Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Exeter Quay


We went to Exeter Quay on Saturday with Rosie and Mike and had lunch there – the best chips we’ve had in many a long year.

DSCF4262-1 It was made prosperous by the wool trade and had the inevitable decline in the 20th century but has been very well restored. The two large buildings are warehouses, well restored and converted.

We spent a couple of hours wandering round the area, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the views. Highly recommended – and not just for the chips.DSCF4275-1

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There are a few more pictures at Picasa.

Travelling to Devon

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We set off in good time, last Tuesday, 7th Sept, to drive to Devon.  We could have done the journey in a day but it only takes one hold up and we could have ended up driving down narrow lanes in the dark – not much fun with the caravan attached.

We stopped to eat our packed lunch at a motorway service station. Some of these provide a special parking area for caravans (of varying quality). Otherwise we park in with the trucks. Oddly enough, we like that!  The bays are big and wide, the trucks park neatly within their bays and are quiet. We have strict laws which limit the time in any 24 hour period which truck drivers may be on the road so there are always a few trucks with curtains drawn round the cab while the drivers sleep and the rest are eating or cleaning their windscreens.  It’s fun to recognise trucks from all over Europe.

In the main car parking area, people are often careless about parking and we are spared the loud domestic arguments about choice of stopping place and/or choice of food and/or general outbursts of bad temper. As for the children, released for the first time in hours to run free – I can’t blame the kids but they can be a loud and unpredictable menace, running wild. I can’t see why some people travel if they find it so stressful.

DSCF4240-1 DSCF4249-1

We stayed a night in Gloucestershire at a tiny place called Ham. We chose it for it’s location but were delighted with the site and the surrounding countryside. We could just see the River Severn and there are lots of places worth a visit nearby. Next time, we will spend a few days there. We’re stopping there for a night on the way home at the end of September and will take photos then.

The next day we drove on. The only event worth mentioning is the torrential downpour we drove through. It was the worst rain either of us have ever driven through and we couldn’t even see the road markings. The only thing to do was drive slowly and pray – I think Poseidon did well out of that!

We arrived at Elburton in good time to get set up with (hopefully) an unobstructed view of the appropriate satellite for TV reception.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Doing a double take

I think I’ve finished sorting photos – all 12,000 of them! That’s what digital photography leads to.  Anyway, I found some odd signs to share.  Yes, I know – I’ve got a twisted sense of humour.

Chillingham At Chillingham, we parked in an area reserved for the cattle.

Middlesburgh transporter bridge

Seen at the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge – look carefully at the little sign at the top for an explanation.

Road sign - bunker

The not-so-secret Nuclear Bunker in Essex.


A road sign in Warrington. Watch out, the Welsh are coming!


I feel sorry for the person this addresses!

But it’s all right if you have a history of back problems or are pregnant or have had recent surgery.

Velocity is a ‘jet boat’ at Whitby, in case you are wondering.

I hope you have a chuckle.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Happy Memories of The North York Moors Railway

IMG_0127 - cropped

Those who were on the family holiday in Scarborough in 2006 may remember posing for this photo. We were travelling on the North York Moors Railway to Whitby.  Note that Dan has his fishing rod and bucket ready.

When we passed through Goathland on the recent trip to the area we were lucky enough to see no less than two steam trains in the Station. A quick right turn and a desperate drive to the other end of the small (and very full) car park was undertaken and Alan was away, camera at the ready.

DSCF4006 DSCF3997 DSCF3995 Getting out of the car park took something like a 12 point turn and a bit of breath holding but was worth it.

Saturday, 4 September 2010



Staithes, on the North Yorkshire coast, relies now on the tourist trade for its existence. Once it was a thriving fishing port and mining area with Alum, Ironstone and Jet being extracted locally.  Today, potash is still mined nearby.

The line of houses clinging to the sides of the valley in the picture above follows the only road down to the harbour – a narrow lane and very steep. Visitors have to park up at the top of the hill near where the old railway crossed the valley on a tall viaduct. The building of this was delayed after the Tay Bridge disaster – you’d need a head for heights to ride this line.

800px-North_yorkshire_moors_railway_mapMap reproduced under a GNU Free Document Licence 

A railway ran all along this coast. Now, all that remains are the stations, converted into private houses and the occasional buttress where a bridge was anchored.

There are a few more pictures on Picasa.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Where are we now?

This year, we were unable to get away till April due to the long period of snow and freezing conditions – unusual for the UK.  Since then, we have spent 56 nights away.

Since we returned from North Yorkshire, there has been a mad rush of dealing with house maintenance, catching up with friends, preparing for the next trip, a couple of business meetings, and dealing with our various other interests and commitments.

I haven’t caught up with all the posts about North Yorkshire, sorry. I have been too ambitious in thinking I could keep up with fairly long posts as we go along. The main problem has been  dealing with the sheer quantity of photos we are taking!  Sorting them and a little post-production work – cropping, straightening (!), compressing the ones we decide to use, uploading . . .

In other news:

As Selfridges announced Christmas shopping 145 days before the big day, Alan decided to send his letter to Santa early.

P1020617-1Yes. That is a weather station and here is Alan playing with it testing it at the caravan store.

P1020620-1He’s got to make sure it works.  Now he needs to write his thank you letter and stay a good boy so Santa won’t take it away.

In other Alan related news, we’ve heard today that his airfare is covered for travelling to present a paper at a conference in Cuba in November.  We’re delighted!

We went to see Joy last week (family will know who I mean, for anyone else, she is Alan’s Mother’s cousin). She’s still as sharp as ever, though getting around is an effort. Alan is in touch with her most days as they play Scrabble (though they are not allowed to call it that for legal reasons) via the internet. Joy plays with several people and has about 20 games on the go at a time.  I said she was still as sharp as ever!

So, to answer the question in the title, we are at home for the moment but leaving on Tuesday, 7th September, for Devon where we will meet up with Rosie and her family and hear all about their holiday with Vicky and her family in Kentucky.

My next mission (should I choose to accept) is to clear a large shelf above the basement stairs. It is an extremely useful place to put things for our resident lodger, Justin Case, and I think he needs evicting from there. That will probably mean Alan making yet another trip to the grandly named ‘Household Waste Recycling Centre’ – colloquially know as ‘The Tip’. I think I’ll have another cup of coffee first.

I’ll leave you with a gorgeous sunset from our caravan site in North Yorkshire.


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