Category: Travel and people

Devon Drive (1)

From the ages of two to fourteen, I lived in a small village called Ainsworth, halfway between Bolton and Bury, in old Lancashire. The streets in the new estate were named after places in Devon. The main trunk avenue, where our home was, was Devon Drive; others included Kingsbridge Avenue and Salcombe Avenue. I’d never been to Devon, and these sounded exotic. It was … Read More Devon Drive (1)

Cartmel, anarchy and the perfect morning…

The Cumbrian village of Cartmel is most famous for its racecourse, but it is difficult to find any part of it that is not also beautiful or at least interesting. There are also examples here of innovative responses to hard times… Something we all need to take note of. Cartmel lies two miles northwest of Grange-over-Sands, on the northern edge of Morecambe Bay, just … Read More Cartmel, anarchy and the perfect morning…

Maple Quay

There’s a giant maple tree on the quayside at Waterhead on the northern shores of Lake Windermere. Waterhead is the most northerly ferry stop on this, England’s biggest lake. Boats from Waterhead link the town of Ambleside to Bowness and Lakeside at the southern tip of the lake. We call it ‘Maple Quay’ though it has no official name. In the autumn, the tree … Read More Maple Quay

The Second before the Shutter of Life

We were spending a few days in Alnmouth, a tiny Northumberland village with one of the best beaches in the country. I rarely get to swim in the sea these days, but such things are of vital importance to our Collie dog, Tess, who loves to chase a ball down a beach and into the waves. It was early morning. I was enjoying our … Read More The Second before the Shutter of Life

#ShortWrytz: favourite buildings – Grange Station

I’m partial to stations… especially those that have history. The Victorian railways were a magnificent achievement, and changed British society in far-reaching ways. (600 words; a five minute read) During the late 1950s, and early 1960s my grandparents in Bolton used to take me for days out to the seaside. We never got as far as Grange-over-Sands, the lovely town that nestles at the … Read More #ShortWrytz: favourite buildings – Grange Station

Mellow moods for Autumn (5) : sounds of the forest stream

We’re lucky to live close to two forests. The first is a few minutes’ walk away, the other is further and larger, the main path taking the walker in a slow ascent through the ancient Sizergh estate. At the highest point, you emerge into the open air within a few hundred metres of the local organic farm shop and cafe. Tess loves the walk. … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (5) : sounds of the forest stream

Dr Joy’s Garden

A poignant return visit to Alnmouth, a beautiful coastal town in Northumberland. A memorial garden dedicated to a very special woman… Read Dr Joy’s garden here…

Above the Lion and the Lamb (part three)

It was past four in the afternoon. We had been walking for over five hours. Despite our best smiles – and Joh’s chocolate – we were tired, very tired. We were desperately looking for something – a path that should have been climbing up towards us from the steep lower slopes of the glacial corrie below. But paths – this far into a landscape … Read More Above the Lion and the Lamb (part three)

Above the Lion and the Lamb (Part Two)

We were on the Helm Crag plateau, about to climb up and beyond the Lion and the Lamb rocks to reach the start of the ridge. When you’ve just done a steep climb, it’s natural to feel that you’re ‘at the top’. In our case, this assumption was to prove expensive… It was time to say goodbye to the glorious views of Grasmere – … Read More Above the Lion and the Lamb (Part Two)

Above the Lion and the Lamb (Part One)

We were delighted to meet up with some friends from the UK who had emigrated to New Zealand many years ago. Bernie went to school with Kathryn and the couple had kindly collected and put us up in Auckland – their home, now – at the end of our short cruise from Sydney, last November. Jon is a keen walker, and has fond memories … Read More Above the Lion and the Lamb (Part One)

‘Burn after visiting…’

He sat in the old cinema in Bolton, clutching the arms of the once-silky, faded red seat as John Barry’s James Bond theme started, accompanied by the huge screen showing the dark grey rifled barrel of the would be assassin trying to shoot our hero… and being killed by a turning 007, whose gun, though smaller, was quicker. The ‘ladies’ gun’ Beretta said it … Read More ‘Burn after visiting…’

Hands of the Future

It was cold, very cold on that Friday… just five days ago. Across the road, people were trickling out of the railway station and along the busy main road through Penrith. Three hours from now it would fill with commuters both leaving and arriving in the Cumbrian town on the main west-coast line to Glasgow. But not yet… “Full Circle: Finding the Way Home’ … Read More Hands of the Future

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