Atop: Narrowboats with Things on Top

“Hebden Bridge: The Fourth Funkiest Town in the World”, was the description of this West Yorkshire market town in an edition of a British Airways in-flight magazine. If there are three places funkier than Hebden Bridge, then I’d love to see them. (Apparently they are: Daylesford in Australia,  Tiradentes in Brazil and Burlington in Vermont). On one of our visits there last year, we’d hoped to take really striking photographs;  we’d imagined reflections on the canal of brightly coloured narrowboats, framed by blue sky and and all that.  A veritable photographer’s paradise. However, it was raining, the water in the Rochdale Canal was greenish grey and the sky even greyer. None of this was at all unexpected or out of the ordinary as we are talking about a west-facing town high in the Pennine Hills in the North of England. After a wander around the trendy shops and a lunch stop, the rain had lessened enough for a walk along the towpath. I became fascinated with all the different things that people put on top of their narrowboats, never thinking that these photographs would ever appear in a post.   Everything from Bambi to a Bicycle:   From a Gro-Bag […]

Rock-Hewn Graves and Nettle Tea Bags

A Visit to Heysham I’m hoping that “Rock-Hewn Graves and Nettle Tea Bags” is the only post in the whole of cyberspace with this title.  If it is then that should make it especially OddBall for Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge this week. Why am I thinking of an unused title? No particular reason other than how many combinations of words can there be?  And will we ever run out?  Probably not in my lifetime! The graves and the tea bags are closely connected as we saw both of them within half an hour of arriving in Heysham on a day-trip last year. It’s only 40 minutes up the road. Heysham is a large coastal village on the Lancashire coast. Whilst it is a ferry port for ships to Ireland and the Isle of Man, and has a nuclear power station nearby, the old part of the village is very quaint and set apart from the newer developments. It could be the setting for a 1950’s TV drama.  Rock-Hewn Graves Around St Patrick’s Chapel are the remains of eight rock-cut graves hewn from the headland, several of which are body shaped and have rock-cut sockets, possibly for wooden crosses. It is […]

Borrowdale: A Walk around Seathwaite Farm

Borrowdale: A Walk around Seathwaite Farm. One of our favourite walks in the Borrowdale Valley in England’s Lake District starts at Seathwaite Farm. Whilst parts of the Lake District have become very busy with tourists, the Borrowdale Valley is less developed.  There isn’t a car park with a ticket machine at the start of this walk; there is some off-road parking just before the farm though for those walkers who get there early enough. Whilst coffee shops are hard to find, there are some beautifully situated hotels and inns offering food and drink for the day visitor and comfortable accommodation for those who wish to stay. The area has been in the news recently as the 600 year-old tradition of sheep farming is very much under threat.  This is explained in an excellent Guardian article entitled “The National Trust, the sheep farm and a fight for a Lakes way of life”.   And also in an article in the  The Telegraph which quotes extensively from author Melvyn Bragg’s letter to The Times:  “Lord Bragg attacks ‘mafia style’ National Trust over Lake District land purchase” I didn’t know about any of this when we visited the area several times last year. […]

Christopher Robin Thought……

Christopher Robin thought that if he stood on the bottom rail of the bridge and leant over, and watched the river slipping slowly away beneath him, then he would suddenly know everything that there was to be known – A.A.Milne, “The House at Pooh Corner”1928 For all of you who love Winnie the Pooh……. ……this winsome quote is carved onto the first slate slab on this footbridge across the River Derwent in the  Borrowdale valley.  

Dusk at Armathwaite Hall

This week’s OddBall picture for Cee’s Challenge was taken on our visit this week to Bassenthwaite in the Lake District. We stayed at Armathwaite Hall Hotel on Lake Bassenthwaite. The hotel grounds stretched right down to the lakeside. These trees reminded me of Tweedledum and Tweedledee from Lewis Caroll’s “Through the Looking Glass“:    

The Gift of the Gael

The “Gift of the Gael” is a replica Viking Longship based around a Gaelic adaptation of a Norse design, the Birlinn, also known as a Scottish Galley, developed in the Hebrides and Western Isles of Scotland. Viking settlers would have commonly used this design as a small cargo ship for trade, exploration, invasion and warfare including transportation of mercenaries to Ireland.- PLATTY+    She was built by The GalGael Trust – a community project building and sailing traditional boats in celebration of Scotland’s heritage. Built in a Glasgow shipyard in 1999 from oak and elm gifted to the trust by the local council from trees felled by a heavy storm. Her name means gift of the Gaelic people. She was the first ship to be launched on the Clyde this millennium. – PLATTY+ I saw this wonderful boat yesterday at the Lodore Falls jetty on Derwentwater on my third trip of the year to Borrowdale Valley. The cleverly named PLATTY+ website has this tempting information: With one of our experienced helmsman in control, we will take up to ten of you, on an inspiring adventure, learning to explore just like the Vikings or just enjoy the surroundings in this good […]

Wordless Wednesday: Pub Entrance with Flowers

Wordless Wednesday: Pub Entrance with Flowers  

%d bloggers like this: