A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘wandering’

Arundel Castle

Posted by Alan on May 3, 2010

This early May bank holiday saw Simon, Emo and I take a trip down to Arundel castle, about 4 miles north of Littlehampton on the south coast. Arundel castle is actually two castles – the stately home built in Victorian times (when castles were all the rage) and the actual castle a mott/bailey fortrification surviving (with modifications) through the civil war to this day.

Arundel castle, stately home

I'm not sure that turret could actually hold a cannon worth using...

The place reeks of power and status. There are many grand rooms full of large paintings of the Dukes of Norfolk, who still retain this as their home today. No pictures allowed inside of course – I don’t mind that since I can imagine how much flash might damage fragile paintings and also revenue from the tours must go some way to keeping the place…

Arundel castle, mott & bailey

The real castle

As well as the paintings, stuffed animals and trappings of gentry, the grounds includes some well kept gardens and the Fitzalan chappel.  The chappel is unusual as it is actually two churches stuck together – a Catholic side and a protestant/Anglican side but neither connected bar a single door in the main area of the chappel. In fact, the Anglican side is outside of the grounds!

Inside Fitzalan chappel, looking towards the protestant side

Looking towards the protestants

Photography was allowed in the chappel so I got to have a bit of play with the EOS…

Praying monk

Praying monk

close up of angel wing and blurred photographers

Winging it for the angels

Praying for the next life - grave statue

Praying for the next life

Next up were the gardens – unfortunately a day for frequent heavy showers meant that most of the flowers had closed up, but there was plenty of colour available to enjoy.

A splash of colour - red flowers

A splash of colour

Pink rose

Pink rose

spots of rain on a green leaf

Drip drip

We probably spend 4½ hours all told wandering around – very enjoyable.

Next up – the pub and eventually Sussex pub crawl… to be continued.

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Blackpool Rock

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!

Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower

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).

South Pier?

South Pier?

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…

The Promenade

The Promenade

Big Wheel

Big Wheel

Just before the lights

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

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!

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Hampton Court

Posted by Alan on September 6, 2009

A really quick post; still got loads of house things to sort and we still don’t have broadband yet!

Yesterday I popped up (well more trekked across town to) Hampton Court Palace. Here’s a few of the pix:

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Brass and Boats in Little Venice

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…

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Lighten Up Morrissey

Posted by Alan on March 22, 2009

Just a quick post this weekend as there’s still loads of stuff to do for the week ahead.

Friday night saw me up at The Forum, Kentish Town (now dreadfully branded HMV forum) to see Sparks. It was good. Not on the level of awesome of Radiohead last year but very well executed show covering a recent album and Kimono My House, their breakthrough. Was cool to see so much energy in performers who have been working for 30 years or so..it mustn’t be easy.

Saturday, a trip up to Aylesbury to see Ruth’s relatives. Caught the second half of the England vs Scotland match with a pint of Black Sheep. Twas ok, the usual England-Scotland Rugby tie with lots of kicking and not many tries. Unfortunately had to walk out on the Wales – Ireland tie after 5 minutes but looked like it would shape up to be an exciting game.

And Sunday. Just lazing around. Nice brunch, quick walk down Leytonstone for the weekly shopping and then chores to which I must away again……..

Sparks – Lighten up Morrissey (Exotic Creatures of the Deep, 2008)

She won’t go out with me, no, she won’t go out
‘Cause my intellect’s paper thin
She won’t go out with me, no, she won’t go out
Since my intellect’s not like him

So, lighten up, Morrissey

She won’t hang out with me, no, she won’t hang out
‘Til my biting wit bites like his
She won’t hang out with me, no, she won’t hang out
‘Til my quick retort’s quick as his

So, lighten up, Morrissey? Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, Morrissey
Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, Morrissey

She won’t have sex with me, no, she won’t have sex
‘Less it’s done with a pseudonym
She won’t do sport with me, no, she won’t do sport
Says it’s way, way too masculine, look at him

So, lighten up, Morrissey? Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, Morrissey
Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, Morrissey

I got comparisons coming out my ears
And she never can hit the pause
If only Morrissey weren’t so Morrisseyesque
She might overlook all my flaws

So, lighten up, Morrissey
Lighten up, lighten up
So, lighten up, Morrissey
Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, Morrissey’
Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, Morrissey
She won’t dine out with me, no, she won’t dine out
Says my t-bone steak is at fault
She won’t dine out with me, no, she won’t dine out
With a murderer, pass the salt

Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, Morrissey
Lighten up, lighten up

Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, Morrissey
Lighten up, lighten up
Lighten up, Morrissey

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Bogle 09

Posted by Alan on March 9, 2009

This weekend, I walked half of Manchester RAG’s bogle event. The event consists of a 55 mile walk around Manchester. I elected to start the 55 mile walk, but I wasn’t at all too sure how far I would get round. In the end I made 29 miles – just over half way, and just in time to meet Ruth who was only doing the ‘north loop’ – the final 26 miles.

