Monday, 31 October 2011

It's grim up north?

Having the luxury of TWO weeks for October half-term where 'other' schools have just one, I decided to take some time off and give myself a bit of a break. To the sea, I decided. I always end up in Brighton when I decide to see the sea, but this time I thought 'no' dammit, I will go oop north to windswept Yorkshire, to Whitby. Now this is a right old faff for a non-driver like me. Getting the train(s) to Whitby is something of a pain in the posterior. It takes hours and several 'skin of your teeth' changes and is not a lot of fun, but on a crisp and clear autumn day the benefits outweigh the, erm, whatever the opposite of benefits are, once you get there.

I arrived intact but dusty and stiff from rail travel. Checked in to Discovery Accommodation and my little Cockleshell Cabin, which I liked so much that I started to read up on squatter's rights while I was there. Excited by a pink sky I dashed off out with my camera despite my hunger and fatigue, and took lots of crap, shaky photographs which I later deleted - and the point was? I later scoffed my first fish 'n' chips washed down with a bottle of lager before plodding about rather wearily watching the crashing waves before crashing out in my wonderful bedroom back at the ranch.

Anyway, all in all my few days in Whitby were a delight. Everybody who had the misfortune to serve me was really, REALLY pleasant, polite and friendly in that particular northern way. I don't think I saw ANY chavs at all - gasp. And the place itself is rather magical, though perhaps I may not have said that had it been pissing it down. It WAS freezing and very windy, but that made the sea and the sky all the more spectacular and photogenic. My hands nearly froze off and I was rather glad I grabbed my hat at the last minute before leaving home - all sense of vanity goes out the window in the cold; I looked a fright. Whitby Abbey in a howling gale and sub-zero temperatures is a sight to behold. I was a bit creeped out to be honest as there was hardly a (living) soul about - I didn't stay up there long on my own and soon descended in search of nourishment. Spent a day at Robin Hood's Bay too - also beautiful, though on this occasion crawling with schoolkids doing some survey on sea defences. Is there no escape? From schoolkids I mean, not sea defences.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

Well, I have cleaned out my Blog and swept all its posts under the carpet, ready to start afresh. This probably won't last - I hardly blogged at all in the past year but have decided to give it another go, even though nobody reads it. And this time I shall grace it with my own pictures so I'm not breaking any copyright laws or anything.

So, a brief beginning. The picture is of Sansom Wood in Nottingham. Went there for a walk today because it was simply such a nice day. We've finished with the bonkers heatwave we had last month, and now there is a chill in the air, but when the sun is out, autumn is so jolly lovely. It's got pretty colours, fruiting things, fungi and goodness knows what else. Went out in search of fungi, armed with book purchased at beardy man's talk last year. I think it's actually not been damp enough as we didn't really see much at all. Some tiny excuses for mushrooms barely visible to the human eye, and even less so to the Basia eye, and some toxic yellow things growing out of a tree stump.

I like being in the woods - it has that sense of adventure mingled with a bit of fear in case you get lost and have to live on berries in the pitch dark and get eaten by wolves. This has not happened so far. It's also a place that chavs and other urchins don't tend to go as there are no windows to break or sports shop to loot. This is a bonus. The only down side is that people still leave litter about, and bags of dog poo - which is a shame, but I can live with it.
Well, when I say I can live with it I don't actually mean live with the bags of dog poo, no, that would never do. Anyway, the woodland walk was lovely, tranquil, unsullied by city brats and car fumes if lacking a little on the fungi front. Next stop, the frozen north.