Monthly Archives: May 2010


Here’s our latest meander, courtesy of a quick drive up the M6 to deliver Ellie back to University. Lancaster’s a lovely city, and when there are stalls out on the streets selling all sorts of knick-knacks, bric-a-brac, oojamaflips and wossnames, the place hums with a happy babble. Here, people gather outside… well, can you guess what the building is?

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Mary bought herself Chinese food from a street-vendor, while I moved along a couple of stalls and had the tastiest biriani.






This lass was something else – nice powerful thighs there….. sorry, drifted off for a moment. To preview her ‘Strongwoman’ act, she hoicked a bystander off his feet and carried him off. Much to the distress of his child (on the right), and the amusement of his OH (upper right).


Up the hill is the castle, but it costs a fair whack to be toured around, and as regular readers will know I am a Yorkshireman, and if it’s not free, it can bloody well bugger off. Here’s the outside of the castle with a pretty tree.


In the castle grounds, ‘jolly re-enactors’ were teaching children to fight with swords, maces and other weapons. Cos that’s ALWAYS a good idea.

Dscf0909 From the castle grounds you get a lovely view. NOTE: Tom Wigam, apparently, is a dirty emo and a tramp.


Next photos – gargoyles on the church, and Mary nomming her Chinese. I make no comparison. No comparison at all.

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And here’s the very pretty church interior.


Another view from the castle, this time of the monument in Williamson Park. You can probably see Ellie’s house from here as well (not pictured).

Dscf0917 Lovely curves, both on the street and on the photographer (Mary took this one).


And here’s Ellie looking picturesque while resting on the castle steps.

Dscf0924A red door yes, but WTF are these hooks for by the lamp? I can’t imagine, personally. (well, I can, but I doubt my weird ideas are anywhere near the actual truth)










Despite the prominence of the signpost, I have absolutely no idea of the name of this square. Pretty though, int it?


Houses looming like vultures over the corpses of two garages (poetic, eh?)




On the old Co-op building. Something about co-operative insects or something, probably.




And here’s this post’s obligatory sweet shop.


Interestingly, the streets of Lancaster are paved with old pennies and stuff, all glued into the pavement. Look closely, and you’ll see quite a few foreign coins as well (well, not in the photo you won’t, but if you were actually THERE you would)


Finally, the sexy Queen Victoria towers greenly above us as we take our leave.


Cinematic wonderfulness

Some of my favourite films. How many can you recognise?

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Captain Hammer


See this place? This is the Drill Hall in Bury, and is where Cat’s college are mounting the A Level Art exhibition. Today I went to help stick things up (yes, yes, that’s what she said). Here are some words and photos.

01 The hall itself was filled with chipboard ‘walls’ enough for fifty or so students to display their work. And, bugger me, there was some good stuff. Talent abounds among the 18 year olds of our mighty nation, believe you me.

I managed to snaffle a hammer, and so became Captain Hammer for quite some time for Cat and her nearby friends. Cat had yoinked a bigarsed staple gun (Damage 34), so we had all the bases covered. Except for height. I didn’t fancy leaping like Nureyev and whacking the staple gun at the chipboard while at the pinnacle of my grand jeté, so we spent a lot of time passing a chair around. That bloody stepladder in the photo was nowhere to be seen when we went looking.

02 I enjoyed the cameraderie, badinage and spirit of helpfulness amongst the students enormously. They were all constantly helping each other out. In the photo on the left, Cat is either waiting for a chair, bracing the chipboard, or playing ‘Catch The Hammer’ with Camilla.

Enough witter, let’s look at some actual art, shall we? Here’s a collection of smaller pieces by Cat. As you can probably tell, one of her chosen subjects was ‘Tools’.DSCF0823And look, in her final ‘Tools’ piece, those are my tools. I use that screwdriver! For like, screwing and stuff!DSCF0822 Here’s some work from Cat’s second subject, probably called ‘Naked Laydeez’ –DSCF0825 DSCF0826 And here’s her final piece, which I think shows a couple of Dali touches. I particularly like what’s going on with the arms. Plus, if you look closely, you might be lucky enough to see the nails that I, Captain Hammer, steered skillfully into place.DSCF0824DSCF0828And here IS Cat, with her completed display.

