Thursday, 19 November 2009
Look, my village has a station where the man pops out of his little house to open the barriers when a train is coming.
The village I live in is called Upper Poppleton. Nether Poppleton is a little further down the road. The station is just labelled Poppleton, probably so that neither village feels left out.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
The FTR is a bendybus, with spacious seats, plenty of standing room, and a TV screen which displays messages such as "For the comfort and safety of FTR passengers, please do not eat, drink or smoke in the FTR." This one kept coming up a lot last night, which was irritating, because I had a vegetable samosa and bottle of diet coke in my handbag, and was trying to suruptitiously pic-nic. Not straightforward. The FTR is the only bus in York to have a conductor, who comes to take your fare once you've sat down. Every time he got up, I had to quickly freeze my jaw in whatever chewing position it happened to be. Which is why I hadn't finished before the end of the journey.
I justified my samosa-eating recklessness by telling myself that despite the FTR TV warnings, my samosa didn't actually pose a safety threat or inconvenience to any of the other passengers. This was before a pea fell out though, and rolled right into the middle of the sparkling purple FTR floor. I must have jolted in horror because the pea was closely followed by a potato cube and several other peas. Fortunately my stop was coming up, and I was able to exit quite speedily.
For some rather better pictures of the FTR than mine, do check out this gallery)
Monday, 16 November 2009
Friday, 13 February 2009
I'm lucky to live near a good parade of local shops, just a few minutes walk from my house. Last night they were a real God send. It was nearly 5pm, snowing thick and fast, and I suddenly remembered I needed to make a tray bake for my youngest son to take to school the next day. I had a recipe handy for carrot and orange cake, but no carrots and no suitable cake tin! So I put on my boots and coat, and went to get what I needed at the shops.
The photos are of Pextons on Bishopthorpe Road, a hardware store selling all sorts of useful things for the home - including a cake tin in just the size I needed for my recipe.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
I make sure that I use both the bag and box shown above, but also do more besides, such as avoiding excessive packaging in the first place, using my own bags and shopping trolley for my shopping, shopping locally, and on one occasion, I even left my excess packaging behind in the supermarket.
The changes I made were as a result of following my friend Karen's Rubbish Diet Plan - which is about slimming the bin, not the waistline! There is a hideous problem in the UK (as in other places) with too much rubbish being sent to landfil, and ensuing environmental problems.
Karen, who blogs as almost Mrs Average, started her blog The Rubbish Diet at the beginning of last year after a new year resolution to create less waste, and a decision to participate in the local council's "zero waste" week - where the aim was to generate NO RUBBISH as a household for a whole week. In fact the only thing she ended up sending to landfil that week was just one sticking plaster!
Anyway, back to the exciting news as advertised in the title of this post. Karen's blog The Rubbish Diet has just been shortlisted in this year's Guardian Media Awards! The award is an Innovation Award and you can see it for yourself on the Guardian's website here. Scroll down right to the bottom, you'll find it under the heading "Independent Media."
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
I got to London and back with no problems yesterday, and one highlight of the day was that I saw Feargal Sharkey somewhere in the vicinity of Goodge Street. My friend Karen, who is very good at celebrity spotting, pointed him out to me. So ever since, I have been singing - mainly the first song in this list, which is very catchy, but also the second two which bring back my early teenage years:
A Good Heart Teenage Kicks My Perfect Cousin
(Just so it's clear, Feargal Sharkey has nothing whatsoever to do with the Knavesmire, it's just that I'm thinking about seeing him yesterday while putting this photo up!!)
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Snow, rain, floods and all kinds of awful weather conditions are forecast so this photo of a Japanese bullet train in the National Railway Museum here in York is on my blog for good luck!
Not that I know how one of these would fare in British winter weather conditions. Our own trains tend not to do that well either, of course, and I will be amazed if I get to York Station tomorrow and see lots of "on time" trains on the board. I am kind of expecting lots of cancellations. How I hope I'll be pleasantly surprised!
(There is of course also the possibility that I might get there and not be able to get back. That would be interesting.)
Monday, 9 February 2009
Sunday, 8 February 2009
LJ had a go, but don't worry, I'm not letting him join up. He'd hate the haircut, anyway :-D
Saturday, 7 February 2009
This was the bath house in the military fortress of York rather than in the civilan side of town, so there are no decorative mosaics and some tiles bear the insignia of the 9th legion who founded York in AD71. (OMG! This place was once full of naked 9th legion Roman soldiers sitting in the steam!)
I liked this model of the fortress and stood here for a while working out where everything was. That's the main gate at the front which was in St Helen's Square, and the tower on the front left must be the multangular tower. I think the square building in the middle is about where the Minster is, and I think the bath house must be that barely visible building on the front right, just peeping out from behind the wall.
