Monday, 11 December 2017

Let it snow.

This wintry weather - as always - has caught us all by surprise.   In my case the worst thing is how I am missing the warmth of my Aga - a warmth which heats the whole fabric of the house.   My central heating (gas) is very efficient but it is not the same.

We have been lucky in that we have missed all the snow here in North Yorkshire.  The nights have been bitterly cold and the days have been wall to wall bright sunshine and blue sky.   According to the weather forecast at teatime today the snow is disappearing and tomorrow (after a bitterly cold night) will be marginally warmer - even up to four degrees in some places.

Imagine my surprise then when I opened the door at the ring of the bell to find my little friend Liam on the doorstep and to see that he was covered in snow which was falling in large flakes around him.   Hopefully the snow looks like wet snow and may be the start of the slight thaw - I do hope so as on Wednesday friend W and I are set to meet our friends at the Creamery in Hawes - high up in Wensleydale - for a Christmas lunch.

Today Tess and I went back to the farm, had a short walk in the paddock (the ground was too hard for a long walk) and then called in at the farmhouse.   As we went towards the door, Blackie - the black farm cat - came rushing up to greet us and to rub around Tess in ecstasy.   It was lovely to see him again. 

Saturday, 9 December 2017


As the day itself draws nearer I find it absolutely impossible to get any sort of Christmassy feeling about things.   I suppose, as it is only nine months since I lost my farmer, this is to be expected.   But I have no desire to put up decorations and make much in the way of prepation.
My family will all receive a present of money and friends have agreed to give presents a miss this year.    All my family will come as usual on Boxing Day and the big day itself I am spending with three other friends.
Menus are being planned so that much of the cooking can be done in advance.   Jacket potatoes and vegetables cooked on the day to add to various cold cuts of meat and a Christmas pudding - mince pies, cake and trifle for tea - not much to do then. 
We still have no snow here at all but the weather is bitterly cold.   My son came to take Tess for her morning walk today as it was icy and he has promised to do the same tomorrow.   By lunchtime today the roads and paths were dry so I was able to take her myself.
My great grand-daughter, Ula, is one year old today - so Happy Birthday little one.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Food,glorious food.

I took my camera into town this morning
intending to photograph the windows of 'Serendipity' the shop in our market town which has such lovely window decorations at Christmas.
Several readers have asked me to repeat this as they were so admired last year.   Dear readers - I forgot.   Sorry 

However, after visiting a very upmarket Craft Fair in the town we went out into the countryside on a beautifully sunny (but icily cold) day to find somewhere to lunch.   We ended up in The Castle Hotel in the pretty village of Snape.   There was a lovely fire burning in the grate, a friendly welcoming Border Terrier at the door and superb fish, chips and mushy peas to eat.   My only complaint is that now I have grossly overeaten. 
On arriving home it was to find that I had left  my walking stick there, so friend W went off home and I drove back with Tess to collect it.  Tess and the pub dog met for the usual bottom-sniffing session and then we drove home, this time round by the main road as the temperature was on freezing, so another cold night in store.

It has been a lovely day here - very cold but clear and sunny and the bare trees look so beautiful.   The only fly in the ointment was that we passed a pheasant shoot in full flow and it seemed so barbaric somehow that the beauty of the countryside should be bespoiled by such slaughter.

Another cold day forecast for tomorrow and then maybe snow on Sunday.   But then it is Winter.   Keep warm.

Thursday, 7 December 2017


The weather is set to turn cold as storms sweep in.
Scotland has been hit today with storms and winds of ninety miles an hour and the cold is promised to reach here tomorrow.   The one glimmer of hope is that it is supposed to be worse in the West of the Country than it is in the East and that is unusual at this time of the year. 

I am well-stocked up with food in my store cupboard and freezer - really there for Christmas.   But needs must and if necessary I shall stay indoors and raid supplies.      I do not care for driving on icy roads.

Today one of the Alzheimer's groups that we play ukulele songs with have held their Christmas lunch in nearby Richmond and friend W and I went along.  It was delightful and delicious.   We both had salmon with nicely cooked vegetables (we figured we would have our fill of turkey before Christmas was over) and then I had home made cheese cake and W had Christmas trifle.  Then we went back to W's for coffee.   In the meantime Tess went for her PetPals walk with her friend Jack, the Schnauzer.   By the time I returned she was fast asleep on her bed by the radiator. 

I see there is trouble in Jerusalem tonight - hardly surprising and surely anticipated by Donald Trump.   It is so sad as for quite a time all has been fairly quiet in that area and I began to think that perhaps folk were learning to live together.   But obviously it was not to be.

