Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Gower...

Parked up on the Gower last night, overlooking the sea. Had a couple of hours, early this morning, to finish off an article, then strolled 100 yards along the prom to a café for breakfast (and wifi, so I could email the finished article). Sometimes the nomadic life works very well!

I have today to explore the Gower, before ending up at Pembroke Dock after midnight, for the night sailing to Rosslare. Tomorrow, about this time, I will either feel refreshed and ready to explore, or grumpy from lack of sleep. Either way, I've saved £30 on the price for sailing in daylight...

Ely...

  

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Hartley Wintney...

Spent a couple of days with sister Kari in Hartley Wintney, and booked a night ferry for Ireland (Pembroke to Rosslare)...

A quiet corner of Farnham...

 

Friday, 18 August 2017

To see you... nice...

So Brucie’s gone (probably winning someone a windfall in the Death Raffle, at the Wilkes Head pub, Leek). Amazing to think he first appeared on our TV screens as long ago as 1939! I remember him on Saturday Night at the London Palladium, when an affable personality, and an oft-repeated catchphrase, could take you a long way in television…

Riverside conversation, Ely...

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Ely...

Spent a couple of days at the Lynn Arms in Syderstone, North Norfolk, with Mandy and Aubrey the dog. While I was there I took some photos for the pub’s new website. Then headed south, to see more old friends this evening from my days in Peterborough. It cost me £4.70 to get a shower this morning - the same price as a swim - though that’s still cheaper than a pint of lager in Poundbury.

On the way I stopped off in Ely, and took some pix. I had a pint of lager, overlooking the river, and hit a new high water mark. £5.20! I kept my composure and paid up…

A pint at the Lynn Arms...

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Coventry...

I made my way to Coventry via Leek, where I called in at the Wilkes Head pub, to see who has won the latest ‘Death Raffle’. Congratulations to ‘Jamie’, who is £252.00 to the good for predicting the demise of actor Peter Sallis, at the age of 96.

Had a fun-filled weekend with Chas and grandsons Lenzo and Max. This is Max engrossed in one of his favourite books: The Challenge of Islam. He's fascinated by theology, and talks about little else...


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Tadcaster...

Had a stroll along the Wharfe with son Casey, starting from the repaired river bridge; the damage to the bridge, caused by floodwater, had divided the town in two for many months. Drove through the Peak District, taking a few pix on the way, and have now parked up for the night in Leek…

Magpie Mine, Derbyshire...


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Socialising...

Good to see John, Dave and Martin in York last night, for an evening of pleasantly inconsequential conversation. We met up in the Golden Ball, a proper local beerhouse just inside the city wall. When the pub quiz started we repaired to the Black Swan, just around the corner: another little boozer with plenty of character, thankfully unimproved by progress. My spirits are lifted, though the back is still sore. I don’t think I’ll be break-dancing for a while…

Arkengarthdale...





Glen Campbell...

Heard this morning that Glen Campbell has died. Though never a great fan, I particularly remember two of his songs: Witchita Lineman and Galveston, both written by Jimmy Webb, which came out in 1968 and 1969 respectively, years when music meant a great deal to me. The words may not resonate too strongly, but if you can hear the music and the peerless voice of Glen Cambell they’ll leap off the page. Instead of adolescent angst, the lingua franca of most popular songs, both songs have a timeless quality.

We can imagine the lineman, on his own, repairing telephone lines in America’s rural south; he’s yearning for someone so strongly that he can ‘hear’ her over the telephone wires. We can imagine the conscripted soldier, in a lull in the fighting (Jimmy Webb was thinking about Vietnam, apparently), wondering if the woman he loves will still be there when - or if - he gets back home.

The sentiments are sketched, not spelt out - making it easy to identify with the ‘I’ in the songs: the essence, I think, of good song-writing. These are the kind of songs I sing as I drive along; it’s impossible for me to approach Ulverston in Cumbria without breaking into the chorus of Galveston at the top of my voice…

Witchita lineman

I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main road
Searchin' in the sun for another overload
I hear you singin' in the wire, I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line

I know I need a small vacation but it don't look like rain
And if it snows that stretch down south won't ever stand the strain
And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line…


Galveston

Galveston, oh Galveston,
I still hear your seawinds blowing;
I still see her dark eyes glowing.
She was twenty one, when I left Galveston.
Galveston, oh Galveston,
I still hear your seawaves crashin,
while I watch the cannons flashin'.
I clean my gun, and dream of Galveston.
I still see her standing by the water,
Standing there looking out to sea.
And is she waiting there for me,
On the beach where we used to run?
Galveston, oh Galveston,
I am so afraid of dying,
Before I dry the tears she's crying,
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun,
at Galveston, at Galveston


Rievaulx Abbey...


