Tuesday, 29 March 2011

ABC Wednesday - Kimbo

I don't think I have ever heard  the word kimbo without it starting with an a, or being part of a phrase such as arms akimbo.  But I learnt today that it is a  word in its own right, possibly from the Old Norse kenebowe, although its precise origin is unknown.  Its meaning, bent into a curve or crooked.  This tree by the side of Coniston Water fits the word kimbo perfectly. I wonder why it has grown into this shape?  The trees are leafless but just budding now and still showing their myriad shapes, some just start to bend from the bottom
like this one sitting on a little knoll.  I have a tendency to keep on snapping here at this time of year
although this year I snapped it without its kimbo.  I wonder if one can call the bend in a river  kimbo?
I think I will today.
Keep clicking to ABC Wednesday and see more words beginning with the letter K

Friday, 25 March 2011

Spring Has Sprung

We are here and we are blooming wonderful. What about the rest of you?
Nearly with you, one last push, eeeew
Truly today was a beautiful and warm spring day. I liked contrast of  trees the first ones on the left starting to bud and very slightly green, the next still with bare branches and in the background the firs, green all year round.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

ABC Wednesday - Jasmine Tea

What was I going to post for J, I wondered while eating an apple cake at the Mystery Tea House as I  looked at my pot of tea, waiting for it to brew, and realised that there in front of me was the answer.  I was drinking an aromatic Jasmine Oolong tea, a combination of my favourites.  Jasmine tea dates way back to the Song  dynasty. Traditionally the night blooming jasmine is gathered in the morning and kept cool all day. In the evening when the flowers begins to open and release their scent they are placed with the tea.  Jasmine is most often combined with green teas so combined with Oolong is not as easily available in the UK.  Nowadays the process creating Jasmine tea is more mechanised.  The flowers and teas are mixed in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes at least 4 hours for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavour of the jasmine blossom and for higher grades of tea the process can be repeated several times.
And it can end up looking like this, the small jasmine pearls and the large balls of blooming jasmine. Or perhaps combined with other flavours like rose and jasmine in green tea, like the Yunnan tea package. I came across this in an unexpected place; the coffee loving nation of France.  The cha box was a Christmas present and filled with different teas.  So now do you fancy a relaxing cuppa?
My Chinese tea cups, the one on the right is the oldest, the one on the left is more sophisticated for it has a removable matching tea strainer in the top. Take the top off place it upside down on its flat top and take the strainer out to rest on it.  Both are ideal for jasmine tea, but if drinking the blooming type, glass is required
so you can watch the magic of the ball unfurl into a beautiful flower.

Jump into the fun over at ABC Wednesday where there will be lots more words starting with J

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Shrimps Travel

This was a cheery sight on a dull day, a bus decorated with Morecambe Football Club's colours, a team of the lower leagues. An idea of two fans which is now reality.  On the left is the team's captain, Tim Bentley and in the background the red roses of Lancashire and a sailing boat which was until recently their badge. The nickname of the club is The Shrimps, the ingredient of  possibly the most famous food of Morecambe Bay (Potted Shrimps). On the bus towards the front is their rather understated new badge of a lone shrimp, together with the motto of this seaside town and of the  club  "Beauty surrounds, health abounds".  The old badge and the new rather ghostly shrimp:

An entry for Signs, Signs

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

ABC Wednesday - Ingle

Today I'm taking you to the Yorkshire Dales on the road that crosses the Pennines, the dividing point of east and west in the north of England. A popular run out for bikers, who lean into a incline position to go round the bends. In the background is the Ribblesdale Viaduct which carries goods and passenger trains from Settle to Carlisle.
So as the train crosses the valley, rising in the background is the 2372 bulk of Ingleborough. On its flat summit is the remains of an iron age fort. An ideal place to see all the surrounding countryside.  At the foot of Ingleborough lies 

 the village of Ingleton. a popular tourist destination and walking base. The church on the hill is St Mary's whose oldest artefact is a 800 year old Norman font, found in the river just over a century ago. I wonder which part
 of the River Greta it was hidden.  The Ingleton Viaduct spans the Greta Gorge with its 11 arches. It was completed in 1859 and the village had two railway stations because there were two competing railway companies. However the line is now disused and unlike the other historic viaducts of the area it is not accessible so I content myself with taking pictures from the ground.
The traditional Dales cottages huddle near its arches.
in the hollow of the valley, on this side a farm and caravan park. No trains to watch except in
past photographs. Date unknown, but the locomotive pulling the passenger carriages looks very old.

