Monday 31 October 2011

Halloween Is Coming...

Aaargh, what's this...
...a big beady eye coming to get you...

...belonging to Molly, our new kitten (6 months old) who came to stay with us yesterday. She's very friendly and affectionate and is right now sitting on my knee as I type.

This year's Halloween preparations are a bit better than last year's when I mislaid all the decorations (still can't find 'em even now), then found out the pumpkin I'd bought was rotten.

Just cutting out spooky shapes in black card is most effective. I particularly like the crows and there is a high possibility they will still be displayed somewhere after Halloween is over.

We also cut out some (non Halloween) coloured card shapes while we were at it...

These three birdies brighten up an otherwise plain and boring lightshade.

This is N's effort (aside from the cutting). I like the addition of googley eyes, jewels and sticky shapes, all carefully positioned.

The happy face on the pumpkin was drawn by A (I cut it out). He's quite friendly looking which is good - I'm not a fan of the gory and gruesome Halloween decorations which seem to be getting more and more prevalant as the years pass (or is it just as I get older?).

Lastly a flock of pigeons, just because I liked them flying in the sky.

Have a good Halloween. I hope the guisers have some good jokes and songs for you all.

Sunday 23 October 2011

Robin Hoods Bay

Last week we had a little holiday and spent four nights on the North Yorkshire coast staying in a wonderfully quirky cottage in the picturesque village of Robin Hoods Bay.

It was a dark and windy night when we reached the area, perfect weather for Dracula's arrival I thought as we passed through the outskirts of Whitby. We parked at the top of the village and carried our bags down through the little streets to our cottage (we preferred to do that than attempt to manoeuvre the car round the narrow streets). Even in the dark, we could tell we'd picked a lovely place to visit.

The next morning...

...we awoke to this view from our bedroom window, Blue skies, golden sunshine and such pretty cottages piled on top of one another up the steep cliffs. I couldn't wait to get out and explore the little streets and paths of the village, and the nearby beach and the cliffs. Of course I took my camera with me...

Just one of the 200 or so cottages in the village, all picture perfect. I love the contrast of the orange roof tiles, the white walls and the deep blue sky.

The narrow paths are a delight to wander, at every corner there is always something to see.

Our cottage was up at the top of the road on the right here. It was a perfect holiday cottage - well equipped, clean, very comfortable and with a curious layout - great for a week or so but which would probably drive you mad if you lived there permanently. Each room was on a different level and each level was connected by a spiral staircase. Ground level at the back of the cottage was equivalent to third level at the front.

There were several pleasant shops in the village for browsing...


N's favourite shop was the dinosaur museum, on his second visit he took his toy dinosaurs along to show "the man".

A's favourite shop was the one with this fairy display. Much time was spent gazing at the fairies in the window as the shop opened late and closed early so it wasn't till the final day that she was able to purchase one of her very own.

Although generally sunny it was also cold. I finished my car crochet project early so hubby could have a scarf to help keep him warm. It's just repeated rows of UK dc and is made from a £1 bargain ball of King Cole Riot DK, colourway Dude.

I enjoyed spending lots of time on the beach looking for fossils (and taking photos).

Look at those fantastic clouds.

It was nice to walk out along the beach and return via the cliff path.

Hawthorn tunnel.

I was impressed by the abundance of berries hereabouts, and I also saw lots of sloe berries which aren't very common round our way.

Yup, hogweed here too, silhoutted against the sea.

A smashing view from the cliff path of Robin Hoods Bay lit by the late afternoon sun.

While in the area we spent one day in Whitby.

Unfortunately, we picked one of the days the abbey was closed, but it was possible to get some nice views of it from over the wall.

A view of Whitby from near the abbey.

Whitby cows, with a ship on the North Sea behind.

Back to Robin Hoods Bay... I arranged a couple of mosaics with some of my pictures - there were just so many opportunities to take photos of lovely things...

The pointed arch seen here in one of the cottage gardens is made from a whale's jaw bone.

Here I like the sun or flower of pebbles that someone has made on the step.

