Saturday 31 August 2019


As with yesterday there is a very strong wind blowing here today - and a cold one at that.   I took Tess on a walk before I went off to the Hairdresser and on another walk when I returned.  Now it is a quarter past six in the evening and I am just too tired to do very much.   Luckily H, one of the ladies who takes Tess for a walk, has taken her off for a long walk.   I feel just too tired to put a post on - I keep hitting the wrong keys when I am typing.   So see you all tomorrow.

Friday 30 August 2019


Meteorological Autumn on Sunday.   Blowing a gale today.   Sky heavy cloud.   Ten degrees colder than it was this time last week.   BUT the Victoria Plums are in and a mountain of them is heaped up on the fruit and veg stall on our market today.   And they are DIVINE.    I love the Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Kiwi Fruits that have been there for the last couple of months but I would exchange them all for that first taste of our own Victoria Plum - a taste of pure England.  I have eaten half a pound since this morning (and I went out to lunch with W).

We are lucky to have such a good Greengrocer on our market, along with a good Cheese lady (bought some Vintage Cheddar and some Darling Blue today (as it comes from Wooller in Northumberland I presume it is named after Grace Darling).   There is also a brilliant Fish stall selling every type of fish you can imagine - all from Whitby which is not too far away - I bought fillets of Sea Bass for my lunch tomorrow. 

We had our usual Friday lunch out again - three of us today.   W and I had chicken breast stuffed with Wensleydale Blue cheese in a lovely cheesy sauce and served with a roast potato and a large dish of broccoli, carrots, cabbage and green beans.   After this we had Creme Brulee with Ginger Ice Cream.  We finished off with Coffee and a couple of chocolates each.   Are we lucky or are we lucky?

Perm in the morning which means a couple of hours sitting and reading while the hairdresser fiddles with my hair - quite relaxing really.


Thursday 29 August 2019


The busy day is over, I have taken Tess for a second walk, eaten a couple of Kiwi Fruits (all I feel like eating), watched Antiques Road Trip and now am sitting down to write about my day.

I went into town for my three weekly manicure at ten o'clock and then, before I could change my mind, I got into the car and drove to Northallerton.
These days I don't go much beyond our little town but I needed to go to Northallerton, only around twenty five miles now that the Bedale by pass is built, so I had to bite the bullet.   There was a steady stream of traffic but I was soon there.

My reason for going is that I need to buy some new furniture.   It is easy at my age to think that it is too late to bother with any new furniture and that is what I was thinking even though my settee was becoming increasingly uncomfortable.   But chatting to my doctor on Tuesday about my arthritis and how it was now affecting my neck and shoulders he suggested I should look at where I was sitting - and indeed how I was sitting.   That evening I did just that and realised that I was leaning permanently over to the left and it really was affecting my posture (my hairdresser complains I lean to the left too).   I have always liked (and often owned) Ercol furniture so I went to Barkers Furniture Store and ordered two matching Ercol sofas to replace the two I have now (and have had for at least the last fifteen years I have worked out).

Before my drive back I sat in their cafe and had two tuna and mayo sandwiches and a pot of tea.
Coming back I again got behind a huge tractor load of bales of straw - the tail back was very long but the tractor driver made no attempt to pull in to a lay by to let anybody past.   There is a suggestion that drivers should do so - I believe five vehicles behind is the number - but I really think there should be a law about it.  Surely it must cause accidents as reckless drivers overtake when it is not safe to do so.   Interestingly quite often they do so and after another ten miles or so you notice they haven't got any further in the queue.

Needless to say, other than taking Tess round the block I have done nothing else of note today.   I shall now go and try to finish today's Times Mind Games.   Haven't watched the news again by the way.   

