so to bed.
Our walk started in Lynton which sits above Lynmouth so we took the Cliff railway. up the 500 feet (140 metres) to the top.
We start at St Mary the virgin Church, a local legend claims that the church was to be built over the road, but every brick the builders laid in a day was moved to where the church is now by the pixies. So the builders gave up and built the church where it is today. We took the North Walk and through a gate onto the coastal path. The goats that live here now were introduced in the 1976 after the original goats were hunted to extinction. As goats go they are bloody big things!
The coastal path is quiet narrow in places but easy to walk and the sight of the rocks. from this side is far, far more beautiful than the drive through on the other side. The first rock you see is called Rugged jack, legend has it that the druid and his companions were dancing here on a Sunday, when Satan appeared and turned them into stone! (Let that be a lesson to you). A little further on and you can see Castle rock and on the opposite side the ‘Devils cheese ring’. You can get to the top of Castle rock, it is a bit of a scramble, but well worth the effort for the views, and yes we did it.
After a cup of tea we set out to walk over Hollerday Hill. a very steep climb from this side on lose dirt tracks, but again worth the effort, we walked right over the top of this hill and found the remains of the old Iron Age village and the remains of Sir George Newnews house. The pathways over this hill change from dirt track to boulders to grass and back again, every turn is something new. We decided to take the Snowball track back down to Lynton, very slippery on this particular day.
Then it was time for tea, another evening walk, coffee and baileys and bed.
Ride the open top bus across the moors and into Minehead that is. Starting at Lynmouth, (out side the trust hut not on the bridge as everyone will tell you) the bus takes you through County Gate across the moors to Porlock and onto Minehead. Porlock in at the bottom of a 1 in 4 hill, great fun, especially on the way back up in a clapped out bus. You must sit on the top, you can tell everyone who has done this, they are the ones with their hair stuck on end and flies between their teeth! I would advice a hard hat and goggles, some of the tree branches are very low and yes if you don’t duck you will get a smack in the teeth. Ha-ha all good fun. A round trip takes two hours, but you can get of if you want.
We then decided to walk along the river Lyn to Watersmeet, it’s a lovely walk but you do need boots or a strong pair of shoes, not flip flops, or a pushchair, (yes we did see them both). The pathway goes from surfaced to dirt then rocks, and continues the dirt/rock right up to Watersmeet. On the way you pass over the stone Chiselcombe Bridge which was rebuilt in 1957 after the original was washed away in the floods of 52, you also pass through the remains of the mineral water factory also washed away in the floods. At the end of this walk you come to a 19th century fishing lodge, now a tearoom. So a cuppa before we head off back to Lynmouth, this time taking the woodland walk. Obviously this way is not taken very often, the paths were not well worn, which made it all the more fun, steep hills, (then you have to get down again), lose stones on pathways and deep drops into the river below.
Back again for tea and a stroll etc etc.
We left the longest walk of the week till the last day, I don’t know if this was a good idea or not, given that it turned out to be the hottest day too.
So we started our walk at Lynton and walked to Lynbridge, these are just footpaths, over the road and into the woodlands, the path climbs and you get some lovely views of Lynbridge through the trees. The path zig zags a bit and the climb gets steeper, but when you reach the top the views are spectacular. We walked right over the top of Summerhouse hill and in places the path is only just wide enough to put one foot in front of the other. Then down into Myrtleberry Cleave and through what is left of an Iron Age fort, onto Watersmeet. A fantastic walk with beautiful views and the only thing you hear is bird song and grass hoppers.
We walked back to Lynmouth along the river walk, where I will admit to taking off my boots and dangling my feet in the ice cold water, ahhhh bliss.
Sunday, October 15th, 2006
Birmingham and books
It was book festival week in Birmingham last week, yes it was. So Friday night we went into town to see Julie Walters talk about her new book, the name of which escapes me at the moment, but may possible come back to me soon. If not I am sure number 1 son will add a comment telling me I am getting old if I have forgotten that all ready and then go on to tell you what the book is called. Anyway back to the plot, well not plot exactly, story, possible, am I rambling?
It didn’t start to well the mikes where not on, a few shouts from the audience put that right. Then a complaint from people in the front row who couldn’t see, so the lectern had to be moved, (they sat there ,silly buggers, they came in just after us, when there were loads of seats empty, but they just had to be on the front row didn’t they), Sorry I find myself in a very strange mood today.
Julie is a very funny lady, but although I enjoyed the evening, I found it lacking in something, not sure what, just something.
The questions that were asked by the audience at the end were the type that you couldn’t really give an answer to. Like the one form a teacher of a year six class, ‘How can I get my pupils interested in writing’? Answer; find something they are interested in. Durr. I would have thought that was obvious, and another one was ‘what was the punch line to some sketch or the other’ I think he just want to get her to say ‘bastard’, which she did.
Well that’s it for now.
