Wednesday 31 August 2016

Still on the subject of food.

In my post yesterday Derek asked whether or not I thought people still ate the 'traditional Sunday roast'.

I think to some extent it is dying out as we get access on television and in restaurants to various continental menus; and of course the variety of foods available in the shops and in markets has widened considerably.

But there is another thing to take into consideration.   Our parents didn't have the money that we have today (I am speaking here for myself, but suspect it also applies to many of my readers.   We always had a traditional roast - rotated beef, pork, lamb and maybe chicken for special occasions.   We had a large joint which was served hot on Sunday with all the usual additions (including Yorkshire Puddings), then on Monday (wash day) my mother would serve the meat cold with pickles and with bubble and squeak (fried up left over veggies from Sunday) and usually the left over apple pie and custard from Sunday too.   Then on Tuesday any remaining left over meat would be minced up with onions - and maybe carrots if the meat was getting scarce- and made into a cottage pie (beef) or a shepherd's pie (lamb) and served with lots of vegetables to eke out the shortage of meat.   This made the roast go a long way and was an economical way of housekeeping.   And I must say that shepherd's pie does not taste the same made with lamb mince that has not been roasted first as a joint.

I try not to waste food but I do waste some now and again;  I don't remember my mother ever wasting any.   Left over bread meant bread and butter pudding - and jolly good it was too.

When I saw those tragic children driven from their villages by Boko Haram in Nigeria the other day - and saw them literally dying of starvation - I must say it made me realise how we take three good square meals a day totally foregranted.

Tuesday 30 August 2016


If we were to believe every diet 'fad' that comes out we would become nervous wrecks, changing what we eat almost every week.

However, the latest dietary news does seem to make a lot of sense.   This is the news that we should try to maintain more of a Mediterranean diet - which doctors and scientists say is better than statins for our heart health.

I must say that I read Cro Magnon's post every day (on my blog roll) and quite often he posts about what he is eating for his next meal.   As he lives in France, where the climate is warmer, and as he has plenty of gardening space, he does grow much of his own food.   And when he puts this food on his blog it always looks delicious.   Simple, undoctored, just fresh food - and it always looks appetising.

I experimented with it today - and the result was surprisingly good.   I put chicken thighs, herby sweet potato chips, red and white onion chunks, peppers, potatoes, courgettes and cherry tomatoes into a dish - drizzled them with olive oil and mixed it in well and then put the dish into the Aga for an hour.   The result was very tasty - even the farmer commented on how good it was - and he is the most conventional eater in the country.

There is enough chicken left for tomorrow - I shall add more 'mediterranean vegetables' and perhaps a can of cannelini beans for a change.   Can I keep it up rather than return to meat and two veg?   We shall see.

Monday 29 August 2016


A couple of days of warm weather, a good downpour and the end of Summer always mean just one thing up here on our farm..........field mushrooms.
I had just begun to prepare chicken thighs for today's lunch when the farmer came through the door with four pounds he had picked in our fields.

All thoughts of chicken thighs were abandoned.   Friend W was e mailed to come and collect some (I know she loves them), as I write this my son is on his way round to have some and we shall offer some to our neighbours later on this afternoon.

I put a mixture of rape seed oil and olive oil in a pan, added a good blob of butter and a teaspoon of lazy garlic and let it cook gently for a couple of minutes, then added the mushrooms and cooked on a high heat for five minutes.  They made their own glorious liquid - and they tasted like heaven.   Nature's bounty indeed. 

Derek has reminded me (thanks Derek) that there is a programme on BBC Four at eight o'clock tonight.   If you want to see the area where I live, this is the one for you:   All aboard!   The Country Bus is a journey through the Yorkshire Dales.

Sunday 28 August 2016

What a difference a day makes.

I'm glad you all seem to have enjoyed the farmer's photographs of the Wensleydale Show - I gave him your thanks.

They were so lucky with the weather - it was a lovely day until about half past five (the Show closed at five).  After that it began to rain.   Then at six o'clock this morning there was a violent thunderstorm.   I slept through it and never heard a thing but when the farmer looked in our rain gauge later on we had had 21mm (25mm is an inch of rain) of rain in a very short time.   So today the show field will be a boggy mess.   The fields opposite, still standing with straw which was shaken up again only yesterday, are now all soggy again and it is beginning to look as though it will be past it before it can be gathered in.   The rooks are loving it and they are making the fields black over with their cawing bodies as they search through for grubs.

Today we celebrated our twenty third Wedding Anniversary by going out to lunch.   Our date was actually last Sunday but it was a walking day and I was already out to lunch with my girl friends so we deferred it for a week.   

