Monday, 18 March 2019

Busy day

I have had a very busy day today and am just too tired to put on a post - it is half past seven in the evening and I am going to settle down to watch University Challenge.  So apologies for no post - see you tomorrow.   Sufficient to say that today is my 3400th post - and still going strong.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

The Lincoln Imp

Anyone who has lived in Lincoln will have heard of the Lincoln Imp - he is such a symbol of the city.    I grew up there and went to school within a stone's throw (literally) of the Cathedral and the Imp.   And, like many people who have lived there and have now moved away, I have a replica of him hanging on my kitchen wall.

He is not easy to spot if you walk round the Cathedral.   He is actually not far from the altar, but very high up and not all that obvious - you really have to look for him.   Gwil tells me they went recently to the Cathedral but were unable to find him.

So here, especially for you Gwil - and for anyone else who would like to hear the story - is today's post about the Lincoln Imp. 

 One day the devil, feeling in a good mood, decided to let all his imps out for a frolic.   First of all they stopped off at Chesterfield and twisted the spire of the church there.   Then some of them carried on to Lincoln, planning to create havoc in the Cathedral.   They sent the Dean flying, broke some stained glass and then, rising from a Bible left open on the altar, an angel stepped out and put a stop to it all saying he would turn them all to stone.  

Most of the imps escaped but one was a bit too slow and there he sits for ever, high up, not far from the altar, turned to stone for ever and there for all to see and reflect on their own sins.

Saturday, 16 March 2019


et  us
It is rare up here to get a pouring wet day.   Alright it might pour overnight and just be clearing up when one arises - or it might rain more or less all day.   But last night, when I let Tess out for her last wee, it was pouring.   When I got up in the night the rain was lashing down the windows and now, at two in the afternoon, it is still lashing down.   I expect the river will be well and truly over - the road here is standing in water.   Tess took one look out and decided she would cross her legs rather than venture out.   We have just been for a quick sortis round the block.   Water, water everywhere is an understatement.   The wind has gradually risen as the morning has progressed.   The weather forecast is absolutely accurate.

As a result I have got some jobs done which have been languishing.   First of all I have ordered an office shredder.  I now have two if not three years of farm accounts which can be destroyed - they are taking up a lot of room but the Inland Revenue demand they are kept for some years.   Because BT have taken it into their heads to revise the whole e mail system bit by bit (and they have revised mine and several peoples round here) I had lost my link to Amazon in the process - it took me a long time to reinstate it.   And no - I couldn't remember my password - and if I had a password book I would lose it anyway; that is the kind of person I am.   Anyhow all done and dusted now. 

I have also made a list for my gardener when he comes.   If I don't make a list I remember something as soon as he has gone - and he is one busy man at this time of the year.   I have plants sitting waiting to be put into the ground - at least they won't be short of water when he plants them. 

If anyone else has had the e mail system completely updated by BT I would be interested to hear what you think to it.   I went to the BT site and they say they are updating everyone eventually but it will take a little time.   I am sure that when I get used to it I shall like it, but changing is such a chore.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Topsy turvy.

What a topsy-turvy first few months of the year.   First of all we get ten days of really balmy weather in February, when there are reports of swallows along the east coast (never the warmest of places).   Then  in comes March like a lion, such strong winds that Thelma reports a branch of a tree demolishing a conservatory roof next door to her and rooks' nests blowing out of trees. At the same time Si reports the sighting of a house martin in Newark.    In this windy weather!  The rooks nesting in the trees in our town car park are well on the way with their breeding this year and I noticed today that their nests looked very insecure.

Next week better weather is promised.   I sincerely hope so because Thursday is the first day of Spring - I do hope that day at least lives up to its promise.  

I refuse to mention, other than in passing, the terrible events in New Zealand or the muddle in Westminster.   Please - for the sake of our sanity, let us have a few days concentrating on something beautiful.  

