Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Sunday dawned dull with blustery showers even though the weathermen said it would be fine but after the strong winds and wintery snow and hailstone showers of previous days it seemed positively balmy!
We decided to go inland this week and combine the trip with DH's work as he'd a client to see quite a long way from home.
We visited the client first then stopped off in what is known as 'The prettiest village in the East Riding' for a walk around.
Bishop Burton was once an Estate village owned by the wealthy Gee family who were Lords of the Manor and also had property in Liverpool and Jamaica.
Sir William Gee was secretary to King James the first of England.
The estate was sold in 1783 to the equally wealthy Watt family and stayed in their possesion until 1931 when it was sold off.
The Manor house and grounds became the Bishop Burton Agricultural College which is still a well respected and succesful establishment.
This information and more is all set out beautifully on a plaque set into a wall near the mere.
The village has retained it's 'olde worlde' character and even though there have been conversions most houses have kept to the whitewashed and black porched look. Combined with the brick built Georgian farmhouses and their outbuildings it's your quintessential English village, in some cases complete with roses round the door!
It was raining by the time we'd parked up, heavy blustery showers which eased off and then came at you again but we still walked anyway.
The centre of the village was quite sheltered and, bundled up against the elements, we soon became too warm so inbetween squalls we disrobed, stripping off our hoods and gloves we carried our coats.
It was so sheltered that the ground beneath the drystone wall set around All Saints Churchyard was already studded with shoots of what looked like daffodils and we haven't even hit winter yet!
The church stands squarely on the top of a hill, the wind buffeted the willow trees which surround it and the clock's golden numerals on the squat tower glistened in the rain. The old stonework took on many different colour hues as the wet permeated it.
I'd have loved to have looked around inside but there was a service in progress so we just wandered around the old churchyard reading the epitaphs and then sheltered under the pretty wood and tile lychgate to don our coats as it began to rain again.
The pretty little cottages in the lane took on a damp look as the rain lashed against them, their usually bright whitewashed walls would have positively sparkled if the sun had been out, the roses still flowering around their doors hung their heads heavily as they glistered with raindrops, but it wasn't to be so we continued on our way in the now drizzly dull weather.
Cottages with windows set in or right up to the roof usually had thatched roofs originally.
There's a beautiful Weslyan Hall at the end of the lane.
John Wesley the Methodist journeyman preacher came and spread his ministry from the village green three times on his various trips around the country. He must have made a big impact. He often stood on the steps of the village crosses to preach so maybe he used the mounting block here!
The old village pump is still there, set into the wooden railings that encompass the mere and we gazed across past the war memorial to the beautiful black and white timbered 'Altisidora' public house.
It's named for a famous racehorse, the winner of a St. Leger race in the 1800's and bred by Richard Watt, a nephew of the Lord of the Monor. The family owned lots of racehorses but this is the most famous.
The pub has lots of memorabilia with paintings of horses plus whips, stirrups and jockey's caps and colours adorning the walls.
It also does a delicious Sunday lunch which we later partook of and pretty delicious it was too. The warmth was very welcome also.
The mere is the central focus of the village with it's memorial to the wars standing on an island in it's centre.
A large flock of ducks and geese came swimming across, quickly exiting the water to following us up the lane in search of food. They turned back when they realised we hadn't any.
There's another smaller pond in the village too but there the ducks seemed more sedate...or full...and stayed on the water as we passed.
I love Pond Farm with the water right up to the path only a couple of feet from the front door...I could just imagine a few too many drinks or a slippery frost and you could be in for an unexpected swim...lol...
Just across the path is the village green, once the heart of village life.
It's quite a large triangular space with a huge spreading chestnut tree at it's centre. It boasts an old stone mounting block and wooden seats so you can sit and take in the tranquillity...unfortunately we couldn't take advantage of them in the wet conditions.
The chilly weather of last week has finally urged the trees to stop producing chlorophyll and as the green is withheld the oranges, yellows and reds of their foliage is now beginning to show.
The grass was covered with a golden carpet of shed leaves which squelched rather than crunched beneath our feet. I'd wanted to do the childlike thing and kick through them but sadly they were just too wet and soggy!
Maybe a visit in more clement weather is called for but I hope you enjoy this little foray into a quintessential English village.
Quintessential English cottages complete with roses!
All Saints Chuch circa 1241
DH under the lychgate
A pretty cottage
Pond Farm, one too many and splash!!
