Note Number 40…Cycling, Creating Havoc, Circumnavigating… IOW

Er...someone taking the P?

Kelvin, The Man and Lou…someone’s ‘aving a larf! 

This wasn’t my first visit to the Isle of Wight, if you remember, we went in August 2016 – for The Man to cycle round it. He went again a few weeks ago so you would have thought he’d had enough but no, he had to do it again. This time it was a team effort with the members of Bridport Cycles. It was the inaugural Kapton Krypton HandiKup IOW. A cycle ride for a club member who has the big C and wanted to set something up for the time when he might not be here. It was decided they should make the first ride in 2017 and that he could participate in his own memorial ride, (which would be a first). Twelve of the riders cycled from Bridport Cycle shop in Symondsbury to Lymington on Friday 13th to catch the ferry.  On Saturday, thirty-two of them cycled around the IOW and then on Sunday, ten cycled back to Dorset and their various homes around the county. A bloody good show I say. The Man did the whole thing and I was very proud of him…around 215 miles in total. I tagged along behind, carrying bags, spare parts and a pump…  One member was lost on the Friday due to mud on the road and a subsequent broken wrist, he bravely cycled on to the half way point of the morning, Ruby’s Cafe in Wool and then cycled home again…What a star.

Broken Wrist

Brave Man…home at last nursing a broken wrist…There’s always next year Lloyd  (photo curtesy Liz I assume) 

On Saturday evening there was dinner at the Albion Hotel, who, despite very late notice, managed to turn out a scrumptious meal for thirty at a very reasonable cost to all. In fact, they were only given our menu choice at 7.30pm and dinner was served at 8pm. Not bad eh?

I wrote this poem on Saturday afternoon and I’m sharing it with you here.

KK HandiKup – Isle of Wight Circumnavigation

A couple of Richards, a Tom Dick and Harry,
A Cat and a Bev, don’t think there’s a Sally?
I find it hard to remember the names
And when in their Lycra they all look the same.

They cycled around either clockwise or anti
Some followed their own – modus operandi
Stopping for coffee, tea and for lunch
They really are an eclectic bunch

It wasn’t a race but they wouldn’t be told
Some of them rushing as if going for gold
Others taking time, enjoying the ride
Cutting the corners – I’m on their side

I drove the back-up, following the mob
Well, actually, I wasn’t really sure of my job
I decided at lunch they could manage without me
And retired to my hotel for cake and for tea

Nobody wanted a pill or a plaster,
On the day, there was no major disaster
Surplus to requirement, of me there was no need
So I set about organising the evening feed

We had dinner on Saturday at the Albion Hotel
Which is stuck in the 80s, not a great sell
They did their best with the troublesome lot
I fear, the managers, may have lost the plot

But, prizes were given, people did shout
Others moaned and gave a good pout
But, I hope they all had a jolly good time
And didn’t find it too much of a pantomime!

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The photographs are not all mine but I hope nobody minds me using the odd couple that aren’t.

Note Number 2…Where Did You Get That Hat…?

 

Last night, Saturday 10th September, I attended the Vittles and Verse poetry evening in Lyme Regis. I did read a couple of my own poems and they were well received (I think!) The event is held every month and I’m going to miss a couple while The Man and I travel back to Italia for an autumn visit but I’ll be returning again for another session as soon as I get the chance. There are some amazing poets in Dorset.  I’m talking about the others Not Me!

Being in the poetry mood – I thought I would write Note Number 2 in the theme of rhyming couplets…Well – the Panto Season will soon be upon us!

shop-window

Charity Shop Window – Most of the shop windows in Bridport featured hats on the day.

Bridport Hat Festival Saturday 3rd September 2016

In Bridport one fine Saturday
The residents, their hats display

Of many colours, styles and shapes
It’s lots of fun and jolly japes

Roger Snook from the hat shop in town
Gave a knowledgeable talk at the Rose and Crown
(actually it was The Bull Hotel but that doesn’t rhyme)

He told us stuff about hundreds of hats
So much, that I’ve forgotten the facts

I’ll share some interesting bits with you
If my memory is able to drag up a few
(see further down post)

The Man and I were unprepared for the day
So improvised quickly – let us just say…

I favoured a fascinator with feathers so chic
He bought a luminous chicken – minus the beak

Music and dancing buzzed in the street
The atmosphere was festive ‘twas all such a treat

In Bucky Doo Square as the clock struck one
A group photo is taken – it’s jolly good fun (not)

The rain held off ‘til about half past two
So events ran smoothly – as they usually do

Next year the festival will be with us again
And I’m already designing the hat I’ll wear then!

the-mand-and-me

The Man as a Chicken…me in my Fascinator only Mr Snook said thay were orginally known as a ‘TANTALISER’ which I think sounds far more interesting.

mr-snook-and-hats

Mr Roger Snook with his array of hats…..

Snooks hat shop has been in business in Bridport since 1896 and although the town is known for Rope Making the hat making industry was also significant in the town because they used the flax for weaving them.  Mr Snook wanted to point out however, that the family are not hat makers but hat retailers.  He can pretty well get you any hat that you want, at a price though!
Roger Snook’s other job, apart from running the family shop, is to look after the town clock which he asures us chimes 13 times at midnight every New Year’s Eve. I’ll have to pop along this year and make sure he’s not telling porky pies. The shop holds a large selection Fedoras which I do believe The Man is going to check out as he rather fancied this blue one. Although he might choose the Al Capone style with the rolled edge Hmmm.

