Friday, September 30, 2016

Formula One and defective oysters

One of the places that Ken has wanted to visit for many years is the Jim Clark Room, which is a museum to this racing drivers life and is based in Duns, in Scotland. Jim Clark was Formula One world champion twice, in 1963 and 1965, and was killed in a crash at Hockenheim in 1968.

I'm going to confess to something now. I took photos in the memorial room and then my beloved pointed out to me that there were very discreet little signs asking people not to take photos. So I have to apologise but as I'd already taken these one's I thought it would be a waste not to share them - it might encourage someone else to visit.

Jim Clark
Just one of the many walls of trophies
There were some very interesting trophies from different countries around the world, some gorgeous, some slightly unusual. I really liked this one which is a piece of rock with a metal plant growing out of it - it's really delicate.

This is one of the more unusual ones, this cow bell was massive and he was given it the year he won his second world championship. Imagine taking that back on the plane.

Beautiful floral display in front of the Jim Clark rooms - do you think it's meant to represent a tyre. The trust that runs the rooms is raising money to complete a full museum which will feature some of the cars that Jim Clark raced in.

If you look closely at the blue building you'll see that it's called the Nairn Post Office - we were a little confused, but think it must be the name of the family that run the shop. (Nairn is the name of the town in Scotland that we live in).

Whilst we were wondering around Duns we came across this statue of a bear holding an ammunition shell?? According to the information on the nearby plaque, this is Wojtek the soldier bear who was adopted by the Polish army in Iran in the second world war. He grew up playing and wrestling with the soldiers, drinking beer and eating cigarettes. He also helped carry shells to the guns. After the war he stayed with the Polish army in Berwickshire and then spent the last 16 years of his life in Edinburgh zoo.

The town square of Duns.

After Duns we headed to the small town of Chirnside and to the churchyard in particular to find Jim Clark's grave.

It was a lovely graveyard and interestingly there were Blackadders buried there - I wonder if this is where they got the name for the TV series from? Also, there are two rivers nearby, one called Blackadder Water and one called Whiteadder Water.

Beautiful Celtic cross.

Jim Clark's grave.

This is the church that sits in the middle of the graveyard and has quite a few pigeons living in the tower.

When we got back to Bamburgh where we were staying, we went out for a lovely meal at The Potted Lobster. This is a small but wonderful restaurant and is fully booked every night, so if you would like to go make sure that you book.

Now for those defective oysters!! For centuries people have claimed that oysters are an aphrodisiac, but we had fresh oysters for our starter and neither of us had the urge to throw the other over the restaurant table and have our wicked way with them. Clearly those oysters weren't working or maybe you have to eat bucket loads.

It was a really nice evening with fabulous fresh seafood, lovely glass of wine, and my gorgeous one across the table from me.

Our main meal was a whole plaice with prawns and capers. I was quite shocked when Ken ordered this as he has a bit of an issue with fish bones - picture him spitting a mouthful of food out on his plate because he felt a bone in his mouth, but luckily that night everything went smoothly.


And to finish our meal some very scrummy desserts - summer pudding for Ken and creme brulee for me.

Hope you've enjoyed this visit to the Jim Clark rooms and if you're in the area and you're a Grand Prix fanatic then this is well worth a visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and hope you're having a good day.

Pamela & Ken

My Town - a photographic blogging challenge

The photographic blogging challenge is hosted by P. J. at A 'lil Hoohaa and September's theme was the town we live in. I was going to be so organised this month but life definitely got in the way so I took all but one of the photos yesterday, and I decided to focus on the harbour and beach as that is one of the reasons we moved here in December. After living on the outer edges of London for 18 years, having the chance to live by the sea was a huge deciding factor in moving to Scotland.

1. A dogs eye view: slightly arty shot showing what our puppy dog can see of the beach as we walk along one of the paths adjacent to the beach. I love these grasses as they make gentle noises in the breeze.