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Wet and dreary...

Oof… what a dreary day: leaden sky and heavy rain. Even the ‘pensioner’s special’, at a fish & chip café on the A64, failed to lift my gloomy mood. I’m due to meet some chums in York tonight, so I hope they can cheer me up…

Cottages in Hurst, an out-of-the-way community in Swaledale, with the heather coming into flower...


Monday, 7 August 2017

Helmsley...

Slept in Thirsk last night, though I didn’t get much sleep after 5.30am, when guys started putting up their market stalls. I wasn’t getting much sleep anyway, thanks to a sore back giving me gip. I spent the day shooting pix at Rievaulx Abbey - one set of pix in the morning, another set in the afternoon - and now I’m in Helmsley, yet another North Yorkshire town with an expansive market square. I’m self-medicating with summer ale, and the back seems to be responding to treatment…


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Bedale...

I parked up for the night in Bedale (spot the Romahome near the church). I'm parked in another cobbled market square today, in Thirsk. Parking is free on Sundays and the wifi, from a nearby coffee shop, is dependable, so I'm busy keywording a backlog of pix. Tedious but necessary...


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Crakehall...

The day improved, with plenty of pix of Swaledale. I ended up at Crakehall, and its eccentrically shaped cricket pitch, to find a game in progress. While it takes a hefty whack to reach the boundary with a straight drive, a clip off the legs only has to go about ten yards, because the churchyard intrudes on the pitch. Despite these eccentricities - or maybe because of them - Crakehall is village cricket at its best.

I see, from the Guardian website, that Burnley had to abandon today’s pre-season friendly - yes, friendly - against Hannover, because of crowd violence. After huge transfer fee and wages, I can only watch football now as a cultural phenomenon; I really can’t care who wins. The cricketers at Crakehall applauded the opposition batsman when he reached fifty; the crowd at Burnley were ripping up seats and throwing them…

Arkengarthdale...

























Cricket at Crakehall...


Parking ticket...

A good way to start my day is waking up to bird-song or, on a Sunday in a small market town, the peal of church bells. A bad way to wake up, as happened this morning, is to find a parking ticket stuck to the windscreen. The fine wasn’t for the lack of a ticket (I didn’t need one between 6pm and 8am); it was for the ‘improper use of a parking space’. This is the first ticket I’ve had, in three years, for kipping in a car park, and it was timed, improbably, at 6.37am. One blind was halfway down, which suggests that a particularly vigilant traffic warden, standing on tip-toes, might have glimpsed a somnolent figure inside the van…

Changeable weather over Woodnook campsite...


Friday, 4 August 2017

Yorkshire Dales...

I’m enjoying being back in the Yorkshire Dales. I called in at the Tan Hill Inn today, the highest pub in England, which is currently up for sale. There were lots of motorhomes parked there, some even smaller than mine, because there’s a mini music festival taking place over the weekend. My natural inclination is - and always has been - to avoid crowds, so I took lots of pix around Arkengarthdale and ended up in Richmond for the night…

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Strong and stable...

Heard on the radio this morning that a three-year-old Scottish girl is getting an award for comedy. Intrigued, I went on YouTube. Hilarious. Try this clip, turn the subtitles on, sit back and enjoy. And there are plenty more clips of Isla and her dad...

The church at Downholme...


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Piece Hall...

Yesterday was Yorkshire Day, when Yorkshire folk sing the praises of God's Own County (just like every other day, then). A crowd of people turned up for the re-opening of the wonderful Piece Hall, in Halifax. The council has thrown a lot of money at the project, most of it seeming to have gone on digging up the cobbles, levelling the ground and putting down flagstones...

A band played (that's Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec on percussion)...



























Tuesday, 1 August 2017

More Krishnamurti...

"Seeing the world, seeing humanity, the “me”, and the necessity of a total, radical revolution, how is it possible to bring it about? It can only be brought about when the observer no longer makes an effort to change, because he himself is part of what he tries to change. Therefore all action on the part of the observer ceases totally, and in this total inaction there is a quite different action. There is nothing mysterious or mystical about all this. It is a simple fact. I begin not at the extreme end of the problem, which is the cessation of the observer; I begin with simple things. Can I look at a flower by the wayside or in my room without all the thoughts arising, the thought that says, “It is a rose; I like the smell of it, the perfume,” and so on and so and on? Can I just observe without the observer? If you have not done this, do it, at the lowest, most simple level. It isn’t really the lowest level; if you know how to do that, you have done everything"...

The flue at Grinton lead-smelting mill, which carried the toxic fumes to a chimney at the top of the hill...