Winter Barn Owl

Winter Barn Owl
Life's a Hoot !

Friday, September 30, 2016

Good Bye Isle of Man

Two weeks fly by really quickly.
With the races, nature walks and museum visits behind us, all that was left to do was take a stroll on Port St. Mary's beach....
......and have our farewell dinner with our IOM friends, 
Barbara and Eric, owners of  West Lodge BnB.
We met up at The Station Pub in Port Erin

  After lots of laughter and hugs goodbye, 
we left the Isle of Man in rainy weather....
....and arrived in Manchester to an equally rainy day!
 The only thing that consoled me that my holiday was over, was a perfectly delicious lamb shank....
...and a warm brownie with cream sauce.

Good Bye Isle of Man....see you next year!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Glen Helen

One of the promises I made myself was to walk more 'Glens' on the island.  With plenty of race related activities eating away at time, I only made it to 2 this trip.  Glen Helen is a relaxed walk through treed paths, with flowing water rushing along side.
 It is so peaceful....
 Shirley stopped to enjoy the view
 No matter where you looked, the rush of water was close by.
 The other side of the path glistened with moist vegetation
 When we arrived at the end of the Glen, 
we were rewarded with a fabulous waterfall. 
 We turned around and headed back....and clocked over 4 kilometers!
   All that walking gave us quite the appetite, 
so we splurged on dinner out...

Almost time to go home......

The Final Race

The culmination of a week of practice and one of racing, has everyone anticipating the Senior Manx Grand Prix.  
We went back to one of our favourite spots, Harold's Farm, to watch.  
We were not disappointed, as it was an extremely exciting race, 
with the first 3 riders duking it out, neck and neck until the finish.

The winner, Tom Weeden, on a 675 Trimuph Daytona, 
clocked in at a time of
 Followed by second place winner, Andrew Dudgeon, on a 600 Suzuki, with a finish time of That's right, a difference of less than one second after 150 miles of racing.  Incredible!

 In third, was Joe Akroyd, also on a 600 Suzuki, 
with a finishing time of

Even if you aren't a fan of road racing, you have to be impressed with the 'seconds' between the finishing times.  
Most awe inspiring!  Congratulations guys!

With racing over and a free afternoon ahead of us, we went exploring areas of the island that we had never seen before.  
As we headed over the mountain....
  we checked out an old abandoned mine.

It must have been a very hard life for the miners.

I still am totally in awe of what lays before me....
....and the heather that graces the fields

A walk through Glen Helen coming up

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Little More Culture

A worthwhile attraction on the Island is a visit to The Manx Museum
The bonus is that there is no entry fee and they refresh the exhibits quite often.  Each time I visit,
I am thoroughly entertained with the displays.
This visit, the art of Roger Dean
was on display, whose work is featured on
 many album covers of the rock group YES.
Check out his bright and bold art!

 Also being featured were works of local artists.
Here is a painting of Castle Rushen, by William Holden c.1940-1950
 An added bonus to my visit, was a private showing of a work done by the father of one of Shirley's friends, Eric G. Houlgrave, a well known IOM artist.  It was not currently on display, but with an advance request, the curator allowed us to see it.
After spending our day walking around it was time for dinner.
Check out this tasty caprese salad.
Last day of racing tomorrow.....

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Little Culture

The Isle of Man is not just about scenery and motorcycle races; there is plenty of culture to soak up as well.
In Peel, you can visit The House of Manannan.
It boasts interactive displays of the history of the Island.
There is a new one this year, featuring ancient artifacts.
These ancient coins were in fabulous shape

Check out the sword
Shirley stopped to admire the full size replica boat 
that the vikings used to conquer the island
 This story reinforces the inportance of fishing on the island
 As Peel is the 'Kipper' (smoked herring) capital of the island, those of us who enjoy them (David & Christine), stopped in for this delicacy
 at a local lunch stop, Moore's Kipper shop
  Enjoy guys.....
 Shirley and I enjoyed a fresh crab roll instead
 More culture coming up with a visit to the Manx Museum

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vistas and Movies

Just about any road you travel on the Island will give you fabulous views, especially the mountain and coastal ones.  One narrow road takes you down to an especially superb seascape... Niarbyl.
It looks down the south western coast, until your eyes land on the
'Calf of Man'
 Looking out towards the west, if it is a clear day, you can see Ireland
(squint a little and look to the top right)
A little known fact about the IOM is that it has starred in many films, one in particular, Waking Ned Devine, which was filmed in Niarbyl.  This lovely cottage was featured.
There are stunning panoramas everywhere you look

The drive home over the mountains provided more spectacular vistas.....

One last day at the races to come....

Friday, September 16, 2016

Burning Rubber at the Ramsey Sprints

If you have never been to a sprint (a kind of drag race),
Ramsey is the place to go to be initiated.
Racers try to achieve maximum speed between the start line and the finish line, (an automated timer).
It is an individual test, with each bike trying to best its last time.
 They spin their back tires to heat them up so it gives them better grip when they 'launch', leaving a plume of smoke behind them.

 Check out the burning rubber in action
There is more to see than just noisy bikes showing off....
There are some pretty impressive hot rod cars on display too...

 There were even fudge samples...Shirley says "yum"
Once we got back to the cottage, I had to try the 'throw away' BBQ I bought at the local 'dollar store' to cook some hamburgers.....
 It worked and they tasted pretty good!