Friday 30 June 2017

Early on Friday morning.

Sorry no post yesterday - just too busy to manage to put one on.   Today friend W and I are going on one of our favourite jaunts, across the Pennines to Kirby Lonsdale to meet our friends P and D for lunch in Avanti, our favourite Italian restaurant.

My friend, G, rang last night to say that she was not happy about Tess being left on her own for so long and could she fetch her for the day?   Could she fetch her for the day???  Tess will be ecstatic when G arrives - she adores her anyway and to go out will be an extra and will also make me feel much better about leaving her.

The restaurant where we go allows dogs but W takes her Jack Russell Sophie and She is not a sociable dog so they really can't both go.   W says she is happy to leave Sophie at home so that Tess can go, but Tess has never been in that kind of situation before and there are usually quite a few dogs there on Fridays, so I really don't know how she would behave.   Also, managing Tess and my stick would be difficult.

If you think I am going out a lot at present (I played Ukuleles at Singing for the Brain in Gayle, a tiny village near Hawes yesterday afternoon - and a brilliant afternoon it was too with everyone having such a lovely time) you would be correct, but to be honest I feel that I am only just hanging on to my sanity, what with grieving for the farmer, packing, dealing with admin from being an executor for his will, along with the solicitor, and still having no firm moving date.   I know everything will come right in the end but the whole process is something I could have done without.   It has all come together and it is almost too much to cope with.

We are hoping that as we drive West the weather improves today.   At present it is very dull and cool too.   The first fifteen miles of the journey are the same as the journey we made yesterday afternoon.   The road runs alongside the River Ure and yesterday it was 'banking' in places so we are hoping there has not been further rain overnight and that the water has gone down somewhat.   There is another road through Wensleydale, one which runs higher up above the river but there is always the possibility of flooding.

Friend G has just rung to say she is on her way to collect Tess - so off for a shower before she arrives.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

A New Job

I have found myself a new job this morning and it is one I am going to enjoy.   Reading through the blurb of a local removal firm I read that a sensible idea is to allocate a coloured sticker to each room and then stick that colour on each box which is to go in there.   Then add an arrow to each box indicating This Way Up.  Anything which helps to facilitate ease of moving suits me, so I shall go round and do this later on this morning.

There are now so many packed boxes that I begin to doubt the contents will go into the bungalow, so a lot of them will have a 'garage' sticker and the car will stay on the drive until I decide what to do with the surplus.

It is another very wet day here - and cold with it - so W and I are going out to lunch (again? I hear you say) so that at least part of the day is passed in a cheerful atmosphere.

It is a Friday when we go across to Kirby Lonsdale to meet our friends.   Rain, snow, hail or blow we go (no, not the first line of my latest poem) because we so enjoy the food, the friends' company, and - not least- the journey there (forty one miles).   It just serves to remind us both that we live in one of the most  beautiful parts of the country and we should be grateful for it.   We might not have the warm zephyrs of the South of England or the days of warm sunny weather blowing over from the continent, but, by golly, we do have the beauty and grandeur  of the Pennines.   And that more than makes up for it.

Tuesday 27 June 2017


Today has been cool, wet and quite unpleasant here, but when W and I went into Northallerton
it was much brighter, so maybe the really miserable weather was localised.

The reason for going to Northallerton?   To buy my own ukulele!!  Now I can return friend S's instrument and music stand and break in my own instrument.   I have just played it for half an hour and find it very different although enjoyable and I am sure that  after a bit more playing it will be more comfortable.

The other reason was to look for a new mattress for the bed.  The mattress we had is about twenty five years old and well past its sell-by date.   I have ordered a new orthopaedic one.    For some reason the delivery date is eight weeks away  but I don't suppose that time really matters.

Of course we had to have lunch out - a cheese and chorizo toastie with cole slaw and salad - absolutely delicious.

I do hope the weather improves.   Someone who reads my blog (Frances?) has come up from Hertfordshire to Northumberland for a week's holiday.   She did ask me to order good weather for them and yesterday the weather was so good that I thought the order I put in had done some good but looking at the forecast it looks to be all downhill from now on, so I do apologise for it.  Be assured that we do get some nice weather up here.

