Monthly Archives: April 2010

Bolton #Wanderer

DSC00958 The streets of Bolton are paved with quotes. Quotes from famous Boltonians (if that’s the word), unheard of Boltonians, and from Boltonian schoolkids.

The one on the right is from a famous Boltonian steeplejack, who I’m sure you all remember. For the few of you who are either too young or have crap memories, there’s a fairly unrealistic statue in the town centre –DSC00206

But I’m getting ahead of myself – we haven’t even got there yet. First, we shall drive along the daff-lined Bolton Road…DSC00987

DSC00985 … and past the shop with arguably the best name in the world (although it does face strong competition in these parts from such establishments as the bakery “Nice Buns Big Baps” and the Chinese restaurant called “Wok This Way”.


Walking past this stream hidden way down in an apparently inaccessible culvert we get to the Parish Church. It sits impressively atop a hill with high retaining walls, and towers over visitors as they enter the town.







Equally impressive, but for entirely different reasons, is Ye Olde Pastie Shop, first established in 1667 (a year when Dutch troops attacked Royal Navy ships in London and burnt them), which does serve the best pasties in Bolton.


A short way up the road is The Old Man and Scythe hostelry (which actually is old) next to “Ye Olde Wench & Trinkets” (whish isn’t).DSC00959

DSC00977A sign above the pub tells us that this happened in 1651. The Earl was executed because of his part in the Bolton Massacre.

Just up the road is the Prestons Jewellers building, which is in itself pretty impressive, but also notice the golden ball thingy on the very top. It is on rails, and has a cable with which it can be raised and then dropped. I have NO idea why, or when it might be used.DSC00960

Bolton is full of animals, too – here’s a Town Hall lion, together with his own quote…DSC00963 DSC00956

… and a couple of elephants:DSC00971 DSC00970






No pigeons though, for they value their undercarriages –DSC00968

DSC00967I enjoyed the back of this statue, particularly the care the artist had put into the folds of cloth –


This little carving was at the side of the Town Hall:DSC00964






    Oh and look, a Woollies! Ah, Memories!








And here’s the perfect quote to end the blog… DSC00955


volcanoThose of you who are at a distance from these sunny shores (yes, I’m talking about you Liz), may not have noticed that a volcano has erupted under a glacier in the Eyjafjallajökull area of Iceland, causing a cloud of volcanic ash to spread over the UK and Europe, which in turn has led to British airports being shut down, and peeps being stranded all over the place. (I have acquaintances stuck in Germany, Dubai and Australia).

Not that we ground-huggers can see anything different or dramatic from down here. Except, that is, from a refreshing absence of any aeroplanes and contrails in our skies. This is my sky yesterday evening.DSCF0673

So, no actual real problems for us stay-at-homes yet caused by the eruption, except perhaps for the plane-spotters amongst us. Also this – how the hell do you pronounce Eyjafjallajökull?

As usual, we can rely on the BBC – here is their Pronunciation Unit’s guide on how to say the glacier’s name. Eyjafjallajökull (or Eyafallajökull) is pronounced –

AY-uh-fyat-luh-YOE-kuutl (-uh)

That is -ay as in day, -fy as in few, -oe as in French coeur, -uu as in boot, the -tl as in atlas. The (-uh) is “a” as in ago. Stressed syllables are in capital letters.

So there you go – now you can impress your friends with your Icelandic pronunciation. Me? I’ll carry on calling it Eyefullofjaffacake. It has the dual advantage of being both easier and funnier.

A Bristolian Wander

Dscf0614Well now, here we are with a couple of hours to spend in Bristol while Cat goes to her UWE interview. Bristol is bathed in Spring sunshine. Where shall we go first? Being female, Mary wants to find some shops, so let’s go looking, eh? First, we find this, which is large, old and churchy. I conclude that it is a large old church.

Shortly, we arrive at St. Nicholas’ Market, a fascinating collection of stalls, including foods from around the world, second-hand bookshops, unusual clothes shops and more. I suspect that the University students use it a lot. Also, it is quite beautiful – check out the shadows thrown by the roof:Dscf0618 Interesting clobber at this place, too –DSCF0616 After a meander around the market, which would have made a #wander all of its own, we headed back down to the Harbourside.Dscf0625 From here we strolled down towards this footbridge, which has what appear to be two giant cream horns sprouting from it,Dscf0627 

Dscf0628…passing some interesting sights on the way, although I preferred






to photograph a rusty chain and a mooring bollard. I’m either sensitive to texture and spatiotemporal context, or I’m an eejit. Make up your own mind.


