I consider myself very lucky as through things I do, day to day including my work, I learn of some of the amazing things our oft derided youngsters do. 

The latest is about 14 lower sixth formers from the excellent high school within our village boundary – St Mary’s Menston.

St Mary's Menston pupil Hannah Smith reads abut football to South African children

Hannah Smith, pupil at St Mary’s Menston, reads Frank Lampard to Zulu children

St Mary's pupil Kavindu Appuhamy gives an African child a lesson about rhinos, or is it the other way round?

St Mary’s pupil Kavindu Appuhamy gives an African child a lesson about rhinos, or is it the other way round?

I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently created a blog/website for the Wharfedale, Yorkshire, village in which I live – Menston. Looking around for news as the schools started up again after the summer break I found out about the latest phase in a project in which St Mary’s is involved, now in its seventh year.

Bambisanani

It’s called Bambisanani. That’s Zulu for … … … if you want to know you’ll have to go to the whole story, with more pictures, which you’ll find from a link on the latest post on the village website at:

http://menstonvillagewharfedale.com/2013/09/07/menston-village-school-in-south-africa-new-weekday-cycling-group-village-show/

Although the project revolves around sport and leadership, the Menston pupils also taught maths, science, history, chess, dance, football, rounders and netball while they were at Mnyakanya School in the deprived Nkandla region of Kwa Zulu Natal.

Cakes for the village show

Many thanks for the suggestions for cakes to enter in the village show on Saturday. I’ve chosen two unusual ones (which probably means they’ll get nowhere in the prizes even if I succeed in making them well). The first I’ll be making when I’ve finished this post – Beetroot cake with mascarpone and raspberries – thanks to blogger ‘Georgina’; the second I’ll be making the evening before – Chocolate prune and armagnac cake, a Delia Smith recipe – suggested by another of my favourite bloggers.

Other suggestions I’ll be making just for my own enjoyment sometime in the future. When I do I’ll let you know.

Lofty, our VW camper, was clearly happy with his new clutch and gave us not a second’s ‘bother’ during our trip to the English Lakes and the north Yorkshire coast.

Lofty, VW camper, on Whitby harbour

Seen from the steps up to Whitby abbey, Lofty waits patiently for us on the harbour below

The weather was wonderful for our first two days in the very beautiful Borrowdale, where we found a new (to us) campsite. Then, with the weather set to change, we beetled (or rather campered) over to the east coast, where the sun was hot and brilliant for the rest of our stay, on our favourite campsite at Robin Hood’s Bay.

The Borrowdale campsite, just past the turn to the village of Stonethwaite on the B5289 from Keswick, is simple with limited facilities – just a couple of showers for men and a couple for women, the same with toilets (with two more undesignated) – but clean and adequate and cheap at £6/person a night (half that for children).

Over to the North Yorkshire coast

As the weather began to change we motored the 120 miles or so over to the Yorkshire coast, managing to find the only LPG station for miles in Penrith so crossed over without having to change to petrol at double the running cost per mile. Whitby greeted us with hot, bright sunshine though rather windy. No cooking after the trip as you shouldn’t visit Whitby without eating fish and chips – not at the ‘famous’ place, but ‘Mister Chips’ just over the bridge, which is the best. Then, after a climb up to the abbey, off to Robin Hood’s Bay to park up with a wonderful view over the bay towards Ravenscar (Hooks House Farm).

Abandoning Lofty the next day we had a bacon and eggs etc al fresco breakfast in the village, overlooking the bay. Then, after a leisurely walk along the beach making it to Boggle Hole before the sea cut us off, back along the cliffs for a pint at the Bay Hotel, known as the end point of the Coast to Coast Walk. A climb up the steep village street back to Lofty. No driving at all that day.

The next day it was a visit to the lovely little fishing village of Staithes with a treat of Staithes cobble cake (apricots, walnuts, cinnamon, filled with apple and served hot with cream), and again a steep climb back to Lofty as there’s no parking in the village. On to the equally appealing but very different Runswick Bay with another pint in the Royal overlooking the shore. Then a lovely run back home over the North Yorks moors.

