On The Prime Merdian, Day Five : Step Back In Time

Warning : Geocache Spoiler

The course of a Roman Road runs through the neighbouring of Tetford and has remained in public access as a bridleway to the west, and a footpath to the east. We had already walked a small distance along the bridleway at sunset (see Day Three). The lure of a couple of caches placed along the way was a bonus, but it was the pull of seeing those magical words “Roman Road” on the OS Map that put this on the tick list when planning our visit weeks ago. Not that we expected to be accosted by a Centurian demanding that we paid our dues to Hadrian before being allowed to proceed, there is just something alluring about taking steps along ancient ways. We do it all the time (I drive through Chester ten times a week), but we rarely notice. Hmm… maybe another project?

The weather is fine, blue skies and a slightly chilly breeze to take the heat out of the sun. We boot up and set off on our way.

Heading West Along The Roman Road

There’s a deserted farm house which is marked on the OS Map and which we can see from the outskirts of Tetford and the Blue Stone Ridge. It is named as Glebe Farm and is in a state of ruin. We remember it as appearing deserted on our previous holiday in the area seven years ago but not how far it had declined at that time. Now it has no roof and soulless light peeps through the windows. We had hoped that the route would bring us closer, but we respect the Private sign on the track to Glebe and I record its current state today.

No Public Access to Glebe Farm

Noticeably the track up to the farm appears constantly used. Maybe the nearby working farm uses it for storage, or maybe the track provides useful access to the tops of fields, but the buildings are still deserted. Perhaps there are plans to re-occupy Glebe Farm?

We later pondered the meaning of Glebe as it features in the names of several farms in the area. Its name means a piece of land allocated to a church office. An alternate name is the church furlong. Church Furlong Farm doesn’t really trip off the tongue. Oddly there was another Glebe farm close by, and arguably closer to a church. Simon has suggested that the farm’s downfall might have been caused by a leaky roof left unrepaired, as the builder ended up at the wrong Glebe farm and left confused. I somehow doubt this.

Our search for caches is successful and whilst we are sat on a bridge signing the log of a novelty duck cache, we are ambushed by a couple who are walking a dog. When I say ambushed, I mean that they accidentally stumbled across two grown adults laughing hysterically at a duck made up like William Shakespeare sitting on an English Dictionary. I bet that will be discussed in the snug tonight, “You’ll never believe what Jim and I saw this morning…”. Needless to say they returned our greeting a little hesitantly and left rather hastily.

To quack or not to quack...

To quack or not to quack…

After a return trip past derelict Glebe, we head back to the cottage to de-boot before setting off for Belton House and Gardens. This is a fine-looking stately home (we’ve never been inside) with picturesque formal gardens and  a woodland walk.

View of The House

View of Belton House

It makes for a gentle day, strolling around the grounds, dodging the school parties. The property is a fine example of the National Trust in action. We are greeted by a friendly but not overbearing admissions clerk, who scans our membership badges, checks that the new ones have arrived (ours are expiring this month) and asks if we’ve visited before. We tell him that we have and he wishes us an enjoyable day. The gardens and paths are smartly presented. The café and shop are well stocked and attended, and there is a nod away from the corporate towards to self-sufficiency with a second-hand book shop and plant sales. It is NT-clean without being without its own personality.

We visit the church which has an interesting door – saving that picture for a WP challenge.

Belton Pond

The formal gardens are rather fine.

Belton Orangery

The Orangery

The wash of forget-me-nots in front of the orangery were close to losing their colour, but we were just in time.

Belton Path

Neat and Tidy

But our favourite part of the visit is the woodland walk.

Sadly not native Bluebells

Sadly not native Bluebells

Even though the car park was fairly full, there is space here, not quite far from the madding crowd, but enough for us. After our wanders, there is the obligatory trip to the gift shop and we have an ice-cream before leaving.

Yet again, we’re on the search for food. This time heading for “The Boston Sausage” company. Lincolnshire has its own style of sausage. Well its more of a filling than a style, with an abundance of sage and other savoury herbs in the mix. But mainly sage. According to our local food rag, the Boston Sausage Company have opened a butchers in a local farm shop and we have a voucher! We have rough directions and feel sure that we’ve visited it two years ago when it was disappointing. Sausage signs start to appear as we near our destination and it is the same venue.

