Thursday, 15 October 2009

You gotta gimme some Moor

Yesterday was hot and lovely down here in the West Country, shame then that most of it was spent in the car. I wanted to get to Cornwall you see, and as much as I've spent a lot of time on roads and looking at maps in the last few weeks I kind of underestimated how long it would take to get to places down here, especially with such terrible traffic on such long and winding roads.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Minature ponies, paperweights and gin

So the second leg of my trip began on Monday, after a small delay to the tune of mother-gets-pneumonia. The family holiday down in Torquay turned into a sisterly 4 day break. My mum insisted we come down without her and she was feeling a lot better when we left, so please don't shout at me for going, thank you.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Aquaplaning, not getting into lighhouses and a lot of small trains

As it began to seriously piss down with rain this morning I started to get a hankering for the seaside, and the Kent coast is a great place to go in the rain, in fact I don't think I've ever been when it's not raining. So south bound we went.
I wanted to see the lighthouse at Dungeness but as it appeared through the mist and rain a very obvious sign let us know that the lighthouse was closed.

Bad bowling and dressing up like a tudor man

The idea of going to Orpington Super Bowl as part of my discovery of Britain via the Brown Sign Way appealed to me, massively. Not just because I could relive memories of bunking off lessons at Orpington College when I retook my A-levels there, but also because I have been seriously steeped in British history recently and I wouldn't mind some inane Thursday afternoon frivolity, such is the joy of brown tourist sign variety.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Londinium: Brass rubbing, Thames path walking and shopping

It was weird to be waking up in my own bed yesterday, and strangely part of me wished I was in a far away place with unknown adventures to be embarked on ahead of me. That lacking, I got up and did the gigantic mountain of washing up which has been accumulating because the dishwasher is broken, oh it's good to be home.

I had a look through my "brown sign symbols completed" and my "brown sign symbols not completed" lists and was immediately drawn to a praying knight in armour denoting brass rubbing in my "brown signs not completed" list. I really felt like some brass rubbing so I looked up where I could do it. I find it quite telling when certain types of attractions have their own brown sign symbol when you wouldn't even think they were popular enough to have visitors let alone a lot of them, like heavy horse centres for example, but I think it indicates so much about Britain's history and what is important in that history. Brass rubbing is just one of these types of attraction, so I wanted in.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Caving and flying (in more ways than one)

The main event today was caving. I know I know, I've already done a cave, but sadly I don't mean caving as in going underground and chatting to a miner about his work, I mean caving as in giving up, throwing the towel in, getting too hacked off for words and coming home. Technically I was supposed to be coming home on Friday for my pal Lau's big 3 0, but I was tipped over the edge this morning and it all got too much.

I did end up having a dorm to myself again, in fact I got the whole hostel to myself. I took the chance to talk all night on the phone and not do very much blogging or planning. Thus when I woke up this morning at 6.30 I had to get stuff done.

Rutland waterless activies

When I got up yesterday I had a bath, for an hour. Sounds odd but I seriously needed one, I have been showering you understand but a bath is a very different experience to a shower, so I lay in it for a long time and went wrinkly, then I was happy. Having it in a carpeted avocado suited bathroom is quite a weird experience though I have to say. I had a nice breakfast, but held back on yet another full cooked breakfast, just poached eggs this time. I thought this choice would be a small one, it wasn't, I think the eggs were laid by incredible chicken hulks, such are the gorgeous eggs you get in the country.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Waterways museum and hiding in hides

After Friday's day of rest I felt about a billion times better both in body and mind, and as I consequently had less trouble using my right leg I thought some gentle brown signing was in order. I would have liked to head up as north as Hull and do some industrial port attractions but on the way was diverted by a sign for a waterways museum which had the bonus of being located in a town called Goole.

