After a couple of very enjoyable days with our very dear Dutch friends, they returned home to the Netherlands this morning and here at the farm we are 'back to normal'. A carrier full of bulbs to plant from our friends means that we have spent the afternoon planting some of them. The tubs outside the farmhouse door have been planted with dwarf narcissi and the old pigtrough with a mixture of crocus and snowdrops. The job has taken me most of the afternoon and now this is a bit of delay tactics to prevent me having to iron the bed linen ready to air it and return it to the spare beds in the guest room, ready for our next guests. I love planting new bulbs - it looks forward to Spring as though we haven#t got to get through Winter first.
Yesterday we drove the fairly short journey to the Tan Hill Pub - the highest pub in England at 1732 feet above sea level. It was a gloriously sunny day with good clear views, so that we could see across the moors to Teesdale and on to Weardale. The Tan Hill stands fair and square on The Pennine Way, so it is in no way a posh pub - it caters for walkers. The floors are stone flags, there is a huge log fire burning in the grate, various dogs lie around enjoying the rest, there is a smell of good, wholesome food cooking, and there is a constant stream of folk coming and going.
After a drink we returned another way, coming through Swaledale and back home. In the evening we went to a pub near to the farm for a celebratory meal for our friends' Golden Wedding.
I though you might like these photographs of the pub - and the little flock of bantams, great opportunists who dashed from one group of folk to the next, always on the look-out for crumbs. They are not daft these hens (as John is always trying to point out.)
Hope you like the bottom one, showing the farmer in pensive mood.