We went to the Queen's Head at Finghall and it was delicious.  (Soup and then roast beef for the farmer; crayfish and apple cocktail and sea trout for me) and returned home at around two o'clock replete and ready for a sleep.   Next Sunday the farmer is walking and I am not going out with friends as they are all busy doing something - it will be the first Sunday lunch I have been on my own for a long time - I shall have jacket potatoes and butter (my favourite but not the farmer's) and am looking  forward to it already.

Saturday 27 August 2016

The Wensleydale Show.

The farmer has just returned.   There was a good turn-out and the weather held until closing time, when suddenly it began to rain heavily - but of course by then it didn't matter anyway.

He took photographs as he walked round - so I will just let them speak for themselves; it gives you a taste of what the event was like:

Notice the large rumps in photo number three - Belgian blue cross beast - there would be plenty of good rump steak there.

Hope you enjoy a taste of our Show.

Friday 26 August 2016

The Build up gets faster

In spite of the fact that many places seem to have had a lovely sunny day yesterday (John and his wife on the beach in Wales), it was awful here in North Yorkshire.   It was dark and foggy all day with that awful missly rain falling.

All the marquees are up for the Wensleydale Show tomorrow - it is just at the top of our lane - but yesterday they all looked wet and dejected.   Everything about the Showground spelled misery and gloom.

What a difference a day makes.   Today there is a stiff breeze and bright sunshine.  All the tents and marquees have dried out and are looking spruce.   The sheep pens are up ready for the sheep first thing in the morning; the cattle tents are all ready for the show cattle; the main ring is all fenced off and ready to go and all round on the walls and gates there are notices telling visitors which area is which - where to take the produce, where to park their cars and such like.

The forecast is more or less the same for tomorrow, so it should be a good day.   The farmer has agreed to take the camera, so hopefully there will be some photographs for tomorrow.

I see that the Wensleydale Railway is putting on special trains  from Leeming Bar to Leyburn.   The cost is to be £10 per adult and £1 per child.   I am sure the railway need the money, as does the Show, but it does make it rather an expensive day out for a family of Mum and Dad and two children - £22 in transport costs before they pay for entry to the Show itself.   Maybe I am out of date but really things do seem to cost a lot these days don't they?

Thursday 25 August 2016

The earth moved.

How very pleased I am that we don't actually live on one of the faults.   The earthquake in Italy is absolutely awful; of course there have been worse ones in recent years but somehow the nearer they are to one's own country the more real they become.

There cannot be a worse feeling than the ground actually moving beneath one's feet and knowing that there is absolutely nothing you can do and nowhere you can go.

At least one hopes that a rebuilding programme and aid for the survivors will start immediately, unlike some of the quakes in the Far East where there is still chaos.

After several pleasant warm sunny days the sun has never emerged today - it has been cloudy and misty all day.   The straw in the two fields opposite, straw left after the crop was harvested for whole crop, was tossed in the sun yesterday and I expect the farm expected to bale it up today.   But no such luck, rain overnight means that it is now as wet as ever it was.

Speaking of farming, Rachel (Rachel in the Ukraine on my blog roll) gave a jolly interesting commentary on the crops in her area of East Anglia, which made fascinating reading to us up here in a grassy area with next to no arable land.   If you haven't read it, do go over to her blog and read it.

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.

Sunday 14 August 2016

No thanks there then.

We feed the birds; in fact we have a very large feeding station and the farmer spends a fortune on different types of seeds and feeds all year.   We have nest boxes everywhere, most of which have now been colonised by house and tree sparrows and their breeding has been so successful this year that we are inundated with whole families waiting impatiently each morning to be fed.

Our hedges are full of blackbirds and they turn up too, mainly for the meal worms the farmer puts on the bird table itself, and for the various members of the tit family there are seeds and peanuts (also devoured by the woodpecker).   Special nyger seeds deal with the green finches and goldfinches - so they all get well fed.
And how do they thank us?   Well they don't. (apart from the fact that we enjoy watching them).

Outside our kitchen window is a magnificent rowan tree.   As usual this year it is - or rather was - covered in clusters of bright orange berries.

Up and down the lane are many self sown wild rowan trees and they too are covered in orange berries and will remain so until there is a hard spell of weather.  But we have hardly a berry left - the blackbirds have cleaned them up in the last fortnight - presumably because the tree is next to the feeding station they just use it as part of their daily feed.   Even more annoyingly, if they drop a berry on the floor they don't seem to have the sense to go down and pick it up, so it lies there until some little mouse comes along in the middle of the night and has it for pudding.

And so we resign ourselves to another year of a berryless tree.   But still, we do get pleasure from the birds who eat them so early.

Saturday 13 August 2016


I take The Lady magazine, which is a weekly magazine.   I mainly take it because I enjoy doing The Ladygram, a puzzle not unlike a crossword but more complicated.   But there are always some interesting articles in it too.  One thing they print each week is a recipe from the past and today's recipe brought the memories flooding back, so I thought I would share them with you as a change from the gloom of feeling ill.

