Moaning

My apologies to Sue in Suffolk but I had a moan yesterday.

I was feeling a little weary after my walk on Sunday and had planned to do some laundry on Monday morning,  but P was bouncing up and down with enthusiasm for us to walk the route that he had run the day before.  To avoid the Grumps I agreed so laced up my walking shoes and duly followed along.

We started off at Port-e-Vullen beach, about 2 miles around the headland.  



For the first 45 minutes of the walk it was a long, fairly boring, drag up the steep tarmac lane to the top of the cliffs. The hedgerows were quite pretty though.


At the top P led me through the wooden gate to the coastal footpath which leads along the clifftop back down to the beach.

Oh my.  I could see straight away that this was going to be a less than enjoyable experience for me.

  • Hay fever sufferer  - LOTS of long grass swaying in the warm breeze...Tick ✔
  • Person with inner ear balance problems  - very narrow, steep,  unstable path with loose stones and a sheer drop over the edge....Tick ✔
  • Oh  and talking of ticks,  🪲 plenty of tall, dense bracken overhanging much of the path for you to brush through. Luckily I was wearing leggings tucked into my walking socks.
The scenery along the coastline was pretty dramatic.




Right at the end the path became flatter and wider, which I was very relieved to discover. 

There was a whole stretch of pale pink Common Spotted Orchid growing along the path 




At the end, as the very welcome sight of the beach came into view, we came across a fragrant rose bush tangled in amongst the briars and barbed wire.



The walk had taken 2 hours and by the time we reached home my hay fever had kicked in with a vengeance.  My antihistamines had no effect and I steadily worked my way through a dozen mansize cotton hankies over the course of the afternoon.  I had to do the laundry just to have some more hankies to sneeze into, although P did suggest switching to pillow cases as they are bigger. 

I think he had started to realise that his great idea had backfired a little as I was not in the best of moods.







Another Sunny Sunday

After a few days of grey, mizzly weather the sun finally decided to make an appearance yesterday.

I was quite relieved as I had offered to lead a walk for the girls and they were travelling all the way up here for the occasion. 

We did the same walk that P and I had tried out last week.  A 4 mile loop starting on the beach then climbing up through Lhergy Frissel then the Claughbane meadow and back along the old railway line.  I took lots of photos last time so didn't  bother yesterday, although we did have a team photo at the end.


At the end of our walk we were lucky to find a table at Conrod's Coffee Shop (owned by our local TT race legend Connor Cummins)  and enjoyed more chat over coffee and a shared chocolate brownie.

After a shower then  lunch I sat out in the garden for a while to enjoy the welcome sunshine.

P had been shopping and bagged a bargain for supper from the yellow sticker shelf. Two plump duck breasts at half price. They were very good, especially with a glass of prosecco. 

Our forecast looks good for most of this week so more walks are likely  before the rain returns.

I need to work off some excess weight!




Maughold Head

This morning started grey and mizzly so I just had a short trot to the shops after P came back from his morning run.

After lunch the sun had begun to push through the low cloud so P suggested a short drive around the headland to Maughold (pronounced Mack-old) and a walk to the lighthouse.

We parked in the village car park and strolled up the pretty lane to Maughold Church.




Visit Isle of Man has this to say about the area....

Kirk Maughold Church is one of the oldest churches on the Island and it is the site of vast importance for the Island's history, heritage and culture with elements dating back to the sixth century.    The church was founded approximately 447 A.D. by Celtic St Maughold who was expelled from Ireland by St Patrick and landed on the coast here towards the end of the 5th century, bringing Christianity with him. This site on the headland became one of the most important sites of the early period and was regularly frequented by pilgrims across the ages, before being commissioned as a church in the 12th century by Viking King Olaf I.   The Church contains a large number of historically important Celtic crosses from the early Christian period (6th-13th Century) and the ruins of three keills, suggesting that it was the site of an early Christian monastery and the main pre-Norse religious community on the Isle of Man.   Nowadays, the crosshouse in the churchyard contains almost a third of all pre-Norse cross slabs found on the Island, including the Pillar Cross which is the only remaining parish cross on the island and depicts the oldest stone-carved example of the three legs of Mann symbol on the Island.










