Friday, 20 September 2019


Sue (Beachcomber) and her partner are over here in the Dales and are kindly coming to take me out to lunch tomorrow.   I did not realise that they had been before and just can't recall the occasion at all.   This morning, after having coffee with friends, I drove into the Market Place to collect some super wallflower plants I had ordered.  I pulled into the side of the road, got out of the car and opened the boot for the garden man to put the plants in my boot.   A lady touched my arm - 'Pat?' - yes, you have guessed it.   It was Sue, who recognised me immediately.   Did I recognise her?   Sadly not.

A lady who comes to our Poetry Group has some condition - and I have no idea what it is called, so if anyone knows please mention it - and sometimes wears a badge to inform people that she is sorry she doesn't recognise them because she has this condition.    I was beginning to think that maybe I had it too.   Then last week I had new specs and was told by the Optician that my cataracts would be 'ready' next time I had my eyes tested.   When I queried with him what difference it might be making to my eyes he replied that quite often when cataracts are almost 'ready' people have difficulty recognising faces.   So take your pick.   What is it that makes me unable to recognise faces - incidentally it doesn't happen once I have seen people a few times and they kind of 'fit into' my memory bank.   But Sue had no difficulty in picking me out of a fairly busy Market Square when she has only seen me once before.

I am really looking forward to seeing them in the morning.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

The World Championships

The World Cycling Chanpionships are coming to North Yorkshire at the end of this month - coming in fact past the end of my road - it will be closed for one hour as they pass on 26th September and the centre of our little town will be closed for one hour on the 29th as they pass going the other way or something.  So far there is not much information other than (very large) yellow signs at intervals - many intervals - along the roadsides telling us this vital piece of information.   No, I shall not be going to the end of the road to see them pass - they will be gone in a flash.   Then, if my guess is correct,  all the large, yellow, metal signs will be there for a while before they are collected up.   If they are efficiently collected straight after the two races pass through I will report it here.   And, as a matter of interest, the lettering on the signs appears to be permanent so presumably it can't be peeled off and the signs used for anything else, which prompts the question who is paying for them all?

I read that it is expected that the event will generate huge income for the area over the few days they are here.   I do remember a similar even when local eating houses expected large crowds but everyone was far too eager to follow the cyclists to hang about eating - so that is also open to question. 

Alright, tell me I am a miserable old git - it may well be true but I do know that often, when we have events like this in the town, our shop keepers and cafe owners suffer as everyone stays out of town.   And really I suspect it is hard enough for them to make a living without things like this. 

I hope I am completely wrong and that all our pubs, cafes and businesses benefit greatly from the week-end - in which case I will eat my words.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019


The sun is hazy this morning but the weather forecast is good.   I am up bright and early - in spite of being upset at the death of a friend I had a good night's sleep.   My new electric blanket has made a huge difference to my sleep pattern - I hope it continues because I am not usually a very good sleeper.   There is never a good death is there - a long drawn out death means trauma and distress for all one's loved ones, a quick, unexpected death leaves a huge shock but is, of course, much 'better' for the person involved - but then they have had no time to say good-bye.   So it is a no-win situation and (perhaps) luckily we have to take the end we are dealt with.

Tess will, of course, miss H greatly but dogs are adaptable.   Although she is my dog she loved going round the fields on the farm with the farmer.   But, because he was in and out of hospital towards the end, she never appeared to miss him when he went for ever.   Life for her just seemed to go on as before.   I just hope the same continues now that H doesn't call twice a week for their long rambles together.

If there is one lesson one learns the older one gets it is that all one can do is to take each day as it comes and make the most of it.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Sad News.

Sad news today because H, the lady who has been taking Tess for walks for me, has died very suddenly.  She took a load of garden rubbish to our local tip and died while she was there.   I am very saddened by her death as all three of us got on so well together.

Friends S and T came round for a meal this evening.   I was so pleased they came because, selfishly, they took my mind off my sadness about H's death.   They came round early and took Tess for a lovely walk (and picked me some blackberries to cook tomorrow along with the apples I was given this morning at our monthly Strugglers meeting.)   How lucky I am to have such good friends.

Our Struggler's meeting this month was interesting - it is always - as we discussed what we could say were our good points.   It is easy to say what our faults are isn't it, but not so easy to put our thoughts into words on what our strengths are.   I think all eight of us left with plenty of food for thought.

So altogether today was a lot of different days rolled into one.   There was sadness, indeed there was, but there was  also the comfort of friendship from different sources and the knowledge of just how important one's friends are and just how much we should value them.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, 16 September 2019


Here are the Autumn Crocus (Colchicum) in the garden opposite where I live.   I love them and had some in my previous garden.   You forget all about them and then, suddenly, one morning they are there - all flowers and no sign of a leaf.   A sure sign that Autumn is on its way - and it is a lovely Autumn day today to prove it.

I had to go into town this morning on business and then to buy one or two things because I am cooking for friends tomorrow evening and I want to experiment with my Slow Cooker.   I called in our usual cafe and had Scampi, Chips and Peas for my lunch - lazy I know but I had had a busy morning and walking around town for me is very tiring.   Now  I am home, the basics of my base for my Cottage Pie are cooking on Auto in my slow cooker and my friend has rung to say we will not meet this afternoon but leave it until later in the week - so all pressure is off and soon Tess and I will have a wander.

Now that the children have gone back to school our little town has been taken over by bus-loads of Pensioners leaving their touring holidays until there are no hoards of children around.   The cafes are still full but few, if any, children around (lots of dogs though,as there always are).   Almost all the Holiday Cottages up here take dogs as we are in hilly country - ideal for walking and ideal for dogs.   We get a huge variety.   Many of them these days are of the mixed variety (no longer called 'mongrels' but given fashionable names as they are a straight cross - ie Labradoodle (Labrador/Poodle;)  Cockerpoo  (CockerSpaniel/Poodle); and even Jug (Jack Russell terrier/Pug).   Sometimes I do wonder if we might be storing up health problems with some breeds for the future - although we have a Labradoodle (Smarty) lives near to us and he is a darling I must say.   Do you have any views on the matter?

Sunday, 15 September 2019


There is a wintry feeling in the air today - it is dull and a damp cold hangs over everything.   Thermal vest is being worn - what am I to do when 'real' winter arrives?   At the Golf Club where we have our Sunday lunch, the golfers were in short sleeves and many of them still in shorts.   Put it down to a combination of old age and thinning blood.
Horse Chestnut leaves and Silver Birch leaves are falling today I have noticed and there is a touch of Autumn in the air.   The bungalow opposite has a magnificent patch of purple Autumn Crocus in the centre of the front lawn.   I love them - they always seem to appear overnight with no warning.  I will try to take a photograph of them to put on for tomorrow for anyone who doesn;t know what they are.

Only three of us for lunch today - W is at a wedding.   I had salmon on a bed of spinach (salmon Florentine) with lovely veg; W2 had the same but without the spinach and without any veg.  C had Penang Curry with rice.

Tess has gone off for a walk with her friend H, who rang just before I went off for lunch to say she would take her this afternoon.   She is not back yet and will certainly not need another walk today.
 That is good news = I took her on quite a long one this morning.

Saturday, 14 September 2019


One of the drawbacks of living up in The Pennines - or any other hilly district for that matter - is that it is almost always windy.   One part of my garden is seriously infested (there is no other word for it) with Marestail weed.   I spent a fortune on a specialist weed-killer which my gardener put on for me last year - twice.   It made not the slightest difference.   He has enough to spray it again this year but since it was twenty centimetres high (the recommended height for spraying) there has not been a single windless day.   Today promised to be such a day and I contemplated ringing him - but it was not to be.   By ten o'clock the sky had clouded over and the wind had got up.   It is still dry but quite a chilly day with a stiff breeze.  Certainly not what I could call a 'still Autumn Day'.   I wonder whether we will indeed get any of those this year.

The highlight of the day today for Tess and I has been our trip to The Tip.   Today we had our kitchen T V which had finally given up the ghost; my old frying-pan which no longer had a reliable non stick coating and two or three large cardboard boxes.   Taking such trips to the tip (rather a nice journey in itself) I find very therapeutic - on a par with filling my Green Bin with garden rubbish, which I did yesterday afternoon.     A sort of 'cleansing'.   Until tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Busy Day

I have had quite a busy day - hairdresser and shopping this morning plus an early-morning dog walk and another before getting my lunch.   Then this afternoon with W and S to Sycamore Hall in the village of Bainbridge to play ukuleles for the residents to sing 'the old songs'.    We had an enjoyable, but tiring, afternoon.   The thought of taking Tess for her final walk of the day was a bit daunting but luckily, just as I was about to set out,
H rang to ask whether Tess would like a walk 'along The Shawl ' (a popular walk in our little town.   Needless to say, Tess heard H's voice on the phone and went to sit and wait by the front door until she arrived.   I breathed a bit of a sigh of relief.

It has been a slightly rainy day here all day - the kind of day that only happens up in the hills, when one is almost in the clouds, so that a fine missle is falling.   Now as dusk is falling the sky is lightening and a breeze is getting up.   The forecast for the rest of the week end is a good one with quite a warm temperature.

If you are one of those who 'blog with' Thelma of North Stoke I am sure you will join with me in sending her our love and all our sympathy as she comes to terms with her very sad loss.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019


And so the week rolls on.   It is no sooner Monday than Friday begins to loom large.   If I have something on my calendar for each day then I can be assured that the week will speed past.

Today an old friend called in for coffee and shortbread this morning and we had a good old chat - it is a long time since we met up.   Then this afternoon friend S called and took Tess for a walk - and Tess always loves that.    It has been a lovely day here today - quite warm out of the sharp wind.

It is comforting to finding that other people have days when they feel 'not of this world' - I have not experienced the feeling before and I have found it very disconcerting.   It is beginning to go away now, as is my tinnitus (which comes and goes).   I suppose the whole thing is really called 'growing old'.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


Not a bad day - coolish but fine and with a light breeze.   I am feeling more or less back to normal - but not quite.   I don't feel quite 'of this world' - a strange feeling which I h ope will soon go off as I don't find it at all pleasant.

I went into town as usual - today is the day I stock up on any shopping I need.   Strawberries from Scotland (Angus) are still available and still as delicious as ever.    I don't think I ever remember such a long season.   So it is strawberries for tea again tonight.   Lunch was sausage, onion and apple cooked in my Remoska and it was delicious too.   Runner beans from a friend's garden and the first of the sprouts made up my plateful - I have certainly got my appetite back so that's a start.

There have been programmes on over the week-end about the start of the Second World War- eighty years ago. I watched them - of course I remember it well - I was seven when it started.   But I am not sure whether I really want to go over it all again.   Is it important that we see the devastation, the bombing, that we bring it all back into our minds or would it be better if we forget it?
I really am not sure in my mind what difference it makes to our thinking to see it all over again.   My friend and I were saying yesterday how well our parents protected us from the worst of it.   We lived in areas where it was not quite as subject to bombing and certainly where I lived we weren't evacuated, rather we accepted evacuees to live with us.  But I don't remember ever being afraid.
After eighty years let's just hope it never happens again.