The butchers have a wide selection of prepared meats (we’re on holiday and don’t want to work too hard) and we leave with sausage pie and duck breasts in a mystery marinade.  The veg in farm shop is still disappointing and we hurry out before anyone can attempt to serve us.

The duck breasts are so tender (cooked with care) and we partner them with fresh local asparagus and a store cupboard favourite, cannellini bean mash.

We couldn’t agree on the likely marinade ingredients, so it remains a mystery. To be honest, I prefer it that way.

MinG

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On The Prime Meridian Day Four

Say Cheese

Whilst I might proclaim that for us, geocaching is not all about the numbers, we decided to complete a trail this morning.  Not a power trail, of which Lincolnshire boast several with over fifty caches. We cannot imagine completing one of those in a day, to us that’s the waste of a good walk. No, today’s trail had a humble seven caches placed around Snipe Dales Country Park.

Snipe Dales is, as the crow flies, less than five miles south of our cottage, so only a short journey. On arrival we boot up and set off in search of treasure. Which doesn’t take long because, by pure chance, we have parked less than one hundred yard away from cache one. Himself finds the little blighter (it was as tiny as a Lusby churchyard pony – see Day 2 post).

These caches have been aimed at children which means no shinning up trees or stretching too high (some require a little ducking down low, which falls to me, being more diminutive). It also means that we do not spend too long searching and can enjoy the country park walk. We come to a clearing where there is a special landmark:

Meridan Stone in Snipe Dales

Meridian Stone In Snipe Dales

 So here is our proof of at some point being on the Prime Meridian. We note the reference to a Lincolnshire local. It seems everyone wants a part of the meridian action. We took a little time to  stand in the place where we were and faced North, then faced South. It doesn’t feel any different to any other point in the park. Not that I was expecting this.

It’s a pretty little spot and we soon complete all but one of the caches on a ‘circular route’ with surprising changes in gradient in the final few sectors. As we leave, a coach full of small school children appear, wide-eyed and excited to be outside the classroom. I bet that they find the cache where we failed.

Snipe Dales Path

Snipe Dales Path

 

Next we head to nearby market town Spilsby. It isn’t market day so we find it easy to park and head to purchase some Lincolnshire Poacher  cheese from a shop which doesn’t sell any. We are told that the butchers would be able to sell us some if it wasn’t half day closing. It’s not even half eleven, so we are thwarted by the moveable feast of Spilsby half-day closing and depart the town cheese-less.

Our next attempt to purchase the Poacher is at one of two petrol stations which are situated on roundabouts at either end of a relatively short stretch of A-road. I am surprised that this can support two such enterprises, especially so for “petrol station one” which has a paucity of working pumps. We play musical chairs with other punters and secure some fuel. But no cheese in the attached ‘mini-mart’.

We put our cheese obsession on hold for a while and revisit Claythorpe Water Mill and Wildfowl Gardens. We pull up in the spacious grassy parking area and decide that this would be a good spot for our lunch. When we finish and stroll over to the admission desk we spot the sign “Picnics In The Car Park Are Strictly Prohibited”. We glance around furtively, decide that we haven’t been rumbled, brush the crumbs from our faces and try to act hungry.

The wildfowl area has been given a makeover, there are better footpaths, clearer signs and new additions, some of  which are hiding and are only evident by a vague murmur from their nest. Or is it a recording? The birds prove difficult to photograph, so this is the best I could do without holding up other visitors’ access.

Claythorpe Cockerel

 

Back on the Cheese trail, we locate a sizeable garden centre (“It’s bound to have a local produce section”), where I get a little claustrophobic as I have left my retail head behind. The only produce we find to our liking is some asparagus which we purchase from a woman who insists on telling us about her visit to the dentists that morning: “He completely numbed my face” she says. This hasn’t prevented her from giving us a blow-by-blow account of her treatment. I might sound unsympathetic, but I need to leave, now.