Other points of interest include the poignant War memorial in the churchyard ... 































Leaving the churchyard from the far gate, we walked up the path to the lighthouse, where P spotted a peregrine falcon perched, looking perhaps for seabirds that were nesting there on the cliffs.







It only took us an hour for this short amble but it had just started to rain as we reached the car so we were happy to drive the five minutes back home to tea and shelter.


Too Much!

This afternoon we both had appointments with the local GP Practice Nurse for our "New Patient Check"  in order to register with the surgery.

There followed the usual blood pressure, weight, height measurements then the standard health questions. 

When it came to the "How much alcohol do you consume?" question, P lied but I 'fessed up.   

The nurse gently  reminded me that my consumption is above the recommended levels and that perhaps I should think about cutting down.

We are both booked in for routine blood tests next week so I shall be interested to see if anything shows up to scare me.


Pastry

For the past 4 years or so I have tried very hard to avoid fat in my diet, due to a high cholesterol level caused by a thyroid deficiency. However, with my various health issues currently  being controlled by my thyroid medication and my recent increased level of exercise I have been tempted by some of the delicacies on offer at the Ramsey Saturday Farmer's Market.

Last week we were "obliged" to buy some tarts from the local Goat Farm stall in the market - just to be polite of course. I had the goat cheese and spinach and P had the goat cheese with caramelised onion.  They were on offer at two packs of two tarts for £10 so I duly bought one of each.  We had the first pack last week and finished off the second this evening, (we had frozen the remaining tarts and they were still great).

When we visited the market this weekend the tarts had already sold out but there were a few curried lamb and lentil pasties still available.  Dear reader, I could not resist.  One pasty came home with me and I divided it into two portions for our lunch.  The wonderful "goat lady" makes absolutely heavenly pastry.  Light, crisp and melt in the mouth.

I hope that my waistline can cope with all this "Buy Local " fervour.



Seen Around

A lazy Sunday today, just chilling and enjoying the warm sunshine in the garden.

As I am feeling very lazy I thought that I would just post a few photos of sights from our perambulations this week.



Not your usual old jalopy.  A couple of local cars seen along our way.



Lunch treat in Douglas before my second jab appointment. 



Poppies growing in a patch of waste ground two houses along from us.



And finally,  sitting out in the garden this afternoon waiting for P to bring back Magnums from the shop.









Another Day, Another Walking Route

We have been having fun searching out new places to walk since we moved here.  I expect the novelty will wear off eventually but the recent spell of fine weather makes it very tempting to put on our walking shoes and head out.

This morning, Friday, P took me off on a walk that he had tried out a few days ago on one of his training runs.

It started off in woodland then opened out into an expanse of meadow that ran alongside the Golf course  eventually coming out onto a lane that led down to the river.


After a detour to look at the location of a house on the market  we walked back home along the prom.

Two hours of walking. That should have used up some of the calories from last night's steak.

The Albert Tower

Today, Tuesday, was forecast to be dry and less windy than of late so after our (unsuccessful) viewing of a potential new home this morning we decided to take a walk up to the Albert Tower, which has a commanding view over the town.

This is the view of the tower from our kitchen window.


We walked the 3 minutes from our house up May Hill to the start of the Lhergy Frissel Glen footpaths.

Lhergy Frissell is named after the Frissell family, a branch of the Scottish clan of Frazer.  It consists of 16 acres and is divided into two parts by the TT Course.  A winding path leads you to the Albert Tower.



The path is quite steep and rough underfoot. Not ideal for anyone with balance problems like me but P took my hand to help me over the tricky bits. I stopped a couple of times for photos and to catch my breath.