Busy Day

First of all I need to say how horrified I am by the latest move by Boris Johnson - I feel it is so very undemocratic and I fear for the future.   I know that what I know of Politics and World Affairs could be  written on a Postage Stamp but I also know that as Brits we should be proud to have one of the best Democracies in the World and this move goes against that.    It also puts the Queen in such an awkward position - I am not really a Royalist but even I can see that.   Well that has got that off my chest even if I dont really know what I am talking about.  That last sentence has been put there to discourage you from telling me so in your comments.   But I really can#t start chatting about everyday things and let you think I am letting this whole thing float over my head.   I do care but at my age I feel utterly helpless to do much but sit back and think of more frivolous things.   I shall put on my usual post later in the day - quite a busy one - when I return home from a trip out.

Wednesday 28 August 2019

It has arrived.

Leather jacket two has arrived and I love it.  I would hardly call the colour 'raspberry' more of a mid brownish colour but it fits well and will certainly be kept by me.   It is already hanging next to its leather 'sister' which I bought last year so I am sure it feels at home.   As soon as I find somebody to take my photograph in it I will post it on here as promised.   There is nothing like a new jacket or any clothing for that matter to make one feel good is there?

D, my gardener, has been and cut my lawns today and they are looking good.   He has fed them both well and cuts them long which has made all the difference - he has also fed them mid-season which helps.

Much cooler here today and I must say that it is more my kind of weather - and Tess's too I feel.   I might even have a couple of crumpets for tea - real Autumn food if ever there was one.  (any excuse)

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Band B

First of all I apologise for the quality of the photograph.  My shake is very bad in this hot weather and there was nowhere to rest my hand as I took the photographs.   If I tell you that this was the best of the dozen or so I took you will realise that I did my best.

I love cats and would love to have one.   Pretty sure that Tess would tolerate one - she didn't fall out with the farm cats - but I live on the side of a busy road and the risk of it being run over is too great.

So imagine my delight when I got up early this morning to visit the bathroom and found this monster asleep under my hedge.   It was too dark to photograph him - he was curled round fast asleep.   Two hours later, when I got up, he was still in the same place but not curled up so tightly.   He looked at me with utter disdain, sat up and began his morning ablutions, making sure he washed every inch of himself.   Then he stretched, yawned and sauntered off - no thank-you for what had obviously been his bed for the night.   No call for  breakfast.   Come back anytime you like Mr, Tom - you are most welcome.

Monday 26 August 2019

A Non Day

Well I am certainly putting today's experience down to old age and I am sure you will agree.   All the time we are being told to drink plenty and take care if we are elderly and the weather is very hot.

This morning I got up quite early - I didn't sleep well - had my breakfast (a peach and a banana) - stripped the bed and put on the washing machine. o  By nine o'clock I was tidy all round the house, the washer was going round merrily and I thought of having a shower, getting dressed and taking Tess for her walk before it got any hotter.   But first I switched on the computer to read my e mails and get up to date on yesterday's post.  H next door passed my window and called through the patio doors (open already) to say she had dug up two small Alchemilla Mollis plants which she knew I would like.    I thanked her, we chatted for awhile and when she went I pegged the sheets on the line.  I had my shower, went into the bedroom to get dressed,  didn't resist the temptation to lay on the bed for a minute and woke up two hours later.

By this time it was far too hot to take Tess for a walk, I got dressed, microwaved a jacket potato for my lunch, adding a little salad.   Ate it and fell asleep in the chair and again woke up two hours later.

We are told that if we are elderly we should avoid the hot weather if it is upsetting us, so I have done nothing at all today.   Tess has not been for a walk, she has been in and out from the back garden all day.   I feel mean but I just don;t feel up to it.   Later in the evening I shall phone my son and if he is in ask if he can come and take her for a walk.  I just don't feel safe enough to venture out.   It is very hot indeed here.


Sunday 25 August 2019


It is no old wives tale that as we age we are more likely to make daft mistakes and get our words mixed up and forget things.   Sadly with me it happens more and more frequently.   Friday morning was a case in point.

