Jet, Dracula and Fish and chips.

Simple but I did enjoy doing it.
Simple but I did enjoy doing it.

My cousin and his wife, the ones we went to Winchester and Arundel with a few weeks ago, came to stay last week, so we were out and about in our “local” (within 100 miles) area.  It’s one of those things, you don’t appreciate your own back yard until it’s time to think of places to take guests and then there’s suddenly a lot to choose from.

There was a vintage fair in our nearest town, Rotherham, with live music from the 1940’s and 50’s. Unfortunately, this included a George Formby tribute act, which begs the question, why the Hell would you want to pay a tribute to George Formby? Anyway, all his songs have now been added to the “Songs I never liked” category and are henceforth consigned to the flames. There was also a BeeBop band with a girl singer who had a most mellifluous voice, in absolute contrast to the nasal squeaks of the above mentioned torturer of innocent words.

There were vintage cars, which we were all drooling over and motor bikes too, which had the guys doing a bit of mental time travel, back to when they were Yorkshire versions of James Dean, rather than hopeful auditioners for a new series of Last of the Summer Wine.

The Chapel on the Bridge
The Chantry Bridge

Rotherham has a little chapel built into the bridge across the river, called, with a stunning lack of originality, the Chapel on the Bridge. ( Actually, it’s also known as Chantry Bridge but I try never to miss an opportunity for sarcasm. It dates from about the 14th century and is normally kept locked, but it was open to the public that day, so we went to have a look. It is, of course, tiny but it does have a crypt, which was used as the town gaol at one time. (It certainly wouldn’t be big enough nowadays!) My elder daughter, who is claustrophobic and subject to panic attacks, decided she would go down into the crypt, which is accessible via a steep ladder through a hole in the floor.  She and the loved one went down there, as did my cousin, but his wife and I stayed above ground, ostensibly to offer comfort and succour to those traumatised by the experience. (That’s my story and I won’t accept that fear had anything to do with the decision.)

Psyching themselves up to going in the crypt.
Psyching themselves up to going in the crypt.

You may imagine my surprise and a certain amount of reluctant pride when she surfaced a while later, apparently sane. (?) Her hair hadn’t even turned white.  Pink, yes, it always is. Edgar Allen Poe would have had to give up writing if his heroines were all like her.

And going down the hole in the floor.
And going down the hole in the floor.

On another day, we took a trip out to the coast and visited Whitby, which is about eighty miles away. It’s a spectacular journey across the North Yorkshire Moors and, as it’s a small, old fishing village that has grown over the years to accommodate tourists, parking is at a premium. The loved one put his safety at risk by reminding me to take my pensioner’s bus pass, as we would be using the Park and Ride system. This suggestion was dangerous on two counts; firstly, because reminding me that I am old enough to have a bus pass is, as they say, contra-indicated and, secondly, because our experience with Park and Ride has not been entirely successful in recent times. (See my post –Songs I Never Liked ) 

However, my fears proved groundless and we parked, rode and alighted with no trouble at all. And I do love Whitby. Built into the hillsides on either side of the River Esk, it has little cobbled streets and tiny shops, steep lanes where no car could ever squeeze through and loads of pubs. (Always a positive sign.) We strolled through the old town, peering into the windows of jewelry shops at the lovely trinkets made out of local jet. Oooo, there is some lovely stuff in those shops. (See Did I buy any? Well, no, but only because I saw something I liked better and decided to discuss it with the loved one at a later time.

whitby church
I didn’t take this picture but it’s just what that side of the town looks like.

Apart from its attractions as a fishing port, with a lovely beach and lots of pubs, Whitby has another claim to fame. It is where Bram Stoker set much of his novel “Dracula” .  You can walk the same streets, stroll through the same graveyard and, if you are completely crazed, climb the 199 stone steps up to the church and the great Abbey of St Hilda at the top. From what I remember from previous visits, the view from the top is spectacular and it’s easy to envisage the Demeter, bruised and beaten by the storm, slipping between the two arms of the harbour and safely in to port.whitby boat

I didn’t climb the steps this time, no surprises there, but, I hear you ask, Why Not? Because there’s a pub at the bottom that sells some of the best fish and chips in the UK. You have to weigh it up – Climb 199 steps, cardiac arrest, intensive care… or sit in a lovely old pub, overlooking the harbour and eat a splendid meal, saving the cardiac arrest until the cholesterol from the fish and chips kicks in. So we went in the Duke of York, sat by the window overlooking the water, and ordered lunch. It’s tough, but you have to do it.


We bought some and had them with home made bread and butter the following day. A real treat if you can be bothered to fiddle getting all the tiny bones out.

Apart from its attractions as a fishing port, with a lovely beach and lots of pubs, AND being Dracula’s stomping ground, Whitby has another claim to fame. Oak smoked kippers. It has one of the oldest smoke houses still in use in the whole of Europe. It’s a bit primitive but the results are irresistible. You can see some bacon hanging there too, smoked and delicious. Never mind the jet jewelry, gimme the kippers.

whitby abbey
Whitby Abbey is actually well worth the 199 steps but not today.