Monday 26 June 2017

Magic Lanterns.

I have just watched 'Flog It' on BB2 over my tea.   One of the items which was sold was an old Magic Lantern - I think it fetched over £200.   But it certainly brought back such memories for me - I really think that maybe today's children do miss out on somethings because when I was a child in our village in Lincolnshire Saturday night was often Magic Lantern Night.

All of us kids gathered together in the Methodist Chapel Sunday Schoool Room and somebody put on a show for us.

First of all there would be 'stills' of places like India or Africa or perhaps the mountains of somewhere like Switzerland.   These places were so remote and so foreign to us all that they seemed like another planet.

Then there would be 'real' films and the magic of a Pop-eye and Olive Oil film or a Mickey Mouse Film and we would be glued to the screen enjoying every single minute of it.

Now of course kids are glued to computer screens or to their own televisions and what they are missing is the interaction with others of their own age.   And somehow it isn't the same.

Saturday 24 June 2017


The rest of the country South of here still seems to be basking in warm,sunny weather.   Here it is a typical Northern Summer day - cool, overcast, breezy.   So on my usual drive into town to buy a Guardian, followed by a walk down to Givendale wood with Tess on the way back, I needed an anorak as well as my usual things - handbag, stick, dog lead, scarf in case it rained (looked as though it would).    But the walk was very pleasant - especially so as the Cow Parsley has now finished and in its place the Lane is lined with Meadow Sweet; the beautiful smell is almost overpowering.
The walk was made more pleasant by the fact that yesterday the doctor gave me some tablets (I have a built-in resistance to taking tablets, but she finally persuaded me to give them a try) to combat my shaking.   I come from a family of shakers and, apparently, this condition does occur in 
families.   As I get older I shake more, so that on some days I can;t carry a cup of tea - and my handwriting becomes illegible.   Anyway, enough of that.

Rachel's post gave me pleasure today because she put on some family photographs and they reminded me of happy times years ago with my family.   I just got up to take a photograph of my favourite snap of my brother, my sister and I together so that I could put it here, only to remember that it is one of the things I have packed.

Another thing which has given me pleasure in Blogland today is that Heather (Ragged Old Blogger) has posted for the first time since April. She too is moving house and her position is exactly like mine -  makes it easier when someone else is suffering the same stalemate doesn't it? 

Another week-end passes, another two boxes to pack - all will be well, common sense will prevail and the day will come when I am settled in my new abode with my memories of our twenty four happy years together.   My mantra.   Enjoy your week-end.


Friday 23 June 2017

Friday comes round again.

How quickly it becomes Friday again and our meeting of friends for coffee.    This morning this meeting extended itself into a tour round Tennants Auction House followed by a Caesar Salad in the cafe for two of us - and very nice it was too.

The weather has been dull, chilly and windy here today although a friend has just rung from Hereford and the weather is lovely there.   If you are reading this Mags - do get well soon and get that old leg moving again.

Friends in the Lakes sent me a sweet little book of 'Ten Bedtime Poems' this morning - I am getting rid of books but this is a delight to read and will be perfect for our next Poetry afternoon.   So thank you P and D if you are reading this - I know you often do read it.

With regard to that Red Admiral butterfly, a friend told me this morning that a butterfly is a sign of rebirth.  It has all been such an uplifting experience - I hope it happens again.

Until tomorrow my friends.

Thursday 22 June 2017


Silaging has been going on all around me today.   The grass was cut early in the week on our land (by the two farmers who are buying it) and left to dry.  Despite the fact that heavy rain and storms threatened and happened all around us, somehow we were lucky and they all missed us.   Today there is a strong breeze and (this afternoon) sunshine and now, at tea time, all the grass has been baled and wrapped and the weather can do its worst.

I had a busy morning.  Solicitor early, followed by shopping for food, then the Physiotherapist.   After lunch it was my usual hairdressing appointment and, by the time I got home I was very tired.   Sitting in the chair to read The Times I fell asleep
and slept for two hours (this is exactly what the Physio says I must do - sleep when I feel tired).