We turn our attention to searching for briquettes for the BBQ which we have no idea how to use. Ironic that we do this just after leaving a garden centre (home of all things BBQ). I think that the need to get out outweighed and temporarily obliterated all other items on our agenda. The BBQ is different to the one back home, but as the weather is half decent, we will burn some food tonight. With this in mind we head to the Not Much Better Petrol Station which sits nearest to ‘petrol station one’. Its fails to creep above the mediocrity of its rival by attempting to overcharge us. It has such a complicated refund system that the assistant has to call for managerial help twice. There is of course, only one till and we can feel the eyes of an angry queue building behind us. With the correct change we make a quick exit, avoiding eye contact with anyone.

Our afternoon coffee stop is in a windy but very pretty spot on a minor road close to Tetford.

Big Big Lincolnshire Skies

 

We chill and are chilled by the breeze. Again, I am very taken with the big skies.

We could head directly home, but we have one last attempt at purchasing cheese and are rewarded at an organic farm shop in High Toynton. Sadly, we are too late in day for the best cuts of meat and leave with leeks, cheese and two greetings cards. At least we have our Poacher which we enjoy with a wee dram later. At this point we are not sure how we will use leeks and asparagus on the BBQ.

Close to the cottage is Belchford. Locally famous for hunting, thankfully now drag hunting. It also has a pretty (and locked) church surrounded by a peaceful churchyard, where we take a short walk and gather our thoughts.

Belchford Chuchyard

 

Back at the cottage we are thwarted by not knowing exactly how to use the BBQ (it’s gas, not like back home) and eat indoors. Despite our meanderings from plan, or perhaps because of them it has been another good day and we look forward to more tomorrow.

 

MinG

On The Prime Meridian, Day Three

On the ground, in the skies.

Amongst the plans we made before arriving here was a trip to the nearest fishmonger in Louth. We are not that far from Grimsby where fish is still landed on a daily basis and we hope that this will mean fine fresh produce. A simple view in these days of global food transportation, but we’ll hold onto it for now. Besides, fresh fish doesn’t travel that well. Unless it is in the sea.

On this basis we make an early dash to Louth to visit Igloo Foods.

As we wend our way through its higgledy piggledy town centre I get a sense of faded glory. Louth is a market town and thankfully has many apparently thriving independent shops, a diversity of trades – an active ironmongers is always a good sign to me. But the discount shops have moved in. Just here and there, not in great numbers. I wonder how it will look in five years time, or maybe only two.

There are a couple of characters about who, given a change from shell suit to Victorian street garb, would have been ne’er do wells in a Dickensian novel. The ambling youth later blocking our way, apparently innocently staring into a shop window (it was empty), then following us a little too close until I brave a sharp stare – I’m onto you – and stop him in him in his tracks, is a case in point.

Only when we reach the next corner do we realise how quiet that little side-street was. I ask Si if he saw the man with the roll-up sat on the steps near to where we encountered our temporary shadow. Despite this, I love this type of town. Narrow dysfunctional streets, not knowing where you are, a slightly shabby appearance being spruced up in random places, independent traders each with their own speciality, having to visit at least four shops for your weekly purchases, and recommendations of who might have exactly what you want.

I also favour this time of day, just before opening time. Blinds being raised, unloading of goods, shouted “hello”s and “nice day”s, butchers carving up and hanging meat carcasses, windows and pavements being washed down, savvy shoppers arriving early for the best cuts, the promise of a good day’s trade.

We collect our fish, grab a quick cache, then revert to type and complete the shopping in the co-op supermarket. Sad really.

A quick drop off of provisions then onto Gunby Hall, a National Trust property with pretty gardens and a prettier cat called Committee, because she looks like she has been designed by one. Much like Min the cat back home. She lazily greets us whilst sunning herself on the path to the greenhouse.

Designed By Committee

Committee the cat

We find that we do not tend to visit the houses of National Trust properties, but the gardens and woodland walks. The former gives me ideas for our more modest patch back home, and the latter allows us to stretch our legs in a tame environment, plus some ideas for the wilder (less maintained) part of our garden. Gunby has the added bonus of a church (sadly locked), with views over the fields.