The old village pump
The village green with it's chestnut tree
The Weslyan Hall
Cottages on the green
And the mounting block.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Every now and again, maybe three or four times a year I meet up with two of my cousins for a day out.
They're sisters aged eighty four and seventy nine so I'm a spring chicken compared to them but to tell the truth, I think they're fitter than I am!
Alma, the seventy nine year old lives in Hertfordshire, around two hundred and fifty miles from me. She uses her free pensioners bus pass to travel on five different buses up to York where her sister Stella lives and then they do another forty miles down into my area to visit me...intrepid isn't the word for her.
I say 'I'll come up to Stella's' but no, they like to get out and about which is fair enough. We try to meet up in a town we haven't visited for a while and wander around all day sight seeing and reminiscing...no sitting inside a house and relaxing for us!
This time we agreed to meet in Bridlington, the little seaside resort in my last blog with the high waves and strong winds. This time couldn't have been more different.
It was quite overcast when I set off.
I have difficulty getting out from my village to catch buses, I can't drive but I also have a free pensioners bus pass and as there are no buses in and out of our village my DH has to give me a lift to the nearest town so I can catch the bus from there.
Yesterday was an early start, he's an upholsterer and he had to deliver to a customer and collect material from a depot all before the bus I needed. It was also the opposite direction to what I needed to go so I had to set off with him at eight fifteen am to go with him and then he dropped me off to catch a bus to get me into Bridlington to meet up with the bus from York.
I arrived in Bridlington an hour earlier than I had intended so decided on a walk along the promenade. The harbour was deserted except for a lone fisherman hosing down the hull of his boat. The spray seemed to hang in the air like mist and the swooshing sound echoed around the pier.
There was an unusual pink toned cloud which seemed to stretch across the whole of my vision, long and fluffy it hung like a ceiling above the masts of the boats tied up in the marina...so pretty!
A pair of herring gulls flew down and perched on exposed timbers quite near to me, ever hopeful for food from a tourist...they were unlucky this time!
I headed into town and the bus station, I was still early but the sun was trying to break through and it was quite pleasant so I arranged my red Christmas M&S carrier (it had rained in the night) on a wet seat, I always carry it with me for that reason, and perched waiting for the bus.
An elderly couple came and stood nearby, we began chatting (my DH says I'll talk to anyone...lol...) when we became aware of someone very loudly singing 'Brown girl in the ring la la la la lah' and a young woman dressed in turquoise shorts, pink sleeveless vest and one of those new scarfs that have an animal hat and pockets for your hands hove into view (hers was a lion hat) she stopped in the middle of the road and sang the song the whole way through before curtsying, thanking us for the nice compliments (even though no-one had said a word!) and disappearing around the corner...very entertaining.
We were just saying she had a nice singing voice when she reappeared, sang 'Somewhere over the rainbow' all the way through before a man and a woman in a nurse's uniform arrived, said 'Come on now Laura it's time to go' and led her away.
I'm not sure where she'd come from but she was very entertaining and the time had passed quickly thanks to her inpromptu performance.
My legs were beginning to feel a little cold and cramped, the chill from the wet seat was making itself felt and I hadn't had my bum on the plastic bag properly so I had a wet patch on the top of my leg. I was just about to get to my feet when the York bus appeared around the corner.
It wasn't the usual common or garden red variety but a lovely shade of blue and was called a Coast Hopper. Stella said the seats were quite plush and it was nice and warm.
After hugs and kisses we ajourned to a new Italian cafe, which had apparently only opened on Monday, for a warming drink.
Over delicious coffee and hot chocolate we exchanged news until Stella reckoned they'd be asking us to leave as we'd sat there way too long over only one drink apiece.
We spilled out into a now pleasant sunny day and meandered along the promenade watching the sun send sparkles across the little waves as they lapped against the wooden groyne seawater breaks along the beach.
We even had an ice cream cone and pretty deelish it was too!
The land train appeared, a little white chugging engine with open carriages which runs, without the aid of rails, from one side of the bay to the other so we decided to take a ride along the promenade's length which took in both sides of the bay. Pensioners rates and a good long pleasant ride for what little we paid.
We alighted at a different spot to which we boarded and wandered through the little town. Stella had been before with her DH but Alma had never been since she was a child and couldn't remember anything there, even the pier area looks different and the amusements take up a lot of space where there used to be an old Army Fort, the one thing she did remember but which had been pulled down in the name of so called progress!
