Saturday 30 September 2017


Up extra early this morning in time to take my dog for her early morning walk before going off with friend W at eight-thirty for our flu jabs, I was struck - as I am every Autumn- by the sound which blots out every other sound morning and evening out in the countryside (and for most of the rest of the day too if you stand and listen.)   The sound of the rooks chatting to one another.   If only I knew 'bird' and could tell what they are saying.

As we walked down the lane in that clear, early morning, still air, I could hear them stirring in their rookery down the lane and soon they were flying over in their thousands, shouting out to one another as they went off up Dale to their feeding grounds.

I can't begin to tell you what pleasure they give me every year in Spring and Autumn - nesting finished, feeding young finished - when they seem to be totally free to just BE.   Even Tess stopped and looked up to see what all the fuss was about.


It seems to me the wind
is your friend.
Soaring, tumbling,
or playing with the thermals
on a still day. 

Tacking, swooping,
cutting along the hedge top,
manipulating a gale.

Chattering, flying high,
sailing home on a
light breeze.

Building your stick nest
high in the bare branches
for it to rock and rattle
around the rookery.

You joyful bird
with your black, lustrous plumage
and your crusted beak
that stabs the ground
for leather-jackets.

You can
fill the sky with movement,
write a tune on the wires,
blacken a field with your parliament,
and fill my heart with joy
as you surge past my window
in your thousands
at dawn on a cold wintry morning.

Friday 29 September 2017

Funny sort of day.

This is our gang coffee meeting day and this morning it was absolutely bucketing down with rain.   I walked from my car parking space up to the Dry Cleaners with my winter coat.   I am not sure it needed dry cleaning because by the time I got there (a couple of hundred yards) it was a pretty wet coat.

By lunch time however it was a glorious Autumn day, just like yesterday.   I spent the afternoon sitting with my daughter in law who has recently had a new hip then came home to take Tess for her evening walk.

Then I treated myself to one of my favourite snack teas - a brown roll full of crisply fried streaky smoked bacon.   It was bliss.   Flu jab in the morning.   Do you have a flu jab?    If not why not - I would be really interested to know as several of my friends just resolutely refuse to contemplate having one.

Thursday 28 September 2017

Keeping Going.

I have just had an hour of second-hand farming via BBC2's Farming Life.   Sitting in the chair by a warm Aga, a dog asleep at my feet, snug and warm and watching people struggle against the elements, break downs of equipment,  contrary animals and the like (all the usual hazards of farming life) has been a pleasant break.

This afternoon I have written down how to work Central Heating, Microwave, Cooker, Dishwasher,
Washing Machine (all but the Central Heating are built into the fitted kitchen) and I have written down the instructions in simple language so hopefully I shall be able to understand how to work things.  Also had a nice chat with the lady who lives there and who is, of course, moving into here.

It really has been a beautiful day here today, still, sunny and warm.   Tess has had a couple of walks with me and is now dozing by the Aga.

It is rare for me to watch one programme a night on the television but tonight there is the first of a three part documentary on Russia at nine o'clock and I am really looking forward to seeing it.   I have been many times to what used to be the Soviet Union (have not been back since Leningrad became St Petersberg again). the last time on the Trans-Siberian but before one could go to Vladivostok, which had a huge naval base, so travellers had to catch the train at Khabarovsk, the next stop.   Actually it was a fascinating place being on the River Amur which at that point forms the border between China and Russia.   It was a huge wide river, China being only just visible on the horizon miles away.

Like Rachel, I absolutely adore foreign travel.  My first husband always chose to go East, the farmer (apart from one or two forays in Spain and Portugal, France, Spain and Norway) always preferred to go West.   So really I have had the best of both worlds.

Moving day gets near - I shall be pleased when it is all over and I am settled.


Wednesday 27 September 2017


It was our Poetry Group afternoon - one of my favourite afternoons of the month.   It is just so peaceful - around ten of us meeting, reading out our favourite choices for the day and often just a bit of discussion afterwards.   Today was just a bit sad as one of our band is leaving and going to live in Brighton - we shall be so sorry to say goodbye to her.

