Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Doggy bag

These plastic bags which the dog food came in are very strong, and quite colourful. Seems a shame to throw them in the bin. You could make holes in the bottom and use them as planters, could even grow veg in them, or put a nice conifer in it. I decided to make a bag with this one.

Make a lining, and make two handles, insert lining and handles into bag, and put a row of stitching around the top edge to hold it in place.

Bingo, a bag. Dead simple. I have to admit this one is not perfect. The fabric is a little bit puckered in one corner, due to not getting the measurements exactly right. Never mind, it is serviceable as a small shopping bag.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Thanks a bunch :o)

Good evening, it's been a mixed bag of allsorts today. First off, before I forget again, we have rehomed our lovely big fluffy black and white Bobo cat. He came to us a few months ago after his elderly owner had to go into a care home. Now Bobo is living with a lovely couple in our village, who sadly lost their old cat two weeks ago. I am so pleased they came to see him and fell in love with him. Another success :o)

We have just taken in another cat which was found wandering in the next village. We are trying to trace it's owners as it appears to be well looked after and is wearing a collar. Posters have been put out, a free advert is in the paper, and Cats Protection lost and found have been contacted. We shall have to wait and see if anyone comes forward.

In the meantime we are getting calls from people who are looking for kittens. I have to say though that the tone of some of the people enquiring makes me think I don't want to hand over a kitten to them. Janet and Sue have also had this type of call, when the person seems to have no manners. The first words you hear are, 'got any kittens'. They don't bother to introduce themselves, (almost always young females), say anything about their circumstances and why they want a kitten, and when checking the 1471 after the call, (a system which gives the callers number), they are usually ringing from a mobile. I'm afraid we have to make quick decisions on that first impression, they won't get a cat from us.

I thought I would slip this pic in here, it makes me laugh. Henry choc lab is waiting patiently for Lily cat to walk away from his food dish, so he can mop up the crumbs. Henry can be a finicky eater, turning his nose up at perfectly good food, but the moment another animal is on the scene he starts to get interested.

Sometimes I offer him a titbit, I have all sorts of different treats. If it is one he doesn't fancy at that time he will spit it out. But if I offer one to another dog while out walking, all of a sudden Henry says, hey where's mine. His facial expressions are fantastic, I'm sure he is human.

Do you like my bunches of flowers, they cost 3p each, I bought them on Wednesday from Tesco. My sister gave me the tip of putting them into water so they stay fresher for longer. These went out of date on the 25th and they are still looking nice and green, no sign of yellowing yet. I have made a start on them tonight, dinner was steamed carrots, potatoes, and brocolli, with two boiled eggs. The eggs have to be eaten in the next day or two.

I'm hoping to get to the end of the week without spending any more money on food. Then I shall do a tot up for the last four week period and hope that it comes within my £40 target. I am still adding to my food diary, the link is at the top of the page. I find that by writing it all down, it keeps me focussed. The experiment is over a six month period, then I shall have some figures on how much it costs to feed me.

I have been thinking about food a lot just lately, and the different types we need to keep our body nourished. In the last year I have been cutting back drastically on what I call junk food, sweets, crisps, pop, biscuits, cake, ready meals, pies, and pizzas, etc. Food that has been refined with lots of sugar, salt, and fat in it. I think some of this stuff shouldn't be called food at all. It does nothing to feed your body and keep it in good condition. I want a new title for it, Gunk, because that's what it does, it gunks up your insides. The dictionary definition of gunk is, 'Slimy or filthy substance'. About right I would say. Keep your 'gunk' to a minimum, ha ha.

Now where was I, ah yes, what I did today. I had my hair cut at my friends house this morning. Her haidresser came, so she might as well do the two of us. My friend paid for mine, in exchange for me looking after her dog on Wednesday. A good swap I would say.

I did a dash to town on the bus, only two places to go to so I was in and out in a flash and came back on the next bus. My doggy treats were running low, I like to keep a few in for all my doggy friends, so I went to the market, cheapest place to get them. The Bakers Meaty Chunks are very handy for carrying around in your pocket, and all dogs love them. A few packets of other chews as well.

Next a quick visit to the library to pick up some Ordnance Survey maps. I need to start planning my next long walk. Not sure when to do it yet, possibly April. There was one map short, they didn't have the Morecambe bit, so I will have to look on the internet for that. Anyway, ready to start by laying them all out on the living room floor. As you can see Mayze can't wait to get started, ha ha.

I finished off the afternoon with a walk with Rocky, the little dog up the road who doesn't get out much. In fact, I kept him for a while after, untill his owner came back, then I reluctantly had to take him home.

Just before I sign off I would like to thank you for your lovely comments about my Whitby stories. I do appreciate that you take the time to read about my trips, as it takes ages to load all the photo's and add the words. Talking of photo's, have you noticed the new link at the top of the page? I decided to do a standalone page on the photo's which are my favourites, rather than lose them in the bowels of the blog. I have more to add, it will make a nice little slide show when it's finished. Toodle pip.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Last few pics of Whitby

I've just dug out the last few photo's of Whitby, a few odds and sods that caught my eye. I love looking down on these red roofs on the East Bank.