Could be Maggie’s Tree
Friday, October 13th, 2006
Last night we went to Walsall Illuminations. This year we didn’t get soaked or that cold. They had some new lights, gone were the stars and balls you used to start the walk with and in their place pirates and clowns. This year they had a big wheel, (didn’t go on), and a stratosphere which you could go inside. Once in there patterns were projected onto the ceiling, I did manage to get a few photos which are below. There was also a man dressed as Charlie Chaplin who did a little show, lots of pretending to throw water around. There was the laser show over the water, which this year was a bit of a disappointment. The best part of the evening I thought was the ultra violet puppet show. Yes ultra violet puppets in a darken tent, they were so funny, singing snails,(singing I am so lonely), bugs and a snot blowing green thing, singing your beautiful.
If you have little ones this is a must to go and see and if like us lot you are a big kid at heart you must also go and see it. Where else are you going to get an evening out for £6 a head, (less if you are a young’un’ or an old’un’)
Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
Last night saw us in Stourbridge to see David Benson’s. Haunted stage. This turned out to be yet another night of fun and laughter, and I will admit he made me jump a few times.
He did a spoof spiritualist service undertaken by a camp psychic, which was very funny. Told ghost stories and tales from his childhood about his grandfather, who had a good line in bedtime ghost stories. He also talked about that feeling we all get when you wake at 3 in the morning and realize that one day you are going to die and there’s nothing you do about it!
Out came the oldies as well, the person you think you’ve hit with your car that’s not there when you look. That fantastic story ‘The whistle’ which I remember seeing as an old black and white film. It frighten the life out of me then and David managed to make by skin crawl when he retold it, and one I hadn’t heard about caterpillars which was on the creepy side
All in all yet another grate performance by David, the more I see this man the more I love him.
If you get the chance to see any of his shows give it a go.
And yes I do believe in ghosts, I have seen them.
In and out of touch with the spooks
Told to me by my mom.
Many moons ago when I was a young’un’ I didn’t sleep to well, (still don’t). Mom and dad would lie in their room and listen to me holding a conversation with someone they couldn’t hear. When question about it I told them all about the nice old lady who would come and play with me in the night, I also gave them a description of her. Over active imagination I hear you say, well yes it could have been, but that doesn’t account for the toys from the top shelf being on the floor, or the light being on, when I had no chance of reaching either.
My next big encounter was in the house where I live now. I had not long moved in with husband number 1 and little son number 1. Things would disappear to reappear a few days later, things would move overnight. Then one day after husband and I had had a row a glass flew across the room and smashed against the wall, that’s when things started to get worse. Number 1 son would wake in the night upset by the nasty man, and lights started to turn off and on all the time. Once when I had people over we were sat in the living room chatting away when a vase on the windowsill threw itself through the curtains and smashed at our feet. Needed less to say my friends deserted me! HA HA. I had a friend whose sister belonged to a spiritualist church, and he suggested we get someone from the church to come in and ask whatever it was to leave. So in came the medium and out went our visitor, the medium seemed to think it was the old man who had lived there before.
I still think there is something in this house; I have often seen shadows on the stairs and our cat Val used to stop half way up and rub up something that wasn’t there. I was once up a pair of ladders painting our kitchen ceiling and forgot that I was in fact up the ladder, stepped back and felt a huge push that sent me back onto the ladder causing it to rock. That time I just said out loud ‘Thank you I could have broken my neck.’
I am sure my mom came to me after she had died too. I had a photo of her in the living room and I was having a moan to myself about something when the photo just gently slid off the cupboard onto the floor right in front of me. My mom telling me to stop moaning and get on with it.
I have also be to places that I didn’t know had ghosts and have felt ill, the hairs standing up on my arms and neck, and after when I have asked about tales of ghosts have been told well some people think there is one. The first time it happen to me when our with my now hubby it frighten the life out of him. He said I went such a funny colour, HA HA. Now he’s used to it.
Saturday, November 11th, 2006
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”
Off we went last night to see To Kill A Mockingbird, at the Rep.
To kill a mockingbird is a brilliant novel by Harper Lee about bigotry and prejudice in a small town. I read it at school and remember seeing the old black and white film some years ago. It had a huge impact on me then and is still relevant today.
Set in a small redneck town, it is the story of Attisus a principled lawyer who takes on the defense of a young black man who has been falsely accused of raping a white woman. Atticus’s family then becomes the targets for abuse and gossip. The story is told thought the eyes of Atticus’s young children Jem and Scout.
The play is as strong as the book, and takes more from the book than the film did. The performances were strong; I especially like Jean Louise (scout) played by Betty Jones and thought Duncan Preston as Atticus really good. I had only ever seen him do comedy roles. I will admit the final scene brought a tear to my eye.
Wednesday, November 15th, 2006
I became a small child again, when we went to see slava’s snowshow. At the hippodrome.