Market day and Bank Holiday mean that together our Car Park gets full very early in the morning. So I came out of the house, stood on the step and realised I had the wrong set of car keys (i.e. the ones without my house keys on).   Don't ask me why but my first (and only) thought was 'Oh darn it I have locked myself out.'    Of course I couldn't have done this because I hadn't got a key to do it (I have one of those fancy locks where you have to lift up the door handle and then turn the key).   But, certain I was locked out, I knew I could get in on my return from coffee with the girls by using the key safe.

Half way into town I realised my stupidity - I had obviously left the front door unlocked.   I drove into town, got a place in the car park and then rang my son (who only lives a mile away) to ask if he could nip round and lock the front door for me.
He told me to wait in the Car Park while he did this and he would then bring the key to me.   I was already half way to the cafe where we have coffee and I just couldn't face going all the way back to the car so he said he would bring it to the cafe instead.   He did this, parking on a double yellow line for the minute it took him to dash in with the key.  All such a rave and all because of my utter stupidity.   I will not do that again but I am sure I will do something else equally stupid. 

And what such incidents do of course is to gradually eat away at one's confidence.   One of the reasons I try to write a post every day (yes I know, I don't always succeed) is because the routine of having to think of something to write about, having to get up, go to my laptop, write the piece, read yesterday's comments to me, read the day's posts from everyone on my side bar - it all takes time and concentrates the brain.

So let's all just hope that the next daft thing I do is not on here.   If it is then I am sure you will tell me.   I am sure (no names, no packdrill) there are a few of you who will tell me in no uncertain terms.

Saturday 24 August 2019

Too hot.

It has been a lovely day here, a day of warm sunshine and with a gentle breeze.   A perfect day for the Wensleydale Agricultural Show.   People flocked there in their thousands (the car park is behind my garden and it filled up quickly).  During the afternoon friend W called and we went to our local Ice Cream Parlour (Brymor Ice Cream) - and we sat indoors there and ate our ice creams.   Then it was home again.

I haven't taken Tess out other than into the garden all day as she doesn't perform well in hot weather but we went on a walk after tea when it was beginning to cool down.

My arthritis does not like the hot weather and has been very painful all day, which is probably why I have been so tired.   Now that it is cooling down a bit I am beginning to get my second wind.   I can't imagine what I would be like living in the Tropics.

Friday 23 August 2019

At last.

At last a lovely day.   According to the weather forecasters on TV we should have had better weather earlier, but today it is excelling.   Now, at four in the afternoon, the sun is shining, the wind has almost dropped and it is actually warm.

As is usual on a Friday three of us - W, M and I- have been out to lunch.   And like last week we went to a pub called The Queen's Head in a pretty little Dales village called Finghall.   The food was delicious and as with last week I think we all three almost overate.  W and I both had king prawns deep fried in batter accompanied by a delicious, well-dressed salad and crisp chips.  (M had fish and chips).   So many salads are miserable specimens, this one had several kinds of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, walnut halves, strips of eating apple  and a really good dressing.
We all had lime and soda water to drink and finally a cup of coffee.   Nice company, nice surroundings and a dog waiting in the hall to be taken for a walk (groan) on my return.   Still it woke me up nicely. 

It does look as though the weather is settling nicely for The Show tomorrow - I hope so.   So many people work so hard to make it a success and on the day the success or failure rests almost entirely upon the number of people who attend.   Locals who don't attend know to keep well away from the main road through the town if they are in a hurry to get anywhere.   As that main road goes straight past the end of my road then no such luck for me.

I have a few gardening jobs waiting to be done - dead-heading, watering of tubs, digging out of couch grass; plenty to keep me going.  It is just a matter of having enough energy to get stuck in.   Time will tell but I really do hope to get some of it done at least.

I have just been reading about helter skelters and other things in Cathedral aisles.   'Flog it' quite often comes from inside cathedrals these days.   I am not sure what I think to such things.   I am a Humanist and belong to Humanists UK (I defend the right to live by my own personal values and
have the right to make my own decisions about my life) but I do like the beauty and peace of sitting inside these exquisite buildings and savouring the peace therein.   Should we encourage this move towards change or not ?   What do you think?   Have you a view?   If so I would like to hear it - perhaps it will help me to make up my mind.

