Posted by Alan on March 28, 2010
Time for a change today – we did a bit of cleaning out the flat. You might notice the theme is different too – I was getting a bit fed up of the narrow layout and wanted to add in a right hand column too…
Back in early March I headed off to Bogle in Manchester, staying with my parents just north of there. This gave me a chance to head off into the hills around the area. Surprisingly there was still snow in places (apparently more due this week!).
Ogden Reservoir, Lancashire
Ogden Reservoir, Lancashire
Rochdale - best viewed from afar!
M62, looking westwards above Junction 21
Look! Some snow
This summer I’m going to make the most of whatever good weather we get. There’s so much out there to be explored… Full set of pictures is available via flickr.
Posted in Buildings and Places, Photography | Tagged: Lancashire, Motorway, New Hey, Powershot S3 IS, Rochdale | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alan on October 31, 2009
So, last weekend I also headed out to sunny Blackpool. In fact to start with – it was sunny!
Having taken the train over the hills I could really see the draw back in the days of satanic mills and wakes weeks. I started the in the Calder Valley where all the houses are dark, the light is shaded by the steep sides and the air is always just a bit too moist. Climbing out and into Lancashire the weather did improve as did the terrain – by Blackpool it’s flat, open and relatively light even in the October light.
(I was also recovering slightly from the night before which may have had something to do with it).
Blackpool was still really quite busy during the daytime despite it being out of season. I did see a couple of the ‘notorious’ stag/hen parties out there, mostly from the safety of the tram or the other side of the street though! 🙂
However the weather didn’t hold out for all too long…
Just before the lights
So came the dark. And the lights. This is really why anyone goes to Blackpool in the autumn…
Tower at Night
This is probably the last real trip out for the Powershot S3 as I’m intending to actually buy that SLR very soon – got a couple in mind so just need to try and buy!
Posted in Culture, Photography | Tagged: architecture, Blackpool, Lancashire, North, Powershot S3 IS, Rock, Trams, wandering, Weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alan on July 20, 2009
Probably last update for a little while, as the search for a new flat gets going – sorry… this is going to be a long one!
Our main summer holiday saw us abandon the UK mainland for the Scilly Isles. 30 miles off the end of Cornwall this delightful archipelago was a great choice. Good food, good atmosphere and always a lovely day for boating.
St Michael's Mount (Near Penzance, Cornwall)
1st class rail travel put us in Penzance, where we stayed in a lovely B&B. If you ever feel the need to go west check them out! Our first proper holiday day, took us to St Ives and Lands End.
Mmm....... Cream Tea
There’s nothing quite like a good cup of tea. Unless it comes with cakes and clotted cream of course!
299 Miles to Wallington
Lands End is a bit of a non-event for those who haven’t been. The land stops and the sea starts. Just before the transition there are a few tacky shops and a bar. Still, I guess it’s good to have been. You can also pay a few quid and have your home town put into the sign – I spotted Wallington on the sign whilst having a cheeky half.
So… Scilly. Well, it’s a bloody lovely place. Very relaxed and generally friendly. Our first day we checked out St Mary’s and found Prince Charles.
The second day we headed out on a trip to see the puffins and seals on a glass bottomed boat. It was good fun though for the glass bottom to be any use you’d need clearer waters than the Scilly Isles. You can see tiny fish in the shallows but not a whole lot else bar seaweeds. However, the skipper (?) did take us up close and personal with the customs vessels moored off St Mary’s
La Douane Française
The French one was a whole lot more impressive and really not bothered we came so close.
Our first smaller island to take in was Bryher. With a population of somewhere between 80 and 100 there isn’t much there…
…except of course the post office, local shop and the FRAGGLE ROCK BAR! Where we enjoyed a well deserved pint. In fact all of the islands still have a post office!
On Friday evening we took a trip out to St Agnes for tea at the Turks Head, the most Southwesterly pub in the British Isles. A couple of gig race boats left for the race that evening – can’t help but feel they were somewhat at a disadvantage having to row across to St Mary’s first…
Traditional Gig Race Boat
Saturday took us to St Martin’s, famous (locally of course!) for it’s bakery and vineyard. Sadly the vineyard was closed but we did enjoy some good baked food, before relaxing on the beach for a while.
St Martins' Beach
Sunday brought us to the last inhabited island- Tresco, proper famous for it’s gardens. But I don’t know much about plants and Ruth’s hay-fever was playing up a bit. So we just wandered the island. You’ll be pleased to learn there is no Tesco on Tresco.
The Tresco Channel
Lastly… Monday brought us back to Penzance via chopper where we could board the sleeper for London – after a cream tea and a really good dinner of course. You really don’t get much space on the sleeper!
