A Long Weekend 5: Lime Kilns and Walled Garden

Continuing my account of my recent long weekend away, with a look at Lindisfarne Lime Kilns and the Gertrude Jekyll walled garden.

My previous post in this somewhat syncopated series which deals with the period 14-17 August inclusive started my coverage of Holy Island/ Lindisfarne. This post continues the story, taking us right up to the entrance to the castle itself.

THE LIME KILNS

The top of the lime kilns are not accessible on safety grounds, being open shafts, but one can explore them at ground level, and I found doing so incredibly rewarding. This is basically an interconnecting network of high ceilinged tunnels, with brickwork still in fine condition. There are some fine sea views as well, and some interesting information about the history and use of the kilns.

THE JEKYLL GARDEN

The walled garden, designed and laid out by Gertrude Jekyll (pronounced Jee-kull, not as Stephenson’s doctor is Jeck-ill) is very much in keeping with her original design which was an act of rebellion against formal Victorian gardens. There are some very interesting plants in there, and like the kilns it well repays a bit of exploring.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

A Long Weekend 4: Arriving On Lindisfarne

The first pf several posts about Lindisfarne.

Welcome to the next post in my series on my long weekend away (14-17 August). This post is the first of several I shall be putting up about Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island. This remarkable islands sits just of the coast of Northumberland – it is linked to the mainland by a causeway which is usable for some of each day.

GETTING THERE

Coming from our location getting on to the approach to the causeway required getting across the A1, and the junction in question has no traffic lights, which means that it takes a considerable time to get across. We then had a further substantial wait before being able to cross the causeway.

STARTING TO EXPLORE

We started with some general stuff about the island, its history and the wildlife to which it is home. We then headed in the direction of the castle, which in its current incarnation is modern, having been redesigned by Lutyens. There is also a walled garden which was designed and laid out by Gertrude Jekyll.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some photographs from the early part of our explorations of this island:

A Long Weekend 3: Arriving at the Cottage

The latest in my mini-series about my long weekend away (14-17 August).

Welcome to the continuation of this mini-series about my long weekend away (see here and here for the earlier posts). This post looks at the journey from South Wingfield to Wooler and the first evening at our accommodation there.

THE JOURNEY NORTH

According to google the journey from South Wingfield to Wooler was going to take just over three hours (relatively quick because most of the distance could be covered on the M1/ A1, and even after leaving the A1 we were not going onto a minor road). A petrol stop early in the journey and a service station stop later added a little time to the basic estimate, but we still arrived at our destination by 17:40.

Then with the aid of a site map we located the particular property we were staying in (there are currently about 30 separate cottages on the site and more are being developed). Setting ourselves up did not take very long, although the fold out bed that I would be sleeping in caused momentary concern.

EXPLORING THE SITE

In the early evening my parents and I took a walk around the site, which proved quite rewarding, and was a good way to bring the day’s activities to a close.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

A Long Weekend 2: South Wingfield

An account of the Sunday morning and early afternoon of my recent long weekend away.

In the first post of this series I introduced the events that took place and covered Saturday August 14. Today I cover the Sunday morning/ very ealy afternoon events.

THANKSGIVING SERVICE

The first event of the morning was a thanksgiving service for Ivy Helen Joy Handforth, new daughter of a cousin of mine and his wife, which was combined with celebrating her parents Ruby wedding anniversary. The presence of an official photographer limited the number of pictures I could take of the service itself.

We arrived in South Wingfield early enough to take a brief walk before the service got underway.

The service started with ‘Jerusalem’, proceeded through several hymns, readings by friends and prayers. There was also a poem by Philip Larkin which did not get read out loud but which was on the back of the programme.

RECEPTION

This took place at the Parish Rooms (my parents and I had a brief moment of confusion between these and the Parish Hall) immediately after the service. We stayed a little while but had to move on to get to the place we were staying on Sunday evening. It was reasonably enjoyable, though the food was not great.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

Scotland 2021: Castle Sinclair Girnigoe

An account of a visit to a ruined castle that nowadays doubles as a wildlife haven.

On the morning of my birthday we travelled to Wick to do some essential shopping, and on the way back as a warm up act to the main event of the day, a wildlife cruise which I shall write about in due time we called in at the ruins of Castle Sinclair Girnigoe.

