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Wednesday, 11 August 2004
View from the York Minster II

York Minster

This is the view in the opposite direction, also taken last Saturday morning.  The lead roof (seen in the photo above) is recent, and was put on about 130 years ago (according to a plaque at roof level, which you pass on the way up). 

The Minster took about 250 years to build, which meant that 8 generations of stonemasons, builders, etc. worked on the construction each one not expecting to see the finished building during their lifetimes.

Posted by bigblue on 11/08/2004 at 06:16 PM
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Tuesday, 10 August 2004
View from the York Minster I

York Minster

This is the view from the top of York Minster on Saturday morning, when the mists still hung around the city.  There are 275 steps up to the top of this tower, and the visitor assistants co-ordinate the flow of visitors so that there are only either people going up or down at any point in time: it is a one-way system.

According to the local tourist guides, York Minster is the largest gothic cathedral in Europe.  Note, it is not the tallest, nor the longest, but the “largest”.  I can’t remember the measurement is in area or volume.

Posted by bigblue on 10/08/2004 at 05:07 PM
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Monday, 09 August 2004
Bari restaurant in York

York Bari Restaurant

This is Bari restaurant at number 15, the Shambles, York. Their phone number is 01904633807 and reservations are advised.

They are an excellent Italian restaurant, situated on the most characterful street in the old medieval town, close to the Cathedral.  They appear to be run by an Italian family, who give service with a smile and graced with plenty of grazias and prego‘s.  The food is genuine. I had a pizza here on Saturday evening and it is the best I have had since La Toscana in Haguenau. I had my doubts when I saw the ingredients (gorgonzola and pear) but it seemed so inviting…

Posted by bigblue on 09/08/2004 at 08:58 PM
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Sunday, 08 August 2004
The River Ouse

River Ouse York

This is the view of the river from my hotel bedroom window. The popular pub across the river is the Kings Arms, and is thronging with happy people all day and night.  It’s all very well, except when you want to sleep.  The place seems to close at 11pm but if so then the patrons continue the party outside. Perhaps they do so while they drink their own drinks. Alternatively they may have filled up their tanks, because they keep going for another 3 or 4 hours.

Posted by bigblue on 08/08/2004 at 10:40 PM
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Cafe Concerto in York

York Cafe Concerto

I am in York this weekend.  This is the restaurant where I dined on Friday evening. It was recommended to by my Ashby house-mate, Bob.  I also discovered that it has very good reviews in the, um, touristic brochures that are available in the hotels and guesthouses of York.  Oh, and the food here is very good. The place also has a relaxed atmosphere, styling itself as a cafe by day and a bistro by night.

Posted by bigblue on 08/08/2004 at 12:28 AM
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Friday, 06 August 2004
Lost in Scotland

Esk Dale

At exactly this time last week I stopped to take this photograph on the road between Langholm and Eskdalemuir in Scotland.  On the road up, via Cumbria, I had appreciated the scenery, the colours and life.  At Lockerbie I turned off the motorways and onto roads that hug the contours of the land, so you start to get a better appreciation of of your surroundings.  And I took a wrong turning in Lockerbie and got lost.  And in the valleys I found my phone didn’t work - it only worked when I was on top of hills.  Eventually I found my way onto this road which took me in the right direction, and felt relaxed enough to stop and take this photo in the still strong, but dying rays of the sun.

A truly boring photo, but having last been in that place in the snows of early January I was fixated at the transformation that had taken place.  And change was not just in the sunlight, the grass and the yellow and mauve plants. There was an abundance of animal life: particularly rabbits,  insects and of course a wide variety of birds.

But tonight I am off to York.

Posted by bigblue on 06/08/2004 at 10:15 PM
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Thursday, 05 August 2004
le jubilé

Breedon on the Hill Jubilee Tower
This steel tower is on the top of Breedon Hill, above the quarry.  It appears, from the shield, to be a tower commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.  My guess is that it is one of the towers that held a burning torch. A series of such towers were erected, surrounding the country (or countries?). Each tower was within sight of the next, and were lit one night in the course of the celebrations. I am not sure, as I was pretty disinterested in those events.

A short follow-up on Foil It:
Following on from my recent comments I have found that I misread the front page of the website.  In actual fact the poll is 0.5% for, 99.4% against and 0.1% do not care. The actual votes cast (as of last night) are 7, 404 and 1 for each category.

Posted by bigblue on 05/08/2004 at 06:08 PM
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les vidanges

The Thames

I recently commented on the relatively clean state of the Thames. Today however comes the news that a sudden downpour of rain causes 600,000 tons of untreated sewage to be discharged into the Thames. 

According to BBC radio this afternoon, the water companies are permitted by the regulator to discharge a certain quantity of sewage into the rivers and seas every year.  Welcome to the 21st Century, where we still chose to be irresponsible in order to save a few pounds a year on our water bills.  Yup, let our kids pick up the bill on the environment later.

Posted by bigblue on 05/08/2004 at 12:54 AM
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