Uphilldowndale

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


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Keeping the Roads Open

Thank you to those who keep our roads open. We’ve some challenging roads around here;  they are the  primary roads you hear mentioned on the travel reports, the Snake Pass, Wood Head Pass and The Cat and Fiddle, beautiful but tricky, and the first to get hit by bad weather, but of course there’s many many miles more of roads to be cleared: take a  ride in the cab of a Derbyshire County Council gritter and get a different perspective.

 

The continuing snowy theme gives me an excuse to post this photo, from 1901, I’ve done so before

Snow 1901

I bet these folk would have loved  to see a snow plough looming over  the horizon. They’d  probably have liked central heating, electric light, tumble dryers and  4×4 vehicles.

 

Here’s a later image, the big  freeze of 1947, that lasted from 21st January to 4th of March;  both photos are taken at Sparrowpit.

Snow 1947


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Snow Surprise

Well it wasn’t a surprise, because it was forecast.  The amount that landed is generous by UK standards, but honestly, I feel the need to get on my snowy soap box here, why we do get our knickers in a twist over bad weather in this country. Severe weather is inconvenient to all, but why do we think the we have some divine right for all roads and paths to be magically cleared, so we can keep on with our day without so much as snowflake impeding our progress.  The weather, mother nature or the snow god,  call it what you wish;  doesn’t give a toss about our hectic schedules get over it.

sheep skull

Social media was full of ranting this afternoon, about the poor job the council were doing clearing the roads. I imagine if we want the sort of set up for snow clearance that countries who routinely get great dollops of snow, then we’d better start paying more for our services (how much do snow ploughs cost?) Sigh.

 

Look the trains were running on the Buxton to Manchester line.

 

buxton Manchester train,_

 

I could write about some of the shenanigans that have gone on in the lane today, it’s steep, andwhen it’s icy, it catches people out, it’s happened before. But lets just say if you pay an awful lot of money for a car, it doesn’t mean to say you know how, or more importantly  when to drive it.

As Tom would say ‘all the gear and no idea’.

lane_

Spud has had a great day

snow springer

Mr Uphilldowndale enjoyed himself too

this much


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Riverside Walk

After our visit to the Tower, we walked along the Thames embankment

We came across this party of school children, painting pictures of Tower Bridge*

children painting tower bridge 2

Each child had their shoes and water bottles neatly set beside them, and were totally absorbed in their task.

children painting tower bridge

 

They completely ignored the slack jawed British tourists who openly expressed their amazement at the children’s exemplary behaviour,

children painting tower bridge 3

we reckoned there must have been 60 or more children, and as far as we could see, only two adults overseeing them. I don’t think you’d get that ratio past a school trip risk assessment in the UK.

We had tea and cake at the Tate Modern, where we were privileged to watch peregrine falcons, perched on the roof, through telescopes provided by the RSPB

 

Mr Uphilldowndale succumbed to  a little green tractor envy

little green tractor envy 

 

we had fun trying to photograph St Pauls Cathedral and London busses.

St pauls_ 

It is a very long time since I’ve played ‘tourist’ in London, back in my day, you needed an A-Z,  it seems they are things of the past; how do we get home?

No A-Z

 

(have you heard about the new glass walkway at Tower Bridge? Not for the faint hearted).


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Round Up of Norfolk

A final  photo selection from our foray into Norfolk

In Blakeney narrow  streets, from an era when boats ruled the world not motorcars,

cottages_

And when catching the tide was more important than catching the bus.

cottages 2

 

A rather fetching wall plaque, with a meandering hollyhock, it has a art deco vibe, do you think?

 

ship plaque art deco-

The admirable 14th century craftsmanship of the ribbed brick vaulting in  Blakeney Guildhall

Blakeney

Some very pretty little costal flowers,can anyone tell me what they are?

costal flowers_

The RNLI station at Wells Wells lifeboat station

Then off down the coast to Cromer

Cromer lifeguard_

Cromer Pier

Cromer pier_

The sort of seaside vista, familiar from my childhood*

Cromer 2

Although it was always the west coast, Lytham St Annes and Fleetwood for my family, but never Blackpool, considered too vulgar… even in the 1960’s

Cromer pier 2

 

Time for home.

 

*Although I always hankered for a seaside holiday with rock pools, so I could complete my I Spy the Seashore book.


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Made in Cley

Mrs Ogg and I visited the pretty village of Cley-next the Sea,

Cley next the Sea

We didn’t see the sea, but we did many beautiful things.

I was very keen to visit the Pink Foot Gallery, I’d admired  from afar the work of wildlife artist Brin Edwards, and was keen to view.  There were so many beautiful things in the gallery, Mrs Ogg challenged me to chose my favourite, money no object*  what would be my take home piece. I was hard pressed to select, but Ithink it would have been one of Anthony Theakston’s ghostly owls (I’ve had the odd run in with owls before).

Over the road was Made in Cley, a wonderful place full of hand made ceramics, and  art. The shop in its self, (the yellow building, left of shot, was a delight, worn, polished floor boards and original fittings.

Cley

Like most of the shops in Cley, it came complete with a large cat perched on the counter (Flighty, there’s yet another delightful book shop too).

Around the side it had its own private railway…

Cley 2n

One more Norfolk post to come. Then I’ll head for home.

 

(*And you would need quiet a bit: it was noted there seems to be quiet a bit of disposable income sloshing about this part of Norfolk, or at least the places to spend it, the two aren’t necessarily the same.)


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Norfolk Fare

I forgot to include these lovely looking fruit and nuts in my last foodie post of our travels in Norfolk.

I hear it has been a spectacular year for blueberries.

norfolk blueberries_

 

And I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with a wet walnut

wet walnuts_

But I thought Hugh Fearnly-Eat-it-All might be the man to ask

Wet walnuts are a true seasonal treat, available for just a few weeks each autumn. They sound a bit messy, but don’t worry, their hard, usually slightly grubby (because unpolished) shells are quite dry – on the outside. It’s the inside that’s “wet” – still juicy and fresh, in its just-picked state. The pale blond kernels are firm but yielding, without the brittle crispness of a dried nut. And the flavour is mild, milky and sweet, with just a hint of that tannic edge that makes walnuts the sophisticate of nuts.

 

And cob nuts,  ouch £9 a punnet! By my estimation that’s about a pound a nut…

cob nuts_

Waitrose tell me they are stocking them in store this autumn and at a more thrifty price.


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A Feast For The Eyes

Mrs Ogg and I  may have had a busy programme of sight seeing on our weekend away in Norfolk. But refuelling stops were taken very seriously.

Morning coffee

20140906_111937

afternoon tea

20140906_152552

Other foodie highlights were at and a very pleasant evening meal at Balthazar wine bar in Holt and a delicious Sunday breakfast of smoked salmon and poached egg croissant at  Byfords.  I loved Byfords, not only for its food, but for its warren of  higgled-piggledy rooms each telling a tale of previous use and lives. Fascinating, right up my street.

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