The picture is Petronela’s. I’ve abandoned the digital camera completely except for work and I didn’t have time to get my films developed before work tomorrow. I hope when I do I’ll have some worth posting on grumpytykepix.

Thanks for the cake suggestions

Thanks for the responses on a suggested cake to make for the village show (previous post). I’ll be posting on that later.

I’m looking for suggestions for a cake to submit in the ‘annual show’ for the village in which I live – Menston – in Wharfedale, Yorkshire. The class is ‘My favourite cake’ and, very quaint, there is one class for women and one class for men!

Cakes for village show

Cakes for a village show

There are over 80 classes in all. If you are interested in how one English village show competition is organised you can go to a new blog I’ve recently created for the village, in which I’ve listed all the classes under ‘Events':

http://menstonvillagewharfedale.com

My favourite cake is in fact ‘Reine de Saba’, as I mentioned some time ago on this blog (it’s under ‘Food’ on the top menu) but it doesn’t look very prepossessing, especially as the centre is deliberately left un- or under-cooked, which might be seen as a ‘mistake’ if you don’t know the cake. The original recipe actually calls for it to be covered in butter icing, but in the first place I don’t like butter icing and the second I think it would completely overpower the cake.

I enjoy decorating cakes when I have the time but for this purpose I don’t think it should rely on decoration; it should just be an extraordinarily good cake!

So, if you’ve blogged about a cake you think would make a good submission to the show please leave a comment with a link to your post about it (or a suggestion even if you haven’t blogged about it).

Many thanks

_________________________________________________________________________

Thanks Georgina. WordPress won’t let me post a reply to your comment so I’m putting it as an edit on the post: – I’ve had a meander through your archives and I’ve put ‘Beetroot cake with mascarpone and raspberries’ on my ‘possibles’ list because: I love raspberries, you say it’s not too sweet, we eat cornmeal mush (‘polenta’ – mamaliga in Romanian) quite a lot, it’s got ginger in it, and it’s a crazy idea! Lemon drizzle, which I make quite a lot, and Victoria sponge, are likely to have a lot of competition (and I don’t consider ‘baking’ to be top of my cooking skills) as staple village show cakes, so something ‘completely different’ seems like a good idea.

My 1972 VW T2 crossover (‘early’ front, ‘late’ back) Bay camper, Lofty, is running about spritely again. My luck was in on Friday (see previous post) and although some M62 motorway motorists seemed to be a bit put out as my speed gradually dropped to 20mph or less on any upward incline, the badly slipping clutch got me the 85 miles to Chester to have a new unit fitted. To celebrate we wore our Lofty T-shirts today.

VW T2 T-shirts

Welcome to Yorkshire from Lofty at the Cow and Calf on the front of our T-shirts; back to Yorkshire on the backs.

The clutch was in a real mess but I was lucky again: one side of the friction plate, though worn, was intact; the other side was really broken up but this was not the flywheel side – had it been the flywheel side it might have been a long time to back on the road, and very costly.

Might make a little trip next week before it’s back to school/work on 5 September. I’ll let you know.

Lofty, my 1972 ‘crossover’ VW camper (he’s my avatar) finally decided he’d had enough of a ‘dicky’ clutch and threw in the towel altogether  (mixed metaphors is how I feel; I’m supposed to be on holiday).

Tomorrow morning I will do my best to get him to Chester, that’s about 85 miles over the Pennines, without a clutch if necessary.

VW crossover camper between Bolton Abbey and Embsay.

Happier days, Lofty enjoys a picnic between Bolton Abbey and Embsay. on a rare sunny day in 2012

The problem first is to get across Bradford so to minimise stops and starts I’ll be leaving about 6am. Then there are the hills to get up to the motorway. Then there are the hills on the motorway.