I also photographed these pretty flowers, though.




Four cranes loom menacingly over the south end of the harbour, from where can be seen a row of pretty houses near yet another church.



We still haven’t found any shops, have we? Around the next corner we stumble across the Aquarium, outside which is this proud beastie. Anybody got a giant cup and a huge sheet of paper?


Dscf0643And here’s the Planetarium –



Yes, that’s a Wombat reflected in the glass there. Dscf0644







Up past the Cathedral gardens, looking peaceful and tempting of a sit down while gazing at the rather lovely windows, Dscf0648Dscf0649 

Dscf0651 … but no! For we are on a quest to find some shops.

I liked this clock that will always tell the right time.





Now we catch sight of a few shops, but they sit on a very steep hill. I am reliably informed that @AhcomeonnowTed once cycled up this hill. How mighty-thewed must his thighs be, eh?




At the top (and along a little bit), we get this expansive view over Bristol.


Just a little way on, Little Mavis takes this fantastic photograph, which I shall call ‘Trees’. Can you see why? Yep, thought you would.Dscf0657

Dscf0660 This is Zed Alley – I wonder if the lamp is tilted due to hundreds of kids swinging from the crossbar over the decades.Dscf0659






And Dscf0661finally, after passing this clock which must be real fun when it is working (which it was not), we found the Shopping Centre and bought some Pick and Mix.


On the way back to the Park and Ride we passed this extremely attractive graffiti in a passageway –Dscf0663 Finally, out of the bus window, I snapped this shot of the coloured houses on the hillside. A Bristolian Balamory, if you will.


Cat’s interview, though, did not seem to go well, since those taking it appeared to go against what they had told us at the Open Day regarding Foundation years. Time will tell.

Oh yes, it’s going to be amazing ….


“I hate yoghurt. It’s just stuff, with bits in.”

“Beans are evil. Bad bad beans.”

“Timey wimey!”

“One more, just one. Is this world protected? ‘Cause you’re not the first lot to have come here. Oh, there have been so many. And what you’re got to ask is, what happened to them?…
Hello! I’m The Doctor. Basically, run.”

“You’re Scottish, fry something.”

“Did he just bring them back? Did he just save the world from aliens and then bring all the aliens back again?”

“You just summoned aliens back to Earth. Actual aliens. Deadly aliens. Aliens of death. And now you’re taking your clothes off? Amy, he’s taking his clothes off!”

“Of course you’re not, you’re not scared of anything! Box falls out of the sky, man falls out of the box, man eats fish custard… and look at you! Just sittin’ there.”

“I used to hate apples. Then my mum  put faces on ‘em.”


(This was also posted on Twitter Wanders)

You knew it had to come one day. Oh aye, its only a footy #wander – got your hat and scarf on? DSC00930 Let’s go then, and treat ourselves to a Botulism Burger before the match, unless you’d prefer chips & cheese, with a side order of toffee apple?

A quick visit to the shop will show you that the home team play in a disturbing mix of pale blue and dark brown. The two octogenarian ladies who sit behind us refer to these as DSC00931“them shit shirts”.

As in – “Yer rubbish, you lot! You’ll never win anything wearing them shit shirts!”. They are gentle, grey-haired, polite old ladies. Except at the footy. That’s enough blather for now, Wombat, get on with the photos –

The South Stand turnstiles. Notice how busy they aren’t.




DSC00939South Stand filling up:







DSC00940 <—Programme.


Now, I’m going to blather a bit more about this programme, and show you the full front cover, because… well, you’ll see. Take a look –


Dsc00940aYou’re right! It IS a footballer in a mini skirt. And if anyone can tell me what exactly is going on in his groinal area, I’d be more than interested. The best that Twitter could come up with was that he’d been infected by an Alien which had attached itself to an orifice other than his mouth. And, with that thought, look! Cheerleaders!

dsc00941a (actually, that’s a shot from a different day, cos I wasn’t close enough this visit, but I couldn’t let a footy #wander go by without mentioning the cheerleaders, could I? I might be rapidly aging, but I am male after all)

Two flags! One, a corner flag, and the other… not.







Here’s a seat with a great view, but I wouldn’t want to sit there –


And finally, a shot which sums up Bury’s traditionally fervent support –


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