Thursday 22 August 2019

Little by little......

......the weather is improving as we head towards Show Day on Saturday.   There had been rain overnight and it was still raining when I went into town to the Hairdresser.   But now, mid afternoon, I have walked round the estate with Tess and there are just spits and spots.   It has almost cleared up.  The weather is following the pattern predicted by the forecasters and if it continues it should be Summer weather again by the week-end.

Slight hold-up while I answer the door and speak to a Solar Panel salesman!!   I do often think of having them;  we had them at the farm and I can see the benefits.   But is it worth it at my advanced age I ask myself?   Any thoughts on the matter gratefully received.

I have succumbed to temptation and bought myself yet another leather jacket - this time the colour is 'raspberry' - or as my son prefers to call it my 'Mrs Peel jacket'.   Believe me, if you don't already know it, a jacket, or any other piece of clothing you buy at my age which makes you feel good, is a real boost - particularly on a day when one's arthritis is really playing up.   All I really need now is my Harley Davidson to go with it.   (then it would be beware anyone travelling on the road anywhere in The Dales so perhaps it is as well it is not on my list of 'wants'.)

To change the subject completely - I am trying to perfect my technique on using a slow cooker.   I bought one last year but I can't say I have been over thrilled with the results so far.   This week's experiment - a sausage casserole - was an improvement but still not perfect.   But my hairdresser, who uses one almost every day, gave me a few tips this morning.   She tells me I need to start everything off in a pan so that things like the veg are browned and the meat is floured and then browned before all is put into the slow cooker.   I shall try that next and report back.   Meanwhile, if anyone has any more tips they will be gratefully received.

Wednesday 21 August 2019


By now, teatime, the day has turned gloomy.   The weather forecast is for good fine weather and much warmer by the weekend, but tonight the sun has gone and it is chilly.   I have just resorted to putting the heating on for a while.

It has been our Poetry afternoon - only six of us today but a really enjoyable afternoon with some good poetry - some old familiar ones (part of Wordworth's Prelude, The Owl and the Pussycat) and some new ones I hadn't heard before.   It is always good when you come across a new poem  which you enjoy and which sticks in your mind.

Tess of course loves the poetry afternoon because it is the day when S takes her for a walk.   Today because S lives near where we have our Poetry Tess had two walks - one with S and then later in the afternoon one with T who took her up the fields belonging to W where we have our Poetry.  When we arrived home she climbed in her basket and has slept solidly since then not even getting out for her tea. 

Tents and various fixtures and fittings have arrived at the Showground, which I passed this afternoon, and are being erected bit by bit.   I expect many local ladies are busy baking tonight.   All the entries for competitions have to be in place early on Saturday morning so that they can be judged and prizes awarded in good time for people to walk round and view the exhibits. The whole thing is taken very seriously up here.

Monday 19 August 2019

Hatches, Matches and Despatches.

Yes, all three are important parts of life and as we get older we seem to  move automatically from the first to the last.   But in the past week or two I have had cause to think of all three.

This morning my cleaning lady tells me of twins born over the week-end to a young couple in the village.   They already have a son who is not yet quite two and now, the day before yesterday, they have added twin girls to their little family.   Taken into hospital on Friday the two girls were born naturally, mother and babies are doing well and twenty eight hours later (after eleven o'clock at night) they were discharged for Dad to ferry them the forty five miles from hospital to home.   How times change - sixty years ago my son and I spent ten  days in hospital after an easy birth and were then discharged to travel the two miles down the road.   We didn't realise how lucky we were did we? 

As to Matches - not many these days as more and more couples seem not to bother about tying the knot but a wedding coming up where my little friend Sophie to  be bridesmaid and
 is so looking forward to it makes a lovely change.

