Posts Tagged ‘walk’

Winter approaching….

I still feel a bit like my head is full of cotton wool so I’m doing a winter photos post. Please forgive my lack of actual blog writing recently.

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The walk to work in the cold

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Wednesday’s mist

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He was just standing there as I walked to work!

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The river through the bus window

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Winter sky behind Ham House

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The walk home is dark and beautiful

Frost and food

Yesterday was a day of frost and food, both of which make for pretty pictures. Check it out.

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Pics from the walk to work
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Cherry and apple cake
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Chopping chives in the kitchen garden for the day’s food
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Making chutney with the garden produce

Recent photos from my walk home

The weather is changing recently and the sky is different colours and everything looks a little different every day. Here are some photos I have taken over the past ten days or so.

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O, I do like to be beside the sea

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to Danda!
Happy birthday to you!

Hip hip hooray and all that.

As you’ve probably guessed, it was Danda’s birthday yesterday so, in true birthday style, we ran off to the beach for the day. And it was glorious. The weather stayed warm enough to spend all day walking around but breezy enough to not be uncomfortable.

The day started with fancy lunch. I love a fancy lunch, as some of you may already know. I love fancy lunching. I love Michelin stars. I love pretty food.

This lunch did not disappoint.

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It started with bread, after which we were presented with calf’s tongue with piccalilli. Did I ever mention how much I love the free extras at nice restaurants?
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We had the same starter, a leek and potato soup with white truffle cream. My goodness, do I love a truffle! I love a truffle. I went crazy for this soup. It was really really good with some of the fresh bread dipped into it.
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Next up, Danda’s main was mackerel with mashed potatoes, spinach and tomatoes.
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Mine was a confit duck leg on a bed of lentils and bacon with cavolo nero and thinly cut, fried potatoes.
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It was easily the best duck I’ve ever eaten. It was so soft and fell off the bone without any resistance at all. The skin, which I worried about because it can be quite fatty and disappointing, was crispy and beautiful. The jus was fantastic too. I just ate and ate and hoped it would never end. Sadly, it did so off we went, out into the daylight, to seek our next adventure.

We found it on the Brighton Wheel, looking down at the seaside town from the sky.
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We then went for the longest walk ever in search of the Naturist Beach. O, what? Wait. I mean. I meant. I didn’t mean we went looking for it. I meant we were walking and then we saw it. By accident.

There was one bloke with a cap on chatting to a fully dressed couple and that was it. Disappointing.

We headed out to the marina to see what fun could be had there.
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There were a lot of generic could-be-anywhere shops near the marina so we decided to wander back to the beach but not after spotting an amazing ‘5D’ ride thing that we just had to go on. It was one of those rollercoaster simulator things and it was really good. We got given 3D glasses and were splashed with water or blown with wind. It was fast and furious and I yelped quite a lot!

We finished the day by splashing about in the water and lying on the beach looking at the sky.
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A walk around the garden (part 2)

In June, we walked around the garden and had a little look at everything, in anticipation of the changes that would come with summer. And they did. So last night, I thought, tomorrow I’ll do another walk around the garden, that’ll be nice.

And then it rained. And I walked anyway. So let’s go!

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Let’s start next to the back door. This is the cherry tree and that little stick above the leaf, the stick with nothing on the end of it. That held our entire cherry harvest for the year. Yep. One cherry. We have one little cherry. And it was stolen. I imagine it was a bird. Apparently they love cherries. It was unfair of them to take our only cherry though.

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Plums! Woop woop! These are doing pretty well at the moment. Its taken them a little while to get going but they’re looking good now.

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Tomatoes. I love when there are tomatoes at different stages of ripeness on the same bunch.

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This lavender plant has gone absolutely mad! During the day it is covered in bees and that makes me very happy.

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In between all the lavender plants is the lone rosemary bush. I love popping outside while cooking to grab some rosemary.

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More lavender.

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That beautiful mystery tree with the white flowers….? Yeh, it didn’t last long.

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The rain hasn’t done the flower corner any good 😦

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New petunias by the shed.

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More petunias!

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The new rhubarb plant! I got it from Ham House.

Day Trip 1

Good morning all! It’s time for Rambler5319 to give us a guest post about his recent holiday. Enjoy!

 

Over the next few weeks I’ll be describing some days out on my holiday a couple of weeks ago.

