Calling people names.

 

butterfly

I’m not quite sure how the conversation turned to the subject of people’s names as we all sat enjoying the welcome sunshine and our lunch outside the Flutterbites Cafe after our walk on Saturday. I suppose it could have been me who stated that I was, and always had been, useless at remembering peoples names, or there again, it could have been her. However the subject was broached, I had to confess that I was terrible with names and recalled to her how it had taken me ages to ‘get a hold’ of her particular name.

You don’t look a Gerry” I offered in way of explanation for the many countless times I used to refer to her as Gillian.  I also confessed how I kept insisting that Paule was Paula and calling her by that name, but we both agreed that particular faux pas was in all probability because Paule was a male name, and would explain why I kept insisting on adding on the ‘a’ to convert it into the feminine. It does tend to annoy people when you can’t get a handle on their name, especially as time goes by and the first few weeks of acquaintance turn into years and your STILL getting it wrong. They don’t usually confront you with it of course, tending in my particular case to just avoid talking to you as much as possible, or scowling at your constant inability to get their name right.  Rather like Pat.

We both decided that in my defence, Pat is one of those people who quite simply doesn’t suit her name. She doesn’t LOOK like a Pat. It’s probably why I continually insist on calling her Margaret. She looks more like a Margaret. It suits her. As we discussed the ‘Pat’ problem, I glanced over to her, sat as she was as far away from me as possible,  and mentally filed away the fact that she was called Pat, therefore I should try my best to ignore the fact that she didn’t LOOK like a Pat and get the name firmly fixed in my mind, if only so that she would perhaps converse with me more or at least give a greeting whenever we all met up on our Saturday walks.

I’ve been often embarrassed by my lack of being able to remember or recall someone’s name, but our lunch time conversation at least confirmed that I wasn’t alone and that she had also found it difficult to associate some people with their given name. The conversion moved on to other subjects but as I pondered over it later, I realised that I must ‘LOOK’ my name because its fairly rare that others have called me Sheila or Anne. 

TG Confused smile

A Lakeside Ramble.

Snow surround

Yesterday morning we set of for a walk which initially was intended to be around the entire area of Shibden Park. A cursory glance outside the window that morning dictated that we might both be wiser wearing our Ugg boots rather than our walking boots because the ground was covered in ice and looked extremely slippery to walk on. I find that walking boots are brilliant for muddy or wet slippery conditions, but not so useful for keeping one upright whenever its icy. Trouble was as it turned out, the boots that we decided to wear were not much of an improvement.

We had a terrible time during the trek through the local cemetery, ending up having to resort to walking along the grass adjacent to the path in order to make any headway. It didn’t help that we had a bus to catch. Arriving at the bus stop outside Shibden Park only to be greeted by a steep downhill walk covered in wet soggy leaves and sheets of ice didn’t fill us with enthusiasm either, and it was only my lifetimes experience of being a pedestrian that helped to get us safely down the hill without a fall. By using a tactic of carefully weaving our way through natures winter hazards did we make it safely to the car park, only to be greeted by a really icy covered path leading to the Cafe. Gripping the fence  which thankfully ran the whole way along it with both hands and stepping gingerly one careful step at a time was the only way to arrive safely at the Cafe door without taking a tumble, and we sat down to catch our breaths and enjoy a welcome hot drink. We were very early but catching the later bus would have meant that we would have arrived too late for the arranged meet up with the other walkers.

Setting Off

Although our reasons for braving the icy and thoroughly treacherous  conditions was questionable, we were far from being alone in being in the park in this weather. There were not only some dog walkers already walking along the skating rink like paths in the park, but also many families who had thrown caution to the winds and arrived with their offspring. Mind you, children do tend to enjoy this kind of weather and walking in icy conditions probably doesn’t hold the same fear for them because they haven’t as far to fall as adults. Even so, I did question in my head the sanity of the parents. After everyone foolhardy enough had gathered in the car park, and one member had done a quick reconnoitre to inspect the paths for the safest route, it was decided that the lower path was considered safe to walk on, and so after a brief wait whilst all those wearing  walking boots added Crampons to their soles, we finally set off.

