Three hectic days!

Three day trip to Falmouth in Cornwall and back with ivans_uk_tours.com . We stayed at a lovely hotel. Travelling through the West of England on the way down, through Ludlow and stopng off for a picnic at Tintern Abbey. We went over one of the bridges over the river Severn. We arrived at the hotel in the evening and went off to find food at a pub called the Red lion. After that we walked back to the hotel over stone stiles through farm fields.

Day two was up at the Penryn Campus at Falmouth University. I was graduating so we joined in the celebrations with other students who were graduating in different aspects of the creative arts. The actress and comedian Dawn French is the Chancellor of the University and handed out a chocolate coin covered in gold foil out to each student. Later, I got to throw my cap and gown in the air with my fellow students. We left in the early afternoon to go in search of a cream tea. Instead we found a shop that would post out cream teas all over Britain. The ships figurehead was down a sloping alleyway that led down to the sea. We sat by the harbour and ate our scones with jam and cream (jam first!). A lovely meal at the hotel and then a hot and sleepless night as the temperature continued to soar.

On the final day it had cooled down, but even though I would have stayed an extra day it was not possible because of the cost. We decided to call at Bovisand Bay near Plymouth in Devon on the way home. We had a picnic there and a paddle (hubby swam). Then a steady drive back up the motoein increasing heat. We stopped off a few times. I’m sunburnt but happy. Very tired. I couldn’t really post much here as I didn’t have much Internet connection.

Teapot at a hotel

A few years ago I did a series of paintings of pottery that were displayed in a local hotel on the Spode factory site. It was great to see my work on show in different venue to a gallery. The hotel staff were very friendly and welcoming. I liked the fact the works were hung on rough brickwork. It gave it more of a feeling of industrial heritage. I’d like the opportunity to do it again.

The seagull

Apparently they are gulls, not seagulls. They have migrated inland and live off waste food in towns, and also rubbish dumps. This one was on a friends windowledge when she stayed overnight at a hotel. If she opened the window it might have come in! She said she was glad it didn’t tap on the glass! I think gulls are handsome birds, the shape and colours of them and their graceful flight. That doesn’t stop them from being cheeky. Swooping down and stealing food, or flying over and releasing droppings onto you! But even with their naughty attitude I ike them.

A nativity scene?

So, that’s two adults?

There is a donkey parking space.

Breakfast in the Nativity Restaurant.

Double bed, en-suite.

No smoking or vaping,

No visitors from afar allowed.

No ‘angelic hosts’ parties allowed.

Visur or Masterboard?

What do you mean ‘a child will be born’?

No we don’t do Frankincense or Myhrr facials.

Gold, well yes as an exception we will accept it.

You want how many towels, and hot water?

I’m sorry but your wife looks unwell.

We are not a maternity unit.

Sorry, we reserve the right to cancel your reservation.

The hospital is that way.

Merry Christmas.

Last year

We were sitting on a balcony, looking out over a lake in North Yorkshire. A glass of wine, a comfy chair. The hotel had cabins as well as rooms, all made of wood like American or Canadian log cabins. We had been out for the day to the Yorkshire sculpture park and had driven from there North and East so we could drive over the massive suspension bridge over the river Humber. We then took the road West through Hull and back down towards Otley and the river Wharfe where we had a meal in an italian restaurant overlooking the river, we had a delicious fish meal with pasta and salad, I still remember it. Finally back to where the hotel sits a few miles outside of the town of Shipley. We only stayed a couple of nights, but it was warm and friendly. I would go again, as soon as we can after the virus has faded into a distant memory (hopefully). I need a break. But only when it’s safe.

Collapsing hotel

DSC_2277

This poor wrecked old hotel sits forlorn opposite the Burslem school of art. There is also the wedgewood institute built directly opposite the school, but that’s had work done on it to restore it.

It’s good that a few buildings are being preserved, but the old hotel is interesting with its turrets and bay windows. Is it too far gone? Possibly, the roof partly collapsed last week and the road was cordoned off by the police and fire brigade last week. Now wooden boards form a wall round it and it’s ground floor windows, which had been shops, look sad and run down.

Burslem is the mother town, the oldest of the six pottery towns. Its sad to see its magnificent architecture in such decline.

Burslem is all on a slant, I think it’s suffering a lot if subsidence due to either a fault line or mining. A lot of buildings seem to be affected by this. I wonder if anything will be done about it?

Bottle oven / pizza oven….

A replica bottle oven is growing on the grounds of Spode at the moment. It’s going to be a pizza oven at the hotel on the Spode site.

Around the other side of Spode near the Church Street side is the base of an original bottle oven which had been demolished years ago. There are very few real ovens still standing in the city. Many were knocked down or fell into disrepair over the years. Where hundreds once stood and smoke stained the city sky less than fifty are still standing and many of these are in danger of being lost to the history of the city, county, and country.

Even now buddleia and other shrubs are growing in between their bricks, pulling the ovens down in continued dereliction. Hopefully some can be conserved.

For those who don’t know bottle ovens are bottle shaped buildings containing a central kiln which the oven surrounds. Pottery was stacked inside the kiln and fired by stoking fires under the ovens with coal.