After a light lunch in the restaurant on the top floor of a large department store, which boasted grand views out to sea as we ate, we entered the covered shopping precinct, browsing the many shops and complaining it was too warm. Stella said all shopping arcades were the same and we could just as well have been in any town we cared to name though she does like picking through the charity shops for a bargain and as there were two of them she was in her glory especially when she found a pretty floaty top that fit her!
Eventually it came to leaving time.
Their bus went ten minutes before mine and as I waved them off I thought what a lovely easy day it had been, good company and good weather...very enjoyable.
As I sat on the bus heading home watching the seaside disappear and green countryside take it's place, I was thinking how well my foot had stood up to being encased in my shoe for at least ten hours so far, I marvelled at the way I had no pain even though I have a broken toe.
DH was waiting in the bus station, as I arrived he took my bag and once in the car we headed off in the opposite direction to our home. He said 'We might as well have tea out' when I queried where we were going.
Very nice it was too, it rounded off the day remarkably well and when we finally arrived home twelve hours after I set out I slipped of my shoes enthusing to DH how my toe hadn't hurt at all...then I caught it with my shoe and set it throbbing something awful...lol...it plagued me all the rest of the evening before settling down as my painkillers took hold.
The bed felt feather soft and cloud like as I lay down.
I slept like a top eventually waking late after DH shook me saying I needed to get up right now as I had a doctors appointment in quarter of an hour...the surgery is ten minutes from home!!...and I wouldn't have time to get ready if I didn't hurry up!
We made it in time and my toe doesn't hurt at all today either!
Beautiful and unusual cloud
Sunlight glints across the sea
shell mosaics set into the front of a little trinket shop on the harbour top, each one was around three foot square
Monday, October 15, 2012
Yesterday was blustery!
Short sharp showers and strong wind make a good combination to define that word.
We ventured out for our walk dressed up to the nines in warm, wind and waterproof clothing.
We still seem to be heading for the coast at the moment, the last two week-ends were cliff tops and though we didn't do them this week we stuck to the coast walking around the pretty little seaside resort of Bridlington.
It's past its season now but there were a few people out for a Sunday afternoon walk along the beach and seafront.
Ever opportunistic the icecream vendors plied their wares and the amusements bright lights beckoned.
We wandered around town first just window shopping and watching other people warming up in the bright little cafes, sitting in the warm window seats watching the passers by, with hands snug round their mugs and steam wafting into their faces.
DH visited the bookies, he'd been given a tip.
A man's domain if ever there was one, I felt like an intruder but at least it was warm and wind free in there even if his horse is still running!!
A winless and windless respite before we headed down to the seafront through the narrow streets for a walk along the promenade...I was going to say a stroll along the promenade but that would be a bit of an understatement as we were rather blown along it...lol...
We had intended to beachcomb but the tide was almost in, just a thin sliver of uncovered shingely sand left undisturbed by the silvery water creeping ever higher.
It was studded with a myriad of pebbles, countless colours washed clean with every sweep of the sea, and seabirds hanging after a last feed before roosting.
Mostly waders with a few juvenile Herring Gulls thrown in.
The cute little Sanderlings were in such a hurry as usual, scurrying amongst the other birds at breakneck speed. Their little legs seem a blur as they scurry past. It's ironic really as they must be feeding as they go but you can never seem to catch them at it....and as for a photograph, well, you can forget that, they're just too quick plus they're sand coloured and hard to spot!
Turnstones meandered along reminding me of those little old men you see strolling with their hands behind their backs, they had their choice of large or small pebbles to turn over or to probe around with their long beaks whilst the juvenile Herring Gulls in their brown and white mottled feathers wandered around at the waters edge occasionally getting a soaking as a wave rolled in and they weren't quick enough to flight.
A Great Black Backed Gull was there too, raucously crying and flapping his great wings, making his presence felt as he thuggishly maneuvered himself between the much smaller birds so that they felt they had to move on. He has a vicious looking yellow beak with a large red dot on the end.
Oyster catchers probed with their bright red beaks, they have matching red legs and a haunting scry like a baby crying!
The waves were spectacular, even the smaller ones just pounding in to shore were around twenty foot high, foaming white crests and brown streaked underbellies thick with churned up sand they galloped onto shore like the proverbial white horses, rearing up and crashing down, staying only a moment as the tide pulled the water back to sea.