Poor Tess had a short walk early this morning and that was all, so I decided it was time to take her.  As the fields were short grass and so easy to walk on we walked down to where we had scattered the Farmer's ashes.   He had been silaged and I think he would have liked that - it made him part of his farm.   I could no longer see where we had buried him but knew more or less the spot.

It was peaceful, the wild roses were out on the hedge, I could hear the sound of the beck running by and I stood a minute and chatted quietly to him.
As I stood there the most beautiful Red Admiral butterfly landed on the grass at my feet and stayed there for a minute or two.   It was quiet and the sun was shining.   Tess sat by my side.

I took it as a sign that all was well.   I am not a believer in God, or the after life - and you are quite entitled to think it silly of me, but I can't tell you the comfort that moment gave to me in the week that held his birthday.


Wednesday 21 June 2017


Silaging is in full swing here with many fields of grass down.   This morning there is thunder about and thunder means heavy rain.   Tess and I had a very early walk (7.45am) and then a trip down to our feed merchant in Masham for Layers Pellets, Corn, Farm Cat food and Dog Food.

One of the assistants had a seven-week old Border Terrier Pup - Ted - absolute delight.   I had forgotten just how beautiful Tess was when I first got her.

On the way back it was obvious that while I was down there there had been a thunderstorm as the roads were swimming with water.   But by the time I got home there was no sign that there had been any here so we must have missed it.   This is lucky as most of our fields are down and being silaged by a contractor.

We didn't even have that scorcher of a day yesterday - but I found it intensely hot in the night and hardly slept at all.

It is our Poetry afternoon today.   I have chosen my three poems and a piece of prose too  - I will post again later in the day with more about this.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

The heat rises and I find it very wearing.   It seems churlish to complain but although it is lovely to see the sun in June I find it difficult to find enough energy to even water my pansies and ferns in their pots.

Sleeping (even 'au naturelle' (not a pretty sight I assure you))  under just one sheet is hard so that energy is lacking during the day anyway.

This morning there is heavy cloud here in the east of the UK and also thick mist.   There is also a slight breeze blowing - but it is still very hot.

'Strugglers' this morning followed (hopefully) by a lunch out if anyone fancies it in this hot weather.
Yesterday I made my own lunch at home - various green veg stir-fried with a few spring onions and then topped with pineapple chunks chopped into small pieces and sprinkled with a few chilli flakes.
I topped this with a few slices of grilled streaky bacon which I needed to use from the fridge and the result was surprisingly good.   Strawberries for afters - hasn't it been a wonderful year for them?

Today - June 20th - would have been the farmer's 74th birthday.   Happy birthday my dear one, wherever you are - I think about you all the time and remember the happy times we had together.

Monday 19 June 2017

Another very hot day with a lack of air.   I have not attempted to take Tess for a walk today as if I do she lies down every few yards to recover, so I figure she is best left quietly to rest.

I had an afternoon playing ukuleles with the group and we had a jolly time. For getting together with other people there really is no better way than playing music together. 

Since coming home I have done very little - it seems airless and movement of any kind is an effort.   No boxes packed today.

Events at Finsbury Park I find so distressing.   Why can't we all live together in peace and harmony and respect one another's way of life and religion?   Is it so very difficult?

Events this year so far have really made it a dreadful year as catastrophe after catastrophe heaps up - not just here but throughout the world. 
Where will it all end.

Sunday 18 June 2017


The weather is rarely, if ever, right for us in the  UK.   Perhaps we have just got used to finding something wrong with it all the time.   If it is cold then we complain and if it is hot we complain.   Today it is hot; the pollen count is high. the sun is at its highest (the Solstice is on Wednesday) and really the day is best viewed from a chair somewhere in the shade.   Poor Tess desperately wants to go for her walks but as soon as we set off she has to keep lying down for a rest in the grass, and I only take her in the coolest parts of the day.

