Sunday, October 27, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - Week 43

Oh dear, I've missed a couple of weeks of these 'happy' posts but aim to catch up if I can.   Here are four happy things from this week and last.

 1.  A tram ride - on a Glasgow tram which used to run up and down Sauchiehall Street - it cost us an old penny each to travel as many times as we wanted during our visit to Crich Tramway Museum.

2. Green Man - a sculpture we found in the woodland walk at Crich.  I thought it was wonderful.

3. The King in the Car Park - The Discovery of Richard III  - we attended a wonderful, interesting and lively talk at the Potteries Museum given by Richard Buckley, Director of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services and Project Manager of the Greyfriars Dig during which the body of Richard III was discovered.  I've used one of my own photos of the dig taken when we visited on my birthday in 2012.  The dig started on August 25th and we went three days later to take a look, little knowing that even then they had uncovered the bones that would later be proved to be those of Richard III.  The lecture started with a background history of the city from Roman times onwards which added much to our understanding of the context of the situation of Greyfriars and the present findings and how they worked out where to dig and also worked out the layout of the priory.  Mr Buckley told an amusing tale of how on the day they began to uncover the bones he was busy with some visitng experts on medieval building when one of the team came and said 'I think you will want to see this' - he said something on the lines of 'Go away, I'm in a meeting - come back later' and the team member whispered 'curvature of the spine' 'wound hole in the skulll' - he said his following words weren't repeatable but from then on the dig became not just local, not even national but international as the world's press descended.  He also said, at the beginning of the project, that if they did find the remains of Richard III he'd eat his hat. One of the last photos of the talk showed him eating a piece of cake that someone had made in the shape of the type of yellow, hard safety hat worn during the excavation.

4. Wet, Wellie Walks - sunny, misty, breezy, damp at different times but never cold, I haven't felt that autumn chill yet as the weather still seems mild but we'll see what the next week will bring.

Linking up with  Little Birdie  where  '52 weeks of Happy' started. Each week you find just four things that have made you happy to share.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tulip Tree

I always think that the tulip tree in our garden looks lovely at this time of year  

even when it is shedding its leaves all over the place.

I love to see them blowing about in the wind.

I took some of these photos on a sunny, dry day last week

when we'd ventured out to do a little bit of tidying up.

Since then we seem to have had an awful lot of rain

The leaves that were blowing happily around the garden being chased by cats and squirrels

are now rather brown and soggy looking! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Preparing for Winter in Llanbedrog

You may remember that in July I wrote a post about the village of Llanbedrog on the Llyn Peninsular.  A couple of weeks ago whilst on holiday there again (see my last post) we went back to the village do the walk we missed last time which was up to the cliff top in order to find the 'Tin Man' statue.  As we pulled into the car park we saw some of the beach huts that I'd photographed and included in my post back in July, in the corner of the car park.  As we walked towards the beach we saw that they were all being moved up to what I assume is their winter quarters. 

We left the car park just as another two huts were brought up from the beach on a tractor and trailer followed by a fork lift.

This was used to lift them off the trailer in the car park and to lift them onto the trailer on the beach - two at a time.

We watched the manoeuvres for a while but were distracted by the sea birds at the shoreline

We heard the Curlew before we saw it - I've shown you a photo of it before a couple of posts ago - but it's worth seeing it again along side it an oyster catcher of which there were several along the sea's edge.

We then began our ascent of the cliff side, up the steep steps climbing right to the top with quite a few stops along the way to catch our breath.

We passed one or two old tree stumps and branches that had coins of all sizes, denominations and nationality hammered into them.  There was nothing to say why they were there.

It appears that much like throwing coins into water or hanging things in wishing trees these are for memories or offerings of some kind probably as good luck symbols.

From near the top there is a fine view of the village

They were still moving those beach huts!

At last, we reached him - Tin Man! This is the third statue to be placed on this site and replaced the second one a stature known as Iron Man which had replaced the first, a wooden one, thought to be a ship's figure head.  Beyond him lies the coastal path on its way down the peninsula.

Behind Tin Man, looking in the opposite direction, you can see Plas Glyn y Weddw which I wrote about in the earlier post on Llanbedrog

We then began the easier descent through the woodland back towards the village

It was a quicker and easier walk down through falling, rustling leaves towards the art gallery which and we had a look around again as the exhibitions had changed since those we saw in July.

By the time we got back to the car park it was time for lunch.  We sat in the car to eat as a slight drizzle had begun and noticed one or two others in the car park were doing the same including the drivers of the tractors moving the beach huts.

This was day three of our holiday!  Day two we spent the day travelling on the Ffestiniog Railway - see Paul's post here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Holiday in Wales Day One - Bodnant Gardens and Llandudno

Day one of our holiday in Wales was spent driving from home to Llandudno. We normally drive to Porthmadog via Llangollen, Corwen and Bala but this time we wanted to visit Bodnant Gardens as we hadn't been there for such a long time.  We dropped into Llandudno first to have a little walk around and  the first thing we did was bump into some people from Stoke-on-Trent! We stood on the front overlooking the sea having a chat about this and that before setting off along the pier. 

It isn't far from Llandudno to Bodnant Gardens and we could see straight away that there had been some major changes most notably to the entrance.  When we've visited before you had to take your life in your hands to cross the road to the entrance as this was where all the cars were coming down to and pulling into the car park - now there is a passage way under the road that comes out into the garden close to a brand new ticket office.  I took far too many photos in the gardens so I've put them into collages to show as many as possible otherwise this post would be very long.