Do you remember the old adage which we used to recite when we were kids and which, in those days, always seemed to hold true - January snow, February fill dyke, March winds, April showers, sweet May flowers?   (can't remember any more - can anybody else?)

Thursday, 14 March 2019

This and that.

Judging by various weather reports it would seem that we , here in North Yorkshire, have fared much better than folk in many parts of the country.  We have no doubt had torrential rain - the river has been over and the roads have been flooded (the fields by the sides of the road are still flooded, large pools lie on the roads and the flood signs are out), but each day we have had brilliant sunshine throughout the day and as long as one kept in a sheltered spot there was a feel of Spring in the air.   The rain seems to have mostly come during the night.   Long may it continue to do so (I expect this paragraph is tempting fate and I may arise tomorrow morning to a downpour - if so blame me).

Being driven through Wensleydale this af ternoon by friend W , on our way to the Residential Home for the Elderly in Bainbridge for our monthly sing song, I was amused to see that in the fields which had been flooded (where there are often fifty or so Canada Geese grazing) there were hundreds of Canada Geese - they had colonised the huge flood pools and were swimming up and down, really enjoying themselves.   It's an ill wind.

The elderly residents really enjoy our afternoon - we play the ukulele and we all sing the old songs they love - songs like Daisy, Leaning on a Lamp post, Side by Side.   They never fail to say they are looking forward to next month when we leave.   Two of the residents had passed away since our meeting last month - always a sad thing, but inevitable.   It does serve to remind one of one's own mortality.

I switched on our News when I came in, after taking Tess round the block for her last walk of the day.   But the Brexit news is all so appalling I couldn't bear to watch it at all.   I don't really understand any of the disagreements fully but I am beginning to think that none of our M P's do either.   The whole thing is in such a mess.  I suppose history will look back on it as just a hiccup but from where I am standing it looks more like a complete break down.  I keep telling myself I will neither watch the news or read the Newspaper  for the next few weeks, but then after a couple of days I am drawn to it again.   Was there ever such a mess?

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Technical brains.

For most of my adult life I have not had to think 'technically'.   Both of my husbands - in very different ways - were very practical men who could come up with a sensible solution to almost all problems - and who could call in an expert when they couldn't.

Now I am having to think technically for myself  and, dear reader, I have to tell you that I am totally and utterly useless at it.   Even the most simple problem sends me into a muddle.   And today I am totally ashamed of myself.

When I came home from town yesterday in my car I realised that the car radio was on and playing very quietly in the background.   I don't like background noise - however  quiet (something to do with being deaf I am sure) - but I just couldn't see how to turn the darn thing off.   I must have turned it on, but I didn't know how I had done that either.   This morning the sound was still there when I went to the Hairdressers.

She offered to come with me to my car after my hair was done but she is after all in quite an advanced stage of pregnancy so I thought it very unfair to drag her out in the gale which was raging outside.   And I knew friend S was coming this afternoon to take Tess for a walk, so I waited.   Friend S is a practical lady and as I knew - she opened the car door and switched the radio off.   I must have pressed the on switch accidentally at some point.   Why didn't I know how to do it - it was simple enough?

Is it just that some of us can't be bothered to learn these simple things?   I do remember once in the far distant past, before I trained to be a teacher, I worked - getting experience pre college - in a school for mentally handicapped adults - it was a very happy year in my teaching life.   But one day, when the head (a very strong, capable lady) had been called out, the plug broke on the electric iron when one of us was teaching a pupil ironing skills.
There were three of us there and none of us could change a plug!   When Mrs G came back I remember what she said, word for word:   'I despair.   Three so called capable women and not one of you can change a plug.   You should be ashamed of yourselves.'   (I still couldn't do it today - in fact I am not even sure whether you do change plugs these days or have we moved on from that?   (if not then please feel free to despair on my behalf).

Tuesday, 12 March 2019


No, I refuse to contemplate today's vote and everything to do with it.   It is all so awful it is best just not to imagine what or what might not happen.

