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Friday 30 July 2010

Stump Cross Caverns Experience

I hadn't been in a cave since my childhood days. So, on Wednesday I decided to go underground, and  explore Stump Cross Caverns owned by Richard and Lisa Bowerman.  

Okay, I must admit (if I don't tell you my niece Amy will) that I was more than a bit apprehensive but thanks to the encouragement of Jacob (the owner's son) who at thirteen knows all there is to know about  Stump Cross Show Cave I put on my hard hat, and descended into the hole! 

Once I was down there I was amazed at the beautiful colours and formations. Stalactites and stalagmites are everywhere, along the cave passages and in the grottos, in all shapes and sizes. Isn't it bizarre how many faces there are in rocks? See if you can spot any faces in the video pics of these  caves that are millions of years old.

After the cave experience we enjoyed tea and cake in the cafe, that in itself is well worth a visit. So, if you are with a party of people, and you can't get down the steps into the cave, sample the delights of the cafe, and have a browse around the shop. A great choice of crystals and gifts. There's something for everyone.

British weather being what it is this is a perfect place to visit rain or shine!
Oh yes . . . I nearly forgot to say . . . Richard brews his own beer made using water from within the cave. Appently visitors are able to enjoy a drink with a difference! It's called Stump Cross Beer.

Ellen Dean Recommended.

Sunday 25 July 2010

The Volvo C70 Convertible Experience

Recently I was asked, “What is the discerning woman driver looking for in a convertible?” 
From a woman’s point of view head turning style and sleek lines are the first essentials. Followed by a luxurious leather interior designed for ultimate comfort. Lots of easy to use gadgets including Blue Tooth; built-in Sat Nav; a terrific sound system; USB connection for iPod; four comfortable seats, heated of course; air con and a spacious trunk for the designer shopping bags.  Plus, to make life especially easy, a hard top that retracts in 30 seconds at the push of a button and disappears into the trunk. 
Enter the Volvo C70 Convertible. 

The gleaming silver number I had the opportunity to drive and review matched all of my wish list in looks, and more because it is an absolute dream to drive. Quick acceleration; easy to handle, it glides; great to park - there’s a reverse warning alarm; 6 gears but there is a choice of manual or automatic; everything is within easy reach including neat control buttons on the steering wheel; plenty of leg room both front and back, and a high class sound system that performs perfectly whether the top is up or down.

No need to be concerned about the safety features when the roof is down. It has a semi-rigid inflatable curtain to protect passengers if in a collision with the roof down, and pop-up rollover protection bars. 

The Volvo C70 Convertible is not only a convertible, but a stunning coupé  to boot.

I was totally seduced by this car.
A little confession though . . . there are a lot of gadgets in this car and what did I do?
I got my buttons confused and pressed the button for the heated seats
 instead of the button for the air con! 

All-in-all luxurious motoring at its best.

Ellen Dean Recommended

Friday 9 July 2010

Our visit to the Lleyn Peninsula, & Snowdonia, North Wales, UK

Take a trip around this beautiful and inspiring part of the world with us. Many thanks to Neville Williams of Blue Water Marine Limited, Pwllheli Marina Fairline Marina - Wales you are a star! See you on board next time.

Criccieth was beautiful with some of the most dramatic skies, and coastline you could wish for. Sat Nav kept going on about the light; that's an artist for you.
Criccieth Castle CADW - Wales stands on a rocky peninsula overlooking Tremadog Bay. Originally a stronghold of the native Welsh Princes, Criccieth was later annexed and added to by the English monarch Edward 1.

Keith and Helen Burt took us on a tour of the Snowdonia Railway stopping off at the Sygun Copper Mine Sygun Coppermine

Caernarfon Castle is impressive to say the least. Built by Edward 1 . . . though why he wanted to build it next to the car park I do not know :-)

Then on to the National Slate Mine passing Electric Mountain

We were bombarded by seagulls whilst we enjoyed fish and chips overlooking the lake at Llanberis.

A great trip. Thanks to Helen and Keith Burt. Keith is Welsh and his history knowledge is awesome.

All venues/visitor attractions recommended by Ellen Dean

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Masham Music Society June 2010

On Friday 25th June Park Square, Masham, echoed with the sound of music when members of Masham Music Society, conducted by Jonathon Heitler, performed their open air concert to a large and appreciative audience in the colourful garden of Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm Jameson, Society Patrons.

The choral society sang several popular songs, interspersed with individual performances. Amy Addison and Brian Gregg performed a catchy folk song and invited everyone to join in the chorus. And they did, including me! Enjoyable solo performances were courtesy of Alistair Staton  and Robert Jameson.

The weather was kind, although gazebos were in place in case of rain. On arrival the guests were greeted with a glass of wine and enjoyed a buffet supper and raffle afterwards. Honorary secretary Anne Gregg said that the evening had been a huge success.

Society Chairman, Jim Heaton, presented Mr. & Mrs. Jameson with a small token of thanks for their continued support and generosity.

Masham Music Society perform their Annual Concert on Saturday 4th December 2010 in Masham Town Hall. New members are always welcome, no audition is necessary.
Ellen Dean

Photographs Ellen Dean and Gloria Fletcher

Sunday 4 July 2010

Portmeirion, Gwynedd, North Wales, UK

If you are thinking of visiting North Wales, you must take a trip to Portmeirion Village. Ellen Dean recommends it 😀

 Portmeirion was built by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis from 1925 to 1976. He wanted to show how a naturally beautiful landscape could be developed without spoiling it. The village closely resembles Portofino, Italy.