frostfox: (foxy)
Walked along the canal to Davenports Tearooms for lunch, saw a stoat run across the tow path and many, many kingfishers (or possible the same pair of kingfishers several times). Canal looked beautiful, no photos of kingfishers, sadly they are too fast.
I then went to the Business Park to scrump the remaining apples, gave up after an hour, I have about 75lbs of apples! So every one in the office is getting one on Wednesday.
Hot bath, good book and the remains of a Waitrose Pinot Noir, nice way to end the day.

Photos under cut
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frostfox: (foxy)
Busy day round town and up in the woods, cold and damp, the sun only came out late afternoon, 10.4 miles in total.
Few photos under cut.
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frostfox: (foxy)
Thinking of the two community police women who took the sachet of food off me to go down and feed the tabby and white stray in Cary Park (so I didn't have to drop the food off the foot bridge for him/her).
The staff at Boots Opticians who replaced the worn out nose pads on my glasses, gratis.
And the staff in the Tesco petrol station who offered me a wet wipe to clean my hands after putting air in the tyres, so I didn't get my steering wheel dirty.

frostfox: (foxy)
Woke up to the sad news of D.West's demise. That party in the fan bar in the sky is growing and growing.
Went over to Yorkshire Sculpture Park in stunning autumn sunshine with Eric and Deborah. Lots of walking, but what a day for it! And the crowds, to see some of the poppies from The Tower of London exhibit, mostly. There was also an exhibition by Robert Ryan of his intricate paper cut-outs, very clever but the cloyingly sentimental hipster love poems incorporated into most of them put me off. As anyone who knows me will attest, I have little time for Twu Wuv.
I dropped my camera (on a soft surface) and it was giving an error message, to clean the connection on the card, so I popped it out, lo and behold, a cat hair across the connections, wonder how long that had been lurking in there, waiting to cause havok?

Photos from the sculpture part followed by some of Hopyard's wood yesterday.

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frostfox: (foxy)
I drove over to Mum's yesterday, as Chesterfield Marathon was closing all the roads I would have used today. Took her into town and to BonMarche where she bought winter wardrobe stuff and then round the shops, she enjoyed herself, but it was not home until gone eight and tired so I was in bed before eleven. Came home with stonking huge bag of damsons, planning damson whisky and damson vodka.
Today I walked 14.5 miles along the Trent and Mersey to Middlewich. Lunch at the Big Lock, burger and chips, passable burger, indifferent bun and salad, good double cooked chips. Stonking pot of strong tea and the local CAMRA newsletter to read. Proper homemade apple and rhubarb crumble for pudding.
Then I walked home, did a bit of cleaning and retired to the bath, for over an hour (re-reading Barbara Hambley's Time of the Dark, very much a comfort read but I can never put it down). Soughdough bread and blue Derbyshire cheese for dinner. Bit tired now.

Only a couple of photos, it was lovely and sunny until about eleven this morning, then clouded over the rest of the day, not cold, mind you.

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frostfox: (foxy)
Walked to Davenports along the canal, met a fabulous canal cat sat by her stove on a narrow boat, overtaken by the Hunt ('The unspeakable in full pursuit of the inedible') and took lots of photos of hedgerows, under the cut.
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frostfox: (foxy)
Walked into town, sunshine and showers pretty much all day.
I had a quick waltz around the Artisan Market, bought myself a print I'd had my eye on -
Very much reminds me of York St.

Lunchtime I went to the Friends and Founders day at The Blackden Trust for tea in the whipping wind and poring rain with the Trustees and Friends and Serena and John.
I gave Griselda my beloved collection of newspaper cuttings, from the early seventies onwards, about her husband and the house. They will be going down to the Bodleian with all of the rest of Alan's papers to be archived.

Came back via the business estate, only 8 sad little plums on the cherry plum tree but 24+ pounds of Bramleys from the apple trees.
Did the weeks shopping and found myself in the booze isle perusing gin, along with another couple who were up to exactly the same thing; buying the gin and the sugar for to go along with the sloes. Started the first batch.

