A golden oldie in my midst

30th June, and the Worcestershire Woofers were having a charity fun dog show.

Earlier this year Ina, a good friend of mine had adopted Benny from The Evesham greyhound & lurcher rescue, and as they were having a stand at the show, she wanted to pop along to let them see what a handsome chap he’d grown into.

Benny and his litter mates had been rescued, at the aged of four weeks, hairless and covered in mange, it was touch and go whether they’d survived, but with plenty of TLC they pulled through, and Ina adopted him aged twelve weeks.

I’d decided just to take Sal along to the show, Jaspers’ arthritis was playing up, and he was quite happy staying with T and just chilling in the garden.

We arrived at the show, just a small concern, unlike the big Dogs Trust ones, that Jasper had attended in the past. There were all sorts of fun classes, best puppy, handsome dog and prettiest bitch, best six legs, best rescue etc. all costing £1 with the proceeds going to the rescue.

Ina had entered Benny into the handsome dog, and best rescue classes, to which he got a fourth in the quite large handsome dog class.

The weather was kind, and Sal and I sat on the straw bales, watching the classes. Benny is behind Sal in this pic.

I hadn’t though about entering Sal into any of the classes, until Ina suggested the ‘golden oldie’ class for dogs over seven years old. So I paid my pound and we joined several other oldies (dogs and owners).

A fifteen year old Sheltie got the 1st, and ……………….

Sal, my little ‘golden oldie’ got a second.

The show was held at Wickhamford Sports & Social club, in a rather aptly named close.

Sal, posing with her rosette in ‘her’ close.

Glorious Gloucestershire

Since returning from our wonderful week in Whitby, our weekly wanderings seemed to have come to a standstill, this hadn’t been helped by the fact we’d had almost constant rain again.

But today was dry, with a promise of it staying dry. So we ‘Seized the Day’ as the saying goes, and set off for……………….The Snowshill Lavender Farm 🙂

I guess, if we’d planned this trip in advance, we could have found a bus or two and used our bus passes, but as it was very much a spur of the moment, and we wanted to get there the same day, we set off in T’s Yaris.

Driving there through the country lanes, we both commented on how green everywhere was, it certainly was Englands’ green and pleasant land, though probably a bit too green for me. Green grass…….green crops……….. green trees……….. green hedges………. Never mind I thought, probably no butterflies or bees today, but there should be a wonderful splash of colour from the lavender fields.

We continued along the road, rounded the bend, to see………………Huh!!……………..green lavender!! We slowed down to peer over the stone walls, yes, they were definitely lavender plants, but nothing like the vibrant lavender colour I was expecting.

Now, if I’d had the sense to look at the dates on my previous lavender pics, before we set off, I’d have realised, we were a month too early (note to self, visit lavender fields end of July).

It must have been fate we went in the car, I can just imagine arriving in Snowshill by bus (which probably aren’t very frequent), spending an hour or so looking at green lavender, while we wait for the bus to go home again.

Anyway, Stow on the Wold was only ten miles away, so we turned the car around and set off for this picturesque little market town. Like most of the towns in this part of the country, the buildings are all made from the beautiful mellow Cotswold Stone, some of them dating back to the 16th century, even the new builds are in keeping with the old.

Walking up one of the streets in Stow, it was obvious they’d celebrated the recent Jubilee in style.

More flags flying in another little street in Stow.

The village green, with the old stocks still in place.

After wandering around for a while, we called into one of the many local tea shops, had a coffee, and discussed where to go next. My favourite Cotswold village was only a mile down the road, it was the obvious choice, so we went back to the car, and set off for Bourton on the Water.

Bourton is to me, is one of the prettiest towns in the Cotswolds, and another built from the local stone. Running alongside the main street, the river Windrush, meanders through the town, eventually joining the river Thames at Newbridge.

Looking across the river Windrush towards the main street, stone footpaths straddle the river all through the town.

