Posts Tagged ‘yorkshire’

Duck racing

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 | Life

duck-racing

Yeah, duck racing. It’s a thing.

We used Easter Sunday to visit my parents, who were holidaying in Pateley Bridge. The camp site was running a duck racing competition, so they had bought us a duck each. The concept is that they tip all the ducks in at the one end of the stream and the first to make it down to the next bridge is the winner.

It was so popular this year that they had to have six heats, with the top handful going through to the final. Sadly none of our ducks were fast enough to qualify. It’s a shame, as the grand prize was a respectable £50.

However, at least Elina can now say she has been to a real English duck race.

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Essentials Hair Studio, Camblesforth

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 | Reviews

For our wedding we booked Essentials Hair Studio in Camblesforth to come to the venue and do Elina and my mother’s hair. It did not go well. They turned up over an hour late. Not really the start you need to the day.

I received no phone call from them to say they were stuck in traffic. They said they tried to ring the hotel but nobody answered. That is plausible, but does not excuse not ringing me. When we quizzed them on what had happened, one told my father they had been waiting outside the shop for half an hour, the other said they were inside dealing with customers. You would think the time spent sat in traffic would give them time to get their story straight.

Exactly how much traffic you can get stuck in in 11 miles of country lanes, on a Saturday morning, is a whole different debate.

The first time they did Elina’s hair, they had to re-do it because it was incorrect. We know because we have a photo record of it. So did they, so you wonder why they did not use this to begin with. Elina was not happy with it the second time either, but it was close enough and we were late for the ceremony, so it had to do.

We have filed a letter of complaint but have not received any reply.

EDIT: Since posting this, they have refunded us £20.

Toastmasters Area 15 2015 humorous speech contest

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 | Public Speaking

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It’s good to have the trophy back on my shelf. Having won the club contest last month I was feeling more confident and managed to put in a sold performance at Area, enough to get me through to Division anyway.

The standard of the competition was very high. I had forgotten how tough Area 15 can be, having so many talented speakers in it. It is a shame that we can only send one contestant through to Division.

The Yorkshire Shepherdess

Saturday, August 15th, 2015 | Books

Amanda Owen is a hill farmer in Swaledale, at the top of the Yorkshire Dales. Typically, I saw an advertisement for her book signing at Waterstone’s two days after the event took place. I had never heard of her, or her book, but it sounded like a good read.

Turns out that it can be pretty hard work up there. Especially when you’re on the hill tops in a slightly Wuthering Heights-esc setting, albeit in the Dales rather than the Moors.

Impassable roads, being occasionally cut-off, power cuts and bats invading my house are probably near the top of my list for things I wouldn’t enjoy too much. Free range children has it’s appeal though. Letting them run around as they wish; getting stuck into farm life.

Though no doubt still a handful when you have seven! She never had long labours, but by the end it was pretty much a slip-and-slide. She would feel “a bit off” a few hours before, no contractions, then when it came time they would slide out in a few minutes. If only all labour was like that.

The book is essentially a biography of how she got from Huddersfield to Ravenseat, with plenty of details of farm life along the way. It’s a cool story.

I felt the tag line of the book was rather misleading however.

How I left city life behind to raise a family – and a flock

She grew up in Huddersfield, which is a town rather than a city, and she was hardly a city-dweller that wanted to try country life. From an early age she wanted to work with animals and was soon doing freelance farming. Escape to River Cottage this is not.

I did enjoy reading it quite a lot though.

The family are also featured on the documentary series The Dales which I started watching a bit of after the book.

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The Dales

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 | Distractions

The Dales is a documentary, but I use that term loosely, as it was created by ITV.

It opens with rolling shots and dramatic music. Adrian Edmondson announces he is going to tell us all about this unforgiving place. “Remote communities, isolated farms.” Really? Yorkshire? I’m sure it can be hard, but I’m not convinced it is Lapland, or even the Isle of Lewis.

Despite what Google Maps might suggest:

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There is no doubt it is a beautiful part of the world though.

It follows a number of people around including a community-owned pub, a 16-year-old boy who has just quit school to work on his family farm full time, a village brass band and even the local vicar. She doesn’t take herself too seriously:

“The end of the day is feet up with a bottle of beer and a bag of crips”

Probably for the best. She had 8 people at a service, which is a good day apparently, and with no music to sing to all the hymns are a cappella.

Overall it is very light hearted. There is no serious revelations of dramatic problems, just a fun look at some of the interesting people that live in The Dales intercut with shots of Adrian Edmondson looking at beautiful scenery as if he is Brian Cox.

Conveniently, it is available on iTunes for about £8.

Flamingo Land

Saturday, September 13th, 2014 | Photos

Earlier this month myself and Elina went to Flamingo Land. I was quite impressed. We did not go on any of the rides; we just did the zoo. Even with that, it was still a full day of stuff to do, indeed we probably could have spent more time there if we wanted to see all the shows.

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Whitby

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 | Life

Last month we had relatives visiting us from Canada, so we spent quite a bit of time doing all the Yorkshire things. Such as Whitby.

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As ever, there were lots of seagulls.

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And the tourist shops of course.

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Those ice cream dogs. They melt and leave a pile of hair all over the floor.

Grand Depart

Friday, July 18th, 2014 | Life

Earlier this month, Yorkshire welcomed the Tour de France to Yorkshire for the Grand Depart. Or “T’ Big Setting Off” as we call it in Yorkshire.

People have gone all out for it. There are bikes, artwork, banners, signs everywhere. Even people nowhere near the route have a bike on the wall and a transfer on their shop window.

The turnout was incredible too. So much so that an hour before the race started the police closed off the road to pedestrians and stopped letting anyone else through. All along the route it was stacked with people half a dozen deep.

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You would have to have a heart of stone to suggest seeing that wasn’t worth waiting for.

When I was twelve I spent six hours in 35 degree heat waiting for a Space Shuttle to take off. Finally we saw this little dot disappear into the distance and then in the silence some kid said “is that it?” As good as that was, it can’t really compare to seeing the photo above.

Nevertheless, it makes you proud to be Yorkshire. If you have a fancy bike ride you need hosting, we’re your people.

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Stand and Deliver

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 | Events, Humanism

For the February meeting of the Humanist Society of West Yorkshire we had a talk on highwaymen. The first half looked at the practice in general and the second half focused on Dick Turpin and how he ended up in Yorkshire. With some myth-debunking along the way too!

What was a little confusing though is that the speaker the last recorded case was in the nineteenth century. Has nobody been robbed then? Because my understanding was that it still happened…

Humber Bridge

Thursday, September 19th, 2013 | Photos

Last month I went to Hull Speakers to provide a bit of peer review on their meetings. It seems like a lovely club and I felt very warmly welcomed. On the way back, we stopped at the Humber Bridge to take some photos. Click to see full size.

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