As to Despatches - I have had cause to think about these as I do every year when the Wensleydale Show field begins to transform from just an ordinary silage field into a sea of marquees, trailers and the like.    Several of the big marquees for things like fruit and vegetables, handicrafts, baking are going up today.   The tent for show cattle is already up and they are erecting all the sheep pens for the show sheep.   I pass in the car and I think of the leading lights who worked for days on end to make the Show such a success and who are no longer with us.   A, who - in her white smock - would be there organising things in the produce tents and who on the morning of the Show would arrive with entry after entry in the cakes, buns, eggs, handcrafts, floral arrangements, house plant sections - often she would bake half a dozen Swiss Rolls before she was satisfied enough to enter her offering in the Show.

And then there was C,a farmer who had a lot of sadness in his life but always put on a cheerful face.   He was always around this week, the week when the placing of the tents and the nitty gritty was taking place.   He never chose the limelight but always worked hard in the background to make sure it all went off smoothly.

And then there was the Announcer whose voice had come over the sound system year after year and who had got it off to a fine art so that there was never a hiccup.   A farmer himself he was just good at keeping things going.

All these are gone now and others have taken their place.   And it will always be thus - none of us are indispensible but that doesn't mean we are not thought about, not missed.

So I remember them all in the run up to the Show.   I hope there will be fine weather for Saturday, the big day.   I am sorry I am no longer mobile enough to walk round, and I am sad that my own dear farmer is no longer here to walk round but I am sure they are all here in the spirit of the Show and in the minds of all those who have been going for years.

Sunday 18 August 2019


I returned from my usual Sunday lunch out to find that my gardener had been and mowed my lawn - it was really long and ready for doing but keeping it that bit longer does keep it healthier.   A friend's daughter called an hour before I went out for lunch and asked if they could take Tess for a walk with their dog, Meg, so Tess had a day out too and came back half an hour after I did.   Since then she has slept in her basket and has not attempted to eat her tea so I think they have worn her out.   I must say she is such a trusting dog that she would go off with anybody who invited her to do so.   She would sell her soul for a walk.

Lunch out with three friends as usual - it makes such a pleasant Sunday rather than a lonely one.  We always go to the same place and almost always we have Salmon Florentine (salmon steak on a bed of spinach) with Hollandaise Sauce.   I am becoming a creature of habit - something I thought would never happen. 

There is a busy week lined up for the coming week with Strugglers on Tuesday (followed by lunch out), our Poetry meeting on Wednesday and my usual hair appointments on Thursday and then back to our lunch out on Friday.   The days whizz by in a flash as do the weeks.   At least I can't complain that time drags.

Saturday 17 August 2019


A really good drying day today - a brisk wind and a good sunshine so it will have done a lot to dry up some of the surplus water lying about.   Friend W and I went to see Alan's garden this morning.   It has given me a lot of inspiration for what to do with parts of my garden I haven't touched yet.

This afternoon friend J, who lives lower down the estate, walked up for a cup of tea and a chat and as she went the phone rang and it was my son to see if I 'fancied sharing a take-away' tonight and of course I said yes.  So there is just about time to take Tess for another walk round before I need to set the table.   Don't know yet whether it will be Pizza, Chinese or Indian - but am happy with any.

Next Saturday it is our Wensleydale Agricultural Show which takes place on the two fields above my bungalow.   I feel frustrated that I can't attend but I don't walk well enough and haven't done for years.   It was one of the highlights of my dear farmer's year and for the last few years of his life I didn't go with him (it was within walking distance of the farm) because I just slowed him down.   It is the place where the farmers meet (often for the only time in the year) and chat and discuss the livestock on show and generally 'chew the cud'.   How he loved it (and all the hospitality he got going from tent to tent of various suppliers!)

The gentleman where I went to view the garden this morning has a son who is a garden designer so I am now about to write him a letter asking if he has time to call on me and advise me on the last bit of my garden to be tackled.   I don't hold out much hope as he is very busy but I can but try.   I will keep you posted.

