Continuing my account of my Scottish holiday with a look at the beautiful and interesting island of Eigg.
I continue my account of my Scottish holiday with a look at our explorations of the island of Eigg, the third of four posts devoted to Friday (see here and here).
There are a cafe and a shop right where the boat drops one on the island of Eigg. Having noted the existence of these establishments we began our explorations. The first point of interest was some information about the island itself:
We then came to a memorial…
Then it was walk uphill, until we came to a footpath that we took. Conscious of time constraints we did not go massively far along the path, though what we saw was very scenic…
There were some more information boards before we got back to the cafe, which we were now ready to patronise. First this, about the geology of the inner Hebrides:
Then this about electricity and green issues:
The cafe proved to be excellent. I ate a bacon bap and drank a reasonably local beer that proved to be of splendid quality.
We did a little more exploring after lunch, before heading back to the boat, which we boarded in good time for the journey back to Arisaig. Eigg was very interesting as well as very scenic, and I enjoyed my visit there.
The journey on the Pensthorpe Explorer was very scenic, and the guide provided excellent commentary. There was stuff about the area’s wildlife and things Pensthorpe do to encourage said wildlife, some local history and an explanation of the significance of the River Wensum which flows through Pensthorpe.
There were a couple of parts of the route that made use of an old railway line (aeons go part of the Midland & Great Northern, colloquially referred to as the Muddle & Go Nowhere – East Anglia was home at one time to a vast number of railway companies, with in addition to this one the five companies who ultimately amalgamated to form the Great Eastern Railway) which added to the interest of the experience.
The Wensum is of special significance because it is a chalk river, of which there only about 200 on the planet (although about 170 of those are right here in the UK, including another significant Norfolk river, The Gaywood). Unfortunately the bunch of clowns who are collectively known as Norfolk County Council are hellbent on building a new road through the Wensum valley which among other things will damage two important bat colonies (we are talking rare species of bat here). Also, as to the notion that building a new road will ease congestion, I give you one letter an two numbers appropriately arranged: M25. There is a campaign group doing their best to prevent this ghastly project from going ahead, and you can view their twitter page and also sign a petition they are running. The biggest problem that Norfolk has is not with its roads, but with the frankly scandalous state of public transport in the county, which causes people to feel compelled to drive, which in turn feeds into the county council’s ‘cars are everything’ agenda. Green Party representation is increasing in Norfolk, which provides grounds for hope that eventually the county council’s make up will change and it will move into the 21st century.
The trip on the Pensthorpe Explorer was a splendid end to a splendid day.
Here are the pictures from this section of the day:
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.
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.
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.
Here are some photographs from the early part of our explorations of this island:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.