Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Show, The Show!!!

It is the annual show this weekend. This agricultural show is the oldest one in England. BUT someone thinks it's a good idea to fill the market place with a small but flashy, fairground. It's already later and darker than when I got home and some of the trucks have unloaded amazing equipment. The lights have been tested. There was no warning of this. I hope that other people are coping better than me.

I shall go and see Mum tomorrow, visit Chris, shop at the Arnison Centre and get Mum a nice new Doonah. Then I shall try to get back and park somewhere within a 1/2 mile of this horrible display. The Big Show is a couple of miles down the road and I hope to get there on foot along the designated footpath.
Hopefully there will be more pics tomorrow or Friday when the real show stuff happens.

Cheers Gillian

Monday, August 27, 2007

Out and About

This is the great water wheel at Killhope Lead Mining Museum at the top of Weardale in Durham. A fitting name for an old lead mine. The average life expectancy of lead miners a hundred years ago was only 45 and the blokes who worked in the smelters died much sooner. But Killhope is more likely a derivation of church (kil/kell) in the valley (hope) and the surrounding scenery supports that. The mine is very close to the divide between eastern and western England. We drove on a few miles and over the top of the Pennines and into Cumbria.

My brother John and his son Martyn donned wellies and hard hats and went on an underground tour of the mine. Both are 6feet+ so they had to spend much of the time stooped over and at one stage, bent double. The wellies were an absolute necessity. The miners in the old days usually died from "Trenchfoot". A rotting-away of the feet because of the continuously wet conditions, which led to blood poisoning and gangrene. It got its name during WW1 because the soldiers in the trenches got the same.

I spent the time up top with my SOL Anita and we fossicked for rock specimens. We were lucky to come home with some pretty quartz crystals, some shiny galena and some fossilised shells. Then we went and sat in the hide for a while and waited for the red squirrels to come out to play.

Anita put some nuts out on the feeder and within minutes two red squirrels came out of the pine forest to investigate. My sorry excuse for a camera managed to catch a shot of one of them racing up the pole to check out the feeder. They then went on to check out every place where food could have been left and lifted up the lids on the birds' nesting boxes. The hide was originally set up for bird watching but squirrels are canny and soon catch on to sources of food.

After that we adjourned to the cafe for a bite to eat. I was too hungry to try out the home made cheese scones and polished off a bowl of home-made macaroni cheese, which was great. The others had a snack followed by wonderful home-made puddings like apple pie and jam roly poly. I must return to try out the scones. The Cafe in Wolsingham, called Julie's, does a wonderful home-made cheese scone topped with ham, tomato and melted cheese. Hard to give it a score because of all the extra stuff on it but probably about an 8. My quest continues.

This is my excuse for not doing any knitting.

Cheers to all Gillian

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cheese Scones

I haven't any fresh photos but I have had a good read of all my favourite blogs and have made some comments on them. I noticed that I commented on how lovely the CHEESE scones were at the Bowes in Barnard Castle. At 1.60 pounds each ( my machine does not print pound sterling signs) they aren't cheap but they are always wonderful and their standard is dependable. I would give them 8/10.
Today I had a freshly baked one at the cafe in Westgate Department Store in Newgate in Bishop Auckland. It was not as expensive and I can't remember exactly how much but it was much lighter, however, it was sweet! I would only give it 7/10 even though it was lovely because the tea shop at the Bowes has set a high standard.
I hope that I shall find 9/10 and even the 10/10 standard soon. It seems to be a quest that is worthy. I hope to have advice from you all as to where to search and where and when to taste.
You can even try to direct me to "foolproof" recipes. I am, however, a major fool at scone baking.
Cheers for now Gillian

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sick of Socks Again

I must admit that I have been trying to finish these socks but so much has prevented me from making them my primary concern. I have been given notice that the flat above the shop, plus the shop will be up for sale.This means that I must vacate this flat. I am booked and paid up until the 23 October.
Anyway, now that I have got over the gloom about it all I am looking for a new place.

In the mean time I shall continue to fit out the van for wonderful get-a-ways and whatever property I manage to rent will be great. I'm checking out a place in Bishop Auckland on Wednesday and went to one in Barnard Castle this morning, It was a bit small and pokey even though it was beautiful. I ended up in the Tea shop at the Bowes Museum where they do the best cheese scones.

Cheers Gillian