Turning round and looking back to the two bridges of the previous photograph.

Continuing further along towards another bridge. The Motor Museum in the distance houses many memories of past motors.

A river resident.

The river was flowing quite fast today, and the ducks were quite comical as they travelled at great speed downstream, as though in some sort of race.

This town also has a replica model village of itself, built in Cotswold stone, that can be walked round. I have photos somewhere from past visits, but this site is well worth having a look at.

After spending around an hour wandering around this town, we headed back to the car and home.

No lavender pics this time, but a great day out all the same………..and lavender?……… marked on the calendar for July/August visit.

Sea frets & Sunsets

SEA FRETS.

Also known as sea haar, sea mist or sea fog, they are a very common occurrence on the east coast of the UK. They are caused as pockets of warm air are cooled as they pass over the cold North sea, coupled with the breeze that blows this condensed air back onto the shore, it is only as the day warms up, that the fret disperses. More info here

Oh yes, I can remember the sea frets that lasted all day when, as a child I spent my summer holidays on Yorkshires’ coast.

We’d walk the half mile down to the beach from my nans’ house, which at the time of leaving, was bathed in sunshine, only to find the whole of the sea front was covered in a fret.

There were several other families in our ‘gang’. Undeterred, we’d all plonk ourselves down on the beach, get the deck chairs out and windbreaks up. The adults sat huddled under blankets, while my friends and I were off building sand castles, which strict instruction, ‘don’t go out of sight’, which sometimes meant almost sitting at our parents feet .

A post sea fret day.

More often than not, the fret would be gone by midday, but I remember times when, well after lunch, and everyone deciding to call it a day, we’d trek back to my nans’ to be told, ‘it’s been sunny here all day’.

So, on my recent holiday on the North east coast, waking up to a sea fret on some of the mornings was the reason we decided to move inland slightly.

SUNSETS

I learnt a little about kelvins (colour temperature) when I did my photography course, and also how light travels, so I’m guessing this has something to do with why sunsets are often red, but I think this article probably explains why.

Even as a small child, I loved looking at photographs of sunsets over the water, all my childhood holidays were on the east coast, and I never really understood why I never got to see one in real time.

In my teens, I went to night class to try to learn how to paint in oils. We had to take a photo/postcard to copy, my choice? a silhouette of Whitby Abbey against a bright red setting sun.

I never really took much notice, until later years when it started to puzzle me, as how an Abbey on the East coast of England had been photographed against a sunset. Quite odd really, and obviously caused by the lie of the land.

Here are my very own east coast sea frets and sunsets.

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A week in Whitby – day six

FRIDAY 25th MAY

After the previous two days, of opening the blinds to be greeted by a swirling grey mist, I hadn’t been in any hurry, to look outside. T had got up, put the kettle and made a morning cuppa, before I’d even opened my eyes.

“You not getting up today fossil” he asks, as he passes me my tea, “there’s blue sky everywhere out there”

What!!!!, I reached up and opened the blinds, and looked out of the window,WOW! I could see the horizon, the sky was blue, the sea was blue, and sunlight glistened from its surface. What an absolutely perfect day 🙂

Needless to say, the bedding was put away in double quick time, and every window was opened fully.

Sal and Jasp had their breakfast outside, as they had done all week, but this time so did we, our ‘neighbours’ had moved on earlier in the week, and our van was the only one on that part of the site. We sat there long after we’d finished eating, in total silence, just ‘looking’ at nothing in particular.

“Do you fancy doing anything today then” T broke my daydream…….

“err, no, not really, I’m quite happy staying put, and I’m sure Jasp would appreciate a rest too”

Sal & Jasp still needed a walk, and I wanted to go into Whitby to get a few more photos, so we decided, a slow walk along the cliff top to the Abbey, T would stay up at the top with the dogs, while I walked down the Donkey road into the town with my camera.