Close to the estate, and still part of it, is Monksthorpe Chapel, which has what looks like a cess pit, but is in fact a disused outdoor baptistery. On our way there we pass the former site of RAF Spilsby, now featuring a poultry farm. Large sheds emit a familiar smell, pervasive and persistent. We are pleased to leave and head to a grass verge near Revesby to have our lunch.

Being in these parts means a trip to Coningsby, home of the RAF Typhoons. It’s a sunny day and makes for good plane watching. Himself is pleased as we sit in the car park full of similar couples but mainly many solo males armed with tele-photo lenses galore.

Down the road is Tattershall village boasting a fine 15th century castle-keep. We have visited before, decline the audio tour and head straight for the ramparts.

One of Tattershall's  Corner Towers

One of Tattershall’s corner towers

It’s a clear day and the views are splendid. Lincolnshire does not have the dramatic beauty that you find in Snowdonia or the Lake District, but, being reasonably flat, you get a real sense of space around you. The skies here are huge. Really huge.

Big skies seen from Tattershall Castle

Big skies seen from Tattershall Castle,

Next to the castle and visitor centre is the Holy Trinity Collegiate Church. A fine building with intricate stone work and a wonderful east window.

The Holy Trinity Collegiate Church, Tattershall

East window, Holy Trinity Collegiate Church, Tattershall

We return to the cottage via another of our favourite spots, known to us as the Scenic Lay-by. It is on the blue stone ridge and its allows us to look over towards the cottage, just about.

Part of a failed panoramic shot from The Blue Stone Scenic Lay-by

Part of a failed panoramic shot from The Blue Stone Scenic Lay-by

Dinner is delicious. Halibut baked in lemon and pepper, accompanied by purple sprouting broccoli and seasonal Boston new potatoes.

 

We round the day off with an impromptu stroll partway along the Roman Road which passes though Tetford.

Roman Road Sunset

Splendid. Just splendid.

 

MinG

On The Prime Meridian, Day Two

Thoughts and Prayers

I woke early.

Sunrise over the Bluestone Ridge, Lincolnshire Wolds

As with our previous holiday, I enjoy observing the quirks of cottage, like the motion sensitive lights in Anglesey which I had to activate by waving broccoli at them. Here it is the noisiest fridge I have ever come across. Not that I am a seasoned fridge expert. It is almost constantly bubbling and whirring away to itself. Hang on. It’s just stopped. Like the death of the Martian call in Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds, the silence is unbearable.

On the way back from our top up shopping, the promise of a geocache leads us to the little Saxon church at Lusby. It is one of the joys of geocaching that many members place caches in interesting places. It is not all about the numbers. This being a case in point. Not finding the cache didn’t matter. The church was a joy to visit.

 

St Peter’s Church, Lusby, which has stonework dating from Saxon times.

There was a sign warning of ponies in the churchyard, but they were either elsewhere or very very tiny.

I imagine that if I lived nearby, this would be my refuge as and when I needed it.

On a related note, it is Open Churches Weekend in West Lindsey. Somewhere we had driven past on previous holidays but not visited is St Mary’s in Stow. The church pre-dates nearby Lincoln Cathedral, and boasts Viking graffiti, believed by some to be from the 12th century. Entering the church at the moment is like entering a building site, probably because it is one. The roof is undergoing repairs, costing in excess of £500,000. 

The fine stone in-laid vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows.

Above the ceiling is a void with a floor of jagged stone edges. It is said that if you can find the right one, removing it will cause that segment of the ceiling to fall to the floor below.

Someone must have used a step ladder to reach and polish this censer.

It is a majestic building in comparison to the many little chapels and churches in the surrounding villages, second in grandeur possibly only to the cathedral itself.  Lusby chapel would fit inside several times over and I would be inside that chapel.

We spent lunch in an elevated lay-by near RAF Scampton with some bikers, waiting for something that never happened. I can’t tell you what it was, because it never graced us with its presence.