Ate the sad little plums.
Tomorrow, I think I will walk the canal to Davenport's, Mum gave me a copy of the Woman's Weekly with an article about Davenport's in it. Plus on the lookout for More Sloes.

frostfox: (foxy)
Combining my two favourite obsessions, AG and Wales with a talk by Griselda and Stephen McKay on The Owl Service. Fascinating stuff, and I can't emphasise how special The Blackden Trust is, so real and so uncommercial, so real. If you are ever in my area of the UK when they have an event on, and you ever read Alan as a kid (or as an adult), it is so worth going. I'm going to try to persuade them to do a talk at Eastercon about the work they do.
Stephen's article here -

Suffice to say, the story behind the book is as interesting as the book itself.
Rosemary Scott got to meet Max.
Pickles, one of the Trust cats brought us a mousie (and ate it head first, lovely).
Alan came out in the afternoon (this is never a planned part of a day at Blackden but a wonderful extra bonus when he does) to talk about Daffyd, the old Welshman in Llanymawddry who gave him much of the local history for the book and gifted him The Beauty Things, of great value (including a Welsh sundial - consider this for a moment...)

All in all, a deeply interesting day. Dropped Rosemary off at her son's house in Chester and came home via Tesco, to be told I am Bad Mummy for not feeding him sufficient.

frostfox: (foxy)
So, drove to town for just after nine, Waitrose, market, post office, coffee with John and Serena, walked home via Lidl. Haircut, then walked back along canal via Anderton for an ice cream, about 11.7 miles. Met a couple of sleek young cats by the Salt Works Museum, they were canal boat dwellers, just given shore leave by a young couple who had moored up to go look at the museum, with their small child (girl? boy? the cats were girls, I'm better at cats than children). So more interested in the bushes than the mad cat woman on the towpath.

Grey and muggy this morning, beautiful and hot and sunny this afternoon, incredible thunder storm this evening.

I bought some hair dye remover as the tide line between the grey hair and the faded purple dyed was looking silly. Hair is now blonde; they dye remover took out the purple nicely but the purple has peroxide in it (to bleach it before dying it purple, if that makes sense?)so OTT blonde now. Rather liking it, actually, but may tone it down with ash brown for a bit? Or maybe not. No sign of piebald grey/purple any more, which was the main reason for using it.

Max is so traumatised by thunderstorm he had to EAT ALL THE FOOD, loudly. Now he has gone out to sit in the rain.

frostfox: (foxy)
1. Marmite—love or hate?
ADORE Marmite, nice and thick.

2. Marmalade—thick cut or thin cut?
Hmm, like both, current favourite is sweet cider marmalade from Pot Jam in Portmeirion.

3. Porridge—made with milk or water?
Water, don't like it with milk at all.

4. Do you like salt, sugar or honey on your porridge?
Maple syrup.

5. Loose tea or teabags?
Both, depending on the tea, usually PG Tips teabags though.

6. Where on your door is your letterbox?
In the middle, odd question.

7. What's your favourite curry?
I like most curries, as long as they are not silly hot, particularly like white fish curry and my own plantain curry.

8. What age is the place where you live?

9. Where do the folks running your local corner shop come from?
Royston Vasey, it's a local shop, for local people...

10. Instant or fresh coffee?
Fresh, latte usually, drink about one a week. Tea is another matter, much more important and serious.

11. How far are you from the sea? gives us 11 miles, but that's to the Mersey as Runcorn, which is stretching the idea of 'sea' to its very limit. About 35 miles to the tip of The Wirral or 25 miles to the Dee Estuary.

12. Have you travelled via Eurostar?

13. If you were going to travel abroad, where's the nearest country to you?

14. If you're female (or possible even some males) do you carry a handbag?

15. Do you have a garden? What do you like growing?
I have a back yard, full of tubs, flowers, mostly purple flowers.

16. Full cream, semi skimmed or skimmed?
Full cream, organic or local.

17. Which London terminal would you travel into if going to the capital?
Euston, but only if I have to, I hate London.

18. Is there a local greasy spoon where you live?
There is, it's the Melting Pot Cafe, famously used on the cover of The Charlatan's best of album.

19. Do you keep Euros in the house?

20. Does your home town have a Latin, Gaelic or Welsh alternative.
Home town doesn't, current town does, Condate.

21. Do you have a well known local artist or author?
Alan Garner is 7 miles away. Yes, I keep tabs, want to make something of it?

