Leeds, Feeds and Boats

Leeds

7.50am: A relatively early start today as we planned to catch the 8.51 Train from Peterborough Rail Station heading for its counterpart in Leeds. We’re catching-up with Dennis & Sandra for one of our semi-regular day-outs together.

We’re starting to build up quite a history now, as this will be our seventh get-together, having already enjoyed…

Today, they’ve organised a day in Leeds for us, and we’re planning to visit

…and no doubt, we’ll squeeze in some good food and a few Shandies along the way! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

8.51am: We like Trains that are on time! ๐Ÿ˜Š (hurrah!)

10.21am: Thanks to a squeaky wheel and a speed that suggested our Driver had left the handbrake on for the first 10 miles, we arrived around 6 minutes late. ๐Ÿ˜• (boo!)

We met up with our friends at WH Smiths at Leeds Station and headed for our first stop – The Armouries Museum.

But who wants to walk or grab a traditional Cab, when there’s the Leeds Water-Taxi on offer??

…and it was free too! Brilliant! ๐Ÿ‘

10.35am: With great views along the short route of the re-developed Docklands! ๐Ÿ‘

Ten-minutes later, after enjoying a pitted history of the Dock area from our Driver err Pilot err Captain, we took the short walk to the Museum itself.

Think of everything that comes to mind about what a Museum looks like…

…and then immediately forget it!

Wow!

Design-wise, the layout of the Museum was very unusual – with lots of and housed in acres of space! A great first impression! ๐Ÿ‘

..and did I mention it’s completely free to get in! ๐Ÿ˜

The view to the top from the ground floor

Five floors of virtually everything you could imagine about weapons and armoury – from the first bullet designs to modern warfare. And if that wasn’t enough (and it would have been!) there were various live demonstrations….

11.45am: Our first… (Floor 2)

This was how sword-fights were done back in medieval times. Very convincing choreography and a first-class explanation of the ‘whats’, ‘whys’ and ‘hows’!

With the first Demonstration over, we wandered about the various Galleries. Currently, there’s a special Gallery all about the Victoria Cross (Floor 3). Great stories of courage! ๐Ÿ‘

A very comprehensive Museum!

Next, it was another live Demonstration. This time, Normans v Saxons, with our ‘Saxon’ (David) firing-up the crowd beforehand (I’ve never seen kids so excited! – including us ๐Ÿ˜) Armed with swords, shields and spears they showed us in great detail how these battles were fought.

Time for a trip the Oriental Exhibits. Nicely presented (again!) with plenty to see.

1.45pm: A spot of Lunch is called for. So we headed to the nearby ‘Dock 29‘.

…and what it lacked in customers, atmosphere, product knowledge and cutlery (that’s all!), it made up for with an incomprehensible selection of continuous music. With the tunes clearly aimed at the ‘yoof’, it was a pity then, there were none there. ๐Ÿ˜•

Still, it didn’t matter, we were hungry, and it all went down a treat. Suitably stuffed, we headed back to the Museum. It was clear now that we wouldn’t have time to do anything else today – but that suited us perfectly as the Museum had so much to offer! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

Stand in front of the target – you’ll be safer! ๐Ÿ˜‰

2.45pm: Our penultimate experience at the Museum was the rather excellent ‘Crossbow Range’. Yes, really! On the very top floor, for a paltry 3 groats each, supplied with 8 bolts per person, we were let loose attempting to hit the target. Surely, with our recent experience of archery and rifle shooting at our Warner Weekend would help us?

Err, no! Let’s say, it was fortunate that we didn’t get to keep our targets. I blame the uncalibrated crossbows! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Be afraid, be very afraid!!!

Last experience was another live demonstration. This time, that everyday task: ‘How to prepare for a jousting event’. Again, a first class presentation, expertly delivered!

Don’t call me ‘Lance’!

4.10pm: Wow! It had been a full-on day, in a good way, and the time had passed in a flash. It was great to see Dennis and Sandra again and I reckon this had been one of our best Museum visits ever!

…this had been one of our best Museum visits ever!

4.25pm: As time was tight for 4.45pm, we all walked back to the Station rather than queue for the Water Taxi. Ironically, when we got there, there was a delay in announcing the Platform. After a delayed departure, we were on our way, reflecting on what had been an EXCELLENT day-out. Thanks to our friends Dennis and Sandra for getting it all organised.

6.15pm: We arrived back at Peterborough Station on time and were soon back on the road heading for home.

7.05pm: Shattered! (in a good way!). Time for a cuppa!

For your viewing pleasure, all the photos from today are HERE

Easy PC!

The Waiting Area at Trumpington’s Park ‘n’ Ride

Off to Cambridge today to meet up with Sally B. We’re on a mission to seek out a replacement Laptop to replace ‘Isla‘ (who has enjoyed a great innings since February 2015, but it’s time to retire her!) ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

First stop was to be John Lewis who had some cracking good deals and where we’d narrowed it down to just three models. But first we had to get to Cambridge.

These days, wisdom suggests that it’s foolish to try and drive into the city-centre (was it ever????!!!!), and so we both headed for Trumpington Park and Ride. A lot has changed there since I last visited; for a start, parking is now completely free (for 18 hours), but on the downside, they were ‘improving’ the layout, so there were far fewer spaces than usual, whilst a family of diggers and dump-trucks did what they do best! Cue a few laps circling the site before bagging a space.

Sal arrived just after 11 and we were soon on our ยฃ3 journey into the City.

One of the benefits of going ‘old school’ – actually visiting a shop! – meant Sal could try out the feel of the keyboards, and that helped narrow down the options even further! โ˜บ By 11.30 we’d reviewed our shortlist – and rejected them all! ๐Ÿ˜› Instead a trusty Dell tempting us with ยฃ100 off the price, became the ultimate prize!

Dell i5, 4Gb RAM, 1Tb 15.6 inch screen

A real beauty! โ˜บ … and all for less than ยฃ500!

With our bargain bagged, it was off to Brown’s of Cambridge for a celebratory Lunch.

Impressive Menu!

Great (Meat) Balls of Fire!

Yummy Fish Pie!

Two Courses, 90 minutes and a hell of a lot of catching-up later, we walked back the bus-stop and were soon back to our cars.

We both headed for the M11, where one of us headed south, the other northwards – and straight into the (now-daily) congestion due to the massive expansion of the A14). I’m sure it’ll be impressive when it’s completed, but at the moment, it’s a real pain every time I need to use the M11/A14.