Sunday, 17 November 2013


As you all know, I lead a miserable life in my little terraced cottage in darkest Lancashire, where, during the dark winter months, the only pleasure I usually get is to enjoy a kipper or a black pudding for breakfast.

I then sit huddled over a glowing ember in the fire grate trying to keep warm, with a dewdrop on the end of my nose, listening to the wireless, wearing many layers of clothing, including thermal underwear, fingerless gloves, woolly hat and a jumper that is six sizes too big, knitted for me by a Hebridean lady called Morag, who proudly said at the outset that she always knitted them slightly large for the local fishermen!

Large!.... it's absolutely immense, and could accommodate another person easily. They must be huge those Hebridean fishermen!

It's easy for me in winter to feel morose, when weather conditions mean that on most days the Morgan stays in the garage and yours truly is confined to the house, reading, surfing the web or being instructed in the art of washing-up and general housekeeping, by a wife who has certain of the traits of Attilla the Hun!

When all those various tasks are completed I normally find myself twiddling my thumbs, so this winter I decided that things would be different and as a result went out and purchased a radio controlled model boat kit to keep me occupied. I've always had a yen for one, especially having completed, a few years ago, a plank on frame model of one of Nelson's ships.
The job has given me hours of pleasure and a few moments of concern, when my heart skipped a beat, thinking that I'd ruined the whole project.
 As I write, the winter has hardly started and we've a lot of very grim weather to come, but I'm sure that this rekindled interest in modelmaking, for I did a lot in my youth, will keep boredom at bay.

However, one of the main problems I have is that it is not an easy task to build models of this type wearing fingerless gloves!!!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Room with a View

Following the visit of Her Majesty the Queen in July, my wife and I have just enjoyed a special one night break at the Miller Howe Hotel ,a small Arts and Crafts hotel, set in 5 acres of grounds, overlooking Windermere in Cumbria.
The Miller Howe Hotel

Arranged by our daughters and their husbands, as a gift to celebrate my 70th birthday, they knew that we would truly appreciate the special quality of this long established restaurant and hotel. It was set up in 1971 by John Tovey, the renowned chef, hotelier and food writer who is now in his eighties.
Possibly one of the first Country House Hotels, it has always enjoyed a first class reputation for food, comfort and service. The Head chef is Andy Beaton who worked for Raymond Blanc in his restaurant,'Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons.
From our bedroom window, with the Langdale Pikes in the distance
The weather when we set off from home was not really condusive to carefree Morgan driving, so we got our trusty 11 year old Volvo V70 out of the garage, a luxury car to match our accommodation!
...and another, I couldn't stop taking shots of this view!
The hotel lived up to its reputation, with a lovely quiet ambience, magnificent food and superbly efficient and friendly service......and we awoke in the morning to that glorious view.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Blind Piper!

At last, the website of the 'Blind Piper Pub' in Caherdaniel is up and running and our Morgan appears in the banner, 12 images in.

My wife and I are delighted, as we have so many happy memories of our holiday in Kerry with the Morgan and it was fortuitous that, on one of our visits to this delightful tavern, we parked outside and Vincent Hyland just happened to be taking shots of the pub for the new website.
The Blind Piper pub
Vincent is a local artist and naturalist, as well as a lovely chap, and I suggest that you have a look at the following websites and  which I think will truly give you a sense of the magic that is the wild coast of Kerry and encourage you to visit.
No caption necessary really!

The full story of our visit to this fabulous area can be read in my blog '4/4 to Kerry'.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Start 'em young!

At last I was able to keep my promise to my eldest grandson....a drive in Grandad's Morgan.

He never stopped talking on our drive and after giving me initial instructions not to drive fast, decided, after 200 yards, that he rather enjoyed travelling fast.

All smiles!

During the whole trip I never exceeded the speed limits, but with the sidescreens off it seems like you are travelling extremely fast, especially to a 4 year old!.....and perhaps to a 70 year old as well!

We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience.