The dog ate my mouse!

And I don’t mean a computer mouse either, so if anyone is a bit squeamish then don’t read any further – though it is rather a funny story.
So a few weeks ago I was cleaning at the boss’s house and even though it was raining it was still quite mild so I’d left the back door open for Dylan the cat to wander in and out while I was working. I was just about to get ready to leave when I found a dead mouse in the middle of the kitchen floor – Dylan had brought me a present. Now I read somewhere ages ago that if a cat brings you a present you shouldn’t dispose of it while the cat is there or it will feel very insulted – I don’t know who thought that one up or even if it’s true but I didn’t want Dylan to think I didn’t appreciate his gift so I wrapped it carefully in some kitchen roll and put it in a small takeaway-type plastic carrier bag, to dispose of it when I went out.
Now to be quite honest, being the soft-hearted person that I am where animals are concerned, I felt quite sorry for the little mouse having lost its life to a big fluffy cat ; it didn’t deserve to be just dumped in the bin so I brought it home with the intention of digging a small hole with my trowel and burying it under the fuschia hedge. However, by the time I’d walked the fifteen minutes back home it was raining harder then ever so I popped the mouse, in its bag, in the top of the planter near the door with the intention of burying it once the rain eased off.
So much later on, with the rain having finally stopped and totally forgetting about the mouse, I let Sophie and Poppie out for five minutes in the garden, but when I opened the door to call them back in I found bits of shredded carrier bag all over the path. At first I couldn’t figure out where it had come from but then realisation hit – with the absence of a little furry body it seemed that rather than the mouse going into a hole under the hedge as I’d intended it had gone into one of the dogs instead.
At that point I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was no use being cross with Sophie and Poppie as I didn’t know which one had eaten the mouse but I felt a bit upset that the poor little thing had ended up like that. Fortunately neither of the dogs suffered any ill effects afterwards, and I was just glad that the little mouse had actually been dead before it ended up as a dog’s dinner.
Now I realise that anyone reading this will probably have come to the conclusion that I’m completely bonkers, out of my tree, totally insane and needing a visit from the men in white coats but that’s just me, I love animals and hate to see dead ones however they came by their demise, and though it was a sad ending for the little mouse it does make rather an amusing story.

