It’s back

Yes it’s back. Just when we thought it was shorts weather for the next six months, oh no, it’s back into THREE jumper weather.

Definitely not enough for even the most rubbish snow angel ever but just enough to send all exposed skin a funny shade of blue.

Alberts back as well…

Can’t believe that the only Albatross in the northern hemisphere has decided during this truly tropical spell to return to the Yorkshire coast. Albert definitely needs to fire his holiday adviser. Last year he stayed 30 miles away from our house, for his summer holidays. It was actually mostly very nice and almost warm. Maybe that’s why he stayed for nearly two months. Sadly this years vacation finds temperatures north of zero. He must be tempted to head somewhere warmer.

If he hangs around this time then we will try to catch up with him. Last year was an awesome meet-up.

With any luck we can visit him when the Easter School Break starts next Friday. Easter is a bit of a challenge these days. Hawklad likes to get out, likes to visit places. But he needs these place quiet or even better, EMPTY. That doesn’t often happen over the two and a bit week break. Most places tend to be mobbed. This forces us into the early strategy. Get there as soon as a place opens and then stay until it starts to fill up. It’s not a guarantee of success. Last year we had several visits to RSPB Bempton to try to catch an albatross sighting. Problem is that such an extremely rare epic bird brings people, lots of people. We had a number of trips were although we had set off from home just after 7am, when we arrived a busy car park was way too much for Hawklad. So we started setting off much earlier. 4.30am early….. The prize was for an hour or so we did get the cliffs almost to ourselves and as soon as the crowds started to arrive, we left. Back home before 9am. It might be tiring but even if you don’t get to see Albert it’s so worth it.

Isolation has drawbacks but every so often it doesn’t half deliver. We just wouldn’t be stood on a cliff as the sun comes up.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in Yorkshire so surely it must be time for a trip down memory lane. Back to 2013. To a family holiday to Alpine Heaven, to Switzerland.

So often on our trips to this wonderful country the sun would shine but occasionally, even here, the weather can turn.

But guess what, Switzerland is still special.

A bit of bad weather doesn’t stop the locals eating out.

But the sun always returns, hopefully we can return in the near future.

Swiss Sunday

It’s just turned Sunday here in the UK. So much of the world is in turmoil. We need more than ever moments of peace and beauty. I think it’s time to visit one such place. Time for Switzerland.

I’ve been asked why we would always go back to the same hotel, have the same base for our trips to this wonderful country.

IT JUST FELT LIKE HOME.

It’s hard to put into words that feeling, but let’s try using photos. All these pics were taken either from the hotel balcony or within 2 minutes walk from the hotel front door.

Can you see why now……

Water

It’s a weather kind of day. Lots of it…..

The irony. For a few hours the village had no water due to a burst water pipe.

I don’t know why but I’ve just thought of a bit more water irony. Back to when I played football at university. We played a game across in France. Both trips across the sea were a nightmare. Really stormy. Huge waves. I was the only one in the party who could not swim. They team would take great delight in pointing this out. One of the nicknames my team lovingly gave me was the ‘Drowning Flounder’…. Yet out of the 13 footballers on that ferry who was the only one who didn’t get sea sickness. I was happily in the restaurant indulging in the all day breakfast while my teammates were leaning over the side of the ferry for some reason. The Drowning Flounder mastered the waters that day…..

Gone, gone, gone

Well after many many weeks its gone. Our own lake in the farmers field has finally gone. We’ve had many of these lakes in our time here but not one this big or so long lasting. It’s provided many photo opportunities and we have grown very fond of it.

It will be back. Hopefully not during the next few months. If I does then Spring and Summer have been monumentally bad.

Until next to our unnamed lake, enjoy the rest.

Not sure it will

Temporary farmers field lake is still going strong and still delivering. Kind of want it all year round. Wonder if my hosepipe will reach that far….

I’m not sure it will.

I was doing my morning torture ritual. Set the alarm to go off while it’s still dark. Exercise and then let the real torture begin. Yoga. Trying to follow the helpful and really nice instructions.

“To extend this pose why don’t you just take those knees just a bit lower…”

I’m not sure they will.

“This is a scrumptious hip opener why don’t you just hold it for another 10 seconds…”

I’m not sure I have the will.

“Try to breathe in through your nose to the count of 7 and then breathe slowly out to the count of 8.”

I’m not sure my lungs will.

“Now try to touch the ground with the outside of your left knee while twisting your body as far you can to the right.”

I’m convinced it will not do that without rupturing my spine.

“While keeping your right leg off the ground cradle your left thigh with both arms, start to rock.”

If you count going into catatonic shock as rocking, then I can…

Waterfall

Although England does do an awful lot of water it’s not blessed with that many truly epic waterfalls. But we do have the occasional spectacular one.

High Force in Teasdale.