I was fascinated by these two gulls who kept stamping their feet, are they trying to keep warm I wondered. After a few minutes all was clear when one of them bent down to pull a worm from out of the ground. Clever seagulls :o)

There are hundreds of green benches all over the place, and quite a few of them have bunches of flowers left on them, presumably as some kind of memorial to a deceased relative or friend. Someone has gone one better and spent a bit extra on a basket of flowers, which was tied on with a piece of string. No doubt it made the person leaving it feel a bit closer to their loved one, but I can't help thinking that if the money spent had been given to charity, and a simple home made version using foliage from the hedgerows used, it would have still had the desired effect.

And then I saw this. Now this memorial has my full approval, what a fabulous seat, made in wrought iron. It's going to last many years, and be usefull as a resting place for anyone who needs to sit for a while. I think every sea front should go for this idea. They could all have a different design, and be painted all the colours of the rainbow. Wouldn't that be just fantastic.

What a spectacular building this is, standing high and proud on the West Cliff overlooking the sea. There is a restaurant and a pub on the ground floor, but the rest of the building didn't look to be occupied. I assume it must have been a hotel at one time, but there were no hotel signs to be seen. I would love to have a snoop around inside.

I love these shelters on the promenade. I can just picture ladies and gents in their 40's and 50's outfits, sitting chatting and eating their fish and chips.

This is Crescent Gardens on the West Cliff. In the centre are flower beds and lawns which you can walk through.

I haven't yet mentioned the Dracula connection, I will now. Bram Stoker found some of his inspiration for the Dracula stories from Whitby. He stayed in a house on Crescent Gardens. In 1994 the Whitby Goth Weekend was founded, and has grown into one of the worlds most premire Goth events. There is a Goth weekend 26th - 30th April 2012, and another from 31st October to 5th November. I love the way the Goths dress, I might go to one of those. That's all for Whitby, thanks for looking at my photo's. Catch up tomorrow.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Whitby Cinder Track and the Cleveland Way

It was a lovely sunny morning on Wednesday, the last day of my visit to Whitby, so much better than the day before. I checked out of the hostel after a breakfast of spaghetti on toast, my pack up for the day in my little rucksack, and headed off along the Cleveland Way coastal footpath towards Robin Hoods Bay. I am only going so far along here, the bit I haven't yet done. I have already walked from Hawkser Bottoms to Ravenscar when I stayed at Bogle Hole hostel.

In this first photo you can just make out the Abbey on the horizon. It's very high up here, there's a gentle breeze, it's perfect for walking.

The path is very well marked, you couldn't get lost.

There was the the odd one or two walkers about. It gets very busy up here in the summer, out of seaon is best to avoid the crowds.

I noticed in some places that the path has had to be moved back from the edge a bit where it has started to crumble into the sea. Someone has been busy putting new fences up and installing new kissing gates.

The first white building I came to is the Whitby Fog Horn. According to a newsaper article in the Yorkshire Post on 25th July 2008, a couple from Middlesborough called John and Janet Evans bought it for £495,000. They took a gamble with it because it is so close to the cliff edge, but a survey found that it was secure for the foreseable future. I don't know if I would take that gamble.

The fog horns first started warning shipping in 1902, and it was decommissioned in 1988. Let's see if this link to the article works, it's an interesting read.

In the next field is the lighthouse at Ling Hill. This was built in 1858, it was electrified in 1976, and was fully automated in 1992. The lighthouse is not open to the public, but the two cottages are available as holiday lets.

There were two cars parked there when I passed, so it looks like one or both of the cottages were occupied.

I carried on untill I got to Hawkser Bottoms then took a right turn inland through a caravan park. There wasn't a soul about, it was like a ghost town. Pity that no one was using their caravan, or should I say mobile home. It was like a glorious summers day.

I went past High Hawkster, and took a track along Long Rigg. Then I went through an enchanted wood with the sunlight peeping through the trees. By this time it was quite warm and I had to take my jacket off. Pity I didn't have my shorts with me :o)

At the top of the wood I came to an arch way, this is where the old railway track goes over the top. It is now the Cinder Track, for pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders.

There were some steps up to the top. Now it's just a matter of following the track back to Whitby.

The track then goes over the top of this bridge, which goes over the river. The viaduct has 13 arches, construction started in 1882 and it was finished two years later. The railway which ran along the top was opened the following year and closed in March 1965. It is now a grade 11 listed building. Isn't it fabulous.

Quite a few new houses have been built close to it on the east bank. It looks like a private estate as there are notices up everywhere, only authorised people to enter.

Almost back in Whitby now, I went down some steps to the road.

And here is a sign telling the story of the Cinder Track.

