Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Blackpool ship wrecks & sharks.

This is a photo of the Ferry 'Riverdance'. It ran aground on 31st January 2008. Accroding to the news, the Ferry was hit by a freak wave in bad weather. It was a very stormy night.
A total of 19 crew members and four passengers were flown to safety from the Riverdance, after it ran aground on the north shore of Blackpool beach. It was on its journey from Northern Ireland to Heysham.
Owner Seatruck Ferries said it was trying to salvage the ferry.

We went down to see the ship yesterday, as it has been said that the owners of the ship want to scrap it now. They are going to cut it up on the beach!
There were security people keeping us away from it. So this was as close as we were allowed to go.

Intrestingly, just yards from the Riverdance is the remains of another ship.
It seems that if we go back almost a century earlier, almost to the day?!? The Norwegian ship 'The Abana' got into trouble in a storm on her way from Liverpool to Florida.The three-masted ship mistook the recently-built Blackpool Tower for a lighthouse when she was sailing in the Irish Sea in a storm on December 22, 1894.
The Abana was spotted floundering off North Pier, her sails torn to shreds. Blackpool lifeboat crew was alerted but a rescue attempt was delayed for a few hours as the lifeboat, the Samuel Fletcher, had to be towed from Blackpool to Bispham by horse.By the time it was launched at Little Bispham, the Abana had already been wrecked off Shell Wharf.The lifeboat crew rowed through the surf to the stricken vessel and rescued the men, only to become stuck on a sandbank.The gallant boatmen pushed her clear and reached the shore to the cheers of about 100 people.Rescuers and rescued were given a party at the Red Lion Hotel, Bispham.It's a testament to Victorian shipbuilding that part of the wreckage can still be seen at low water on the beach at Norbreck. The bell hangs in Cleveleys Parish Church to this day.

Another find, were thease small sharks, we say three of them dead on the shore....its put me off ever going in the sea at Blackpool????

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Air Emirates Crew, April 2008 rota. Paris, Singapore.

I am going to try to record Trolly Dollies travels at the end of each month. As I do not think she will do it! and it will give her something to look back on. She finished of her standby month on the 6th April. Then it was a flight to Paris on April 7th 08.
In Paris she visited the tower (not to be confused with the famous Blackpool Tower), the Latin Quarter, Notra Dame and the Musee de Orsay.

April 14th DXB to Singapore, and had her first visit to  Raffels to enjoy a Singapore Sling.
April 15, Singapore to Melbourne, she was suprized to see the Victorian type buildings.

April 16 & 17, back to Singapore, and a day out on Pula Ubin riding bikes and drinking from a coconut.....then seeing crocodiles?
Then on April 22 it was a Dxb to LHR trip, and for some reason we do not have any photos of this?
April 26th was a DXB to LGW, and good weather was predicted for the weeken, so a trip to Brighton was planned...a great British Day out at the seaside. However EK had diffrent plans, and took her off the flight and put her on standby.
So it was lunch time in Dubai instead of Brighton Rock?
28 th April saw a trip to her old stomping ground of Manchester. She wanted to come home so was picked up from the airport by us, and came home for 24 hours. City Life Guide to Manchester
Looking very glam and totaly the part in her uniform, Very smart and a credit to the company she works for!
So that was April 2008, and time marches on.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Crosby & Formby Beach

Today we headed off towards Liverpool. To Crosby Beach the home of a piece of modern sculpture by Antony Gormley, it is called Another Place. Getting to it is quite tricky as all that the road sign says; ‘Antony Gormley, Another Place’. So you have to know what you are looking for.
The sculpture consists of 100 cast iron figures which face outwards the Irish sea. Spread over a 2 mile stretch of the beach. Each figure is nearly 6 feetinches and weighs around 650 kg.
In common with most of Gormley's work, the figures are cast replicas of the artist's own body. As the tides ebb and flow, the figures are revealed and submerged by the sea. The figures were cast by Joseph and Jesse Siddons Foundry in West Bromwich.
Another Place was first exhibited on the beach of Cuxhaven, Germany in 1997 and after that in Norway and Belgium.
Another Place is a subject of local controversy in Crosby. Some consider the statues to be "pornographic" due to the inclusion of a simplified penis on the statues, whilst others see them as beautiful pieces of art which have brought increased tourism revenue to the local area.
As of March 2007 permission was granted to have Another Place permanently installed at Crosby. Initially, coastguard authorities expressed safety fears, saying people could become stuck in soft sand and be cut off by the tide when viewing the statues up close.
In October 2006, the local council refused permission for the statues to stay, prompting Gormley to criticise what he called Britain's "risk-averse culture." He said "When I have been down on the beach myself, the majority of people have been intrigued, amused, sometimes very moved," he said.
Another Body Place Ltd, a body set up to campaign for the permanent installation, helped to convince the council to change its mind. The statues are now set to stay on the beach. The scuplture was very good, and I think it will be a place we will come to again, as it will be different each time you see it, as it is affected by the sea, weather ect.