2. The Fishwife: Below is what is written on the statue's plaque.

"In Nairn, when the fishing industry was at its height in the late 19th century, the fishwife played a very important role within the community. As well as being responsible for caring for house and family, she also gathered bait, baited lines, gathered durkins (pine cones for smoking fish) prepared and smoked fish, including the famous "Nairn Spelding" then sold them throughout the local area from the creel on her back."

3. Nairn at sunset: the skies here are so amazing and I don't think I'll ever tire at looking at the amazing artwork that is created by the clouds and the sun as it says goodby to the day.

4. Harbour at dusk: it's a small harbour but it manages to squeeze in quite a large number of different sized boats.

5. Harbour at night: I'm not very good at taking night shots normally as I'm not very steady with my hands and haven't got a tripod, but was really pleased with how this one came out.

There you have it, the five photos for the theme of my town, but basically it's my beach and harbour.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and take a look at what makes your area special for you.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Top Ten Thursdays - it's the little things

It's time for Top Ten Thursdays, which is hosted by Tamara over at Confessions of a part-time working mom, and this week it's all about the little things that make our days. This post comes with a health warning, several things on the list are going to involve my gorgeous man so be prepared for a huge dose of romance (I could have just put Ken's name beside every number because he is the one that makes my day, but I've resisted).

1. The perfect milky coffee:  my beloved makes one for me first thing in the morning and in the evening when we're watching TV. It's a big hug in a mug.

2. Fresh flowers: my adorable husband regularly buys fresh flowers to put around our home which I love as they really brighten the place up. He always makes sure that they're displayed really nicely as well.

3: The Great British Bake Off: I love this show and it's so nice to sit down with my coffee and watch people baking amazing things. It doesn't hurt that the silver fox that is Paul Hollywood is quite easy on the eyes, and Mary Berry is adorable.

4. Bramble running: It so makes me smile when Bramble runs to me with her ears flying in the breeze. She runs so fast that she can't stop when she gets to me - it makes me feel really loved when I see the look on her face as she runs at me.

5. Sunsets: There are some amazing sunsets here in the highlands and they always give me a good feeling inside. They especially make me smile if my beloved is on the children's climbing frame shaped like a ship doing the scene from Titanic.

6. Yellow Cars: years ago one of our neighbors in London made the mistake of telling us about a driving game him and his wife played. Basically it's hitting the other person on the thigh if you see a yellow car because yellow cars aren't as popular as other colours. Well, we've taken the yellow car rule and included anything that moves under it's own power and we regularly have debates over how much yellow has to be on a vehicle for it to count. My beloved told me recently that an executive decision (him) had been made to say that it had to be 80% yellow. The other debate we have is over the actual colour - sometimes a dodgy orange or pale green may slip through the net.

 7. Front Step Rocks: We have a collection of rocks and old shells on our front step which usually just sit in a random pile which in itself makes me smile, but every now and then my artistic husband designs something out of them which really makes my day when I see it. Below are two different lizard/dinosaur creatures that he created.

8. Funny cat videos: sometimes you can be having a bad day and just need something to make you smile so a guaranteed way to do that for me is to watch funny cat videos on YouTube. One of my favourites is the one below which is of cats stealing dogs beds - watch and smile.

9.Honeymoon picture: this picture hangs in our front hall and it always makes me feel good for several reasons. We bought it on honeymoon on the island of Samos, Greece, and the reason we bought it was that we decided that it was us when we get older - still holding hands despite the walking sticks. Ken has shrunk a little bit so there is still potential for this to be our reality - the holding hands is a definite as that is just how we are.

10. My work: I know, it's quite shocking for me to put work as one of the things that make my day especially as I'm the person that always reminds others that we work so that we can live, not live to work. I really love my job and there can be moments that remind me why I do what I do in supporting people with cancer, and those moments can make my day, and even my week. It helps that the environment I work in is beautiful and incredibly relaxing.

Looking downstairs into the centre
So there you have it, the little things that can really make my day - what are the things that make your day? Why don't you pop over to Tamara's blog, Confessions of a part-time working mom and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with for their lists - click HERE to visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and enjoy all the little things that bring a smile to your face.