Also today there is joy in our area up here in the North East as the young men who have been wrongly imprisoned in India for the past two years have been freed and have returned home - what a lovely Christmas present for their families.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Thank goodness for small children.   I have three coming to see me on Boxing Day - all great grand children - two aged one and one aged five months.
And what a good thing because I just do not feel inclined to join in the celebrations this year - my first without the farmer of course.

When I left the farm and  packed everything for the move I threw away all my decorations; they were all old and I had had them years so they were jaded.   Now of course, I have none.   I have bought a 'bridge' for the window, with lights, and I have bought a wooden sign saying 'Merry Christmas'.   Now I wander round the shops looking for something else which will add a bit of festive cheer without overwhelming me. 

Tomorrow is the first of several Christmas lunches for friend W and I when we go to have lunch with Alzheimer's patients and their carers in the little town of Richmond, only a short distance away.
We have preordered and have both chosen salmon, knowing we shall be totally and utterly fed up with turkey by the time the season is over. 

So now I shall go and finish writing my Christmas cards so that I can post them in the morning - and that will then be another task I can cross off my list.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Bright Monday

Living alone is no joke as anyone amongst my readers who is in this position will testify.   However one tries to fill ones time, however many friends one has, the fact is that in the long run one comes home to an empty house ( apart in may case for a dear little dog companion).

Sometimes days are like this too.  According to my calendar for today, today should have been such a day and I earmarked it for those jobs which need doing but always get put to one side (cleaning out the cupboard under the sink in the kitchen, where I keep dusters, polishes etc.) and washing out the fridge. 

But of  course it didn't turn out like that at all.  The lady who cleans for me on a Monday left at half past ten and since then it has been a whirl of people calling in to see me - and how welcome they have been.

When I had an hour to spare at lunch time I popped Tess in the car for the ride and we drove up  to the tip with her old bed and blanket (she has
just had a new one.  After that I parked in town,
did a quick bit of shopping and arrived home just as my gardener arrived.   No sooner had he gone than a friend walked past and stopped to chat and then my dear friend, W.  called in.   As she went my little seven year old neighbour from where I lived on the farm, popped in with some eggs for me. What a social whirl and how much better I felt for it.  Such a difference living here amongst people from living on the farm down a lonely lane.

Oh and in case you are wondering - when everyone had gone I did clean out the sink cupboard and wash out the fridge.   I shall now go and read my magazine, which arrived this morning and which I have not had time to open yet.

Sunday, 3 December 2017


Yesterday morning I managed to fall out of bed.   I got up and made myself a cup of tea, looked at the clock and realised it was very early so I decided to go back to bed for an hour.   As it was a bit chilly I got into bed with my dressing gown on.

I went fast asleep and overslept, waking up to realise that it was almost time to go to the monthly coffee morning.   Instead of climbing out of bed I 'gracefully' slid out and landed on the carpet at the side of the bed.   How to get up?   The skill of getting up when one is getting on in years does not disappear gradually - one day you can get up easily and think nothing of it - the next you can't
- or so it seems to me.

My only option was to crawl/shuffle through to the sitting room where I could use a chair for purchase.   Mission accomplished - the doorbell rang.   Friend W had arrived at the coffee morning and couldn't understand where I was.  Friend H, who lives next door to me, had come round to find out.

Well, it all adds to the excitement I suppose - and at least it proves what good, thoughtful friends I have - they are golden.

Friday, 1 December 2017


We woke up here in North Yorkshire to about an inch of snow and very icy conditions.    It was certainly far too slippery for me to venture far.   Friend W - true friend as always - called and took me into town to meet the 'girls' for coffee.   I crossed the road very carefully; although it was beginning to melt there was still a lot of ice about.

Now I am home at 2.15, have eaten a bowl of steaming hot lentil and vegetable soup I made yesterday, and - on the advice of my Physio - am keeping warm.  Writing my Christmas cards beckons.   Having to tell so many friends about the death of the farmer means it will be a long process this year - so the sooner I begin the better.

My house number (19 on a piece of slate) arrived this morning.   I have just rung the man who looks after my garden and he is going to come and fix it for me within the next few days. At present people have to work out the number for themselves as there is no number there at all.

Pale, cold blue sky outside.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Back problems

Deeply inflamed nerve endings on ribs has been diagnosed.   I am in pain and use of the computer is quite painful.   Keep warm and keep doing the exercises is the advice - so shall do that.   Back in a few days.   Snowing lightly here and bitterly cold.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Short post.

For some reason my back and side are quite painful - I think I have pulled a muscle.   Whatever the reason, it is painful to sit here typing - so no post today.   Hopefully see you all tomorrow.