She was rehomed…

A couple of months ago we found a budgie loose in the street. We didn’t know where it had come from but we took it to an emergency vets called Vets Now.

When we took our cat there last week I remembered to ask about the budgie. Despite being mentioned on social media no one came forward to claim her. (I think it’s a she). So it has now been rehomed in an aviary. I just thought I would post the details here incase anyone sees this.

Heron

Seen today in Etruria

that grey thing is a Heron, or as a little child that was passing said ‘an evil heron’! It really did look prehistoric.

At Etruria on the Cauldon branch of the canal. The bird walked along the canal towpath then stood crouched at the side of the water. It was ready to spear into the canal to catch a fish. More intent on staring than wo was watching it. I was amazed to get photos of it.

Local industrial archaeology

Pottery bottle oven, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent. Next to the Trent and Mersey canal. I can’t remember the name of the pottery sorry. I think there are only 32 of these old pottery ovens left in Stoke-on-Trent. A few, like at Middleport pottery and the Gladstone Pottery museum are preserved and in good condition. Others are derelict or semi derelict. A few are just the bases of them left on the ground. Some are being rescued and repurposed, but others are dreadfully neglected as this one is.

Bottle ovens/kilns and enamel kilns burn at different temperatures. They were different shapes, the enamel ones are thinner. The outside bottle shape has a doorway into it and surrounds a cylindrical kiln where the pottery is placed. The pottery itself is stacked in ‘saggars’- round or oval shaped covers that protect the ceramics as the kiln is ‘fired’. These old fashioned kilns were heated with coal. The clay and fires lead to lung diseases, which were also found in local miners. As coal firing was stopped because of the clean air act many of these potteries closed or converted to gas firing in modern kilns. Old photos from the turn of the 19th century show many bottle ovens all over the city and the pall of smoke they created.

Stoke-on-Trent has clay, water and coal in abundance which is why the pottery industry set up here as well as a few other places in the UK. There are many books about the industrial archaeology of the area are available. Other information can be found at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in the city centre (Hanley), Stoke-on-Trent.

Sun pillar?

I don’t know if you can see on this photo, but there is a slight line of light in the centre of this picture. It’s not bright, but I think it was a ‘sun pillar’. I’ve seen a good one several years ago down in Devon. It’s something to do with sunlight shining up and hitting the clouds. Anyway this was on our walk around the Croft this evening. Stoke-on-Trent about 8.30pm.

Staffordshire Oatcakes

I just found this on the Internet when I was trying to describe Staffordshire Oatcakes.

A local artist, Arthur Berry, wrote an ode to the Oatcake. Likening it to pancakes, tortillas, chipatis, all sorts of thin flat round things that you can wrap food in. In this case the main constituents are oats, flour and yeast.

Enjoy hot from the grill or microwave with cheers, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes. What ever you fancy. Also jam. Maybe even tofu?

Will the Leopard reopen?

In about 2006 and 2007 I painted several murals in the Arnold Bennett suite of the Leopard Hotel. It has appeared on Britain’s most Haunted on TV and until a couple of years ago was still open. Now no one seems to know what is happening with it. I’m sure it still needs a lot of work doing on it. No doubt my murals will get painted over if it is refurbished. It’s sad, because for a few years the place thrived. But there was also bad luck there. I wish things coukd be better for it. X

Evening stroll

This evening we had a stroll round Keele Woods. Situated being Keele Hall, part of Keele University in Staffordshire. The paths are rough in places and meander down by three old fishing pools. I’m not sure about who is allowed to fish if at all. It was getting dark as we walked back up the hill to the hall. Nice walk.

Monkey forest

This morning we went out in the sunshine and visited Trentham Monkey Forest. Three troops of Barbara Macaques spread through a forest landscape. They have the run of about 60 acres and the park is helping save them and repopulating them into the wild.

Trentham Monkey Forest is just south of Trentham Gardens on the A34, near the city of Stoke-on-Trent. Staffordshire.

Tonight at Knypersley Reservoir

Six and a half miles from here, in the countryside is Knypersley Reservoir. It supplies the local canals with water (apparently Staffordshire has the greatest mileage of canals of all the counties of Britain).

The walk round the Reservoir was up and down hill. We walked up past a tower in the fading daylight, then on up a rough path to a waterfall, more of a small weir. Back along it and out of the shadows of the trees, then along the footpath and out onto the road that crosses the Reservoir and back up to the car park.

We walked for about two miles, up and down. Good exercise, although I was a little nervous of the uneven surfaces.

Mugs and cups

How many mugs and cups have you got? I seem to have enough for a small orchestra!

I think there are a few more around the house and in the garden. I am not going to search them out. They are from various manufacturers. The majority from this city, Stoke-on-Trent.

Different styles and sizes. Some that I decorated (you can book workshops to paint your own mugs, some places are more expensive than others). The small cups are for tea or expresso coffee. But I prefer a madium sized mug, pint sized ones are too much for me.

The creativity of this city shows through the designs and shapes of the mugs and cups.