Friend S took Tess for a lovely long walk at the same time so Tess has come back hungry and tired out and I don't have to feel guilty at leaving her all afternoon.

Now, at precisely ten minutes to seven, it is almost dark outside and I have drawn the curtains against the night. 

Now that I know moving date is getting nearer I am, if it is possible, more restless and worked up about it all than I was.   I am making lists and will shortly need to see the lady with whom I am swopping houses to iron out a few queries.   For example, as friend W said today, I have no idea how to work the gas central heating boiler or the electric oven.  Apparently the lady has brochures of instructions for both but has packed them.   So, as W suggests, I need to write the instructions out in my own words (of no more than two syllables!)

I shall now go and sit down and have a peaceful evening I hope.   Sleep well.   See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Fifty shades of green.

Driving up the lane this morning it struck me just how many different shades there are on the trees as they are on their Autumnal turn.   The elder leaves have turned a deep red on some bushes and many of the saplings are already orange or yellow and the leaves are falling off into the roadway where they become quickly squashed into the tarmac.

And so they all die off for Winter.  The analogy between trees and humans of course doesn't hold water.   Trees rejuvenate - next year's new growth is already lurking ready to spring forth at the first sign of longer days, more sunshine and even the tiniest vestige of warmth.   We humans, of course, fall into the 'sear, the yellow leaf' and that is it - full stop.   As one ages this becomes a real fact of life and something which just cannot be ignored.

Some days - along with everyone my age I am sure - I feel very old.   Some days I feel much younger.   Folk are very kind in offering help - but sometimes I find it irritating.   I know I shouldn't because it is very well-meant but please you 'youngies' tread carefully (because you tread on my dreams!)

My great grand-daughter is approaching her first birthday.   She has a wet suit and has had her first swimming lesson this week - and she adored it.  She (Ula is her name) is at one end of the scale  and I am at the other and I must say that gives me great pleasure - and comfort too.

I have tried to download her photograph but I am in a hurry and can't seem to retrieve it - I will try again later.

Monday 25 September 2017

Nursery Rhymes

Today, on my walk, I was reminded of the Nursery Rhyme:
One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather.
There I met an old man,
Clothed all in leather.

Clothed all in leather,
With hat under his chin.
How do ye do-
How do ye do-
And how do ye do again. 

And walking along and thinking about it I also thought about a little girl, about a year old I would guess, who I saw yesterday and who had a lace band round her forehead with a big bow in the front.   Presumably this was to tell us that here was
a little girl.

Do children grow up too quickly these days I wonder?   Are there still Nursery Rhymes sung to children?   Do they still learn to sing Humpty Dumpty and Baa baa black sheep?   As an ex teacher I know just how important these rhymes are as part of the growing up process - and the process of learning that words rhyme, that there is a rhythm to them.

And what reminded me of that particular Nursery Rhyme was that Tess and I walked on a misty, moisty morning when cloudy was the weather.   It wouldn't have surprised me if an old man clothed in leather had popped out from among the elder bushes in the hedgerow but of course he didn't.   But I knew the rhyme, so I could use my imagination.

Sunday 24 September 2017

Late September

It really is a perfect late September day today - hazy sunshine, little wind, warm - and the colour of the leaves is beginning to be spectacular.   I really think this year is going to be a good one for
Autumn colour. 

As usual we were out for Sunday lunch - I had Macaroni cheese today and it was delicious too.
Coming home I was faced with a dog asking 'can we go for another walk ?' so I am just about to answer that question with a walk down the pasture.   Really a dog's wants are few and it doesn't take much to please - and surely, as I am full of macaroni cheese, it will no doubt do me good too.    And that's another good reason for keeping my dog - would I go for a walk now if I lived alone?   I doubt it.

Saturday 23 September 2017


A better day today - things get into proportion when you have slept on them I find.   When I opened the curtains this morning it was to thick fog and although it has cleared the dullness has remained all day.

This afternoon friend W and I went looking for a very small table for my kitchen so that when I am alone and actually eating at home, I can sit in the kitchen and eat rather than carry my meal through to the dining room.  We found just the thing.

Then we came home from Richmond the long way round, through Swaledale along a beautiful route by the side of the River Swale.   I apologise for having no photos to show you but packing my battery charger was a stupid idea.   We were hoping for Autumn colour in the trees but we were too early - almost all were still wearing their Summer green.