A show full of clowns, but not the silly type we have come to know, these were beautiful and touching mimes, (but still funny). From the opening loud music and red lit smoke, to being covered in a huge cobweb to the giant balls thrown out into the audience at the end was pure pleasure. There was just enough silly stuff, throwing water into the audience as well as dragging a woman onto stage for a bit of a keystone cops type run about and silly dances. Creepy bits like the spotlighted child’s rocking horse gently rocking back and forth and a white figure swing back and forth across the stage. At one point you have no choice but to suspend rational thought as Slava puts his arm into a coat that is hung on a coat stand and the coat comes to life. Now you knew it was just a coat but you just didn’t believe it. Then the special effects bubbles that fill the stage then drift out into the audience, coloured lights loud music, paper snow that falls from the ceiling. The best bit for me had to be when the stage went black, then it was lit with a light so bright that for a few seconds it hurt your eyes, a wind machine went into action and millions of pieces of paper snow were blown onto us, fantastic!
This show is a must, must see if you get a chance.
Last night I believed in magic and I loved it.
Sunday, December 3rd, 2006
Last night we went to Aston Hall.
At first I was a little disappointed, the last time we came here there were craft stalls, old medieval clothes, pork roast and a mead tent. This year it was one tent with crafts nothing different or out of the ordinary, no mead tent, just a table. We had a pork roast cob which was very chewy and had more apple sauce than anything else. We each had a different glass of ale so that we could taste them all. Hubby didn’t like any of them, number 1 son and myself liked the Kelpie seaweed ale so we brought a few bottles home.
Then to the house, before entering the house you stand in a large tent to be ‘entertained’ by a couple of jesters making balloon animals, both of whom looked like they wanted to be somewhere else. Then a duel between sir Thomas Holte and some other person I can’t remember the name of.
The house itself looked lovely by candle light. The high light of the evening for me was when both number 1 son and hubby got picked on by the ghosts of the past. (People dressed as they would have been and play acting the part). Number 1 son was told to take his hands out of his pockets and what a fine beard he had, then asked what he did for a living, and as quick as a flash he answered turning his job into the equivalent of what it would have been then. Hubby was not so good at it.
I took a few photos, I wasn’t aware that you could take them inside the house until we had got nearly all the way through.
Friday, December 8th, 2006
I love a good story and no one tells a story like John Edgar.
Back at the Arena last nigh to see John Edgar. Intersigns
Stories and folklore from Breton, I love these shows. This time the show was ‘Intersigns’ an intersign is like an omen, a warning of impending death. If only we bothered to stop and look and listen, (a bit like crossing the road). Everyone as them, we just never see them now as we are to busy to notice.
John tells these stories with such passion that you cannot help but get drawn in; the stories come from a range of sources and from the collection of Paul Sebillot and Emile Souvestre. The songs from Barzhad Breizh, which is a collection of Breton songs made in the 18th century by Theodore Herart de la Villemarque.
So we had tails of ghosts and ghostly visitors and fairies, (never ever upset one), giants and death, what a brilliant night.
I could listen to this man all night.
Thursday, December 7th, 2006
Think No Evil Of Us: My Life with Kenneth Williams.
Off to the Arena last night to see David Benson, in a semi-autobiographical show about Kenneth Williams, at his best and worst, (a scene in a restaurant, how rude can one man be)? Mixed in with the ever funny and heart warming stories from David’s past. This time his ‘barmy ‘mother who was taken away when he was a young boy. ‘Who else has a barmy mother’? He asked, I saw number 1 son put up his hand a little.
David wrote a story when he was young that won a competition and was read out on Jackanory by Kenneth Williams this started his love of the man.
David transports us back to school and into to the hall for assembly, he becomes the head and we sing ‘All things bright and beautifully’ and end up in detention, (number one son got picked on again, for chewing, serves him right for saying I am barmy). This is made all the funnier because it was a Birmingham school, no I am not knocking it coming from the place I understand, (although now I talk with a mix of that and black country, which sometimes confuses people).
There were lots of giggles at this point, more from the fact that we all remember school assembly and it was a little near to the true. School assembly should still be like that.
As ever a wonderful and brilliant show and a bostin night out.
When we went a wassailing at the Severn Valley Country Park…
We meet up with a small group of people who obviously did it every year, but were welcomed like old friends. First we walked through the woods to find ‘The Old Man of the woods’ this is the oldest apple tree in the wood. We then all stood round it and sang a wassailing song to wake up the trees. Then a large wooden bowl was filled with cider and the head of the group blessed it, this bowl was then passed around the group and everyone drank from it and asked the ‘Old Man’ for a wish, (I asked for my health problems to be sorted and they were, don’t burst my bubble I believe it was the ‘Old Man’ that did it). Then a cake was passed around and we each had a piece, it was explained to us that the sharing of the food and drink was to symbolize that we are all family, then we each dipped a piece of bread into the cider that was left in the bowl and placed it on the ‘Old Man’ and the remaining cider was poured on the tree roots we then said thank you to him for last years harvest. Next was a bon-fire , lit by the tree,( not by the tree itself, next to it), each person there takes some wood and throws it into the fire shouting out their family name, again this is to unite everyone there and to let the ‘Old Man’ know which families have given him an offering, so bring good luck to the families. The smoke purifies the trees and the air.
I must say I think it’s an experience everyone should have. Well perhaps not everyone, but if you have an open mind. I must admit when I got back to work and told people about it, the church goers where not too impressed.
