Tag: Coloniescross

Postcard from the Lake District, No 2

A long Weekend in the Lake District, Part One

For those of you that don’t read the comments, or the articles, I live in the northern part of The Lake District. It goes without saying that it is a beautiful part of Britain. Some would say the most beautiful but I wouldn’t be so presumptuous. I thought it might be nice to pretend I was a visitor and construct a long weekend, specifically a late October one, which others might enjoy indulging in.

Coloniescross, Going Postal
Penny Rock Wood from the Mere side

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Twenty Five, Part Two

Coloniescross, Going Postal

Twenty Five is a series of semi autobiographical short stories based on the life and times of a character I have chosen to call Colin Cross. Colin is partly a fiction, an amalgam if you like of a real person who has lived through turbulent times, combined with historical events and sometimes people that reflect these times and their influences. Some of the things portrayed as happening to Colin may well have happened to others and been witnessed by the author, others will be totally fictional constructs based on the writers knowledge and personal understanding of time and place.

Although the majority of the characters and places portrayed in these stories are based on real people and places some of the names have been changed for obvious reasons. Some of the stories which will feature have already appeared on Going Postal, most notably the Incarceration series, they will need to be rewritten but will contain the facts as first published.

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Making Stuff Up

Coloniescross, Going Postal

The ABBC news is always a revelation, to call it news may be stretching things, but I think you know what I mean. I admit that I tend not to listen to or watch other “news” outlets very much. I make this choice not because I think that the ABBC is a more reliable source of information than any of the other providers, I simply assume that they are all the same. By this I mean that there is the same make up of presenter, the same levels of faux outrage about the same “stories” and the same patronising delivery.

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Postcard from Essex, No 2

Walton on the Naze is a small, slightly run down, seaside town on the Essex coast. Its main claim to fame is that it is home to (allegedly) the longest intact pleasure pier in the British Isles.

Coloniescross, Going Postal
The pier, in its entirety

Visiting Walton pier, as part of the forty things to do when you’ve been married forty years, was something of a pilgrimage for the whole Cross family (apart from the daughter in Canada, who couldn’t make a day trip from Vancouver). I worked there from 1989 until 1999 and my wife and kids spent many happy hours either on the beach or on the pier itself, while I busied myself, sometimes for as long as 14 hours a day.

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Postcard from Essex, No 1

Coloniescross, Going Postal

Colchester, for those of you that aren’t up with your geography, is a large town in Essex with a long history and an enduring connection with the military. It was occupied by the Romans and remains of the walls, along with several gates, can be seen around the town. It also has an imposing water tower which was completed in 1883 and has over 1.2 million bricks holding the tank up!

The Romans called the town, which is the oldest recorded in England, Camulodunum. If you have any interest in history then Colchester is well worth a visit. It has a castle which is built on the site of a Roman Temple and houses an excellent museum and a ruined priory (St Botolphs), great shopping, if you like that sort of thing and a host of other interesting things to see and do. It is also one of the fastest growing towns in the South East; house building is happening just about everywhere there is an open space.

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Postcard from Thirlmere

Thirlmere is not on the list of 40 things to do when you have been married for forty years, but, being rebels, we went there anyway. If you like to really “get away” from it all then Thirlmere is the “lake” for you. We parked at Station Coppice, which is a handy place to start the walk, but be aware; parking is to be paid for.

Some Driftwood

Thirlmere is actually a reservoir, there was a small lake before the reservoir was created, called Leathes or Wythburn Water but a dam was constructed and Thirlmere was the result. The circular walk is around 10 miles, but not very well signed so there is an opportunity to get a bit lost and you might end up doing a bit more than 10. Some of the walk is away from the lakeside, but don’t let this put you off.

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Postcard from Northumberland, No 3

Coloniescross, Going Postal
The Gates to the Poison Garden

As some of you might recall Mrs Cross and I have recently celebrated out 40th wedding anniversary. My lady wife had the idea that we should do forty things together, over the next 12 months, by way of marking this momentous event. One of the things on the list was a return to Northumberland, following our anniversary weekend glamping, this time to visit the coast and some of the castles.

First stop for any self respecting Postallier on a visit to the North East is Barter Books in Alnwick, I bought a couple of crime novels, a couple of books about American Indians, including a copy of “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and then, getting caught up in the moment I paid £18 for a copy of 1985.

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Twenty Five

Coloniescross, Going Postal

Friends and fellow Postaliers, writing articles for Going Postal over the last couple of years has, I fear, unleashed something of a beast. Those of you that don’t read the articles will not know Colin Cross (he isn’t real anyway). I have written several pieces for the blog, set in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s, trying to evoke some memories of simpler times, good, bad and indifferent (the times, not the articles).

Partly autobiographical these short pieces have been centred on Colin and his wider family. I have tried to include humour, pathos and the odd bit of morality in them. I like to think they have been well received. Now that I am in my dotage I intend to review, rewrite and add to them with a view to producing a work (working title “25”) chronicling Colin’s life from his birth in 1951 up until the time he meets his wife in 1976.

The piece below is the first draft of the introduction to “25”, I hope you like it. Any constructive criticism is most welcome (I think).

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Postcard from the Lake District

Coloniescross, Going Postal
Rydal Water

There is only one lake in the Lake District, not everyone knows that.

As part of the ongoing 40 things to do when you’ve been married for forty years we took the opportunity of a fine autumn day to visit Rydal Water. Rydal is a smallish “lake” nestling between Grasmere and Ambleside. It is a lovely place and offers a couple of walks around its shore. The one we chose gives a view of the water for about 80% of the time.

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