Monthly Archives: July 2009
And even “Nah then”. Which is all my amusingly twee way of introducing this little blog about our trip over to God’s own county to visit Mrs. Wombat’s dad. All four of us piled in the car, plus Ben, plus luggage for a few days – hurray for the Tardis-like qualities of the Meriva! As we left it was pissing down hard, but left off as we crossed the Pennines. By the time we reached the A64, it was fine enough so that we could stop at the Pick Your Own.Mary and Ellie set to with a will amongst the strawberry plants –– while i wandered over with Ben to take a look at the field of gorgeous lavendar growing nearby. I found this poppy (the most beautiful of flowers) showing itself off against the blue field.“Aha!” thought I, “I’ll trry getting Ben to show himself off against the blue field. Mostly he just wanted to wee on the blue field, so it took a while, but eventually I managed to take this.Meanwhile, the family (now including Cat) had moved on to the tayberries. Those of you who know this delicious fruit, will understand that it is VERY spiky and hurtful of fingers, so I let them do all the hard work. (“I would help, but I’m just taking a few photos”)And for those of you who don’t know, here’s a tayberry. Looks a bit like a long raspberry, doesn’t it? They are delicious, either with sugar and cream, or cooked in a crumble or pie.Here’s the punnet of strawberries, which we had that evening with cream and a rather nice rosé wine (oh alright, Black Tower, since you ask).
A day trip to Whitby, this time with five and a dog in the Meriva, Mary’s dad joining us for the trip. We found a parking space pretty easily on the North side (not always the case), which meant that the first shop we came to was this wonderful bakery.
“Do you fancy a bun, Michael?” Oh yeah, I’m all about the buns. Here’s the choice I had – what would you have chosen?One lemon curd tart later, and its down the hill towards the town centre. Here’s Cat wondering whether she can afford a Totoro plushie (she couldn’t). Note the abbey up on the hill in the background.Lemon curd tart notwithstanding, we found a seat overlooking the harbour and abbey –– and had the most exquisite haddock and chips. Lots of S&V, so the aroma was intoxicating. Look at the size of the fish! You can barely see the chips beneath, and there were indeed many of those.A bit further down the harbour, we could see the swing bridge over to the South side of town –So across we went, into the old narrow streets and small, independent (and unusual) shops. It was getting quite crowded by now, and the sun was out.Cat spotted the guy from Curio Corner feeding the doves that live in the square, but I was just too late to photograph them flocking about her head. I’m going to post the picture I took anyway, so ner.After an afternoon of window-shopping, and view-admiring, we decided NOT to climb the gazillion steps up to the abbey. Google the place if you want to know exactly how many there are, but suffice to say it’s a lot. On the way back to the car, we passed the statue of Captain Cook, wearing a jaunty seagull.Turning around on the spot, I photographed this view across the harbour –The drive back was inbteresting, for we stopped in Sneaton at Beacon Farm. Why? A quick read of the sign should tell you that.If you’re ever in the Whitby area, do yourself a favour and visit this place, for they make the finest ice-cream I’ve ever tasted. Here’s a wombat anjoying a Muddy Puddle Sundae. Oh. My. Goodness.
Back in good old…
… we also quite often visited the peaceful Filey Hides. There’s an area of protected wetland which is visited by any number of birds of multifarious breeds…Its a relaxing, quiet, calm place, with hides so that the creatures of nature are not frightened away by our great hulking humanity. Here are the girls, looking for heron – they spotted several, along with a fairly long list of other breeds.And finally, we walked up to the Muston Scarecrow Festival, which included this loveable chap.I’ll put all the Scarecrow stuff into a little movie on Youtube, I reckon, so I’ll not bother sticking any other photos of it here. I’ll just say though, twas a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. And it didn’t rain. At least, not until we got back over the Pennines into Lancashire. There’s some sort of metaphor there, I’m sure.
Yo readers. Ben’s been getting really bored today stuck inside because of the constant rain. I try to take him out, but he just gives me a look that says “You must be joking!” So I’ve decided to let him do a blog. It turned out to be a bit hard to type with his paws, so I’ll proof-read it and correct any errors. Over to Ben –
Ahem. Woof, and so on.
