Sunday 9 September 2012
I’d like to say I gave myself a ‘summer break’ from the old blogging thing, but truth is I’ve been either too busy, too lazy or too completely apathetic to get around to it. However, today I’m feeling a little more enthusiastic so here goes (warning: could be a photo-heavy post!).
The girls came home with their respective partners shortly after my last blog entry and we went on the West Somerset Railway to Blue Anchor, then on from there in a coach to Chapel Cleeve Manor for the ghost tour. Although the girls have been on the train before they were obviously too young to remember and spent most of the previous journey asking whether we were there yet. This time they found it much more exciting; we trailed up and down the train comparing the various carriages, most of which are different, until we came to what Steph called ‘the Harry Potter section’. I think this carriage would have originally been a first-class car and had compartments with doors. The seats were extremely squishy but we had it to ourselves and their excitement was contagious so it felt like a proper adventure.
This is Stephanie and her partner Carl in the first choice of seats before we decided to move around the train.
And this is Alex and Mike who were sitting opposite Steph and Carl – they took photos of each other!
Blue Anchor station.
Alex got told off for sitting here “in case a train came along”. “Without me noticing?” she asked. “Well, they do move quite quickly” the Station Master said, despite all evidence to the contrary and the fact that the line was long, straight and you could see for about half a mile in either direction!
At Blue Anchor we waited until greeted by our guide in a long, black sweeping Victorian coat which he wore with flair despite the fact that it was really warm, who escorted us to our coach. There were six of us and four other people on the tour and we were taken to the house. As ghost tours go it wasn’t very scary – in fact it was quite hammy – but the little bit of the house we saw was interesting.
This is the ‘ghost’ of a bride who drowned herself in the pond after being told her fiance was killed in the war. I wonder if the actress realised that whilst she was dancing around in front of the large window, her dress was almost transparent?
The following day we were going to go to Hestercombe House to look around the gardens, but the rain was pretty heavy so we decided somewhere indoors might be better. This is Tyntesfield House near Bristol, a National Trust property.
By early afternoon the rain had stopped so we were able to look around the gardens.
The bees were out in force.
Once the girls had returned to Cheltenham life got fairly boring! I’ve made several things – runner bean chutney from a recipe on the internet, mozzarella cheese (which actually tasted like mozzarella cheese, much to my surprise), and a large selection of birthday cards.
Gordon and I were invited to view a canal a friend had worked out during the early part of the year so we went to Chepstow, walked the canal, had some lunch then came home. On the way along the canal bank I found some excellent fossils that had obviously been turfed up when they were clearing sludge from the waterways. My friend told me one is called a devil’s toenail and the other is a small ammonite on top of a piece of a larger one. I’ll photograph them soon to show you.
Part of a series of locks still waiting to be cleared.
My shadow on the opposite wall of a lock. Looks harmless, but there was a drop of about twenty feet directly in front of me.
On Friday this week I went with friends to Clevedon to see the Waverley come in at the pier. Even though I live fairly close I don’t think I’ve ever been to Clevedon and I’m told the Waverley is the only sea-going paddle-steamer left in the world.
It was quite impressive tying up alongside the pier at high tide.
Once the passengers were on board it set off and I was surprised how quickly it was going.
We walked along the seafront, had lunch and were still there to see the Waverley return in the afternoon from Wales.
This week Gordon and Daniel have been busy haymaking – just in time judging from the weather conditions outside now. We’ve had a week of fairly dry weather and now the rain’s returned. Luckily most of it is safely stacked in the barn.