10 Places in 2014 #2 the Lake District

One of my (not quite) 43 things is to visit 10 places in England before the end of 2014 that I’ve never been to before.

This may be harder than I think. My jobs (s) have taken me all over the country over the last 8 years so I’ve seen a lot of England even if I’ve not had as much time as I would like to appreciate the places I’ve been to and there are a lot of beautiful, fascinating places in this country that I want to see. 10 Places, by the end of 2014 that I’ve never been to before. Photo’s to be posted.

2. The Lake Disctrict 14/07/2014 – 16/07/2014. The Man and I decided to celebrate the 8 year anniversary of our first date with a short break in the Lake District.

We opted for a bit of glamping – staying in a (static) Gypsy Caravan, with Wild In Style at Low Wray Campsite on the edge of Lake Windermere.

Wild In Style

We arrived late afternoon on the 14th and it was raining – really hard, miserable rain. Prompted by a bunch of teenagers walking towards the shower block my thought was ‘Welcome to Camp Crystal Lake – you’re all going to die!’ I would have twittered it if there was any hope of a data signal but it would appear that the internet hasn’t got to Windermere yet.

A holiday is what you make it and if you rely on British weather being good to enjoy yourself you will inevitably be disappointed so we made the most of it. Tucked up in our cottage tent with a few bottles of wine/Jack/liqueurs Matt cooked a delicious spaghetti Bolognese on the two ring burner.

The Chef, creating

We ate, we drank and we laughed. Rain – be damned!

Day 2 was a gorgeous hot, sunny day and we went to Coniston, we climbed (most of the way) up The Old Man of Coniston  I hate admitting defeat but if I’d have carried on I know it would have hurt and I didn’t want to spoil the rest of the holiday. The views were amazing.

Coniston

We had a wander round Coniston Water where Sir Malcolm Campbell set the wold water speed record on August 19th 1939 at 141.74 miles per hour in Bluebird K4. His son Donald Campbell died here in 1967 attempting to break the 300mph barrier in Bluebird K7 he reached speed in excess of 320mph but crashed and was killed so the record attempt doesn’t stand as it wasn’t completed. His head still hasn’t been recovered.

Coniston Water

Thursday morning the weather was awful and although we had no complaints about the caravan and the facilities maybe we’re a little too long in the tooth to sleep on a wafer thin, small mattress for more than a few days so we decided to come home a day early, but not before we’d explored the legends of Wrynose and Hardknott pass. A challenging drive and not one I’d like to do in the height of tourist season, passing places are scarce and in my, brief, experience of driving through it – he who reverses first loses.

 

This Time Last Year #70

This time last year – January 25th – February 8th 2013

#1 in my 366. Birthday to Birthday a photo a day for a whole year.

Birthday Dessert (With Candle)

 

 

Scavenger Hunt 101 #33 A Locally Owned Restaurant

Atomic Burgers

There were a few to choose from for this, Odiham had some lovely restaurants and The Grapevine was a favourite of ours and the place that The Man chose to propose to me so it will always be special but now we live in Oxford so I’ve chosen Atomic Burgers.

It’s a great place to eat, especially if you are of a certain age and more than a little geeky. Filled with toys and memorabilia from childhood days. Star Wars, Dr. Who, Gremlins, Marvel and Dangermouse surround you with a huge TV that replays classic TV and cartoons quietly entertaining in the background.

When I needed to find a new home for my 6ft cardboard cut out of Darth Vader (don’t ask) it seemed only right that he retired to Atomic and now stands guard on the emergency exit, if you’ve ever used the toilets there you may have seen him.

Darth

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Scavenger Hunt 101 #16 A Cat

I was tempted to post a photograph of Smodge, that Cat that allows us to share a home with him but I’ve got lots of photographs of him so it’s hard to choose and although he’s No.1 Cat he’s not the only Cat to leave a memory in my life. We lived on a farm for 5 years with a large colony of Farm Cats. It’s always a danger to get too attached, the worse thing you can do is give them names but I couldn’t help it. There were so many loveable cats and they deserved better.

Our Landlady/Landlord owned and lived on the farm and they encouraged the cats to help control the rodents on the farm. They fed them but beyond that they did nothing but put the odd one out of it’s misery now and again, and I quote when we went to then to tell them that we’d seen a cat that was clearly suffering “what do you want us to do – hit it over the head with a brick?”

I’m a townie and could never understand the attitude they had towards the Cats, and I never will. As far as I’m concerned if you want them to work for you the very least you can do is provide some basic vet care, even if that’s no more than a kind release when they need it.

We called him Frank. He looked like a Frank. He was gentle and calm and the patriarch of the colony. So obviously the Father to so many of the kittens and a wise old soul. In the 5 years we lived there I never heard him make a sound, we also called him Silent Bob but he was always Frank.

We would have adopted him in a heartbeat but he was set in his ways. He would pop round for some food but never let you touch him. He’d sit close, but not too close and watch with a look of wisdom that set him apart from the rest of the Farm Cats. He never came indoors, close but never quite in the house.

In the end the only thing we could do for him was take him to the vets when the time came and stop his pain.

Sleep well Frank. A true gent.

Frank

 

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10 Places in 2014 #1 Hay On Wye

One of my (not quite) 43 things is to visit 10 places in England before the end of 2014 that I’ve never been to before.

This may be harder than I think. My jobs (s) have taken me all over the country over the last 8 years so I’ve seen a lot of England even if I’ve not had as much time as I would like to appreciate the places I’ve been to and there are a lot of beautiful, fascinating places in this country that I want to see. 10 Places, by the end of 2014 that I’ve never been to before. Photo’s to be posted.

1. Hay On Wye 01/06/2014. We decided on a day in Hay On Wye, I love just heading away at the last-minute because it just seems like a good idea.

We headed up to Henley-In-Arden on Saturday night to spend the night with my fiancé’s Mum then all three of us set off early on Sunday to drive to Hay On Wye.

She suggested it a while ago and as the Literary Festival was in it’s last day today it seemed like a good opportunity to see a bit of the town and experience the festival. I know she used to visit with her husband, who sadly died, so I think it was a bit of a mixed day for her. Revisiting old haunts and reliving old memories, happy memories but tinged with sadness. It’s a lovely town and we only saw a little of it so it’s definitely going to be on the list for a revisit in the future.

Kindle = Bad

Scavenger Hunt 101 #49 My Favourite Colour

Red.

In the darkroom, I wish I had one at home. Night vision would be pretty handy as well.

Keep It Dark

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Scavenger Hunt 101 #43 A Sporting Event

Castle Coombe Ford Fiesta Championship 2010.

The brief – get a portrait shot of No. 7.

Lessons Learned.

1. Motor Racing is not the best place to try out a push pull zoom 400mm lens for the first time

2. Don’t lean on the crash barrier to steady the shot instead of using a tripod, it really annoys the Marshalls

3. Don’t drive off with your mobile phone on the roof of your car!

Ford Fiesta Championship, Castle Coombe

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