The recipe was for Caraway Seed Cake.   I love it; you either love it or hate it I think.   As a child, once a year without fail I had caraway seed cake, and that was during the Sunday School Anniversary week-end.

The Anniversary stretched over Saturday and Sunday, starting straight after lunch on the Saturday, when a piano was loaded on to a horse and dray (later on this was a lorry) and we children sat on benches as the horse wandered round the village.   We sang our Anniversary songs, which we had been learning for months.   Then we returned to the Sunday school room (attached to the chapel) where a tea was laid out waiting for us, and the ladies of the chapel were in attendance to wait on us.

Tea was always the same:   Potted beef sandwiches, caraway seed cake, and small 'fancy' cakes baked by the ladies. One little girl, Norah, was rather plump - for reasons which will become obvious in a minute - and nobody ever wished to sit anywhere near her.   Norah didn't eat sandwiches, she 'didn't like potted beef'and Norah didn't eat caraway seed cake she 'didn't like caraway seed cake' - so the minute the signal came to begin to eat, Norah started on the fancy cakes.   The rest of us, brought up to eat sandwiches and plain cake before the fancy stuff would suffer greatly if we sat anywhere near Norah because by the time we got to the fancy stuff it had all gone!

After tea the room was cleared and we would play games - games which I am sure have died out these days:  spinning the bread board, winking, oats and beans and barley grow, postman's knock - most of these involved kissing its most innocent form.

Sunday was Anniversary Day when we all sat on a big wooden platform and sang the songs again and each of us would have learned a poem to recite:   Wordsworth's Daffodils, Browning's Home  thoughts from abroad - that kind of thing.

The important thing for us girls was that we all had a new frock and a new straw hat - this would then become our best frock for the year.   I still remember many of mine.

Such an important event in the village calendar and all brought back to me by that memory of caraway seed cake!

Thursday 11 August 2016

Not well.

Not well again - this time, annoyingly it seems I may have a deep vein thrombosis - going for a scan to make sure.

Wednesday 10 August 2016


Now that I am beginning to return to normal, although still not fully mobile, I am seriously beginning weeding.   Not the garden I hasten to add.

There is nothing like having a Professional decorator in to completely re-decorate a room to make one conscious that there are a lot of things in said room which really do not need to be there - and are not going back (this may need some serious negotiation with the farmer)

On the wall, alongside a large picture, which I love, are two hats - one is the farmer's panama trilby which he used to wear when the weather was hot.   As he has not worn it during the twenty three years we have been married, I think we can now consider it superfluous.  The other is a sombrero he bought (and wore) during a trip many years ago to Texas, when the weather was extremely hot.   He has not worn it since our return and it immediately joined the panama trilby on the wall.   So does it really need to be kept?

On the other side of the picture there is a mask I made to go to a masked party about fifteen years ago.   It is pretty but when I took it down I realised it was dusty and was now rather tatty.  

The walls, already coated with two coats of emulsion paint look far too pristine to have anything put on them other than the five pictures and the beach huts wall hanging I made.   So the weeding has begun and will also take in what is actually standing on top of the furniture.

And why stop there?   I have a pile of old picture frames which are well past their sell-by date - they can go too.   I am seriously considering then weeding my bookcases.   Three of them, crammed to bursting point and many of the books old, unread for many years and really no longer useful.

And so it has begun - in my mind at any rate.   This hoarding must stop - the weeding must begin.   Watch this space.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

It is all go here

Bad ankle or no bad ankle - it is all happening.   And strangely enough I am walking far better today than I have walked so far, and also feeling better, so obviously I do need to keep busy.

The decorator rang yesterday to say that he was coming today to redecorate our bedroom, so after our evening meal the farmer took the pictures down and moved anything he could - curtains went to the dry-cleaners.  My weekly Tesco order comes between eight and nine o'clock on Tuesday mornings, the decorator was arriving  at eight-thirty and then the place delivering the straw rang to say that another load of straw was arriving at eight thirty.   More by luck than judgement they all slotted in nicely together and by the time I went out with friend W at nine thirty all was ship shape and the decorator had begun his work.   Now, as I write this, the bedroom already looks incredibly different - no cracks in the plaster, no chips in the rubbed-down paintwork.   Nothing beats the professional at work, whatever the trade.

Monday 8 August 2016

The Farming Year

.is an on-going cycle, which goes on from year to year with never a day between jobs really.

At present, the milk cows are all out in the pastures eating their daily strip of grass before going in to be milked twice a day.   The first - and in some cases - second cuts of silage have been made and the grass is gently curing to be eaten in Winter.

On arable farms the crops are beginning to ripen - much of the winter barley has now been cut - particularly any which is going into fodder rather than being sold for seed.