Friday 16 August 2019


Sorry about the lack of posts this week but my dear God-daughter has been staying and we have just had a relaxing evening with a couple of glasses of wine and a good natter - brought up to date.   She went early this morning so tomorrow I shall be back to normal blog-wise.   I have a completely free day with nothing to do so hopefully it will not be as horrible a day as it has been today with rain and winds for much of the time.

Wednesday 14 August 2019


Gentle rain all day today - the kind of day we would welcome if it had been dry for a couple of weeks and the gardens needed it.   My antirrinhums are now in full bloom - all pinks and reds with the odd yellow one thrown in for variety - good to see.
My fox gloves are slowly recovering and looking stronger every day after being nearly washed away.  What a nation of amateur gardeners we are.

J, who lives nearby, lost her husband three years ago to cancer.   She now works tirelessly for cancer charities and is at present selling raffle 
 tickets for a huge raffle - and at the same time trawling round local businesses asking for prizes.
This is not an easy  nor is it a pleasant job.   But she is doing it in good heart and getting amazing generosity from our local businesses - one exception but we shall ignore that.   The draw is to take place before the end of the month, so time is of the essence and she is working so hard - and she is well into her seventies.   A case of wear the old ones out first methinks.

Tess's walk today with friend S was short and sweet because barely had they set off when the rain came down harder for a while and they gave in and came home but wees and poos were noted - always an important thing with ones pets.

Now we are all locked up for the night and would you believe it I have the central heating on because it is so cold.   Both of my neighbours also have theirs on so it is not just me who was suffering.

Tuesday 13 August 2019


Now that the weather is 'normal' again it is hard to remember just how awful it was.   It is only when you pass houses which are still drying out, where there are piles of trashed kitchen units heaped up in the garden and where all the windows are open to let in some fresh air, or where row upon row of stone walls lie in heaps along the lanes - then in a flash it all comes back.   Really it will take a long time to return to normality and I suspect that most businesses will suffer greatly as a result - anyone who was planning to come to The Dales but has not booked will surely choose somewhere else to holiday.   And that will be a shame because the flooding was do localised.

This afternoon I have been to the Physiotherapist and coming back the twelve or so miles everything was perfectly ordinary for the whole journey.   I followed a combined harvester almost the whole way (along with about a hundred other cars held up by the machine) and field after field had been harvested and the bales had been collected, mile after mile of golden stubble - a beautiful sight.  Stone walls enclosing sheep grazing peacefully in the fields - everything as it always is.   So if you are thinking of coming to The Dales please don't be put off - with the exception of a very small area The Dales are as beautiful as ever.

Monday 12 August 2019

Monday morning

The week-end gone and another week dawning.   The flood recedes into the past although not for the folk involved because work still goes on and will for weeks.   My son's lane is smart after its rebuild and driving through the village is slightly easier although there are skips and sandbags everywhere still.   My son thought he had escaped but a couple of days ago the bedroom ceiling fell with a bang, so not all escaped after all.

I have really enjoyed P and D being here for the weekend and christening my new mattresses (which they pronounced to be very comfortable).   The weather has been pretty atrocious with strong winds and rain at times, so we haven't really done a lot.   Dinner on Saturday night (my son and his wife came too) was a pleasant occasion.  As I often do I made a Yorkshire Platter - very little work and always impresses - local Pork Pies, local ham, local cooked sausage, lots of salads and good bread all washed down with good wine.   What's not to like?

Yesterday we all went out for Sunday lunch so no effort involved there and last night the ham which had not been eaten made good ham and Dijon mustard sandwiches, followed by Yorkshire Fruit Cake and local cheeses.

My friends left this morning after taking Tess for her morning walk and then putting out my Green Bin ready for Wednesday morning (it was so full that I couldn't push it down the drive).   Their bed linen has just finished in the machine so I shall go and put it on the line - and then sit down with the remnants of that Yorkshire Platter and have a leisurely lunch.