Sunday, December 17th, 2006
eight pantos in Eighty Minutes.Friday saw us at the Arena to see The world famous Zanelli Franelli and his touring company in… eight pantos in eighty minutes.
Think Moulin Rouge meets The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a sprinkle of the Muppets and you have it! I loved the hysterical Cinderella, and Rupinda, (an Indian drum player, and very goods he was too). Aladdin done with animal puppets and Zanelli’s aged mom (with a voice to wake the dead), in-between each panto was a wonder to behold, ‘OH YES IT WAS’
I doubt very much I will ever see a panto done in quite this way again, which is a shame as it was great fun.
All together now ‘Oh YES …….
Tuesday, December 12th, 2006
On Sunday we went into town to see the canal boats.
The weather held out for us, (it had been freezing and wet all day), but it turned into a nice evening.
Some of the boats were a little disappointing, but I suppose it’s hard to light up a canal boat, saying that there were a couple that really went to town. We stood at the N.I.C. end so we didn’t have to wait too long to see all the boats, (I took a few photos, on the night setting) then the batteries went dead so I changed them forgot to reset the camera and took the rest on auto and would you believe that when I put them on the computer the night shots were rubbish, and the auto were fine!
The last boat had a huge white Christmas tree on it with fireworks coming from the top, but they took it down way to early to go under the bridge so we didn’t get the full effect. The evening finished off with a firework display, but we only saw the tail end of that as we were stood on the wrong side of the canal.
Then on to café Soya for tea, before heading home to watch Housewife 49. Did anyone see it? I thought it was quite good.
Monday, March 12th, 2007
The little girl who was too found of matches
Friday we went to the Arena to see ‘The little girl who was too found of matches.’ Performed by Impetuous Kinship.
Alice wakes to find her father dead, and so the tail begins, Alice as never left her home, where she lived with her farther and brother, living her life through her ‘Dictionaries’ When her father dies she as to go into town, (a place she as no understanding of). To try to buy the ‘coffin box’
With only two actors on stage and the rest of the cast on a video projected on to a screen at the back of the stage, this was an unusual and strong play, with a very powerful performance by Marcia Carr’s.
Monday, March 5th, 2007
A macaroon and a cup of tea will sort it.
Friday we went to the hippodrome. to see Acorn Antiques. the musical, from beginning to end it was a night of laughs and great music. Before curtain up there was an announcement to ask you to turn off your mobiles, and cuckoo clocks. Anyone found using a toasty maker would be asked to leave and if you had Maltesers in a box, not to roll them from side to side. So you just knew you were in for a good night.
To claim the first part of their dead father’s inheritance, all three sisters have to turn up at the bank, OK as far as Babs and Berta knew they were the only children, to claim the second part, one sister has to get married with the blessing of their mother. They don’t know who their mother is. The final part can only be found when they find the heart of Acorn Antiques. All this and the fact that the little row of shops is being taken over by coffee shops, piercing parlours, and other unwanted franchises.
Needless to say it all ends happily ever after, but I am not going to spoil it, you will have to go and see it.
Ria Jones. as Mrs Overall was just fantastic
Friday, March 2nd, 2007
My Favorite Summer
Last night to see a bit of am-dram. This play entitled My Favorite Summer written and directed by Nick Lane, had all the right components to be a good play but for me did not quite hit the mark. There was something missing, I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it. With an audience of around 30 or just over, most of which were family of the actors, (you can tell) who tried to give support by laughing far too much at almost everything Dave or Melvin said I felt spoiled it somewhat.
The story follows Dave for a month in a summer past, when after finding out his room mate, a girl he has loved, (or thought he has), for years is about to leave for the USA. He gets a job to save up to take her away and tell her his true feelings. The job a mind numbing factory job with only one other person to talk to called Melvin, a hard knock nutter. ‘The pissed me sen’ joke started to wear thin about half way through for me, it seemed to be just there to raise a giggle, which it did the first couple of times.
This is just my opinion, I think how ever I will give them a few more years to practice before I go to see them again.
Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
Last night we went to the Arena to see ‘You don’t need to know that…’ performed by Gonzo Moose.
It was not what I was expecting, the read up gave the idea that it would be along the lines of Kafka’s The Trial. OK so man receives letter asking him to fill in form, no form in envelope, man tries to phone number on letter to be passed from one person to another, put on hold and then cut off, (we have all been there). Next day man is arrested and convicted of a crime that he knows nothing about, is never told about etc etc. You know the story, mans fight against the faceless powers that be.
The read up said it was a collision of
Comedy, (bits were)
Drama, (missed that bit)
Slapstick, (could pass as)
Puppetry (well they inflated a pair of gloves up and made a man out of them, so I suppose yes).
The audience didn’t help either, we had a laughing Jack-Ass behind us who laugh at everything, (and I mean everything, man walked across stage, laugh. Man moved cupboard, laugh). Then at the funny? Bits about 30 seconds after everyone else had finished laughing!
Oh well it was a night out.
By the way man as head cut of at end, there you don’t have to go and see it now.
