Blogs from Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire April 11th 2019

This is a photoblog of our first voyage in Horatio Sprague from Stone on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Staffordshire to Tewkesbury on the River Avon in Gloucestershire. The boat was launched on February 21 2018 in Stone by the builder Steve Heywood as an empty steel shell with an engine. Being empty and unballasted, it was far less manoeuvrable than a completed boat, so the trip was quite "hairy". The first few days down the Trent and Mersey Canal and Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal were great, very cold but sunny. We stayed in a variety of B and B's as the boat was not habitable. However on reaching Stourport snow and ice set in, freezing the canal. Then the River Severn was closed due to high water levels from snow melt! We spent several ... read more

“Seaside.. Seasiders”! A lone voice boomed out across The Moat. The vocalist awaited further backing. There was a none. The old lady in front awoke from her slumber on the crash barrier and turned to express her disapproval. The next vocal volley met with a steely glare. The vocalist realised he was on a loser having had “the look” and went back to his pint. Harry’s Bar had been doing good trade all afternoon. The Mount Pleasant gang were on the long trip south to the sleepy confines of southwest Derbyshire. They were impressed by the product on offer in Harry’s Bar – the pitchside refreshment emporium – and the pleasant spring sunshine. The thick coats showed that they were unaccustomed to anything other than a stiff North Sea breeze blowing in. The day had started ... read more
National Memorial Arboretum
High Street, Burton on Trent
National Memorial Arboretum

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire February 18th 2019

It's been 6 months since we've had a holiday. Our usual September motorhome trip was cancelled last year as I was booked for a new right knee on August 31st which meant No travelling for at least 6 weeks. Summer had been very busy since we came back from the Swiss, Austrian trip in June. Hardly an empty day on the calendar with Bob's 75th and a couple of parties for that, a summer holiday visit from my grandchildren and then we fitted in a four night visit to Lisbon just before my op. Such a good decision and just what was needed especially with the wonderful summer weather we enjoyed. New knee now in place and working exceedingly well thank you. Not tried swimming yet and surgeon says no breast stroke which is going to ... read more
180715 Airshow

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Stoke-on-Trent September 18th 2018

1914 breakout of the First World War. The war to end all wars. The war that would be over by Christmas or so they said. The war that heralded fighting in the mud filled trenches and introduced modern warfare to the unsuspecting world. The war of tanks and of the Battle of the Somme. 1918 - 100 years since that war ended, The world was never going to be the same again. A generation of young men lost to the carnage of war . Did we learn our lessons? No we certainly did not. Confucious reminded us that "Learning without thought is labour lost, thought without learning is perilous". When I think of the Great War I feel that we have never learned a thing. We continue to make mistakes. As we stood in front of ... read more
words cannot express what seeing this meant
a sea of blood red poppies
inside the engine house

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Stafford June 18th 2018

Picture the scene. It is a warm sunny day. We are in Italy. Possibly around Venice or theVenetoand there are two rather studious gentlemen deep in conversation. Okyou have to use your imagination. They lean over a table pouring over plans. Andrea Palladio born in 1508 and died in 1580 a leading architect very active around the Republic of Venice. His houses are everywhere. If you have the cash Palladio is your man. Influenced by the roman and Greek architecture he was one of the most influential individuals in the history of architecture. Even in damp and rainy England there are examples of his style of architecture. He shakes his head in disbelief and can be heard to mutter the words " Wood ..................wood columns!!!!!! Never. Cheap skate builders. I am not putting my name to ... read more
The red dining room
Wedgewood style ceilings
Why wouldnt you want to read a book in this library

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Lichfield January 13th 2018

The Other Half was keen to lose the Christmas pounds. Weight and financially. As a former keen attendee of the gym world, she has now reached the lack of motivation after work phase of life. The answer? Her very own spinning bike. A find myself driving down the rain soaked A38, heading to an industrial estate on the outskirts of England' second city. The rain lashed down, as we cut across the motorway by East Midlands Airport. The current road "improvements" have turned the area into something akin to a muddy battlefield. We turned on to the A38 by the huge Toyota plant on the far side of derby. It remains to be seen whether the Japanese car giant sees this as a major centre for their European operation post Brexit. There was little of note ... read more
Lichfield Cathedral
Commander Robert Smith

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire June 5th 2017

A different trip this time. Not our usual France but Germany. Bob wants to visit some spectacular castles and steam railways and I’m agreed so we will be heading for Bavaria via Belgium leaving tomorrow at the crack of dawn. Seem to have been very busy this last month and it’s taken an effort to get Tandy ready for the off. We’ve only been out in Tandy once this year so far. We had 4 days in the Lake District in early May and were glad we had as Bob realised there was a problem with Kisbee scooter’s starting mechanism. All now sorted fortunately as it could have been tricky if we had gone away with a scooter which refused to start. The garden is looking quite magnificent as we’ve had some glorious sunny weather, as ... read more
170509 Lakes (115)

Life's a funny old thing isn't it? My thought of the day said something like " Feel good, be good and do good" All laudable things to do. Do I feel good? Yes I suppose I do. The first day of official Spring has arrived and with it better weather . It is hard not to feel good when the sun has started to shine, the clocks have changed to British Summer Time and the hedgerows are starting to colour up with that fresh Springlike lime green. The snowdrops have gone over and been replaced by the pale mauves of the crocus; they in turn have given over to nodding yellow daffodils and thick white buds on the magnolia. It is hard to feel anything but happy. The new Sally Sat Nag seems to be the ... read more
Pegasus the winged horse
The National Arboretum
Shot at dawn

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Cheadle February 13th 2017

Spring last week felt as if it were just round the corner. Just as you think it is safe to venture out then Winter comes back to bite you. As we progress further into February I remember mums saying "Never cast a clout until May is out". We wore liberty bodices until June. We barely changed into summer school uniform until the Whitsunday Holidays had passed us by. In some ways mum was right . It turned cold over the weekend and the predicted flurry of snow arrived coating the Pennines and the Peak District with the slushy, wet and mushy stuff . Luckily it was fairly shortlived as it turned to rain and washed itself away. Before it arrived we took Suzy for her new tyres. We almost made a mistake with them. Arriving at ... read more
We needed a £1 for the meter
Let there be light
victorian stained glass

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Burton-upon-Trent January 9th 2017

Christmas seems a lifetime away. Hwyl - a welsh goodbye to Christmas and helo a chroeswch - welcome to a new year . 2017 and the start of other great and small adventures. January feels listless and I am reminded of the Pilot song which went something like "January sick and tired you've been hanging on me". The corner looks empty now the Christmas tree has been taken down. The days are grey and dull and have that November feel of dampness upon them. . The Derbyshire sky lifeless. The sun obscured by the thick clouds . The wind holds a chill which touches with its icy fingers. Towards the end of the week snow is predicted. Any rain is likely to fall as snow or sleet. Winter perhaps is on the verge of arriving. There ... read more
The National Brewery Museum
The mash tun
Some kind of strange machine that sorts hops

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