I was back early enough to pay a visit to the museum and art gallery. A bit disappointing though, I was hoping for some modern art to look at. There wasn't any. The entrance fee for the museum was £3.50 for pensioners. I don't mind looking round them if it is free, but I am not that interested enough to pay, I can take them or leave them. Just enough time before I head for home, to get a few more pics of things I noticed on the West Bank. I'll post them tomorrow. Toodle pip.

Friday, 27 January 2012

A room with a view

I didn't take many photo's of the inside of the hostel. It was comfortable, tastefully furnished, and clean, with modern facilities. This one is looking up at the ceiling in the main hall, as you climb the stairs.

And this is taken from the top floor looking down.

Here is my bunk bed. It was a four bedded room with seperate shower, and toilet with a washbasin. I like a lot of pillows so I always take three of my own, then I can prop myself up in bed and read. Each bed has it's own small light. Handy if others want to sleep.

There is a large conseravtory with tables and chairs. A bit cold in January but it must be lovely in the summer. The Abbey is right next door.

A glimpse of the town down below.

The views from the gardens are fantastic.

The gardens are really big. A group of volunteers had turned up when I was taking photo's, they were discussing which parts of the garden they were going to work on and which jobs needed doing first.

A view of the Abbey, from the other side of the wall around the hostel grounds.

And another. You can see it is quite close. I could see part of it from my bedroom window, talk about a room with a view.

I'll be back with more photo's tomorrow. Toodle pip

Farmland and coastal walk from Whitby

It was a miserable wet day on Tuesday when I set off for a walk. As well as wearing my waterproofs, I decided to take my big rainbow coloured brolly as well, it covers me and my rucksack. I don't let the weather put me off, I've paid for the room, I've driven myself here, so I am jolly well going for a walk.

I decided to walk inland along the river as I didn't think the views would be very good along the coast, due to the drizzle and mist. The Esk Valley Walk is a 35 mile walk from the river source at Castleton Station and ends in Whitby. Looking back, the river and the railway line are down at the bottom.

Follow the leaping salmon, to Ruswarp, crossing the Cinder Track.

This carved statue of Brother William is in the centre of Ruswarp. I've been trying to find out a bit about it but have drawn a blank. Wish I'd have taken more notice of the sign.

The Railway Station in Ruswarp.

St Bartholomews Church

A bit further along the river boats can be hired. These youngsters were having fun under the close supervision of their teachers. I wondered how much health and safety paperwork they had to fill in before they were allowed to teach this activity.

They stopped for a few minutes chat, then off they went towards Whitby.

The Esk Valley Walk leaves the banks of the river a bit further upstream and zigzags across fields and farms to the north of Sleights. I was getting a bit fed up of sloshing through mud, and at one point I resorted to scrambling through a hedge as it was the only way to avoid sinking up to my knees in farmyard slurry. The path took me over the railway line, then the river, and across the main A169 trunk road. Next I reached the village of Aislaby. This is St Margarets Church which was built in 1896.

About half a mile out of Aislaby I joined a minor tarmac road, it was nice to be able to stride out without slithering all over the place. At least the rain has stopped now so that's a blessing.

Just as I was coming into Dunsley I spotted these four little plastic huts. They look like the type which road workers use when they dig a hole, a place to shelter and brew their tea. Each one had a young cow in it, laid on a bed of straw, there were several more dotted around the farm. When I started talking to them, as you do, ha ha, they all got up out of curiosity. Aren't they little cuties, this must be their winter quarters. The mummy cows were close by on the other side of a fence, calling out to their babies.

I wanted to take one home, aren't they gorgeous. I could train it to walk on a lead :o)

This plastic shelter was a bit bigger, there was six living in here, with a bit more space to move around.

I was heading for Sandsend, just a bit further up from Whitby. It was my intention to go back along the Cleveland Way, a popular long distance path. I decided to leave the road and take a path across the field, but after crossing two fields I lost it. There was a sign but it didn't seem to be going in the right direction. I could see the sea up ahead, so I just headed off towards it.

It's a bugger when you traipse across a field then can't find a way out of it. You then walk around the edge looking for an exit. Time was getting on and I saw a derelict cottage not far ahead. There must be a way round it or through the garden. It was surrounded by brambles, but I found a spot that looked like it had been trampled on by others who had probably got lost like myself. I had to scramble over a barbed wire fence and climb over some prickly brambles. I found the slabbed path through the neglected garden and it brought me out at the end of a cul de sac road. That's better. Shame that house has been abandoned though.

Here I am at last at Sandsend, turn right next to the cafe and follow the waters edge back to Whitby. It was a bracing walk along the sea front.

Another night in watching the tele. After having the room to myself the first night, I now had three room mates for the second night. Two young French girls, and a Chinese girl. They were very friendly and chatty, lights went out at a reasonable time and I had a good nights sleep. Todays walk was only 11.25 miles, just a stroll in the park. Toodle pip.