1 EAGLETON NOTES: September 2010



Wednesday 29 September 2010

Yum. How Good is Horse Poo

This Welsh Jackdaw was having a rare old feed:

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Good Days

Yesterday was a Good Day. I had the grass cut and a wheelie bin filled with cuttings before midday (the bin men came at 2pm), three lots of washing on the lines and phone calls made and visiting friends coffeed all before dinner after which a friend visited. I didn't even have time to blog and few emails left my computer either. The weather was superb if a little chilly in the clear air but by the end of the afternoon the clouds were coming. I was visited by a family of Stonechats and I thought the photos of the female worth a showing. In the early evening the mainland mountains about 60 k (37 miles) away were astonishingly clear and I managed the following unusual photos taken with my lens at full telephoto - apologies for the noisy sea.

Monday 27 September 2010

My Plan

My plan is to have no plans for the next few weeks.

I'm back in Eagleton having arrived at nearly 10pm yesterday after a drive through the Highlands of Scotland in flawless, cloudless conditions. I eventually got to bed and decided to sleep as long as I wanted this morning. Needless to say I was up at 0600 and just couldn't wait to get going sorting things out and making lists of things that have to be done. As the weather is dry for a change the top priority is cutting the grass. But that comes after making phone calls and catching up. The problem is that when the weather is good here there is a desperate urgency to get things done in the garden.

The first lot of washing is in and some of the things I brought back that have to be sorted have been at least put into the 'proper' room. As a consequence the study looks as though a bomb's hit it. So does the living room. And the kitchen. Ah well. Who cares I have 29 days to sort it before I leave for NZ.

29 sleeps. How fast they will go.

How come life goes so fast?

But this morning when the sun came up I realised just how privileged I am. Could things ever be better?

Sunday 26 September 2010

An Interesting Window Display

I was walking down Buchanan Street very early on Saturday morning when I came across a shop window which was new, having taken over the building formerly housing a huge Borders bookstore. The frontage was three times the size of the photo below but what struck me -eventually - was that the whole of the inside of the front windows was made up og old manual sewing machines. Unfortunately the reflections were such that there was no way I could get a picture of a sewing machine properly and the store was still closed so I couldn't get inside. I rather liked the reflection of the building opposite too.

Friday 24 September 2010

The Man From Stratford

This evening Anna  and I went to The Theatre Royal in Glasgow to see Simon Callow in Jonathan Bate's play Shakespeare, The Man From Stratford.  The play, which is entirely acted by Simon Callow, is a run through of the seven ages of man with particular reference to William Shakespeare.  Simon Callow is a renowned Shakespearean actor and his ability to change from role to role throughout the evening was transfixing.  His performance was mesmerising.  To say that it was enjoyable would be a gross understatement.

Autumn Mist at Maumulon

Houses in Llangollen

Llangollen is the sort of place which one could photograph for ever and a day and still come back for more.  I confess that I am biased.  One day I shall find all my old photos - I'm talking about 50 years ago - and you will doubtless be subjected to a few of them.  In the meantime I thought that the following houses were worth a posting:

 The house in the arch was, presumably, built in the entrance to the courtyard to the building on its left (as you look at it).

Another interesting - and small - one up and one down cottage

The restaurant where we had an excellent lunch is a converted Victoria Town House
The flags on the wall on the right are Australian - one of the owners is an Aussie - they get everywhere (just like the Welsh).

Ready for The Off

When I was at Maumulon the Swallows gathered on a misty autumnal morning ready to migrate South. 

Wednesday 22 September 2010

St Andrew's Mission Church, Wern at Minera

When we were coming back from Llangollen we came via World's End. Hopefully I'll blog about that some other time but before we got to Wrexham we arrived at Minera and there was something I've rarely seen before surviving today in Britain: a wrinkly tin church (corrugated iron to those non-New Zealanders amongst my readers). The building was no longer used and was for sale. My first thought was how similar it is to the many rural churches found throughout New Zealand which can bee seen on Pauline's blog The Paddock.

