Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Strickley Robinsons Travel the World

While James and family have been travelling the length and breadth of New Zealand (and those of you that follow him on Twitter will have heard about it - and if not why not?), Henry and I have been a little more modest in our expeditions.

Regular readers (and I'm sorry that there's not been much to read lately) will know that I'm a bit of a Folkie. I always have been in some shape or form, but it used to be just manifested in the music I listened  to and the records and CD's I bought. But over the past few years we've been going to more and more gigs, some local (we're lucky that The Brewery Arts Centre is such a good venue) and some farther away. If we have to travel, we usually stay at a Premier Inn (other budget chains are available), but last week we threw caution and our budget to the winds and stayed in a rather swish hotel in Nottingham. I knew Henry would have been working non stop for three weeks while James was away so it was by way of a bit of a treat for him (and me of course). After hours of searching the Internet and reading reviews I took the plunge and booked two nights at Harts Hotel, I even bought some new luggage to swagger in with. There was only one problem with the hotel - finding it. I had been warned that Nottingham is not the best place to drive round so was  prepared. We used a combination of Sat Nav and the hotel's directions and still went round and round the streets till we found it. But once we were parked up and looking out of our room above the treetops of Nottingham all the worry was behind us.

We ate in Harts Restaurant at night - simply presented but amazing tasting food. My favourite dish of our stay was the Morel and Broad Bean Fricassee. I wish I could produce flavours like that.

Next morning after a leisurely Full English we ventured down the hill into Town, As a frequent shopper on the John Lewis website I had a £5 voucher and Coffee & Cake voucher burning a hole in my pocket. But despite wandering past handbags and scarves I kept wallet firmly closed. For once there was not only nothing I needed, but nothing I wanted. I did relent a bit and bought Henry some socks, and then splashed out on a bottle of Elderflower presse while he used my voucher.

By now I had decided I was not meant for City Life and we jumped onto a taxi to take us back up the hill. £3.60 well spent!

After such an exerting time we just relaxed in the afternoon and following a wallow in the full size bath (not as good as the Strickley one, but I could lie down), and another amazing meal, we headed down the hill again (this time in a taxi - £2.80), to the main event. Months earlier I had booked tickets for Bellowhead. I was poised at the keyboard the second booking opened and was lucky to get two front row seats.

I had my phone with me, so I could have taken some amazing photos, being so close to the band, but this is all I'm posting. I took a couple more, but I think it's better to enjoy the moment and not keep looking at the action through a lens. But if you want to see some incredible shots look at these  or these 

But seeing these images can only give a tiny inkling of the Bellowhead experience. Look them up on their website, buy the CD's or best of all go and see them live! This review is for the Nottingham concert and seems to capture the atmosphere. Even a 66 year old grandmother with dodgy legs and feet was leaping up and down, bouncing, waving and clapping - albeit sometimes holding onto the stage in front.

Worn out but still dancing inside we taxied back up the hill (£10 this time).

And I must mention the support - Kings of the South Seas. Powerful songs of when British ships went whaling. Another CD to stack on my shelf!

Next morning it was a leisurely breakfast and back home to reality. Roll on July 17th when we see Bellowhead again. But this time staying in a Premier Inn. I'm only a poor pensioner!

to our young daughter Victoria

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Warm sun, green grass - so . . .

. . . the cows are out!

Catch the action on Twitter (@StrickleyFarm) and @JRfromStrickley)

Monday, 20 April 2015

The sun keeps on shining . .

. .  and the grass is growing. And farmers are busy working hard to make the most of the weather.

And living the high life.

And on Saturday, despite it being sunny and warm the farmers had a day off.
So, we went  into town (a rare occurrence). Kendal was buzzing with people sat outside cafes and buskers on the corners. 
We both collected our new glasses (Henry looks a bit cool in his tinted ones) and I managed to spend a bit off money.
It was Record Store Day so we popped into Replay in the shopping centre and I bought two "pre-owned" records (your actual vinyl) - Simon and Garfunkel, and Steeleye Span.
Then we happened to go into Todds lovely smart and tempting shop and somehow I bought a new Barbour handbag - Barbourish but with flowers on!
Via the market for some shrimps and lunch at Farrers Coffee Shop.
Then back home  and Henry checked his mole traps and I potted  shrimps and prepared the meat for supper (Beef Wellington - I said we were living the high life!)
Remember - you can't have too many bags or potted shrimps!

But out of the mouths of babes (well, eleven year olds) - 
"Grandma, why do need more than one handbag?"

Answers on a postcard please

Friday, 17 April 2015

At last it must be summer at Strickley!

They've arrived -

Three swallows seen this morning