The museum was the Yorkshire Waterways Museum and was an excellent little free museum hidden in the vast uninvitingness of a canalside industrial estate.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Mills and extremely painful country walks

As much as the Peaks are beautiful and full of things to do I thought I better branch out and head for Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire borders area. I've got quite a few brown sign types done now so I actually (shock horror) did some research into what there was to do around the area. I first headed for a wildlife park but in my eagerness I arrived like a right keeno an hour before opening time so had to sacrifice that one and head off on the rest of my brown signed day.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Caverns, castles and cultery

Yesterday was a busy day, hence no blog writing, and for this I apologise. So let me fill you in now. My new best mate Andy took the day off to show me around the Peak District, which was great because I have been known to go missing for hours on end while walking, even when I have a map and clear instructions to guide me, so I almost certainly would have died in the Peaks if he hadn't been there. We did lots of walking and I took about a billion photos, again, none of which do this place any justice, I just wish I'd been here a few months ago when the heather was all purple. To be fair though I can't imagine it getting any more beautiful than this, just different. The scenery was cry-your-eyes-out amazing.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The universe and things over which we have no control

Yesterday was not such a good day, but its started well. I had seen brown signs on the way into Sale for Jodrell Bank, the symbol on the sign was not a generic one, but it was intriguing one none the less. I decided I'd get up early the next day to go and check it out.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Boat lifts, birds of prey and funeral wakes

So the day to leave my student digs arrived. I took the chance to wash all my clothes and hang them all over the banisters to dry like I used to many years ago in my own student house, then pack the damp smoke smelling items back into my wardrobe/suitcase. Unbelievably my car wasn't broken into, despite being in an area that looked liked this...

Sunday, 27 September 2009

U-Boat stories and Britain's largest cathedral

It was a late/early bedtime last night/this morning (5am - I seriously am getting far too old for this but I was out with a student so I had to keep up), and had a great night having dinner in one of the weirdest restaurants-come-karaoke-eat-as-much-as-you-like-chineses I've ever had the displeasure to eat in then doing most of the bars in Liverpool. There is something just a little bit scary though about walking home through scenes that can only be described as something out of Shaun of the Dead. Wasted Liverpuddlians semi-clad, screaming, vomiting and groping each other all around you. I tried to keep well out of biting distance and tried to think of a happy place.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

To Liverpool... and not beyond

After walking, riding, eating my pie and blog writing (and making friends in the inn) I went to bed knackered. I woke up even more knackered and decided the brown signs may have to wait for my enthusiasm to be rekindled before they got me again. I left the Druid Inn, beautiful location, here's the view from my window...

Friday, 25 September 2009

Less of the car more of the legs

If yesterday was about driving all over Wales and only using my legs to stamp on the break so as not to hit stubborn sheep and walk downstairs to the bar, today was all about using my legs so much they hurt.

It was an early start because I’d booked myself on the earliest train up Snowdon at 9am. You wouldn't think that sounds like an early start, but it is when you have to factor in breakfast, and not just any old breakfast. Having a travelling saleswoman as your friend comes in very handy when you can stay in her accommodation and eat a free breakfast all courtesy of the company funds, large cooked breakfast for me with everything possible on it (including black pudding which I don't even like) please waitress, thank you.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Hangovers, alternative energy and dams

Today I left Eleri's house in Cardiff (South Wales) for Caernarfon (North Wales) with the sat nav reading 176 miles to destination. At the end of my journey my odometer (apparently this what milometers are actually called) said I had done 266 miles. I did get a lot done though, mainly a lot of Wales, and will almost certainly have a drink in the bar downstairs at 8.30pm with fish and chips, go to bed at approximately 9pm and fall asleep at 9.01pm.

A lot of driving and eating but little sleeping

So here's Wales. The only brown sign of the day technically visited, but being the first day of the trip I see it as easing myself in gently, also constant driving makes you blind and act a bit funny, I find, so that had a lot to do with the lack of brown sign visiting. Instead I took the time in Wales to make and eat risotto...

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Neither ready nor steady but going anyway

OK so I've finally decided I'm bored of applying for jobs I don't want and that life's too short to sit around feeling depressed, there's also only so much painting and decorating one can do with their twin sister without departure from reality accompanied by all sorts of hysteria and ridiculousness.