Today is that day we all look forward to – the first day of our holiday, the journey and hopefully arrival unless it’s a long long way. We’ve been looking forward to it for quite a while and for some it may even have been a whole year since the last one. It’s very exciting but also very stressful. Have we packed everything? Have we got the tickets & passports if we’re flying? If we’re driving, have we checked the car over the night before: fuel, oil, water, windscreen water level (remember it’s illegal to drive with the bottle empty!), brakes, all indicators & lights working, extra air in the tyres for a fully loaded vehicle etc. I actually think it’s a good idea to have a check list for stuff to take. Mine has built up over a number of years and the written version is now a spreadsheet. Occasionally an item gets added as I find there’s something that would be useful. (Previous years have seen me forget things like an alarm clock although nowadays a mobile phone will do, a torch, food containers for sandwiches for days out, bread, some tinned food & vegetables so you don’t have to run to the shops on the first day you arrive at your self-catering place and so on. Of course if you’re flying your list will be very different. Have you got a “holiday list”?

So once the list is checked off I get into the car and go. Suddenly the familiar roads which normally are the ones I travel to work take on a different feel because I’m NOT working and I won’t be coming back along them to go home after a day’s work. No, today they’re different because they’re taking me far away on my holiday!

This year my first stop was 130 miles away for 2 nights in Southwell (Notts). I have friends there and we catch up a bit on what’s been happening over the year: what the kids have been doing, what we’re doing and planning to do etc. The following day, as they were working, I visited Newark, a short drive away. It’s a town with a very long history.

Newark was established in the early 900s AD by King Edward “the Elder”. Remember the king numbering system we know today (Edward I, Edward II, Edward III and so on) didn’t start until after the Norman Conquest so kings were given other adjectival names to distinguish them from those with the same name; another Edward at a slightly later time was called Edward “the Martyr” (half brother of Aethelred “the Unready” who was murdered at Corfe Castle in 978 AD. For those of you who enjoy trivia connections remember Corfe Castle was the inspiration for Kirrin Castle in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books). Anyway Edward “the Elder” was a son of King Alfred the Great and Queen Ealhswith (of Mercia). He had battles with the Danes from Northumbria and East Anglia. Owing to its geographical significance being at the junction of the Great North Road (A1), the Fosse Way (runs NE from Exeter up to Lincoln) and the River Trent Newark became an important place to build defensive fortifications and then erect a castle. Originally built as an earthwork construction of a motte and bailey type it was replaced in stone by Bishop Alexander (the Magnificent, apparently). It took 10 years to build and was completed in 1133.

In Oct 1216 King John (of Magna Carta fame) arrived at Newark Castle but just 2/3 days later he died. A year prior to his death he had been challenged by the barons: men who held land in exchange for providing soldiers to the king and who had to attend the feudal court a kind of early form of parliament. (A nearby barony to me is that of Chester; the first recorded holder – in 1070AD – was a guy called Gherbod the Fleming who it is believed got it as a gift for fighting in the victorious army of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.) The barons wanted certain guarantees and a limiting of the king’s power and this was set down in writing in the document we know today as the Magna Carta. King John is portrayed as a bad king in the Robin Hood stories where Robin – a supporter of Richard the Lionheart (John’s brother) – was usually found holed up in nearby Sherwood Forest with his band of “Merry Men”. (Curiously after Richard’s death, parts of his body were buried at 3 different places in France: his heart in Rouen, his brain in Poitou, his body in Fontvrault and nothing in England!)

Pictures of Newark Castle give the impression of a fully-fledged building but behind the 3 main exterior walls little remains of the original building itself. image

Note the section of repaired wall in this next pic. Apparently at various times in its history, if it was left unprotected, stone robbers would come in and steal the actual blocks which had been used to build the castle walls.image

Then a view over the castle walls looking along the River Trent back towards the locks.image

Here’s one posted by someone on Flickr looking from the locks back towards the castle.

Note the lock keeper’s “cottage” is a nice modern two storey brick building. I left the castle and crossed the river by that “cottage”. I carried on along the path to where there was a boat repair yard. Here’s the sign on the gate.

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Then I passed the Trent Navigation Wharf Warehouse

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Next was where I turned left back over the river but this narrow stone bridge, in the next pic, carried on to the SE. There is a weir to the right of the pic with the usual warning sign that if you decide to go over it in a canoe (or anything else) the waterways authority will not be responsible for any injuries incurred. Of course, I threw away the piece of driftwood I’d been hoping to use as a surfboard down the near 90 deg slope!

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Back along the road towards the town centre and over what looks like originally was a passage way between houses is this sign saying Cottam’s Yard.

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Originally it would have led to a yard in which a number of dwellings would have been found. Often places like these would become slum areas owing to them generally housing the poorest classes of society. Check out this old map of the area at

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Towards the top right you can see Simnitt’s Yard which was renamed as Cottam’s Yard. Look at the number of dwellings opening into the alleyway: I count 10 plus the two facing out on the main street! (The next yard down – Taylor’s Yard – is not quite so cramped with only two buildings along one side.)

I continued along the road and decided to draw some money out at the bank. I reached into my pocket, pulled out my card wallet and flicked through the pockets to where I always keep the bank card. It was at this point I had one of those panic moments – the plastic pocket which should have contained my bank card was EMPTY!! I hunted in both my trouser pockets. I rummaged through once, twice, three times but it was not there. I emptied the rucksack and repacked it TWICE! Nothing. At this point I reached for the wall to stop myself falling over in shock. Oh no! First day of my holiday and the card was gone. (Unless you’ve ever lost a card and had all the hassle associated with it I don’t expect you know how this sort of thing feels. Worse by far is of course losing the whole wallet or purse with ALL the different cards in. It’s a feeling you can definitely do without!) Had I been robbed? Had I put the bag down somewhere? No, I was sure it had been with me the whole time. Where had it gone? How could it possibly be lost? I’m always so careful. I have a routine: after each use it goes back into the wallet pocket, the same pocket every time. Ok, so sharp intake of breath. I have to get back to where I’m staying to see if somehow it’s there and if not get onto the phone to cancel it ASAP. The rest of my leisurely afternoon wander around Newark is now cancelled. I hot foot it back to the car. I reach the car park where I’ve used less than 2 hours of my all day ticket. Newark made money out of me that day! All the way back I’m reliving the previous 24 hours trying to think of everything I’ve done. Suddenly I remember that on the journey down I had stopped at a motorway service area and used the card to buy some stuff. I will ring them to see if it’s been handed in. However, I think I remember putting it in my pocket after buying the stuff and yet it’s not there now. I’m thinking perhaps I dropped it when I’d been putting into my pocket. You wouldn’t hear a plastic card drop with all the noise in places like that. Mind still racing I charge upstairs to my room. My overnight bag was searched. Nothing. As I was about to pick up the phone I saw my Youth Hostel card by the side of the bed. Now this is not just a plastic card on its own – it is held on the back page of a small cardboard covered booklet with a few paper pages inside on which you can collect the rubber stamps issued by each hostel when you stay overnight. It is just slightly larger than a plastic card. For some unknown reason I picked it up and out fell my bank card! Yippee! – heart rate slowed. Of course I remembered that I’d put it in my pocket to go away with in case I needed to use a hostel at any time. When I’d made my purchases at the service station I had indeed put the bank card back in my pocket but it had slipped right between the pages of my little YHA booklet and stuck there. Before going out to Newark I’d thought – no need to take the YHA card with me as I’m back here for tonight. I’d placed it carefully on the bedside table and driven off. Day 1 of the holiday was over – and what a drama filled one at that. I could do without any more scares like that.  

My walk to Ham House

I do this walk once or twice a week when I go to Ham House to volunteer and I love it. Once I’ve got out of town, I hit the river and this is the best part of the walk….

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Through Buccleuch Gardens….

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Out the other side and along the edge of Petersham Meadows…

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Petersham Meadows on my left and the Thames on my right…

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Cows in Petersham Meadows…

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Ducks on the path…

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The Thames, behind a ton of forage-able dock leaves….

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Horses came here recently!

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Marble Hill House on the opposite side of the river so I know Ham House is soon….

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When I see an open space in the trees ahead on the left, I know Ham House is only another minute away…

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Sure enough…

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The little bridge….

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The trees are hiding the house…

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Horses from the riding school next door….

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Almost….

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There it is!

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To the right of the front door, the windows you can see at the bottom here, those are the kitchen windows! I spend all day looking out at feet!

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I take the side gate around the building (that’s my kitchen window again, bottom left)…

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… Which brings me to the door the volunteers use to get in, the black one on the left….

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I then go down a few steps to the bathroom area….

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… Into the eerily quiet and empty downstairs, which contains the bathroom, the beer cellar, the kitchen and the mess rooms…

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Turning left, I get into the scullery, which then opens out into my favourite room in Ham House….