Heysham village and Morecambe

Heysham village, just south of Morecambe, is somewhere I hadn’t been to for a number of years but seeing some recent photos of the place prompted me to pay a visit one Sunday in early September. Unfortunately the times of the buses to Heysham didn’t coincide too well with the time I got off the train in Morecambe ; knowing that the distance between the two isn’t really that far I decided I could get there on foot in the time I would spend waiting for a bus, so join me as I walk from Morecambe’s central promenade to Heysham village and back again.
Past the West End, away from the main road and with few people about the pedestrian promenade was very quiet ; weather-wise it was a beautifully clear day and I could see right across the bay to Grange-over-Sands and the coastline and hills of south Cumbria. Eventually the promenade split into two and I took the lower section close to the beach ; steps at the end took me up to join the path above, leading between a handful of cottages to the bottom end of the village where a short lane off the main street ended in a slipway down onto the beach.
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View across the bay to south Cumbria
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View towards Heysham village and cliffs
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Not far up the main street was St. Peter’s Church so I made that my first port of call. A Grade l listed building, with a churchyard sloping down a shallow cliff to the beach and rock pools beyond the wall, it’s believed to have been founded in the 7th or 8th century. The chancel was added on in the mid 14th century, the south aisle in the 15th century and the north aisle in the mid 19th century, with some of the fabric of the original church still remaining in the present church.  As well as stained glass windows I wanted to find and photograph the carved Viking hogback tombstone which dates back to the 10th century ; it’s situated inside the church but unfortunately the place wasn’t open so I had to be happy with a wander round outside instead.
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St. Peter’s Church
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Just off the main path through the churchyard was Glebe Garden, a previously overgrown and neglected area transformed into a peaceful and pretty corner by local volunteer gardeners – and that’s where I found the hedgehog. It was curled up in the sunshine on the gravel path, a strange place and time of day for it to be out and at first I thought it was dead ; I couldn’t just leave it there so fastening the dogs to a nearby bench I went to move it, however it uncurled itself so it was very much alive. It seemed to have trouble moving though and when I looked it was dragging one of its back legs behind it – the poor little thing was obviously injured and couldn’t get a grip on the gravel.
A few yards from the path and in a corner of the garden was a compost heap so I suspected the hedgehog may have come from there but I didn’t want to put it back there as it would probably end up back on the path again and maybe at the mercy of someone’s dog. I thought the best thing to do was take it to a quiet corner of the churchyard where at least it would be better able to move about on the grass but just as I was about to pick it up two young women came down the path – and that’s where things got ever-so-slightly stupid.
They were foreigners, German I think though both spoke very good English, and when they saw the hedgehog one of them insisted that it needed professional attention there and then ; out came her phone and she proceeded to Google various options but with no vet in the village or anywhere nearby she eventually phoned the RSPCA, only to get a recorded message saying it would be fifty minutes before her call was answered. She did find an animal charity shop in Morecambe but somehow couldn’t comprehend the fact that (as I told her) it wouldn’t be open on a Sunday and even if it was they wouldn’t just take in an animal. She couldn’t (or wouldn’t) take it anywhere herself as she and her friend were on bikes but she spent so much time faffing about on her phone that eventually I lost patience, told her I would sort it myself, and scooped the hedgehog up in my tracksuit top and popped it into my bag.
At first I did think about keeping the little creature in my bag, aborting my day out and bringing it home to take to my own vet the following day but I wasn’t sure if it would survive the walk back to Morecambe and the journey home by train and bus so I did what I intended to do in the first place. Collecting Sophie and Poppie from the bench, and making sure I got out of sight of the two young women, I went to the furthest bottom corner of the churchyard and put it gently on the grass behind a large headstone – I felt guilty for leaving it but without my own transport or anything proper to carry it in there wasn’t much else I could do.
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Glebe Garden
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From the church gates a path led a short distance through a wooded area to the ruins of St. Patrick’s Chapel situated on a grassy knoll overlooking the cliffs and the bay. A Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade l listed building, the ruin dates back to the 8th or 9th century, with the 10th century barrow graves cut from the rock only a few yards away. Due to their size and shallow depth it’s thought they held bones rather than bodies, though these days they only hold sea and rain water.
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St. Patrick’s Chapel ruins
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10th century barrow graves
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View of the bay from the cliffs
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Back on the main street I decided to walk to the far end of the village without stopping then take any photos as I worked my way back towards the church. At the end of the street the road opened out with a row of cottages and small shops on one side and on the other a large almost-circular ’roundabout’ where the buses would turn round. On the corner, and next door to each other, were the Curiosity Corner tea room and The Old Barn café ; by then it was time for coffee and cake so I fastened the dogs close to an outside table at the café (the tea room was full) and went in to order, however when I saw the very OTT price for a tiny square of cake I just asked for a coffee – and that wasn’t particularly brilliant either but it was passable.
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Across the street from the café was one part of the Heritage Centre which is an unusual surviving example of a 17th century longhouse – a cottage and barn combined. Sometime in the 20th century the longhouse was converted into two separate lock-up shops with a cottage between the two ; in 1999 the Heritage Trust for the North West acquired the two shops and with grant aid from various organisations and individuals they were turned into a small Heritage Centre. The centre was opened in 2000 then in 2005 the Heritage Trust acquired the cottage in the middle. In 2010 work began to restore the cottage which had, at one time, been the living quarters for the occupants of the original longhouse ; a new floor was added to the Heritage Centre and it was reopened in 2011, with the cottage being leased on a short-term let.
On the wall of the right hand building was a large plaque, The Spirit of Heysham, carved by a Michael Edwards to depict the village’s historic legacies including St. Peter’s Church and St. Patrick’s Chapel with its hilltop barrow graves. Each year in mid July the village holds a 2-day Viking festival with battle re-enactments, food and craft stalls and a whole range of family activities ; above the Spirit of Heysham plaque, and on the balcony at the top of a fire escape, was a large Viking figure presumably left over from one of the festivals as a bit of an attraction.
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Looking down Main Street
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The Heritage Centre cottage
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Cottage Tea Rooms, Main Street
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With its whitewashed cottages and colourful flowers in tubs and hanging baskets the village’s main street was certainly very pretty. There was one thing I had to do though before I left all this behind and returned to Morecambe – the little hedgehog had been on my mind and I couldn’t leave without going back to the graveyard to see if it was okay. Although I wasn’t sure if I would actually find it I did, quite unexpectedly ; it was on the grass about twenty yards from where I’d left it so it seemed that even with its damaged leg it could still get about. Being out in the daylight wasn’t ideal but if it could find some food and somewhere safe to curl up then maybe it would have a chance – as I reluctantly walked away I really hoped so.
Heading out of the village I took the upper path above the promenade ; at the bottom of the slope was a large field with a handful of friendly ponies who all came to say hello and a sweet little foal who seemed to be quite shy. The ponies seemed to be looking for titbits but unfortunately I didn’t have anything to give them. Back at Morecambe’s West End I checked the time and found I only had an hour until the time of my train home so not wanting to stray too far from the vicinity of the station I only walked as far as the area near the Midland Hotel.
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Heading back to Morecambe
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Morecambe itself is an odd place. The busy seaside resort I remember from my childhood and early teens fell into a decline in the late 1970s and the following years saw the loss of both piers and the eventual closure of the dolphin show (not a bad thing), the open air swimming pool, the Art Deco sea front Midland Hotel and the promenade fairground/theme park. Regeneration and investment, especially of the West End area, began about fifteen years ago ; after a major refurbishment the Midland Hotel reopened in 2008, the former promenade railway station building became an arts venue, there’s a Morrisons supermarket and retail park not far from the seafront and the promenade itself has had a makeover. Even so, the seafront is still shabby in places ; the land where the theme park once was is still derelict and surrounded by hoardings, there are several empty and shuttered-up shops and a few of the bed-and-breakfast places seem to need a bit of an external makeover. In spite of this though the areas along the promenade which have been done up do look really nice ; to be honest I do like Morecambe in spite of its shabbiness.
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The Midland Hotel and central promenade
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The Stone Jetty
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The Time & Tide Bell, installed on Stone Jetty in March 2019
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Midland Hotel from Stone Jetty
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Central promenade gardens
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With one final shot of the promenade gardens I headed for the station, only to find when I got there that my train had been cancelled, however a replacement bus to Lancaster station had been laid on. Unfortunately, because of the one-way system round Lancaster town centre, the bus was on the last minute arriving at the station so I had to run to get my connecting train. I made it with a few seconds to spare though and the rest of the journey home passed quite well.
Although back in Morecambe the blue sky had clouded over somewhat it had been lovely while I was in Heysham and the sunshine had really shown the village off well. It had been my first visit there for many years, I’d really enjoyed my day and I’d got some lovely photos – maybe next time I won’t leave it so long before I return.