RUIN AND WILDLIFE HAVEN

In it’s heyday this castle would have been an imposing sight (it was very obviously built to intimidate, and had little in the way of style), although its location is testament to the absence of any kind of field artillery – even Ballistae and scorpions as used by the Romans hundreds of years before it was built could have caused mayhem by targetting the rock formations around the castle and effectively subjecting those in the castle to a hail of rock fragments – in Scotland in that period. Nowadays it is an impressive ruin, and also home to many kinds of wildlife, both fauna and flora. There are some stunningly good views out over the sea. If you ever happen to be in this corner of Scotland it is worth a look, though it would not be the main event of one’s day.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My photographs begin with a few from before we got to the castle, cover the walk from the parking area to the castle and the castle itself:

Watlington Wildlife

My write up of yesterday’s tour round Watatunga Wildlife Reserve near Watlington in Norfolk.

Watlington, just down the A10 from King’s Lynn, might seem like an unlikely place to see interesting wildlife, but it harbours a secret, accessed by means of an prepossessing looking gravel track that leads to a carpark and reception centre both of which are within eye- and earshot of the A10…

THE WATATUNGA
WILDLIFE RESERVE

This establishment, whose website has the strapline “Conservation Today for Wildlife Tomorrow” is explored by motorized buggy, which means that you need at least one person in your group to have a full driving license (also the walk from Watlington station would take some time and a lot of it is along a busy road with no footpath) and is home to a range of interesting species (birds and herbivorous mammals only).

Yesterday a number of us from NAS West Norfolk got to experience this. We used five four seater buggies and one six seater for our groups, with me sharing a buggy with our branch chair and her son. We had a guide who told us what could be seen. After a stretch along a sand track and then through a tunnel which was ankle deep in water we got to the reserve proper and we were not disappointed – lots of wonderful creatures were indeed on show.

After our arrival back at the reception area I got a lift back to the train station, arriving just in time to catch the 18:23 to King’s Lynn, meaning I was home just before seven.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Even with the difficulties imposed by being in a moving vehicle (with occasional stops, but strictly no getting out of the vehicle at any point) I got some splendid pictures:

I hope you enjoy these pictures of the wonderful wildlife of Watatunga, just as I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the creatures yesterday, even in less than ideal weather.

Brathwaite Ends Lean Spell

A look at developments in #WIvSL, some remarkable footage of a volcanic eruption (courtesy of Science girl on twitter), and my latest photographs.

In this post I look at developments in the game between West Indies and Sri Lanka that is just into its second day.

DAY 1: KRAIGG BRATHWAITE DEFIES SRI LANKA

With the West Indies batting first and looking to improve on the draw they recorded in the first game of the series Sri Lanka bowled very well. Veteran seamer Suranga Lakmal was particularly effective, bowling full and just a fraction wide (even in limited overs cricket the umpires would not have been calling wides – he was targetting the area that bowlers like to call ‘fourth stump’) to take three of the first four wickets. For much of the day it seemed that Brathwaite would simply not find anyone to bat well enough with him for the Windies to post a decent total, but then Rahkeem Cornwall, the off spinner who has a decent first class record as lower order batter, set about proving that his maiden test fifty, recorded in the previous match, was no fluke. By the close West Indies had got to 287-7, Brathwaite 99 not out, Cornwall 43 not out.

DAY TWO – LANDMARKS SECURED EARLY

It took one ball of the second day, which is just under way, for Brathwaite to complete his ton with a single, and Cornwall has subsequently got to 50. After three overs of the second day the West Indies are 299-7, Brathwaite 101 not out, Cornwall 53 not out. Lakmal is bowling at one end and left armer Vishwa Fernando at the other, and Cornwall has just brought up the 300 with a two off the latter, taking himself to 55.

LIVE FOOTAGE OF A VOLCANO

Someone who posts on twitter under the name Science Girl has posted some extraordinary footage from Iceland, where volcanic eruptions have been happening lately. You can visit the tweet by clicking here, and the video is embedded below:

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off, with as evidence of changing seasons (the sun came out today and it has been genuinely warm here in Norfolk) my first butterfly sightings of 2021 – nothing very exotic, just some tortoiseshells.

As I publish the West Indies have still not lost any further wickets, the score being 302-7 after 92 overs.

India Win The First ODI

An account of yesterday’s India v England ODI, some geological stuff and some photographs.

This post looks back at yesterday’s first ODI between India and England, which took place in Pune.

