Pentax Optio 50's PicturesPages
We travelled to see this sculpture last year, only to find that it wasn't finished. So we had a few hours to kill whilst our daughter was in rehearsals for a play. Luckily the sculpture is just outside in St Helens where the Sutton Manor Colliery used to be, the site apparently on a slag heap. Of course looking out onto the M62 it's obviously vying for a place in art history along side the Angel of the North. Personally I prefer the Angel of the North, this -whilst impressive- is just a white elongated head. Despite this there were plenty of visitors to the site, so it's not doing too bad for itself.
Needless to day the picture was taken looking up at the sculpture making it look very deformed. I was trying to get the head less elongated but by accident got the chin far too big to look normal.
What would have bee nice if there was more time would have been to look out for remnants of the pit which was supposed to be the largest in Lancashire, but it was back on the road to get Tea and pick up our daughter.
Hooray, I got out of the house. This must be my birthday or my Anniversary... but no. Finally we left the house to see the Singing Ringing Tree. After a few mishaps I thought that the trip would be aborted but no. Despite adverse situations we finally started out around 2pm. Now to me this appears too late since it starts getting a little dark around 4ish. Despite my reservations the dark was the lest of my worries. The lack of wind and the low cloud/fog was the issue.
My Wife told me that you could see the Singing Ringing Tree from the car park. With this mist/cloud (and I say cloud because as we moved up it all got brighter and it was thick) you could not. I started to doubt whether she had actually been anywhere near when -after a minute or two of walking- she didn't know where it was either, despite the fact that it's a pretty prescribed route from the car park to the tree.
When we got up their finally it was silent other than a quite eerie sound. I thought initially that it was the Singing Ringing Tree until it was pointed out that it sounded like people in which case it must have been Burnley beating West Ham 2-1. After a few seconds of listening it was clear that either the Singing Ringing Tree had learned football chants or it was Turf Moor.
The great thing about the Singing Ringing Tree is that when the wind is blowing you get some haunting sounds from the sculpture. Today all we heard was Turf Moor. Air was still so really this looked like a load of scaffold. The other great thing about the Singing Ringing Tree is that you have a great view from it. Today the cloud/mist was so thick you could not see 30ft in front of you. Oh joy. You would think that we would abort the mission but no... we headed off to find another Panopticon with even less luck. So why are they called a Panopticon? I have no idea.
For those or you who wish to get really close to your feathered (well not really) friend without having to get in a hide and stay very still for ages then this is the bird for you. Proving that I know nothing about birds. This Falcon is in Bramhall Hall gardens just near the back (or is it the front) of the hall. An archive picture of course because I have been so busy, this is just a tester of the poor quality pictures I'll be able to tantalize you with when I have time.
With the finals of the Snowman competition getting close it was important that we got our skates on (no pun intended, that that it's much of a pun). With the snow piling down in Manchester and the odd thaw and then re-freeze on the cards we had our work cut out. This year features were grass and leaves making this snowman's hairy chest and belly. Twigs for hair that you cannot see but the peas of resistance monkey nuts for eyes and a mouth. Within hours the chap had lost his head as he fell sideways from a slight thaw. Now of course the remains of his head and the whole of his body are still there just covered by several layers of snow.
Yes I'm back out and yes I am alive and kicking after an absence of taking pictures. Sorry about that. Back to the usual form of poor pictures and stuff. This time it contains the usual trip to Piccadilly gardens. With the ice rink moved to Spinningfields (that happened last year) Piccadilly is trying to entice you with three attractions and this isn't really one of them, sorry. They have a large Snow Globe that you can stand in and have your picture taken, there's a bungy trampoline thing (on the right in the picture) and a snow slide. I just liked this one. The rest were either just nondescript or boring. I'm not saying that this pic is going to win any awards just that it looks better, probably because it's darkish as you might have guessed the darker pics are my faves and with the grey cloud kicking in on what could only be described as a nice sunny wintery day it was a bit of a find.
On a very rainy Sunday it was time to do something. We set out not so early in an attempt to see a little bit or perhaps a lot of Piel Castle. As you can see from this picture, we didn't exactly see much of it. The weather was dreadful and several flooded roads and a car accident (not us) later we ended up at Roa Island which isn't an island at all, but the only bit you can get to close to Piel Island without getting the ferry. I suspect Roa Island might have been an island at one point as it's possible that the road to is was man made, but who knows.
Unfortunately we would have had to ring for the ferry (it was the wrong time of year surprisingly) which wasn't going to happen purely because we walked the bridge to the lifeboat station and the horizontal rain in that short walk was bad enough let alone a trip several times longer on some sort of boat yet to be seen. Somehow I got the feeling that this ferry would have been rowed and open, I don't know why I thought that because it's totally illogical, even so I had been put off.
So there you have it, here's Piel Island and Castle in the background as I stood on the beach being hammered by sideways rain and wind. One day, yes one day I shall visit Piel Castle and perhaps visit the comfort of its Pub.
After a walk in Dunham Massey we came home missing all of the rain before and after. On the way back I had to pop into Sainsburys. As we approached it rained hard and then stopped and the sun came out. Travelling around the roundabout towards Sainsburys I notices the rainbow, well I didn't see the whole thing but I saw the start and the end and pointed it out to my Daughter. When I stopped I asked my wife whether she saw it unbeknown to be that it was still there right behind my back. Unfortunately I didn't get it all in. I would have needed my Macro lens but I nonetheless got what looks to be part of a double rainbow which appeared and disappeared as the grey cloud crossed the sky.
Here in the National Waterways Museum you have Porter's Row a traditional set of cottages built in 1833 for workers in the area. Personally I find the porter rather haunting and a little Big Brotherish for some reason that I can't explain. I think it's the fact that the while thing is faded with the black of the eyes being so crisp. I suspect the dark clouds above don't help. I suppose it's also the grimness of the scene and yet their trying to suggest everything is great so long as you wash your shirts in Sunlight Soap. Still it looked like a good picture so I snapped it.
My Wife would hate this one for two reasons. For a start it's too dark and as for the angle that's just bad... So it's a good job that my wife doesn't run this site otherwise the Llandudno picture would have been more bland and dark to have been on the site... she said.
This time I took the shot for the clouds and the angle because I couldn't go any further back, so this was the only way to get the whole thing in.
We did the the tour and it was OK and I must admit I was surprised, mainly because I'd been to the hall twice before other than as a tourist and I'd never seen the whole place.
Being a sad sort of chap, when I found out that they made ships out of concrete I really wanted to see one. And now I have. This chap is FCB18 at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port. The museum is really impressive and I would definitely recommend it unless you don't like boats... or water, then you're best steering clear. It also has a pump house that houses a rather large engine and boiler which is very reminiscent but less impressive then the one in Astley Green but then again it would be rather difficult to be more impressive. Another interesting thing is Porter's row which is a street containing 4 cottages built in 1833 but done up in 1840's-1950's style.