ABC Wednesday has illimitable words starting with the letter L

Monday, 14 March 2011


Coming down from the top of Whernside and looking back, at this 'flat top' and one of the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge. We were on a saunter on a glorious warm sunny day.  But soon after this gate we met someone doing the challenge who had set off at 8 this morning and was on his way to do Pen-y-Ghent, the last one on the list. How lucky was this young man from Herefordshire to find such a day.
And he looked remarkable fresh and clean from mud for the ground underfoot was a squelchy ooze. There also was still a few slivers of ice near the top.  This walk to the summit was a bit of a first for us. We have done it in rain, cloud and have even set off in sunshine for the mist to come down and cover the top. In fact we have never had a view from the top of Whernside, and this is view has some potential, of the Lakeland hills, the Yorkshire Dales the Howgills and even Morecambe Bay.
Today we got the lot. A full panorama, here is just one direction. We sat on the top, and felt those failed attempts to see the view made today even more special.   

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A Place of Trust

Trig (triangulation) points are on top of prominent hills throughout the UK, the Ordnance Survey ones tend to be made of concrete but on land owned by the National Trust they like to do things differently. Great panoramic views of mountains and a lake from this point but no shelter from the weather,  I think it is due for a lick of paint.
The colours should be like this, but then this sign is conveniently placed by the side of a road.  
The National Trust's motto is "For ever, for everyone"

An entry to Sign, Signs hosted by Lesley here

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

ABC Wednesday - Haverigg

This week's I would like to show part of my north west corner of England.  On the Duddon Estuary sits the village of Haverigg, a place of sea and sand dunes. When the tide is up it laps or crashes (depending on the weather) against the pebbles
Perhaps bringing interesting things from the sea. The bikers were taking in the sun having loaded up with drift wood.  We were coming down from the sand dunes to walk along the beach, when we came back they were struggling to pull their wheeled trailer
 up the banking of pebbles. One very long heave and their task was complete. When the tide retreats there is

a nice long sweep of sand to stroll along. I won't suggest going in the water unless you are one of those year round swimmers. I like it to hit 20 degrees before jumping in, not the 5 it is at the moment.  Perhaps you prefer a boat
down by the harbour, or alternatively pay a visit to the
Harbour Hotel. One of those beers being carried out of the door could be for you.  If its too early for a drink then perhaps call in at
at the Beach Cafe for a meal or a pot of tea, scones and cream.  I dived into the ice cream cabinet and had a ice lolly (a rocket shaped Fab in case you were wondering) to eat sitting by the sea. With irony I say, no need to rush to eat before it melts.   Up on the sea banking is
Josefina de Vasconcellos sculpture "Escape to the Light" pointing towards the sea, a memorial to honour the heroic lives lost on sea rescues in the British Isles. The building in the background houses the  Haverigg Inshore Rescue Team's lifeboat, crewed by volunteers. The dragon in the stone symbolises evil. The man is just within its reach as he escapes to the light. On the other side
nature is fleeing from pollution and extermination. I will end with the words of Vasconcellos which are quoted on the small, battered,sign by the sculpture, started in 1999 and installed here in 2003:-
"Like the first man we stand
barefoot on time's sand...
Courage and wit will keep the body,
but where's the power that can arm a soul
against the dragon who would eat it whole?
With single-minded faith and sight
Cast out the evil and Escape to Light.
Hop over to ABC Wednesday where there are lots more words starting with the letter H

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A Visual Pub Crawl

Wander along the streets of the town of Lancaster and not only are there many pubs but you are never in any doubt of what they are called. This, the Duke of Lancaster with his crown, is possibly meant to be the 14th Century John of Gaunt, a Plantagenet and brother to the Black Prince.  Lancaster lies on the River Lune
and this sign is a wonderful recreation of the 18th Century St Georges Quay and its warehousing along the banks  Of course if there are ports and ships there must be sailors
and they are rather fond of pubs. 

Photographs for the Signs, Signs meme

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

ABC Wednesday - Gateway

The gateway to the Kirkby Stephen Parish Church, whose byname is the Cathedral of the Dales. A sturdy, small and pretty church, the gateway was built in 1810 with money from the will of John Waller a former resident and leads through the cloisters to the entrance of the church which stands on an old Saxon site. One of the things the church is famous for is its possession of a Viking carving called
the Loki Stone. It features the horned figure of Loki who from Viking stories was sometimes on the side of the gods and sometimes he plagued them for he was a trickster.  At the end he went too far and killed the son of Odin, the result, eternal punishment, which is why this stone shows him bound. And just to add that little bit of detail is is with the entrails of one of his sons.  A serpent drips poison, which his wife collected in a bowl. When the bowl is full she had to pour it out and the poison then dripped on Loki, his pain as he writhes and cries out in pain causes earthquakes. Gosh I feel like a walk to clear my head after that thought.
maybe through this gate on a path lined with gorse. Or perhaps a walk in a country garden
 Tatton Park
with a cool archways of trees. On second thoughts although today has been spring like, no shade required yet,
the gritters are out again tonight.  Only for ice, all our snow has gone.  Wooden gates need a bit of upkeep
 Lancaster near the River Lune
not this one, the building is due for conversion into flats or redevelopment. Sometimes things have gone too far
when lichen and rain have worn away its purpose. Standing propped against the wall is its replacement.

Go to ABC Wednesday where there will be lots more words starting with the letter G