The Past

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

L. P. Hartley   1895-1972 

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Manchester Blitz

Seventy years ago Manchester was subjected to heavy bombing during World War II.

On the nights of December 22/23 Lufflotte 2 with 121 planes and Luftflotte 3 149 planes dropped 272 tons of high explosives and 1032 incendiary canisters.

The following night December 23/24 195 tons of high explosives and 893 incendiary canisters were dropped.

This resulted in heavy damage in Manchester, Salford and Stretford and 684 deaths and 2364 wounded were recorded.

Among the famous buildings damaged were the Free Trade Hall, Cross Street Chapel, Corn Exchange and Chethams Hospital.

My own parents were married in a bombed out church on December 26th - St.Hilda in Old Trafford.

To see a photo of this church as it was in 1943 see -


Friday, 24 December 2010

Back home ..

Back home yet again after three weeks in a cold and sometimes wet Spain.

Not as cold as the UK with minus 10c. forecast for tonight.

This bad weather has prevented me getting out and about so I'm afraid there will be no new photographs for a time.

A very Merry Christmas to all .... and a prosperous and healthy 2011.


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sofia - St. Nedelya

Hiding among the trees is the St. Nedelya Bulgarian Orthodox church.

A well known landmark in the city.



This morning I went for a stroll around my garden to find "someone" had thrown oranges over the fence.

About 10 oranges and one or two apples - scattered all over the lawn !!

It's strange what some people will do for pleasure.

A pure waste of food .....

As they say in Lancashire "There's nowt so queer as folk"


Friday, 26 November 2010

Rochdale - Hollingworth Lake

Last weekend saw us taking a walk around Hollingworth Lake - not bad weather - sunny and dry with just a few dark clouds in the distance.

Looks like this weekend may produce some snow in Lancashire - all because of high pressure over Greenland I understand.


Sofia - St. Petka

More photos from our trip to Bulgaria.

The medieval Bulgarian Orthodox Church of St. Petka of the Saddlers - dedicated to the 11th century saint of that name. Hidden rather well among the surrounding buildings.

I'm still having problems loading photos - quite a long winded job at the moment.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Well I was ..

I was going to load some photographs taken during a weekend walk around Hollingworth Lake in Rochdale but problems have arisen.

Recently I updated my Apple Mac from Tiger to Snow Leopard and now can not find the link from my Blog to the photographs.

This is what happens when you start upgrading ... I'll now have to seek advice.

Perhaps more photos later in the week ???


Monday, 22 November 2010

The Highlands of Scotland

I watched an interesting programme on BBC 2 TV the other night entitled the Making of Scotland's Landscape.

The theory put forward was that the barren majestic mountains and glens of the Highlands that we have today are not entirely natural, mankind having made some considerable changes within the last two hundred years.

During that time the crofters and farmers have been removed, sheep and deer introduced and every living creature that was a threat to the grouse has been blasted away with a shotgun.

This has resulted in an ecological disaster and left many areas with poor soil fertility and very few natural inhabitants.

Quite a thought provoking programme.


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Winter job

It's that time of the year for tidying up the garden and getting rid of these things...

I've taken advice from BBC2 and Gardeners World and have packed them into black bin liners and added a few worms from the compost heap.

This time next year we should have some very fertile leaf compost - well we'll just see.. sometimes these ideas do not come to fruition.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A ghost ..

I sit here in the study at my Mac and all I can hear is heavy breathing.

Now I do have a cold but I'm not sure that it's me making the noise.

Perhaps air in the pipes or perhaps a ghost.

Will the council charge extra rates for a ghost ??


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Students on the riot ...

I see we have students rioting in London and trashing Millbank Tower, HQ of the Conservative Party, in their determination to show what they think of the government's plan to increase tuition fees.

In my Victor mode I have very little sympathy I'm afraid, having had to go out to work at 16 and bring some money into the home. No discussion about further education - if you wanted that you went to night school.

The young seem to want everything immediately and are now blaming us oldies for causing the problems.