This little fellow is to be found at the old coast guard station in the village, well worth a visit and entry is free too.

The very impressive sea wall which protects the village. More than 200 houses have fallen into the sea over the last 200 years prior to this wall being built in the 1970's.

One afternoon we headed out along the cliff path to the north of the village.

More blue skies, and some flowering hogweed, it could almost still be summer.

Beautiful views looking south across the bay.

Looks nice inland too.

Then later on...
A last walk down the hill from the cottage, heading for the beach...

A last shot at rock pooling for A...

A last look for fossils for me...

And a last photograph from the beach.

I would dearly have liked to have found a fossil. I never did find one on the beach, apparently it's the wrong time of year and it's better after the winter storms have loosened some new material...

...I did, however, find this one in the old post office shop for £1. It is from the Robin Hoods Bay beach, so that'll do for me.

Dramatic clouds seen from near the car park on the morning we left for home.

As I'd already finished the scarf, I worked on the blanket while it was hubby's turn to drive. I was going to take a photo of my car crochet but thought it might be more interesting to show the border crossing instead...

...blink and you've missed it!

On the whole, an excellent trip (aside from some dodgy roundabout navigation north of Newcastle on the way down (mine) and a huge tantrum on the beach on the first morning (A's). We'd like to go back for longer, perhaps when the weather's warmer too, though I'd imagine it's the kind of place to get pretty busy on a good day.

Friday 14 October 2011

October Images

"... I saw the wild geese flee / A lang, lang skein o' beatin wings wi their heids towards the sea / And aye their cryin voices trailed ahint them on the air..."

...from The Wild Geese which is a poem by Violet Jacob. It has been adapted into a folk song which you can listen to here. I'm rather prone to suddenly bursting out into this song whenever I see wild geese overhead, though I do make sure I'm alone first! I'm originally from Angus (the part of Scotland referred to in the poem) so the song does have special meaning to me, and does make me feel a little homesick (awww!)

Last Sunday A, N & I visited the local nature reserve, they took their binoculars and I took my camera.

Teasel. I considered trying to pick a stem to talk home with me, but they are a little prickly, so didn't.

Bull rushes (or dog jobbies on a stick as A called them - sorry, but she's at That Age where poos and pees are fascinating and hilarious, I believe it's just a stage...)

Beautifully coloured Autumn leaves stand out against the murky background.

The path through the woods to the bird hides.

We park our vehicles outside the hide while we pop in to see what we can see.

I liked this view of a distant tree ridge across the loch. There were some ducks in the loch (not shown) and that was all we saw. One of the bird hides has been burnt down since our last visit which is a shame.

Nice hairband! I only sold one of my hairbands so A got to keep this one which was her favourite one with a flower. We're waiting for N (a speck in the middle distance). Sometimes getting places can take such a long time.

Back across the river.

Then a quick visit to the park...
A & N atop the climbing wall (they took the easy way up)

All the little different coloured circles here are bottle tops which have been stuffed into the bolt holes, I rather like the effect.

Then later in the week, N and I went for a walk along a section of the cyclepath. My camera batteries were almost flat but I managed to get a few misty photos.

It's N's first visit to the Roman soldier sculpture.

I almost managed to get a whole row of birds on posts, but was just a little too slow.

A mushroom. Like berries, mushrroms seem very scarce round here this year.

Rain droplets adorn a knapweed flower.

Hogweed (of course!)

And back home...
... a little peek at the blanket. I swithered over whether to make it 8x10 or 9x9 (I had just enough yarn for either). I've made my descision and am at the border stage, yay! I'm having a go at a granny border, it'll be done soon (the border, that is. The ends will take a lot longer...)

  • For a more impressive skyline and gaggle of wild geese, see this post at Dancing Beastie.
  • For a more impressive collection of wild mushrooms and toadstools see this post at Rambings of a Roachling.
  • For a more impressive Autumn (or Fall) display of colour see this post at Mr Micawber's Recipe For Happiness.

Happy Blog Hopping...


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