On a very rainy Sunday it was time to do something. We set out not so early in an attempt to see a little bit or perhaps a lot of Piel Castle. As you can see from this picture, we didn't exactly see much of it. The weather was dreadful and several flooded roads and a car accident (not us) later we ended up at Roa Island which isn't an island at all, but the only bit you can get to close to Piel Island without getting the ferry. I suspect Roa Island might have been an island at one point as it's possible that the road to is was man made, but who knows.
Unfortunately we would have had to ring for the ferry (it was the wrong time of year surprisingly) which wasn't going to happen purely because we walked the bridge to the lifeboat station and the horizontal rain in that short walk was bad enough let alone a trip several times longer on some sort of boat yet to be seen. Somehow I got the feeling that this ferry would have been rowed and open, I don't know why I thought that because it's totally illogical, even so I had been put off.
So there you have it, here's Piel Island and Castle in the background as I stood on the beach being hammered by sideways rain and wind. One day, yes one day I shall visit Piel Castle and perhaps visit the comfort of its Pub.
Here in the National Waterways Museum you have Porter's Row a traditional set of cottages built in 1833 for workers in the area. Personally I find the porter rather haunting and a little Big Brotherish for some reason that I can't explain. I think it's the fact that the while thing is faded with the black of the eyes being so crisp. I suspect the dark clouds above don't help. I suppose it's also the grimness of the scene and yet their trying to suggest everything is great so long as you wash your shirts in Sunlight Soap. Still it looked like a good picture so I snapped it.
The town of Battle, mainly famous for the podgy pop boys of Keane and rightly so, but did you know it was also famous for something else? Oh yes, in a little known battle in 1066 King Harold and Duke William had a bit of a tiff. Oh of course you know, it was the battle of Hastings... just not in Hastings but I suppose then Battle wasn't Battle and the nearest town was Hastings so I'll let them off.
I must admit I turned up here not expecting much. I liked Culloden in a similarly unexpected way. I was expecting the same there, but I shouldn't have worried. So long as you're interested in what happened before and during the battle then both places are interesting but then again I suspect that's obvious really.
This picture is of the walls surrounding the Abbey that William erected on the top of the hill where Harold's men were killed. Battle is a pretty town but the main building is the English Heritage site so there's probably little else to see there but don't ask me, ask the guys from Keane.
What I have found strange is that there no car parks where you park you car and pay when you leave, only pay and display down here which makes it very difficult when you have absolutely no money on you. Despite this we took advantage of a Sainsburys to buy one pack of mints with a tenner.
Anyway on to Canterbury Cathedral, it's huge as you can imagine and similar to Seville's Cathedral in that respect. Unfortunately I felt tired and a bit uninterested in Cathedrals and the like (probably not the best day to be here but never mind). Despite this the Cathedral is beautiful and I'm hoping the picture come out OK so I can share them here at a a later date.
In an attempt to recover out English Heritage membership we went to Reculver Tower which turned out to be free. The tower threatened by the sea was OK, but the off shore gun emplacements were more interesting and viewable with a really strong zoom lens. Unfortunately I left the tripod in the car so it was all a bit jittery.
With Margate looking as good as Blackpool we moved on to Ramsgate, my current location with a mobile signal. More than can be said for the holiday cottage.
My Wife would hate this one for two reasons. For a start it's too dark and as for the angle that's just bad... So it's a good job that my wife doesn't run this site otherwise the Llandudno picture would have been more bland and dark to have been on the site... she said.
This time I took the shot for the clouds and the angle because I couldn't go any further back, so this was the only way to get the whole thing in.
We did the the tour and it was OK and I must admit I was surprised, mainly because I'd been to the hall twice before other than as a tourist and I'd never seen the whole place.
After getting here last time to find that my Wife and Daughter refusing to enter because it was raining, we turned up today to find it... raining. With grit and spirit they left the car in readiness to climb the hill to the castle. The journey in felt like a Top Gear “Buy a £1000 car challenge” with a one wheel bearing trying to give up and a few Instrumental Rob Dougan tracks ringing out on the stereo.
Beeston Castle is alright but nothing special and there wasn't that much info and nothing about the investigations into the well which I remember being on the regional news recently. The views from the top are sort of impressive if you like very little to obstruct your view for miles apart from flat farm land. A better trip all round this time as we did see Beeston Castle this time and last time I popped the bumper out of my car when I misjudging a verge on a narrow lane. All was well this time... apart from the wheel bearing of course and I can't blame anyone for that... oh hold on.
Not sure I realised how this would turn out when I took it. I seem to remember I went out early to take pictures with this one (and many more). They always say that when there is a bit of mist then the photo appears two dimensional, I thought of this when I took it but I took it anyway. I think in this instance it seems to work because of the two dimensional thing in that the far peninsular looks like it's been dropped in which makes it work as well as the blue feel, but what do I know.
This didn't look like much of a picture when I took it on the LCD screen and you might say the same now. However the picture actually seems better after putting it onto a screen though admittedly the sun was on the screen so the contrast was awful when I was taking it, perhaps a good reason for a DSLR.
Anyway we were at the Balearic event in Albert Square and had a bit of a trot around. Seemed OK but nothing special for my tastes. On the Saturday when we went it was Dressage then a band and repeat. Don't get me wrong the Dressage was impressive and the band we saw was Mallorcan. I did start getting worried when the singer pointed out a guy who had an AC Milan top on. It was only then that I realised that the comfortable jacket I had on was a jacket bought during our holiday to Seville which was “Sevilla Fútbol Club S.A.D.” jacket and the crowd was thinning exposing me... time to go.
Luckily it was time to go so we left to have a look around John Ryland's Library again. On the way out I took this which as mentioned looked bad but in reality looks better. Mind you it could be better.
With a jam packed weekend I was desperate to take some time out to take some pictures despite this. The weekend was filled with a swimming lesson and a Strictly Come Dancing thing in Manchester. Neither of which involved me directly but affected my weekend nonetheless. After parking in Victoria Station and being charged an extra 20p (in)convenience fee for calling them to pay for my parking because all the machine were not working and failing their voice recognition twice (“D” I said not “B”), we dropped my Daughter and my Mother-in-Law off at the MEN Arena and drifted off to go to Urbis to view the Hidden Manchester exhibition. It's an interesting small exhibition which was a little like a watered down and much reduced Urban Explorers photo album. Before all of this my breakfast of raw garlic on toast with tomatoes and olive oil was discovered by my Mum mentioning that there was a strong garlic smell as she sat across the table from me when we took a small break in Urbis's coffee shop. I had to hold my hands up for this one. My Wife described it as a garlicky waft that was coming off me as I passed people, even when I was holding my breath.
This is just a quick picture of the Manchester Wheel reflected in Urbis. Nothing much to comment other than I took loads of pictures like this thinking they were all great but only got one average-ish picture. There were other pictures but they may have to wait for another day. Such as a picture of the names of those who died in World War I who worked for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. There's also a picture of the Air Cadets lined up in formation for a ceremony in Manchester Cathedral. But they can be left for another day.