Wednesday, 31 July 2013

right on track

Another brilliant Tramlines festival in Sheffield the other weekend - the sun shone, the sky was blue and the city was buzzing.  We managed to catch The Payroll Union, the Lost Brothers and Jungle Lion who were all amazing as well as some incredible street performances such as Granny Turismo and the Rimski's piano cycle
and this was Tramlines two years ago - lovely as ever.
Go Sheffield!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Our day out at Castle Howard last week was brilliant - I am told I went there in the early 80s but don't remember it at all - which made the revisiting even better!
so here are my images of the day in blisteringly hot sun, in preparation for the heatwave we're still experiencing (11pm as I write this and it's Oh sooooo hot!).

beautiful flowers everywhere
secret gates and tunnels galore
and finally the great house itself - and the BBC were filming Death Comes to Pemberley
the amazing and beautiful Atlas Fountain

the wild boar - which it seems is a listed statue!
great old gnarled trees
and to our surprise - a fabulously relaxing boat trip on the Great Lake

 followed by a walk to the rather wonderful 'Temple of the Four Winds'
 and then back with our friends in time for a fabulous afternoon tea
Coming home we travelled down wonderful 'Hockney-esque' lanes - blossom just finished and the trees in their full greenery - just like those fabulous paintings at the Royal Academy last year.

Saturday, 13 July 2013


Yesterday ended up with tastings of the wonderful Thornbridge brews at the Packhorse Inn at Little Longstone . . .

But it started with the much-looked-forward-to arrival of our friend Pete from Boston USA, an 'award winning' coffee at Bragazzi's then off into the sweltering heat of the day and the Peak District.
and CONGRATS to Bragazzi's for this award - well deserved.
First stop ice creams at the disused Miller's Dale station

You would never have thought this derelict station was so important in it's heyday - just read here
Source: Paul Wright
Camera tricks hanging over the huge derelict viaducts.

EFFECT: Partial colour Red

EFFECT: Posterization - black and white

EFFECT: Posterization - colour

EFFECT: Posterization - colour

EFFECT: Pop colour
then onward to the old lime kilns - dank and spooky

 and discovery of the beautifully scented common spotted orchid
but then the decidedly undelightful discovery that the Angler's Rest had just closed and we were hot and thirsty!!
 and that's how we ended up at the Packhorse Inn - full circle story - wonderful day!!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Tea for two

Summer is here!  Skies of blue and scorching hot. Eating on the new patio most evenings.
Great salad washed down with refreshing Bacchus Raspberry Beer and Purple Moose's Porthmadog elderflower brew - Ysgawen, which we picked up in Pwllheli in June.

And while we're on the gourmet living, mustn't miss out the Portugese tarts and brownies a la Forge Bakehouse - Sheffield's latest new bakery - at the weekend
and as we're in the garden, a pic of the pond and one of this year's amazing peonies
just don't look too closely at the weeds around it . . . .

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Fish n chips

Friday 3 May

and our final full day on Mull - where did the time go. . .

Well - rain again on the Bunessan plain - but we still had a magical day and it all centred around the fascinating area so close to our cottages.

Dived across the little stream in the rain and into the charming Ross of Mull Historical Museum in Bunessan.  And for such a tiny old building, the wealth of information and the warmth of the welcome were staggering.  We learned so much and realised we should have probably started the week with this visit!

Next we were beguiled by the delicious smell of freshly baked bread and dashed over to the warmth of the welcoming Bunessan Bakehouse with its famous collection of tea cosies

Have to say, we six were mighty reluctant to leave the cosiness of the Bakehouse, but after many rounds of food and coffee and buying up most of the stocks of Bunessen Bakehouse soda bread mix and porridge stirrers, we finally dragged ourselves back into the rain - but not without first booking to return to the special Fish and Chip Supper tonight back at the Bakehouse!!

For the next 10 minutes or so this was our view over the dashboard
until we arrived at the end of the road, right by the sea, at the fabulous Ardalanish weavers 
and what a treat to see the great weaving tradition of this island in action and the beautiful garments and rugs in the shop. 

Ended up probably our most expensive day of the week - what with mass buys of porridge, bread mix and rugs - but all things we'll treasure back home to bring back memories.

So, back to Ardfin and Ardlea for a quick pack and then down to the Bakehouse for that Fish and Chip supper.
and quite amazing it was!  Busy, buzzy, happy atmosphere - loads of homemade bread-and-butter to help yourself to, fabulous fresh fish and homemade chips washed down with cups of tea and smiles.  And cakes too . . . . .
 and here's one totally full 'sixth' of our team . . .
As we left, as if on cue, the clouds lifted and lit up for our short drive back to the cottages giving us one final magnificent sky

 . . . and of course, there was that final game of QI to be fought out!!

and so finally to

Saturday 4 May

final day, fond farewells to Gillian at Ardness House, keys handed in, fresh bread from the Bakehouse to take home

Ferry to catch - emerging out of the mists from Oban
and off for the long drive south - and the end of another wonderful episode in the lives of the sensational six on that magical Island of Mull.

(and if you've just tuned in and want to go to the start of this 2013 holiday on Mull then just click here)

or if you fancy reading about our 2012 first visit to Mull, then it starts here