Sunday 27 January 2013

Park Life

So, Plan B.  
On Saturday we decided that we would visit Elsecar Park as the roads started to clear of all the snow.  We had a lovely walk round and managed to drag the young man round with us - he has finally finished his exams and can no longer use "revision" as an excuse to not leave his room!

 It was lovely to find some colour in the park. and signs of Spring.
 An old school friend/sort of relative (her sister married my Uncle) has recently taken on the Cafe in the park and we wanted to show our support.  We called in for a bacon butty and cuppa - highly recommended!
 And the Sunday, we drove out to Graves Park in Sheffield.  We have had what is possibly the fastest thaw I can ever remember! Graves Park is lovely, but has to be one of the highest points of this very hilly city - and the wind was whistling!

 It has a rare breeds farm which is free to visit and very popular.
 They have some beautiful hens - these had found a lovely warm spot in the sun.
 We loved the Eagle Owl - so majestic.
 But my favourite animals were the highland cattle.  Such gorgeous colours and (apart from the horns) very cuddly looking.

I love Park Life.

Saturday 26 January 2013

Castle Market

A heavy fall of snow has thwarted my plans for today, so its going to have to be Plan B - and I don't have a plan b at this stage! 
Last Saturday, hubby and I took a little trip into Sheffield to photograph Castle Market before it closes down and moves to its new home on The Moor.  Castle Market resides in a part of the city that is now very down at heel, and I believe the plans are to knock everything down around here and basically start again.  The market has the foundations of a real castle in its basement, and I think that they are going to excavate this at some point which will be interesting.  They are also planning to make it enticing to walk down to the Quayside - which is an area that would be lovely with a bit more going on around it - so we shall see. 

 I blame people like me for the decline of markets.  My working week dictates that I am not around when markets are open, and I don't want to waste precious weekends shopping.  But I really hate supermarkets and their bully boy tactics.  A suburb near me is currently in decline because Asda owns a lot of the buildings housing smaller shops around it and has increased the rents to an extent that the current tennants cannot afford to stay.  When they become empty, Asda is opening them up as their own opticians and pharmacy etc - killing off the competition and selling us what they want to sell us, and not what we want to buy.
 Castle Market has a fabulous atmosphere.  From the outside, it looks very scary, but inside it is spotlessly clean and full of fantastic fresh looking produce - unlike Asda whose fruit and veg looks like it has travelled the world several times and is well past its best.  The market is full of older people who can by their food in the portions that they require.  My pal at the WI who is on her own and in her 80's alerted me to the fact that around Christmas, you can't even buy meals and portions for one in Marks and Spencers.  They seem to only cater for people who are catering for many.  We also spotted lots of older gentlemen meeting up over  bacon butties and big pot of tea.  I reckon that they had all worked together in the steelworks, and this was possibly one of the highlights of their week. They were chatting and laughing and I had a tear in my eye.
 I did plan on taking lots of photographs, but I got a lot of odd looks, and I did feel slightly like a Vulture at a funeral!  I'm glad I visited, and I plan to return shortly as one of the stalls had some really interesting ingredients that I'd like to try (no, not the salmon heads!).  I really hope that the new market on the Moor is a success, and I will endeavour to use it every time I am in the city.
 I couldn't resist a photo of old King Edward V11 in Fitzalan Square,
 ...and the old drinking fountain on the now sadly very derelict old Town Hall.
Right, off to formulate plan b!  xx

Wednesday 23 January 2013


Come step into 1975 with me.  Looking back and checking on Wikepdia I discovered that it was your average sort of year.
Terrorism was rife(IRA and rogue German factions),  wars happening (Vietnam), bent politicians (Watergate trial) etc  etc.  Most of this was of no interest to me at the time.  All I cared about was, who was No1 in the charts, and the influx of "fresh meat"   that had arrived at the school youth club when the 2 Catholic boys that had been expelled from their school to ours brought along their pals!  Such excitement!

I find that this song always cheers up a dull January day.  Sing along.


Sunday 20 January 2013

YSP in the snow

We managed to get out for a walk today - and a freezing cold walk it was too.

 These photo's are not taken in black and white, it is just that there is no colour in the day at all.

 The lake was frozen.

 Half way round, we called in for soup (and a customary browse around the gift shop).  The new indoor exhibition is pleasing.