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Why do ???

Why do people discard nails screws and tacks on the roadway ??

Pure laziness I guess - can not be bothered to clean up after themselves ..

After extracting a small screw from a tyre I must now wait and see if air is lost - if so another expensive trip to the garage !!

I'm starting to sound like Victor Meldrew ...


Monday, 8 November 2010

Back home ..

Back home after three weeks in the sun of Spain and certainly feeling the cold .

The weather on our return is certainly cold and damp.

The only jobs in the garden and allotment seem to be tidying up - sweeping leaves from the ground and bagging them with the hope that in 12 months time we'll have some quality compost for the vegetable patch.

Roses to trim and tidy - how have they managed to grow 6 ft tall ??

Of course more photographs to take and publish - but I'm running out of ideas of where to photograph ... !!!

Well I just have to see what appears in the lens.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010


One tree complete with blossom - looking very pretty.


Monday, 1 November 2010


This flower display is shown off in a huge replica shuttle.

Shuttles were used in the Lancashire cotton mills - and this is a reminder of that industrial past.


Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Just the place to cool down and have a rest on a hot day - better not jump in though.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Why this large scale mousetrap is here I've no idea- perhaps they were manufactured in the area ??

To be found at the Burrs Country Park.


Friday, 22 October 2010

The Burrrs

In the past, these areas of the Burrs Country Park will have housed machinery and steam engines in what would have been a very industrious little corner of Bury.


Monday, 18 October 2010

The Burrs

Anyone for fishing ?

Behind the fishing lodge is the bridge carrying the East Lancashire Railway - run by enthusiasts you'll see old steam trains running up and down here.


Sunday, 17 October 2010


On guard ..

Dressed up and no place to go .

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Burrs

More photos from the Burrs Country Park.

Here we have the visitor centre ....


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Mass unemployment ..

We will soon be advised by our masters in the Coalition Government what sacrifice we must make in order to save the economy from ruin.

It looks like the the pain to be experienced will lead to massive job cuts - already we read in the newspapers of intended redundancies in both the public and private sector.

Even politicians are starting to worry that the spending cuts will result in a bad recession. Let's hope we do not head back to the days of 4 million unemployed ..

For those interested - sacrifice is a Middle English word via Old French from the Latin Sacrificium.


Sunday, 10 October 2010


Another attempt - it looks like it is possible but whether I can attach a photo is another thing.

And the answer to that is no .... Pity !!

iPod Touch

This is a test to ascertain whether I can Blog from my iPod Touch. I'm certainly having trouble entering text in the body of the message. If it is a success then I've no idea how I managed it.

Winter approaches

I think I've written on this subject before - perhaps last year ..

We were promised a warm sunny weekend but as of yet only dull weather has appeared with brief sunny patches.

What I have noted is that the leaves are now falling from the trees and this is a sure sign that the colder weather is on the way.

From what I can remember as a child the weather only started to turn just after Bonfire Night on the 5th of November but the seasons seem to have advanced by a few weeks - the approach of Autumn commencing late August.

Perhaps we are about to enter another ice age - whatever the experts tell us about climate warming ...


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

ABC Wednesday - L

ABC Wednesday - L for Life Belt

This can be a dangerous coast here at Guardamar - strong currents can take the unwary.

Let's hope that the Life Belt will not be needed.

And remember always heed the warning flags and do not swim when the red one is flying.


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sofia Synagogue

The synagogue in Sofia is the largest in the Balkans and was built between 1903 -1909.

Sofia's Jewish population is around 5000 - down from 50000 prior to World War II

This was the first time I've been in a synagogue and found the experience really interesting.

It's possible to have a good look around and costs about 2 lev per person admission.


Saturday, 2 October 2010

Fireworks ..

Well only October 2nd and the fireworks have started already - no doubt these will now continue until January and New Year.

I guess there must still be money to burn somewhere !!!

Now I do love fireworks but only when watching at an organised display - so I'm not a complete spoil sport.