The Falls are about an hours drive from us. We haven’t been since our world changed. We had planned to go there as part of our school holiday road trip. But as I was packing up the picnic

Dad I’m not sure I’m ready to go there yet.

I can so understand. It had suddenly dawned on our son the importance of the memory associated with High Force. It was 2016. The three of us spent a lovely hour walking around the waterfall then we ended up in the local pub for lunch. Son had sausages and chips. We had soup and fresh bread. Finished off with some highly calorific sweet. It was the last time we went out for a meal as a family.

This had completely slipped my mind. Not the forensic mind of number one son.

“It’s a long drive son.”

It’s a very long drive, probably bad for the environment.

“Its raining and very grey. Probably going to be cold.”

It’s very wet Dad.

“What do you fancy doing then.”

How about having the picnic in front of the television while watching the new Scooby Doo movie.

“That sounds a cracking plan Son.”

So we enjoyed sandwiches, crisps, fruit and cakes watching Return to Zombie Island. Yes a change of plan. But the right change of plan. We will visit High Force one day. But not this wet Friday.

Ducks

It’s been several years since we fed the ducks. It’s back to a time before our world changed. A family of 3. Every Sunday we would go to the lake armed with food left overs from the week. Often our son would be surrounded by hundreds of ducks and swans. He would carefully try to ensure all those impatiently waiting received a share of the food parcel. Then we would go to the local cafe for a freshly baked cheese scone. So many great moments sadly stopped one August three years ago.

Maybe this weekend will be a good time to rectify our absence. It wasn’t the birds fault that the bad stuff happened. Maybe we can rekindle some of those feelings. Maybe we will create new feelings. We won’t know until we try. I suspect the ducks won’t mind us trying.

So I’ve started filling a large bucket with out of date oats, some cheap tinned sweet corn, seed and of course a little bit of bread. Even ducks need a balanced diet.

While trying to find the old duck feed bucket I came across a couple of old concert T-shirt’s and ticket stubs. Days of hair, tight trousers and Thunderbird Cider. Looking at the names on the shirts it was very sobering. Many of those I went to see are sadly not with us anymore. So while I worked this afternoon I listened to a music from these fallen heroes. I tried to recall seeing that person on stage – in their prime. How they should be remembered. The roll call included

Cozy Powell

Richard Wright

Lemmy

Rory Gallagher

Ronnie James Dio

John Lord

Gary Moore

Lou Reed

Kirsty MacColl

David Bowie

The more I think about it the more heroes I can add to the list. That’s really sobering. As you get older more and more of your heroes depart. But they have left so many lasting memories for us to enjoy. They left a positive mark on this world. That’s a life well lived. I will leave the last words to Lemmy.

Death is an inevitability, isn’t it? You become more aware of that when you get to my age. I don’t worry about it. I’m ready for it. When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn’t complain. It’s been good

Kielder Water

The last post left the unscripted day trip deep in Kielder Forest.

Right Dad it’s time to have a closer look at one of Northern Europe’s largest man made Lakes. Rutland is larger but Kielder holds more water. Don’t worry I’m not expecting you to go swimming. The water will be too cold.

That’s a good job as a I can’t swim and I don’t fancy a bout of frostbite. I later checked those facts. Apparently Kielder holds 44 billion gallons of water. That’s an awful lot of trips to the toilet. It tends to be full at all times. It has a number of natural springs feeding it plus let’s not forget the weather.

With the autumnal like wind whipping across the lake and the breaking waves – it did feel like a seaside walk.

I’m guessing it is just under York Minster deep. That’s about 235ft. I’m going to say about 70 metres as Boris Johnson will hate that. He hates everything from Europe or that is what he wants people to think. Some people will fall for that.

Ok can’t miss a bit of of annoying our Buffoon of a Leader – so Kielder holds 200 billion litres.

Wouldn’t it be great if Kielder had its very own Loch Ness Monster. Ok it’s a manmade lake built in 1982. But the monster could have migrated here. What do you think Dad.

How about a Megalodon.

No legs or wings so it’s not migrating in a hurry. I’m seeing either a Spinosaurus or a very large otter.

Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to explore the monster otter concept as suddenly a large military plane swept low over us and across the lake. My ancient mobile didn’t do it justice.

Dad what time is it. Have we got time for one more place. We are on a roll now.

It’s 3pm let’s see what we can find. So back at the car. Is it Left or Right.

East.

Final part of the road trip takes us back in time.

Blue water

I took the mad dog for his morning constitutional walk. We pass a couple of streams and a small lake. Just very grey. Got me thinking. Even in the summer they are always just grey. No colour.

Suddenly my mind wanders to happier times. European Holidays. The two things that immediately strike you when you visit Switzerland:

  • The staggering beauty of the Alps

AND

  • The beautiful colour of the Lakes. This photo does not do them justice.

Just breathtaking…..