The Wright side of life: I can see for miles and miles...

Karen at the top of Sandal Castle
Karen at the top of Sandal Castle

Karen Wright writes: I was singing nursery rhymes to my three-year-old granddaughter recently and it reminded me that at least two rhymes originate from our own city.

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush is set in the grounds of Wakefield Prison and The Grand Old Duke of York, he was marching up Sandal Castle hill with his 10,000 men. Yesterday afternoon we were itching to stretch our legs but with the evenings drawing in so quickly we couldn’t venture far so I suggested a visit to Sandal Castle. It’s only a five-minute drive from our house, so off we went to have a look around. It was a bright but crisp afternoon, so we wrapped up warmly and climbed the steps up to the very top of the castle. The views are tremendous, a full 360-degree vista, which of course is good news if you are defending a castle from attackers. We could see the two television masts at Emley, the whole of our fair city and of course the now diminishing cooling towers over at Ferrybridge. We had a walk around the grounds, and we commented what a great picnic spot is would make on a fine day. There are memorial benches all around to sit and enjoy the landscape or of course there is a lovely café serving drinks and snacks. I think we often forget that we have interesting and beautiful places to visit all around our local area, we thoroughly enjoyed our mini excursion to the castle.

Speaking of castles, our very old and illustrious Castle pub on Barnsley Road is currently closed for a refurbishment. I was delighted to see the scaffolding going up as they are giving the exterior a lick of paint and I know that the interior is being given a face lift. I am invited to a pre reopen visit to see what the changes are, I am very much looking forward to that, The Castle re opens for business on Saturday, November 9, so I shall certainly be booking a table to sample the new menus.

As I mentioned last week, I am on mince pie duty and Christmas cakes. I know it's a bit early, but I have been invited to an open-house event down in Brighton at the beginning of December. It's for a friend of my daughters and she has a group of artists and artisans showing their wares in her home and she asked if I could bring some bakes along. So, what I am doing with the mince pies is freezing them and then I will package them up in snazzy boxes just before the event. Likewise, Christmas cakes. I am feeding all my cakes with brandy now and will marzipan and decorate nearer the time. I have now got 60 mince pies chilling out in my freezer with more due to join them soon. It is time to be getting in dried fruit and nuts if you are planning to make your own cakes and mincemeat. I have recipes for both on my website if you are looking for inspiration.

This weekend we reflect on those lost or affected by wars once again as it is Remembrance Sunday. My paternal Grandfather was a veteran of World War 1 and my father served the whole of the World War 2 in Italy as a soldier with the Green Howards. I have both their sets of medals on display at home. Whenever we travelled in Europe with our children, we made every effort to call in at a war grave cemetery to pay our respects. The furthest away was in Crete, the location of the cemetery in Souda Bay is spectacular, also at Maleme in Crete where we visited both English and German cemeteries. My Uncle Don was a veteran of the Battle of Crete, fortunately he survived his ship being sunk. We even attended a Remembrance Sunday ceremony at Compiegne a few years ago which is where the armistice was signed back in 1918. We will remember them.

Well readers that is my round up for this week. I hope you enjoyed it and are inspired to get out and about locally, enjoy what we have on our doorstep.

To contact me please visit my website