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Doodlecat's Homepage

Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

I would love to be able to say that Doodlecat is all my own work, but it isn’t. Much of the outdoors content is courtesy of the splendid people who participate in the annual TGO Challenge (there is a section entirely devoted to this unique event) and many others.

To help in tracking down that elusive morsel on Doodlecat, the search facility under the title bar above is tailored to help you find it, either on this home page (Doodlecat's Blog) all the rest of the site (Main Site) or – if all else fails - the internet!

So have a rummage around the old cat basket and enjoy your time with us!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Winter's last gasp?

Miss Whiplash with snowman
Well, Thursday saw the vernal equinox, so I guess that means that Friday was the first day of spring. It certainly didn't feel like it here in East Anglia, where the north wind has an uninterrupted path straight onto our house. However, the wind dropped during the night and this morning we awoke to a blanket of snow. Clearly this was something new to the rabbits in the field behind our house, who were running and leaping and playing chase, kicking up sprays of snow. A good breakfast, and we were off to join them.

Our walk took us through the forest and Miss Whiplash, having pelted me with snowballs, took delight in creating an effigy, which apparently is a good likeness of me.

What fun it is to be ten years old again, if only for a few hours! And thinking of being ten years old, we were struck by the total absence of children as we walked through the West Stow country park. Odd, we thought, especially as there is a 'Heritage Fair' with stalls in the Anglo Saxon Village. Arriving at the village, the only vehicles in the car park were the traders vans. We could see the tents set up in the village, and the refreshment van was open with a promising smell of hot fryers...but no people.

We began to feel that we were in a John Wyndham novel, but the spell was broken as a chap wearing a council ID badge came into sight. He told us that the park was closed on account of the weather (2" of snow in a country park). We must have looked dumbstruck, because he elaborated and said that the first he had heard about it (as he wondered where everyone was) was when someone told him that the closure had been announced on local radio! His job now was to turn away anyone who turned up. I bet all the traders were delighted.

Elf & Safety, eh? On whose bizarre risk assessment was this decision based? No wonder we have a growing population of fat pasty faced kids....and parents for that matter. What next? Shut down the place if it's raining (someone might slip in some mud), or if the sun shines (sunstroke)?

I feel a "when I was a lad" moment coming on, the true mark of an old git, so I'll stop now!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fran and Ann's Big Birthday Party

lone tree on the limestone pavement Ewes Top

For the Ann & Fran's Birthday Party Weekend Big John had organized a walk from Ribblehead back to Ingleton. So at the anointed hour we all tumbled out of the cars at the carpark, while those who give us our lifts up returned to suitable decorate the hostel for the party that night (thanks Allen!).

It was a fine crisp morning as Big John lead the way over Blea Moor, while our group ,with McGregor, took photos of Ribblehead Viaduct. It was on the ascent of Knoutberry Hill that Big John's dog formed a strong bond with Waggy, in fact every time the dog seen Waggy it strained at its leash to greet his new found friend.

Taking a break on West Fell

After Whernside our group split, with the ruffty tuffties going on to climb Ingleborough and the rest continuing along west fell, before descending to Ingleton. The unkind might suggest the the ruffty tuffties only went to climb Ingleborough because there is a pub on the way. I would of course not utter such a slur, but can report that the Cains Best Bitter had a distinct toffee taste, in the pub at Ingleton of course.

Some photos of the walk and birthday party.

Ingleborough from West Fell

West Fell with Whernside in the background

Some photos of the NHS themed birthday party.

A slow dance

No comment!

Birthday Girl

Dancing round the handbags

Birthday Girl

Friday, March 14, 2008

What we did on our holidays.

Riverside - our holiday cottage
Last week end we got back from a great holiday in Morar, way up on the west coast of Scotland. Now, some would say that the first week of March isn’t the greatest time to visit this part of the world weatherwise, and if that is so, then we were very lucky! Sure it rained, and snowed, and hailed and the wind blew up a storm a couple of times. But there were enough breaks to make for fantastic days out, and our holiday cottage, Riverside, right on the white sands of Morar, was a real treat. Just wander down the garden to the beachand stroll along the sands for great views across to Rum, and some fascinating beachcombing. A great area to get away from it all, with access to Moidart, Knoydart and a lovely rail link into Fort William.

So here are some holiday snaps...

View of riverside - our holiday cottage.

Rum seen from the end of our beach

Beachcombing - tide coming in!

Reflections in Loch Eilt


Glenfinnan viaduct - constructed in 1897 in solid concrete!

Castle Tioram, a gem of a castle guarding Loch Moidart.

Above Loch Morar - just before this photo was taken we had been caught in a stinging hailstorm!

All in all a great break and our batteries thoroughly recharged. And whilst thinking of photographs, we have new photos of the month over in the Gallery.

Toodle pip for now