It was so deceiving for as you looked south towards the harbour they pounded up the high stone walls reaching heights of around sixty feet or more, the walls are over forty feet high!
Sending icy cold spray crashing and cascading over the paths and funfair rides on the harbour top. It glinted in the afternoon sun forming large puddles and dripping off the roofs.
A fine white spray hung in the air clinging to us like mist and the wind shrieked and battered at our clothing.
But looking north, back towards the cliff area it seemed calmer and though the waves were still riding high at around twenty feet they seemed almost friendly as they swooshed and hissed their way up the beach in a mass of foamy bubbles, sending the birds running out of it's reach and then back again to forage around the pebbles as the water receded with little slurping sucking sounds, making vee shaped patterns with it's pull.
There were other intrepid photographers out braving the spray for a shot of a lifetime. And people crowded along the rails to see the power of the waves as they soared high into the air but everyone was sensible...there was not one idiot about to see if they could beat the waves, which was good to see as things can easily end in tradgedy.
We headed back in to town, stopping off for a quick sit down away from the wind in a seafront shelter. A welcome respite from the elements it was welcoming and almost warm. Festooned with lovely brightly coloured pictures painted by local school children and printed onto perspex to make attractive signs. They were sunk into the wall and edged with bricks to look like pictures in frames, very effective.
Walking back we made a detour hoping to go through the Trinity Cut, a small narrow sandy walkway down to the beach which was once the way down for the Victorian horse drawn lifeboats, now the donkeys and fishermen use it in the summer months. No chance of going down it today though so I took a picture through the beautiful wrought iron railings which run along the side.
Trinity Church spire to it's left looked spectacular with the sun behind it, almost menacing with the dark clouds and golden edgings. Like an advert for a horror film.
The spire is a welcome local landmark for fishermen, the first thing they see as they return to harbour after being out at sea plying their trade.
Here are a few pictures for you, they don't really convey the feeling of power the sea has but I hope you can see some of what I experienced and was so inadequately trying to describe.
wave power, crashing up to sixty foot and more high
wave power, the walls are over forty foot high!
wave coming in to shore, around twenty feet high!
incoming wave, all foam and bubbles as it crashes to shore
receding wave sucking patterns into the beach
Turnstones, they live up to their names when feeding on the shoreline
Great Black Backed Gull, a big bully!
like minded observer taking snaps
Looking back towards the cliffs the sea seems a lot calmer
railings at the Trinity Cut
Trinity Church spire, a seafarers landmark
fish picture in the shelter, so bright and colourful
beach ball picture
beach huts picture
Monday, October 08, 2012
Over the last week or so our vistas have begun to change.
Mother Nature has begun to paint from her Autumn colour palette.
Gone are the lush greens and cerulean blues which encompass summer.
Coming in are the beautiful rich reds, golden yellows and deep, deep purples of the new season.
She has a myriad of colours along the theme, all there for our delectation.
Ruby reds, garnets, scarlets, maroons.
Golden yellows, citrus hues.
Deep, deep purples, heliotropes, mauves.
Interpretations on a colour too numerous to mention, set to please our eye.
Here's a little ditty by me...lol...
Autumn's coming she's on her way
Changing colours every day.
The myriad greens are now replaced
In reds and golds with yellow laced.
She steals fleet winged across the land
Exploding colour, as she planned
To change the world to Autumn's sheen
A wondrous sight for us to glean.
To garner in for dark still days
To fill our minds with Nature's ways
When lying in contemplative thrall
In a blink of an eye we can recall
And bring the Autumn colours to mind
To delight upon the inward eye.
And a few pictures of the start of the Autumn palette:
Milk Thistle & Maritime Sunburst Lichen
Bramble & Fox Moth caterpillar
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Another bracing walk this week-end, DH seems to be in the mood for cliff top walks just lately...lol...not that I mind, they blow the cobwebs away!
This time we decided on a little bit further down the coast at Thornwick Bay near Flamborough.
Flamborough is a picturesque little fishing village with it's own bays, two of them, respectively called North and South Landing, and a lighthouse. They still fish for crabs and lobsters but the fishing industry is almost a byword now.
It's well known, has caravan and holiday homes and is a tourist attraction.
