Monday, 31 December 2012

Wet cobblestones

This picture of the River Ouse sums up York over the last few months. Let's hope it stops raining in 2013 and the river retreats back to within it's usual boundaries.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Tree in a Box

You do see lots of different uses for old red phone boxes but this is the first time I have found one decorated for Christmas, complete with a tree and lights. Apologies for the fuzzy picture but couldn't resist posting this one!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Little Bettys

Lots of nice things to eat at any time of year in Little Bettys on Stonegate but especially so at Christmas.

Friday, 28 December 2012

A World Cast in Frost

I climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark.
Evil air, a frost-making stillness,

Not a leaf, not a bird -
A world cast in frost. I came out above the wood

Where my breath left tortuous statues in the iron light.
But the valleys were draining the darkness.....

Extract from The Horses by Ted Hughes

Thursday, 27 December 2012

No change here!

Which we can only assume must be a good thing!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

X is (not) for Xmas

I suspect Xmas will be a popular choice today. It is one of those words that people get very worked up about. It does look like a modern word but its usage goes back to at least the 16th century. It is shorthand for Christ, and although we mainly see it used now as in the word 'Christmas' it has been used as an abbreviated form of other words such as xtian and xianity. I think the vital point is to pronounce it as Christ and not Ex.
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

 Merry Christmas to all visitors old and new to Ginnels Gates and Ghosts today. Hope you are all enjoying your day.

Monday, 24 December 2012

A .......... of Robins

Christmas Eve and everyone is busy with last minute preparations, but you know you really deserve a 10 minute break with a warming beverage of your choice. Whilst you kick back perhaps you would like to consider your suggestion for a collective noun for Robins, I will start the ball rolling with a Round........

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Earth Stood Hard as Iron

A bitterly cold night followed by freezing fog produced the most beautiful display of hoar frost recently, and that tractor rut was frozen solid. No snow but very Christmassy all the same.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A deer is not just for Christmas

Just one anxious deer left amongst the rather sinister looking penguins, hope someone took Rudolph home today.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Yuletide

December 21st is the Winter Solstice. Happy Yuletide to any Pagan visitors to the blog who are celebrating the return of the Sun, rather than the Son, at this time of year....

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Stranded Santa

Oh deer(!) Santa's sleigh has broken down. Luckily a few Elves have arrived bearing wrenches screwdrivers and jump leads, hopefully that will get Santa mobile again soon.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

W is for Wintery Landscape

Frosted grass and frozen trees on an ice cold yet sunny morning. Took my gloves off to take this picture and spent 10 minutes getting the feeling back in my fingertips afterwards!
Taking part in ABC Wednesday/

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Two Angles

The Festival of the Angels is a relatively recent Christmas introduction to York. Around a dozen ice sculptures were placed along Stonegate, Swinegate and Back Swingate. Here a rather older Angel looks down on her icy sister.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Would you like ice with that?

This weekend the city was host to a number of ice sculptures as part of the Festival of the Angels, here is a work in progress in Kings Square. As the weather had warmed up some of the sculptures were melting as the weekend progressed. This guy's job was to replace them.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Flower symbols

There are a number of flower symbols on this old gravestone in York cemetery. In the centre is a rose the symbol for beauty, and behind are tulips for love and passion. The ivy around the flowers symbolises friendship. Not sure what the snail signifies other than the cemetery is good news for the local ecosystem!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Flood Prevention

If the river floods locals look to the fire brigade for help. However the fire station is near the river, so what to do to stop the water coming in through the side door of the fire station? Easy, fill the doorway with concrete and stencil a handle on it, oh and a penguin too.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Cold as Ice

The cold mornings and oh so clear skies continued this week. This is Strensall Common again, around an hour after sunrise.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Quiet Side Street

York can get very crowded with locals and visitors busy shopping and sightseeing especially at this time of year. Sometimes it is nice just to walk through the city via the ginnels and alleyways and avoid all the crowds.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

V is for Vikings

A re-enactment of the Battle of Stamford Bridge (1066) earlier this summer. Stamford is a village about 8 miles outside York, and this battle where Harold Godwinson defeated the Norwegian king Harold Hardrada, is often sited as the end of the Viking era in Britain. In these days of equal opportunities I noticed quite a few female Viking warriors, I have no idea if this is authentic or not!
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Independent Trading

Many visitors to York come to visit the small independent shops that still exist. This antiquarian bookshop and bespoke tailor which can be found next to each other on Bootham, are a good example.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Ice Wars

Any soldiers hoping to train on this part of Strensall Common will need some very good grips on their boots to run over this flooded and frozen field......
Taking part iMellow Yellow Monday

Sunday, 9 December 2012

York Cat

This York cat is keeping a close eye on the passers-by in Blossom Street.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Walking the Dogs

A typical weekend view of Strensall Common in winter, bare trees, sunshine (if we are lucky) and people out walking their dogs.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Frosty morning

The light as the sun rose on a hard frost on Strensall Common this week was just stunning. I was only able to stop briefly to grab a couple of quick shots with a compact I keep in the car. Must try to go back on a similar morning when I have more time available.
Taking part in Skywatch Friday

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Mansion House Christmas

The Mansion House was dressed for Christmas this week and open to visitors. The theme was Victorian with lots of greenery around. Sadly I did not have time to go and look inside so will save that pleasure for another day.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

U is for Unitarian

The Unitarian Chapel on St Saviourgate had an open day earlier this year. It was built in 1693 in the shape of a Greek Cross with a lantern set at the crossing. It was updated in the 19th century when the flashed ruby glass you can see through the doorway was added to many of the windows.
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Merchant Hall

A reminder of sunnier days, this gable end view of the Merchant Adventure's Hall really shows off the wooden framework of this lovely old building.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Last Few Leaves

The last few leaves are still clinging to these young trees planted in front of The Catalyst at York Science Park.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Wind in the Willows

After the rain comes the wind, this Canada Goose has wisely turned it's back to the prevailing wind that is whipping up those willow branches.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

My Street....... sunrise earlier this week.

Taking part in CDP theme day
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