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The kitchen! This is where I spend all my time baking, the room I know most about and the place where I feel most comfortable, whilst working at the…

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Beautiful and huge old table, built in the kitchen in 1610 using elm wood from an elm tree on the estate. This table is my favourite thing in the house. And probably my favourite table of all the tables I have known.

Readers, if you do not yet have a favourite table, I suggest you get onto it.

And that is my journey, once or twice a week. It’s quite nice, as it happens.

Compliments aplenty in China

About ten years ago, I went to China to trek the Great Wall with a group of people connected to a charity called Quarriers. It was one of those things were you get people to sponsor you and the money goes to the charity.

Apart from waking up on day three, unable to move, it went well. It was loads of fun. We zipwired over a river….

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We were chased off the wall by some soldiers and had to escape through a farmer’s field and persuade the farmer not to charge us for walking through his fields without permission. There were adventures round every corner.

Often, when we started, some of the locals would walk a little way with us, trying to persuade us to give them our bags to carry, the implication being that you give them a little bit of money at the end of the day. Most of us wanted to carry our own bags, to feel we’d ‘done it ourselves’ but occasionally some would cave in and accept help.

This one day, I think it was about a week in, one of these helpers had been with us all day. She was helping a 60 year old lady called Lily and they were steaming ahead, leading the group, while we trailed behind!

At the end of the day, as we were making our way to our accommodation and the lady was getting ready to turn and repeat the day’s walking in reverse to get home, she produced some t-shirts with pictures of the Great Wall on them and asked us if we wanted to buy some. They were quite nice and not expensive so we all had a look. By the time, I looked, however, all the t-shirts my size has gone. She looked at my top half and ruffled through her remaining ones but they were all children’s sizes. Dammit.

“Never mind,” I gestured, shrugging my shoulders and starting to walk away.

“Wait!” her voice rang out, in the way someone might shout ‘Eureka!’ if they had solved some great mystery.

(Are you ready for this?)

I turned back to see what she had found. She was holding a red t-shift aloft and offering it to me.

“I have extra large!” (Actually she said, ‘extra rarge’ but you get the idea)

Now I don’t know how things go down in China but in the UK, if you want to make a girl buy some clothes off you, it’s not by telling her she looks like she needs the ‘extra rarge’ size.

Unsurprisingly, I passed on the t-shirt…..

St Winifred’s Well

Hello all. Welcome to my regular guest blogger’s Wednesday post…

I mentioned in last week’s post (8.5.13) our Bank Holiday day out and about all the traffic (which did happen) and the usual expected bad weather (which did not). Where were we going? Well it was to a well – St Winefride’s Well to be precise. (Note here, you were probably expecting to see it spelled St. Winifred’s which is how most people would write it but the site itself, and a number of other sources, use the spelling in my title.) Someone had organised a walk and there were going to be about 8 of us all together.

We got going fairly handily and managed to beat the worst of the outgoing traffic. The well is in Greenfield about half a mile NE of Holywell (pronounced Holly-well) in North Wales. We pulled into the car park right opposite the Well entrance and then one of my passengers (navigator?) said, “I don’t think we’re meeting with the others here. There’s another car park lower down”. Ok, so off we go and yes, about half way down the hill towards the coast, is another car park. We pulled in. We waited. My passenger direction-giver meditated for a few minutes: “What’s the road number of this road we’ve just turned off?”

It didn’t look like it had one. It’s only like a very minor one,” I ventured.

Oh well this isn’t right either!” came the reply. Off we went again further down the hill until we came to the A548 coast road and after turning right we came to car park no.3. “Ooh, there they are”, said my navigator. Then I had to listen while our tale of woe, regarding locating the correct car park, which was somehow down to me of course, was related to the expedition leader. He was standing in his walking gear with the OS map neatly folded in a plastic carrying case on a string round his neck and one of his local history info books in his hand. I hadn’t realised it was like a proper organised walk and thought we were just doing a stroll around the Well itself. Oh well, at least I could relax while someone else did the map/path reading. I’d be the bandit & wild animal look-out covering the rear of the column as we set out on a narrow steeply-angled path out of the car park. It was at this point I realised that when we had driven past the Well we had come quite a long way DOWNHILL! That meant walking would be taking us a fair way UPHILL and me with no oxygen or sub-zero outwear! I was somewhat amazed when, shortly after we started our climb, a guy went past us holding those Arctic ski pole things the professionals use to aid in walking (or skiing) in difficult areas. How hard could this be I wondered? It’s North Wales I thought, not the ascent to camp 4 on the north face of Everest. I couldn’t resist a chuckle seeing him walk past two ladies in their summery clothes pushing prams with little ones in! Bizarre – what’s wrong with this picture sprang to mind?

