Winter Barn Owl

Winter Barn Owl
Life's a Hoot !

Monday, August 31, 2015

A little more History

Given that we feel very much at home on the island, we take pride in showing off its rich history. For my aunt's last day here, we felt a visit to Peel, taking in a museum and castle, 
would be a perfect ending to her visit.
 Inside the House of Manannan there were many recreations of what life was like many years ago when the first settlers inhabited the island.  This is an example of a communal living soddy, that protected its inhabitants from the elements, while creating a cozy environment.
The museum was like walking through time.  What I found fascinating were the machines used to make life a little this machine used to make 'hard tack biscuits' which were essential supplies aboard ships in the 19th century.  
If kept dry, they would last for months, if not years!
....and this net making machine, which usually would have been worked by a women using a foot operated treadle.  During this period, if it involved fish, you could count on a quarter of  the island's population being employed.
 After a quick picnic lunch overlooking the harbour.....

....we headed over to Peel castle to take in another slice of its base, fishing boats resting until the salty air lured them out to sea...
The entrance to the castle had a very unusual portal, 
with a 'door within a door'?????....
 Prior to being a fortress....
it was a monastary, with ruins to attest to its past history
 Surrounding its base are 2 bays, one of which is a popular beach.
Now, off to Ramsey to visit the Grove House which was the summer home of the Gibb family.
Their genteel way of life was reminisent of 'Downton Abbey' life with bells for servants and rules for the 'maid of all work'

 A long and tiring day, with relaxing views to come home to......
view from the front window...

...and the back window.
Off to the 50's revival at the paddock coming up....

Friday, August 28, 2015

At last - Practice laps @ the IOM Classic TT

The main reasons we are here at the Isle of Man is to soak in the complete atmosphere of all things 'racing'.  Due to poor weather and incidents on the track, very little practice has taken place.  Low and behold, the skies cleared, the sun shone and away they went.  One of our favourite places to watch is on the church grounds of Kirk Braddan.
This post is dedicated to V-Star Lady who has been disappointed that there have been no racing pictures so far.
Here you go.....
The man to beat! Michael Dunlop - 1100 Suzuki

Russ Mountford - 750 Kawasaki

Michael Rutter - 500 Seeley

James Hillier - 750 Kawasaki -podium winner at 2014 classic F1 race

David Johnson - 1100 Suzuki and Gary Johnson - 500 MV Agusta (TT star!)

Mark Miller - 750 Kawasaki and Lee Johnston - 1100 Suzuki (established TT star)

Mark Herbertson - 500 Matchless and James Coward - 500 Honda

Oliver Linsdell - 750 Yamaha - past winner of the 500 classic 2013

Alan Oversby - 500 Honda

Allan Brew - 500 Seeley

My favourite (and only female competitor)....Maria Costelllo - 500 Paton

David Madsen-Mygdal - 750 Honda, Nick Jefferies - 750 Suzuki & Timothee Monot - 750 Honda
 My post would not be complete without the obligitory food porn....
Home made burgers sealed the day!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Medieval Times in the Isle of Man

Good morning, Port St Mary
Our adventure for today was a to get in touch with the past.
Castletown, on the south east part of the island, is home to Castle Rushen, which was the main protection against the invading forces.

Although its main purpose was to keep the enemies out, it was also used to keep convicts it....imagine being shackled up in these!
...with this for a view...
...and having this as your 'privy'...
(this view came with full sound effects - charming!)
Seems a little barbaric to me....
If you did get a chance to escape to the roof of the castle, you probably would not have been able to scale the walls down, but you would have had a fabulous view!
  Enough history, time to enjoy the scenery...Niarbyl 
has the best view of the western coast of the island...
  We carried on up the west coast to Glen Maye to take in the calming effects of this famous waterfall
Off to Harold's farm for night 1 of practice - it was cut short,
but the bees still had time for dinner.
Then off to our favourite Italian restaurant, Andreas,
for a delicious dinner....
Pepperoni, artichoke & olive pizza with a fried egg

Warm chevre cheese with pecans

Seafood linguine
All in all, a busy but fab day!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Back to The Isle of Man...

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since I visited this charming island.  It is just like coming home...meeting up with old friends, eating at my favourite pubs and getting the opportunity to show the island off to my visiting Aunt.
Our first day started off with a trip down to 
the Calf of Man to take in the views.....
as well as a jaunt around Cregneash, a preserved historic village.
Sighting of the local 4 horned  Loaghtan sheep....what a handsome fella!
Since the day was starting to clear, we headed up to the top of Snaefell mountain by way of a 1865 electric railway
Such a clever design on the cappuccino.....The Three Legged Man!
As we are here for the Classic TT, we felt it was a fitting tribute to visit the statue of Joey Dunlop, 26 time TT winner who tragically was killed during a race in Estonia.
Adorning the mountain was this artist's rendition of the local sheep.
A quick visit to Laxey to meet up with Lady Isabella...
...a walk through the mines...
... and admiring the source for the waterwheel.
 First dinner out......salmon pasta at The Station in Port Erin.....yummmm
Nighty night...