Pamela & Ken

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Honey Farm and a Chain Bridge

Whilst in Northumberland we had a lovely day out to the Chain Bridge Honey Farm which sits right at the edge of England in the north east. The honey farm was opened in the 1940's and is a great place to visit, especially for vintage vehicle fanatics like my beloved as there are lots of old vehicles dotted around the place.

There is also a big shed with lots of old things inside - this is an old butter churn.

One corner was set up like an old shop with very old tins which I'm sure would not be pleasant if you opened them.

On the counter was this original copy of a magazine from 1912 which had things in it that today seem very odd for us but must have been very normal back then.

This is one of the adds in the magazine and my favourite thing in it is that there is a chapter on answering the door.

Lots of different things that you would find in an old kitchen - love the old pots and pans but most of them I can't even lift up because they are so heavy.

American number plates.

Old bikes.

Old tractors - you can feel my husband getting more interested now. It was about at this point that another couple that were wandering around stopped and spoke to us, well me to start with. The couple were from Yorkshire and to me they may as well have been from outer Mongolia for all that I understood - I just nodded and smiled and then became very distracted by an old tractor, leaving Ken to talk to them. Typically we kept running into them as we walked around the farm and I had to trust that Ken would do the talking as they had the broadest Yorkshire accent that I have ever heard.

This large painting was in one of the sheds - the reason I took a photo of it was that the cat reminded me of Tiddles who was my cat growing up.

This was one of the honey farm working vehicles which was covered in bees! There must have been remnants of honey on the trailer as there were lots of bees all over the back. This led us to wonder how often the workers get stung by the bees and if visitors get stung very often?

The cafe for the farm was based in this lovely old double decker bus with tables upstairs and the kitchen downstairs. There was one table downstairs so we sat there - to enjoy the view of the cakes.

Very, very scrummy cakes which all had honey incorporated into them.

In the visitor centre there is lots about the history of honey making and there were lots of really interesting facts. I liked this collection of honey pots as I've seen a few interesting ones over the years and in different countries.

The facts on this poster really did my head in - one litre of honey requires 10,000 hours of flying!! The bees wings must be very tired. Typically the worker bees are females and the males (drones) are back in the hive getting jiggy with the queen.

Look at this fantastic knitted chain bridge (you'll see the real one shortly) - if you look closely you'll see that there are swans and canoeists in the river which is great attention to detail.

One of the doors in the visitor centre has this beautiful scene painted on it - it looks like a really nice place to sit and have a cup of coffee with the friendly cat keeping you company.

This is a traditional bee skep, which have been used for centuries to keep bees in.

Being an avid reader I really loved this quote by James Russell Lowell.

After our look around the honey farm we walked down to the Chain Bridge which connects England to Scotland.

'The Union Chain Bridge spans the River Tweed between Horncliffe, Northumberland, England and Fishwick, Borders, Scotland.........When it opened in 1820 it was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world with a span of 137 metres (449 ft), and the first vehicular bridge of its type in the United Kingdom. It cost £7,700 to construct...' (

View from the bridge - you can't see him but there was a man standing in the middle of the river up to his waist and he was bothering the fish (fly fishing).

The next two photos demonstrate something that Ken wants me to point out. As you walk across the bridge into England this is the sign that greets you - just the word England.

As you walk across the bridge into Scotland these are the signs that welcome you, which to Ken reaffirms his belief that the Scots are much friendlier than the English. I'm staying neutral as I'm not from either country, but it definitely felt nicer walking into Scotland.

Pretty house over the border into Scotland.

Ken and Bramble on the bridge.

After walking across we went back and got the car to drive across the bridge on our way to Dunns and a visit to the Jim Clark Rooms - future blog post. As you can see, Monkey had a prime position for the crossing.

That was our day out to the honey farm and chain bridge. Until next time, be good, stay safe, and have a really lovely week.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Final picture is a very tired Bramble (Jelly Sassy Pants) when we got back to our holiday cottage.