Saturday, 23 September 2017


A better day today - things get into proportion when you have slept on them I find.   When I opened the curtains this morning it was to thick fog and although it has cleared the dullness has remained all day.

This afternoon friend W and I went looking for a very small table for my kitchen so that when I am alone and actually eating at home, I can sit in the kitchen and eat rather than carry my meal through to the dining room.  We found just the thing.

Then we came home from Richmond the long way round, through Swaledale along a beautiful route by the side of the River Swale.   I apologise for having no photos to show you but packing my battery charger was a stupid idea.   We were hoping for Autumn colour in the trees but we were too early - almost all were still wearing their Summer green.

We made a slight detour to call in at a cafe for a pot of tea and a slice of cake (Victoria sponge for W and Coconut cake for me - both home made and both delicious).   Home again by four o'clock.

It is almost beginning to get dark so it is close the farm gate, draw the curtains and feel cosy for the night.   Just a cup of tea will do for me so feed Tess and then sit and do the Guardian Quick Crossword - my son has already done it today so must not let him beat me.

Friday, 22 September 2017


Warm and damp conditions best describes today here in Wensleydale - weather which I would describe as 'muggy',    It is, I suppose, also good growing weather although I don't think anyone wishes things to grow now - and that especially applies to lawns.   When I got home after my lunch out (!!) it was to find that my gardener had been and had cut the grass - hopefully for the last time this season now that the equinox has passed.

Listening to the weatherman this morning on Breakfast Television he said that although the Equinox was yesterday (the 21st) it is on Sunday
(24th) that light and darkness will be of equal length.   These days meteorology has become so complicated.   When I was young seasons began on the 21st of the month - there was none of this other information.   I really think you can suffer from too much information. There are some lines along which my brain just refuses to operate.

Nothing much to say today - just a bit tired and dis spirited so perhaps an early night will restore my equilibrium.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A Quiet Day

In twenty minutes it is time for the farming programme from Mull - I enjoy it, it is pure escapism from my point of view and I can really relax and watch it.  So this will be a hurried post.

Tess is flaked out with exhaustion because friend S has taken her on a lovely long walk.   I am so grateful to S - at least I know that Tess has had a good walk today and I don't feel guilty.   Tess was very hungry and couldn't wait for her tea - another sign that she has had good exercise.

I have purposely had a quiet day today as most days I get very tired both physically and mentally.   So I have done very little.   I did unpack the sealed box containing my winter jumpers - when I packed them I fully expected to be moved by now but it is rapidly getting too chilly for T shirts and cardigans. Now a nice neat row of jumpers hangs in my wardrobe - a sure sign that tomorrow it will turn warm and we shall have an Indian Summer.

Until tomorrow my friends.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

You never know.

I tend to forget just who reads my posts.  Obviously the folk I blog with regularly read them - I tend to write them mainly for that audience.   After all, I think we all choose to put people on our side bar who are on the same wavelength don't we?

But it never ceases to amaze me just who else reads it.  Several ladies in the village and in our nearby town for a start.   Quite a large group of my friends (hello P and D out there, and possibly A) read it and sometimes send me an e mail to comment on something I have said.

Today I have received an e mail from a friend who sometimes walks Tess for me to say that she has had an e mail from her sister in law in Cambridge urging me to keep Tess.   She too reads my blog.
The power of modern communications is amazing.

Of course six months is no time at all in the grieving process and it is only six months since the farmer died - and left me quite suddenly at that.   Adjustment takes longer than that and you have to work at it.   So to all those out there who are giving me support either directly or indirectly this post is just to say thank you (on the whole you know who you are).


I am in somewhat of a dilemma.   Regular readers will know that I am shortly to move house and am just waiting for the final details to be finished.

I showed you a photograph of my bright and perky Tess on Sunday.   Sadly if you saw a photograph of me you would see that I am not so bright and perky.   In my head I still feel twenty five - in my body - well in my knee and ankle - I am definitely much nearer eighty five.

Is it fair to keep Tess when I move?   In the first instance  she is a country dog.   I have had her since she was six weeks old and she is now nine and a half.   All that time she has lived on the farm and gone round the fields with the farmer, chasing rabbits, sniffing in the hedge bottoms, roaming as she wished - off the lead apart from the short journey back down the lane to the house.

Now I am to move into a bungalow in the nearby town.  Although it is a quiet little market town it is still not the same as open countryside.   Is it fair to take her there?   I have already contacted a dog-walker but that only accounts for one daily walk - what about the rest of the day?    She fixes me with her eyes which say 'when are we going for our walk?' and I know I can't take her.

Friends say that at her age she will adapt and I am sure they are right.   But is it fair to ask her to - and in any case - will she be too much for me to manage when I move? 

I am beginning to think that the reason I want to keep her is a selfish one .

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday friends

Friends have been across from the Lakes for lunch today and took this up to date photograph of Tess.  I thought you might all like to see her as she has not featured photographically for quite a while.   You will see that she is still going strong.   She is always so pleased to see visitors, particularly like those today who love her.

My yesterday's Guardian news paper sits untidily under the chair in the kitchen.   I am trying to finish the Quick Crossword which is not living up to its name today and has become the Slow crossword as there are one or two I just can't finish. 

The temperature is decidedly  cold and it keeps raining then sunshining - altogether a rather stormy day.   The friends have come over here today rather than meet us in Kirby Lonsdale, but we do intend to try and get one more meeting there before the Winter.   We never attempt to go once we get to mid October; going across the high Pennines at that time of year (and then until April next year) is always a bit foolhardy. 

No more information as yet on the moving front but I am hoping it happens in the not too distant future - this time lag is beginning to sap my will to live quite frankly.   Thank goodness for friends and family.

Tomorrow the lady who cleans for me is coming back.   She has not been for a month as she has not been well.   I am very pleased to see her return - it is only when she is away that I realise how lucky I am to have her.

Friday, 15 September 2017


My daughter in law is settled in at home and seems to be doing well.   My son has set up some care for her this coming week and we shall see how long she needs it after that as she appears to be getting a bit more mobile each day.   She is a very independent lady and I am sure she will make rapid progress now that she is home.

Today the two young men from the local Hospice came and took away the furniture I no longer need.   I was sad to see it go but as I am downsizing it is impossible to keep it all.   The farmer's bedroom suite from his childhood - circa 1920 I would estimate, but in very good condition - and the settee from our living room were the main items.   The rooms look very empty without them but I was relieved to see that there were no cobwebs behind any of the furniture!

Of course, this being Friday, friend W and I both went out to lunch.   We both had the most delicious duck breast salad, served with celeriac remoulade and a sauce (plum?) and warm figs.   Oh  yes, and we were naughty and had treacle tart and custard afterwards!

I came home vowing to have no more to eat today but have just had a bowl of strawberries - Scottish strawberries have been delicious this year.   I have eaten a bowl full almost every day over the Summer as they have been so reasonable in price.

It is now a quarter to eight in the evening and it is almost dark.  How the nights are drawing in.

Thursday, 14 September 2017


Tonight, walking up to shut the farm gate, it could have been December - it is a very cold night although it has been a lovely sunny day and in the sun and out of the wind it has been pleasant.

I am feeling very stressed today.   My daughter in law comes out of hospital after her hip operation and is still not walking well and is in a lot of pain.  I wish I could help more than I am doing but there are so many appointments booked this coming week - somebody coming to give the Aga a professional clean and then the engineer coming to service it; the Hospice coming to collect furniture I no longer want, a Physio appointment - I am so very busy doing jobs.    I know that in the end all will be settled down again and will be well but in the meantime it is all so frustrating.

Going up the road with Tess this morning there was a tortoiseshell she-cat dead in  the lane.   She had been hit by a car I presume, she was cold and curled up as though asleep in the grass; there was not a mark on her.  She only looked to be a young cat which made it doubly sad.

Tess was lucky today because friend G called and seeing that I was very stressed she suggested she take Tess for her afternoon walk.   So lucky Tess went across the barn field, chasing rabbits right left and centre and had a glorious time.   So thank you friend G - that lightened my load for the day considerably.   Now it is rest and relax time with a cup of tea.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


No time to put a post on yesterday as I was busy all day, but here I am bright and early this morning and the sun is blazing through the window.   It is only when I step outside the door I realise that the weather is pretty cold and decision time has arrived.   I shall go upstairs, have a shower and then break open the box on the bedroom floor which is marked 'winter jumpers' and start wearing them!   Unless there is a sudden drastic change for the better I think that - for me at any rate - T shirt time is over.

Very strong gales were forecast.   Admittedly I never sleep in my hearing aid so if there was a huge gale I wouldn't have heard it and although it was raining when I went to bed I wasn't conscious of it raining through the night.   This morning most of the gale has blown itself out and the sun is shining but on Breakfast Television Local News it said that the road was flooded through Wensleydale - this only happens when there is a lot of rain and a strong West wind together.   Luckily I have no intention of going that way today. 

A day at home today so now it is time to take Tess for her morning walk and then we will go into town to get petrol and a newspaper.   This afternoon is packing time again.

Monday, 11 September 2017


I think Autumn really has arrived today - it is windy, there are showers and sunny intervals, and it is cold.   On the rare occasion that the sun comes out there is still power in the sun but that has not been often today.

Without a list (well, let's be honest, I did make one  I left it on the kitchen table) I did a lot of good jobs in town.   My daughter in law has had a new hip and I bought, and sent, cards from me and from Tess (who adores her) to hospital in West Yorkshire.   I spoke to her later in the afternoon and she has had a walk round her room which is a start.

I went to the Bank and then to the Solicitor who told me that things should really move  by next week-end when according to him 'they will move faster than you can keep up with them.'  I will believe that when it happens.

Then it was home for lunch and an afternoon spent chatting to a friend.   Sometimes a complete afternoon off does a lot of good.

Now it is seven thirty and well towards dark, so I shall sign off and go and draw all the curtains to shut out the dark night.   See you tomorrow.