So on to our walk. The first place of interest on the journey up was the ruins of Basingwerk Abbey. image

It is completely open to the public and as you can see from my pic many were sitting among the ruins on the grass enjoying the sunshine. We stopped and had our sandwiches here as it was around lunch time. image

The abbey had been founded in 1132 by a local earl who brought Benedictine monks from Normandy. Just 66 years prior to this of course those pesky Normans had come over 1066 and beaten King Harold II in 1066. (Sadly, Harold had only been in the king job for 9 months!) That was probably one of the reasons why French monks ended up here. The abbey later became part of the Cistercian order and passed through a couple more changes before ending up under the control of Llywelyn the Great in the 13th century. He was a Prince of Gwynedd which is an area of North Wales. His son Dafydd ap Llywelyn then gave St Winefride’s Well to the abbey.

So, who was St. Winefride? The story goes back hundreds of years even before the Norman Conquest. It is, of course, being over 1300 years old, inevitably bound up in legend but it goes something like this – In around AD 660 a man called Caradoc wanted to date Winefride but she wasn’t interested. He tried and tried but she rejected him. As can happen in these situations Caradog “took the huff” and shortly after took matters into his own hands and came and chopped off Winefride’s head (as you do). Her uncle was called St Beuno and he prayed that she would survive and she did. The re-attaching of her head was a miracle and thereafter the Well became a place of pilgrimage and has remained so to this day. After surviving, Winefride lived as a nun for the next 22 years. The identity of Caradoc is something of a mystery as the name was fairly common around this time but the legend says he was the son of a local prince. Presumably he was used to getting his own way and her rejection was not something he would take lightly. (There is a Caradoc mentioned as being one of the knights at King Arthur’s Round Table but it’s not clear this was the same man.)

When Henry VIII “dissolved” the monasteries in 1536 Basingwerk Abbey was closed. Parts of its structure though were taken to other buildings: the monks’ stalls to Chester, the roof went to two other churches, some of the lead was taken to repair Holt Castle, and one window went to the parish church of St Dyfnog, 18 miles inland, in a small village with a long name – Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch. (The church there was founded in the 6th century.) Why was the window special? It was called the Tree of Jesse window and showed the ancestors of Jesus starting with King David’s father, Jesse of Bethlehem.

A little way past the abbey ruins is the visitor centre. In the next pic, check out the line above where it says Opening Hours (so 4th line up on the English part). How about that?image

We didn’t go in but carried on up the hill. We were soon on to a more path-like route and came to these gates. There was no info at this point to say what they may have been gates to. I could only presume they were possibly for one of the mills situated along the valley although being on two separate paths was a bit of a mystery.image

Then it was past what had been an old flour mill.

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And then a really nice lake. If you look closely you can just about read the old wooden sign – Flour Mill Pool. Not too hard to guess how it got its name!

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There were remains of at least a couple of mills on our route which all had harnessed the power from the nearby stream generated by water wheels. Next along were the ruins of Meadow Mill which was used to produce copper sheets. image

Clearly entrepreneurs during The Industrial Revolution saw the potential of the water flowing down this hillside as is evidenced by the variety of businesses that were created here: flour, copper, wire, cotton and a battery factory which also used water to power their machinery. Sadly though, by the 1960s all had closed.

Then it was more paths and more climbing (=walking as opposed to throwing grappling hooks and pulling ourselves up) uphill. And so we arrived at our destination – The Well. Now this is not as you might be thinking a hole in the ground surrounded by a circular wall of stones with a little roof on over a horizontal bar with a winding handle with a rope and a bucket. No, this is serious architecture of massive proportions. Here’s a pic
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Just to the right you can see part of a yellow structure – this is one of the changing tents for those who wish to bathe in the water. (Nobody did while we were there.) There is also the usual gift shop and loads of story boards to read with info about the place inside the entrance building.

Then it was a case of re-tracing our steps back down the hill to get a cup of tea/coffee and/or ice cream. It was a Bank Holiday so we expected a big queue but it wasn’t too bad. We joined the queue and noticed ahead there seemed to be two destination points: one for the tea/coffee/cakes stuff and one for the ice cream stall. We checked what people were queuing for so we didn’t jump in front. Lady in front of me says she’s waiting for ice cream so I stood behind. Once the 3 others had been served I get to the ice cream counter and ask for my choice. “You need a ticket”, the lady says.