Friday 9 August 2019


Pouring rain on waking this morning and it didn't stop until around half past ten.   Today was the day they were set to resurface the lane where my son lives after the floods of a fortnight ago.   I didn't expect they would do it, but a whole lot of volunteers turned up and by late afternoon it was done.   I understand they all repaired to the pub to celebrate and I am sure they had earned it.    The floods, although catastrophic for so many in the village, have certainly brought out a fantastic community spirit, so it is not all bad news.

By lunch time today it was warm and sunny but now, at almost eight in the evening, huge black clouds fill the sky again and there is a distant rumble of thunder.   I have visitors for the week-end and so I hope the weather is good for their drive cross-country from The Lakes in the morning.   All meals are planned for minimum effort and maximum taste (I hope) so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Thursday 8 August 2019

First steps

The village beyo nd where I live now, the village so severely flooded ten days ago, is just beginning to pick up the pieces.  There are skips placed around the place for folk to throw rubbish into.  Everyone (bar one) is pulling together and tomorrow the lane where my son lives makes a start on resurfacing - weather permitting.   As I type this cloud is building outside and the air is getting more and more humid.   Just as the forecast said it would.  It is draining any semblance of energy from the limbs.   I do  hope it doesn't hold things up tomorrow.

The less said about the one in brackets above the better but I suppose the least we can say is that it has drawn the rest of the village closer together. 

Heaps of debris lie around everywhere - whole kitchens torn out and piled up ready to dump in the skip.   Not sure I could cope with any of it.

Well, onward and upward.   I have friends for the weekend - fridge to be thoroughly cleaned out before my Tesco order arrives early in the morning.

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Oh dear.

My son and his wife called this morning just as I got back from having coffe in town with a friend.
His poor wife is badly handicapped and needs a wheel chair - they took me to see their Lane - an un-made-up, unadopted road with about a dozen houses on it.   The top surface has been completely washed away by the floodwater and is impassable - with great difficulty my son can get her wheelchair up to the road where his car is parked and he had brought her round just for a change of scene.   So we went into Richmond for a bit of lunch.   

That and two walks with Tess and a bit of ironing and I am pretty tired and just feel like sitting down.   The whole village where they live is like a war zone but everyone is pulling together and gradually things are returning to somekind of normality. 

I spoke to my son about how impressed I was by the Dunkirk Spirit in the village and he agreed but quite rightly said that now what was needed was a bit of D Day Spirit on the part of the Authorities to make sure it doesn't happen again.   The flooding is caused by water pouring down off the Grouse Moors - army land which does need careful thought as to how to divert much of the water before it reaches the village.   There is a meeting next week so time will tell as they say.

Monday 5 August 2019


The ride to our Book Group Member's house was through the beautiful countryside of Wensleydale - at its very best this time of the year (they totally escaped the flooding) and she lived in a beautiful, very ancient house, surrounded by her dogs - I think we were all very envious.

The book 'The Good Immigrant'  provoked us into such a good discussion on the problems of immigration (several of us have first-hand experience of the problems) and the hour and a half passed so quickly.   The morning was a great success - helped along by good coffee and Lemon Drizzle Cake.   Since then I have cooked myself a bit of lunch, done a couple of loads of washing and taken Tess round the block so the time has come for a rest I think.

For once we are having a completely dry day with a pleasant sun - a bit windy but that will help to dry everything up a bit.   Bathroom mats and Tess's bedding are flapping on the line and will hopefully be dry by bed time.   People who havebeen flooded are still in the throes of clearing up but I think everyone, including they, has been thoroughly heartened by the huge outpouring of support - and a sense that everyone is pulling together.   It is things like this which really do bring out the best in people.

Until tomorrow.


Sunday 4 August 2019

ADay Late

This is really Sunday's post a day late - the day caught up with me and I was too tired to put one on.