It was hard work. Normally I walk from my flat to the tube stop (c. 10 mins) and back again. Even if I’m going to another building at work if it’s more than 5 minutes away I tend to get the bus, I am that lazy. So this was hard.

Training, well that didn’t really happen. I made 5 miles though some fields near the river Severn. And then went to the pub.

But the shoes worked! I got one blister, on my little toe but other than that seem unscathed. So… here are the vital statistics:

Twitter’s record of events.

20:10:00 Nous sommes départs.
21:10:00 Sainsbury fallowfield. Buying replacement trousers.
22:10:00 Northenden. Have ice cream.
23:06:00 Heald green. So close to check point one
23:15:00 Checkpoint 1. Circa 10 miles in. Arches and calves hurt.
23:23:00 Mmm. Cup of tea. It’s lovely to stand still for a bit
23:40:00 Leaving checkpoint 1
23:59:00 Just into cheadle hulme, by the welcome to macclesfield sign
00:03:00 What is the queen doing now? Asks Bill.via Twitter
00:23:00 Acre lane. 12 miles down.
00:41:00 Checkpoint 2, 13 miles in
00:55:00 Leaving checkpoint 2
01:32:00 Jacksons lane. 15 miles. Just witnessed a man kicking a car. Lovely.
02:02:00 Hazel Grove, almost 17 miles in. My feet hurt!
02:28:00 18 miles.
02:54:00 A bit of rage against the machine has helped me pick up the pace again. Outskirts of stockport now
03:08:00 Checkpoint 3. No hot food but the kebab shop has jacket spud left!
03:22:00 Leaving checkpoint 3
03:43:00 Cheadle heath. 21 miles
04:04:00 Cheadle centre, 22 miles.
04:29:00 Tesco east didsbury. 23 miles. I’m really feeling it now
05:06:00 East didsbury. 24 miles
05:33:00 Checkpoint 4. 25 miles in. Not sure how far I can get.
06:03:00 Fallowfield 26 miles.
06:35:00 Top end of rusholme. 27 miles
06:57:00 Aquatics centre. 28 miles
07:15:00 Checkpoint 5. I give in. 29 miles is enough for me! Now to help run this event


Total time on route – 11 hours and 05 minutes, an average of 22 minutes per mile (just under 3 mph)

Total walking time – 10 hours and 12 minutes, an average of 21 minutes per mile (still just under 3 mph!)

CheckPoint 0 – Checkpoint 1, UMIST – Heald Green
Distance: 10 miles
Duration 3h 5m
Average speed 3.2mph
CheckPoint 1 – Checkpoint 2, Heald Green – Bramhall
Distance: 3 miles
Duration 1h 1m
Average speed 2.9mph
CheckPoint 2 – Checkpoint 3, Bramhall – Stockport Edgeley, via Heald Green
Distance: 6.5 miles
Duration 2h 13m
Average speed 2.9mph
CheckPoint 3 – Checkpoint 4, Stockport Edgeley – Withington
Distance: 5.5 miles
Duration 2h 13m
Average speed 2.5mph
CheckPoint 4 – Checkpoint 5, Withington – UMIST
Distance: 4 miles
Duration 1h 42m
Average speed 2.4mph

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The Kings Cross

Posted by Alan on February 24, 2009

On Friday, I took the train from Kings Cross. This in itself isn’t too unusual for me as I usually pick the cheapest route home rather than the quickest; it’s 30 – 60 minutes longer via Leeds but I had plenty of time to spare on Friday.

As really I had far too much time to spare, I came out of the tube onto Pentonville Road rather than the normal exit and went for a wander. There’s some lovely buildings around Kings Cross/St Pancras (see above) – I wonder how many of them will feature in the area post redevelopment…

I meant to get plenty of work done on the journey home. But the wifi on the train wasn’t working properly, plus Wendy and Anna sat opposite decided that really I should play cards with them. Fair enough I guess!

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