us and frank cat Fi | 26 Oct 2008
The clocks have gone back. Lighter mornings and darker evenings ahead.
Overnight many participants in the OMM were unaccounted for in the Cumbrian Mountains. About 2,500 runners were taking part in the two-day Original Mountain Marathon near Keswick in Cumbria before it was called off on Saturday. Many sheltered in farms and mines overnight. At noon today a handful were still missing and a search is underway.
It’s been howling a gale and raining for a couple of days. I got up and went for a few provisions at the nearest village shop and am glad I took the camera. The River Eden was in full flood, its banks burst. The sight from Lazonby Bridge was quite something. While I was there Sally went by in her car and stopped the single file traffic long enough to have a quick natter.
Further up the valley beyond Langwathby the place where the Eamont joins the Eden was a series of lakes and viewed from the high level road it was a lovely panorama stretching West to the Lake District fells.
us and frank cat Fi | 25 Oct 2008
“Oh Hector, Hector, Hector” – the shaking-headed, be-smirked greeting from the landlord at the pub last night. He had our Fantasy Football Team results (the one we’re doing in the pub league) Me (complete football-loathing novice) 3rd from top with humungous score…. Hector lifetime-footie-fan not far from the – errrm – bottom. Poor H. I feel a tad guilty now. We’ll see what the rest of the season brings – and thats another thing; until last night I didn’t even know WHEN a footie season ended. All in all though – a very pleasant evening at the pub, as it always is. Educational too. H asked for a potted history of my more distant family and who’s who, and I learnt even more about ‘the beautiful game’.
Today its blowing a hoolie and I’m not feeling too healthy – so a quiet day in.
us and frank cat Fi | 22 Oct 2008
Because we were going to see Gilbert O’Sullivan at the Sage in Gateshead (don’t laugh – he’s a brill singer/songwriter) we took the day as a holiday. Perfect bright weather, trees like gold and quite balmy. First stop Hexham and a look at the Abbey. Its a wonderful building. Centuries ago the builders used recycled (‘robbed-out’) Roman decorated stones and statuary in the walls and ceilings. The atmosphere there is warm and welcoming. Low autumn sun illuminated the interior and created a perfect scene to photograph. A volunteer there allowed us to go down into the crypt and take a look around. There is nothing distant or unfriendly about the Abbey – it was a highlight of our day. The stocks at the medieval gaol were tempting to try out….
Using Hector’s well-thumbed copy of the Good Pub Guide we found Battlesteads at Wark for a really nice lunch. Apparently the beer was pretty good too.
I have to admit here to a short stop at a TKMax store. No excuse except a desire to ‘shop’. We quickly went south to Gateshead though and parked up at the Sage and headed to the Quayside. Dusk was settling across the sky as we crossed the Millennium Bridge and into Piano & Pitcher for a light dinner before the gig. I took dozens of photos – can’t help it in that place. I love the area by the river at Quayside.
The Sage loomed invitingly and we joined a reasonably large crowd in Hall 1 for an evening in the charming, musically quirky and gentle company of Gilbert and his 11-strong band.
All in all a magic day and a special 12 hours.
us and frank cat Fi | 17 Oct 2008
us and frank cat Fi | 16 Oct 2008
us and frank cat Fi | 12 Oct 2008
After a couple of hair-raising weeks where all sorts was difficult, busy, hard work or unpleasant its been wonderful to have a quiet Saturday and Sunday. I got time to take a few shots, but didn’t venture further than the churchyard next door.
This is the best of the day, reworked into B&W and some lifting of black, reducing exposure etc.
AND…. on Friday evening we discovered at the pub that I was in 5th place in the DreamTeam and that He was WAY WAY below me in the ‘league’. Me? Gloat? Surely not!
us and frank cat Fi | 09 Oct 2008
us and frank cat Fi | 07 Oct 2008
us and frank cat Fi | 07 Oct 2008
A week ago we knew that the next two weeks or so weren’t going to be too easy. H was to be away more than usual, the conference (165 delegates, 2 days, overnight accomm, workshops etc etc) I am administering is in a week so at a manic stage of organisation, Mum is moving to a small flat on 18th October so there’s a lot to do there, my car was needing work, I was tired and then at the end of last week losing Toots which was a huge blow. To cap it all yesterday I realised that I had lost a credit card – last seen at the weekend, so when I couldn’t find it I reported it lost and blocked it. BUT, a short while later when paying for something on line – or trying to! – I realised that my debit card had been canceled instead in error (Barclays!) So, another phone call and the correct one was blocked (new one in the post), sadly though they couldn’t UNblock the debit card (new one in the post). So, all of a sudden no access to any funds! And H is away. And my car is at the mechanics so I am grounded as well.
Good things! I enjoyed my little spree in Carlisle and we went to a great blues gig on Saturday. The Nimmo Brothers. Then last night we had a couple of hours at the Spa and later played a combative and fun game of Scrabble. And, not least, Frank seems to be ok and not pining for his Mum.
us and frank cat Fi | 05 Oct 2008
A little bit of retail therapy…. New cerise wool-felt jacket (smart for the office), new Monsoon cardi (nice for over a dress of thin top) and new cozy sheepskin boots. Its been YEARS since I did such an extravagant thing as to have a spree. I only went to town to look at mobile phones; mine is some years old and clunky so I wanted to take a look. Decision? Nah! More confusion? Oh yes. I still love the sexiness of the iPhone but it is way more phone than I really need. Other options were a Samsung Tocco and a Blackberry Curve. I can see my procrastination lasting quite a while.
us and frank cat Fi | 03 Oct 2008
We’ve lost Tootsie. She was hit by a car earlier today. So sad. Her Tots are 6 months old today and she and Frank were SO very close, always together. Its heartbreaking. We’ll bury her in the garden later. Lots of tears….. She was gentle, quiet, dainty and a brilliant mother to her kittens. She was also only 18 months old herself and with us for only a year.
We had got used to the dual sound of the bells on their collars as they came upstairs in a morning to wait for us to feed them, and only last night the pair of them were in front of the fire cleaning one another and snuggled up. She would usually greet me when I came home from work and liked nothing better than to clamber up onto you to snooze. This is the last picture of them together. We’ll have to make sure Frank gets lots of attention – he’s going to feel it the most.
us and frank cat Fi | 01 Oct 2008
The gorgoues Piglet… ooops, gotta call her Clare now she’s in her 20′s!
us and frank cat Fi | 01 Oct 2008
There is snow falling on Mars, so say the NASA scientists. Very exciting. On the same day my colleague who lives up in the hills above Alston (a small VERY high town with a character all of its own) arrived reporting that there was snow by the roadside on the high road down from the hills at Alston and Hartside. I always said that Alston was on another planet!