‘Give me a call if you’re going to be longer than an hour, and I’ll start slowly back” he shouted after me as I set off down the hill.

Whitby is a photographers dream, and it wasn’t long before I’d started snapping away.

This is about halfway down Donkey Road, with the harbour just visible in the distance.

Turning round and looking back up towards the top, the raised sections of cobbles across the road become more noticeable, which give more traction while going up or down.

It was up Donkey Road in January 1881, that the Whitby lifeboat was hauled to top, before continuing to Robin Hoods Bay to the rescue of the brig ‘Visitor” see A week in Whitby Day Three post.

A plaque at the bottom.

I wandered around taking many photographs, before phoning T to tell him I was on my way back up.

This time I decided to walk up Caedmon’s Trod, where we’d attempted to get Jasper up on Day Two. A beautiful view of the town, but I’m pleased we turned back with Jasper when we did that day, as he would never have got to the top.

I found T and the dogs, waiting for me in the grounds of St Marys’ church, where I took this view over the harbour.

I took a further shot of the Abbey, before we set off back along the coast path.

A wreck of the trawler Admiral Von Tromp, which foundered on the rocks in October 1976, is easily visible from the cliff top as the tide recedes. More info for anyone interested can be read here

A view of the site, as we walked back. Our motorhome is the one at the far left on the cliff top.

This day was a very lazy day, were we just enjoyed the sun and the scenery.

Curry again? 😮 yeah, why not, we’re on holiday 😉

A week in Whitby – day four

WEDNESDAY 23rd MAY

Waking up, bright and early, listening to the sea through the half open roof vents, yeah! life’s good 🙂

‘The sun has got his hat on….hip, hip, hip, hurray………

This tune started humming through my mind, as I opened the blinds to greet the morning.

Huh! Oh no he hasn’t!……..

I peered out, through the rear window at nothing, a grey swirling mass of nothing. Opening the side blinds, I could just about make out one or two shapes of the nearby caravans.

Funnily enough, my mind suddenly stopped singing sunny songs, and I had flashbacks to a film I had seen on the TV a few years previous.

The Fog – It tells the story of a strange, glowing fog that sweeps in over a small coastal town, bringing with it the vengeful ghosts of mariners who were killed in a shipwreck there exactly 100 years earlier.

Luckily, this was just a sea fret, well known on the North East coast, that usually burns off later in the day, though the Whitby area is notoriously stubborn for not doing so.

Never mind, our plan for the day was to go onto the nearby moors, so hopefully we’d escape it anyway.

After a breakfast of cereals, T decided he was going to cook himself a bacon sandwich as well, so I wandered outside into the swirling mass with Sal & Jasp.

Walking round the site, I didn’t see a soul, I was half expecting those ancient mariners to materialise from the eerie atmosphere.

I hurried back, to find T had eaten, washed up and was preparing the van for the short journey inland.

The sea fret had lived up to it’s name, no sooner had we driven up out of Whitby, there was blue sky everywhere, not a cloud in sight.

We knew exactly where we were going…………..well sort of.
Somewhere on the North Yorks moors, between Goathland and Pickering, is a ford, not just any ford, but the one that had an old series Land Rover driving through it, in the opening credits of the Yorkshire TV program Heartbeat.

Me, being the very ‘sad’ person I am, decided a few years ago I wanted to drive my Land Rover through this ford too, so, much to T’s total bewilderment at this odd need I had, we made a few enquiries in Goathland (Aidensfield to Heartbeat fans) and went in search of ‘the ford’.

We found it, in fact two years later in 2008, we found it again, so I could do it for a second time 😳

So, here we were again, driving through Goathland, which incidentally was heaving with sightseers, trying to remember which of the many moorland roads was the one we needed. All moorland roads look the same, plenty of heather and sheep, but not much in the way of landmarks.