Doffcocker Lodge and some local history

My Monday walk this week was a relatively short one of barely a mile, round the local nature reserve of Doffcocker Lodge. The Doffcocker area is a mainly residential suburb about three-and-a-half miles north west of the town centre ; the history of the name isn’t certain but it’s believed to originate from two ancient Celtic words meaning ‘dark winding stream’. The lodge was created in 1874 as a mill lodge although the mill disappeared many many years ago ; the area round the lodge has long been a popular place for dog walkers but in 1992 it became designated as the town’s first local nature reserve and in the years since then improvements have been made to the land and the pathways and a small free car park has been created.
A hundred yards or so down the road from the car park entrance is the red brick Doffcocker Inn pub/restaurant, known locally as ‘The Doffy’. Built in 1901 on the site of a much older and smaller pub of the same name the outer structure was erected around the original pub before that was demolished ; the whole process was completed without closing the original pub so the landlord didn’t have to apply for a new licence. The current building is a rare example of a calendar pub, with 4 floors, one for each season, and each floor having seven rooms, one for each day of the week. The cellar has 12 rooms for the months of the year, there are 52 doors and 365 window panes – quirky it may be but I wouldn’t like to clean all those windows.
Deciding to go anti-clockwise round the lodge my walk started from the car park by the dam at the bottom end, with the path passing a couple of coppices and the long back gardens of some nearby houses before emerging into a meadow which would be a pleasant place for a picnic in nice weather. At the far side of the meadow the path crossed the end of the lodge and took me to a second meadow where several benches set beside the path were well placed to take in the views over the water.
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Looking across the end of the lodge
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View across the lodge with Winter Hill tv mast in the distance
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At one point the shape of the land formed a little bay in the water and a great cacophony of bird shrieks and squawks was coming from the vicinity ; when I got round there I found seagulls flying all over the place in great excitement while the various ducks and geese added their voices from down in the water – someone had thrown in several slices of bread and they were all trying to get their share.
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The path took me past the back gardens of a row of bungalows set sideways on to the lodge and just past there a tree lined bank separated the path from a pleasant looking residential avenue. The end bungalow had a garden filled with different coloured heathers and other plants and it looked so pretty I thought it was worth a photo or two. It wasn’t far from there to the end of the lodge and as I got near to the dam I stopped for a few minutes to watch the antics of a Domestic Greylag goose in a shallow part of the water.
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Canada goose and seagull
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Domestic Greylag goose
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Those were to be my last photos of the afternoon – although there had been some blue sky and a bit of sunshine earlier on it had soon turned to grey and by the time I got back to the van it looked like rain wasn’t far away. Although the walk hadn’t been a long one Sophie and Poppie were happy enough so it was time to head for home and put the kettle on for a welcome mug of coffee.

