Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring has sprung!.....

......well we hope so.

As we awoke this morning to the sun streaming through the bedroom curtains, a situation that was the complete opposite to the forecast offered by the Met Office yesterday evening, it was apparent that there was every chance that we might get out for a pootle in the Morgan and also provided a timely reminder that a 'blackout' blind might not be a bad idea.

In the absence of one of the aforementioned blinds, we both wear masks that we have acquired on long-haul flights in the past and I always find it quite alarming on some occasions, turning over in bed to find that I appear to be sleeping with 'Zorro the Avenger!

In the Bleasdale Fells
 Anyway, I digress. The sky was cloudless as I consumed my kipper, not the filleted type for softies but the 'real McCoy', a Manx beauty, complete with skeleton that required some dexterity to remove from the surrounding flesh. It's quite an exercise, requiring a separate plate for the bones and bits and finally, after consumption and following strict instructions from Madame, the careful disposal of the remains in newspaper and a plastic bag to avoid the smell of kipper, not only permeating every corner of the house but the village as well!

Looking west.

What this has to do with the pleasant drive we were about to have in the Morgan, goodness only knows, except for the fact that a hearty smoked herring is ideal fodder for a top-down drive in temperatures that, although considerably better than those we have recently endured, were only likely to peak at 11 degrees, hardly tropical!

Straight into the fells we went, on the first real drive we had had together this year. It was the 22nd March last year when we had our first picnic so this was 3 weeks or so later and, although delightful, still not warm enough to don the knotted handkerchief,  roll up the trousers and slonk in a deckchair!

With cloud, rain and strong winds forecast for early afternoon, we timed our drive perfectly and were back at home after about 2 hours with the clouds just beginning to gather.

With both of us and the car refreshed, it provided a real taster of things to come.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

James and me.... many years ago!

Across the sea to Ireland.

Yesterday we booked a delightful apartment at Castle Cove in Kerry, for a week at the end of June, and a sea crossing from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire with Stena Line on their High Speed Ferry service, OK if the sea is calm, but hellish otherwise!

This is of course an ideal opportunity to exercise the Morgan and we are praying that the weather at the end of June will be sensational, although being realistic, we have to accept that Ireland does get its fair share of rain, so we shall not be surprised if the hood has to stay up on some occasions.

We intend to have an overnight stop on both the outward and inward journey, probably selecting B&Bs in the Kilkenny and Tipperary areas and we are in the process of selecting these.

I have always had a wish to travel the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsular and we are both quite excited by the prospect.

How I love holidays, especially having had to endure a rather long English winter and for the first of these we're off to Corfu in just over three weeks, (not in the Morgan!), and then some five weeks or so later we are having the trip to Ireland.

Nothing else has been fixed yet for the rest of the year, but it will be, and my firm intention is to watch the 8 day weather forecasts for the UK and when it looks promising just arrange a cottage or B&B at the last minute and do some more touring in the Morgan. There's still so much of the UK that we haven't seen.

Meanwhile, on with the route planning.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The crumbling pile!

Every year I am faced with the task of restoring the Victorian brick wall in our back yard, a tedious, messy and gruelling task that is vital, to avoid the obvious embarrassment and shame of it falling down on next doors three-legged cat that prowls in the shadow of the wall.

The whole wall is damp and the ancient bricks 'blow' at the onset of the first frosts resulting in a condition clearly demonstrated in the photographs.

It is something that preys on my mind each year and I always envisage that it is going to take many Morgan driving hours to complete, but in the event is generally finished in a couple of days. This year the problem has been exacerbated by the need for me to also paint the newly rendered outbuildings to the rear of our shop property.

Anyway, with both these major jobs completed,  I can now get on with a leisurely bit of gardening, interspaced by drives in the Morgan.....but oh I do wish Spring would finally arrive with a vengeance!