First the clutch was slipping so badly I tried to adjust it and it went fine for a few miles but then threw a wobbly and wouldn’t disengage. More crawling about under him and a few washers in front of the adjusting wing nut and now it it engaging, but for how long? If I can get across Bradford it’ll be fine as I’ll just drive without the clutch. Hope it doesn’t slip too much to get up to the Saddleworth turn off the M62, the highest point on the highest motorway in England.

New clutch kit from VW Heritage is in the car. I just have to get there.

Why Chester? Because Steve of Gasure not only knows VW campers very well, he did the conversion to LPG so can put the engine back in so it works, otherwise I’d be driving on petrol at twice the cost per mile.

Wish me luck. If I have it I’ll be back Saturday evening.

Menston and Wilberforce have kept me away; many apologies for the long absence. First of all I was busy night and day (literally) getting a much-needed completely new website to its Beta form for the charity (Wilberforce Trust) for which I work, so it could be viewed by all the 70 or so staff for their feedback by the time I return from annual leave in early September. I’ll take into account the feedback then it can go live, hopefully that month. It’s a WordPress.org site so a lot more work than these wonderful free ‘wordpress.com’ sites. 

Menston village blog; screenshot with first post

Top of the new Menston village blog showing the first post

A glutton for punishment I suppose, I also decided to construct a new ‘unofficial’ website for the village in which I live – Menston. The site – menstonvillagewharfedale.com – a WordPress.com site of course, is in the form of a blog, on which ‘grumpytyke‘ will be commenting from time to time, starting today.  Have a look and let me know what you think, please.

There is an ‘official’ Menston village website, www.menston.org, but although it is now working after a long absence it is very out of date, much of the information being so out of date that it’s not very useful. It’s been promising a new site for a long time but so far it hasn’t materialised. However, its existence meant I couldn’t have a simple Menston name (menstonvillage also existed already) and you can’t have spaces in the WordPress user name unfortunately.

Bringing Menston into the WordPress community

That is only part of the reason I decide to create the ‘unofficial’ site. The ‘official’ one – shared by the local community association and the local parish council – is very institutional. I thought the village, a really friendly and cosy place, merited something a bit more friendly. Knowing what a great community WordPress bloggers are I thought the village should have a WordPress blog of its own.

The new blog was first ‘published’ in late July but really only went ‘live’ on 8 August when it was publicised. I’m delighted to say that in the three days since then it has had around 700 views.

Anyway, please have a look – menstonvillagewharfedale.com – and let me know what you think, with any suggestions. Input from all you great bloggers who follow ‘grumpytyke’ would be really valuable.

This is one of the busiest times of the year for my work as the charity I work for takes part in numerous outside events and I usually have to set them up and take them down at the end of the day. Last Saturday I was at a local school which raises money for us, and Sunday I was at the Dragon Boat Challenge in York, where we had a fundraising stall. So I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging, or reading the many which I follow.

The Optimistic Pessimist's poem on display in Lofty's rear window

The Optimistic Pessimist’s poem on display in Lofty’s rear window

However, I said in my most recent post that Lofty, my VW camper, had not only insisted I reblogged a poem – Campervan – penned by Bradford’s blogger the Optimistic Pessimist, but that I printed it out and displayed it in his window. That I had not had time to do.

So, apart from giving me all sorts of problems changing gear (he needs a new clutch), yesterday on a visit to nearby Bronte land – ie Haworth – he refused to start to bring us home.

I promised that the poem would go in today and, possibly helped by a jump start from the leisure battery, he got us home.

We have a lot of steep hills around here so I really must get the clutch done – I had quite a problem to pull away on a 1 in 3 today – but with no place to do it, not the tools necessary and, more important, getting too long in the tooth to do such things now, it’s a garage job so I have to find a day I can do without him as he’s my daily ride (and travelling B&B!).

He also runs on LPG, half the cost of running on petrol, so I will only trust someone who knows the LPG system to pull the engine (or, more to the point, put it back and get it running correctly again) for the new clutch.

I’ll have to get it done soon; I should be on annual leave for the rest of the month after 7 August so I don’t want to be stranded in the Yorkshire Dales, let alone maybe in the north of Scotland!

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