Later we make a random choice of b-road and we are presented with a turning signposted Wickenby Aerodrome and RAF memorial. Wickenby was a base for Lancasters in the second World War and a maintenance unit was based here long after. There is a small memorial, sadly devoid of commemorative panels (stolen) and statue (stored in fear of theft). It declares the price paid for our freedom.  A freedom that some have chosen to use to deface the memory of the fallen.

Just inside the aerodrome perimeter is a memorial walk. Trees planted and dedicated to individuals and or crews. It is very moving. The words “an uncle never known” are too painful for me to consider dry-eyed.

We continue our walk to the end of one runway and pause a while.

Looking along one of the runways at Wickenby Aerodrome

We are again a little early to return, and head for afternoon coffee in a favourite lay-by near Burgh On Bain. Last time we visited, Si grabbed the cache here before I had got the car door open. We check that it is still present before we leave.

Before dinner, we stroll along the lane and grab a couple of caches, taking in the gentle beauty surrounding us.

View from Clay Lane, Little London, Tetford

It’s a pleasant end to a thoughtful day.

MinG

On The Prime Meridian, Nearly

And breathe. The out of office is set, Min the cat is in her holiday home, and the car is just about packed.

The title refers to our position relative to acknowledged time lines. Tomorrow we will be holidaying in Lincolnshire, an undervalued county in our opinion, but we’ll not complain. We would not want everyone to descend upon our peace.

Our base for the week will be a hamlet called Little London. There are several other Little Londons in the UK. They are on the Greenwich Time Line, giving their connection to our capital city, hence the name. The similarities just about stop there.

I thought that I would look a little into how and why Greenwich became recognised as longtitude zero, otherwise know as the Prime Meridian and I give you a Wikipedia fuelled nutshell:

– The Greek Eratosthenes developed the notion of longtitude;

– Ptolemy developed this further suggesting a Prime Meridian running approximately through The Canaries;

– Increased long distance sea travel and the development of the naval chronometer demanded a more accurate method of mapping and the agreement of the line of longitude zero.

– In 1884, the International Meridian Conference held in Washington, D.C. voted to adopt the Sir George Airy’s Greenwich  meridian as the prime meridian.

– The French wanted a neutral line, abstained and continued to use the Paris meridian until 1911.

– Many Prime Meridians are listed by Wikipedia, surely a contradiction in terms?

– The Airy Meridian is at GPS   0° 00′ 05.3101″ W.

As far as I am concerned, for the coming week, we got ‘tude zero!

MinG

The Creator

Two adults please.

Grey-blue twinkling eyes greeted me and asked if we’d visited a model village before.

I explained that I used to live near one in Southport and had been taken there several times as a child. Nostalgic eyes smiled as he referred to as a particularly special collection, which he had visited on numerous occasions too.

We discussed various locations where fine villages could be found before the smile-wrinkles appeared again. With a mischievous grin, he asked if we would like to complete the treasure hunt. Yes please!

Walking round the from the ticket booth to be given directions, we were joined by a lean man who we estimated to be in his mid-sixties, dressed in tidy blue engineer’s overalls. Just one small smudge of grease on the front.

With muted pride he advised the best route and told us to watch out for the two model trains which ran at regular intervals.

We set off on our adventure, duly noting our answers on the quiz sheet. At the end of the route we were met by someone who introduced himself as the second in command.

The boss has gone to work on a spare motor for the windmill. He’s a perfectionist you know.

We enquired as to whether he had built the village. Yes, from scratch. And the trains. He used to be a cabinet-maker and couldn’t settle into retirement, so bought the land and created the village.

All by himself?

Yes. Pretty much. At the same time he renovated an out building which is now a holiday let.

Looking back at the village we were given an insight into the soul of its creator.

The paths were clean and free from weeds, as were the colourful flower beds which surrounded each tableau.

A lot of thought had gone into the character of each setting, right down to the contrast between the music playing from some. High Church of England hymns in the steepled church, quieter and more melodic praise from the Chapel of St Mary, while candy flossed barrel organ melodies rang out from the fair.

There was a pleasantly childish sense of humour in some of the signs, in Llangefni High Street you could visit from “Dan Druff’s Hair Salon”.

There was a keen eye to detail in the scale and architecture of the buildings, all based on local landmarks and surroundings. It was clear that he was as passionate about living on Anglesey as he was about his work.