 Although the painted pigeons for sale at £125.00 each seem a bit steep!
 Back out in the garden, Barbara Hepworths "Family of Man" stood surrounded by snow.
 I don't think we have ever been here in the snow, so it made a lovely change.
 The sky still looks full of it if you ask me!
Keep warm my lovelies xxx

Saturday 19 January 2013

Roll on Summer

I do find this time of year a challenge!  I am so ready for the light nights and better weather.  I can't believe it is a week since I posted!  I cancelled a trip to the cinema midweek (to see Les Mis) as the snow started to fall and even the weatherman on TV was surprised by it, so I thought it safer to stay in!  The highlight of my week was an evening visit to Wentworth Woodhouse with my sister and mum (as part of their Christmas present).  They showed us a couple of extra rooms that I hadn't seen on my first tour and mentioned that they are now doing some tours that take you further into the house and into the gardens - so I shall book one of these for the summer.

 Hubby and I managed to get into Sheffield for a while today, but the skies were so grey that my photos were really dull, however we had a lovely lunch out and visited a new art exhibition at the Millennium galleries which was lovely.
I am not a winter person!

For those who asked, my crafting session last weekend was a total disaster.  I lugged all my fabrics, sewing machine etc downstairs - and then lost my mojo.  I did make one bag, whose handles ended up between the bag and the lining!!!  I cursed a lot and decided that my head was not in the right place at the moment.  xx

Friday 11 January 2013

The Weekend

I had planned a little excursion into town this weekend to photograph something special, but the weatherman says it may snow, and I'm not up to trudging through a blizzard at the moment, and so I am going to stay in, keep warm and crack on with a couple of craft projects instead.  

Enjoy your weekend - whatever you get up to. xxxxxx

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Elsecar's Newcomen Engine

We have been staying very local for our walks lately - partly to do with the lack of daylight hours, which are now slowly lengthening albeit by a minute or so each day!
On Saturday, we walked along the canal at Elsecar.  I noticed in local news  last year that funding has been found to restore the old Newcomen Engine that used to pump water out of the coal mine here.  It is very special as it is the only one left that remains in its original location.  It will be great if they get it running again.

 The Heritage Centre in Elsecar is a bit hit and miss, but does benefit from a host of fantastic volunteers who keep the old steam railway up and running.  I think they will love getting their hands on this.

 We really enjoyed our walk.  I can remember Elsecar when the colliery was in full swing.  It often makes me feel old when I look and see how much has changed locally in my life time.
 Whilst on our walk, I heard an almighty din.  Looking up, I noticed hundreds of geese in flight.
 Trying to photograph them reminded me that I have promised to buy myself a bit better camera once the expense of Christmas has passed!

Sunday 6 January 2013

A favourite city walk

One of my favourite city walks is from Hunters Bar in Sheffield, through Endcliffe Park and beyond.

 I have brought you here many times before, but with only a small window of opportunity for a walk today, it was an obvious choice.  I love the combination of nature, industrial history and brilliant cafes!
 The cutlery industry started off in the Porter Valley here at the Shepherds Wheel - one of Sheffield's Industrial museums, and a brilliant little place - FOC to enter too.
 I think it is only open on weekends and bank holidays, but is well worth a visit - especially in winter when they always have the fire going!
 They have some of the winding belts running.  I would love to see these all being used.  Can you see the "mule"  where the grinder would sit to grind blades on the grindstones??

 I loved reading about geological features of the area and features like this quarry that I have seen before but didn't know anything about.

 The walk as far as Forge Dam is fairly flat, which was good news today!
 Colour was added on this grey day by the mosses and lichens.
.... and the orange streams that join the Porter Brook - from old mine works around here.

 Forge Dam Cafe is one of my favourite cafes in Sheffield - absolutely nothing fancy, just an old nissen hut with "proper snap"!
 ....and always open!  I often think we should come here for Christmas lunch - perhaps if there is ever just the old man and me.
 We cleaned our boots by the stepping stones,
 .. and were entertained by the brilliant tight rope walker practising his skill.
It was great to be back to normal, and have time to get out walking.  I love Christmas, but it can seem a lot of work - especially for 1 person (and I don't mean Santa!) and it does seem to be over in flash these days.