So let's contemplate the weather instead.   I believe it is the Irish who have christened the coming storm by the good old Welsh name of Gareth.   For a while this afternoon the rain stopped and the sun came out and indoors it was very pleasant - but the wind began to rise and outside it was a different story.   Now, at seven in the evening, it is rainy/windy/stormy.   Yes, Gareth,you are making your presence felt. So batten down the hatches.

Monday, 11 March 2019


It took me an age to get on to my e mails this morning as BT kept telling me that it had up-dated the whole site to make things easier and more available.   I must say that after half an hour of  struggling, pressing arrows and the like, I certainly began to lose the will to live.   But magically, suddenly it all came right and the updated, revised, so called 'better' system appeared on the screen.   So far I find it all very strange but no doubt, like all the other changes I have weathered, I shall get used to it.   But, as usual, I do question why - when things are working well - they have to change.
Is it just because so computer whizz kid wants to play about with the system?

It has been a lovely day here (viewed from inside) - cold but dry and windy and the sun has shone all day.   The weather forecast for the week is nothing special and on breakfast television weather photographs this morning I was surprised to see one of several inches of snow at Hawes in North Yorkshire, only fifteen miles from my door.   But we have none here - and long may it remain that way.

I don't care to have a day when I don't speak to anyone.   When one lives alone, as I do now apart from my dog, it is easy to get into the habit of having days like that.   But on Mondays my cleaning lady comes and we have a good chat over coffee after she has 'gone through the bungalow'.   Two walks round the estate with Tess have meant that I have also chatted with at least four dog owners and their pets - one especially, a Patterdale/Border Terrier cross, is a particular favourite of Tess and her owner is always happy to stand and chat.

As the day has progressed everywhere has dried up nicely and now, as the sun goes down at almost four o'clock, the cold is coming down and the central heating has been turned up accordingly.  Soon it will be time to draw the blinds and get snug and warm for the evening - but first one last walk round with Tess - a short one this time merely for utility purposes you understand.

Sunday, 10 March 2019


Well it's back to normal again today after the razz-a-ma-tazz of the birthday celebrations yesterday.    Such a strange day today - one minute it is brilliant sunshine and the next it is snowing hard and there is a fierce wind blowing.

Salmon florentine as usual for my lunch - it really does taste beautiful on a deep layer of spinach - and because I am right off sweet food at present I had camembert for my pudding. Then it is a cup of tea in the bar, home again and take Tess for a walk before I take off my coat.  All done now so I can relax.

The fields are beginning to green up - in other words the  grass has started to grow and in those fields where there are no sheep it is bright green.
No lambs close to here yet although I did see some on Thursday when I drove through to Sedbergh over the Pennines.   I think to most people they are the first real sign of   Spring - well that and the catkins and they are everywhere.   And in the morning the birds are starting to sing seriously - does the heart good even if there is a snow shower outside the window.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Birthday meal.

It is my son's birthday tomorrow and I suggested earlier in the week that I take them out either for Sunday lunch tomorrow or for a meal tonight.   They thought about it long and hard and came up with the fact that they would rather have a pizza here tonight than go out.   So the table is set for their arrival and a Yorkshire curd tart sits in the fridge for 'afters.'

For anyone that doesn't know what a curd tart is it is a pastry case filled with sweetened curds and sultanas added.   It is utterly delicious.   I used to make it regularly but this one is bought from the branch of Thomas the Bakers - a local Yorkshire baker - and their sandwiches and cakes and bread are as good as home made.  On the whole I think my baking days are more or less over.   I love making inventive salads and things like that - and even casseroles - but anything which can go wrong I  leave to the professionals.

Here today it is a very cold and very windy day.   There has been intermittent sunshine but it is not a day for going far.   Tess and I have had two walks round the estate and I went into town for the curd tart - other than that I have stayed indoors and read the paper.   Now I await my visitors, complete with pizzas.