We went to Ness Gardens today which happen to have gardens and I assume the Ness Monster, however the monster wasn't there or was hiding when we were there, probably a little too cold for it, it was probably out somewhere warm like Loch Ness.
It has the usual Halloween themes running through the gardens with scarecrows all over the place and a spooky barn, to be honest, it was all OK and the light was pretty poor for pictures, but I don't think this one turned out too bad, at least there's a bit of colour in it which is difficult sometimes in autumn with the light the way it is.
Well I thought that I recognised this chap from afar, but then again I am a little weird. I do that sort of thing to be honest. But as we were attempting to enter the maze at Adlington Hall I noticed it enough to want a picture when we left. It was a little surprise for everyone else who hadn't seen it there snuck to the left of the maze.
What it's weird is that I did think it looked similar to the rhino at Trentham Gardens and I sort of thought nothing of it. It was only until today when I checked and fund that it was the same as the rhino in Trentham Gardens. Despite the fact that it's the same, they are not owned by the same people as far as I am aware.
I would love to say that I have the set but I don't and do, because up until now there is only one, and it moved about.
On a visit to Trentham Gardens we saw this Rhino running away from the crumbling hall, it's a shame because the hall has been like this with nothing done to it every time we have been there yet despite this there is a plaque to say that the building will be incorporated into a 5 star hotel. Lets hope they plan to do this before the hall falls down.
Ah ha it's nature month. Moving on from animals it's now onto flowers. Obviously I have no idea what these are because I am no gardener so I can't tell you what IU can tell you is that they are in Whitly Court's garden as this weekend has been a short tour of English Heritage places, the first of which was Kenilworth Castle but Witley Court was the more interesting with its fountain and the unfortunate fire that ultimately lead to it's ruin. The gardens at Witley are impressive and very colourful as you can see from the picture. There is even a link to where we stayed at Ansty Hall which is detailed on the English Heritage site so a full house... and yes it's a hotel now, we haven't gone up in the world unlike one of the visitors at Witley Court who seemed to suggest that he had been there, however I doubt that we would have been around pre 1937 when the fire gutted one of the halls so I can only assume he was attached to the scrap merchants who stripped the place.
Anyway back to the pic, not a great deal to say other than I cracked the zoom lens out and put it into macro mode whilst I lay on the floor but I like the picture less about the flower in focus and more about the rest of the colours in the backdrop.
This weekend was pretty good so it was time to get out and try the my new camera the Nikon D5000. As far as the camera I worry that it will just allow me to take more average pictures, in face many hundreds of average pictures that I will be too sentimental to delete where with my comfy Minolta shoes would end up with quite a few bad 'uns but some real keepers. At least it is better than the strange and impossible Fuji 1600.
Anyway back to the weekend. Gawsworth is a nice enough place, a little small and at least we got there. I can't remember the hall we went to first which was about five miles away that we turned up to only to find that they needed cash, so U-turning against the traffic we found a cash machine despite GPS direction. Driving away I found the vital cash that could have got us into the other hall! Ah well it must be fate.
It's a small hall but quite pretty and there is a bit to see but not a day's worth. I personally think the best part of the day was the visit to The Phough just down from the hall which was lunch. An unexpected break and brilliant food despite not serving sandwiches on the weekend. It was also a great chance to test the camera again of course.
Oh I just couldn't think of a funny pun for this. I must be loosing my touch.
So for Valentines day we went off to Castle Howard. Lodging in Kirkbymoorside which appears to have more pubs than houses it was almost like being in Ireland, or at least the Ireland that I have been used to just with no Irish people but no pubs for me, we hit the local Tandoori house, needless to say with Castle Howard on the agenda I hung back on the chilli lime pickle.
The weather was at least kind to us for the first half of the day. The day before wasn't so good and in the afternoon it was variable but now it was good and this is the house with a fountain of Atlas in the foreground.a
In the search of Juliet's house we headed off by train to Verona. As luck would have it she was out which I found ignorant of a dead fictional character, but it did give us chance to nosey around her pad along with a few other people. I found it quite basic there were none of the mod cons that I would have expected and I've seen the film with Leonadro Di Caprio.
As for the picture I couldn't find any information on it. I think it's part of the old walls of the city as there are hints on the map to them existing and this could be them just near the Piazza Bra (no sniggering at the back please). This is just near the rather large Roman arena that I didn't have the guts to get to the top of but my eight year old had no problem with. I'm sure in time many more Verona pictures will appear her on wet Mancunian weekends.
As you can see this weekend saw a trip to Blackpool and on the way into Blackpool are two climbing walls, this being one, and this one also has a climber on it to prove that it is a climbing wall and I'm not just leading you down the garden path. Nothing much to say about this other than it's defiantly not the usual thing you see, climbing walls telling you where you are.
Not the best time to think of the photoblog really because this is the exit. Luckily I got some pictures with a real camera. Jostling with the fray to get a picture of the main bit of the church. It will all come out horribly wrong I suspect when developed. I did see a set of taps that I took a picture of the last time I was here, which was about umm I don't know perhaps 8-10 years ago. Weirdly enough I saw it with a strange feeling of happiness despite the fact that it would of course be there unchanged.
This picture is of the back of the Cathedral which looks similar to the garden in the Mesquita in Cordoba. Perhaps an early Catholic thing.
I saw this arch and decided it might look like a good picture and I don't think it went to badly even though I say so myself. It's a view from the house (I think it's a house, we didn't get to Trentham Gardens to late so we had little time to look around) looking towards the massive lake. It would have been good to look more around the house though there was little time.