Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday 30th April Saxmundham House Hunmanby

Although the meet started on Thursday, it was my Birthday and we were expecting our youngest daughter to visit, so couldn't come till Friday morning.
Although there were brief showers on the way we were lucky enough to arrive in good weather and get a pitch with a mains hook up (which we hadn't expected)
We had some bad news as one of our oldest group members (Elsie Evans, died yesterday, and her husband Ivan is very ill, too) also our past Chairman David Proudly is in Hospital with inoperable pancreatic Cancer.
Our sympathies go out to the respective families!
As we rather expected it began to rain heavily later in the afternoon so Pat and I went down into Hunmanby to have a fish and chip tea in the local cafe, which was very enjoyable.
I couldn't resist taking some photos despite the rain of course!
Hunmanby is full of history, and here is a reference that will give more detail
Obviously it even has a prehistory even before it was give it's present name.
The market square is very picturesque as is the All Saints church, which dominates the village skyline.

In this image is a stone pillar, all that remains of a Saxon cross, and it was here that Farmers on the first Tuesday after Martinmas (2nd November) would hire their farm staff for the following year, a small plaque announces that "Lads and Lasses with a full years wages in their pockets thronged the town seeking employment for the following year
The village was owned by a local lord until realatively recent times, as can be seen by the coat of arms that adorns some of the houses
The floral tubs contain some really lovely tulips right now as you can see here. As we came out of the Cafe it was raining so rather hastily I took these images
Aren't they a picture? they really brightened up the Market Place

This last Tulip was past it's best but still worth a close up, filled with rainwater as it was.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Remembering a recent visit to Saltburn

Saltburn is one of those seaside places created by the Victorians and made possible by the Railways. This first view is looking South from the side of the water powered Cliff Lift booth, onto the main road into the town, just where the 1 in 4 hairpin bends begin!
Looking a little closer you can see the pub which can get a bit windswept if there is a high tide and an Easterly Gale!
The pier or rather the half of the pier that has survived is still a tourist attraction, it is a little surprising to learn that more damage was done to it by ships sailing through it than by the actions of time and tide!
Here is a closer view, it looks rather frail against the waves but somehow it has hung together for a hundred years or so!
The easterly wind had attracted one of two "Slope soarers" her is one with a fairly typical flying arrangement, this is pretty much the usual fare
Bit this chap had a very different contraption. The inflatable nylon wing isn't particularly special.
like the chap with the conventional microlight he was flying up and down for at least half an hour as we watched
What was surprising when he came close was the "Body Bag!" (I wonder what it's Called?) that he was sitting in
I couldn't help but wonder how he got off the ground then presumably got his legs and body into the bag, presumably then zipping it shut, and all the while controlling the floppy wing arrangement overhead? Sounds like a job and a half to me!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday 25th April Last day in the lakes

Well, I suppose the weather had to change eventually at least it chose our last full day to do so and we woke to the sound of heavy rain.
Not to worry, this gave us an excuse to hava a lazy morning and generally tidy round the van in preparation for going home tomorrow.
Eventually we stirred ourselves and drove into Keswick to do some last day shopping at Booths and to have lunch there.
With this done we drove up to Castlerigg Stone Circle and I braved the rain to do a Panoramic which for a change is facing north as this was the only way to keep the rain off the camera lens!
After returning to camp it brightened for a few minutes and I went down to the side of the lake and took this shot but almost immediately the rain returned and I beat a hasty retreat back to the caravan.
After a nice tea of grilled Cumberland Sausage, veg etc. followed by a microwaved sticky toffee pudding with instant custard I was ready to try my luck with the weather again.
This time at least there were short bursts of sunshine between the low scudding clouds and this made for more dramatic pictures
To the north it cleared for about five minutes and there was a brief show of blue sky too, so I grabbed this pic which I thinks is the best one of the day
Well that was my lot as the rain came down again with a vengence, but I couldn't resist taking a pic of this little cloud climbing the side of Catbells.

Well, that's it from this visit to the lakes we shall be on the way home tomorrow morning (briefly) before we go off with Yorkshire Freeway at the weekend and plan our next major session. Hope you have enjoyed the blog!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday April 24th Blea Tarn and Duddon Valley

First job of the day was to go down to Grasmere Village to buy some more of the gingerbread to take home with us. Once this was accomplished we set off in the direction of Ambleside and then to our surprise saw an empty layby near the lake so I quickly parked up and took this rare opportunity to stop and get a shot of the marvellous reflections

We continued through Langdale and stopped in the National Trust car park at Blea Tarn , Pat was fascinated by the way that the lambs of the Lakeland Harwick sheep are all born Black.