A seal experience

After reading a recent post of Becky’s my own comment on that post got me thinking back to an amazing wildlife experience I had at a place on the Lincolnshire coast back in 2007, so in the absence of a Monday walk I thought I would post an account and a few photos of that experience. I can’t remember now how I first found out about this particular place – probably from the camping forum I frequent – but the more I read about it the more I wanted to go there so I started doing some serious research and came across a very informative website for photographers, which gave advice and suggestions for getting close-up shots of the wildlife.
Donna Nook National Nature Reserve covers over 6 miles of the Lincolnshire coastline and is made up of sand dunes, sand and mud flats, salt marshes and inter-tidal areas ; it’s also part of a larger area owned by the Ministry of Defence and the sand flats are used during the week for RAF bombing practice. Interesting plant communities flourish in the salt marshes and 47 species of birds breed regularly in the area, with over 250 migrant species passing through, but the main attraction for visitors is the large colony of grey seals which, from the end of October to late December, use the sand flats and salt marshes in one particular area for breeding and giving birth to their pups before returning to sea.
A special enclosed double-fenced viewing area at the foot of the dunes is staffed by volunteer wardens from the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust ; it had only been put in place in 2007, not only to protect the seals from the visitors but also to protect the visitors from the seals as even a young one can inflict a nasty bite if feeling threatened, however serious photographers were allowed to go out onto the sand flats to observe and photograph the seals at close quarters, though certain rules had to be followed. Anyone wanting to photograph these creatures close up would need  to be serious about it too as there was a bitingly cold wind blowing and the mile trek across the sand involved wading through water channels several inches deep ; it was necessary to wear at least three layers of warm clothing plus dark coloured waterproofs and wellies and in some instances to act like a seal by crawling or sliding along the wet sand.
In the course of my research that year I found out that there was a nice little camp site only a couple of miles from where the seals were so I booked four nights for myself, my partner and our caravan and off we went at the end of November, arriving at the site at lunch time and spending the afternoon settling in. Our first full day there was treated as a recce of the seal area and even from behind the fence I could see that this place was pretty special ; hundreds of seals, both young and adult, were dotted about over a huge area and as far as the eye could see, and several were close up against the fence with one pup having its head actually under  the inner fence.
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A small part of the seal colony
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The following day, suitably dressed in warm layers, waterproofs and wellies, we set out from the viewing area on our trek across the sand and out towards the sea, following a designated marked out route to avoid the possibility of being blown up by some unexploded object buried in the sand – presumably, as long as we followed the rules and the route, we would survive with arms and legs etc intact. Eventually we got close to the sea – seals were dotted about everywhere and I spent well over an hour getting shots of various adults and pups. I got close but not too  close – I had to kneel, sit, crawl or lie on the wet sand several times but it meant that I got the shots I wanted without disturbing the seals so it was worth any minor discomfort.
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The next day we returned to the reserve as I hoped to see a seal pup being born, though this time we stayed behind the fence. Unfortunately I didn’t get to witness an actual birth but I did see a little one which had obviously been born not long before. I got several more photos of these wonderful creatures but the intermittent sunshine wasn’t enough to give any warmth to the day and it was bitterly cold so reluctantly I said goodbye to Donna Nook and we returned to the camp site for our final evening.
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A newborn pup
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Maybe the world looks better upside down
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A final view of Donna Nook
Five years later, and with my partner off the scene, I went back to Donna Nook on my own. I’d enjoyed the previous experience of getting close to the seals on the sand flats so much that I wanted to repeat it but when I got there I found that things had changed – access to the sand flats and beach had been blocked and all  visitors had to stay behind the fence. On talking to one of the wardens I was told that since my previous visit the handful of serious photographers allowed onto the beach had turned into coachloads of visitors, some on works outings, and as many as 300 people a time were walking out across the sand flats. This meant that at least 65 seal pups per season were being lost, abandoned by their mothers and left to die because of all the human disturbance.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed that I couldn’t repeat my previous experience ; I was  disappointed as it had been such a fantastic thing to be able to do, but I fully understood and respected the reasons for preventing public access to the beach while the seals were there – just one pup lost to human interference is one too many. Seals have been breeding at Donna Nook since the 1970s and numbers have been increasing each year, with a total of 2,066 pups being born during the short 2018 season.  My once-in-a-lifetime experience back in 2007 had proved to be just that, but if I ever go to Donna Nook again I know I’ll still get some great photos even if I do have to stay behind the fence.