And yet he was humble. Did he deliberately step into the workshop to avoid praise at the end of our visit?

We were surprised to hear that he was over seventy, and that he had decided to sell the enterprise. This could be our last visit to one man’s miniature Anglesey.

We hoped that someone would take it on and continue in the spirit that it was created, but if you read the original post relating to our visit, we also wondered whether this type of attraction is still popular.

MinG

Ref: Writing101, Day 6 Prompt “Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?”

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #15

Having difficulty getting to my writing challenges, so for a quick fix, I have entered 

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #15

I took this at Doddington Hall Gardens, Lincolnshire,  almost two years ago today. 

    

I like the contrast between the well trimmed yews and the relaxed lawn with wildflowers. 

Doddington Hall stands majestically at the end of the avenue. There was only one way to head from here.

More later, 

MinG 

A Room With A View. And a Stairway to My Heaven

“If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?”

“We’re nearly there”, I said as we headed around the next headland.

“Good thing too, the fish and chips will be cold soon”.

 We were on a brief road trip around the north west of Scotland, stopping at small Bed and Breakfasts each night before moving on. Our budget wouldn’t stretch to dining out, so we would purchase food from the local grocery shop and either sneak back into the B&B for a surreptitious supper, or head out to a local beauty spot and dine almost alfresco. This limited our menu for the week, and on the evening that we stayed in Mellon Charles we decided to treat ourselves to takeaway fish and chips. The layout of our overnight residence would have meant transporting our dinner through the lounge to get to our room. The landlady could have been on guard and might not have taken to well to our rather aromatic dinner being consumed in a tiny space which had been adorned with swags, cushions and tie-backs galore. All just waiting to absorb the scent of salt and vinegar.

So we headed out to Gruinard Bay. Si was new to being this far north, but I had visited there two years earlier.

The road between Poolewe and Ullapool almost hugs the coast, allowing you glimpses of inlets and islets on one side, and contrasting rugged mountains on the other. This makes for pleasant journeys, but can result in your oasis being further away than you first envisaged. Mirage like it appears in the distance, only to disappear, reappear then disappear again.

But we did reach our destination and stopped in the deserted car park across the road from the bay. It was odd to see it empty. When I had visited with my parents in that lovely summer, it was jam packed with families wanting to make the most of the sunshine and beach. At the time that Si switched off the engine, most wise people would be indoors, secured away from the midges, which can ruin an otherwise pleasant evening with their incessant biting.

Somehow, we were lucky and the midges had headed off to the nearest campsite to wreak havoc, leaving us to enjoy the view across the bay to Gruinard Island. Beyond that was the peninsula where we were stopping. It looked so close.

We had dinner uninterrupted by man or midge, crossed the road and made our way down the rickety wooden steps which allow access to the beach. The sun was setting but we had time for a quick stroll along the shore. Again, I was struck by the contrast to my previous visit. The sands are a pale gold and there is shelter from the band of coast which is slightly raised. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that there are cliffs, the drop from the road ranges between ten and twenty feet. This makes it a haven for beach lovers, the only dark cloud being the ominous shadow of Gruinard Island, which was used for biological weapon testing in the cold war and which was only decontaminated in the late 20th century.

We walked and talked, and talked and walked. Before we knew it, the sun had gone and the moon was reflecting gently on the still bay waters. Temperatures can fall quite quickly in this area and, not knowing the road that well, we decided to head back to our over-upholstered abode for the night.

Halfway up the steps to the road we turned back to take in the view. It was then that we spotted the seal. We hadn’t seen any whilst walking on the beach, but there it was, bobbing up and down, appearing to watch us.

 “Goodbye Gruinard Bay. Goodbye Mr Seal”  I whispered as I waved. Incredibly, the seal raised a flipper and appear to wave back. It was probably just scratching its nose, but to us, on that magical evening, we had been bid farewell. This was before the days of mobile phones with cameras, and we weren’t carrying the 35mm, so I cannot share a picture, but I can still see it clearly in my mind over 25 years later.

