Well...today didn't turn out as planned. I was sitting on the train on platform 5 at Doncaster Station waiting for the 08:04 service to Sheffield to set off when the guard announced that due to over-running engineering work there would be nothing departing until at least nine o'clock. So, a quick walk over to the bus station was required to see what my options were. The X78 bus was due, so I caught it to Conisbrough.
My day had been ruined, but at least I'll probably qualify for compensation from Northern Rail; a voucher for one day's free travel on their entire network.
When I got on the bus I broke the ticket machine...again. As I struggled to place my pass in front of the scanner my knuckle caught the lid of the machine, pushing it open and knocking the roll of paper into the air. Fortunately the driver was easily able to make repairs...at least a temporary fix anyhow.
Every bus operator here has a different type of ticket machine, with a different type of scanner. With some machines you need to press your pass at the front of the machine, but for others you just place it on top. I much prefer the latter. As usual, this morning the driver was sitting behind a transparent perspex security shield with a hole low down for people to pass their hand through. This is what causes a problem for me, for someone as tall as me with poor co-ordination and no proprioceptive sense. The hole is so low that I struggle to correctly position, twist, reach, and orientate my hand; I really don't have that much control. If there's no-one standing behind me I can get on the bus stooping like an old man so that I can more easily line up my hand and reach for the scanner. [I once forgot that there were people behind me and took a step backwards in order to be able to bend down a bit...with the expected results.] Oh, how much simpler things were when all I needed to do was show my pass to the driver and state my destination.
So, today's walk began, and ended, at Conisbrough. I took advantage of the early hour; the sun had just risen and so I was able to get some good, well lit photographs of both the church and castle. I observed something interesting at the main castle gates, a very athletic young man dressed all in black walked up to the gates and in one deft, militaristic movement got down on one knee, crossed himself, and then slapped each shoulder, much in the manner that I've seen mediaeval knights do in films when pledging allegiance to a king.
I then walked up on to the Crags and also along some riverside meadows where I was able to view Conisbrough Viaduct from some different angles.
From where this photograph was taken it's quite a climb up to the top of the crags. I then walked along the road to Cadeby and took some photographs of the church, or chapel - I'm not sure what the difference is.
By lunchtime it was starting to cloud over and becoming rather chilly so I decided to head off home. As I was walking past the railway station at Conisbrough I noticed that a train was due in two minutes, twenty five minutes late, so I decided to catch it back to Doncaster - it only takes a few minutes. Northern Rail's problems this morning had worked to my advantage this time.