That’s all for now – another update soon with info on the really tame Scilly Wildlife.
Posted in Buildings and Places, Culture, Geek Streak, General Meh, Travelling around, Uncategorized | Tagged: 2009, Beach, Cream Tea, Customs, holiday, Penzance, Powershot S3 IS, Puffin, Scilly isles, Sea, Seal, Sennan Cove, St Ives, St Mary's, tea, Tresco | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alan on July 16, 2009
Last weekend we headed out to Scotland. Aberdeen to be precise to visit friends and sample some whisky. Travel was cared for by the Caledonian Sleeper – which isn’t anywhere near as expensive as you might expect! It’s quite neat being able to get on the train, chill in the lounge before retiring to bed and waking up some 600 or so miles away from home.
Ruth takes tea
However… the sleep was really only good on our outward journey which was less than helpful as on our return I was going straight into a 4 hour long meeting…. zzzzzzzz.
After mooching in Aberdeen a bit on Friday (and finding a Scottish breakfast – it is different honest!) we checked into our hotel and found ourselves with hotel win – bar listed in the CAMRA good beer guide for 25 consecutive years. 10 ales and some really good food. Marvellous!
Saturday brought a trek to Speyside, in particular Dufftown home of Glenfiddich.
Now we know all about the production of Scotch. Pretty easy really!
After a wander about in Dufftown centre and some food in a cafe with more trinkets than tables, we headed off for a second distiliary – Glenlivet.
Again the tour but this time we all bought stuff from the distilery shop – 1989, 18 year old Glenallachie cask strength for me (which was a bargain). We even got to try some before choosing our bottles.
Well worth an expedition, though perhaps with a bit more planning we could have save ourselves a few quid on the taxi fares…there isn’t much in the way of public transport that far north.
Ah well. All back to normal just about here. Except for the flat hunt…but thats another story… <sigh>
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Aberdeen, Dufftown, Food, Glenlivet, Keith, Powershot S3 IS, Scotch, Scotland, Whisky | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alan on May 3, 2009
Ahh bank holidays. Time to kick back in the flat and enjoy the rain? Not so this weekend. An unusual break in the London bank holiday weather allowed a bit of exploring.
So, what to do? Somewhere I found out about this boat thing down in Little Venice. Essentially lots of boats (and people) converge on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal and have some fun. There was stalls a plenty, beer tents and a band that sometimes floated (see above).
I’ve put a whole load more shots online at http://alansrandomness.fotodock.co.uk/c1691986.html – I think I even managed to frame a few nicely this time!
Totally unrelated, I’ve been starting to wade through a bargain bag of albums from Vinyl Exchange in Manc. Have found what I think might be gem amongst the dross. This gem is ebb – think Sigur Ros but with the random electronic sounds of Thom Yorke. The vocals remind me very much of my architects who I saw support Cooper Temple Clause a few years ago.
Enough from me. The time zone change between West and East London has made me feel somewhat sleepy…zzzz…
Posted in Culture, General Meh, Travelling around | Tagged: architecture, bargains, bridges, Canal, Little Venice, London, manchester, music, myspace, Paddington, Powershot S3 IS, wandering | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alan on February 25, 2009
A Liver Bird
Museum of Liverpool
The Albert Dock, Liverpool
Scouse graffiti about climate change
The Liverpool ONE shopping centre
On Sunday I went to Liverpool. It’s been a very long time since I last went to Liverpool and did more than caught a bus. And even then, we pretty much just went round the Beatles museum and went home.
It probably wasn’t the cleverest of excursions. I had absolute craploads of stuff with me, having been back to my parents in Friday (collecting some hardware en-route), then to Nikki’s party where I collected some left-over booze to bring home. I guess that probably counts as tourist fail.
Still, I did manage to see some of the sights and culture. I saw the Mersey and the Liver birds. Had a cup of tea by the albert dock (with a scone, but not cream – lame). Walked round the Tate. Obeyed when the second man asked me to put my bags in the Tate cloakroom (naturally, first time I was suspicious, until I figured out it looked like I was on the rob). Wandered round Liverpool ONE and bought some leftovers from Zavvi. And then it was pretty much home time. Not until I’ve found a home bargains/quality save and stocked up on cheap tat. Just can’t get it in London.
All in all, Liverpool probably doesn’t deserve it’s repuation. Only once did I really feel afraid to get my camera out. And I did anyway… Maybe in the summer I’ll go back and find the rest of the city.
You can find the rest of the photos at http://is.gd/kJFE
Posted in Buildings and Places, Culture, Travelling around | Tagged: architecture, art, bargains, Food, Liverpool, mersey, n95, Powershot S3 IS, scouse, tate, tea, zavvi | 1 Comment »