South of the Liffey and St. Stephen’s Green

As I crossed the Samuel Beckett bridge I stopped in the middle to take a couple of photos of the river in both directions then continued along the south quayside, and with not many people about that part seemed to be a lot quieter than across the river. Heading west the sky lost its blue colour and became dark grey and heavy although the sun was still shining so I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t actually rain. Almost opposite the Jeanie Johnston ship I came across something which I didn’t expect – set back off the road and surrounded by modern office buildings and commercial premises was a row of 3-storey terraced houses which looked like the lower level was all basement flats with the actual houses up above. A highly commercial area seemed a strange place for a row of residential dwellings but they actually looked quite nice and they certainly had a good view of the river.
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Looking east with the MV Cill Airne – the Blue River Bistro Bar – in the foreground
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Looking west
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The Jeanie Johnston
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On City Quay and just past the Sean O’Casey bridge I came across The Linesman, a life-size bronze sculpture by Irish artist Dony MacManus. The winning entry in a public art competition in 1999, it commemorates the tradition of docking in the area and is a tribute to all the dockers who worked at Dublin port throughout the years. A few yards further on and across the road I descended from the sublime to the ridiculous when I came across a closed down cafe with a roller shutter displaying its daft name and picture which rather amused me.
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The Linesman
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I wonder who thought of this name?
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The Custom House and Talbot Memorial Bridge
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The next bridge along was Butt Bridge and just up the road on the left my eye was caught by a brightly coloured building so I went to check it out. There was nothing which gave any clue as to what the building actually was but later research has told me that it’s the Tara building, a co-working hub with a gallery and cafe, and the outside was painted by the Irish street artist Maser ; it was certainly very eye catching and worth a photo.
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The Tara building
Past another couple of bridges and opposite the wide O’Connell bridge I took a left turn and went in search of a couple things I particularly wanted to find. This area was much more central and compared to the quietness of further back along the quayside it was heaving with people and extremely busy. Although I hadn’t planned it the first major thing I came to was Trinity College ; there seemed to be a lot of people going through the gates so I decided to take a quick look. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth l it’s a sister college to Cambridge’s St. John’s College and Oxford’s Oriel College ; it’s also one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland and is Ireland’s oldest surviving university, with the ancient Book of Kells being kept in the library there.
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The campanile (bell tower) in the college’s main quadrangle
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The Graduates Memorial Building
Next on my list was the Molly Malone statue which I found outside St. Andrew’s church in one of the narrower shopping streets. A group of buskers were singing on the nearby corner so there was quite a crowd gathered, and as is often the case with famous statues it seemed that everyone around wanted to have their photo taken with this one and I had to wait quite a while to be able to get a shot with no-one else in it, though unfortunately I couldn’t do anything about the information kiosk behind it.
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St. Andrew’s Church
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The Molly Malone statue
Having previously studied a small map in a free booklet about Dublin’s attractions I followed my nose up to the top of the nearby pedestrianised shopping street to St. Stephen’s Green, a decent-sized park with a couple of lakes and oodles of green space. Surrounded on all four sides by blocks of offices and other commercial buildings it was a lovely peaceful, and obviously very popular, oasis and it was nice just to wander at will and take photos here and there.
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Park map at the main entrance
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The first lake
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The second lake
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Even though it was now winter there was still some autumn colour left in various parts of the park and it looked so nice that I could imagine it would be really lovely in spring and summer. I could have spent much longer in there but there was somewhere else I particularly wanted to find so reluctantly I headed back through the main entrance and off on my next quest.