Wednesday, 29 September 2010

ABC Wednesday - K

ABC Wednesday - K

K is for Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Photo taken way back in 2003.


Saturday, 25 September 2010

Michael Jackson

It looks like a shrine to Michael Jackson has been set up here in this busy little square in Sofia.


Friday, 24 September 2010

UniCredit Bulbank - Sofia

These guys at the door look like they are trying to hold up the building ..

A very ornate structure ...


Thursday, 23 September 2010

Bulgarian Camels

It's a pity the "artist" with the blue pen "wozher"

These camels, which look quite cute, can be found in central Sofia.


Carling Cup

There were some surprises in the Carling Cup last night as some big names said goodbye to the competition.

Still remaining is Manchester United with a convincing win over Scunthorpe 5-2 including 2 goals from Michael Owen. Now is he likely to bounce back into form and earn himself a regular place in the main side ?

Roberto Mancini kept his main players in reserve ready for the weekend match with Chelsea which meant that Manchester City went down to West Bromwich Albion 2-1 - this was after a lead early on in the game from a goal by Jo.

Chelsea are also out after a 4-3 defeat by Newcastle and Liverpool were humiliated by lowly Northampton Town , 2-2 the result and then exit via the penalty shootout 4-2.

No doubt the big clubs will have their excuses......


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

ABC Wednesday - J

ABC Wednesday - J for Jetty

Jetty complete with fishermen, boats and even a dog sitting in the shadows.

All to be seen in Guardamar on Spain's Costa Blanca.


Thursday, 16 September 2010


You can just see the Bullrush through the leaves.

Another spelling is Bulrush and it is also known as the Cattail. Latin name Scirpus lacustris .

It has been used in weaving and as an aid to water purification.

Origin of the name is Middle English and bull means large or coarse .

These were found at the Burrs country park in Bury.


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

ABC Wednesday - I

ABC Wednesday - I for Italy

This is one of my favourite photos of Italy - a street scene from Pisa - I have used this as part of the header for my Blog " Pictures of Italy ". A Blog that I have now ceased to update.

A very typical Italian scene.

Florence and the famous Ponte Vecchio - crowded with shoppers and tourists even on a wet winter day.

Another favourite photo of mine.


Saturday, 11 September 2010

Winter approaches ..

One of the first signs of the approach of winter is the new season of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC television.

Tonight we had the preview - the contestants were introduced to their dance partners and the contest proper will be shown commencing early October.

Those appearing include Ann Widdecombe, Felicity Kendal, Paul Daniels and Peter Shilton.

For full details go to

I'm afraid that in our household it will be compulsory viewing - we had at one time dance lessons .. we are not experts but do like to watch the contestants being put through their paces .


Tuesday, 7 September 2010

ABC Wednesday - H

ABC Wedenesday - H for House

A somewhat dilapidated house in Sofia - in need of paint, plaster and removal of graffiti.

But who knows - inside it could be like a palace ....



This is not something you see every day when out walking through the woods .

I think it's very good - carved out of an old tree trunk.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Lymm Church

Overlooking the dam - the church rises above the trees.

The dam area is a popular place for picnics and dog walking. I'm not sure why the dam was created - perhaps to prevent flooding - the water covers quite an area and is very popular with fishermen.

In the churchyard the gravestones look as though they are all bending in one direction - perhaps to the sun !!


Football - another night of mixed news ..

Well Friday saw England in action against Bulgaria in the European Championship qualifying round and winning 4-0 with goals from Defoe (3) and Johnson.

A really good result especially after the poor showing in the World Cup in South Africa but the bad news on the night was that Tottenham defender Michael Dawson is expected to be out of the game for 2 months after receiving a serious injury to his knee after an hour into the game.

Switzerland away is the next game on Tuesday which is likely to be far harder.

Watch this space.


Friday, 3 September 2010

Lymm - Spread Eagle

This pub has been in the centre of Lymm for a good many years - it was my grandfather's local way back in the 1950/60's.


Thursday, 2 September 2010

Lymm - A recent visit ..