We made a slight detour to call in at a cafe for a pot of tea and a slice of cake (Victoria sponge for W and Coconut cake for me - both home made and both delicious).   Home again by four o'clock.

It is almost beginning to get dark so it is close the farm gate, draw the curtains and feel cosy for the night.   Just a cup of tea will do for me so feed Tess and then sit and do the Guardian Quick Crossword - my son has already done it today so must not let him beat me.

Friday 22 September 2017


Warm and damp conditions best describes today here in Wensleydale - weather which I would describe as 'muggy',    It is, I suppose, also good growing weather although I don't think anyone wishes things to grow now - and that especially applies to lawns.   When I got home after my lunch out (!!) it was to find that my gardener had been and had cut the grass - hopefully for the last time this season now that the equinox has passed.

Listening to the weatherman this morning on Breakfast Television he said that although the Equinox was yesterday (the 21st) it is on Sunday
(24th) that light and darkness will be of equal length.   These days meteorology has become so complicated.   When I was young seasons began on the 21st of the month - there was none of this other information.   I really think you can suffer from too much information. There are some lines along which my brain just refuses to operate.

Nothing much to say today - just a bit tired and dis spirited so perhaps an early night will restore my equilibrium.


Wednesday 20 September 2017

A Quiet Day

In twenty minutes it is time for the farming programme from Mull - I enjoy it, it is pure escapism from my point of view and I can really relax and watch it.  So this will be a hurried post.

Tess is flaked out with exhaustion because friend S has taken her on a lovely long walk.   I am so grateful to S - at least I know that Tess has had a good walk today and I don't feel guilty.   Tess was very hungry and couldn't wait for her tea - another sign that she has had good exercise.

I have purposely had a quiet day today as most days I get very tired both physically and mentally.   So I have done very little.   I did unpack the sealed box containing my winter jumpers - when I packed them I fully expected to be moved by now but it is rapidly getting too chilly for T shirts and cardigans. Now a nice neat row of jumpers hangs in my wardrobe - a sure sign that tomorrow it will turn warm and we shall have an Indian Summer.

Until tomorrow my friends.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

You never know.

I tend to forget just who reads my posts.  Obviously the folk I blog with regularly read them - I tend to write them mainly for that audience.   After all, I think we all choose to put people on our side bar who are on the same wavelength don't we?

But it never ceases to amaze me just who else reads it.  Several ladies in the village and in our nearby town for a start.   Quite a large group of my friends (hello P and D out there, and possibly A) read it and sometimes send me an e mail to comment on something I have said.

Today I have received an e mail from a friend who sometimes walks Tess for me to say that she has had an e mail from her sister in law in Cambridge urging me to keep Tess.   She too reads my blog.
The power of modern communications is amazing.

Of course six months is no time at all in the grieving process and it is only six months since the farmer died - and left me quite suddenly at that.   Adjustment takes longer than that and you have to work at it.   So to all those out there who are giving me support either directly or indirectly this post is just to say thank you (on the whole you know who you are).


I am in somewhat of a dilemma.   Regular readers will know that I am shortly to move house and am just waiting for the final details to be finished.

I showed you a photograph of my bright and perky Tess on Sunday.   Sadly if you saw a photograph of me you would see that I am not so bright and perky.   In my head I still feel twenty five - in my body - well in my knee and ankle - I am definitely much nearer eighty five.

Is it fair to keep Tess when I move?   In the first instance  she is a country dog.   I have had her since she was six weeks old and she is now nine and a half.   All that time she has lived on the farm and gone round the fields with the farmer, chasing rabbits, sniffing in the hedge bottoms, roaming as she wished - off the lead apart from the short journey back down the lane to the house.

Now I am to move into a bungalow in the nearby town.  Although it is a quiet little market town it is still not the same as open countryside.   Is it fair to take her there?   I have already contacted a dog-walker but that only accounts for one daily walk - what about the rest of the day?    She fixes me with her eyes which say 'when are we going for our walk?' and I know I can't take her.

