There are so many questions begged by this corner of Calder Holmes Park that I don’t even know where to start. Who is ‘Bird’? Why is s/he called that? Is the superhero graffito connected in any way? What have they done to deserve being called a ‘potatoe’ and has Dan Quayle been involved?
I started this blog on 26th August 2011, ten full years ago. Since then I have become ten years older, greyer, stouter. I do not pass judgment on whether I am wiser by a decade; only that the last 18 months have made me more cynical. This morning, our last in Hastings, I sat on the shingle beneath Hastings Pier and, like this couple, contemplated the sea on a warm and pleasant morning.
And the next ten years? If you’re still interested, follow along.
Further proof, if proof was needed (see also this shot) that the provision of fake owls throughout the country has not only failed to deter other birds, but that they may in fact encourage other avian life in attempts to befriend them. Jay the gull admires Bob’s taciturnity as they keep an eye on the pickings available from the local fishing fleet.
It’s just a field, home these days to a number of sheep (two of whom were a source of great interest to the visitor at the bottom of the pic). But on October 14th 1066, around 7,000 men were slaughtered here in one day at the Battle of Hastings, and the victor, Duke William of Normandy, instituted a regime that, basically, continues to rule the island of Great Britain into the present time. (One wonders how different human history might have been if the two antagonists, neither of whom had a particularly direct claim to the throne of England, had just cut cards for the privileged, or agreed to do six months a year each.)
It is understandable that the tourists would want to come and see the place — as we did on this pleasant, bright Sunday. But I guess the import of what happened on this spot 956 years ago, the scale of the death and mayhem, will never be fully apparent. These days we walk round and take our pictures and listen to the soothing tones of the ‘audio guide’ and then go and have lunch in the nearby pub. Battle is worth a visit though, whether you are English or not.
Note also — it’s day 3,650. But thanks to three leap years having interspersed themselves over the last decade, I am not quite at the point where I have completed 10 years of this blog. I assume I will make it to Wednesday, though.
Clare and (for the third time in four days) Joe amble along the rim of the country. To the left, nothing until Dieppe in France. To the right, the town of Hastings, home for the next few nights. The evenings draw in, but summer remains with us.
More food, and more alcohol — note the presence of a bottle of Rochefort 10-year-old, already declared on here as the world’s finest beer. But then, I am on holiday, and food and alcohol is at least part of what being on holiday is all about. Taken in the aptly named ‘Friends of Ham’ bar/restaurant in Leeds, at the start of a trip down South.
Despite the propping up (an action which probably saved most of the remainder), half our plum tree has given up the ghost; the weight of the fruit was too much. So today I had a great many green plums to process. It was the fate of these ones to end up in a demijohn with sugar and vodka. Apparently, in a year, we’ll have slivovitz. Or, I’ll forget about them, stashed in the closet as they now are, and our descendants will rediscover them in forty years, playing host to entire new ecosystems.
Three weeks and two days until Joe goes off to university, the psychological implications of which (for us all) remain unexplored. But at least we can get the logistics prepared, so he accompanied me to Manchester today to pick up practical stuff, plates, cutlery, you know, things that mean he won’t have to eat off the floor. Will this be the last shot of him in this particular city? Impossible to say what the future will bring.
Ben Lawers towers over the shore of Loch Tay and, at 3,983 feet (1,214m), is the tenth-highest mountain in the UK. In the whole country south of this point, there is no higher land. Tell you what though, it made me work to bag it; the day was a classic illustration of how conditions can deteriorate with altitude. This walker was heading up it after the worst had passed — which is more than can be said for me. See the County Tops blog for the gory details and more pictures.