22. Do you have a favourite Corrie character?
Ena Sharples. One of my role models. And a SF link too (gold star if you know it).

23. Are your kitchen sink taps separate or a mixer?

24. Do you have a favourite brand of blended tea?
Not really, I like most teas, tisanes and herbal brews, though I'm not fond of liqourice in teas. Liquorice is for Pontefract Cakes as any fule kno.

25. What's in your attic if you have one?
Clothes, clothes and more clothes.

26. If you go out for a cream tea, what jam do you like on your scone?
Cherry or Raspberry but I prefer cheese scones to sweet ones.

27. Talking of scones—scon or scown? Jam or cream first?
Scon, jam first.

28.Barth or bath?

29. Carstle or castle?

30. What flavour of crisps do you favour?
Cheese and onion, good old Walkers.

31. If you go to the chippie, what do you like with your chips?
Fish, or a chip barm.

32. Take away, take out or carry out?
Take away.

33. If you have one, what colour is your wheelie bin?
Black, red and green recycling boxes.

34. What colour skips does your local skip hire use?
No idea.

35. Do you celebrate Guy Fawkes?
No, but I love fireworks.

36. Dettol or TCP?

37. Do you have a bidet in the bathroom?

38. Do you prefer courgettes or aubergines?
Aubergines. Love, love, love aubergines, bought some miso paste just today to put on grilled aubergine.

39. In the 'real world', do you have friends of other nationalities? Which nationalities?
Irish, American, Canadian, Australian, Kiwi, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch. French. I could go on.

40. Do you have a holy book of any sort in the house?
Nope, but lots of books about world religions.

41. Do you prefer a hankie or tissues?

42. Are you a fan of crumpets? What do you like on them?
Waitrose buttermilk or anyone's sourdough, particularly [ profile] drplokta's home made ones. Butter, fresh, real butter. Possibly honey from [ profile] asphodeline's hives.

43. Doorbell, knocker or both?
Neither. Knock on the door.

44. Do you own a car? What sort?
Skoda. It've very red.

45. What sort of pants do you guys prefer? Y fronts or boxers?

46. Anyone still a fan of suspenders?
Yes, short legs, tights go all Nora Batty on me.

47. Do you have a favourite quote from the bard?
No, not particularly, prefer Ben Jonson.

48. Do you like toasted muffins?
Yes, see [ profile] drplokta above.

49. Do you think a traditional trifle should contain jelly?
Yes. And lots of sherry.

50. Do you attend regular religious worship? Of what kind?
No, my religion is between me and my gods.

frostfox: (foxy)
Back from deepest darkest P/e/r/u Kent, via an overnight stop in Reading. We had healthy walks and healthy fruit drinks and a quick stop at a wee beer festival. I came home via the M52 and A41/49 as the M6 had long delays, it's a bit longer and a bit slower but much prettier and there are nicer places to stop for lunch than service stations. Not many photos, but here they are.
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frostfox: (foxy)
It's peed down all day, since about 10.30 this morning. Which is sad because we went to the well dressing at Chadkirk. Not nearly as much fun in the rain as it usually is. The usual mix of stalls and games and ferret racing (we are in t'North, y'know) and soggy, sulking owls.
Now I am decanting the 2014 Blackberry whisky and gin, a slow but fragrant task. The clearest booze comes from filtering with a funnel and a single layer of kitchen roll, but it's time consuming. Worth it in the end though. There's going to be a bumper crop of new blackberries to souse soon.

Moist Owlets and Well dressings under the cut.

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frostfox: (foxy)
Saturday - 5.3 miles then Drove from Cheshire to Derbyshire to Wales.
Sunday - 9.39 miles
Monday - 9.52 (in the pouring rain, but it was the only wet day we had).
Tuesday - 7.04 miles
Wednesday - 9.18 miles
Thursday - 10.39 miles
Friday - 10.21 miles (Some of that pushing 18st of Mum round Portmadog).
Saturday - None! Drove from Wales to Derbyshire to Cheshire.

Not bad, 61.03 in total, mostly on the flat, on beaches, the only 'UP!" being the walk past the castle. Photos are on Facebook as the LJ uploader doesn't seem to like me.

