Day Trip to the Seaside

Easter Saturday, a fine sunny day, perfect for a trip to the seaside with 2 friends.

Set off on the 9.10 train to Cleethorpes. Friends delighted when I produced bucks fizz and plastic wine glasses from my bag. Hilarity as tried to pour without spilling on table. Poor chap occupying fourth seat asked to move – not because he was getting off, but because we were getting lary.

First time for me in Cleethorpes.  Very excited because I love the sea, having grown up on the south coast.  Living in landlocked Sheffield, had not seen the sea for 3 years. Friends said the sea at Cleethorpes is in fact the Humber estuary and very tidal. When tide is out, there are acres of sand flats, so you can barely even see the sea then.  Well, if I go all the way to the seaside and don’t see the sea, there’ll be trouble.  Fortunately when we got off the train, the sea was all there.

View from the pier

View from the pier

On the pier

On the pier

Pretty awful run-down seaside tat around the station. Pier had been cut down to a few yards in wartime. Traditional seaside donkeys and hardy British bucket-and-spaders despite chilly wind.

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Strolled down the prom to the bird sanctuary and were passed by a delightful miniature steam train going ‘toot-toot’!  Everyone waved.

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Stopped at the point where the line of zero longitude crosses the east coast, marked by a signpost and a metal plate in the pavement ‘Greenwich Meridian Longitude – zero’.

Greenwich Meridian marker

Greenwich Meridian marker

Found the miniature train station complete with traditional signage, men in railway uniforms of yesteryear, and a stout man in a bowler hat announcing departures via a cordless microphone. A fusion of old and new in one fat controller!

Then came across a wonderful boating lake, big, with 3 islands and a host of ducks, geese and swans. And tourists trying to row against the stiff breeze off the North sea. I have sea legs so insisted we join in. Seven quid for 30 minutes, he said, but we filled our boots for an hour and no-one minded.

On the boating lake

On the boating lake

Boat man held boat steady as we clambered out, and asked him where’s the best place round here for fish and chips? Steele’s in the market place, without a doubt.  Found Steele’s, and even though it was nearly 3pm and past the lunchtime rush, a queue out the door. Worth the wait. Slap-up fish and chips, traditional style. Comes with a pot of tea and bread-and-butter. Pot of tea comes with a jug of hot water – the mark of quality. Dessert menu included banana split, knickerbocker glory, and spotted dick. Wonderful. But a bridge too far for us.  Besides, there were freshly-baked donuts to buy back on the prom. And sticks of rock. And cinder toffee.

Seaside rock shoppe

Seaside rock shoppe

Back on the prom, the sea had gone!

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Bye-bye seaside,

Till next time,

L x

 

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Feels like Summer – and a Cemetery

It’s been a glorious day here in Sheffield, UK. Most unusual for a bank holiday weekend. Yet only two days ago it was cold enough for gloves. Such is our changeable climate. This afternoon I took Harry and Dixie out for a good 3-hour ramble, from their house down to the river and woods at Rivelin and back.

This is one of my favourite walks because it’s so varied and interesting. There are so many footpaths to choose from that the walk is different every time. Starting off in suburbia, it then covers parkland, woodland, fields, rocks, and allotments. There are sheep, horses, fishermen, a cafe, ice-cream, and lots of other dogs. A cool river to paddle in, and once you’ve climbed back up the hill, a simply stunning view.

My route today took in Walkley Cemetery. I find cemeteries fascinating. They are so full of history and hidden life stories. I find them mysterious and atmospheric. This particular cemetery is all the more interesting because it isn’t neat, tidy and well-attended. It is neglected and dilapidated. In a wood on a steep hill, it is overgrown with ivy and creepers. There are clearings, footpaths, and stone walls which have fallen down. The ancient trees provide lots of shade, so it’s like wandering through a rambling old house, from room to room, full of antiques in various stages of decay. Some of the headstones are spectacularly ornate, with stone statues of angels and draped urns.

Entrance to Walkley Cemetery

Entrance to Walkley Cemetery

Harry and Dixie leading the way

Harry and Dixie leading the way

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A little further on, we were treated to a lovely display of bluebells.

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We weren’t far from the river and I could already hear the happy sounds of children larking about. Down at the cafe and kids’ play area it was crowded with families having picnics and barbecues, and playing in the river. I put the boys on their lead as they are terrible scroungers when there’s food about. Further up the river it was much quieter so I let them off again. Someone had dropped a packet of crisps in the path and Harry was onto it: opened and devoured in two minutes, cheesy wotsit crumbs all over his chops.

Yum yum

Yum yum!

At the big pond we usually have a rest because it’s a good place to paddle in the river and get a drink before we leave the valley floor and climb back up the hill. I let the boys have a good mooch round. They went and made friends with (i.e., scrounged food off) all the other people there. After a while I couldn’t see Harry anywhere. Then I noticed he was up on the footpath around the pond, talking to a fisherman. Uh-oh! I hadn’t noticed the fishermen there. I always put them on the lead around fishermen because in general they don’t like to be disturbed and they certainly don’t want dogs trying to eat their bait. So I grabbed Dixie and ran round to get Harry, full of apologies. But fortunately the man was laughing. ‘I have to tell you, love, that your dog’s just eaten some raw bacon’. Well I wasn’t too bothered, as I raw feed my cats and I think dogs should be raw fed too, ideally. The man then offered Dixie his last rasher, and it vanished without touching the sides. Well pleased with their pickings, the boys had one last dip in the river and we headed up the footpath, through the fields to the allotments at the top.

Footpath through the horses' field

Footpath through the horses’ field

The view is well worth the climb. We had a rest in the meadow which was full of lush long grasses and  buttercups. The lads rolled around in the cool grass and had lots of belly-rubs.

Wild flowers in the meadow

Wild flowers in the meadow

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Back home, Harry and Dixie flopped onto the kitchen floor and nodded off whilst I related our adventures to Ken.

I would never have found these places and pieced this walk together if I wasn’t a regular dog-walker. All thanks to the Cinnamon Trust.

Where shall we go next Sunday?

Till next time,

L x