I was mainly left to my own devices because daughter used her usual tactic whenever the ground is unsafe underfoot, and  hooked herself up with the nearest male she could find. At one point during the walk she had one on either side of her. As we circled the lake via the safe path I busied myself taking shots with my camera. The sky was clear and blue and the sun was shining down but not having al that much affect on melting the ice. The party broke into two at one point during the walk, when a few foolhardy souls took their life in their hands and decided to tackle a path which had the additional hazard of water melt running down it, we with more sense took a lower route which all though it was safer, ended up consisting of mud, twigs and wet leaves as it meandered through the trees.

Gulls on boats

Despite the icy conditions, the miniature railway was running once the engine driver had inspected the route. He passed us during the inspection because our so called safe route took us across the railway lines. If it hadn’t been for the muddy conditions this part of the walk would have been very enjoyable but I found myself spending most of my time climbing up grassy banks trying desperately to avoid the very muddy path. At one point we passed a blocked off area surrounding what appeared to be an old mineshaft which then became the focal point for a lengthy discussion from one member about Anne Lister who used to own the whole of Shibden Park. As interesting as it was to hear the history of Shibden Park and why the fenced off area was probably a mine shaft, I was beginning to loose all interest as it can be so tiring to walk whilst picking one’s way around mud and ice. Eventually we arrived back at the Cafe for lunch where most of the others had to remove their Crampons from their boots before entering.

Muddy path through the trees

I ordered a salad, strange I know considering the cold icy conditions we’d just ploughed through, and K ordered a Pasta Bolognese which was far more sensible. We accepted the kind offer of a lift home from one of the other party, and after giving our mud covered boots a good clean I could eventually sit down and ponder on the days walk.

 

TG

A Cafe Tale

Our Park Cafe

The weather was so beautiful yesterday that we decided to walk down to the park and not waste the glorious spring sunshine. For the first time ever, we stopped at the small Cafe just inside the park entrance where we sat down outside to enjoy an ice cream each. As we sat there, I cast my mind back to the history of this now very popular resting place. It has enjoyed a very chequered history, and not one that would have ever encouraged the thought on any long term resident of this town that it would end up in its current popular guise.

It was built originally as public toilets, the nearest door you can see in the photograph was the entrance to the Ladies, and at the other end of the building was the Gents. Unfortunately it was not furnished with any windows at all, so as I recall from any of my very infrequent visits there, it was dark and dingy and not a place to hover around in. In fact that goes some way to explaining why I can’t recall much about the exact layout, because I would have avoided using it unless really desperate.

Most residents must have felt the same, because over a period of time it ended up neglected and uncleaned as did most public toilets. Before it was finally shut down and closed however, it was the venue for a local scandal involving men meeting up there for clandestine goings on of I suppose a sexual nature. I can’t remember the exact details, but the police must have been ‘caging the joint’ (our local police station is only down the road) and several men were arrested.

It stood then for a while not being used for anything until a Brighouse couple decided to take it over and turn it into the very popular cafe that it is today. On warm days such as yesterday, tables and chairs are placed outside on the paved area in front of the Cafe, and when its raining, there is some room (but not much) to sit down inside.

In the photo are three bike riders, all dressed in full riding gear, who propped their bikes against the fence in front of the Cafe and sat down to enjoy a  coffee or a latte. Sat at another of the tables were two young ladies complete with twins in a twin buggy who were fast asleep as they enjoyed the weather and the inevitable texting on their mobiles. Behind K was a family with a dog which kept barking, causing K to keep jumping out of her skin and have a face like thunder. She hates dogs barking and heaved a sigh of relief when they got up to go.

Of course many people just call in for an ice cream or drink as they walk past the Cafe on their way down to the slides and swings. It has become a very popular stop off for many, and is much more suited to its present role, though I would have added a window to the front of the building as its still rather dark and dingy inside.

Here’s some more info about the Cafe from our local rag.

http://www.brighouseecho.co.uk/news/cafe_is_now_the_coolest_spot_1_796480

TG

A Meander down to town.

DSC00829

Yesterday we took advantage of the lovely warm weather to enjoy a meander down to town. We had some shopping to do, but we decided to take our time and journey to Tesco’s in a leisurely fashion, taking in the whole of the park as we did so.  I happen to think that despite only being a very small town, we have one of the nicest parks in the whole of Calderdale.  At its front entrance it has the main  display area of gorgeous flower beds, all lovingly tended and cared  for by the local authorities gardeners, and where, thanks to plenty of benches surrounding the display, you can wile away many an hour or two as long as the weather is kind.

Continue reading