I’m sure T has some sort of sat nav programmed into his brain, he tells me it comes from years of driving trucks, but I was totally gobsmacked when after many lefts and rights at various unmarked crossroads, we arrived at ‘my ford’

No, we didn’t drive through it, it hasn’t quite got the same effect with the motorhome, so we parked it up, got the dogs out, and set off for a walk.

The dogs welcomed a cooling drink, in fact, Sal who doesn’t drink much water at all, couldn’t get enough of it.

This was a totally stunning place to walk, the photos I took, just don’t do it justice. There was total silence apart from the stream running over the stones, and the twittering birds.

Hello Mrs sheep and baby lambkin, you certainly live in a beautiful place.

The ford, OK, I know it doesn’t look much. We later found out the area is called Wheeldale, so I guess it’s Wheeldale ford.

We ambled back to the van, put the kettle on, and made ourselves a cuppa, then sat down outside and listened to…………nothing. The sound of silence, wonderful!!

T had also got a request, this was to go to a little place called Beck Hole, where we’d called in after our second ‘ford’ visit. There was a quaint little pub there, and he wanted to re-visit.

So, back into Goathland, which was still heaving with visitors, turn left and half a mile down a steep hill, we were back in Beck Hole.

We parked on the side of the road and walked over the bridge to the Birch Hall Inn.

What an amazing little pub this is, walking in from the road, was like walking into the past. Stone flags on the floor, wooden church pew style seating, and a serving hatch to order the drinks from.

We’d left Sal and Jasp in the van, mainly because Jasps legs had almost seized up, but found they’d have been more than welcome there. Every dog visitor gets a dog biscuit, served with their owners drinks.

T insisted I took his photo, so he could show his mates where he’d been.

After a most refreshing drink, we slowly wandered back to the motorhome, I grabbed a quick pic from under the bridge, looking back towards the pub on the other side.

A short drive back to the site, and we were soon settled, ready for our free delivery of fish & chips from one of the local Whitby chippies.

We later watched the sun go down over Whitby Abbey. A very odd occurrence. Here we are sat on the North East coast, watching the sun set over the sea. 😮

Day four, and we have the evening bed making plan working to a T (literally), as I popped down to have a shower. 😉

The end to another fantastic day!!

Lavender time

With Pix and Kardz offer to show off my bee pic (nowhere near as good as this amazing photo), I started to look for it through the hundreds of old photos I’ve got stored away on CD’s

These were all taken on 1st August 2004, with my old Canon EOS10D.

For any Yorkshire folk out there, you will probably know that the 1st of August is Yorkshire Day, so I really should have been taking photos of white roses 😳 but this lavender was just asking to be photographed.

All the photos are from a small lavender farm just outside the village of Snowshill in the Cotswolds. This farm used to allow folk to wander free amongst the lavender bushes, to take photos, watch the distillery produce the oils, and breathe in the beautiful scent the plant produces. I’m afraid the days of wandering for free have gone, as they now charge an entry fee during the flowering season 😦

I think this image looks very French.

Various shades of lavender.

A ladybird.

Peacock butterfly.

and finally my bee.

Oh dear!!

Slight sidetrack from my usual type of post, but something that has rung alarm bells with me:

Yesterday I turned on the TV to watch the final of Britain’s got Talent, mainly because I wanted to watch the amazing young couple Jonathan and Charlotte singing.

Another act caught my eye. Ashleigh and Pudsey, a seventeen year old girl and her six year old dancing dog. Ashleigh and Pudsey were well liked by the judges, one, a well know dog lover, who is involved in many dog charities, also mentioned one of the charities he’s involved in.

Wow! was Pudsey a rescue dog too?

I started to Google for information.

Pudsey, a border collie, bichon frise, chinese crested crossbreed had been a gift for Ashleighs eleventh birthday, ok, so he was a puppy, but he could still have come from a rescue centre, an unwanted pup, the result of a mishap somewhere.