And here on the farm preparations begin for winter housing with the arrival today of the first lot of straw for bedding down once the cows are indoors.

As every year it always comes on a windy day so that straw blows all over the yard and it always arrives dead on lunchtime.   True to form, we sat down for lunch and the first load arrives.   It is the most beautiful, golden colour and reminded me of the line 'fair waved the golden corn' and I just had time to snatch the camera as the tractor drove past the kitchen window.  Sorry it is somewhat obscured by my piece of stained glass hanging in the window.

Now that load is safely stored in the straw barn;  the second load arrives tomorrow.   Next it will be time to hire the  enormous trailer and clean the 'muck' out of the loose housing, where it has been steadily maturing since the cows went out to grass in early May.   The swallows will miss it as it is handy for a quick repair on their nests in the rafters above; the cats will miss it too because it has warmed up nicely and also houses the odd mouse or two.

Pleasingly, while on the subject of wildlife, more hedgehogs around at evening this year than we have seen for a few years.

Saturday 6 August 2016

A Lovely Thought.

Friends are all so good in times of need.  I went out for a drive with the farmer this morning and returned to find a bowl of friend W's Beetroot Salad (delicious stuff) - or at least didn't find it until she sent me an e mail to ask if I had found it.

A couple of days ago my friends P and D (who were supposed to be coming for the week end next weekend until I put them off) sent me a lovely card showing a lake (they live in The Lakes).   When I opened it, it is a series of fifteen questions.   Each one is just a line from a Poem.    They ask me for the Title and Poet and then for the preceding line and the following line to the line quoted.   I have so enjoyed doing it.

In almost all cases I have known the Poet and the title without looking them up, but the preceding and following lines have sometimes stumped me, and I have been trying hard not to look them up.

One however has completely stumped me - does anyone know - 'you cannot live in the present' - I am sure some of you will know.

And what a lovely idea to send someone who is laid up.   Remember it for future use.

Friday 5 August 2016

Beginning the return to normal. (whatever that is!)

Well today has been an almost normal day - thanks of course to the wonderful giving spirit of friends.

Yesterday I felt I was not well enough for our Friday jaunt - this morning I gave myself a bit of a talking-to and decided to stop feeling sorry for myself (I have friend G who is so ill with so many things and yet keeps going - puts me to shame).
So the farmer took me down as usual and pulled up close to our cafe.  Afterwards (the farmer went around the market for me with the shopping basket) dear friend W brought me door-to-door.   I insisted that the farmer stay for lunch in the Auction Mart Canteen.   He didn't take a lot of persuading (Home made steak and kidney pie, chips and mushy peas, followed by apple pie and custard) and I felt happy that he had had a good square meal as I really do not feel like eating yet.

After lunch the farmer took me down to the Physio in town and she supplied me with crutches and taught me how to walk with them.   Now I am hoping to go out to lunch on Sunday with the friends group and the farmer will go off walking with his group.   Another step back to normality.

It has actually been a sunny, fairly warm day here and yet hardly any holidaymakers about.   The trouble is that we are quite a long way North and don't get all that much really warm weather.  (just one day would be really welcome).

I shall go and read a few blogs now.  In the meantime - here's wishing all our athletes best wishes for the Olympics (and, frankly, for their health too).

Thursday 4 August 2016

Back tomorrow.

Hopefully I will be back tomorrow when I will have a little more energy.   Sorry - but not up to it tonight.

Wednesday 3 August 2016


Hello again folks.   Thanks for all those commiserations.   At least my brain is more or less in gear today, which it has not been for the past ten days or so.

I find the trouble with these infections is that they always seem to disturb my thinking too, so it is a relief to have conquered another hill today.

Now all I have to conquer is the walking bit - arthritis in my ankle is very bad indeed, making me virtually unable to walk.

Weather-wise I seem to be missing absolutely nothing up here - one minute there is bright sunshine, the next it is raining.   At present the farmer is walking with Tess on her evening walk - he left in sunshine, but you don't need me to tell you what it is like outside now.

Two fields of winter barley opposite have been cut.  They didn't look anything like ripe to me, but the farmer says it is for forage and therefore can be cut ahead of time.

I shall sign off now - my brain has gone down into second gear and is getting tired, so best to stop while I am in charge.   Take care - hope to be back tomorrow.

Monday 1 August 2016

Much better

Thanks for the enquiries - they are most cheering and I am truly grateful.   I have had a severe viral infection with projectile diarrhoea (not a pleasant thing to have).   Being laid up for a week has exacerbated the arthritis in my ankle and knee - they need constant working to stop them from going stiff.  However, my blood is improving and so I am home and hoping to recover over this week.

In addition the infection has somewhat addled my brain, so any mistakes above - please accept apologies.

This week's walking is confined to back door to front door and reverse.