LJ enjoyed trying out the replica armour, shields and helmets in the museum. He found out that a centurion's helmet is very heavy!
Friday, 6 February 2009
Thursday, 5 February 2009
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
I now know what it is like to have the beginnings of frost bite in my nose end. Why don't they make hats for noses? You can get hats, gloves, ear muffs, even thermal underwear to insulate your nethers, but noses are just left exposed to the elements. Anyone good at knitting? There is clearly a gap in the market.
Apart from the bitter cold, being on the York bus was really very good. There was even a commentary to listen to, through some provided earphones. I found it a bit irritating at first, because the commentator was talking to me as if I was an imbecile, but then I realised I had tuned into the little kids' channel. I hadn't realised there were channels. After playing around with the dial for a bit, and amusing myself by listening to various different languages, I settled into the English one (for grown ups this time), and began to enjoy it.
After about fifteen minutes though I'd had enough of being in the open top, and moved downstairs for the remainder of the journey. Maybe I'm just getting nesh* in my old age.
The view here is of the River Ouse, and the bus is going over Lendal Bridge onto Museum Street. The tower is Lendal Tower, built in the 1300s, originally defensive and also a toll point along the river. An iron chain was once stretched from this tower to Barker Tower on the opposite bank, to stop river traffic. A little ferry used to operate just here from at least the 1400s, to get people from one side of the river to another. But the ferryman was put out of business in 1863 when this bridge was built.
*Nesh was a favourite word of my grandfather, who hailed originally from Sheffield. Being described as nesh means you're a wimp - in the sense of overly sensitive to the cold!
Monday, 2 February 2009
The idea is that York residents get to go and visit all of York's major attractions for free - or at a nominal charge. The problem was that everything was PACKED and it was FREEZING in the queues! The kids wanted to visit "Haunted" - a haunted house which is one of York's newer attractions, but the queue was humongous and barely moving. We tried for the Jorvik Viking Centre, which was only doing the residents' festival from 4pm, but again, mega queues in the cold.
There were quite a few interesting things going on in Parliament Street, so we stood and watched this chap (above) fire juggling for a bit while we tried to decide what to do. You probably won't believe what we ended up doing. I hardly can believe it myself. Photo tomorrow. Clue: it didn't make things any warmer!
PS. This chap set his hair on fire by mistake at one point, but just patted it out and didn't seem unduly bothered by the incident.
Sunday, 1 February 2009
York is celebrated for its passageways, and being an ancient city, it is full of them, some very old and winding, leading between the main streets of the town and providing handy short cuts for those in the know.
In York these passageways have a name all of their own: snickelways, a word coined by the author of the book picured above, bringing together the words snicket, ginnel and alleyway. It caught on very rapidly, and is now a word in current wide use here, whether people are familiar with the book or not!
There are so many snickelways in York, some of them spooky, some plain, some ancient, some modern, that I couldn't decide which one to photograph. In the end disorganisation made my choice as I only remembered to do it at the last minute when I was already waiting for my bus to go home. So the pictured snickelway below is the one next to my bus stop! I've never been down it so I don't know where it goes, but I do like its name: Black Horse Passage.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in the City Daily Photo Blogs Theme Day.
Saturday, 31 January 2009
And then there's that whole "being a tourist in your own town" sort of thing to mentally deal with, which is a sore point for me because I regret my separation from this metropolis - and that I haven't been around to witness and live through its recent developments.
I must have got over it though by the time I exited the station, as I was greeted by a group of passing workmen with: "Now then, Smiler!" Which made me laugh. I had a friend at school who used to say that exact same greeting to people who were smiling. Wonder if it's a Leeds thing? I've never heard it anywhere else :-D
Two great Leeds blogs I've been enjoying recently are:
Leeds Daily Photo by Paul and
Leeds Grub by Katie.
Friday, 30 January 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
I buy a weekly ticket for the ordinary bus service, which costs £15 and with it I can travel anywhere on any bus within York. I intend to do some exploring some time soon.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Monday, 26 January 2009
Here it is from the other side. You can see the difference in brick type more clearly here, that upper part with the "windows" being the later one. The red stripe in the Roman built section looks decorative but was apparently to cement the structure together
There are lots of Roman tombs all over this part of the Museum gardens. They have been brought here from other sites around York. Here, Little J is lamenting the fact that there is rubbish and graffiti around them. "That is someone's tomb, so why do people put rubbish in it?" he asked me.
Sunday, 25 January 2009
Here is the same location, St Helen's Square, without Little J pogo-ing into the photo. The road you can see between the blue and black shop fronts there is Stonegate, and follows the line of the original main road into the fortress established by Roman soldiers who built the first city of York, all those centuries ago (there was nothing here before the Romans' arrival, at this strategic meeting point of two rivers, the Foss and the Ouse).
