A Raft of Apples

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Knock Knock

Lions are popular holders of door knockers - you could give this one a nice hefty knock and it would echo in the hall beyond.
 at Sizergh Castle.
A smaller knocker with a nautical theme might give a more tip tap noise, or you could choose the bell.  Why an anchor?
 It is on the door of the Ship Inn
I imagine Door Kraft will have a variety of door knockers to choose from behind the green door.

Knock Knock
Who's There
Boo who?
Don't cry. Its only a knock knock joke. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday,  a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at K here

Tuesday, 13 September 2016


From a distance this is a typical canal view complete with a couple of boats and a bridge but lets stroll nearer
to Bridge Number 208 on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, a modern building reflected beyond, but take a different perspective from the other side
as it would have appeared in the 18th Century, although there would have been no trees and the house would not be falling into dereliction.  Both structures were built in 1774 but whereas Junction Bridge is a historically listed and protected, surprisingly Junction House is not.  In its time it has been a warehouse and home to millwrights and engineers and in the 19th Century one half was lodgings for old boatmen and the other half housed a canal toll office.
The bridge is structurally sound but in the 1970s rather than sympathetically restoring the sets they just slapped concrete on it. 
This stretch of water is the reason it gets the name Junction.  I managed to squeeze into a bit of banking to get the bridge into the photograph but the more pristine view without all the metal
would be this.  What at the time was the junction of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal with the Bradford Canal and at the height of the Industrial Revolution mills would have been spinning wool and this little corner would have been throbbing with the activity of industry and transport.  Problems with the water supply to the Bradford Canal closed it in 1867 but despite a stretch reopening it proved unprofitable and closed for good in 1922.  All that is left today is this 30 metres (98ft).  On the plus side there are 127 miles (204K) of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal to enjoy.  Even better with an unintended piece of synchronicity I'm spending a few days by the side of it this week.
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at J here

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Ice Cream

I was sitting in Hartley's Beach Cafe at St Bees and looked up at the ice cream on the wall,  noticed the numbers and puzzled what they indicated, was it flavours or sizes, and then belatedly realised it was actually the time.  I wonder how long this ice cream clock has been telling time?  The Hartley's Ice Cream they sell is made to the same recipe as when the founder started out locally in the 1930s selling ice cream from a motorcycle and sidecar and although the number of flavours sold today has increased vanilla still remains the best seller.

I was idly wondering how I could pad out one photograph to make an ABC post about ice cream and then unexpectedly last weekend I was taken to an ice cream farm, Yay, result.  So I take you from a beach cafe on the Cumbrian coast
south to the Cheshire countryside and to something on a far bigger scale, the Cheshire Ice Cream Farm at Tatttenhall.  This also started out as a family business and sold ice cream from the farm shop, fast forward 30 years and next to the unit making lots of ice cream for the retail trade is a large 'Adventure Park'.  Spot half a strawberry to the left?
This is Strawberry Falls part of the ice cream themed adventure golf course which winds around it (I snatched a photo while trying to negotiate the obstacles to pot golf balls). 
Being a sunny bank holiday weekend the Adventure Park was crammed. Apart from adventure golf, a visit to the animals in Fudge Farm the other objective of our visit was the giant Ice Cream Parlour, and yes the long queue meant I had lots of time to make up my mind to what flavour to choose. Unfortunately the ice cream tree
was decorative rather than edible although on a practical note
it does have a temperature gauge.  I believe when the temperature indicator drops from "I'm Melting" to "Snow Time" at the bottom there is a snow explosion from the top accompanied by music. It is timed for every half hour.  Is someone in this picture wondering how to make it happen sooner?

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at I here. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Hedgerow Honeysuckle

The hedgerows are full of tumbling honeysuckle at the moment and their berries are

 bright dots of red against the lush green.  The birds will eventually enjoy these which are more seed than flesh but the humans
will be more drawn to their hedgerow companion, the blackberry.  There was probably enough for a small pie in the hedgerow
and I was reliably informed by my blackberry taster that these were quite sweet although some elsewhere were not.  Perhaps we will wait for the first frost to "drive the devil out" and they will all become sweet perfection.
The species of honeysuckle growing in gardens tends to be showier in colour but nature has other colours to show at this time of year
with the heather in bloom on heathland and hills.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at H here

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Guinea Fowl

I love Guinea Fowl's speckled feathers and always think they look quite exotic, as you would expect for a species that originated in Africa. Of course these are a domesticated variety, which can come in a large range of colours (approximately 21) but all I can guess about these two are they are what is called 'fully pearled', that is white dots all over. The owner of the Guinea Fowl was obviously a hen lover as there were various other species clucking around but I only had eyes for these two.
When I returned on the path past the house this one was perched on the window sill -  master, or mistress, of all it surveyed.  Maybe it gets treats from the whoever comes out of the door otherwise they are happy with grass and insects. Baby Guinea Fowl are called keets, and are a cute stripy headed bundle of feathers alas there were none here for me to drool over so for fluffy cuteness I will have to
turn to the goslings in my local park, unconcerned about my proximity as they
enjoyed their time lazing on the grass although
mother goose was rather more keen on them getting on with their meal.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at G here

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Flowers in Season

Taking a stroll through a summer garden with a seat placed to enjoy the flowers and the day.
Sizergh Castle
But the flowers don't only live in gardens,  here they tumble down steps
the little daisies flowering in profusion. Those who know tell me their name is actually Erigeron karvinskianus, maybe daisy is easier to say.
Flowering Currant
 A bee immerses itself in these April flowers and almost becomes part of them, just the start of its busy year.
This was the last butterfly I saw last year, a small tortoiseshell making the most of the late flowers in October.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at F here

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


The towpath of the Leeds Liverpool Canal is a popular place for getting exercise, I was only walking but this twosome passed me more energetically on their morning run . You may be thinking, as I did, that the building they are running past must have been a rather grand lock keepers cottage, especially as a local description calls it being built in the Edwardian neo Baroque style.
As I step on to the Strangford Swing Bridge a more industrial view looms into view to the left
with some sturdy stone gate posts at the entrance.   At this moment the gates started to glide open
to let a Yorkshire Water van exit the site.  Too good an opportunity to miss I clicked the view inside before the gates closed.  So no lock keepers cottage but a cluster of early 20th century buildings.  This is Esholt Sewage Works which in past times must have been the only profit making sewage works in the country, living up to the Yorkshire expression, "where there's muck there's brass", ie money.  The opportunity was the large amount of rich wool grease (lanolin) waste produced by the wool industry in nearby Bradford.  In Esholt it was turned into lubricants for train axles and indeed was used on the national rail system until just after the second world war.  Of course that was not the only thing that happened here, it did not get called the Esholt Pong for nothing. The human organic matter was reprocessed into cakes and used as fertiliser.  All this was transported around the site, at its peak, by 22 miles of rail track and 11 locomotives which did not run on coal but on the waste product. The ultimate recycling site way before its time
  People even came to take a tour around the site behind one of the little engines. Standing room only!
Perhaps they came over this now disused railway bridge which linked the massive Esholt site.  Esholt Sewage Works closed in 1977 but the photographer Ian Beesley worked there in the latter years before his work mates, who he took photographs of, encouraged him to go to art college. Some of  those photographs can be seen here

In the present day a recent multi million pound bio energy scheme and waste water treatment plant doesn't make money but saves it and boasts of being energy neutral in Esholt.   

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at E here