I don't ever remember the wild roses (Rosa Canina for the most part) being as good as they are this year.   They have climbed to the top of so many of the bushes and small trees and, if you can get near enough to smell them, their delicate scent is exquisite.

Sunday lunch out was the order of the day again today - four of us - the other three having salmon and me having mushroom and red pepper stroganoff.   Sunday is a family day and we four agree that it is the hardest day when one is alone, so what better way to pass it than with friends.  Next week one of our four will be away and another is busy so we shall be down to two.

I have a busy week this week luckily.  Everything seems to be moving so slowly with the farm and I need to fill my time so that there is little time left for thinking about things.  The weather is set to get a little bit cooler towards the end of the week and I am sure that will please Tess - fur coats are not the best clothes to wear in this heat.

Saturday 17 June 2017


Our little market town is very busy today; busy because it is a local 'Food and Drink Festival'.   One of the roads through the Market Square is closed off and tents and stalls have been put up in order to show the best in food and drink in our area.

There are of course some things which need no advertising - Black Sheep Ale, Wensleydale Cheese for example - but there are various artisan producers who take this as an ideal opportunity to show off their wares.

Rather than find somewhere to park in the town I decided to go in super-early.   I was there by eight o'clock this morning  to post an important letter, 
buy The Guardian, fill up with petrol and then take Tess for a walk down the Lane.   By the time we got to the Lane at nine o'clock, it was almost too hot for her to walk - so for the rest of the day we are just lazing about at home.

Because the boiler engineer is coming to service the boiler on Monday morning I decided to do the week's washing today and it is merrily blowing on the line in what breeze there is. 

And I am reading The Guardian.   So many pages are still taken up with the terrible fire in London - pages which make almost unbearable reading - it just makes me realise what a different world we live in up here.

Enjoy your week end whatever you may be doing.

Friday 16 June 2017

Sorry Jem -

Sorry folks!!!   Especially sorry to Jules- I tried to put you on my side bar blog list and I have somehow done it all wrong.   Now I must wait for my son to call in and correct it for me.

Another Friday bites the dust.

Another Friday, another week gone by, another week when nothing seems to be moving, another week of frustration.    But there is nothing to be done; these things take time and I must just be patient.   The trouble is that the word 'patience' is not normally in my vocabulary and I am therefore finding it very difficult.      Most of my boxes are packed and I am ready to go.   The plumber is ordered to alter the bathroom and the patio doors are ordered.   Now I must just sit back and wait.

I have decided 'no more boxes for a few days' - I shall do other things.   I have a new step-great grandson arrived yesterday (a little boy, no name as yet) so tomorrow I shall make it my business to fill up with petrol and then go and find him a welcome present.

Today, after our usual coffee morning friend W and I drove up the Dale to Hawes and had lunch in The Creamery.   The Wensleydale Creamery was created some years ago when there was a Management Buy-out.   It has gone from strength to strength and now has a lovely cafe and shop.   We had grilled ham topped with Wensleydale cheese and pineapple, served with chips and salad. We finished off with a cup of coffee and then drove home through a beautiful Wensleydale.   How lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.    I have so much to be thankful for - I must not lose sight of that.

Thursday 15 June 2017


My two boxes today consisted to two boxes into the Charity Shop early this morning.   A job quickly done and quite satisfying with it.

I had to go in early to the hairdresser and then to pop into the Solicitor.   After lunch it was out with the Ukulele Group to play for the Alzheimer's Society - play for them to sing the old songs.   Another pleasurable experience.

Now I am home and after two sort walks I am just too tired to take Tess for another walk so I have opened the back door and she is free to roam - all gates on to the road are closed so she can't go far.
In fact she is rarely straying from the back door, preferring to sit on the mat and look out.   Perhaps, after her long walks yesterday, she is tired too.

Wednesday 14 June 2017


Today's news of the absolutely dreadful fire in the tower block in London has certainly driven all thoughts of the Election and Politics off the news.
The pictures and the commentary are  ghastly and all out thoughts must be with the poor people who did not survive, those still searching for their families, and those who did survive but will be so scarred either mentally, physically or both, that they will take many months to recover - if ever.