At the top we admired the tower, which is 45 feet high and was built of granite and slate to commemorate the royal visit of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria on the 20th of September in 1847. Prince Albert was rowed ashore at Ballure then made his way up the glen.  (He must have been pretty fit)




We also admired the variety of mast trees which seem to thrive up here.




The Sequel

 My uncle has sent me a little more information about my grandfather's story.  Alas, it does not have a happy ending.

By 1941 my grandparents had five children and grandad was still working at the docks, which was classed as vital work. However, he left his job and joined the army, the Royal Engineers, and saw quite a lot of action during the war. I am told he was involved in the hazardous task of mine clearing in North Africa which could not have been easy on the nerves.

On his return home after the war ended he was very ill and was admitted to hospital for a time. As well as his physical problems he was also suffering from what would now be called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was not recognised back then.

He never really managed to fit back into civilian life and died in his fifties after suffering from Parkinson's disease during his final years.

I have vague memories of him from my early childhood but these are mainly of a shrunken man with severe tremors, unable to speak coherently and sitting in a wheelchair.

I am sad to realise that he suffered so, and that I never got to know him properly.


Some Family History

My 87 year old uncle, who lives in sunny Australia, has been emailing me recently with little snippets of my maternal family history (he is the oldest surviving sibling of my grandmother's eight children).

This week's instalment concerned my grandfather and I found it quite interesting as this was the first time I had learned about his background.

For anyone else who may be interested, here is his story, however, I have not had an opportunity to verify any of my uncle's account.

The family name comes from a word meaning, ‘of the land’.  Gamekeeper, protector of livestock, farmer, farm-worker.      It appears that somewhere in East Anglia circa 1800 a farmer had  developed quite an estate.  He had 4 sons, and then re-married late in life, living only 4 more years after his marriage.  When he died, everything was left to the second wife.  She already had her 4 sons and decided that she no longer needed her husband's four as well so they were "turfed out", as the saying goes.
We understand that one of them landed in poverty, in London’s East End Docklands. He had been born in 1857, dying in 1927 of cancer,   He had 3 sons and 2 daughters.  The youngest daughter was born in 1889. Apparently she had severe learning difficulties, and at the age of 17 years she became pregnant by the family's temporary lodger, who came from Belfast, (born in 1876).  He was a Merchant seaman, who was briefly in Docklands and took advantage of the confused young woman it seems before disappearing.  The baby, my grandfather, came as a surprise to the family and was brought up to believe that his young mother was actually his sister.  His early life was spent in a time of great poverty, living with a drunken father (grandfather in reality) and not much love or affection. 
He left school at age 12 years, which was usual back then, and worked in a Corn Chandlers shop, whilst waiting entry into the Docks.   Eventually, his father (grandfather) sponsored his membership into the world of the Stevedore. Dockers  were often not ‘called on’ for work so after standing out in all weathers, had to return home, unpaid, to maybe, a frosty reception and very little for dinner.  He noted that crane drivers always got work so applied for and luckily managed to achieve a crane driver's licence. This was right after WW1 and licence or not, the country was heading for massive unemployment.  He saw a way to make a little money and headed for the big Boxing hub, in Poplar, London, The Premierland.  My uncle writes that grandad had some success there and got matched against Ernie Jarvis, twice, for a Draw and narrow points loss, over 4 rounds. Jarvis became British Lightweight Champion. 
It was around this time that he met my grandmother, who was reportedly quite a beauty and worked as a nippy  in a Lyon's Corner House.
And so the story goes on.

A Pleasant Pheasant

This evening P treated me to a  meal in town. A 6 minute walk to a local restaurant which does not have an alcohol licence so we were able to Bring Our Own.  

We shared a bottle of Sainsbury's bubbles and I am now feeling a little squiffy. 

A brisk walk  home along a very windy prom and I am ready for an early night.

The pheasant was absolutely delicious by the way