Tuesday, 26 May 2015

My Happy Place

Long time readers of my blog will know that it is no secret that St Ives in Cornwall is my very happy place.  We have visited this gorgeous seaside town every year (sometimes more than once per year!) since we first had our family.   

This was the first time that hubby and I had been on our own.  We missed them, but it was easier and much cheaper!!

 I have to say that we have easily fitted back into each others company, and it is a great relief to find that we still like each other!
 We walked a lot, and talked a lot, picked tons of sea glass and stood and stared - and stared - and loved every minute of it.
 We nearly gave it a miss this year, we thought about jetting off to sunnier climes...
 but this is where my holiday heart is.
 It seemed strange visiting outside of the busy school holiday season, but we soon got used to it.
 It was great to wander into restaurants and find a table without having to book in advance.

So I've had my fix for now.  But it's never quite enough.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Full Monty

Last week I visited The Lyceum theatre in Sheffield to watch the brilliant "Full Monty" , the play of the marvellous film that was written about the demise of the steelworks in our own city of Sheffield in the 1980's (thanks to Mrs Thatcher!).

The play, like the film demonstrates perfectly the total and utter despair of the men that have lost their jobs when the unthinkable was happening.  And it shows the gritty northern humour that always shines through and helps carry people through and bonds them together in desperate time.

I have a knot in my stomach and a tear in my eye when Gerald strides out to "work" ever morning as he can't bring himself to tell his wife.
These times seem so long ago now but the effects still can be seen in this wonderful city of ours.
If you can catch the play, I urge you to.  It's moving and funny - a great night out! x

Friday, 15 May 2015

Elsecar Reservoir

On a nice evening, we like to have a walk around nearby Elsecar Reservoir.  Elsecar Res was made to feed the Dearne and Dove Canal that was built to take the Coal from Elsecar Colliery and the iron from it's ironworks to the rest of the world.  The mining industry in the area ended in 1983 and nature has been busy taking back the surrounding area from it's industrial past.

 The Res was used a lot for recreation in the past and a man made beach was made so that children could paddle and even swim (although a lot of graves in nearby Wentworth Old Church show that this was possibly not a great idea!).  In 1910 a photographer from a Sheffield newspaper captioned his photographs "Elsecar by the Sea" .  As the village had a direct train line from Sheffield, a bit of a tourist destination sprung up and the Res and Park were often very full.  I remember it still being extremely popular in the 1960's and 70's and it was always a big treat for us to visit.

 The park has had a bit of a resurgence theses days.  A friend of mine has taken over the cafe and is making a grand job it.

 The Res is still used a lot by locals for fishing.  We saw lots of walkers and joggers and it also has a bird hide that we sat in for a while.  It's a lovely peaceful little haven.
 Lots of wild flowers that I remember from my childhood still exist around it's banks.  We used to call these "Milkmaids"
 .. and Cowslips.

And we still find things we have not noticed before.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Whitby revisited

Hubby found himself with an unexpected weekend off work - and so we decided to make the most of this and tick a few places off my ever growing "list" of places to visit and things to do and see.

On the list for a long time has been a stay at the very fun looking "La Rosa" hotel which has very few mod cons but claims to be full of Victoria Seaside Fun.  Each room is decorated on very different themes.

 Our room was the "Stoker" room named after Brahm Stoker who wrote "Dracula" - inspired by Whitby Abbey.

 I couldn't make my mind up which  I loved best, the Fortune Telling Machine in the basement - just like the one in Tom Hanks film "Big"....
 or the view from of our window - straight over to the abbey.
 We had arrived early evening and the weather was appalling, so we headed straight into town.
 Another place on my list was The White Horse & Griffin where we headed for supper.  The Inn is very old and you can easily imagine Captain Cook and his contemporaries discussing plans for seafaring adventures.
 They serve the most amazing tasty food.  This roast beef sharing platter with brandy and mushroom sauce and gorgeous vegetables was superb.
 After a night cap in the library at La Rosa, we retired for the evening.  Next morning, our breakfast arrived in a picnic basket.  Plenty to eat and drink to set us up for the day.
 he weather didn't look much better on Saturday morning....
 so we headed to the museum to spend an hour or two.
 We loved the museum.  It is quite a traditional one with exhibits in cases, but they have some fascinating stuff. It covered the history, geography, geology and social aspects of this fascinating little town.  We could have spent much longer in here.
 The area is very rich in fossils - you can often find them on the beaches still.
 This was my most fascinating fact of the day - I can't imagine how draughty this would have been!!
 When we left the museum, the weather had started to clear and we explored the very fine Georgian area of town.

 The tide was out, so we headed down to the harbour beaches for a spot of beachcombing

 Whitby has A LOT of steps.  There are 199 up to the Abbey - we walked up them - slowly - admiring the view as we went!

 After a fish & chip supper (it's the law in Whitby), we returned to our hotel for a well deserved lie down!

 On Sunday morning, after another picnic breakfast, we set out to walk to Sandsend - about 3 miles down the beach.

 This chain was ENORMOUS!! I wondered what it had been used for .
 The cliffs at Sandsend are fascinating, but you can only gaze at them from a distance.
 I was convinced that the layer of different "rock" was dinosaur fossils waiting to be discovered.
 Where is my Geologist when you need him!
 We spooted a few of these pools that I think contain Ammonites.  Fascinating.
 Sandsend is the prettiest little village with a fair few fabulous cafes.

 I think I will pop a weekend stay on my "list" for next time.

I love Yorkshire.  I think it has everything.  The coastline is certainly a winner.