Today I did another 9+ along the canal and round Anderton/Marbury to catch up with The Archers. Kate is a waste of oxygen, I want Phebe and/or Jennifer to slap her.


Busy day

Jun. 27th, 2015 09:36 pm
frostfox: (foxy)
Busy day.
In town for 09.30, met up with Serena and John for second breakfast, then walked back home for a hair cut. Once shorn, I walked along the canal to Anderton Boat Lift for an ice lolly then back into town to retrieve the car. 11+ miles. Bought a bargain for Mum's trip to Criccieth in two weeks, one of the charity shops had a portable bed rail for the princely sum of £1.
Bread and cheese for dinner, oh woes, life is hard.

Then sat in the yard with Max, a citronella candle and a glass of nice white wine and read a book until it the light went.

Tomorrow I drive over the Pennines to pack cases and tidy Mum's house.

frostfox: (foxy)
More orchids on the scrap of land at work, bee orchids this time! I will take the camera in tomorrow, the mobile phone keeps focusing on the flowers behind.
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frostfox: (foxy)
Went down to Hampshire for a one day music festival, there were bubbles and flowers in hair and hippies, [ profile] towerofchaos and [ profile] maeve_the_red and their friends and neigbours (and non-hippies but great friends [ profile] miramon and [ profile] eleyan) and healthy five mile walks in beautiful countryside, and Pimms and cocktails including strawberry daiquiri and strawberry cider and chips and Turkish delight (thank you Sue-at-work) and bands including the marvelous The Hatties - Hattie Jacques Playlist and Shoot The Moon (the only CD I bought). Not many photos, having too much fun (and strawberry themed alcohol...). Weather was wonderful, slightly less warm than last year but mostly sunny.

Done the washing, supermarket shop and an hour and a half cycle ride. Quite tired now but need to clean out cat litter tray before I have a bath and watch Jonathan Strange at nine.

frostfox: (foxy)
Decision time.

The Freeview box has died.
Do I replace it (£20? or free if I get yet another second hand one of someone, they're pretty easy to get hold of) or do I replace the old telly (£200 for a 32" with built in Freeview)?

It's not really about the money, the TV is old. When I say old, I mean cathode ray old. Plus I get rid of all the spaghetti behind the TV.

But a new TV will have to go in the same space (the walls are full of bookshelves, of course). It will be lighter by a far. This is a problem.

A big, furry, 18lb problem.

Max uses the TV stand to ascend to the window sill. Max will still use the TV stand to ascend to the window sill with a lighter TV on it. The TV may not survive the experience. Wonder if it is possible to glue it to the TV stand? Nail it down? Possibly not nails. Nail the cat to the window sill? Possible...

I'll decide on the weekend.

frostfox: (foxy)
Weekend of walks in the country (including one to the pub), orchids in the woods, feeding ponies and Eating Too Much. Main problem is they have sent me home with Even More Food as a care package. Just had a homemade bagel followed by marshmallow fluff cake for dinner. There is still potato and wild garlic, another slice of chocolate cake and some marshmallows to be eaten, tomorrow, hopefully, though the marshmallows days may be numbered...
Max is sulking, no change there then.
frostfox: (foxy)
Just done my first bike ride since 1979. Not many dead (apart from my bum cheeks and leg muscles). Only 30 mins, but that's how my walking started.

Had a v.lazy morning, didn't get up until near 11.00 but been busy this afternoon doing washing, putting things away, cooking dinner for the next few nights while catching up on Archers Omnibus, nipped to supermarket for a few bits (forgot the yoghurt!), adjusted bike helmet straps (easier said than done).

Just had a little bike along the canal. 15 mins each way. It's true what they say, your body does remember how to do this.
The road between there and here is especially wide, which is good, and only about 200 yds to the tow path, even better.
The bike has little or no suspension, smashing on the road, fine on the smoother bits of tow path, owowowwWOowowowOw on the roots and rocky bits and dried mud. If I become even halfway serious about this, I foresee a better bike in my future, but it's a start.

I don't really name stuff, the stick is the Sticky Stick of Sticky Wonderfulness, because it just is and has saved my bacon on many a walk, the car is Red Oak (so I can remember its number plate which ends in OAC).
Bessie the Boneshaker feels right, but as the model is Calypso, Jacques is more appropriate?

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