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Entries from August 1, 2006 - August 31, 2006


A Day Off

As it was a lovely sunny day, possibly the last one for a while, I decided to make the most of it. I put a few cameras into the car and headed off to Laxey to have a look at the recently opened Snaefell Wheel / Lady Evelyn. This had been a restoration project of the Laxey Mines Research Group for the past few years and it was finally installed and running. It was a nice sight to see, all gleaming bright red set against a lovely blue sky. The only drawback was that some visitors seemed to think that it was the Laxey Wheel, not realising that Laxey now had two wheels, the other one being situated further up the valley.

[singlepic=135,310]Photo: Snaefell Wheel / Lady Evelyn, Laxey

I then headed off to Ramsey and had a look at the promenade area. The Ramsey Pier was still stretching out to sea, no longer used and the subject of numerous debates about its future and how much it would cost to restore it or demolish it. Further along the promenade the Ramsey lifeboat station was being repainted, so the lifeboat and its launch vehicle were parked on the slipway, affording a good chance for a look around the outside of the boat.

Leaving Ramsey I drove to Blue Point on the north coast. It’s a place that I used to sometimes get dragged to as a kid and later I used to love going there on good days with my wife. I lost my wedding ring there, after I’d put it in my shoe for safety when I went swimming. I spent an hour there, lying on the sand, enjoying the sun.

From Blue Point I drove to Jurby, stopping off for a quick look around Jurby Junk and then visited the Jurby Nurseries & Water Gardens. I then stopped at Ballaugh Old Church for a closer look. I’d often driven past the crooked entrance pillars, but this was the first time I’d ever parked up for a closer look. I tried getting a good photo of the church and pillars but the bright sun and deep shade from the trees made it very awkward.

On the way home I stopped off to photograph Lezayre Church. Taking my Eos 20D and EOS 1nHS, I got mixed over the straps and managed to drop the 1nHS. Luckily the lens hood on the 17-40 L lens took the brunt of the fall and although it now has some mighty big scratches the rest of the camera seems fine.

Grrrrr, LaCie

Remember the dual layer DVD drive that I bought in Liverpool? I’ve spent ages trying to install it and get it to work on my iMac. When I eventually contacted support over it I eventually managed to get the drivers to work but I’m damned if I can get the Lightscribe part to work and now support seem to have given up.

When I bought the drive I didn’t spot that I was made by LaCie. If I had noticed that I wouldn’t have touched it after the failure of the 500GB disc of theirs that I was using as a backup disk and it totally failed without warning after 13 months…

Manx Organic Network

I've been writing a web site for a friend who's in the Manx Organic Network. It's based on a Dreamweaver template and is the first site that I've done 100% in Dreamweaver. I'm getting to like that programme. The site went live today in time for the Royal Manx Show on Friday.

Heysham to Isle of Man

After another Thistle breakfast we packed and left the hotel and headed up to Heysham. We did the usual obligatory stop at the Asda in Lancaster and then checked in for the boat. This time we were OK for the priority loading and headed up to the Blue Riband lounge on the Ben My Chree. I was quite impressed by the lounge and we had one of the four front row seats with an excellent view out over the front of the ship. The cabin stewardess served complimentary sandwiches and drinks and we also helped ourselves to drinks when wanted. It was probably only of the best journeys I’ve had on the Ben and having the panoramic forward view should help me with sea sickness if the conditions are rough.

Liverpool (Day 2)

I always enjoy the breakfast in the Thistle hotel. You can sit there having bacon and eggs, watching what’s happening on the Mersey. We’d decided on an early start, despite the disturbed sleep last night, and headed through the Mersey tunnel and on to Port Sunlight.

We spent a little while looking around Port Sunlight and had a look at the antiques fair at the village hall. I ended up buying an old pocket watch and chain.

Afterwards we headed for Conwy in north Wales. I’d spent a weekend there before with a friend when we’d come over on his boat. It was interesting seeing the town again and we had a look around the castle and the town. We also took a short cruise in a local sightseeing boat. After a snack in the café by the castle we headed back to Liverpool.