Friends say that at her age she will adapt and I am sure they are right.   But is it fair to ask her to - and in any case - will she be too much for me to manage when I move? 

I am beginning to think that the reason I want to keep her is a selfish one .

Sunday 17 September 2017

Sunday friends

Friends have been across from the Lakes for lunch today and took this up to date photograph of Tess.  I thought you might all like to see her as she has not featured photographically for quite a while.   You will see that she is still going strong.   She is always so pleased to see visitors, particularly like those today who love her.

My yesterday's Guardian news paper sits untidily under the chair in the kitchen.   I am trying to finish the Quick Crossword which is not living up to its name today and has become the Slow crossword as there are one or two I just can't finish. 

The temperature is decidedly  cold and it keeps raining then sunshining - altogether a rather stormy day.   The friends have come over here today rather than meet us in Kirby Lonsdale, but we do intend to try and get one more meeting there before the Winter.   We never attempt to go once we get to mid October; going across the high Pennines at that time of year (and then until April next year) is always a bit foolhardy. 

No more information as yet on the moving front but I am hoping it happens in the not too distant future - this time lag is beginning to sap my will to live quite frankly.   Thank goodness for friends and family.

Tomorrow the lady who cleans for me is coming back.   She has not been for a month as she has not been well.   I am very pleased to see her return - it is only when she is away that I realise how lucky I am to have her.

Friday 15 September 2017


My daughter in law is settled in at home and seems to be doing well.   My son has set up some care for her this coming week and we shall see how long she needs it after that as she appears to be getting a bit more mobile each day.   She is a very independent lady and I am sure she will make rapid progress now that she is home.

Today the two young men from the local Hospice came and took away the furniture I no longer need.   I was sad to see it go but as I am downsizing it is impossible to keep it all.   The farmer's bedroom suite from his childhood - circa 1920 I would estimate, but in very good condition - and the settee from our living room were the main items.   The rooms look very empty without them but I was relieved to see that there were no cobwebs behind any of the furniture!

Of course, this being Friday, friend W and I both went out to lunch.   We both had the most delicious duck breast salad, served with celeriac remoulade and a sauce (plum?) and warm figs.   Oh  yes, and we were naughty and had treacle tart and custard afterwards!

I came home vowing to have no more to eat today but have just had a bowl of strawberries - Scottish strawberries have been delicious this year.   I have eaten a bowl full almost every day over the Summer as they have been so reasonable in price.

It is now a quarter to eight in the evening and it is almost dark.  How the nights are drawing in.

Thursday 14 September 2017


Tonight, walking up to shut the farm gate, it could have been December - it is a very cold night although it has been a lovely sunny day and in the sun and out of the wind it has been pleasant.

I am feeling very stressed today.   My daughter in law comes out of hospital after her hip operation and is still not walking well and is in a lot of pain.  I wish I could help more than I am doing but there are so many appointments booked this coming week - somebody coming to give the Aga a professional clean and then the engineer coming to service it; the Hospice coming to collect furniture I no longer want, a Physio appointment - I am so very busy doing jobs.    I know that in the end all will be settled down again and will be well but in the meantime it is all so frustrating.

Going up the road with Tess this morning there was a tortoiseshell she-cat dead in  the lane.   She had been hit by a car I presume, she was cold and curled up as though asleep in the grass; there was not a mark on her.  She only looked to be a young cat which made it doubly sad.

Tess was lucky today because friend G called and seeing that I was very stressed she suggested she take Tess for her afternoon walk.   So lucky Tess went across the barn field, chasing rabbits right left and centre and had a glorious time.   So thank you friend G - that lightened my load for the day considerably.   Now it is rest and relax time with a cup of tea.

Wednesday 13 September 2017


No time to put a post on yesterday as I was busy all day, but here I am bright and early this morning and the sun is blazing through the window.   It is only when I step outside the door I realise that the weather is pretty cold and decision time has arrived.   I shall go upstairs, have a shower and then break open the box on the bedroom floor which is marked 'winter jumpers' and start wearing them!   Unless there is a sudden drastic change for the better I think that - for me at any rate - T shirt time is over.