We then went on to Formby to seek out Red Squirrels and Pinewood Forests. Again, it was not well sign posted, just the National Trust sign showing us the way, good job we know what the little Oak Leaf is!
Formby looked a nice town, it seems that lots of footballers live there...We saw lots of posh houses! To the west of the town lie pinewoods and sand dunes (rather eroded, and not as good as St Annes!). The whole of the coastline here is managed by the Sefton Coast Partnership.
The pine woods at Victoria Road have been established as a National Trust reserve for the red squirrel, listed on the endangered species list. Formby is one of several sites in Britain were the red squirrel can still be found although it is now being threatened by the grey squirrel. The red squirrels may not be native to Britain but possibly accidentally introduced from Scandinavia in the 20th century. We did not see any, but that could have been due to having the dog with us?
Formby is also famous for the presence of natterjack toads. Formby is only one of a few sites in England where they will breed. Later in the evening the male’s distinctive song can be heard and is known locally as the ‘Bootle Organ’. In spring the males gather at the edge of shallow pools in the dune slacks and sing to attract a mate. We heard the toads but did not see them.

Another Place


It has been a busy week, and the weekend was a welcome break.
I worked an eight day stretch, work was very busy. On the eighth day, I was extremely tried and fatigued. I was very pleased to have my days off, and for a change we both had the same weekend off! On Saturday. We went to the Lake District. To a Lakeland Village called Elterwater. Organised as ever, we forgot a Map and change for the National Trust parking meter. We managed to scratch up £3.00 between us and so were restricted to 2 hours.
April, but still very cold. It was lovely country side and this Boxer enjoyed the walk. There was a 10 K run on so the roads were very busy.


It must be Spring........lambs in the feilds.
A blue lakeland stone cottage, it doesnt come out blue on the photos? It looks grey?

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Singapore & Melbourne 1991

With Trolly going to Singapore and Melbourne next week, I was trying to remember what my partner and I did on our trip to Australia in 1991. (such a long time ago, 17 years, where has that time gone?)
This was a job hunting trip and took us from Durban to Singapore, via Mauritius on Singapore airways. HWMBO has never recovered from those Air Stewardesses!
Outbound, it was a quick plane swap in Mauritius then a long 20 hour stopover in Singapore, as part of the package we were a free tour of the city. The tour took us to China Town, a Hindi Temple, a Buddhist Temple, and to shops in Arab Street. It was a great introduction to the city and we planned to shop on the way back so spent the afternoon checking out the shops. We knew that we wanted to by a video camera on our way back, so looked a lot of electronic shops to get an overview of prices.
We did not have a lot on money, this was due to exchange rate of a currency the world did not want, The South African Rand. We had sold a car to fund this trip, so did not want to use up all the funds before we got to Australia, or back to Singapore! We scooted off back to the airport and got our onward flight to Melbourne and slept.
In Melbourne we found the accommodation desk at the airport...again budget was our most important thing. We found accommodation in a backpackers lodge called Lords Lodge on the Toorak Road. The Jam factory was being renovated at the time. That was our 'Land Mark'.
We were in a room with four bunks, the other two occupants were young British girls touring around Oz. It was obvious that we were not the normal 'backpacker' when one of the young, attractive backpackers sharing our dorm asked HWMBO if he had seen her tampons! She tipped her bag out on the floor and asked him to help her look for them. Due to this, he asked about the ‘private chalets’ in the back...AKA...Garden Sheds.

When I think of it now, we got about during our short 5 days in Melbourne, went to Geelong for a job interview at Victoria Carpets, traveling by train. Got round Melbourne on the Tram (I think we were looking for better accommodation), got lost in West Footscray. Went to the Yarra River, St Kilders and the parks, we saw Captain Cooks cottage. Hired a car and drove the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles. Went on a backpackers trip to Philip Island to see the Fairy Penguins. Then flew on to see friends in Perth.
Back in Singapore we had a proper stop over staying in the Hotel Phoenix on the Orchard Road. This was our first experience of a Karaoke Bar, it was Chinese! It was almost Christmas and the road was decorated, as were all the shopping malls where we did our Christmas shopping, buying lots of things we had not seen in South Africa due to the political sanctions that were in place at the time. (We were well over the weight allowance when we checked in!). Well, time does pass and it is good to remember such times!