Saturday, 29 September 2012

Now where was I? ....

I didn't recognise where this was when I was first looking through my photos
then my husband pointed out where we stayed in Dawlish!  It threw me because of the expanse of sea in front of it and I'd forgotten that we'd walked out on the jetty to get this view.  See that pink building next to the blue one?  The first night we were right at the top, you can just see a round window in the roof.  The next night we were two floors below it and the night after, to the side.

These are photos of the beach at Dawlish Warren, I loved the old gnarled breakwaters

This is looking across to Exmouth

where we later caught a train to

how gorgeous is this dark sky against the bright buildings?

We travelled around on the train while we were there.  I liked this tiled signage at Exeter St Davids station

Friday, 28 September 2012

What's through the round window?

I got back last night from few days away, in the South West.  One night our room was on the top floor of a guest house which had porthole windows and these are the views in two directions

This is Dawlish on the South coast of Devon, where I went earlier this year with my daughter, but this time with my husband.  We only booked one night in advance because we didn't know how good the weather would be, but were incredibly lucky as we just kept missing the rain at every which turn and ended up staying for three nights (in a different room each night as they became available, which was interesting).

We started off our break in Bath on Sunday and arrived in the evening.  I've not been before but it's a lovely city, steeped in history. 

On Monday we joined a walking tour of the city.  It was completely free and lasted for over two hours, taking in lots of places of interest.  The volunteer guide was really entertaining with loads of anecdotes and facts.  If you ever go to Bath make sure you go on the Mayor's Walk - twice a day outside the Pump Room - it's brilliant.
Before we started on the tour I'd noticed these angels climbing up ladders on either side of the front of the Abbey which I thought were quite whimsical, but apparently the person who brought about the building of the Abbey had a dream with angels climbing a ladder up to heaven so that's why they're there. Click to enlarge

We also visited Torquay

I love this photo which looks like the statue is trying to jump on the big wheel!

and Paignton

Right next to the normal train station at Paignton is the Dartmouth Steam Railway.  

This post is getting a bit long so I'll continue tomorrow

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Yorkshire Sculpture Park and a prize

Yesterday was a glorious day, so in the afternoon my daughter and I went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

With 500 acres, it's a lovely place to walk round with sculptures all over.

This was my favourite which looked like it was made from rock from a distance, but up close it's quite translucent

I don't know why I didn't take more photos but here are a few of the other sculptures


Also yesterday a prize arrived from Canada for coming second in a duck limerick competition over on Knatolee's World blog.
It is 'Katie of the Sonoran Desert' book which is beautifully illustrated by Natalie, plus some hand made cards featuring photos of some of Natalie's animals (pop along to her blog and see some fantastic close up photos).

My limerick was

A big strapping drake did confess
That in secret he liked to crossdress 
He did it at night
Without any light
So his make up was always a mess

I actually submitted loads and loads of entries because I just couldn't stop writing them once I'd started.  The competition ran for quite a while and I was sending them in every day!
Here are a few others of mine

There was a plump duck from Dorset
Who couldn't fit into her corset
She tried breathing in
And trying to be thin
But ended up having to force it 

There once lived a duck with Natalie
Who was not getting on at all happily
He packed up his bags
Said goodbye to the lads
And headed for Greater Napanee

A runner duck and his best mate
Decided to enter a race
They trained together
In all kinds of weather
And finished in joint second place

A duck from Lennox County
Trained to be a Mounty
He was top notch
No mission did botch
And always got his bounty

There was a posh duck named Alice
Who's coop was just like a palace
She had cake stands in tiers
Crystal chandeliers
And drank water from a chalice

Monday, 10 September 2012

I didn't even know I wanted one

What is it with the younger generation wanting to buy new things when there's nothing wrong with the old?
My daughter wanted us to get a new computer chair for my and her Dad's computer (not one she uses).  I personally think the one we've got is fine; perhaps a bit on the small side, and not particularly comfortable, but I wasn't thinking about changing it.  
She kept showing me ones she thought would be better but I didn't want to be spending £60 or so on something I didn't really need, and then I saw one on freecycle.   
Now we're talking!

It was a bit worn and had a tear on the back

but nothing a bit of reupholstering couldn't fix.  The fabric I've used is some that was left over from curtains I made in our last house, and you can see it here when I used it for car seat covers.   It wouldn't have been my first choice but it was the only one I had enough of, and I wasn't going to go buying any

I must say it's a lot more comfortable than the old one - I don't know why I didn't think of getting a new one myself  ;)

My daughter has also suggested I do the Couch-to-5K running plan in order to be able to run up the hill I mentioned in my last post.
Running in general doesn't appeal to me at all, but it's a means to and end, and I've completed my first week and hopefully will be on target by mid November.
I prefer walking, which I do on local public footpaths but they can be a bit uneven, so for the running I thought I'd be better on the road because I don't want to go twisting my ankle or something.  Not as interesting as footpaths but the road is quiet so it's not like I'm pounding the city streets!
So instead of walking over fields, this is where I'll be exercising for the next eight or so weeks

 I don't want anyone to see me, so I'm getting up at the crack of dawn.  Well 6:45, but to someone who rarely gets up before 9 it seems like the middle of the night!  It's only three days a week though so I can lie in on the other days.


Monday, 3 September 2012

Little challenges

Whilst out walking the other day I came upon this notice on a stile across the footpath

I wasn't sure what to do because it doesn't say 'beware', but a couple of months ago there was a news article about a man who had been trampled by a herd of cows, and of course they're going to be protective of the calves, so I was a bit wary.  
I decided that if the herd was well away from the path I would carry on through the field, but when I got closer I could see they were near the stile, and it was a pretty big bull, so I decided to turn back and take another route
I was quite miffed about it.  Not because it meant I had to walk an extra half mile or so to go round because I need the exercise anyway, but just because I had to go back the way I'd come!   


I've decided to get a bit fitter and I've set myself a little challenge.   I go for a walk most days, but I'm going to up the ante.
I want to do a 'Rocky' and run up this hill
(click to enlarge)

It may not seem very steep or high but it puffs me out just walking up.  

This is the view from the top where it starts to flatten out.  After the foreground it drops away steeply.  The farm buildings you can just see the roofs of in the bottom is where I was standing for the first photo.

I've timed myself walking up, and it took 4 minutes, 35 seconds the first time.       
I want to get faster and eventually run up.  Realistically I'm not going to be able to do this unless I can run on the flat first (which I've never done).   So now when I'm out walking I've started to do occasional bouts of jogging.  Ideally I'm trying to alternate between 2 minutes walking then 30 seconds jogging, but this isn't quite working out yet because if anyone is about I don't want them to see me trying to jog so I keep on walking.  Also it's not helping that I'm wearing walking boots!
I have managed to jog the last little flat bit at the top of the hill and got my time down to 4 minutes 15 seconds.

I may or may not be reporting some time in the future that I've succeeded, but don't hold your breath!


Hands up anyone who knows what's missing from this photo -

The cooling towers of Thorpe Marsh Power Station!  They've all been demolished now.   :(