Very strong gales were forecast.   Admittedly I never sleep in my hearing aid so if there was a huge gale I wouldn't have heard it and although it was raining when I went to bed I wasn't conscious of it raining through the night.   This morning most of the gale has blown itself out and the sun is shining but on Breakfast Television Local News it said that the road was flooded through Wensleydale - this only happens when there is a lot of rain and a strong West wind together.   Luckily I have no intention of going that way today. 

A day at home today so now it is time to take Tess for her morning walk and then we will go into town to get petrol and a newspaper.   This afternoon is packing time again.

Monday 11 September 2017


I think Autumn really has arrived today - it is windy, there are showers and sunny intervals, and it is cold.   On the rare occasion that the sun comes out there is still power in the sun but that has not been often today.

Without a list (well, let's be honest, I did make one  I left it on the kitchen table) I did a lot of good jobs in town.   My daughter in law has had a new hip and I bought, and sent, cards from me and from Tess (who adores her) to hospital in West Yorkshire.   I spoke to her later in the afternoon and she has had a walk round her room which is a start.

I went to the Bank and then to the Solicitor who told me that things should really move  by next week-end when according to him 'they will move faster than you can keep up with them.'  I will believe that when it happens.

Then it was home for lunch and an afternoon spent chatting to a friend.   Sometimes a complete afternoon off does a lot of good.

Now it is seven thirty and well towards dark, so I shall sign off and go and draw all the curtains to shut out the dark night.   See you tomorrow.

Sunday 10 September 2017

Not a lot of mellow fruitfullness.

I'm sorry Tom but I can't let you get away with being the only one to mention Keats several times.
To be quite honest so far Autumn ( well meteorological Autumn started on September 1st) has more than lived up to its name temperature wise.   Today the thermometer has dropped back to thirteen degrees Centigrade and it feels jolly cold.   There is a sharp gale blowing and it is forecast to get stronger.   Sharp, heavy showers keep falling.  There is not a lot to say which is positive about today I am afraid.   And there is not a lot of 'mellow fruitfullness "about that I can see.

Another lovely Sunday lunch out and a pleasant couple of hours afterwards sitting chatting in the bar over a pot of tea.

I watched the evening News and saw the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma , the awful mass exit from Myanmar of thousands of refugees, pictures of earthquake damage, all the death and destruction seems unending and really is most depressing.   I think that it is probably made more so by the fact that it is all brought into our homes, whereas in the past we could only read about it.   It does make me realise that my plight in being so long before I am able to move house should be put into proportion.   I have so many things to be thankful for and it will all happen one day.

Saturday 9 September 2017

An Outing

Today friend W and I went to Teeside Park, a large retail outlet about forty miles away.   We go about three times a year because there is a large Marks and Spencer there and with a bit of luck we can stock up on new seasonal clothes.  This time of course if was for warm, winter clothes.

We had only limited success - I bought a cosy wrap/poncho thingy which will be lovely and warm or winter evenings and a large, oversized sweater for the same reason.

We then had a trawl round the food hall and bought a few things there.   Their range of food is so good and I have discovered that when one lives alone ready meals for one which can be taken out of the freezer and popped into the microwave are very useful.  Vegetables like broccoli and cabbage are  quickly steamed to make an appetising lunch.  I never thought the day would come when I would eat like this.

On the way home we called at a favourite restaurant which does a lovely fish, chips and mushy peas!!

Our journey home was interesting to say the least. There are enormous road works on our major motorway - they have been going on for years now and each time we venture on the cones are in a different place and the routes on and off the road have changed.   Today, coming back, we came off at our intended exit but accidentally went back on while going round the traffic island!  It didn't really matter as we came off at the next exit and came home by a different route but it did make us realise how easy it is to get on a motorway by mistake.

The outing tired me out and I slept in the chair most of the afternoon, much to Tess's disgust. 
I took her for her walk after tea, by which time it was decidedly chilly.

I have just had an e mail from a friend reminding me that our doctor's surgery is doing flu jabs on the last Saturday of the month.   Now if that doesn't make winter seem near I don't know what does.  