Me: “Where do I get that?”

Lady: “Over there at the other counter.”

Me: “Where those people are queuing?”

And of course it is. I wanted to ask why there’s no sign to say get a ticket first before you come to this counter but I don’t suppose there would have been a reason to satisfy me so I let it pass. I join the other queue for tea/cakes/coffee in order to get a ticket (and pay of course as there was no till at the ice cream counter) to go back and join the first queue for my ice-cream! Hey-ho.

I got my ice-cream and went outside to join the rest of the group. Despite the crowds, they had managed to get a table and had their order ticket for their hot drinks. I finished my ice-cream and they were still waiting. A waitress comes out and shouts, “35”. No-one answers. “2 coffees and 2 teas”, she says. One of our group puts up her hand. “Your ticket says 41”, waitress says but it’s probably ok. She starts to put the cups on the table when someone else comes rushing over – they’re waving their ticket with of course 35 on. She puts the cups back on the tray, apologises and off she goes. The hot drinks members of our group are soon spitting feathers. Eventually a tray arrives at our table and waitress apologises for the wait saying sometimes they just give random numbers out on the orders. Really?

We make our way down the last part of the hill back to the car park. The weather had held and we’d had an enjoyable walk and a bit of history. Our expedition leader said there was another thing, a bit further along the road near Mostyn, we could go and see but you’ll have to wait til next week for episode 2 of the Bank Holiday day out. 

A day in the life of a scullery maid

I’ve been volunteering at Ham House for a few weeks now so I thought I’d give you all a little insight to a typical day in the kitchen there.

I spend an hour or so in the morning, testing the recipe I’m doing that day so I’m prepared for any potential disasters. Depending on if I have spotted any, I will pack my bag of stuff to take and include things which may prevent anything going wrong, eg, a palate knife to save me fighting with a biscuit stuck on a tray in front of the visitors.

I walk to the river and take the pleasantest half hour commute I’ve ever known, alongside the Thames.

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When I get there, I’ve already worked out what I’ll need from the cafe kitchen so I head there, pick up my eggs and butter, leave my stuff in a locker in the main house then put on my apron and get a head start on my baking before the house opens to the public.

As the kitchen is at the end of the recommended walk around the house, I have 45 minutes or so to get my first batch done.
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During this 45 minutes, the other room guides and demonstrators will have followed their noses to the kitchen to try the biscuits/cakes and have a little chitchat.

Once the first visitors come downstairs to look around, I’m in it then. The questions are constant.

“What are in these biscuits?”
“Where did you find the recipe, they’re really good.”
“When would these have been eaten?”
“What would they have been eaten with?”
“How many servants would have been working in the kitchen?”
“Would they have eaten at this table too?”

And I love it. I totally get in the zone. I tell them the answers when I do know them and speculate on the possibilities when I don’t. Long discussions arise, about how much wine they drunk, whether they had a small digestive biscuit after dinner, whether they brewed tea in the dining room or whether it was brewed in the kitchen then taken up because surely it would have been cold by then and etc, etc.

And people say fabulous things before they leave the kitchen, the best being a variation on, “This really brings the history alive.” I love that I’ve taken part in a kind of ‘living history’ thing, where people become more interested or understand better the history of where they are because of something I have done or said.

The baking and the tasting and the chatting continues on for a few hours, when it starts to die down. As the remaining visitors walk around, I start packing up my stuff. Once the house is officially closed, I take everything back to the tea room except the butter and eggs, which I take to the cafe kitchen.

When I return from the cafe kitchen, everyone else has gone. There are only a few volunteers left upstairs, tidying things up for the evening. As I walk through the downstairs section and all the lights are off, I feel like an actual scullery maid from 1650 staying awake to keep the fire stoked overnight. I imagine what my life would have been like 400 years ago and what it was really like to work in a house like this.
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Some time after this, I stop daydreaming, change my smart clothes for comfy ones and walk home along the river. It is around this point that I realise what I brilliant day I have had and need to share it so Facebook something like, “What a brilliant day.” I’m so imaginative.

And that, my friends, is my typical day as a scullery maid in the Ham House kitchen. I would’ve done fabulously in Downton Abbey times. I wouldn’t be surprised if they called and asked me to be in the next series actually.