Monday, 24 October 2016

Another Place

In September Yorkshire Pudding ventured into the alien territory of the Red Rose and one of the results was a rather moving poem  about the Antony Gormley figures at Crosby beach. 

I spent a lot of my youthly social life in Crosby. Amongst other friends was a friend with whom I had a particular affinity who lived with his parents in one of the splendid villas which now look out over the Gormley sculptures:

It was some years since I had been there but my brother and sister-in-law were keen to go earlier in the week. It was a spur of the moment decision when we were in Birkenhead near the Mersey Tunnel and we didn't think to check on the state of the tide.

The sculpture entitled 'Another Place' consists of 100 cast-iron, life-size figures spread out along three kilometres of the foreshore, stretching almost one kilometre out to sea. I saw it when the tide was out and it was amazing although I don't think all the original figures were visible even then and they certainly weren't this visit. Having said that there are more in the photo below than one can see at first glance although I had the advantage of the original photo and a digital loupe.

What saddened me though was the huge amount of detritus lining the water mark:

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Christmas 1/4 of a Year Away But....

Last week before I came away I received in the same post my first Christmas card and my Boots offers for Christmas purchases. I also received an email from Marks and Spencer suggesting I might want to order my Christmas food. I'd already been to the Maybury Garden Centre where Alison had her Christmas display out. I actually bought some stuff.


Thursday, 20 October 2016


On Tuesday CJ, Jo and I went to Wales; to a place that has been special to me since my childhood; to a place that I used to go in my late teens to escape from the world. 

I first went to the Glyn Valley as a toddler. I remember two holidays in Glyn Ceiriog when I was very young - one in a house we rented and one in my Uncle's caravan - and my brother recalls one. As his memory of these things is invariably more accurate than mine it seems that the caravan holiday was when I was older because my brother recalls that holiday. Nevertheless as I only have one picture of me and my Uncle's caravan that's the one you're getting! Where it was actually taken is anyone's guess. My mother's brother is on the left and my Dad is holding me.

About then and on many visits to the valley after that I became acquainted with the small village of Llanarmon Dyffryn-Ceiriog with its two hotels The Hand and The West Arms

I'm not sure whether I've ever been into The Hand. I first recall staying at The West Arms when I was about 17. I rode out there on The Hypogryph

The Hippogryph was my steed for several years: we went all over The Lake District (where the above photo was taken), Wales and I popped up and down to London after work on a Friday (which astonishes me looking back). 

The West Arms was a wonderful retreat from the 'real world' for me.

On Tuesday we went for lunch and it was like going into a time warp. I walked into a place that has hardly altered (in my memory at least) in over half a century. 

Perhaps one difference was the food. I don't recall the food from the early sixties but I do recall the lunch we had on Tuesday.  I had whole prawn scampi with home made tartare sauce and perfect crisp on the outside and fluffy inside chips. This was not pub grub. 

I hope that one day I will make the journey from the Outer Hebrides to Llanarmon once again and spend some time at The West Arms in the Land of My Fathers.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

To The Woods

When I first went to live on the Isle of Lewis I thought that I would never get used to living without trees. I'd been brought up in a city but a city with lots and lots of trees. After that I'd lived amongst trees in Cheshire. So when on Saturday night I stayed with friends in Evanton it was a wonderful opportunity to step out of her back garden into the Evanton Community Woodland. Steve and I went for a good walk (thank you again medical team for my new knee) round the woods on Sunday morning accompanied by four paws.

Setting off
"Right you can catch me up!"
Autumn mists
Would you believe mating slugs?
Art in the woods
More art in the woods
Classroom in the woods
Fun in the woods