Anyway, all in all, Whitby was a great success, including the drive home via Scarborough and a cup of tea on Marine Drive. We were shattered by the time we got home and slept like logs that night.




Clearly unfinished, I did some of this on the plane home. Not decided whether or not to use colour yet.
Clearly unfinished, I did some of this on the plane home. Not decided whether or not to use colour yet.
I think this is the finished version, as I don't think it needs colour. Or does it? Maybe a bit of red?
I think this is the finished version, as I don’t think it needs colour. Or does it? Maybe a bit of red?



Do you remember I posted an unfinished ZIA of a Fengle flower that I did on the plane? Well, it’s done, I think, so here you can see a sort of W.I.P and a completed one. Having had guests, I’ve done less drawing than normal, although it tends to go in fits and starts anyway.

When we were in Scotland a few weeks ago, I started a little one of elephants, using a Dreamweaver stencil as my string. As is often the case, I put it on one side and then picked it up to finish it this week. I quite like the finished product; it’s not particularly complex but I think my grandson may like it. You can see it, already framed, at the top of the page. (I happened to have an appropriately sized frame ready.)

SAM_8485Oh yes, and I finished the name plate for my daughter in law’s friends. Hope they like it.

And then Square One on Facebook focused on Hollibaugh and i remembered this based on a Youtube tutorial by Miraculous Mosquito. Lots of fun, as you can imagine.


I saw this idea on Youtube by Miraculous Mosquito and decided it had to be tried.
I saw this idea on Youtube by Miraculous Mosquito and decided it had to be tried.

So now I can wait for Diva Day and see what the next Challenge is. Looking forward to it, as always…


So Diva Day is here and the guest Challenger is Lee Darter, who asks us to use several tangles in a sort of three ring circus arrangement. Tropicana is a favourite of mine and one of the first i learned, Fescu and Florz are also standbys but I rarel use Cack. Two reasons for this; firstly, it makes my head hurt and, secondly, where I come from, the word cack is a colloquialism for poo, so I get a fit of juvenile giggles whenever I see this pattern.

However, having recovered from my bout of scatological humour, I got on with it and, you know what, it really was fun.

I'll admit to using a compass to get the circles reasonably round - I have no shame.
I’ll admit to using a compass to get the circles reasonably round – I have no shame.

So that’s it for now, I have some drawers to tidy. See you soon, world, be happy.




18 thoughts on “Jet, Dracula and Fish and chips.

  1. I can see you had fun making this tile 🙂
    Now being serious: I really like the way you’ve used Cack as a string to make a nice composition of these circus tangles!

  2. Your posts always make me want to show up on your doorstep so you can show me around your neck of the woods—-and if I’m lucky (and you’re lucky ;-), that might happen in May of 2016. Once again, it looks like you’ve had an artful week. I’m glad you were able to overcome your scatalogical giggles and get on with producing your Diva’s challenge tile. You used our three required tangles to nice advantage.

  3. I had no idea Cack meant POO!! But I should would have love to be in your studio when you read that out loud! There is no judgement here for using “tools”. You seem like such an awesome person! I am glad you enjoyed the Circus tile!
    Lee Darter

  4. What a descriptive post, and now you have made me homesick for my beloved Yorkshire. I retired to Ireland three years ago, but am a lifelong Yorkshire Tyke both by birth and in my heart. Staithes, Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay, Scarborough, Flamborough, all are lost to me now. *Tear drips down cheek*.
    “Pull yourself together woman!”
    Gorgeous tiles by the way, I think the finished Fengle one looks perfect without colour. Naturally, coming from the same county, I too think of Poo every time I see the name of this tangle pattern. Your tangling however has produced a beautiful result, clever of you to think of rolling all the tangle patterns into the one shape.

  5. I like your Cack being the string too. In Dutch ‘kak’ is a word for poo, almost the same 🙂
    Thanks for sharing all the beautiful photo’s and the story, it always improves my English.

  6. I enjoyed reading your post. You took me to a world I have not experienced before. I am glad you revealed that you used a compass—sometimes a prop is needed to get the vision in your head down on paper. Beautiful tile!

  7. Such a beautiful tile. I, too, used “Cack” (which in German also has the meaning you describe…) as a string but I think you did much better! Your tile really looks cheerful, very suitable for the topic of the challenge.

  8. Hello Maggie….Wayne and I have been helping our daughter. She just had her first baby and we’ve been up to lots of projects getting the nursery finished. Will send you a couple pix once we get back into the groove. LOVE your elephants….great for the circus theme, yes some animals were mistreated in the circuses, but I am sure some were treated better. Yours are beauties. Also enjoyed seeing your other pieces too. And the pix of your travels are always amazing…am enjoying your travels vicariously. Thanks for the update on your work. Will be looking to see what the diva’s special guest is doing this week too.

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