Saturday, 17 August 2019

Hold up on the A65

Bless - that all sounds somewhat familiar, although we haven't had machetes, just big sticks, and it's been a while since there was a gun (yes, even in the UK!) I suspect it's going to quieten down, but who knows.

I was a hold up on the A65 today. I can drive on a basic level. I can do just fine on my regular routes. However the A65 between Skipton and Settle is probably best for someone a little more experienced than I. It has stretches with sharp, blind bends with unexpected dips and a very variable speed limits. I couldn't keep up to the national speed limit on some of those corners - they were scary! I was still managing 40-50mph, and I wasn't a complete liability, but I think I should have waited a while. It isn't a bad road - it has two lanes, so not exactly a real country road with passing places, but I'll need to up my game a little before I go back. I will go back.

I only got a couple of photos, and I am too tired to get my phone, but I drove to Ilkley, picked up some cola, then drove straight to Settle. I stopped at the Watershed Mill, which I don't recommend, and I didn't even get a pic of the Naked Man Cafe, though I found one on WikiCommons

File:Ye Olde Naked Man cafe - - 831695.jpg

I just sort of drove to Settle, grabbed a drink at the Watershed Mill, and then drove home, stopping quite a few times in lay-bys as I got cramp. I got lost on the way home and went through Otley and Kirkstall before finally getting back on the street. According to the Google tracking I was out for 4.27 hours and covered almost exactly 90 miles. I would have done it quicker, but I have never got through Ilkley in less than half an hour as there always seems to be a tailback. I had some quite nice rests in the lay-bys as well. 

It beats yesterday. I only did around 20 miles and got lost around Hanging Heaton. I was checking I knew where to park when I take bear to get his school uniform, and I found it okay. However on the way back I turned right when I really should have turned left and hit some back country roads, though there was a lot less traffic than today.

Tonight we watched Captain Marvel together and now I am about to collapse after all that driving. 

Hugs to all. 

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Another Day, Another Drama

It has been so bad on the street that I have not managed to do much more than breathe. Bear has been in a right state, and poor lad is just an onlooker on the extra chaos. Mind you, no police or ambulance today so things are calming down.

Hopefully will have something more to report tomorrow than jangled nerves and a craving for strong drink.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

I Need a Slap

Drama in the street continues. It's given me a serious nudge to count my blessings, and it is very upsetting and makes me want to just hug bear all the time. Bear may not be as enthusiastic about the hugs, but he's pretty subdued after it all. It's likely to drag on for a while, and it is so tough on all those concerned.

I always think, 'There but for the Grace of God go I' and I can see that there are a lot of layers. I'm still fussing over bear (as much as he will let me).

Tomorrow I am determined to have something more upbeat to report. Tonight I will sit back and watch the Super Cup and keep everything crossed for Liverpool FC!

Serious hugs to all.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Another Day Another Drama

I swear our street should be called Shakespeare Avenue because of all the drama that goes on. Bear is knee deep in knowing all the stories of the neighbours and all the rows. As there is an assortment of kids in the street, it gets complicated. I think there are currently eight to ten kids here at any one time in the four houses, plus some serious trouble makers from outside, plus another three from a hundred yards or so further down that don't get so involved.

I believe that there is nothing that is completely safe on the internet, so I don't want to go into too much of my neighbours' business, but there are court cases, illnesses, ambulances, police, social services and general havoc in those four houses as well as an assortment of kids under 16. I have one of the children and a slight cold. All I can say, with my hand on my heart, is that I'm glad I'm not facing any of it myself. I don't know how well I would do. Today has put my minor concerns in perspective.

I was going to post today about getting a leaflet through the door with a £5 voucher off a £40 spend at the food warehouse. It's an inexpensive place to shop, but relatively good quality, and that is something of a temptation. However I would not only have to drive on the scary ring road, but also change lanes. I'm glad that's all I've worried about today.

Writing stuff - again, it feels quite hollow, because there are some serious issues going on, but my take on this week's writing prompt is here. I could have a lot of fun with this.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash 

Monday, 12 August 2019

Travelling is Odd

Jill - if I ever get on the Woodhead Pass, I shall look out for your Dad's bit of wall. I'm never going to attempt it in bad weather, but it looks like the roads between the tip I use and the main route to Batley - you have to have your wits about you on some of the bends and you can't speed, but it's not mission impossible.

I feel okay on twisty roads, and even on steep hills. I know when I picked up bear from his sports day and it was an unfamiliar route, it was twisty and steep and bear had warned me against the road as he said the bus sometimes struggled. Actually, my little citroen isn't too bad as long as you keep her in a nice low gear. It's only a one litre engine, but she can manage most of the local terrain. I'm getting more and more comfortable on awkward roads, and if you learn to drive around Heckmondwike, you learn how to deal with hills and sharp corners. Unfortunately you don't learn as much as some about dual carriageways. The thoughts of Leeds city centre, motorways and dual carriageways still terrify me, and they shouldn't. I think that when bear is back in school, I'm going to have to manage a few outings into uncharted territory.

