The Past

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

L. P. Hartley   1895-1972 

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 ....


Savings .. gone gone gone.

New research by Schroders suggests that 31% of adults are drawing on savings and investments to supplement their income and help pay for living costs.

I would not have thought that this was news - in a time of reducing income and pensions plus no access to credit then this is the only option open to many. It's not rocket science.

Why save ? - poor interest rates give you a pittance on your capital and as you near your end on this planet someone will be after your saving whether the central government or local town hall.

What's wrong in saving up your money and then spending it on yourself ? - this is what happened before credit cards were introduced.

Many of the younger " want now " generation would be amazed if you suggested that if they wanted to purchase something then they actually saved up for it first.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

ABC Wednesday - E

ABC Wednesday E for Eyesore .

This was what our allotment looked like when we first took it over - very much an Eyesore.

A lot of work from all the family in the last 18 months has cleared the area up.

I guess that the general impression is that when you take an allotment over it will be nice and clean and just ready for planting out the veg - I'm afraid that's not so.

Normally the previous owner may have got older or lost interest and let the plot literally go to seed before deciding to give it up.


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Football again ..

Well England's football season 2010/11 is now well under way and all the arguing; sorry match analysis will be starting in the bars, TV and press ....

Manchester City having spent £100m this summer on new players only managed a draw at Tottenham - I hope they are going to get value for their big outlay.

Newcomers to the Premier League - Blackpool - managed to beat Wigan 4-0 - a very good start for them.

Our local team Rochdale have made a reasonable start - newly promoted to League 1 they have a clean record with 2 draws and in the League Cup managed to eliminate Championship side Barnsley 1-0. Not bad !!

This is only the start - how many weeks to go ?


Friday, 13 August 2010

River Irwell

The River Irwell rises in the moors above Bacup and flows for 39 miles through Bury,Rawtensall and Ramsbottom - it separates the city centres of Manchester and Salford before it joins the River Mersey at Irlam.

In the Industrial Revolution it was heavily polluted and not much wildlife survived - now much of the industry has gone and the river is slowly returning to it's natural state.

Here in the Burrs Country Park it looks quite genteel.


Thursday, 12 August 2010


In a surprise move today Manchester United confirmed that subject to a medical the Portuguese striker Bebe otherwise Tiago Manuel Dias Ferreira will be moving to them from Vitoria de Guimaraes for a reported 7.4m.

The 6"2" 20 year old had only been at V de Guimaraes for 5 weeks - prior to them he was with the 3rd division Estrala da Amadora.

A genuine "street footballer" he spent part of his earlier life in a youth shelter.

We wish him all the best at his new club ..


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

ABC Wednesday - D

ABC Wednesday - D for Danube

Boats push their way against the current of the river Danube between the ancient cities of Buda and Pest.

Quite an elegant city - once part of the famous Austria-Hungarian Empire - Budapest is now the capital city of Hungary.


Monday, 9 August 2010

Weakest Link ...

It is the 10th anniversary of the Weakest Link with Anne Robinson - gosh is it that long !!

Tonight the very first episode was shown again on TV.

How things have changed - dumbed down and made very chatty since that first episode.

No friendly chats about the contestant's love life - what the student is studying - what a boring job the contestant does - who bought that colourful shirt.

No asking contestants to sing either.

The first episode was carried out at breakneck speed and no quarter was given for half answered questions.

No easy questions for the first round.

How things have changed and I must admit the current style of show is far more enjoyable - so there...


Thursday, 5 August 2010

Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam a weed from the Himalayas is also known as Policeman's Helmet or Indian Touch-Me-Not.

It is often found by rivers and seems to be spreading year by year.

I always understood that the seed had been in bales of raw cotton imported from India and had grown up in the waterways surrounding the cotton mills of Lancashire BUT having Googled the plant I now find it was introduced to Kew Gardens in 1839 and then managed to escape into the wild.

The whole plant can produce a yellow dye and the sap can be used to soothe the rash caused by Poison Ivy.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Tunein Radio

For those of you with an iPhone or an iPod Touch you'll know that you can download applications from the iTunes store.

These handy little gadgets can range from arcade type games to translators or dictionaries and a host of other useful things.

Today I came across Tunein Radio which I purchased for the cost of £1.19. This application now gives me access to radio stations across the world and in numerous languages.

I'm really please with what I purchased - one of my better buys.

If you have the iPod Touch or iPod Phone then I certainly recommend it.


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

ABC Wednesday - C

ABC Wednesday

C is for cow ........

Not real live ones - but fine art !!!

A white one ..

A pink one ..

Here in Madrid on our visit last year ..


Nature's Bounty ..

Blackberries starting to form - just waiting for some sun to ripen them and hopefully they'll be ready for picking.

These are wild blackberries growing on the bank of the River Irwell in Bury.

Not very big ... !!!

We have noticed this year on our rambles around the district that the fruit in the hedgerows is very poor - small or withered away completely. Perhaps this is due to the extremely dry spring that we had.

The birds may be going hungry this winter.


Monday, 2 August 2010

My World Tuesday

My World is one where industry in the shape of engineering and cotton manufacture played a very important place in our lives and in our culture. Sadly the industries are no longer important but reminders are still with us.

Here at the Burrs Country Park is a reminder of our industrial past - machinery dating back to the 19th century.

The park is situated near to Bury centre on the site of now demolished mills - it houses a visitor centre and a canoe training centre.


Leeds University

A rather modern building on the campus of Leeds University - contrasts somewhat with the older red brick buildings that I've shown earlier.

It's what you would call progress ..


Sunday, 1 August 2010

August ..

August is here today and let's hope that it will be a lot better than July which has been a wet, cold and very dull month.

Originally called Sextilis in Latin. When Julius Caesar created the Julian Calendar in 45 BC he added two days to the month and renamed it in the honour of Augustus.

On this day in 1800 The Act of Union merged the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Jack Kramer the American tennis player was born 1st August 1921.

The famous Mark Antony - Roman general and politician died 30 BC.


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