Friday 8 September 2017


The temperature has suddenly dropped.   When the sun is out there is still a lot of heat in it, but when the clouds roll in it is chilly.  I fear that Autumn has arrived.   I love Autumn but just do not feel ready for chilly days yet.   Also, I am loath to light the wood burner because the room is full of boxes, so I prefer to stay in the kitchen.  I think the central heating may go on in a minute as well as the heat from the Aga.

Lunch out with friend W today - smoked haddock fish cakes with a dressed salad (garnished with a pansy flower), then it was home to take Tess down the silaged field - lovely to walk on short grass.  She could even see rabbits worthy of being chased so had one or two good runs.

My daughter in law has had an operation today  - she had to be at hospital (sixty miles away) for half past six this morning.   My son has just rung (he has stayed down there all day) to say she is back on the ward, he was sitting with her and she was eating her tea!

No more work tonight - some drawers cleaned out this afternoon, lots of things sorted, some thrown out, some filed away and another feeling of satisfaction at something done.   Now, at half past seven, a restful evening is planned.

Thursday 7 September 2017


Seeing the awful devastation Hurricane Irma is leaving in its wake is quite terrifying.   I can only be selfish and say thank goodness I don't live in a hurricane area.   If there is a gale blowing here and it is in a certain direction then our market place is pretty hard to keep your feet in - but then I am ancient and wobble about with my stick anyway.  But one hundred and eighty five miles an hour wind and a huge storm surge - goodness me - any envy I might have had for the beautiful places there and the pleasant life style have rapidly disappeared.   My heart goes out to all those on Barbuda who, looking at the pictures from the air, appear to have lost absolutely everything - some even their lives.

Here in the Yorkshire Dales the third, and final, lot of silage is in the process of being gathered in.  Rain was forecast but so far seems to have kept off bar the odd spit or spot and as I write the last lot of grass is being baled and wrapped.   This has been an excellent year for grass and there will be no shortage of cattle feed this winter that is sure.

In another month or six weeks the cattle will be coming in for Winter.  We are a largely grass area - farms are either dairy farms or suckler herd farms or sheep farms.   Sometimes two of these.   Any arable fields on the whole are used for winter feed with some of the corn being sold to local merchants.   How different to lower down the country where the very large arable farms are.  In fact, thinking about it, what diversity on such a small island - not just in farming but also in the scenery.

I shall now take Tess down the road to see how the silage men are getting on.

Wednesday 6 September 2017


Another day, more hurdles, more jobs destined for today.    I can cope providing I only do one or two jobs each day that carry me forward towards a moving date.

This morning it was take the dog for her walk and then go to Wensleydale Writers.   When I came out it was to find that somebody had scraped the side of my car so I have just e mailed a local body shop to ask them to sort it out for me.   It is only the smallest of scrapes but my car is almost new and I want it to stay that way.

Now I intend to wash a couple of pairs of curtains because it happens to be a nice, breezy day and they will be dry and back up in no time.

Two boxes to pack - I shall make a start on dinner plates today I think, then the dog for another walk and that will be it for the day.

There is an awful lot of grass down around me for silage.   It was cut the day before yesterday expecting a fine day yesterday - and it rained heavily, so today it is drying off.   But I fear that more rain is forecast for tomorrow -so will it be in in time?

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Back at last.

I had a bit of a gremlin in my computer and I just have not got the ability to get rid of it.   It is the week that my son starts back teaching and in addition to this his wife goes into hospital on Friday so he was just too busy to deal with it for me.  But thanks to him all is well again and I am back.   I could not get at my e mails and it was so frustrating.   Don't we get to rely on our computers for communicating?   We have come a long way since our 'Press Button A' Public Telephone Days
haven't we?

Out to lunch today (surprise, surprise) - quiche and salad and chips (delicious) and then a walk with Tess and then tonight two hour's ukulele practise with the band.    Now I have come in pretty tired.

My son brought me a present of six Bounty Bars (my favourite sort of chocolate) so I am now going to indulge myself in having one for supper with my Horlicks!!


Sunday 3 September 2017

Coastal Communities

I usually watch about half an hour of Breakfast Television each morning (any more and I see the same news over again; that is the nature of the programme).   This morning, and all the week in fact, they are concentrating on coastal communities and how they have 'gone down'.