Nothing left of the Romans' gate here now, but five minutes away in the Museum Gardens stands a multangular tower that was part of the fortress's defences.
Ruby: Would you like to go and see it?
Little J: Oh, all right then! But can we go home, soon?
Ruby: Look, I'll do you a deal. If we can go see the ruins, we'll watch Mr Yellow juggling for a bit first.
Little J: Done!
Saturday, 24 January 2009
If, on the other hand you get something like platform 5 - like I did on Wednesday, you have to leg it up these steps, and down the the ones at the other side before you can look for your train.
I love this clock at the top of the first steps going up, as I can look at it and work out how many minutes I've got. In this picture though, unusually for me, I had plenty of time, as my train to London didn't leave till 10.29. But that was because Ruby Senior, who is Organised, dropped me off at the station ;-)
NB The rose in the metalwork of the clock is the white rose of Yorkshire :-)
Friday, 23 January 2009
Ruby Senior was doubtful about my choice of footwear for London. The boots have a heel, and I don't do heels, as a rule. She was also alarmed by the fact that I was still trying to zip the boots up when she took me to the station in the car. I had to push the passenger seat back to the max, rest my feet on the front dashboard, then give each zip an almighty prolonged tug to get
Thursday, 22 January 2009
When I lived away, and used to come up and stay here in my mother's house, I used to sit and look at this view and dream of coming back to live here. It is so very Northern, and feels like home for me. Although I can see why it wouldn't appeal to some (I also like mills, and cooling towers :-D).
And having just waxed lyrical about the North, I am now off down South for the day. London is calling, and I have a ticket to ride (how many more song titles can I get in?), leaving shortly and back late this evening. I've just joined a professional association that has about 7 meetings a year there, and today will be the first of those for 2009. I lived and worked in London for about 3 years - it'll be good to be back for a visit.
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
A leaflet came through the door this week about the disused Terry's factory, seeking our opinions as nearby residents on the amendments to the council's brief for would-be developers.
Terry's is currently owned by the developer Grantside, who bought the factory in 2006 for £26 million. They put in a proposal to turn the place into loads of homes, a luxury hotel, offices and workshops, but the plan was thrown out by the council's planning department.
So the amended brief from the council says the developers may submit proposals for: a high quality hotel, conference and leisure facilities, shops, restaurants, and specifies that the development must benefit local people and have a "communal" feel.
I've been trying to get my head round it for a day or two now. It isn't stated on the information given to me why the last proposal was chucked out, and how the amendments will prevent that happening again - which surely, it the key piece of required information here. I think, if I remember rightly from what I read in the paper at the time, the main reason was the traffic congestion that it would supposedly cause in the area. I can only assume this must have been because there were too many homes planned as part of the last proposal (?). Why am I having to assume things? It would be nice if it was all made a bit clearer After all, this article in the Press yesterday tells us:
"It's one of the biggest and most crucial developments in York's recent history - and now the people of the city are getting their chance to reshape its future!"
Communicate to us clearly about it, then!
After residents have given their opinions, which we have until Feb 22 to do, the brief will be revised, and presented to the council's planning committee in March or April, according to the article in yesterday's Press. Then I suppose Grantside will have a look at it and submit another proposal. If they can still afford it, and if they aren't too p*ssed off by now.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Halifax is about 35 miles to the south west of York, on the edge of the Pennines, in my home county of West Yorkshire. It was good to see some hills - the area immediately around York, known as the Vale of York is completely flat. It was even better to the see the sun.
On the way there and back, we passed signs to Brighouse and Rastrick, famous for the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band which scored a pretty massive hit in the late 70s with the Floral Dance.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Knave - a rogue, a rascal - from the old English, cnafa
Mire - an area of wet, swampy ground; bog; marsh - from the Old Norse, myrr
The Knavesmire is a large area of undeveloped ground in York known as a stray. It is the haunt of dog walkers these days, and is low lying, flooding easily when it rains.
The York Races take place on the Knavesmire, with the racing track (not pictured) occupying a large part of it. Between 1371 and 1801 public executions took place here too, as I mentioned the other day. In fact horse racing in York started as a side show event for the crowds who came to town to watch the knaves being hanged. It didn't surprise me when I found that out. There is still a motley crew coming to town for the races these days too, with restaurants and pubs in the city centre hiring extra bouncers for the occasion.
But the Knavesmire has a strong character all of its own, which for me overrides the unpleasant aspects of its history. It is very atmospheric, especially in the early morning mist, and a great place for a walk - preferably with wellies.
Friday, 16 January 2009
Yes, Archbishop John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, lives in Bishopthorpe. We go past his palace every morning, and as we do, it has become a bit of a tradition to call out a greeting and enquire how he is getting on with his daily routine (please take note, I am with my young son when I do this).