For those in the US it must have brought back memories of the Twin Towers.   For anyone who lives in one of these tower blocks there must now be a fear that it might happen to them.

It seems wrong to have had a pleasant day in such
circumstances.   Tess and I drove the thirty five miles or so through Wensleydale to Sedbergh.  I
had to go to Hawes on business and that was half way.   We drove on and called at Cotter Force, a pretty waterfall in Cotterdale, where we had a walk.   Then I met my God-daughter for a really pleasant lunch in a cafe called 'The Three Hares' - nice, homely food (Drovers Platter of Stilton, Pork and Pigeon Terrine and Ham with salad and sourdough bread and butter) - a lovely chat and then back to work for her and home for us.

I must say that I was very tired onmy return, but had only been in five minutes when friend Sylvia called to take Tess for a walk - Tess came back ready for a sleep and I didn't have to take her out.
Sylvia enjoyed the walk - so all three of us were satisfied.

An early night for me tonight.

Monday 12 June 2017


Have you noticed how beautiful the wild roses are this year?  The sight of them rambling through the hedges round the fields makes the farmer's death all the more poignant because he loved them so.

Sadly, the weather today has not matched their beauty.   It has been cloudy, breezy and not particularly warm.   Tess and I have had our three walks but can't say I have enjoyed them.   Unless it is pouring with rain I don't think she notices what the weather is like. 

I went into town to do various jobs, cooked myself some lunch, read The Times (pretty depressing reading at the moment) and packed my obligatory two boxes (thank you Jamie for bringing me another pile of boxes).

Yesterday I emptied my big old freezer.   I have had it almost twenty years and now that I am moving I really don't need two freezers as I shall be living alone and having no vegetable garden.
Today a scrap merchant friend came and took it away for me and I must say the space where it has stood for the last twenty years looks much better (and cleaner!) without it.

All  I have left to do now is to get half a dozen jig saws from under the stairs to take to a friend tomorrow.  She is a keen doer of jig saws and will then do them before taking them to the charity shop.   And that will leave another space.   Can't be bad.  Until tomorrow.....

Sunday 11 June 2017


I am replete.   In other words I have eaten too much.   Out to lunch with three friends - salmon on a bed of spinach with Hollandaise sauce, roast potatoes, mixed veggies, followed by Orange sorbet.   Then coffee in the bar - a lovely lunch and four hours of pleasant company.

Weekends are difficult when one lives alone as most people spend it with their families.   We are all four widows and we choose to spend it together.

Today's job (I have run out of boxes) was to defrost my large old freezer and get it removed to an outhouse as I wish to throw it away.   It is more than twenty years old and has gone rusty along the bottom.   It doesn't owe me anything. Now all my remaining frozen food is in my smaller freezer and it should be easy to eat it all up during the next month so that the freezer can be defrosted and go to my new home ready to be filled again.  So that is a satisfying job done.

I have just returned from my lunch and taken Tess for her walk down the Lane.   Now I can relax over a cup of tea - so until tomorrow.....

Saturday 10 June 2017


This is the third post I have written and in spite of pressing 'save' I have lost the previous two.   Very frustrating - so I try again.

Saturday - another wet day all day.   It is now half past six in the evening and although the sun has just appeared it is still pouring with rain.  Very depressing.

Weekends are always the hardest I think, but friend W and I treated ourselves to a pleasant lunch today (a rare occasion!!!) - Caesar salad followed by Raspberry cheesecake and two cups of coffee.   Sheer indulgence as we are going out to lunch tomorrow too (five of us), but much needed at present.

Only one box packed today as I have run out of boxes, so I must begin to search for more.   It is going to be some weeks yet before I move so there really is no hurry now that I have got so much packed and my dear niece has said she will come and help me on moving day.

After our lunch I went into town to buy a Guardian newspaper but so much of it is taken up by election news - and I don't want to read any more about it thank you.


Friday 9 June 2017

Tomorrow is another day.