One sunny Saturday afternoon in August saw us using our free bus passes and heading out to Lymm for the afternoon.

Here we have the busy little village centre and below the stocks where you would end up a few hundred years ago if you'd been in trouble with the law.

Quite a pleasant place for an afternoon trip.


Tuesday, 31 August 2010

ABC Wednesday - G

ABC Wednesday - G for Guardamar.

Guardamar is a pleasant little town south of Alicante.

The Avenida de Cervantes is a popular walking area in the evening for locals and tourists and is not far from the beach or town centre.



Remember I bought some Fuschia plants some time ago from Aldi -well here is one in full flower and looking very splendid.

They have brought some needed colour to the patio.


Monday, 30 August 2010

Russian Vine

If you want an ugly fence covered with a quick growing climber then try Russian Vine .

A pretty white flower - keep it well watered and it'll soon grow.


Sunday, 29 August 2010

August weather !!!

Well tonight I heard for the first time for a while those dreaded words - ground frost expected for certain areas tonight. A sure sign that even in August autumn is approaching fast.

August has seen in England double the average rainfall and only 64% of normal sunshine. Not too good !!

Let's hope for an Indian Summer.


Saturday, 28 August 2010

Allotment 19

These Runner Beans are looking fine with their bright red flowers .

One of the success stories this year has been French Beans which have produced a really good crop and at the moment bags of them are cluttering up our freezer.


Friday, 27 August 2010

Allotment 18

Cosmos - looking very pretty. We have grown these from seed not all of which have managed to germinate.

We're not happy bunnies at the allotment at the moment - club root has developed on the cauliflower and some of our potato crop has been ruined by slugs.

The answer is to carry on with strict crop rotation and next year perhaps we'll just grow early potatoes and miss the explosion of slugs in August.


Even more fungi ....

Some more fungi photographs from the garden.

This one above grows each year on the roots of a long removed Ash tree. Soon it will be eaten by I assume mice who nibble away at it.

These are looking quite shiny .. I have no idea of the names of any of these things - are fungi plants ? or just fungi ?


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Football - a night of mixed news ..

A night of mixed news for our local sides in the football stakes.

Rochdale are out of the Carling Cup - going down to premiership side Birmingham 3-2 and that after a disputed penalty. Jones was the scorer for Rochdale in the 26th and 76th minutes.

Manchester City beat Politehnica Timisoara of Rumania 2-0 tonight - winning 3-0 on aggregate in the Europa League qualifying match and in front of a disappointingly small crowd. Wright-Phillips and Boyata were the scorers.

Today saw the draw for the Champions League and Manchester United will meet Glasgow Rangers, Valencia and the Turkish side Buraspor. United should finish ahead of this group with a bit of luck.



The recent cold and very wet weather seems to have done wonders for the fungi in the garden - bringing them on a treat.

Today the temperature should reach the dizzy heights of 18C or 64 F - good old August ...

Allotment 17

Last Sunday was the Allotment Open Day with BBQ, stalls and a band. Luckily the weather was kind and the sun actually shone.

Open day is an opportunity to wonder around all the plots and have a look at what is being grown by our neighbours.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

ABC Wednesday - F

ABC Wednesday - F

Today we have a rather old fashioned fire engine - I guess it will still do the job though.

You'll find it at the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria - I wonder if it is operated by the monks?


As it was ..

As it was a few weeks ago - our front garden looking quite colourful.

However even in mid August Autumn is now approaching fast and these flowers are starting to fade.

I wonder when we'll get the first frost ??


Sunday, 22 August 2010

National Theatre Sofia

Seen through the park the National Theatre is an impressive sight here in Sofia Bulgaria.


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Sofia - No. 1 Tram

Sofia's No. 1 tram making it's way around the centre of Bulgaria's capital.

Old but rather colourful looking ....


Penguins - move your cursor and take them for a walk !!

Say it as it is ......

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land amongst the stars.

Look around !!!

What is this life, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?

W. H. Davies  1870-1940