Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Modern Day Pirates


When I visited Overbecks, the National Trust property, a previous post here, I was amused on several counts. In the first instance I was amused and grateful because I got free tea, I like tea anytime, especially free tea.

free-tea-for- me-2

The reason for my tea entitlement was that I hadn’t arrived at the property by car, its an incentive for visitors to use public transport and shanks’s pony, a greener option, but not the reason for the Green Ways name. What amused me was the through interrogation I got from the National Trust Volunteer manning the entrance, she was an archetypal National Trust volunteer* and she wasn’t giving away tea vouches without due process. I passed the test, I arrived by boat at North Sands and then walked (I thought for a moment she was going to ask me about the carbon foot print of bobbing about the Salcombe estuary** in an inflatable dinghy with a very modest sized outboard (ask Tom, he wants more power!). Access and tea were granted.

cool shady place-2

I laughed about  loud at a conversation I heard between a little girl, aged about 8 and her dad. The girl was completing a quiz about Overbecks, the questions were scattered around the garden.

modern day pirates-2

She was struggling a bit with the question ‘what sort of cargo would you like to have on your pirate ship’  dad offered words of encouragement, ‘Go on then, what do you think pirates today might steal?’ She thought for a little while before declaring ‘Gold and errrr, pieces of eight; and when they’d stolen them they’d sell them on eBay.

I liked and was amused by the handrail along a set of steps (surely a later addition to the original Edwardian design? You see, I should have bought the handbook the lady on the gate tried to sell me)

hand-rail 2-2

Back home some of our local farmers make a habit of driving their tractors over 5 bar gates, I must suggest this to them as an outlet for  the resale mangled  galvanised gates.

hand rail-2-2

* I was tempted to take a photo of the lady in question, I’m sure she’d been sent from central casting; but it seemed a little unkind.

** Yes, I know, its not an estuary its a ria


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

8 thoughts on “Modern Day Pirates

  1. What an interesting visit, very informative and not without humour 🙂 your pictures are great, always. I was amazed at this unique handrail… It looks more shaky than safe to me 😉 Thank you.

  2. We didn’t manage to take in a National Trust property this holiday, sadly. I love the whole experience of going to those places, especially the tea and cake, and the plant sales. We must make sure to plan an expedition before they all close for the winter, or better still before school goes back in a few weeks.

  3. What a wonderful stair railing — although, as you say, more decorative than practical.

  4. You do have wicked thoughts, don’t you! Naturally I approve. That is because I come from a long line of pirates of the Viking persuasion. When I was little I went to the movies every week and watched wide-eyed as Captain Kidd strode across the deck in his cunning boots. Ruined me for real life, it did.

  5. When we went to Beamish recently, we received a reduction of 25% on the ticket price because we had come by bus.

    They were much more relaxed about it than your interrogator and it sufficed for Tigger to show her bus ticket – they just assumed I had one too.

    While such incentives are welcome, I am afraid that it will take more than this to unglue selfish and lazy motorists from their vehicles.

    I drank green tea for a long while but I missed the kick of good black tea. My main tipple these days is Russian Caravan which I blend myself to make sure the ingredients are pukka.

  6. Hah – that little girl’s statement is often what artifact thieves do. Sounds like you had a fun time.

  7. That handrail could be older than you think. GoogleImage some of Gaudi’s ironwork from the 20s and 30s in Catalunya.

    I’d also like to say that the volunteers at the National Trust for Scotland property I work and volunteer at are mostly in the 25-35 bracket. But that does exclude the ladies who make the tearoom cakes…

Come on, join in.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s