THE PRELIMINARIES

England’s chosen team was: Roy, Bairstow, Stokes, *Morgan, +Buttler, Billings, Ali, S Curran, T Curran, Rashid, Wood. Livingstone and Parkinson were players many would have wanted to see who were left on the bench. India handed debuts to K Pandya and Krishna, with KL Rahul named as wicket keeper. Their team was: Sharma, Dhawan, *Kohli, Iyer, +Rahul, H Pandya, K Pandya, Thakur, Kumar, K Yadav, Krishna. Morgan won the toss and chose to bowl.

INDIA’S INNINGS

Dhawan played superbly in the early part of the innings, but England also bowled decently and with 9.3 overs to go India were 205-5 with Krunal Pandya on international debut joining KL Rahul. Both these players batted beautifully, England bowled very poorly in the closing stages, a recurring problem for the current outfit, and the total mushroomed to 317-5 by the end of the innings.

ENGLAND’S RESPONSE

Roy and Bairstow began superbly, and at 135-0 in the 14th over that target of 318 was looking manageable. Then Roy fell for 46, his fourth recent instance of getting to 40 and not completing a half century. Stokes was unable to get going at all, Bairstow lost momentum due to the problems at the other end and missed out on his century, and as wickets continued to fall England looked a panic-stricken side. Moeen Ali hinted at a late revival with 30, but when he and then Sam Curran fell in short order to leave Tom Curran, Rashid and Wood nearly 80 to score between them the writing was well and truly on the wall. England were all out for 251, beaten by 66 runs. The debutant Krishna had 4-54, the best figures of the day, but the most significant contribution was from the experienced Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who had figures of 2-30 from nine overs, applying the squeeze at a crucial stage. Roy and Bairstow gave England an excellent platform, but once wickets started to fall no one was able to steady the ship, and the cold hard truth is that England lost all ten wickets for 116 runs on a flat pitch.

LOOKING AHEAD

The batting, Roy and Bairstow apart, looks unreliable. Billings and Morgan are both injury worries, and I think Livingstone has to come in- Stokes did not look comfortable at three, while Livingstone habitually bats high in the order. Among the bowlers Tom Curran has to go – he has taken one wicket in his last nine ODIs, and if you are not taking wickets you have to keep it tight, and he is not doing so at present – India scored 63 off his ten overs without having to exert themselves to punish him. Personally I would be inclined to change the balance of the attack and bring Parkinson in to replace him, but could accept the alternative of selecting Reece Topley in his place. India would inevitably look to target Parkinson if he was selected and I would counter that by giving him the new ball because openers sometimes struggle when confronted with spin first up. I am not going to call for Morgan to go just yet, but he could do with a decent score some time soon, and he needs to a little less inflexible – perhaps the occasional decision to bat first when he wins the toss, and perhaps giving more consideration to certain players.

GEOLOGY CORNER

Courtesy of twitter (in the form of Science, Space & Nature) I can provide some film of a volcanic eruption on Iceland (please click picture link below to view):

Collapsing Crater 🌋🇮🇸✨
•
the first eruption on Reykjanes Peninsula in over 800 years, situated in Geldingadalur by Festarfjall mountain. Definitely the most surreal thing to ever experienced. You could feel extreme heat coming from the lava
Credit: h0rdur/IG pic.twitter.com/rLZR2Ec9LH— Science, Space & Nature (@ScienceIsNew) March 23, 2021

From the Natural History Museum twitter feed comes some info about the first ever Geological Map of a country (Great Britain) – see screenshot below, and click here for more.

I end this section with a picture of one of the maps on display in my bungalow, an old palaeontological map of Great Britain and Ireland:

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

India Take T20I Series

A look at today’s events in Ahmedabad, a mathematical challenge, a new nature themed project and some photographs.

I have a couple of bonus features as well as an account of goings on in Ahmedabad today.

THE PRELIMINARIES

England were unchanged once again, while India chose to give themselves an extra bowling option, selecting T Natarajan in place of KL Rahul. Kohli moved up to open with Rohit Sharma. Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to bowl.

THE INDIAN INNINGS

Rohit Sharma batted magnificently, scoring a rapid 65, getting out when seemingly nailed on for a century and more. Kohli played the anchor role to perfection and there were explosive contributions from Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya, promoted on account of his big hitting. India reached 224-2 from their 20, with no England bowler escaping. The highlight for England in the field was a dismissal that appears in the scorebook as C Roy B Rashid, one of the most misleading such entries in cricket history – the wicket was in fact almost solely down to Chris Jordan who ran round the boundary, made an amazing catch and had the presence of mind to realize that his momentum was taking him over the rope and the skill to lob the ball to Roy before that happened. It was a piece of fielding genius to stand with any in the game’s long history.