Pudsey was Ashleighs best friend, they did everything together, he’d once jumped on the work surface and had stolen some food…… Aww, I was getting lovely images of a little girl and her dog against the world. I continued to read, but this idyllic image of a little girl makes good with the love of her life, started to fade rather quick.

Ashleigh also owns Buffy a bichon frise, who is Pudseys’ mother. Ashleigh and her mum are heavily into agility and freestyle, travelling the length and breadth of the country to attend all the big shows. I’ve nothing against these activities, a lot of dogs really do enjoy it, and a spot of inter-club competition can be good fun, but there is certainly no need for the long distance travelling on a regular basis, as I’m sure the dogs don’t enjoy that.

The family also own three border collies…. and…………yes, a chinese crested. Now it doesn’t take much imagination to work out how Pudsey came about, and to me it’s all starting to look very much like Pudsey is a designer dog, his purpose in life planned well before his birth.

Ashleigh and Pudsey won the competition, and this has started alarm bells ringing in my head.

How many mums and dads are now responding to the ‘I want’ from their offspring, and are frantically searching for their very own Pudsey. Worse still, how many breeders are going to jump on the bandwagon and start breeding this designer dog for the demand that is sure to happen.
But my biggest worry is how many ‘Pudseys’ that don’t quite make the grade, will end up in rescue centres, or worse still on the streets?

Ashleigh was quoted as saying ‘I want Pudsey to dance with Robert Pattinson’

I wonder if Pudsey wants to!!

Military precision

Another one of our planned trips, this time to Cosford Air Museum, which is about forty miles from home.

We’d recently seen it mentioned on the local news, and thought it would make a good day out, so I checked the website for opening times.

Perfect! open 10.00hrs until 18.00hrs, a short drive up the motorway system, we’d be there. I continued to read further, “hey, it’s free entry too” I shouted down to T “we’ve only to pay for the parking”, which at a maximum of £3.50 for up to eight hours, seemed perfectly reasonable.

I read further down the page……..at the various other means of getting there:

By air *? – not having a plane or grown any wings yet, that would prove a tad difficult. Bus? – not really an option if we wanted to get there the same day. Cycle? – certainly not an option if we (I) wanted to get there at all and…………RAIL? – Yeah!!!!! “T, T, come here quick”- we can use our rail passes!!!!! he ambles upstairs, and we continue to read the information…….could this get any better???

‘To thank you for taking the greener option, all train users will receive a free tea, coffee or small soft drink in our restaurant or café when they present a completed drinks voucher along with a valid train ticket’………. I noticed that cyclists would also be offered a free drink, perhaps they had to show a cycle clip 😉

Our carefully laid plans were put together ready for the day out. Free bus pass journey to our local rail station, ten minute wait for the train to Birmingham New Street, then we had a slight disagreement, we would either arrive in Birmingham with two minutes or thirty two minutes to get on the Shrewsbury train to Cosford. T was adamant it was possible to get off the train, run (yes that would mean demented running again) up the long flight of steps, the full length of the concourse and down the steps onto the other platform in two minutes. I declined the offer of embarrassing myself, so we chose the thirty two minute wait 🙂

On arrival at Cosford station, we had a very pleasant half mile walk to the museum.

The entrance to the museum.

One of the outside exhibits, a Bristol Britannia?

A natural flyer.

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There were three hangers full of planes from various era. which are in the slideshow above. I hope I’ve named them all correctly.

I can highly recommend this museum, it is certainly worth a visit.

* You may have wondered why I starred ‘by air’, well many years ago, when some friends and I were going on our first ever plane flight, the travel agent asked us what name it was booked under, we told her, then she asked, is it Bywater, unknown to me, she obviously hadn’t heard us and was asking if our name was Bywater, as I promptly said “no by air” 😆 😆 My friends totally cracked up, in front of the very stern faced travel agent, who thought we were a bunch of unruly teenagers. 😆 To this day, I still laugh about it.