Amazing sky

My blogging has been patchy recently a combination of being away from home traveling back and a bad cold which is thankfully getting better, hopefully I now I am back in the swing. The hardest part is finding new locations and taking better and better photos, I have just completed module four of my course I should be half way through on module six by now so need to get a move on. However I did get 10/10 for the last two which has  now put me under pressure to keep up the standard. The feed back I got back on exposure was excellent advice so I will now have to try and put it into practice. Today’s image is of the sky over the village yesterday evening, it was a fantastically clear but cold day with great views of the Pryenees almost from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean sea  a view you only get on a hand-full of days each year. We seem to have missed the snow which has now returned to Britain and most of France,  yesterday it was warm enough to sit and have a beer sat in the sun outside the bar in Marciac with our good friends Pete and Xander.

We are glad to be home, our house sitting experiment was at the best just ok not sure we would do it again. We have acquired another dog but thankfully he is only a daily visitor, he lives at the bottom of the hill and the dogs have met him before and they all like each other, whilst we were away he has discovered where we live and now turns up most days normally in time for our morning walk, he eventually goes home if I kick him out in the cold.  He looks apart from his nose just like Effy which is most confusing.

The best news this week is Sarah and Olly are engaged so best wishes to both of them.

On our way back home, hooray!

We are back in Manchester and about to leave for France, we are glad to be heading home. The weather has improved but with the long-range forecast predicting more snow. We have not done half of what we wanted to do but still managed to spend a small fortune roughly equivalent to the GDP of some of the smaller African Nations. I did however get to see FC united play in the FA Cup second round replay, they lost 4-0 but the score did not reflect their performance against a professional side 104 places above them in the league structure. They lost again today against a strong Halifax side but played great football and were unlucky to be beaten. Today’s image is of St Giles cathedral in Edinburgh showing  just how bad the the weather has been for them up there.

The wrong kind of weather forecast

We have just returned from a pleasant trip up to Edinburgh, despite the weather keeping Billy Bragg from getting to his concert in Glasgow after we had braved the train journey over there, we did manage to see my daughter Rachel on Sunday evening an Karen’s son Bryan for a few days which made the visit worthwhile. Britain does not seem to have gotten a grip on dealing with snow and ice like other countries somehow,  I have never seen a city so deserted, mid afternoon Monday had the same traffic levels as you would expect at 2.am. Snow had fallen all day onto already compacted snow an ice and everyone seemed to have stopped at home, by Tuesday all trains were cancelled and buses seemed to be struggling too, we did managed to get Bryan back home however. The Scottish transport Minister apologised and gave the excuse as ‘having been given the wrong kind of weather forecast’. Today’s image was taken in Greyfriars Kirkyard which is supposed to be one of the most haunted sites in the world, I  have not been there for years my last visit was with my young  daughters who wanted to see the statue of Greyfriars Bobby.  More tomorrow if I manage to get on the site as I still seem to having difficulties posting.

Linotype works, it certainly did

Known locally as the Lino, the Linotype works in Broadheath Altrincham which opened at the end of the 19th century produced machines that  revoltionized  newspaper printing. Invented by a German watchmaker in the United States the machine produced whole lines of type speeding up the composing process, before the invention no newspaper in the world had more than eight pages. The factory ceased production in the late 70’s or early 80’s and is now given over to small industrial units, the office block is grade II listed. It had it’s own housing estate now very sought after homes and If I remember rightly once a social club and allotment gardens which seem to be now gone.

I have been having trouble accessing the site to post photos  but it suddenly started working again tonight.

The snow that has brought the UK to a freezing halt again has finally reached Manchester, tonight’s football is off I just hope it lets up for next weeks replay with Brighton. We have bought rail tickets for our trip to Scotland then remembered all the presents we will have to carry, never mind I am sure we will manage.

Bridgewater, Brindley and Lord Foster

Affectionately known as the “Dukes Cut” the Bridgewater Canal was the first canal built in the UK that didn’t follow an original watercourse. It opened on 17th July 1761 to take the duke of Bridgewater’s coal to Manchester and a later route through Cheshire to the Staffordshire Potteries. It was built under the guidance of the engineer James Brindley.  The new apartment building was the first residential project in the North West by the architect Lord Foster. It stands amongst the remnants of Broadheath’s Industrial past waiting for the redevelopment of the area, which to date has not happened.

It will be all over by Christmas II

Another milestone in the story of FC united  of Manchester, they drew  today 1-1 with Brighton a team 95 places above them in the English league structure. We watched the live game on television at a cricket club in Flixton. The club were only allocated 845 tickets to the game, Brighton prefering to leave their stadium half empty.

It will be all over by Christmas

Sarah, Olly and I went tonight to watch FC United in a charity match against a local team whose ground was next to a group of houses which were completly destroyed in a recent gas explosion, the proceeds were to go to the families who had lived there. There was two television crews and several from local radio attracted by the recent publicity about the club just before their second round match against Brighton on Saturday.  Five years ago just after the club was founded sceptics said at the time ‘it will be all over by Christmas’,  how wrong they were. This fan being interviewed had come all the way from Norway to watch the game, he was telling the interviewer how he had skied from his home to the airport.

A depressing camping trip

Oh what a joy to be back in England, after a good trip back through France we arrived at the hotel in Kent which was surrounded by fast food joints and a cinema, Karen insisted we eat at ‘Frankie and Bennys’, she had eaten there before and liked the food. Both our meals were less than average and overcooked even after me asking them not to do so, we were told that health and safety rules required them to cook food well done, it’s a sad day when the enjoyment of food is dictated by corporate lawers. We then went to the cinema to watch the latest Harry Potter movie, I have never been a fan but Karen bless her is, I can only describe the film as a story of three grumpy teenagers on a depressing camping trip around The UK, its only saving grace was the stunning scenery including Malham cove in Yorkshire a place I have visited many times and have fond memories shared in far more congenial company than Harry and his chums. I could not understand why they just didn’t walk slowly down to Malham village down a few pints of black sheep bitter and all would have been well with the world, it always worked for me. PS. Karen thought it was boring too.

Todays Image is of Archie and Helen his nan, he is my great nephew and I met him for the 1st time today, he is a delightful little chap his great auntie Katy would have loved him.