And something odder. I needed to send something in for financial stuff and I wanted to send it registered. And I realised that I can drive to all sorts of places without worrying, and that I can drive for quite some time without stressing, especially if it's not on multi lane roads, but I still can't walk a few hundred yards to the local post office. I still have a few problems. On the other hand, when I nipped to the Aldi, I reversed into the space I planned to use. So I'll take that.

On the downside of that triumph, I was out when my next door neighbour chased a kid while waving a stick, but bear was very unhappy about it. I miss so much drama.

Writing stuff - first, I am writing this in my bedroom, on a fold out table, with a proper wrist rest and in peace and quiet. It's wonderful and I plan to get some more writing done. Speaking of which, this week's writing prompt is here. I have had an idea or two about it, and now I can work on it without stress.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Hugs to all. 

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Weirder than the Weather

The weather has been normal - for November! It's August!

I have been determined to keep this blog bright and breezy, as I don't want to encourage myself to wallow, but the last few weeks have had some tough times for my mental health. I'm getting exasperated with myself now, and I need to pull myself together.

Bear is doing fine. He had another pal around today, and they were bickering about Skyrim and other games, so I was happy to get on and potter myself. They had a great time, according to bear, including McDonalds where I managed some awesome parking. The next expedition was supposed to be Wednesday but the weather forecast for Wednesday is grim. I'm looking at alternatives, but unfortunately some of them involve driving in Leeds city centre. Leeds is not as bad as Chester, and considerably better than Bradford, but it isn't an easy run. There are lots of one way streets and odd corners. I'm going to have to master it, though, if I'm going to be able to take bear to places.

It's funny, I suppose, but I was looking at the Woodhead Pass and thinking, it doesn't look that hard a drive. It's bendy, and it looks like you have to keep your concentration, but a low gear and a sensible attitude and you should be fine. Driving for a few hours on twisty roads doesn't worry me at all. Looking at a motorway, however, terrifies me. I need to get over that. I suppose growing up as a kid travelling around the roads of North Wales, with their single lane tracks, passing places, fords and sheep, makes the thought of such a pass less daunting. We didn't really go on motorways.

Writing stuff - I have been included in the Dreamscapes anthology. The edits are, in my opinion, bloody peculiar. If you wish to read my contribution in the form I originally meant it to be, it's here. Otherwise I leave it to your judgement. They are lovely people, but at the moment I don't think I can support their anthology without reservation. I'm not precious about edits, I promise you, as authors are often too close to their work, and my natural inclination is to accept all edits. Sometimes, though, I have to say that the edits are odd. Do check them out, however, especially the podcasts by Ariana Cherry.

Hugs to all.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

An Adventure

We were supposed to be going to Temple Newsam. How hard could it be? I knew the route, knew the tricky bits, I should have been fine. I got about a mile away from the house and took a wrong turn that made it all go very, very wrong. I ended up heading towards Leeds City Centre with no clue about how to get on the right track. And every way that I tried to get back on track, it went wrong, including me sitting in stationery traffic, realising I was in the wrong lane and then having to switch - in front of a police car! I did it all according to the rules, but I wasn't calm.

I had two lads in the back who were awesome, but I was a bag of nerves anyway as I knew I'd have some unfamiliar driving and motorway/dual carriageway/slip roads to face, so it wasn't helping. We ended up at Kirkstall Abbey. The plan was icecream, food, museum, possibly football.

The icecream from the van in the car park was not very nice but the cafe at Abbey House made up for it as we all had baked potatoes. Then we had a look around the museum at Abbey House. It is the original gatehouse of the monastary, probably thirteenth century, but the food was good and modern while sitting under medieval arches.

We had a great time in the museum. I was worried that the lads may not have enjoyed it, but we took part in a quiz which sent them running around a recreated Victorian street, which was awesome. There was a recreated pharmacy, a shop selling mourning clothes, a recreated pub, pawnbrokers, Sunday School and grocers. There was also the opportunity to dress up.

I don't know who he got his love of the dramatic from. We had so much fun in the museum that there was hardly any time for football.

All it all, it was a good day. Next week we may consider Temple Newsam, but I'm also considering Heckmondwike zoo (two bunnies and an alpaca).

I also went to the tip earlier this morning and filled up the car, getting £3.60 off the petrol. That has to be a good thing. So I think today has been mildly successful.

Hugs to all.