THE ENGLAND RESPONSE

Roy fell early, but Buttler and the much maligned Dawid Malan batted well for a time, and kept England in the hunt in the process. Both went past 50, Buttler making 52, and Malan going on to 68, in the process of which he became the quickest ever to complete 1,000 T20I runs, getting to that landmark in his 24th innings in that form of the game, two innings fewer than the next best, Babar Azam. However, both were out in quick succession and England soon dropped out of the hunt thereafter. In the end they were 188-8 from their 20, beaten by 36 runs. The crucial intervention on a day which saw 412 runs scored came from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who took 2-15 from his four overs. Absent him 397 runs came of 36 overs, a rate of 11.03, while he went for 3.75 per over. He has quite correctly been named Player of the Match. More details of today’s events can be found here.

A MATHEMATICAL TEASER

As so often with these, my source is brilliant.org, but I am being a little unorthodox this time – they changed the wording of their question following complaints, and I am reverting to the original:

You can see this question in its original setting here, but I also have two subsidiary questions: a) what complaints do you think led to the wording being changed? b) Were those complaints actually valid given that this was posed as a mathematical not a philosophical question. Full explanations and answers on Monday.

NATURE AND PHOTOGRAPHS

As a segue into my usual sign off, I include a link to a twitter project being run by my friends Team4Nature. Below is a screenshot to explain things, while the tweet can be seen by clicking here.

Time for my usual sign off…

England XI For Thursday

A suggested England XI for the fourth and final test of the current series, which starts on Thursday. Also a couple of important links and some photographs.

I suggested an England XI for the fourth and final test of the India v England series in my post about the end of the third match. Since then Chris Woakes has gone home, which eliminates one of my chosen XI and I have concluded that a couple of specialist pace bowlers are actually required. Therefore I am presenting a new XI here, with a couple of possible variations noted.

THE SERIES SCENARIO AND SELECTION POLICIES

With England’s hopes of winning the series and of qualifying for the World Test Championship both up in smoke and series levelling victory serving only to usher Australia into the WTC final I am thinking that a degree of experimentalism is called for. In my view, with Root able to bowl respectable off spin it is more valuable if the second specialist spinner can bowl leg spin, giving a new variation to the attack.

THE BATTING

Dan Lawrence struggled at number three and should not be asked to bat there again for some while. Jonathan Bairstow, 2021 vintage, does not belong in a test match squad, let alone first XI. Thus the question is whether one goes with a top three of Sibley, Burns and Crawley or whether one promotes Stokes in the hope that his experience stiffens the top part of the order. With this the last test of the series and a home summer followed by an Ashes series down under next up I opt in this case for the top three that is likeliest to feature there rather than promote Stokes. With Stokes not being promoted the nos four and five slots are spoken for – Root and Stokes. Pope deserves to stay on in the middle order, with apologies to Dan Lawrence who has had the rough end of the stick this tour, and Foakes will keep. I might consider trying Foakes at six and Pope at seven as Pope is more likely to able to score fast with the tail, but they definitely occupy those two slots in some order. Thus our 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 will be either Sibley, Burns, Crawley, *Root, Stokes, Pope +Foakes or Sibley, Burns, Crawley, *Root, Stokes, +Foakes, Pope.

THE BOWLING

With an eye to the future and also wishing to see something that has not yet been tried I conclude that both veterans should be rested for this one, and also that Archer who has been underwhelming in his outings so far should miss out, naming Wood (who bowled well in SL) and Stone (who bowled well in the second test of this series), opting for two out and out speedsters. Leach holds his place, and rather than Bess I recommend a promotion from the reserves for Parkinson. My 8,9,10,11 is therefore Wood, Stone, Leach, Parkinson. The full XI is encapsulated in the infographic below:

LINKS AND PHOTOGRAPHS

First up, courtesy of twitter (in this case Trisha Greenhalgh) here is an infographic about masks (link to original here):

Then, as a segue into my usual sign off, a petition calling for new law to protect nature, which you can sign and share from here (screenshot of petition text, from e-activist.com is below):

https://e-activist.com/page/75310/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=email&utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=2&utm_campaign=

Now, it is time for those photographs…