Blea Tarn is far too wide for any wide angle lens to cope with so it is necessary to resort to stitching images together to make a Panorama if you want to get it all in.
These two composited were both made using five separate images

With this second one I included people and sheep in the hope that this will give a sense of scale To get to the Duddon Valley you have to climb Wrynose Pass and then travel along the high valley bottom before turning left just before the start of the ascent of Hard knot Pass (seen here)
All along the Duddon Valley the river runs clean and bright green between rocks, again it was necessary to join images together in this case vertically to get the scene in
All three of these images were assembled from three separate images stitched together
This valley is well worth visiting if you are in the area
And here from my evening walk a calmer view of water Derwentwater in the evening light

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday April 23rd Surprise view and Watendlath

We woke for the first time this holiday to a dull morning, though it was definitely milder than of late, so we took a leisurely breakfast and decide to look at the local are for a change.
We drove down to the edge of the lake and there was very little wind so the water was still, giving quite good reflections

This island is one I recall paddling round in a hired Kayak many years ago when we brought Mum and Dad along with us and the girls and camped at the Camping Club Keswick Site
A little further along the shore this overhanging bough provided a bit of foreground and you can see that there is still just a trace of morning mist in the distance
On then to that old favourite Ashness bridge, I got into conversation here with a group of University students from Cambridge who had set off very early in the morning and were breaking their journey with a fry up.
They asked me to take a group photo of them in the end with a dozen different cameras that were handed to me!

Then at last to Surprise View This wonderful viewpoint seems always to be cloudy when we get there, but never mind! the Panorama is stitched from five different images
And so along the surprisingly long high valley (and very narrow road, too!) Watendlath is always worth the effort of visiting, it seeme to have a timeless quality somehow and is never full of visitors.
The quaint little bridge has a most unusual paved surface, and the sides of the bridge are a mass of growing ferns, it seems more of a natural rock formation than a man made artifact!
By now it was lunchtime and we went to Booths for one of their rather special Dinners which we both enjoyed immensely, then a walk round Keswick looking round the shops before heading back to the caravan for an afternoon rest

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday April 22nd Whitehaven and Ennerdale

Pat wanted to so some Clothes Shopping so we decided to try our luck in Whitehaven, where we knew that there were branches of most of the Chain shops.
We parked in the maze of back street and to my surprise Pat soon found what she was looking for (which has to be a first!)
It was market day in Whitehave, this is the view from just behind the bronze statues of the fisher lads, looking into the market place
We walked around the harbour for a while as it was a little early for lunch

We decided to go to the fish and chip cafĂ© we had used on a previous visit and Pat said she wasn’t all that hungry, could she just have a Haddock on it’s own and a little curry, this is what came!

I opted for the safe choice of Scampi! Then after another look at the harbour we shopped at the Tesco before heading inland to see if the weather at Ennerdale was going to be sunny for a change.
Pat was already tired after walking round Whitehaven, so I set off on my own down the hill to the lakeside and waited for a little while at the water’s edge for the sun to come out.

Quickly taking the first shot I hurried to the little bay before the clowds obscured the sun and got this second view. Ennerdale never gets really busy like the other lakes as it is relatively unknown and a long way away from the main parts of the lake district.

Walking back up the hill I was surprised to see a butterfly and after a little while managed to catch a shot of it when it settled on the ground. This is the first one I have seen this year and there were also some bees buzzing round the dandelions, and of course clouds of the inevitable Gnats!

As usual I went for a walk after tea along the waters edge and it was a lovely still evening, at last the biting wind had gone down, and there were some nice reflections

As usual I went for a walk after tea along the waters edge and it was a lovely still evening, at last the biting wind had gone down, and there were some nice reflections

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday 21st April a visit to Penrith and Tarn Howes

Just to be different we headed in completely the wrong direction to start with, as Pat wanted to shop for clothes in Penrith.
She reminded me that the last time we were there was sixteen years ago when we were camping on a Camping Club Temporary Holiday Site and she tripped and broke her ankle: they put her in Penrith Hospital and I had to commute the sixty miles round trip each day to visit her!
Happy times, eh? Any way I was surprised at how interesting the town centre was with it's narrow winding streets and we bought sandwiches and cakes at the local Greggs to have for lunch.

We drove past Pooley bridge and stopped in the same little layby we used a couple of days before and I got a picture of the fascinating old pleasure steamer, this time on the far side of the lake.
Underfoot the first of the spring flowers were making a showing among last years leaf litter and Pat enjoyed feeding the crusts of her sandwiches to the Ducks that appeared as if by magic at the sound of a paper bag being rustled!
We moved on a couple of miles then pulled in again and I took this distant view (after clambering down the rocks to the waters edge)
By passing Ambleside on the way to Windermere you get this view looking down on the lake.Eventually we arrived at Tarn Howes and even though the wind was like glass, the sun shone and we decided to walk down to the side of the lake.
Before doing so I took five images which are now stitched into this Panorama,

then down we went to find it much warmer down there out of the wind
Heres the view across the lake.

Back up again after that and time for a cinder toffee ice cream before Pat went to rest in the car and I climbed to the top of the nearby hill to get this shot looking down on the lakeWe had to return by the same way we came into Tarn Howes as the normal one way exit road to Coniston had been damaged by floods. By this time we were ready for an afternoon rest and headed back to camp.