Yes.   I am taking your advice and taking each day as it comes.   Today, in spite of the shock election news which I got when I switched on at 6am (not necessarily a bad shock on reflection - maybe just a wake up call to politicians), the day started off on a better note.

But sadly a friend who died ten days ago had her funeral today and I thought I really must go.   Only eleven weeks after I lost my dear farmer I did find  the funeral service (in the same church and also in the church where we were married (and the church in my header)) very difficult.   But I survived - supported by various friends - and maybe I shall be stronger because I did it.

I have packed my two boxes which is another plus.

Our Chinese meal last night was absoloutely delicious and a lovely night out.   Friend S - who was one of the four last night and who was also at the funeral  this morning - suggested she take Tess for a walk this afternoon (I cannot walk far, so although Tess has three walks each day they are not long ones. )   Did Tess have a birthday?

She was gone for such a long time and had a gloriously long walk on her very long lead.   S quite rightly decided not to let her off the lead in the fields in case she wouldn't come back when called.  I don't know whether she would or not - but not worth the risk.

When they returned, after coffee and saying goodbye to S then I bathed Tess in the downstairs wet room.   The vet advised it when I went to get Tess her allergy tablets yesterday.   Apparently 
dogs give off a certain amount of yeast and if they scratch a lot they distribute the yeast and develop a yeasty smell - so now Tess smells nicely of dog shampoo. 

So there we are.   Another day passes.   No nearer moving but I just try not to think of that. I shall carry on with my two boxes a day and my niece has kindly said that she will come up from Derby and help me nearer the moving date - maybe July now.

Thursday 8 June 2017

Another day passes

I am not feeling myself at present and am beginning to feel the strain of it all.  The trouble with packing (only two boxes a day remember) is in deciding what to take and what to give away.  At the moment I live in a large farmhouse - I am moving to a smaller sized bungalow which just will not take the same amount of 'stuff' as my decorator friend called the things I have around.

In addition I have not felt well for the last couple of days but as my son has felt the same we have decided it must be a bug (election bug).

It has rained almost all the week here and rained heavily at that.  Yesterday was sunny but very windy and then today it has rained again until a short time ago.   Rain is forecast for tomorrow too - pity the poor folk who are up here on holiday (we live in a great holiday area).

Tonight friends are taking me out for a Chinese; I am sitting writing this waiting for them to arrive. Perhaps I shall feel more myself after that.

Wednesday 7 June 2017


Although I seem to have been busy today I have also been very tired.   It was Writers' Group this morning but I was too tired to go and went back to bed after my breakfast and slept until eleven o'clock.

Then Tess and I went into town with a long list of things to do - I always make the list in the order of shops I pass so that I don't miss anything.

Coming home I popped a ready meal in the Aga (how handy these are when you live alone), but I must say it is not one I shall buy again; I didn't really enjoy it.   It was pasta with butternut squash and spinach and with pumpkin seeds scattered on the top.  Still, you can't win 'em all.

This afternoon Tess and I had a walk and at four o'clock we went to the vet's.   Tess has an allergy to grass which really troubles her in the summer, so she has to take tablets for it.

Now I am checking my e mails and my blog and desperately trying to stay awake until bedtime.

Tuesday 6 June 2017


Last week the weather was lovely, the sun shone and it was warm.   This week it is very wet, very windy and cold.  The vagiaries of our English weather.


I put my coat on after tea  in order to take Tess round the hay field for a walk, stepped out of the back door and the gale almost blew me over.   If I fall onto the floor I find it more or less impossible to get up so I dare not go on.


I rang my son and he has just driven the mile round to the farm and taken her for her evening walk - not a brilliantly long one (he is not a dog lover at all) but at least a utility walk and the rabbits have had a bit of peace as she had to stay on the lead with him and was therefore unable to chase them. 


Each morning for the past week when I have drawn back the curtains, there has been a baby rabbit on the lawn.   Tess would dearly love to catch it.   I dread it happening because were she to injure it I would be totally unable to kill it.


