Scotland in October

North Berwick

Bass rock


The third Forth Bridge


Hampton Court is worth a visit

The Thames at Hampton Court

The Palace

On the whole I'd rather be in the Mute Swan

 Huge fire, good beer, lovely staff, busy but not too busy, great food. 

The Thames at Kingston

The biggest lock on the Thames. Beyond the bottom gates is tidal; the coast begins here.


We had to come home.

Pauline's 70th birthday breakfast at Victoria Springs, Holmfirth

Well it is a bit unusual isn't it? But hey, let's not get stuck in stereotype. We didn't have any fizz either.  Nor did we drink it later in the day when our boys got knocked out of the RWC.

We watched Ireland in the Stumble Inn. It was empty - where was everyone? There was more atmosphere in our kitchen.

Uncle four stripes and me

We were just catching up on a few things. Like the appalling sporting weekend I had just endured. Wins for Wigan, Leeds, Wolves and Australia. I don't really mind Leeds winning. Chris said 'Should have gone to the betting shop. You'd've got 15/1 for all those. Earned yourself £100.' He didn't learn this from me, though the thought was mildly attractive. But you can't bet against your own side simply for a few pieces of silver. Can you? I'll wager Jeremy wouldn't.
  Thoughts then turned to haircuts. We both use the same guy in Holmfirth. Decent lad, just getting going, lives in Holmbridge. Just about to employ an apprentice. How brilliant is that? I've just been to see him and Chris was about to. 'Costs me £5', I said. 'Costs me £8', Chris replied. 'How come' I wondered. 'I've got more hair than you'. B-bum, quick as a flash. Obviously; price based on hair volume, not age.

ps. I always pout and grimace without my teeth in
pps. We are supporting Ireland - apologies to A.&R. Carrick

That nice lady on the phone

I felt a bit bored today, so I rang the lady on the phone. She said that my number was not recognised, could I hang up and please try again. So nice.

Brian Close

Brian Close was and still is my hero. He and Fred Trueman kept me going. They were aggressive cricketers and not frightened to say what they thought. Even when they finished up in the soup. They somehow gave me permission to be socially inept, say the wrong things or not say anything at all in a sulk. Years later, I met Brian on a campsite next to Ulleswater in the Lake District. At the bar I thought, I recognise that voice. It reverberated round the whole room. He was sat with a bloke who played the penny whistle. Even more years later he opened the cricket archive at the University of Huddersfield. He told me he used to go to the lakes regularly with Ian Botham's parents. Play a bit of golf at Penrith. He was losing his memory for names a bit, but still a colossus. His brushes with authority, England and Yorkshire, beggar belief.

At last, sardines and port

The waiter informed us even cheap port was worth drinking.
Enough said.

Tapas that never was

Obidos, Portugal. 
Great small bistro off the main track. Sandwiches, an omelette, several drinks and tapas for me.
It never arrived.
Rather than not getting anything, we usually get something interestingly different from what we ordered (eg chocolate cake instead of a sandwich in Warsaw).

It's not Scarboro

A few haphazard images of eating, drinking and beach.
Lisbon and San Martino, Portugal.

Casuals in their sixties

Nos's 40th birthday celebrations produced a gathering of former Almondbury Casuals, including these three who just about squeezed onto the bench in front of Thongsbridge CC pavilion: Dave Walker, Greg Smith and Sam Stier.
  The Casuals were formed in the 1950s and played friendly Sunday cricket until quite recently when players began to find other things to do with their time. A sad end to an institution which gave a lot of people a lot of pleasure.

Heavy metal in Heckmondwike

Click on a video of    red lion heavy metal gig

and understand my reaction 

My son Andrew has become a regular at the Red Lion in Heckmondwike. It's a basic spot with tolerant well-informed landlord and lady. Most customers are familiar with Andrew now and he is included in their banter and events, including Jordan's 18th birthday bash. Quite where he was drinking previously is not known. And bash is the right word - a physical as well as musical experience.

Needless to say Andrew enjoys his heavy metal nearly as much as he enjoys beer. And we were relieved that he has found a safe haven, for now.

How do you make the return journey?

Bus from Ramshill. A stroll on Filey beach after a coble coffee. Ignore the Primrose Valley route inland and you could struggle. Hunmanby gap is a long way from Hunmanby so you need somewhere in between. But it's all private or so the signs say. Trespass. Up the old Butlin's path, right into wilderness, through a small gap in the razor wire and steel fence, and you're into the Haven tat, pardon my judgement. But, you may need assistance to find the way out. Lovely lunch at the Original Oak.

Check the times and still it doesn't come. The bus stop query phone number doesn't work. Back to the Oak. A man at the bar offers us a lift, downs his pint and picks up a walking stick. 'Mind the dog hairs', he says. We had other passenger things on our minds. 'That bus stop is way out of date. You need the garage. The land is not private down to the beach. It's something that troubles the locals.'

Filey bus station. Our lift limps into Tesco. We join a man in the queue who doubles as the talking timetable. 'Where do you want to go? You've just missed it. The x20'll be along in 10 minutes. Do you want to come back?' Two buses for Bridlington come and go.

    Success, but we never made it to Hunmanby.

Unruly jungle garden

bush folk use toxic tips
but did you know you should never prune 
during the shooting season?                                          click on      pruning bamboo

Grandsunflower (1)

tall eye blue sky
looks over yet sees nothing
but an old man's misty vision

Who said it was all about the journey?


                                                         to go