A Sad Bear

Now this bear has no reason to be sad having apparently been rescued from a life as a status symbol to a Mafia gangster. So the fact that he's in the zoo and not being ill-treated is a Good Thing. The fact that he was removed from the wild in the first place is, I would suggest, a Bad Thing. However looking at these pictures (taken at full telephoto through glass and therefore not as clear as they could be) he doesn't look excactly ecstatic. But then perhaps bears just don't ever look happy.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

The Welsh Mountain Zoo

I'm not a lover of zoos. There is something about animals and birds in captivity that upsets me. When I was a small child the family would go and stay with my Uncle Eric in Clophill in Bedfordshire. He would take us to Whipsnade Zoo. I don't recall any animal enclosures at all but I do recall the Wallabies. They ran wild in the huge park in what was, I suppose, the predecessor of the modern Safari Parks in this country. Today, however, CJ and I went to the Welsh Mountain Zoo, a small private zoo, in Colwyn Bay, Wales.

For me the highlight was the Harris's Hawk being 'shown off' to the assembled adults and children visiting.

Monday 20 September 2010

At New Brighton

When I was a wee totey thing there was, far far away from where I lived in Liverpool a seaside resort called New Brighton. It was near enough to go for a day out but even that involved a bus or tram to Pier Head in Liverpool and a ferry across the Mersey (you'll know that, of course from the song by Gerry and The Pacemakers) to New Brighton. One day I'll find my old photos of the ferry and post them.

Today CJ and Jo live on the same side of the Mersey as New Brighton and today we decided to go and explore. We found a few things were still there but the rest of the town at its centre had been virtually rebuilt in recent years: new seaside blocks of desirable apartments.

Our carriage for our recent outings has been the trusty Nighthawk Tourer (also known by one of my neighbours as The Hearse). Today she was honoured with a wash whilst we were in a garden centre.

The Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm is a wind farm located on the Burbo Flats in Liverpool Bay at the entrance to the River Mersey.

The Perch Rock battery was completed in 1829. It mounted 18 guns, mostly 32 pounders, with 3 6" guns installed in 1899. Originally cut off at high tide, coastal reclamation has since made it fully accessible. It was built to protect the Port of Liverpool and as a fortified lighthouse to replace the old Perch Rock Light. It was originally built on an area known as Black Rock and was cut off at high tide, but now coastal reclamation has made it fully accessible. It is currently open as a museum.

New Brighton Lighthouse was originally known as Perch Rock Lighthouse and construction began in 1827. Since 1 October 1973 it has not been in use as a lighthouse, having been superseded by modern navigational technology. In the background on the other side of the River Mersey is the Crosby Coastguard Station.

Snapshots of Bordeaux

Great Bell of Bordeaux - Grande Cloche de Bordeaux

Leaning on the 12th-century church of St. Eloi, this tremendous passage was constructed in the 13th Century. The vault and the bays were refurnished in the 15th Century, while the ironwork and the clock date from the 17th Century. The belfry of the old hôtel de ville, it stored the town's armaments. Until the Liberation, at the end of the second world war, the clock announced all of the important events, fires, and even the beginning of the grape harvest

Windows, windows everywhere

Shops small and artisnal

The sign of a once mighty shoe emporium

"I'll meet you at the turtle". Actually it was so hot that David got quite a surprise. How the girl was sitting on it we couldn't fathom.

Many buildings on the riverfront

are magnificent. The trams are brilliant (Edinburgh please note - why didn't you buy these instead of spending a fortune designing your own?)

More waterfront magnificence

The bike hire system - presumably similar to the scheme being introduced in London

The bikes are everywhere

So are the trams!

Sunday 19 September 2010

Charroux Market: Hats

I have never been to Charroux Market when the hat stall has not been there. I don't need a new hat - I stick to my Tilley Hats and I have enough to last my life out I should think. But I could be tempted: