Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Wonderful nature.

Linda (Life on a Colorado Farm on my Blog Roll) has put on two beautiful things this week - two things which show just how remarkable nature is.   The first was a spider's web where the central 'hub' was heart-shaped rather than round and the second, this morning, is a humming bird's nest complete with one newly hatched baby and three remaining eggs.  She now has the web as her header.

It reminded me of a photograph the farmer took several years ago when he was on one of his walks.   Some of you will have seen it before but I have many new readers since then, so I am posting it again.
He was on one of his Sunday walks when they went into an old barn to have their lunch.   This pair of old trousers was hanging across a beam and a long-tailed tit had utilised them to build a nest.   Birds are on the look-out for safe nesting sites and this seems like a good one to me.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


...or lack of them!

I rather think I did put a note about my knitting on a post a few days ago - so I may be repeating myself, but I have a new great grandchild due in December and am busy knitting cardigans.   I really enjoyed knitting the first one - mainly because they grow so fast and are soon finished.

One afternoon last week I decided to sew it together, but after an afternoon of careful sewing I realised I had left out the raglan sleeves.    The next day I spent almost ten hours unpicking one seam but when I started on the other I just could not find an end and finally gave up in despair.

Friend C told me to give it to her (she is an expert knitter) and she would unpick it.   I gave it to her on Sunday when we were out for lunch and she had only been home a short while before she sent an e mail to say she had done it.   I was so grateful.

So after lunch today I decided I would spend the afternoon sewing it together again - the only trouble was that although I remember putting all the separate pieces in a bag I couldn't remember where I had put the bag!!

After ten minutes mild panic I made myself relax in the armchair and forget all about it - and after a few minutes I remembered where I had put it.   And sure enough it was there.

Is it old age?   To some extent I suppose as our brains get so full of rubbish as we age, but I also know that in my case, although my mobility has slowed down and I cannot do as many things as I used to do, I also try to work at the same speed as ever - and it doesn't always work.

Is it just me or does everyone have these problems as they begin to age?   Sewing together of the garment will now begin later on today.   I will post a photograph if it is worth taking one of the finished product.

Monday, 22 August 2016


We have had an inch of rain over the week-end after several weeks of what they call up here 'droughty weather'.   The fact that the two fields opposite have been harvested but the straw has not been gathered does not seem to bother anyone - presumably it will be shaken up and will dry out later in the week when the forecast is for better weather again.

Next Saturday is one of the most important events in our local calendar when The Wensleydale  Agricultural Show takes place - and its location happens to be just at the top of our lane, which makes it handy just to walk.  I no longer go as I am really not mobile enough, but it is one of the highlights of the farmer's year and he is already looking forward to it.   Before he goes, however, he has to go along to West Witton, a village just a little further into the Dale, where he judges the fruit and vegetables.   He has done this for quite a few years.

We are well into the Show season up here with maybe only another half dozen or so before it is all over.   Wensleydale is one of the larger ones, with sheep and cattle classes, usually heavy horses, events in the ring, produce and handicraft tents and all the usual trade stands.

Many years ago when travel was much more difficult, when few people had cars, these shows were certainly the highlights of the year for everyone.   It would be such a shame were they to die out through lack of support.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sunday lunch

Out to lunch again today as the farmer was walking.   It is our twenty third wedding anniversary today but we have decided to celebrate  it next Sunday so that we could both do our own thing today.

Eight of us today, a record number - and a new pub too - The Woodman in Burneston near Bedale.  Roast ham, roast beef, roast pork and a nice variety of puds - all followed by coffee.   Now, six hours later, suitably full and not in need of any more food today thank you.

Saturday, 20 August 2016


Yesterday's photograph on the front of The Times  was of the five year old boy who had been injured in a raid on the city of Aleppo and he was sitting in the back of am ambulance on his way to hospital.   During his short life he will have known nothing but war.  It was a shocking photograph.

A few months ago another shocking photograph was of a Syrian father emerging from the sea carrying the dead body of his small son.

Yes - as the years go on so wars are brought nearer and nearer - into our living rooms with constant television coverage, on to the front pages of newspapers.   All designed to shock.    But do they, or have we become impervious to it all?

Yesterday a friend and I were talking about this and we decided that really nothing has changed.   Throughout our lives there has been killing on a massive scale in various places in the world - and all for what?

Now I read that in the 'battle' for the Labour leadership the two main contestants have argued on whether or not Isis should be invited to peace talks round a table.

I am reminded of the Winston Churchill saying that 'Jaw, jaw, jaw, is better than war, war, war' and my personal view is that any talking is better than no talking at all, regardless of one's views on what is happening in that part of the world.

I would be interested to hear what you think.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Out to lunch.

Things are slowly returning to normal here and I do feel a little better each day.   Today friend W and I went out to lunch.  I took my camera so that I could take photographs to show you, but by the time we reached The Bull in West Tanfield, where we had booked a table, the promised rain had arrived and I was just intent on getting inside quickly.   Sadly I then forgot to take photographs of the meal.

After looking at the menu, we both chose haddock and chips - a wise choice as it was delicious.   We were so full that we decided against a pudding, but after sitting and chatting we thought we might share a pudding.   When it arrived - it was meringue,chantilly cream and summer berries - it was totally enormous.   If we had chosen one each we would have been defeated; as it was we couldn't eat it all.

Finishing off with a coffee each and sitting chatting a while to let it all go down, and then it was home again.   The farmer meanwhile had his lunch at the Auction Mart with a group of farming friends - steak pie, chips and peas followed by lemon meringue pie.   So we both came home full and happy.

Now the farmer is upstairs (and has given me strict instructions to keep out of the way) re-hanging the curtains, which have been dry-cleaned.   They are heavy and it is not a job I like doing so I am happy to keep well away until it is done.   And tonight we shall be able to have the light on in the bedroom at last.

 Good news on the knitting front.   Anyone who read an earlier post when I spoke of sewing my baby jacket together wrongly will be pleased to hear that friend C has offered to try and unpick the seam for me and I am to take it when I see her on Sunday, when seven of us go out for Sunday lunch.   Sunday is actually our twenty third wedding anniversary, but it is also the farmer's walking day and as he enjoys his walks so much we have deferred our anniversary celebration until the following Sunday.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Give up?

I have just done something which I thought I would never, ever, do.   I have abandoned a project I started.   I have always in the past insisted on finishing anything I began even if it had become a chore.

My eldest grand-daughter is pregnant with her first child and I thought I would do some knitting for her (I discussed patterns and colours with her when she came to see me last).

I finished the first hooded jacket last week and was really rather pleased with it - the design, the pattern and the measurements were all correct.   At the beginning of this week (although I am still not feeling one hundred percent and should have known better) I began to sew the pieces together.
'Join the raglan seams' it said.   It was only after I had done this - neatly and carefully, making sure no stitches were showing - that I realised I had joined front and back raglan seams, but left out the sleeves.

I have now taken ten hours unpicking those seams.   My hands are very shaky and my eyesight is not that brilliant (I sewed the garment with the same wool I had knitted it with) and finally this morning I have given up the fight.  I have only managed to unpick half a seam.

I shall start again with the next lot of wool I bought and put the whole project down to experience.   My motto of 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try,try again' for once has been consigned to the bin

Have you ever abandoned a project, or do you always finish things?   I do hope that at least one of you can offer the comfort of saying 'yes, I have done something similar' - it would be a bit of a comfort.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

What a difference a day makes.

When I returned home yesterday after going out with a friend, the view from our bedroom window - that view you all admired so much - had dramatically changed.   Both fields of corn had been cut in my absence.   Such a short time too - when you think of the old days and the daunting job of harvesting.

Neither field was totally ripe but the crop has been harvested, 'chomped up' and will - in Winter - be fed to their large milking herd as 'whole crop feed' along with the usual silage and cattle 'nuts'.

I am sure that quite quickly the balers will be here to bale up the straw while this dry weather holds - this is a farm that wastes no time and they will also need the straw for winter bedding.

And I have no doubt that shortly after that the ploughing will take place - at least it did last year.   No rotation of crops these days.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Farmer's View.

Several people (Rachel especially) have asked what the farmer thinks to our newly decorated bedroom.

Well, I asked him this lunch time.   His answer was, predictably, alright.   I then asked him what he thought to the paintings in there.   He said that when we first met and he came to my home, he saw all my paintings and he thought they looked good on the walls.

When he married me he expected the package to include me, my paintings and my pug (not really a farm dog) - and that is what he got.   So I hope that answers your question.

Monday, 15 August 2016

All done and dusted.

Well, my cleaner has been this morning and now I can say that our bedroom, which has been redecorated by a professional (and it shows) looks splendid.   All we are waiting for is the curtains to come back from being dry-cleaned.   Actually, I love the room without curtains as we have such a lovely view, but it is no joke trying to undress in the dark!

Somebody asked to see my wall hanging, which is over the bed.  I have gently washed and ironed it - and it was very dusty.  The material is Kaffe Fassett and the design was inspired by beach huts I saw at Southwold in Suffolk.  It has faded slightly (the room faces due South) but in some ways I rather like that.

Three of the photos show the room redecorated but without things on the wall; the other three show the wall hanging and two walls which have some of my nude paintings on.   The Lovers, which hangs over the mantelshelf, is one of my favourites and was painted by my late husband's uncle, Dick Rivron, who lived in Australia for many years.