I rarely go to the coast these days living, as I do, in the very centre of the country, but when I do go I am struck by the run down nature of the sea front in many instances and also by the number of elderly people around.

I guess there are many reasons for this, not least of which is the relative cheapness of air travel to much warmer places where the summer heat is more or less guaranteed.  Also the fashion has moved away from the 'Boarding House' towards fairly cheap hotels which offer facilities like swimming pools, all day accommodation and the like.

I recall my first seaside holiday (aged 17) with my friend.   How grown up we felt to be going on holiday together without our parents, albeit to stay in Cleethorpes in a Boarding House run by a lady called Mrs Cheffings who my parents knew.  Apart from a ferry trip over to Hull one day, across the mouth of the Humber, I don't remember much of the holiday.   What I do know is that it would not do for today's seventeen year old.

Perhaps therein lies part of the answer.  Seaside towns have gone out of fashion because they just have not moved with the times.   The Minister in charge of such things said this morning that Blackpool was an example of a town which had tried hard to keep up with the times, opening a huge Conference Centre which was much used.

To see these beautiful sea front sites full of boarded-up shops and arcades is a sad sight.   What is to be done about it?



How does crab cakes with chips and salad sound for Sunday lunch?    I had grown tired of roast joint and tired of salmon florentine and so thought I would have one of the starters with the addition of a few chips.   A wise choice - it was delicious.

We do enjoy our Sunday lunches - four widows, ranging in age from early seventies to ninety six.   Our ninety six year old said today that coming out each Sunday to lunch had transformed her life - I think we all feel the same.

The day started off beautifully here with early morning sun but by mid afternoon it had clouded in and a light rain fell.

Another week begins - a very busy week for me, so much so that I have had to curtail my interests tomorrow (no ukulele) in order to take back my library books, pay my council tax, post a batch of business letters (after I have first written them) and also do a little bit of cleaning up as my cleaning lady is ill and can't come for a week or two.   And that is without the obligatory two boxes which I am making myself pack every day.

Saturday 2 September 2017

Beautiful day

The view on my header was photographed about three miles from my front door.   Yes, that is the sort of wonderful countryside we live in.  I hope we all appreciate how lucky we are.

Several folk have commented on the dry stone walls.   Obviously there is a lot of natural stone occurring around here and it was the obvious material both to build the old cottages and to build the stone walls between the fields and create enclosures.   Now, in more modern days, some of the old, derelict barns are being demolished bit by bit and the stone is being used for other things.

The stone walls remain in many places but sadly they don't last as a permanent barrier, attacked as they are by wind, rain and sheep to name but three attackers.   And dry stone walling as a career is not as popular as it once was so it is not always possible to find someone to repair a broken down wall - and when someone is found the work is costly.   So inevitably the walls in many areas of the Dales are falling down and farmers are using
wire fencing to cover the gaps and keep the sheep in.

Most of our little Dales villages are very attractive, roads lined as they are with pretty stone cottages, but there is a snag here too.   When the cottages were built cars had not been invented and the cottages were built close together and at higgledy piggledy angles so that the cars have to be left on the side of the road rather than in a garage and that often leads to congestion on our roads, especially in the Summer time.

But we can't have everything can we?   As it is we live in a beautiful area and we are grateful for that beauty.   The countryside is a miracle at every time of the year from the fields of wild flowers in the Spring through to the snowy tops in mid-winter and I for one would not live anywhere else on earth.

Friday 1 September 2017


I am glad you all like my new header and my new blog.   For the record the view in the header is of Wensleydale and was taken by the farmer from the side of Penhill, our local hill.   The two figures walking are his two walking friends as far as friend W and I can tell - C and R.   They had many happy walking hours together.

Today has been an almost perfect early September day.   There was a blip in the middle as we left our lunch place and the rain came down quite sharply for a minute or two, but then the weather improved again. 

Lunch out today was delicious - king prawns and chorizo in a thick, home-made tomato sauce - served with herb-sprinkled garlic bread.

This evening Tess and I had a lovely walk for a long way down our Lane.   The setting sun was low making it difficult to see but the  breeze had disappeared and it was quite balmy.

I have packed one box today and shall now go and sit down with a cup of tea and read today's Times.