Friday 30 December 2022


 A long trailing chain of thought coming on folks - hope if all hangs together.   I shall start and see how it goes:

An old, well known local farmer has died - he has lived here all his life, done very well and his sons now are the most successful employers in the area.  At his funeral earlier this week his cortege went through the town with his coffin on a farm trailer, pulled by a tractor - I have no doubt that - just like my farmer's, the church would be full to overflowing and the food would be good and plentiful at the reception afterwards.   Because that is how it always has been.   In fact my carer, who showed me the photograph this morning (and who has herself lived here all her life) tells me that there is a bit of a tradition of (especially men) folk in the village who live alone going to funerals   of folk they hardly know,  just for the food afterwards.

Is all this going to gradually change as we get more and more incomers and fewer and fewer 'locals' - the farmer once did a count of the locals in his village and there were only eleven left.   Less now I'm sure.

Surely this makes for other changes.   To quote Ronald Blythe again (sorry but I am eagerly reading his book) he wasborn thereabouts and never moved far in his whole life,)   He speaks of field names and one in particular which is called  Constables and has been since it was owned by the Constable family (John Constable the famous artist) since before the time of the Napoleonic wars.

And that made me think of the field names on our farm (now owned by several people as it was split up when the farmer died (small farms are no longer profitable)between several farms).   When I first married into the family I used to listen to my farmer and his father talking almost another language as they spoke of the fields, which all had names (the only one I remember was Matt's (I think named after the man years back who had once owned the field.)  Maybe the field still exists but I am sure the name doesn' t - maybe the hedge has been grubbed out to make two small fields into one larger one.   But surely the name has died - forever

Does it matter?   Maybe not in the giant scheme of things.   Housing estates cover acres and the names disappear.   Maybe people call it progress,   And in many ways it is.  But in other ways it is sad.   I think.  Do you?

Thursday 29 December 2022


 Living in  an area like this you are never far from water  - we are on the Eastern edge of The Pennines and hills and dales suggest water (another area which suggests water is that of the lowland - areas like Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk - areas where our distant ancestors drained what they could to keep it at bay).

I sat thinking about it this morning over my hot chocolate;  the sky had been clear blue - a cold blue and windy with it which suggested "changeable" and sure enough as I sat down the heavens opened and it poured.

Where I live I am mostly above the flood area - I can see the lie of the land from my window and a steep 'dip' suggests maybe a river - and sure enough in that dip lies the Ure - the river that drains Wensleydale, carrying the water out into the North sea at the Humber Estuary.  

But when I had my back garden redesigned a couple of years ago the man doing the work behind the retaining wall shewed me just how far down the water was.    He dug down about eighteen inches to plant a shrub and the hole filled with water (no need to water the shrub in!) and once during the five years I have lived here we had a horrendous thunder storm which lasted all afternoon and which washed away bridges and several cottages further up the Dale.   Here the water ran out  of the field behind my bungalow (and those around it) - through my garden into M's garden next door, along the road a little way and then down another garden and out of sight, flooding one or two houses on the way - randomly -  for water chooses where it wants to go.

Many of the farms around here are not privately owned but are part of large estates belonging to families who have lived here for generations.   In many cases the same family has rented the same farm for generations too.   One such farm housed folk who were friendly with my farmer's family and now and again the farmer and I would pop up to see them - only a couple of miles away.  E and M, brother and sister - both long dead now - had been born in the  old farmhouse which was built into the side of the hill. When it rained heavily E and M stoked up their log fire, donned their wellies and opened the kitchen door;  the water flowed through and M kept the brush handy to brush it across the brick floor and out of  door - not even bothering to look at it or remark on its presence.

Since their deaths the old house stands empty, slowly  sinking into the ground and unlikely ever to be lived in again-  the land tagged on to the adjoining farm and the house no longer needed - or tolerated in these days of central heating and all 'mod cons' - the items which E and M had never even considered necessary.

Incidentally a friend of Ms (both strict methodists) took M to the Holy Land on holiday not long before she died.  I never saw her to ask what she thought to the whole episode which must have been mind blowing.

Tuesday 27 December 2022

The whole day.....

 I have mentioned many times on here that my sitting room window faces more or less due South.   It is now - at the turn of the year - that I notice it most.   It is a big window and at the Solstice - the Winter one - I more or less get the dawn, the whole day and the sunset before my eyes,   Now that I am more or less chair-bound I find this very fascinating.   The whole day spreads itself out before my eyes and I notice it - no two dawns are alike;   sometimes the sky is suggesting dawn at seven with a red streak here and there (and an early string of rooks going over.  ) Another day, like today, it is still almost dark at eight o'clock and you know the sky is cloudy and even the rooks are tardy.