Out to lunch as usual (prawn salad and chips for me) and back home at four to take Tess for her walk round the estate.  I needn't have bothered - an hour later her friend, Heather, called to take her for a long walk (she was much more enthusiastic to go).   They both got wet through because true to form a shower became a deluge and it came down in sheets.   Tess didn't seem to mind so came home
 for a good rub down having had a 'bath of sorts'.

Calling to collect friend W for our lunch venue I got the chance to see the awful flood damage in our little village of Bellerby.   The houses by the side of the mill stream, which comes off the Moor, have just been devastated.   All downstairs rooms have been trashed beyond repair and great piles of furniture and fittings are piled up in the gardens.   The Council has thoughtfully provided skips at various places in the village to help with the clean-up operation.   There is a wonderful team spirit with various local businesses offering machinery and goods to help - i.e. sand and cement, aggregate, diggers and the like.   It has really brought out the best in people.

Now another week has dawned and with it heavy showers.   I spent a lot of time over the week-end cleaning the paths and sweeping up the soil and sand that has washed down off the fields  - yesterday there was more heavy rain but luckily only in short, sharp showers not the prolongued downpour of earlier in the week. 

It is my Book Group this morning ('The Good Immigrant ').   Reading a book of short essays is hard going to read one after the other - it is really a book to just dip into .   I didn't read them all and I suspect when I get to the meeting I shall find that no-one did.

I shall hopefully report back tonight, but in the meantime I need to shower and get ready to go - still haven't taken Tess for her morning walk.

Saturday 3 August 2019

Ominous black clouds.

I have spent much of today clearing up the garden.  My health is such that I can only do about an hour's physical work before I have to sit down for an hour and rest.   So it has more or less taken me all day.   First hour was spraying weed killer on the weeds which have taken hold in various cracks in the paving stones.   Then I took Tess for her usual morning walk round.   Then I began the task of sweeping the patios which were covered with the detritus of a day's flooding - mainly bits of bark, empty snail shells (dozens of them I presume off the fields), and sandy soil which has been brought down by the sheer volume of the water.

Now, as I sit here writing this at almost eight o'clock in the evening and after taking Tess for another walk the sky is full of heavy black clouds, it is extremely heavy and warm and more thunder storms are forecast.    Oh dear, will it all have been in vain my clearing up?

And more to the point will the dam hold at Whaley Bridge - the plight of the people there makes our village problems seem light by comparison. 

Lots of plants in my garden were battered and are looking very sorry for themselves.   I have cut them back where I can and am hoping they will recover - at least they are not short of water.   But the antirrhinums have remained straight, strong and tall - in full flower - and have taken everything nature has thrown at them.   And they are such cheerful flowers.   See you tomorrow.

Thursday 1 August 2019

Life returns to normal.

It is a pleasant day - nice breeze, blue sky with clouds scudding across now and again, keeps looking a bit like dropping a shower but then passing over.   I drove into town and parked in the Car Park - I needed to call for a few salad and fruity things, call at the jeweller to have a new clasp fitted on a necklace I have bought, buy some Bonios and then go to the Hairdresser for my weekly hair-do.

Everywhere is getting back to normal unless you were really affected.   There are heaps of sand which has been washed down everywhere and some shops are closed as they were flooded and are still clearing out.   My garden is looking very battered, especially my poor foxgloves, but will no doubt recover.   In town there is still water  draining off but I understand from the lady in the Pet Shop that Langthwaite in Swaledale is really badly affected with some houses almost washed away.   Bales of silage waiting to be collected in the fields have been washed miles downstream.   Swaledale is much more upland than Wensleydale and they are mostly lucky to get two crops of silage a year -this will be second crop and will be an awful loss of winter feed.

My son still can't get his car out and his wife is marooned indoors until the lane is repaired.   When he came out this morning the water had all gone but he found a dead goldfish in the middle of his drive so somebody's garden pond had been swamped obviously.   But that is nothing compared with the dead sheep up in Arkengarthdale.   All such a tragedy.   But life is returning to normal everywhere.    Hardy folk us Yorkshire folk.  (only 30 years for me)