Winter Barn Owl

Winter Barn Owl
Life's a Hoot !

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Will it rain or be sunny?

Our IOM friend, Neil, whose house we had dinner at last week, 
is a meteorologist.
As we are all fascinated by weather, he invited us up to the Meteorology Office at Ronaldsway Airport in Castletown
 to show us his 'tools of the trade'.
 It takes years of training to be able to understand 
what all the screens mean...
....all I see is swirling clouds.....

It isn't all pictures, though......plenty of numbers too.....

Thanks, Neil, for showing us around and patiently answering all our questions.  But I do have one more.....will it be sunny tomorrow????

Off to The Station in Port Erin for 'shrimp and chips'
Up next: a visit with the kitties at the Mann Cat Sanctuary

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bikes, Bikes and more Bikes

For our second night of practice, we went to Ballacraine, which has a sharp right hand turn, where the riders must lean over to make the turn.
This post will highlight some of
the maneuvers the riders have to perform!
Keep your line guys!

You still there????

Don't forget to lean

getting ready for the right hander

Here I come guys!

Love the colour combo
Oh, oh...23 time TT winner, John McGuinness' Paton not running very the course!   
More racing to come.....

A visit with the Kitties at the Mann Cat Sanctuary

With every visit to the Isle of Man, I look forward to visiting the kitties at the Mann Cat Sanctuary.
It is one of the most fascinating places I have seen.  Cats roam free within the building and surrounding property.  At every turn is a little head waiting for a stroke.

Ok, guys, here is the bucket you drop your donation in...please....
 The resident parrot keeps an eye on things
 Meet a real Manx cat
 These guys were so chilled out

 Sue Critchley, who runs the Sanctuary, greets everyone who visits.
Her lap mate was trying desperately to eat the donation I had just given her (not the first time, Sue tells me)
I was very pleased that Sue remembered me, as we had chatted last year about my work with Spay Neuter Kingston Initiative
 On my way out, I met this little guy.  He came bounding up to me, running in a very funny way.  When he got close, I realized he was missing his back left leg.  That didn't stop him though.
 Back at the cottage, I couldn't resist snapping these lovely views from the back of the cottage.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lunch in Ramsey

A few years ago, we met Trevor, who was involved at the time with the motorcycle racing on the island.  Over the years, our relationship moved from a 'business slant' to a friendship. Now retired and trying to revive his golf game, we caught up over lunch in Ramsey.
Given that the island produces the best lamb ever, I had to try a local Shepherd's pie.  In North America, it is usually made with ground beef (known here as a 'Cottage Pie'), 
but a genuine one is made with ground lamb.
It did not disappoint.
As Trevor had a golf date in the afternoon, we took advantage of the free afternoon and enjoyed what Ramsey had to offer.

A walk along the Promenade saw revitalization...

but still had the neglected building I saw last year, 
still needing some love
I hope someone will bring this old beauty back to life.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Nature and History at Silverdale Glen

Another one of my favourite pastimes in the IOM 
is to walk the many Glens.
Before heading to Silverdale, 
we popped into Peel to stroll through its history.
  The cobblestone streets are quaint.....
...and the houses reminiscent of Newfoundland
After sharing the largest 'bakewell tart' I have ever seen....
....and a drive over the mountain....
 .....we headed over to Silverdale Glen
It meanders through the forest and surprises with picturesque waterfalls....
...and history at every turn

At the end of walking path is the Monks bridge
 I feel very special walking on the very same stones that touched feet from so long ago...

Regaled the troops tonight with homemade burgers...yummo!
Off to Ramsey tomorrow....

Thursday, August 25, 2016

First night of practice at the Classic TT

The main focus over the next 2 weeks is the motorcycle racing.  Even the most seasoned riders need to re-familiarize themselves with the 
37 3/4 mile course around the island.
We headed to our favourite viewing spot, 'Harold's Farm', near Greeba.  93 year old Harold lets any spectator who wishes, come to his farm and stand in his front garden or lean over the wall in his field to watch the racers whiz by.  Every year I look forward to seeing how large the sunflower is in his garden.
The most coveted viewing spot in the garden, is an elevated ledge against the garage which allows you to get a better angle as the riders come around the turn.  Harold reserves that spot for his friends, so I was honoured that he allowed me up there to take some snaps.
Michael Dunlop,a prohibitive favourite to be a winner - 1100 Suzuki

Masayuki Yamanaka on a 600 Honda has close company
Dean Harrison, a front runner, on a 750 Kawasaki
Andrew Dudgeon - 600 Suzuki, David Lumsden 600 Honda
 Safe ride guys.....