Winter Barn Owl

Winter Barn Owl
Life's a Hoot !

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mann Cat Sanctuary - Special Feature!

Those of you who know me are aware that all things 'animal' draw me in.  I have known for some time about the Mann Cat Sanctuary (Santon, Isle of Man) but have never had the chance to visit. I had the opportunity while visiting in June.
Kitty Heaven!
Every conceivable bed, chair, perch and carpet was 'littered'
with cats of all sizes and shapes!
 Even the shelves of food and goodies were great places to sit!
The sanctuary was founded in 1996, by Sue Critchley and Carole Corlett, to provide a safe and peaceful haven for unwanted, disabled and traumatized cats.

 The sanctuary is run solely by a small, dedicated group of caring unselfish volunteers. They work tirelessly trapping feral cats, making numerous trips to and from vets, grooming and sitting for hours simply comforting their residents.
 The cats are free to roam the 2 indoor rooms as well as the outdoor enclosure

They even open their doors to a 'clucking' family and a beautiful parrot

If you would like to see this fascinating place for yourself, check out their live webcams:


Monday, June 9, 2014

The End.......

The culmination of 2 weeks of practice and racing finalizes with the 'Senior Race'.  Winning that is a road racer's dream.

I would be remiss if I didn't say a big Thank-you to our hosts, Barbara & Eric, at West Lodge B&B who shared their home with us and made sure we got off each day with a 'full Manx breakfast'!
Knowing people on the island has its merits.  We were told to follow a long lane to 'Harold's farm', where we could watch the races from his front yard for FREE!  His family had prepared plenty of refreshments at a very reasonable price.  I loved their garden.

I was able to get some great action shots of champions as they whizzed by!
John McGuinness, winner of 20 TT races, the 2nd most successful racer ever on the Isle of Man

Ian Hutchison, winner of a record 5 TT races in a week,controls a wheelie at 170 mph!
Our island visit ended with Fish and Chips at Station in Port Erin.
How fitting!
Good bye to the TT for 2014

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A visit to the paddock!

Before we headed back up to Creg-ny-baa for the final sidecar race, we stopped at the paddock to see which celebrity was hanging around!  

Much to my surprise, Both the Dunlop brothers were there,
2 of the best road racers  in the world!
William Dunlop

Michael Dunlop, busy at work

A close up view of the sidecars.....

.....and the drivers....champion, Dave Molyneux
Off to Creg-ny-baa... watch the sidecar race
The inside of the most famous pub in the IOM!
1949 race!
We went back to our new favourite Italian restaurant for dinner.
A great improvement over the hamburger!
Seafood Linguine

Friday, June 6, 2014

How to watch a race!

Can you guess what these people are doing?
One of the most famous places to watch races in the IOM is at Ballaugh Bridge.  The racers have to go over a bump, which sends them flying in the air for a few seconds!  Exciting to watch.  So many people want to see it, that the crowds are huge!  If you get there too late, your only hope is to climb a ladder.
This is what it looks like.

Our next stop was the Sulby Hotel to watch the end of the race.
Race over, time for a pint with our new friend, Fred, from Manchester.
Wish we could have found something better for dinner, but the menus are limited during TT week.  We had to settle for a hamburger!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Back to the Races

Day 2 of racing took us to Bradden Bridge to watch the 600 Supersport.
Guy Martin (everyone's fav!)

A different angle for the sidecars!

The following race was watched up on the mountain at a very famous place called Creg-ny-baa.  The view was breathtaking from both sides of the road!

We chose our spot along the grassy knoll, in a farmer's field.  We were joined by the 'pit crew' of the leading TT champion, so far this year, Michael Dunlop.  They are there to hold up signs for the racers to let them know what their race position is and if it is time to refuel.
K wanted to take a picture of me, enjoying the day, so the pit crew thought it would be funny to 'photo bomb' me. 
 If you have ever wondered what those signs say, have a look.  
Too hilarious!
Even I, a seasoned race watcher, could not believe 
the speed and proximity of the racers!

Back to the Port Erin Station for a dinner of Lamb Shanks (again, I know) and smothered chicken (called a Station Stack) for K.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Our day started with a visit to the southern part of the island, to view the Calf of Man.
A certain bovine and grazing sheep were keeping a close eye on me!
As this is Motorcycle week in the IOM, helmets must be worn while on the bikes, however, this couple decided they should be worn at all times!
 Port St. Mary was having a vintage farm fair, with plenty of steam engines and old motoring vehicles.

For the Cruickshanks! 
 We ended the day at the Shore Hotel for a local delicacy, Queenies, 
which is a small sweet scallop.
Served with linguini in garlic butter sauce; yummy!
Tomorrow: back to the races!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A day at the races

Saturday was the start of the 2014 TT races.  We found a great spot at May Hill in Ramsay to watch.  The Superbikes were up first featuring the best road racers in the world, such as John McGuinness, Michael Dunlop, Guy Martin and Conor Cummins.  The average speed was in excess of 130 mph. 
 Here is a taste of how close we were to the action:

For the afternoon sidecar races, we moved to Sulby bridge. 
The passengers made moving their bodies from side to side seem effortless!

We walked 2 kms (V-star Lady), to Port St. Mary for dinner.
I had to have fish and chips at least once, right??
We passed a farm on our way back, with freshly sheared sheep.  
This little guy was so happy to be free of his heavy coat that he used the nearest branch to scratch his back.

Tomorrow, a day of rest!