Just further down from one of the Flamborough bays are two small coves collectively known as Thornwick Bay...it's said the Yorkshire way with a silent 'w' thus sounding like Thornick Bay.
They were relatively unknown until some entrepreneur decided it too would be an ideal spot for a caravan park, consequently it is also becoming a tourist attraction.
We set off early as the weathermen had forecast rain for later in the day...it never materialised...but they were right about the strong, cold northerly wind. It was as bad as last week and on the cliff tops seemed even more wilder than when we set off.
The wind buffeted us from all directions almost pulling the car door out of my hands as I opened it and setting a newspaper to flight from where DH had left it on the back seat.
I was glad I'd decided on my windproof coat and walking boots though I couldn't find my fingerless gloves I like to wear in winter, they have a mitten flap over the end of them which opens so I can take photographs without removing the whole glove...I certainly stored them away for summer too well...lol...I still haven't found them yet!
We started off in a head wind leaving the cliff top car park at Flamborough's North Landing, following the cliff path as it meanders around all the little twists and turns of the coast.
The cliffs here are made of limestone and shine white in the sunshine, they don't get washed away like the mud cliffs further down though erosion does take place due to the wind and water but that takes years.
The cliffs are full of little gullies and small bays or coves, there are even caves which used to be used by smugglers in days gone by.
The grass was being blown almost horizontal but we pushed our way forward around the little bays and then back across a huge expanse of green fields where the wind wasn't quite as strong.
There are little valleys along it's length where you dip out of sight of the sea so that the huge expanse of sky and swiftly scudding clouds are all that you can see above the green sides of the valley.
Rooks were gathered together, these usually solitary birds form large flocks to forage and glean fields for food, poking and proddling with their huge black beaks for insects and worms. My father-in-law used to say they helped the farmer in two ways by getting rid of nuisance grubs and insects but also helping to turn the soil for them.
Then rising upwards over the valley rim the cliffs gradually reappear and we look down from the steep cliff sides to the rocky outlets which divide the little bays and gullies.
The tide was on the turn so rocks and sandy areas were exposed, it tempted the intrepid to brave the steep steps carved into the cliff side to reach the scaurs...flat expanses of rock around the shoreline...so they could walk beside the sea. It's a lot of steps as you have to come back up more steps after the first cove, then go down another set into the second cove before ascending more steps which bring you out about a mile from where the first steps went down...tiring!
We didn't go down as I've got a wonky knee which doesn't do steps very well unless I have a handrail. I'm not too bad going down as DH goes in front of me and I hold on to his shoulder but coming up again I've no chance...it makes for interesting detours on some walks!
There were a few tourists out, they drive down to the cliff edge, park up and peer over before getting back in and driving off again, usually after they've checked out the lovely little welcoming cafe on the cliff edge. It's run by a local lady who decided to cash in on the tourists...it's all home made cakes, pastries and hot meals which looked absolutely delicious.
We'd already eaten so settled for a steaming mug of milky hot chocolate but sat outside in a partially sheltered corner to drink it. The steam rose and wafted in the wind but it tastes much better outside than in.
There are three holiday homes on top of the cliff, bungaloes set almost on the edge where the land juts out into the sea at it's farthest point. They used to be the old coastguard cottages but are rented out now as a new coastguard station was built further down the coast.
It looks a lovely tranquil spot for a quiet and relaxing holiday but I bet you can still hear the wind howling around the eaves on a day like this.
We crossed a farmers field, still lush and green and covered with grazing sheep each wearing a fetching pink tag in one ear and a yellow one in the other...very fashionable!
Passing behind the rustling reed beds of an old dew pond we hoped to see reed buntings but there were only chaffinches and goldfinches feeding on the seeds of the wildly waving heads. Very wary birds they rose up in one big charm as we approached, zooming off at what seemed like the speed of light...we never saw them again!
Back at the car we divested ourselves of our outer clothing, turned on the cd player and singing along to my favourite Garth Brookes, headed down the coast to Filey for fish and chips...but that's another story!
Thornwick Bay, the larger cove complete with holiday homes
rocky outcrop separating the two small bays, the three intrepid people down there were a man and woman of around sixty and a young girl of about eight.
lands end...just sea from now on!
Thornick Bay, the smaller cove
steep steps down the cliff side to the small cove
caves, reputed to have been used by smugglers
fashionable sheep with one pink and one yellow ear tag
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