Today I’ll be telling you about a recent walk, and showing you some of the wonders of nature I come across as I take Beardy Bloke on rambles around the countryside. First, we’ll just get over this wall into the next field…
…which is full of brilliant long grass! Can you see me? I’ll leap up and down a bit as I run so I can keep an eye on you and make sure you don’t get lost.Over the far side of the field is this wonky tree, which we call the Wonky Tree. There’s some pretty pink flowers in front of it, look. Usually, we turn left at the Wonky Tree, which leads us to…… Fallingdown Wood. I think Fallingdown Wood is dead good, cos it smells of oldness and moss and insects and dog-wee and rotting wood. Its very quiet usually, except some birds do tweeting and stuff.Here’s Beardy Bloke in Fallingdown Wood, to show you what I have to put up with.After the wood, we walk uphill past a gate that sometimes we climb over (or through in my case – Beardy Bloke bends the wire) if we want to go further and swim in the lodge. There’s a scary bridge that way though, so I’m glad we went past this time. Beardy Bloke told me that when he was a puppy, they called this white plant Mother-Die, and all ther boys thought that if you touched it your mother would die, or you’d wet the bed or something.Buttercups! There are buttercups everywhere, and if you want to see if you like butter, this is what you have to do with them –Some of the wildlife we see, includes fish – can you see it? Look, where I’m pointing. I’m pointing at it.Signs of more mysterious wildlife, now, and these strange droppings show us that the creature has passed by recently. Actually, it smells quite tasty…And there it is! Ssshhh – don’t spook it.Brilliant, I’ve found a stick! I love a good game of chase the stick. Beardy Bloke does the chasing, of course, I just run away from him. I always win cos I’ve got four legs, and he’s only got a measly two. Its a bit small, actually. I wonder if I can find a bigger one? YES! Chase this, Beardy!Oh, he got it. Right, you bugger, throw it. Go on, throw it! Throw the damn stick already!And now I’m knackered after all that chasing. Its quite hard work walking up the hill.Time for a sit down. Hmmm, looks like it might be clouding over.Oh yeah. Definitely a storm coming. Wonder if we can get back before the rain starts?Erm… nope. I’m all soggy now, look. Ew.But I do love getting towelled off! Wheeeee!I’m all dry now, Beardy Bloke. Any chance of a dog-chew? Stick some Metallica on the stereo while you’re at it.
What’s the worst bit about doing a Car Boot? That’s right, getting up at bloody 6am on a Sunday morning. Still, I managed it, though Labrador Ben grumbled at the unaccustomed early disturbance. Ellie, Gawd bless ‘er, also managed to rise, and two slices of toast and a five minute drive later we were setting up in the car park with a dozen other early risers.
It was quite disconcerting to be surrounded by dealers as we set up out dress rack and trestle table; they were buzzing around the car like wasps in jam, peering through the car windows at the stuff we had yet to take out. Here’s a dealer –So we had the table covered with Playmobil and assorted thingies, boxes of books, CDs, DVDs and (in a vain hope of getting money for such anachronistic technology) cassette tapes. Also there (another vain hope) was a huge box full of the VHS version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Clothes dangled from a rack on my left, dancing about in the wind like a ghostly conga line.
My first thought as the initial customers drifted past my goods without interest was that we’d be lucky to make a tenner here, then a voice from my left – “How much for this top?” and we were off! Over the next five hours, I sold a wide variety of goods for between 5p and £10.
There was a bloke who loved my DVDs, and bought kerzillions. There was a young boy, maybe ten years old, who looked tough and, I reasoned, was sure to be attracted by the plastic scorpion and tarantula. He bought a fluffy chick. A blonde babe thought my idea of packing Playmobil in Chinese takeaway boxes was brilliant, and bought four. Fluffy Chick Kid came back and bought some models of little birdies. A guy in a “I got wood” T-shirt cried “Buffy on VHS! Wow!”, and bought the lot, although he had to go fetch his car to take them home. Another feller found that a lot of my cassette tapes were folk music, and bought lots. Fluffy Chick Kid brought a few of his mates to the stall, telling them “This mester sells these really cool little statues of stuff”, of which they bought many. Items that I thought would never sell went quickly (a USB standard lamp!?), and others that I predicted would disappear quickly hardly raised an eyebrow. Nobody seemed to want books, oddly (and sadly). Although I did sell a very large volume of G K Chesterton.
By noon, there was a lot more table surface to see than there had been at seven, and we’d made THIS much money!
Hello Blog. I’m waiting to pick Cat up from College –… and she’s a bit late. I thought I’d pass the time blogging about waiting to pick Cat up from college. As you can see, it has been raining pretty hard –Ooh look, you can just make me out in the puddle! Groovy! Where else might I find a weird reflection?
Aha!Wimbledon is on the radio – the first semi-final. Hopefully I’ll make it back home in time to see Andy Murray play Andy Roddick in the second semi…. Yay, here comes Cat now.Careful of the puddles Cat, jump!
So Cat is running a Film Festival at college on Friday, and couldn’t find the DVD of “My Neighbour Totoro” that she had planned to show. This is because I had lent it to me mam, and being a kind-hearted father I said I’d drive up and get it back. On the hottest day of the year. Still, Ben said he’d come with, so at least I had some stimulating conversation as we crossed the moor on Grane Road.
Ben: whine. wet nose poke.I tried to take a picture as we crossed Shard Bridge, but it went a bit doolally:Ben got bored and tried to stick his head in the breeze from the window:Nearer to Knott End, there’s the studio of an artist who works in glass, outside which is this wonderful glass sculpture. At night it glows with a myriad colours. But it wasn’t night, so not so much, but you get the idea:Look! A stinky bin lorry – just what you want to be stuck behind on a hot day:Ben was happy when we finally arrived, and immediately communicated to me mam that he would quite like a bit of cheese please.My good chum Janice had sent me, for mysterious reasons, some Florida beach sand recently, and Mam was amazed and delighted by this:Little things please all of us. “Here’s the DVD Mam, can I take it?”Took Poindexter for a bracing walk around Knott End –– and passed my favourite Knott End shop:The last two pics are of the tiled area near the village clock, where villagers sponsored a tile to pay for, erm, the clock, and me mam and dad’s tile.And finally, just because I picked it up from me Mam, here’s a photo of Wombat and sister of Wombat.