Welcome to 2014 and what I hope will be a year when I can get back into the swing of long walks and finding some new places to visit.
Sadly the year got of to a bit of a dodgy start, as I got a tummy bug.
Possibly I picked something up from a puddle or from a river during a splodge, but whatever it was, the nice lady at Ashlea vets in the City gave me some tablets and an injection to sort things out.
I am now well on the mend and slowly increasing the length of my walks, as I get match fit after a few days of rest, recuperation and general man flu.
Given that I have not been exploring much ,I thought I would look back into my photo albums and catch up on a few stories.
The change of daily life due to the Christmas holidays brought with it this year a few unusual tv programmes, and the chance to sit down as a family and watch them.
One of the most thought provoking featured the humble British biscuit. This was one television programme that kept prompting memories from the two leggers and made for compulsive viewing.
Presented by Nigel Slater it explored the history of our most famous brands and uncovered the Georgian and Quaker origins of the biscuits we love and eat today.
It is available on BBC iPlayer.
Nelson Mandela memorial
With the death of Nelson Mandela back in December and many of the news outlets reporting on any connection with the former President of South Africa, we were quite amazed to find this memorial stone appears to have been forgotten about.
Situated in the middle of the busiest roundabouts in Carlisle, Hardwick Circus, the flat dark stone has become weathered and quite hard to read.
We think the inscription says: This garden is dedicated to Nelson Mandela and the continuing campaign towards racial unity in South Africa February 1990.
No other details are known about this stone or who commissioned it to be installed, so any help would be much appreciated, via the comments area below, lest it get lost to history.
Interconnected traffic lights?
Carlisle’s traffic lights have recently grown some new gadgetry and I am curious as to what it is and what it is for.
White flat panels around 15cm square have appeared, clamped to brackets, atop many traffic lights in the city in recent months.
One theory dad has is that the boffins from the council are interconnecting the lights using radio links to help with traffic flow.
Another suggestion could be that the masts are to create a city wide data connection to offer wifi to visitors.
Personally, I think that they are being installed as part of a plan to provide perches for birds during their annual migrations through the area.
If you have any suggestions, or actually know what they are for, then let us know in the comments area below.
As temperatures continue to be very low in the USA and Canada I just want to spare a few moments for my colleagues suffering freezing conditions.
A number of news articles have appeared in the last few days highlighting concerns for animals left in the cold or not getting proper attention.
One article in The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register reports that officials have responded to more than 40 cold dog calls.
Ohio County Dog Warden Doug McCroskey advises “keeping all dogs inside”.
He adds: “Many people simply are ignorant of state laws and of how much a dog can tolerate”.
Good luck to all of my fellow pooches, I am thinking of you.
Rising fuel costs ?
Oh, and if you are wondering about the headline for this article and the associated image, it comes from a trawl of our photo archives from 2005.
The price of 88.9p per litre sparked quite a conversation around the dinner table last night after dad spotted it. Oh how prices have changed in less than 9 years was, I think, the conclusion.
According to the AA fuel price report from that month, Diesel rose by 3.5p a litre (15.9p a gallon) taking the price well over £4 a gallon.
Comparing that figure to the latest report, updated in December 2013, The AA reports that Scotland recently recorded the highest diesel price at 139.4ppl.
In 2009, mum filled the tank up to the brim in Wick before crossing on the ferry to Orkney where she complained about the island price being 115p a litre. It is now in 2014 about 165p a litre.
That is a change of around 50 pence per litre, or a rise on average of 6p per year, I think.
Have your walks and trips out been curtailed by rising fuel costs? Let us know in the comments area below.