The roses and clematis were still flowering in the rose garden and all the roses I photographed  were beautifully scented.

All the hydrangeas were at that gorgeous stage of faded 'paperiness' which I love so much. 

Whilst late summer was still visible in the flower borders and rose garden in the woodlands and down in the dell autumn had definitely made its mark with some lovely orange and russet red colours.

I just loved the old mill which was down in the Dell near the River Hiraethlyn

The Pin Mill was an interesting building at the end of the canal terrace close to the rose garden. The building was moved to Bodnant Gardens from Woodchester in Gloucestershire in the 1930s.  It dates from 1730 and was built as a garden house or shooting lodge.  It became known as the Pin Mill when the owner converted it to a factory for the manufacture of dress making pins. 

After a long wander around and a visit to the farm shop and tea shop we set off through Llanrwst, Betws-y -coed, Capel Curig and Beddgelert to our home for the next few days.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Stoke Minster - Part Two

Thank you for all your interest and comments on part one of the visit to Stoke Minster.  It is now time for part two which, as you probably guessed, is about the interior.   As I mentioned in part one this is the third church building on or near this site.  The corner stone of the new church was laid on 26th June 1826 and the building completed in 1829 at a cost of over £14,000 pounds. The architects and builders were Trubshaw and Johnson of Haywood and the church was built with stone from nearby Hollington where there is still a large stone works today.  It was consecrated on 1st August 1830.

The date of 1st of August was chosen because of the church's dedication to St Peter ad Vincula whose festival falls on that day which is also the  festival of Lammastide.  As industry, in particular the pottery industry, grew in Stoke and the surrounding areas the festival was celebrated for a week and even up until the 1970s it was known as Stoke Wakes week.

The growing population were catered for in the addition of the galleries.  The old church could seat about 640 people the new one could accommodate over 1,500 people.

Above on the balcony over the nave you can see the church's organ and below the floor of the chancel is covered with Minton tiles

Either side of the nave and in the foyer are also Minton Hollins tiles.  Each one is a memorial tile and they give a fascinating insight into the ages and occupations of the people they are dedicated to.  

One of the dedications I noticed was to 'Samuel and Jane Stevens and Sarah Ann Evans, their niece who perished on the Anglo Saxon near Cape Race, Newfoundland on April 27th 1863' - here is a link to more information.  The Anglo Saxon was a steam ship which was headed for Quebec with passengers from both Liverpool and Londonderry.

The font is Anglo Saxon and belonged to the old church.  When this was demolished it was moved to the home of one of the patrons a Mr John Tomlinson who for many years used it as a plant container in his garden.    It was returned  in 1876 and finally restored in 1932 and placed back within the church.  There is evidence on the font that it had been given a hinged and lockable lid at some point probably when in 1236,  Edmund Archbishop of Canterbury gave out instructions that all font lids must be firmly secured.

In the chancel are many memorials to the famous pottery families like the Wedgwood, Spodes and Couplands.   Above is the memorial to Josiah Wedgwood I and next to that a memorial to his wife Sarah.  Also on the memorial is a dedication to one of their sons Tom Wedgwood who was an early pioneer in the science of photography.  Here is a link to a little more about him.

The crucifix above was donated by the family of the legendary local footballer Sir Stanley Matthews after his death in 2000.  It belonged to his wife Lady Mila into whose family it was given for protection from looting during the second world war.  The crucifix went with the Matthews to Malta and then came back to England to Sir Stanley's home in Penkull in the city.

Up on the balcony is a chapel, formerly known as the Warrior's Chapel, which commemorates all those who were lost in the Great War. The chapel is now known as the Peace Chapel.

Opposite the chapel is a most amazing window created by artists from the Burslem School of Art.

I've been trying to find out more about the window but can't seem to find  anything on line.  The church guidebook, written by local historian Richard Talbot states that the chapel 'consists of a stained glass window, carved oak panelling for the walls and a screen to divide the chapel from the rest of the church'  he also says that the chapel was 'desgined by one of the church wardens and the City Arts Director' in 1921. I'm not sure whether this includes the window.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - Week 40

I completely missed week 39 mainly because I ran out of time getting ready to go away for a few days. I'm back now from a week in Wales where we had mostly dry weather and the wet weather we did have was conveniently in the early mornings or overnight. I'll get around to visiting all your blogs soon to see what I've missed whilst I've been away.   Memories of the things I've seen during the last week flash through my mind like a slide show and it's been hard to pick just four 'happy' memories but here they are.

 1.  Walking on Beaches - the one above is Nefyn beach and below is

Criccieth Beach

2. Wildlife above -  Curlew at the edge of the shoreline at Llanbedrog beach, and below

Wild Goats - on the path down to the beach at Nant Gwyrtheyrn.  We saw about five of them but the one above was most interested in us and paused to pose for a photo.

3.  Buildings - above - Tu Hwnt Ir Bont (Beyond the Bridge) tearooms in Llanrwst, below......

The Old Mill at Bodnant Gardens and

the Penlan Fawr Inn at Pwllheli

4.  Beastly Machines - an exhibition by Johnny White at Bodelwyddan Castle - above Canoodling Canoe Gnus - below

Lifecycle of a Mosquito

Thrush Hour

In the Dog House

there were lots of other exhibits in this fascinating exhibition - we had great fun setting them all in motion.

Linking up with  Little Birdie  where  '52 weeks of Happy' started. Each week you find just four things that have made you happy to share.