Now, it goes without saying that Cat’s work was by far the best (hey, it’s my blog so I’ll be the judge, thank you very much), but I thought you might like to see a few other bits by her friends, including this rather wonderful work spread over four canvases by Cat’s mate Kathryn. (Yes, I hammered away like a good ‘un putting these up too. The big worry was always to avoid thrusting the nail all the way through the chipboard AND whatever piece of work someone have carefully mounted on the other side. Much measuring involved). Sorry for the digression, here’s Kathryn’s seascape:DSCF0829

I also fell in love with this, by the very talented Camilla (or Kamilla, I’m not sure of the spelling)DSCF0832Finally, here’s a couple of photos of Cat and Kathryn working on their displays, and then after several hours of mounting and making sure everything was just right.DSCF0836 DSCF0840 In my opinion, Cat’s Graphics work is several levels above her Art, so I’m sure I’ll be posting something about that soon.

Empowered Wombettes

Election Two years ago, Ellie voted for the first time.

This year, for the 2010 General Election, she actually took it far more seriously, investigating the various candidates and their policies, and jumping through several hoops to arrange a postal vote so that she wouldn’t miss out on the chance to have her say.

Cat voted this evening for the first time. She seemed surprised that it was “so easy”, and afterwards she “felt different, more adult”, as if she had gone through a rite of passage.

The points of this little post are –

1. don’t get depressed at all the lazy, apathetic dimwits who insist on not voting. There are far more people out there who realise its importance than those who don’t.

2. Jesus, how can my daughters be old enough to vote? Two weeks ago they were six. SIX, I tell you!

Oh, PS – how wonderful it has been this year to be able to personally communicate with the various candidates through Twitter. The LibDem, Labour and Pirate Party candidates have been particularly enthusiastic and forthcoming. I may or may not post the results tomorrow….

Where the wild garlick grows

There are two debated origins for the name of Ramsbottom, a small town nestling at the foot of the Rossendale valley. The first suggests that the derivation is from the pre-7th century Olde English word ‘hramsa’ meaning garlic and ‘bopm’, which strictly speaking means land at the bottom of a valley suitable for agriculture. I reckon the weather fifteen hundred years ago must have been much warmer for garlic to grow so far north.

01The second suggestion is the rather more mundane “Valley with some rams in it”, although it occurs to me there is a third possibility, that perhaps it got its name from someone comparing the place to a sheep’s arse.

In fact, it is an attractive town with an old-fashioned feel, some fascinating shops, and a steam railway. Also, it has a well-stocked craft and art supplies shop, which is where I was really going when I tacked on this #wander.

As you enter Rammy (as the locals call it), you cross the level-crossing and can see the station on the left.02


0504 The station is beautifully looked after, and takes me right back into Nostalgia Land. Even the adverts hark back to a simpler time.



Across the road from the station is the Station Garage, (on the left there near the pub) which also has a Fifties feel.07

Round the corner is the road bridge over the Irwell.08

09The signal box by the level crossing is full of big old wheels and levers. I tried to photograph them, but kept getting a boring reflection of a wombat.



A railway buffer that has seen quite a bit of wear and tear.10 

Here’s the railway footbridge, with Holcombe Hill in the background. That’s Peel Tower on the top there – great views from up there on a sunny day.12


A couple of shots from the walk up into town – see the church behind the police station? Lovely place, and of course I neglected to take any close shots of it to show you. I did, however, snap the Garden of Rememberance:





Not far from the church, is a shop that I believe @captain_doodle would appreciate – the sign on the right says “Sweets – Ice Cream – Teddy Bears”






And I couldn’t leave the environs of the church without taking this photograph, which I shall call “New Life and Death”. See what I did there? 






The market square features this urn thingy which, when it is working, pours water continuously onto the ground.18

Here can be found The Chocolate Café, which serves dishes such as Steak & Vegetables Cooked In Chocolate Beer, and Roasted Brioche with Melted Chocolate.19

Finally, a shot back down the hill…20

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