Friday, March 30th, 2007
Titter Ye Not
Last night we were at the, (go on have a guess), Arena. This time to see David Benson. with his ‘To be Frank’ show. Yet another brilliant performance from David, (I can never workout why the audiences are so small for this man). Tails of how David came to do the show in the first place and a wonderful Frankie Howerd. take off at the end. David always comes across as a friendly man you could have a chat with at your local, if you get the chance do go and see one of his shows.
On the way there we had a near miss; there we were driving along, slowing down for the traffic lights. When a bloody big white transit van squashed it self between us and the car next to us hitting that car,
‘Bloody idiot’ I thought.
Said van then smashed into the car in front of us.
‘Oh’ I grasped.
Said van reverse and rammed the car again, pushing it out of the way.
‘And again’ I said, in disbelief, I just could not believe what I was watching, it only happens on the telly! Of cause I know that it does happen, it’s just so unbelievable when you see it.
Anyway back to the story,
Van pulls away followed by a police car, (they have must have been chasing it), then another and another. There must have been about 10 police cars and a helicopter all dashing around Wolverhampton.
Monday, March 26th, 2007
On Friday we went to the Arena, (yes I know it’s becoming a bit of a habit), this time to see Mutton. Three 40 something’s doing sketch’s about the menopause, There were some good one liners, all of which escape me at the minute, (it’s because I am getting old), but as a whole show I was not that impressed. Oh I have just remembered one, Last night I went for a Jurassic curry, in the morning I had a mega-sore-arse. I can’t wait to drop that one into conversation, and I shall from now on call my hot flushes Power surges.
Sunday, November 19th, 2006
London part one
(Hubby won a European award earlier in the year)
We are back; I could get use to the lifestyle I have just experienced.
Right let’s start at the beginning. Friday morning, being all excited I suggested we get to the station an hour early, because by the time we got sorted and to the platform it would not be to far off the time for the train. It’s a good job we did! We got to the station to be told that because of technical problems on the line our train would not be stopping at the station, we would have to get to New Street to pick it up. That was OK there was a local train due in 10 minutes, which we waited for, that turned up 15 minuets late. We eventually arrived in New Street with about 5 minutes to spare. Got on the train to find it that full and we couldn’t make our way to our seats, after two stops we eventually got to sit down.
We arrived in London 10 minutes late and got a taxi to the hotel, which took nearly half an hour due to the traffic, (I couldn’t live in London, all the people would do my head in)!
We then booked into the The Royal Horseguards Hotel.
We decided to go out and do a little sight seeing; I have been to London a few times in the past, but hubby as only even driven through it working so it was all new to him, then back to the hotel to get changed and on to our champagne reception in the undercroft.
London part two
After a rest and shower we went for a drink, then on to The Banqueting House. First the Champagne Reception in the undercroft
The champagne flowed freely, and so did the nibble things, I had several glasses of the bubbly stuff. After consuming several bottles of bubbly we moved on to the banqueting Hall for the meal and awards. The room was awe inspiring.
We took our seats and the wine began to flow.
Champagne Vouban Fieies – Brut special Cuvee
Sancesse Blanc – Domaine Crcchet 2005
Cites de Beaune Villages – Louis Latous 2004
Cannelloni of Artichokes, peppers, Aubergine and Feta cheese
drizzled with a light coriander and basil dressing served with marmalade of sun brushed tomatoes and caramelized red onions
Rump of spring lamb with a minted pea ravioli
Dauphincise potatoes, summer bean cassoulette
served with rosemary jus
Iced nugatine and berry parfait with a crown of spun sugar and vodka raspberry coutis
coffee and petit four
Then the awards, there were several to give out, but I felt so proud when hubby went for his. The team he was part of had won their award for their work on making tail lifts safer for the people who have to use them, He was awarded a sliver dish, and because we long suffering wives have put up with the long hours and grumpy moods we too got a present. A beautiful sliver letter opener.
Then it was back to the hotel, where hubby joined his work mate for a few more beers and I went to the land of nod. I was worn out!
We decided to take the early breakfast, (7 am) in the 1-21-2 restaurant named after the old Whitehall number, and then do a little more sight seeing before getting the 11.10 train home. It was a lovely sunny morning and with only the occasional runner and odd tourist it was nice to walk round. We crossed the bridge into the south side and walked full circle back to the hotel.
And so homeward bound.
The train was bang on time, 10 minutes out of the station it stopped; yes you’ve guessed it more technical difficulties on the lines. 40 minutes later we were off again and back home by 3.
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007
Yesterday we took a return visit to Kyre Park. It has been a few years since our last visit and I have to say I was a little sad at how neglected It had become. The house and tearooms are closed, gone is the life sized chess set and the maze cut into the grass. The pathways for wheelchairs and push chairs unkempt and cover with broken branches.
However saying that it’s still as pretty as ever, (even if there was no water flowing in the tower).
The garden contains some unusual trees, and wild flowers, a folly, (a tower with underground trail), waterfalls, a ruined Hermitage, bridges, geese and swans, (who were nesting). Nice day out if you haven’t been before.
From there we went into Upton and had dinner in a nice little pub called The Plough Inn, right on the river side. Then on to the Malvern Hill and to the birthplace of Elgar.
