Monday, 28 October 2013

The Lake District

We had a few days in Grasmere recently and met up with friends. We arrived in rain and left in rain- well that is the west side of Britain! On the leeside we are more sheltered and receive less precipitation from the prevailing winds from the SW.

Eeh! The four of us laughed our way along Loughrigg Terraces,

 sang in caves giving echoes of the Welsh National anthem across Rydal Water

and got lost coming off the 'coffin walk'; This lot were happily sitting on the stone used to rest coffins as the dead were carried from Rydal to the church in Grasmere;

we were bathed in the warmth of the sun and the company of each other.

We did encounter two money trees- they seem to be the thing to do now on various popular walks. Does the money get collected every so often and go to charity?

Finally the leaves are turning and pavements are covered in the rustling carpets of brown, russet and bronzed debris dropped or blown from nearby trees.

The forecasters reckoned the isobars were going to bring a ' STORMY MONDAY' but the ensuing chaos stayed in the South while the North ambled its usual late October self through the day, oblivious to London's tree covered train tracks.

I am having a serious think! I wonder how much it would cost to take this awful Windows 8 hard drive and get a PC company to wipe Windows 8 and put on Windows 7. THAT folks, is what I am going to do........

'Wear it Pink'

Each month seems to have been claimed by some charity or other eg November sees the growth of bristling, male moustaches earning donations in Movember for funding research into prostate cancer.

October is a month nailed by breast cancer charities and the last Friday is 'Wear it Pink Day' for Breast Cancer Campaign. Wear it Pink- so I did! This year I did not fund raise due to a big fundraising coffee morning for MacMillan 3 weeks ago- perhaps next year.......

Gateshead's Millennium Bridge lit up pink for Breast Cancer Campaign's Wear It Pink campaign
The Millennium Bridge lit pink on Friday October 25th 2013
The Tyne Bridge lit up pink for Breast Cancer Campaign's Wear It Pink campaign
The Tyne bridge highlighting the importance of research into the causes and treatment of breast cancer

Apologies! Try as I might ,I am unable to give you the whole photo which I have on the draft blog -yet when I go to print it does not produce the whole photo. In fact I cannot get out of this photo frame- and cannot scroll down the blog. Aagh!

'Sunshine Over Leith'

Well that was unexpected! I didn't realise it was going to be sung all the way through! I used to line dance to the Proclaimers. The Ladies went to the independent cinema- The Tyneside- after a rainy day when we definitely did not walk 500 miles. Luxurious, ample seats with a huge screen that if I sit too near , makes me feel queasy.

I jotted notes every few days in my writing notebook but have been so busy I did not get the chance to get on here to blog.... so tonight is the night.

Thomas Scheibitz I am not a fan! We viewed this gentleman's exhibition at the Baltic on the South bank of the Tyne; not memorable and not understood; last of my thoughts on modern paintings are that I could do better- ie produce pictures that were at least recognisable.

'Rough Justice'

Tom Conte left us with a real dilemma- guilty of murder? or not? As an audience we were the jury and we had to make a decision; he claimed he would not have a chance if we were all Catholics- who probably believe in the sanctity of life. Surely it matters not how disabled someone is-  holding a cushion over their face while they struggled till movement ceased , has to be deliberate so is murder? It was noteworthy that many of the women in the audience voted 'guilty'; H1 disagreed with me and considered the main character 'not guilty' Apparently Glasgow audience said virtually unanimously 'guilty!

The Theatre Royal is a beautiful theatre but sitting in the stalls, many of us could not dwell on or consider the importance of the British Jury System because we were dwelling on our personal discomfort- our posteriors were in such pain from the uncomfortable chairs; we all ended up making our coats into cushions-the prices for such very expensive tickets should provide soft seats for patrons' bottoms!

Are we the only country which operates the jury system? As the film states-   '12 good men and true'? (or women!) It is such a responsibility, holding someone's life in your hands. As yet I have not been called to serve on a jury. Have you?

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Hips and Haws

The hedgerows are full of fruit; hawthorns' haws, rosehips, elderberries, blackberries (brambles to us Northerners).....

Tucked away out of the wind we walked from Craster, sheltered behind the Whin Sill ridge; it was amazing how much there was to pick if we had only brought receptacles in which to put all this natural treasure.

The harvest was in and stored ready for winter bedding.

Looking right and left, we used the public right of way across Embleton Golf Course; we slithered down onto the beach and headed back south with a strong wind coming in off the North Sea. The sands were lashed by white water; we put hats on, hoods up and heads down as we explored along the Bay.

One by one, we clambered up smooth, rounded rocks and arrived back onto the links. Looking back, the tideline of shells and bladder wrack marked the shore. Waves crashed and pounded in while the backwash hissed as it washed back down the strand.

 Before us Dunstanburgh Castle stood proud against an almost cloudless, blue sky.

We skirted below the stonework and dodged the startled sheep.

Surf coughed up a spume of  shivering foam into the rock crevices below us. How I wish I'd been able to conduct a field trip to demonstrate folding with the cracked peak of an anticline and obvious sedimentary layers buckled in a syncline.

With all that fresh air I slept like a log.

We were back within 24 hours to harvest blackberries; purple fingered we headed home to welcome visitors for a dinner of mince and dumplings and banana custard.

After so many years counting calories, it pays to have visitors round for meals- then you have to widen your menu and in this case, I went back to family meals served in days of yore. Now- who's for apple and blackberry crumble and custard? Will this get me the title of 'Star baker'? Move over Ruby!