I am going now to watch Yorkshire Vet on television - one of my favourite programmes.   I would guess that Thelma (North Stoke) watches it too - it is filmed in her area.

Monday 5 June 2017

Ukulele class.

First and third Monday afternoons means Ukulele Class - six of us in the class and an hour's really hard work.   I practise the bits at home - playing and singing (no you would definitely not like to hear them) but when I get to the class and have to play them up to speed I tend to panic and miss quite a bit of the strumming out.   Still I am determined to get better.

 Then after tea there will be one more box to pack.
I make myself  pack two boxes a day.   The house is now full of boxes (very unsettling) but |I just cannot leave it all until the last minute - I am too old to spend the whole day doing it and two a day suits me fine.  It is very unsettling seeing all the boxes packed and stacked against the walls - after all, this is the longest I have ever lived in one place (twenty four years) and it will be hard to leave a place where I have been so happy with my beloved farmer.

Off now to make my sandwiches and sit down with them and a cup of tea to watch the antiques programme.


Sunday 4 June 2017

What to do.

Living up here in North Yorkshire we seem a long way away from yet another terrorist attack in the capital - and more families shattered by the loss of their loved ones, or lives altered by terrible  injuries.   What should we do?   Should we just put it to the back of our minds and carry on as usual, should we worry in case it happens up here?  I don't know the answer; I think most of us are just so appalled at the loss of life, both here and in those countries in the Middle East.   When will it all end?  And what - if anything - can we do which might help in some way - both to stop the awful slaughter everywhere and to halt the alienation of so many people?

I suspect that most of us away from the Capital will carry on as normal today, going about our ordinary lives.

I shall go out for Sunday Lunch as usual with my three friends and while yes, we shall no doubt talk about the tragedy, we shall choose our lunch, eat it and enjoy it without giving too much thought to the starving children in the Yemen and Somalia.  And this will happen everywhere because there literally is nothing we can do about it.

The Police say 'Be vigilant' - we will be for a few days - but that does nothing to solve the problem, nothing to address the underlying causes, nothing to feed the thousands of hungry, displaced and distressed people - many of them children who look as though they may spend the whole of their lives in camps, their way of life destroyed for ever.

What is the answer?   I wish I knew.

Friday 2 June 2017

Almost a Day Off.

Today friend W and I had what is one of our all time favourite days - we went across the Pennines to meet our friends P and D in the Italian Restaurant in Kirby Lonsdale on the edge of the Lakes.

I took Tess for a walk around the fields before I went off at 10.45 - perhaps I should take her to help her to socialise now that I am moving into town, but frankly trying to walk with a stick, a handbag and an umbrella (it was raining) is already far too much without having a dog on a lead as well.   And she seemed quite happy when I returned.

Three things stand out from today.   First of all the wonderful scenery.   It is always a lovely journey but today it was even better because the trees (quite a lot of the time we were 1000 feet) were newly green, the 'candles' on the horse chestnuts were in full bloom, the May blossom, which has about finished here, was still in full flower - and the buttercups - oh the buttercups- almost every field we passed was golden yellow.

Then the 'travellers' were on the move.   Soon it is Appleby Horse Fair, when travellers from all over the country journey there, and the road was peppered with gypsy caravans pulled by lovely old 'carthorses' as we used to call them - piebald in the main, heavy hooved and gentle.   Sadly a few of them leave a mess behind when they move on (they stop overnight on green spaces) and that does get them all a bad name, but I like to think that the majority act in a law-abiding way and their traditional wandering is brought to life just for a short time again (many of the live in houses now and some have Professional jobs and just enjoy the atmosphere 'on the road'.)

Finally meeting our friends is always enjoyable as we swap news and get 'up to date' - and the food in Avanti is exceptional.  W and I both had the same thing - prawn and chorizo risotto garnished with rocket and a side dish of mushroom, tomato and green beans.

When I got home I took Tess for another walk round the field (it has just been silaged so the grass is short again).  Then I packed just one box today - all my table linen, table mats and that sort of thing.  So that is another drawer empty.   Still plenty of drawers to go (and no rude jokes here boys ).