A nice little museum. and the house where the great man was born. At £5 a head it’s well worth the visit. Take the audio tour.
Sunday, April 8th, 2007
Trains, buses, and Oh my, I should not have stood on the scales.
Yesterday as a belated birthday treat for number 1 son we took the train into Birmingham for a spot of lunch at The old Joint Stock. this used to be a bank and is absolutely beautiful inside. High ceilings, and decorated with a Victorian type feel to, it’s worth going in just for a look.
The food is reasonable priced and well cooked, however my poachers pie, which contained according to the menu, wild boar, pheasant, and veal tasted a lot like beef. Still, saying that it was lovely.
From there we got the bus to Moseley, to the Moseley beer festival at the skating park. We tried 9 beers between us, I liked Spring Zing by the Hop Back brewery, Best bitter by the Black Sheep brewery and Tiger best bitter by Everach, (might have spelt that wrong) brewery. I dare say there will be more info. on number 1 sons site.
I have just stood on the scales, what a mistake that was! 13.6 ¼, given I am only 5’1” I am as wide as I am tall. Time I think to change my life style.
Thursday, June 7th, 2007
1000 steps, dark corners, and oh I like that dress (part one)
Last weekend we took a trip to Warwick castle. it’s been many years since our last visit there. Number one son was quite young and a peacock took his sandwich out of his hand and ate it! Anyway back to the present.
At £15.95 each to get in, £3 for parking and that annoying thing of charging you that much then, £1.35 for a bottle of water, (yes you can take your own, but on a hot day it’s goes warm very quickly, and yes you could take a cool bag, but if you want to climb in and out, up and down it’s not a clever idea to take a big bag). And a further £2.75 to go into the ghost tower, (all because they have a few flashing lights and people dressed up, we didn’t go in). It’s not cheap, but it is a full day and there are lots of places to explore and things to watch, it is also a very beautiful place.
We started our trip around the castle by first going into the Dream of Battle, which opened this year, basically you have a few models, sound effects and films shows about a small boys dreams/nightmares the night before he goes into battle, it was quite good. Next onto Kingmaker, again models and sound tracks, but also the smells of the time, YUK! Then on to the chapel, great hall and state rooms, all done out with period furniture and models, (can you see a pattern here), followed by the Royal weekend party, (yes you have it models). That said it was done very well. The dungeons were small, (well der they would be, wouldn’t they), very dark and not nice. We then took a walk around the castle perimeters and up onto the ramparts, to the top of Guy’s tower; back down along another rampart into Caesar’s tower and back down to ground, (500 steps to climb up and then back down). From the top we had some lovely views of the grounds and an old part of Warwick town. We also walked to the top of the mound which is the oldest part of the castle
Next on our list was a walk to the Trebuchet viewing area to see, (yes you have it), the Trebuchet in action. All I can say is ‘WOW I am just very pleased I wasn’t anywhere near where that ball came down’! (The Trebuchet is the worlds biggest siege machine, just in case you are wondering). Then a walk down the river to the Mill and Engine house. Lots of machinery and a big water wheel. Very pretty.
We walked back around the castle and on to the bird of prey mews to have a look at the birds, you wouldn’t have thought birds could look ‘stuck-up’ but this lot managed it perfectly!
Then a stroll across Oak Tree lawn, (yes it was a stroll, I was a bit hot by this time), to the peacock garden so called because… anyone want a guess? Correct it has peacocks, and just in case they were all feeling unsociable and hiding, some of the bushes were cut into peacock shapes. There is also a very nice conservatory with some very large plants, (bigger than hubby and that’s saying something)! With only half an hour to the Winged warriors show we went and found a nice spot to sit, (and this is where I got sunburned) to watch the birdies. They are trained so well, flying just above our heads and refusing to come down from the battlements all good fun. This over we were only left with the Victorian Rose Garden to see so off we went. Very pretty and smelt divine.
On the way out we had a look around the tented village, not a lot was happening. All the villagers were sat eating, come to think about it that was all we had seen them do all day!
Then it was time for home, very tired, very hot and with sore feet, (perhaps new shoes were a mistake).
All in all it is a very nice day out, lots of thing to see and do, lots of history and if like us you are a bit daft, there’s plenty of room to pretend you a mediaeval knight and have a bit of a joust, (you could even buy a sword).
Monday, June 11th, 2007
Trice and trice more
Sunday saw us at Ruston Triangular Lodge Northamptonshire, we have been there before, but I had forgotten just how full of mystery it was.
Designed and built by Sir Thomas Tresham between 1593 and 1597 after being imprisoned for his beliefs. Sir Thomas was a roman catholic and built his lodge as a snub to the government of the time. It has three walls, three floors, three windows in each wall of each room and three doors in each room. The number 3 symbolising the Holy Trinity. A quotation from St. John’s gospel sits above the door ‘Tres Testimonium Dant’ which means ‘There are three that give witness.’
Letters and numbers can be seen right around the building, it is thought that there is a hidden message in these numbers and letters; no one yet had broken the code.
Saturday, August 4th, 2007
To Whitby or not to Whitby, that is the Question. (part one)
Whitby is some where I have always wanted to go, I have for a long time want to stand on the hill, look out to sea and see if I can spot the ‘Demeter’ So this year we went. I shall start my tail at the beginning.
We left home at 6.45 and headed for the OK Diner for breakfast, it was closed, so we carried on to the little chef, (very nice scrambled eggs there, hubby got a lolly-pop so he was happy). Ok let’s get serous now.
We headed first to York somewhere else I have never visited; we parked up and put 4 hours on the car. First we headed for the Castle Museum. This place is well worth a visit. It has a Edwardian street, war memorabilia, old clothes and loads of other stuff. It took us nearly two hours to go round.
Then we headed for the cathedral, (which took us ages to find), but it was packed out, so we decided to leave it and have a weekend there to do the sights.
Then it was on to Whitby, my first impression of Whitby was… ‘What have I done?’ It was not what I was expecting, I had a very Romanic idea in my head from reading Dracula, and I should have left it there!
We stayed at the Bagdale Hall. On the west side, this didn’t turn out to be what we thought either. We had booked into the Hall, (or so we thought) like the pictures on the site, but we were put in a plain back room, over looking the car park, that’s what we had booked they said, (I think not I would NOT let hubby book a room like that). Anyhow we were there so made the best of it. West side of Whitby was seaside town! (All the things I hate, rows of chip shops, junk shops and buckets and spades), not that I am against them, it’s just that I had gone for history, legends and myths, not sea side!
We took a walk up the front and popped into a café called The Marine Café, a very strange place run by kids. Hubby ordered cod and chips, but they had no cod, (I found this really funny, we were in a fishing port)! Anyway we had our haddock and chips, and I will say they were the best fish and chips I have had in a long time, (and they were huge pieces of fish, noting like we get here at home).
On the evening we took a walk up the hill and I looked out to sea for the Demeter, then had a look at the Whale Bones, (which are not the original) and the statue of James Cook.
We then went on a ghost walk with ‘The man in Black’ (otherwise know as Harry) which was fun, Picked up some nice stories on the way round, which I may tell you about later.
That done we decide to go and have something to eat, (now I can hear all you people who have been before laughing), Whitby closes at 9-9.30, so unless you are happy to sit in a pub there’s nothing to do and nowhere to eat. We just got into a Chinese restaurant before they closed called Ming’s Place, and ordered a meal for two. Fantastic! The food was out of this world, but you could have fed 22 with it.
And so to bed.
Up early and a walk along the front, I love this time of day, no one about, you can walk freely and look and see the beauty of the place, and it is beautiful without all the seaside junk. We walked to the end of the pier, the wind was howling, the sea rough. It is easy to see how Bram Stoker came to write his book, stood there at the end of the pier watching the sea, with nothing to hear but the wind and the gulls, the sea mist winding its way around the headland, it was both beautiful and eerie.
After breakfast, (which gave me another giggling fit, the woman on the next table asked for kippers, Whitby is a fishing port which I have already said, and is renowned for it’s smoked kippers, which are smoked just up the road, they hadn’t got any)!
We took the tour bus trip, this is great. For £3 each you can stay on the bus for as long as you like, or get off and on as much as you like, the bus comes with a very witty commentary from the driver and passes most places of interest, so we spent the day jumping on and off this bus, then when the day was over we went all the way round to listen to the commentary all the way through. So on our little tour we first got off at St. Hilda’s church and grave yard. The grave yard is very old, no one has been buried there for over 100 years, (Our bus driver got off the bus and showed hubby and I a couple of graves that people miss, as he recognized our accents and he comes from the west midlands too), any way the graves were of two pirates, on one of them you can just see the imprint of a skull, they think it’s real, but can’t touch it in case it falls to bits. St Hilda’s is a lovely church and I was really looking forwards to seeing inside, what another disappointment. All the pews had been covered over so that more plastic junk could be laid out for sale.
Whitby Abbey is a wonderful place, take an audio tour and you can listen to the history and legends told to you by St Hilda and a monk. The ruin itself is beautiful and is a must to go and see.
From there we went to captain Cooks Museum, very interest and some lovely old letters in Cooks own hand.
We then went to look at the Jet. Whitby is renowned for its Jet, and guess what? Hubby brought me some for my birthday, a necklace and matching earrings.
Time for a little light lunch so we popped into the Monks Haven, (all of the above were on the East side and I must say this was more like the Whitby I was expecting). We ordered baguettes; they came with that much filling in them they wouldn’t close, plus salad and crisp.
By the time we had got back to the West side it was early evening. We had been told by the bus driver to try ‘The Jolly Sailor’ for a good pint, so we did. It was a good pint and cheap, but no one was very jolly in there?
Off we went then for another walking tour with Harry, this time a Dracula walk (altogether now OOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo). No, come on it was very interesting, Harry told us how Stoker had woven parts of Whitby’s history and myths into his story, and how he had come to write the book, which was originally a play, ( I will tell you more later). All good fun,
and so to bed.
