Everybody is famous for fifteen minutes so they say. That fifteen minutes must be getting longer and longer as TV and the internet pervade our lives.
This morning I woke early (5am) and decided to have a go at the crossword at the back of Rail magazine. It is quite a challenge and I have never finished it. It is a mixture of cryptic clues and General Knowledge. The cryptic clues are of the style of the Daily Telegraph and I can usually solve them. The GK you either know or you don't and I'm not sad enough to Google for the answers.
Imagine then my surprise when I came upon the following:
3 Mark _ _ _ _ - former chairman of the friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (4)
I have never been a crossword clue before - as far as I know. But before I get too carried away I should modestly reflect that railway buffs the length of the land might be really struggling with that one.
Had an impromptu visit today by three people from Historic England - formerly English Heritage. I happened to be outside and they were taking an obvious interest in the water tower so I invited them in.
English Heritage were the body so often invoked by local authority planners in combative mode when it came to Listed Buildings. English Heritage were the ultimate authority who would be very cross indeed or would prosecute the pants off you for 'criminal offences' if you did naughty things with old buildings, in the planners' opinion.
In total contrast I have always found English Heritage / Historic England people to be friendly and helpful, dedicated but pragmatic realists. I speak from hands-on experience of two grade 2 Listed Buildings and one Grade 1.
My day was made when I read what one of them had written in our visitors book:
"This has been the highlight of our day to see and meet Mark - whose approach is the kind that makes our job a pleasure!"
One of the pleasures of living here is the opportunity to meet so many interesting people. Sometimes they have bicycles between their legs and wear funny hats.
Meet the Pie Team (as opposed to the Sky Team)
click to enlarge
They are on a coast to coast cycle ride and have raised sponsorship money for the Great North Air Ambulance, Butterwick Hospice and the RNLB among other causes. They have been going for seven years and are by no means the fittest on the road. Indeed one of this years riders had only been a member for four weeks and was recovering from heart surgery. The aim is to improve their fitness to have fun and enjoy friendship; they eat well during the day and dine in excellent establishments, drink well in the evenings and enjoy fine accommodation, all at their own expense. Most are on the wrong side of forty.
They are headed for Whitby and have my utmost admiration.
Sitting outside with my morning coffee and the Daily Telegraph I was aware of a group of people taking photographs of the tower. Along came Drew Haley, general manager of the S&C Development Company and I overheard him telling them to knock on the door and 'he'll show you round'. Thanks Drew.
Turned out they were from Australia, had seen us on Restoration Man and had decided to see the S&C on the strength of it.
They were two couples of mature years. As they embarked on their tour round one of the ladies asked me
"Do you live here or are you the caretaker?"
There were some amazing clouds and vapour trails over Settle this morning. This looks like something on November 5th or wartime searchlights. In fact they are transatlantic and London-Scotland vapour trails looking roughly south east:
click to enlarge
Meanwhile looking north it is difficult to separate the vapour trails from the clouds. Perhaps the vapour trails as they disperse become the clouds?
Villages don't come much more attractive than Slaidburn, over the border from us in Lancashire. This weekend was the annual steam and vintage rally in the field behind the Hark to Bounty village pub. And a right good do it is too. No entry forms, no admin - just turn up.