The following morning we drove past the parking as we headed north for our next destination. We didn’t stop, it would have broken the spell of the previous evening. Despite observing this taboo, I would love to return to the area, smell the sea and dodge the midges. Who knows, we might even do some seal spotting.

With my eyes still on the horizon,

MinG

On The Island, Day 6. Toll to Toll

After a slow start, we head out to the far tip of the island. To another magical place. Where the waves lap or crash and a bell tolls every sixty seconds.

On the way there is an old priory. We step inside, relish the cool dark space, and talk about the banners, candles and our previous visit.

Outside, we attempt to find our way to a geocache, but cannot get near to its location due to a locked gate. There probably is another route, but himself is nervous about walking too far. So we head back to the car, and, having paid the toll, head along the lane which leads to what I think of as the end of the island.

Penmon

It’s busier here than on our previous visit. Admittedly that was on a frosty February in 2008, but the sky looks the same. Although there are several cars and holidaymakers about, it is still relatively quiet. Perhaps in reverence to the tolling bell from the lighthouse, disconcerting at first, then comforting. Perhaps also because apart from the pebble beach (featuring a berm), the lighthouse and a small café, there is nothing obvious to do here. It seems to draw what we would call like-minded people. You can sit and watch the boats and yachts go by, and just listen.

Toll, sea, gull, toll.

The Berm

The Berm

I found out later that many of the visitors were at the café, with its tables at the rear. A pleasant little establishment, serving the biggest cream teas I had ever seen. I settled for an ice-cream.

Later on I leave himself to bag a quick cache on the nearby coastal walk. Success, and I didn’t mind the nettle sting. Pesky little thing, hiding in the bracken. It is odd caching alone though.

We headed back to base via Bull Bay. Which is, as expected, still lovely. I burn my ears whilst sat with my back to the sun (the disadvantage of the recent haircut). Left for love mainly, but plenty of witch-hazel will be administered later.

Back at the cottage, I am warming to the lights. But it does mean that I have to keep moving.

I like a good dance around the kitchen, don’t you?

Min6

On The Island, Day 5. We Were Giants

Today we were giants as we returned to something that we have both enjoyed as young children, a model village. Not villiage as I wrote on a postcard.

Said village is also on the island, and offers a minature view of many of its landmarks.

Beaumaris Castle was impressive.

A Giants View Of The Castle

A Giants View Of The Castle

Llynnon Windmill lovely (of course).

There was even a charming depiction of St Mary’s Chapel (Menai Bridge).

Two trains ran around the grounds and there was singing from the churches.

So much craft giving such simple pleasures. Later we discussed who we knew that would enjoy a visit, and struggled to choose likely candidates. Actually, there are a couple. Our mothers. They would see past the lack of technology or interactive experiences and just enjoy it for what it is. Perhaps because they of an age where they have not been blighted by technology, and have not chosen to take a leap into the silver surf. But more likely because they just see the good. As mothers do.

Lunch was a picnic in the car close to the straits, where the temperature reached a heady 23c. Too hot for both of us, especially given the lack of breeze.

As we were taking it easy, we behaved like an old couple on holiday and visited a garden centre. Actually we had already planned to do this (to buy a citronella candle), but I still felt a little old, restricted by bad weather and cirumstances. We spent quite a bit on not very much, including a journal decorated with a hot-air balloon design which I think I bought mainly because it was half price.

After the usual mid-week food top up (this time at Waitrose – very nice!), we made our way back via Bull Bay.

Bull Bay is one of those places which is always lovely. Today a strong breeze took away the heat and we were happy to rest a while, mildly amused by a well meaning couple badgering a cyclist for facts about the island and its beaches. We were not chosen as suspects for interrogation. Shame, they might have learned something.

Great excitement as we neared the cottage! The windmill sails were turning, which I captured on the 1020. Marvellous. Went to the shop. Had a lovely chat with the assistant and spent more money. This time on more permanent momentoes. Watched the sails being stopped and stripped of their sail-cloths.

Still Shot of Lynnon

Still Shot of Lynnon

Again, simple pleasures, but I did note the holiday budget took a hit.

Hope himself gets his walking legs back soon – this is proving expensive!

Min6