Al Capone on the left…blue Fedora on the right

The Panama hat originated from Equador and we were given a demonstation as to how to correctly fold one.  They are rolled up and kept in a tube but should be ‘let out’ at least once a year.  They must ocassionally be hung up in the bathroom whilst a shower is being taken so the steam will help to keep flexibility – don’t let it drop in the bath, this was not recommended.  I’m not sure I have a picture of a Panama hat…what a shame but I think this rather large pink and white ladies hat is an example… (not traditional I know)

pink-screw-up-hat

 

A Few Facts from Mr Snook…

A Deerstalker is also known as a Fore and Aft. (I think this is also the name for an army/navy hat that can be worn either side to side – athwartor fore and aft).
The Fez was banned by the Turkish Government in 1925 as part of modernisation reforms.
The Hat Pin was invented in Gloucester, England.
There are 4 pints in a Ten Gallon Hat…and the name is derived from Route 66 in America because it takes 10 gallons of petrol to get from one petrol station to another on Route 66. (I’m still not sure why they would name the hat after this unless everyone driving  on Routee 66 wore one)
In 1896 Mr Bowler, Lord Cobham’s game keeper invented which hat? You guessed it…the Bowler Hat. Originally from cow hide stretched over a post but devloped from that point.
In 1910 it was the most popluar hat in Bolivia. Sold to the people as a hat which would increase fertility if they wore it.
A Pith Helmet is called thus because it was/is made from reeds. They were orginally white and were dyed using tea to camouflage them in the desert during the Zulu wars.
Poirot is the only person who wears a white bowler hat (is this true? I may have got that wrong).

Lots of pictures of hats now….

 

 

 

And finally….

 

Films…walks…films…

AshLane

Walking Across the Farmland – Public Footpaths and Bridleways

It’s been a busy few weeks here in Dorset. Lots of walks, eating, theatre and cinema going and plenty of…RAIN… ah well, you can’t have it all. I’m missing the sunshine and warmth of Italy, that I cannot deny but, the upside is that we have been fortunate in choosing a great place to live. In fact, last Friday in The Times, Bridport came second in a poll of the best places, by the sea to live in England. I’d like to put a link on here so that you can read it but, The Times won’t allow anyone to read anything without subscribing – so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I am managing to walk everyday for a minimum of 2 kilometres and sometimes more, perhaps five or six. Jpeg and I take a different route each time we go out, there are so many public footpaths and bridleways around here. Last week we dropped The Man off to collect his bike from Symondsbury and he joined his mates for a bike ride…yes he does have mates. I took an hour-long walk, part of which was along The Hardy Way. I rarely meet anyone or any other dogs when I’m out walking but on this occasion we were close to Colmer’s Hill and bumped into several people who were on their way up or down this iconic Bridport landmark. It made me realise that in the summer months I’ll have to be careful where I choose to go, if I want our walks to remain peaceful and private…

colmer'shill

Colmer’s Hill

The Parish Council has been replacing the local signposts, including the one on our corner. So we discovered this week that the junction at the end of our road is Ebenezer Corner…

signpost

I cross here often and go over the style into the field and walk to Pymore. This interesting little village was, I believe, once a Quaker village. There was a rope making factory here, the Bridport area was well known for it’s rope and net making…check it out here and find out about the Bridport Dagger, it’s interesting. The Bridport Museum is on our list for visiting but it only opened for the season a week or so ago.

But, back to Pymore…the village has been redeveloped – tastefully – the factory and buildings converted to apartments and houses and new places also built.

There is footpath which passes beside the reed bed and along the river Brit. Some of the houses are a little bit ‘toy townish’, but that’s just my opinion.

From the 30th March until the 3rd April, The Bridport Film Festival has been running, From Page to Screen  it’s been fantastic. Evening Screenings took place at The Electric Palace, which is an amazing vintage cinema from the 1920s Daytime screenings were shown at the Bridport Arts Centre. The Man and I went to see five films in four days and we loved it. Over the five days at least twenty films were screened, The Man and I managed to get to these:-

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Plein Soleil
A Month in the Country
The Big Short
The Lady in The Van

This is not a film reviewing blog so I’ll refrain from writing about each film. For me the whole experience of being able to get to the theatre in less than five minutes by car and see such a great selection of movies together with live interviews from producers, writers, actors etc., was a marvellous opportunity.

On Friday, A Month in the Country was shown at eleven in the morning and it was really strange coming out of the theatre at lunchtime. It put us out for the whole day and then in the evening we went to see The Big Short – two viewings in just less than twelve hours, a bit like a long haul flight.

The Director Charles Sturridge was the organiser of this year’s festival and did a wonderful job. He is of course a well-known director, the TV series Brideshead Revisited and the film a Handful of Dust (shown at this festival) to name just two productions. He certainly put together a great selection of films and arranged some interesting guest speakers, including Alex Jennings who played the part of Alan Bennett in The Lady in the Van and Claire Bloom, one of the stars in The Spy who came in from the Cold. She was at the Bridport Arts Centre for the screening and did a Q&A session at the end of the film. I hope that at 85 years old I will be as elegant and eloquent as she was.

Thank you Bridport Film Festival, Charles Sturridge and all the volunteers who helped the week run smoothly…you must all be exhausted.

For a moment, this week, I became a little nostalgic for my past life and wondered where I would be now had I pursued my career in the theatre…would I have been successful? Would I have risen through the actress ranks and now be rubbing shoulders with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren and all the other famous actresses of my generation (well I’m actually a teensy bit younger than most of them – I think)? What about all the gorgeous actors too? Ah well, it’s easy to dream but when I think about it, I do have a wonderful life, family friends etc., so probably took the right path. It’s never too late though – is it? Perhaps I’ll get a copy of The Stage next week and see what auditions I might be eligible for…

Stage+logo+new1

Nah..too scary…on second thoughts I’d better stick to the writing…