Before breakfast we decide to take a walk over the bridge to east side, all cobbled little streets, lovely, (bit of a mistake, did I tell you I had hurt my foot the day before? Don’t know how, but it hurt like hell)! Anyway back to the story, we took a walk past the 199 steps to St. Hilda’s and on to the end of the pier, we were going to walk the 199 steps, (something else I wanted to do), hubby looked quite relieved when I said lets leave it until tomorrow my foot hurts. Hehe.
After breakfast, (I ordered Kedgeree, you know smoked fish, rice, peas and egg, what I got was rice, peas and a tiny, tiny amount of fish). So we then decide on a drive across the moors. On the way we came across this bridge, (now you have to understand I love bridges, they fascinate me, and it doesn’t matter how many times I am told how they stay up there, I still don’t know how they stay up there). I so wanted a picture of this bridge
So hubby bless him, went and stood in the river to take it, he is the little dot.
Up on the moors we found a Roman road and went along that, the moors are best seen in the winter, when it’s cold and bleak. Of course that’s just my opinion.
Back to Whitby for a light lunch at Bomthas Victorian tea rooms. I know a nice light quiche salad, (I never learn). A huge piece of blue cheese and broccoli quiche, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, cress, onion, beetroot, spring onion, peppers, radish’s, apple, orange, new potatoes, crisp, carrots, sweet corn, coleslaw, potato salad, and egg salad. (They don’t do things by half’s here)!
After a little rest we went and had a look around the Grand Turk. It’s is sea bearing and the cannons do work; (I want a go, pleasssssse). The ship was used to film Hornblower, but sadly is now up for sail and may never see British waters again, so I am glad we saw it this time.
Next on our list of things to do was a sunset trip out to sea on the Esk Belle, yes you have it, we sailed out to see the sunset in the sea, and very pretty it was too.
Given that there was nothing else to do we then went on the twilight cruse, go out when it’s still light, come back in the dark. Our boat was chased by gulls, (who got me all down my back, is that lucky)?
From the sea you could see St. Hilda’s lit up. The local kids have a great time dancing in front of the lights and projecting shadow images onto the church walls. As we pulled into the harbor the heavens opened, so it was quick march to the hotel, (well it was a hobble for me, my foot had stated to swell!
After our morning stroll and breakfast we went to the Whitby Museum, founded in 1823 and set in lovely gardens, it is what a museum should be. I knew I was going to love the place as soon as I walked in, it smelt like a museum! It was full of local fossils, natural history, model ships, costumes, toys, jet, relics from Captain Cook and the Scoresbys – famous whalers, and a glory Hand. What is a glory hand I hear you ask, and I am glad you did, because I really wanted to tell you.
In days of old, when people were hung, it was thought that if you cut off the hand of the hung person, squeezed out the blood using a piece of the burial shroud, then preserved the hand in salt and other herbs, it gained magical powers. People believe that if you placed a candle in-between the second and third knuckle and carried into the place you wanted to rob, the people there would fall into a deep, deep sleep, so you could get away with it. They found the hand they have in the museum at the back of the church; they think the people who were going to rob the church had second thoughts and left the hand.
By this time my poor old foot had, had it so we went into town and got one of those elastic bandages, (the ones that cut your blood off ha-ha). And so to give it a rest went for another drive over the moors to Rosedale, where we stopped and had lunch at the Coach House Inn.
As my foot still didn’t feel any better we drove out over the moors in the evening to.
My foot had swollen to twice the size, so after breakfast we decide to head for home, we didn’t stop on the way back as the car had started to make very strange noises. Once home we went to Chiquito’s for tea, (who wants to cook when they have just got home from there holidays)?
And so to the story of Dracula…
So to the story of Dracula, so this is a photo of the cliff face and me looking out to sea for the Demeter and this is the beach where the ship ran aground, in real life a ship did run aground here. However the captain was not lashed to the wheel dead like the captain of the Demeter, but he was dead… dead drunk.
Dracula left the ship as a big black dog, there is a legend of a black dog in Whitby that says if you and you alone hear a dog howl, you will die shortly.
The dog ran up the 199 steps to St Hilda’s church to hide in the grave yard.
This is the screaming tunnel, where Dracula claimed a victim
There are bats in Whitby, and baby gulls sometimes get confused when landing on window ledges and they will tap the glass trying to get the reflection to feed them. So Stoker took the bats and made them the size of the gulls and let them tap on the windows of his victims.
There are bats in Whitby, and baby gulls sometimes get confused when landing on window ledges and they will tap the glass trying to get the reflection to feed them. So Stoker took the bats and made them the size of the gulls and let them tap on the windows of his victims.
The glowing eyes of Dracula come from the fact that when Stokers boarding house landlady threw him out so that she could clean, he would sit in the second story of the Royal Hotel, which over looks St Hilda’s, at certain parts of the day the sun glints off St Hilda’s and gives the appearance of two eye.
So would I go to Whitby again, the answer, no. I feel they are losing the history to plastic buckets and side show amusements and yes I know they have to make a living, but it’s sad!
and I never got to walk the 199 steps!