Firwood Fold’s hidden lake

As it seems that the long hot summer is well and truly over and many of us in the UK have now experienced two weeks of dull, grey and often rainy weather, my Monday walk this week brings back the blue sky and sunshine from the end of June. After my walk round the hamlet of Firwood Fold back in March – the first time I’d ever been there in spite of it being less than two miles from home – I was impressed enough to want to go back during the summer months, and since March I’d found out about a lake which was ‘hidden’ round the back of the place so the day after my Rivington ramble the dogs and I made a return visit to Firwood Fold.
Back in March I’d noticed that several of the cottages had rather bare-looking window boxes outside which presumably would be filled with flowers during the summer months, however if I’d been hoping to see the place full of pretty colour I was destined to be disappointed. Apart from the greenery of the surrounding trees and various shrubs there was very little colour anywhere, although with it being the football World Cup season two of the cottages had their front walls ‘defaced’ by two huge England flags hanging from the upstairs windows – certainly not something I wanted to take a photo of.
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Down the lane to Firwood Fold
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Samuel Crompton’s birthplace
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At the bottom end of the hamlet was a tarmac lane, the only way into Firwood Fold for vehicles – turning left just led to a dead end and some garages but just before the dead end a footpath on the right took me through the trees and down to the lake hidden behind the hamlet, although there was no signpost or anything to say it was there. The lake, known as The Bunk, had actually once been the reservoir belonging to Firwood Bleach Works which was established in 1803, but with the bleach works long since gone the lake and its surrounding area has been left to thrive and support a good diversity of plant species and wildlife.
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The Bunk – Firwood Fold’s hidden lake
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The lake wasn’t all that big so it didn’t take long to walk all the way round it, then back at the bottom of Firwood Fold I took a path off the left of the tarmac lane and down a dirt track where a right turn took me to a couple of fishing lakes which I’d been to back in March. Both lakes seemed to have a lot of yellow-green weed floating on the surface of the water but there was quite a lot of wildlife around with plenty of ducks, geese and coots, and a family of swans with three young gygnets which came gliding up to say hello. The parents weren’t impressed with the dogs though and they did quite a lot of hissing to warn us off.
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The path to the fishing lakes
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Retracing my steps back towards the hamlet, and just out of curiosity, I took another path which led me across a bridge over the nearby Bradshaw Brook and onto the end of an open field. At the far end the land went up a slope so I decided to see what was up there – it was another big field with trees on each side so with my curiosity growing with each step I walked on and came to another field. In the distance I could see yet another field and behind the tree lines were even more fields, one with grass mown so well that it looked more like a golf course than an open field, and with no fences or boundaries anywhere one open space just led into the next. This place was both beautiful and amazing – and to think I’ve lived in this town all my life and never knew it was there!
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My good sense of direction gave me a fair idea of where I would end up if I continued walking straight on, which would be a good distance from where I’d left the van, so reluctantly I turned and headed back towards Firwood Fold. Those were to be my last shots of the walk, which had turned out to be more surprising and interesting than I’d expected, and I headed back towards home having made the decision that sooner or later I would return to that area to do some further exploration.
Linking up with Jo’s Monday walk which this week takes in some wonderful views over the North York Moors – the photos really make me want to go there but it’s raining again so I’ll settle for a brew and a good read over breakfast instead.

A local chainsaw massacre

Monday being a day when I don’t have to go to work until late afternoon/early evening I often treat it as a day of leisure, getting up when I wake up at whatever time that might be, however yesterday I was disturbed soon after 8am by an almighty noise outside in the street and when I looked out I saw various vehicles parked up near the house and part of the street cordoned off. A man with a chainsaw was up the big tree in the garden of the house two doors away cutting the branches off it while another guy down below was feeding them into a tree shredder thing – the noise was horrendous and though I could retreat to the back room and just about live with it I felt sorry for Michael who was trying to sleep after a 12-hour night shift. The noise went on for most of the day but by 4pm the tree had been completely stripped and the men had gone, leaving just the bare trunk standing in the garden.
This morning I got back from work at 9am to find that the men were back – they’d cordoned off the street again and cut the tree trunk off to just a couple of feet above ground level, it was lying across the pavement and halfway across the street and a couple of the guys with chainsaws were cutting it into manageable chunks. Again the noise was horrendous and Michael’s sleep was disturbed for the second time, but fortunately after the guys had a clear up they were gone by 10am and Michael was able to settle down again.
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Following the chainsaw massacre two doors away the guys have moved on to butcher a tree in a garden further round the estate – as I type this I can hear them in the distance but fortunately the noise isn’t loud enough now to be disturbing. I just hope that’s the end of it as far as the trees near here are concerned – Michael is working night shifts all week so he won’t be very happy if his sleep is disturbed again!