It is now 10.15 and I suspect it is going to be one of those days when it doesn't ever really get light and there is no sign of any weather out there which beckons 'come outside'.

So I get out my new Ronald Blythe (which in fact is just a compilation of the best snippets from all his other articles in the Church Times over the years when he wrote a weekly column for them).  I have all his books but it is no hardship to have them  again in one book.February - 'Entrepreneur' - this is where  I have got to in my reading and this has me getting my book on Constable off the shelf and also getting my Road Atlas open at page 18.   He talks of Theme Parks and of John Constable and of 'them' trying to get permission to turn Mistley and the Stour Estuary into a Spa in the 18th century.  It  didn't happen in spite of Robert Adam designing a church there.

I find Mistley on  the road map and read his lovely picture of  'scores of swans grooming themselves' on the banks of the Stour and old ladies 'wrapped up like Innuits' because the wind 'blew in from the Arctic'.   He then talks of going on to Harwich to see Captain Jones house (he who captained the Mayflower)and him walking on to Dovercourt and here I stopped my reading because it reminded me that my first husband's mother came from Dovercourt so that gave me plenty to do today because I haven't thought of that side of my son's family history for a long time so I shall ring him shortly and ask how we have got on with that.

And that is how Ronald Blythe's enquiring mind gets me working.  I am in no way at all religious but can skip the religious bits if necessary but what I would give to have been born with the kind of mind Blythe has - leaving school at fourteen and now - now still learning and fascinated by everything.

Off to make the hot choc.   See you tomorrow.

Monday 26 December 2022

Boing Day

 Nearly over for another year.   At present the sky is pure blue from horizon to horizon,   There is a slight breeze and it is chilly.   After a poor night's sleep I am finding it hard to keep awake so am off to make a cup of hot choc and have a read - this will probably send me off to sleep so will be back later to write.

Sunday 25 December 2022

Th Big Day

 Well, here we are.   The big Day has arrived and all over everywhee - every Christian country at least - stockings are being emptied, parcels unwrapped and sadly this year parents left heavily in debt bec..ause they can't really afford all the presents they are buying for their children but they don't wish to disappoint them.    And it is no good looking backto the 'old days' when we didn'texpect much and only got one or two presents.   Times have changed or are changing as Bob Dylan said.

I had a pleasant day yesterday with various callers - friend J with her adopted Border Terrier Jack was one highlight.   Jack's 'Mum and 'Dad'have gone to their flat in Thailand until the Spring and J has adopted Jack - or maybe it is the other way round.   He is very well behaved, very friendly, and made me miss my own dog Tess terribly (a few tears after he had gone.)

The other highlight of the day was watching Carols from Kings - always broadcast on Christmas Eve and for many years watched with my dear friend J, long dead now.  Another tear-jerker I'm afraid as   I listen and reflect on our friendship for many years and our many Christmasses spent together.

I reflect as I get older and more infirm and more and more old friends 'drop off the perch',   Is it better to die 'younger' or is it better to live long enough to see one's great grand children growing up?  We have no choice of course - but each side has its fors and againsts.

Santa brought me lots of presents - it took me all morning to open them all and get rid of all the wrappings.   T and |S came and T got rid of all the rubbish forme.   Now they have gone and an hour remains before my carer brings my lunch so Ican go, put my feet up and read the new Ronald Blythe book that Santa brought me - I have almost finished the book about rooks - my pr- Christmas present to myself he brought me.   Have a nice day friends.

Thursday 22 December 2022

It gets nearer....

..It gets nearer and then it is over for another year.   Sorry no post yesterday but the day began on a dramatic note and my hands had a shaking day as a result and shaking days (Benign Essential Tremor) mean that my typing tends to produce gobbledegook..... 

The drama was that I fell out of bed - or rather slid out.    I was putting on my dressing gown when just for a split second I got a wobble on (I can barely stand unaided) and sat down quickly on the bed to stop myself falling.   But I sat down at the bottom of the bed - beyond the rail along the side which stops me falling out of bed in the night.  And I could feel myself sliding off the bed.   I didn't wish to fall out so I let myself gently  slide out thus not hurting myself.   But then of course I couldn't get up (my carer was due any moment).   I reached up on to the unit and got my mobile and rang my son and he came round quickly and together the two of them had me up immediately but I was shaken up enough to start a shaky day.

My only job done was to remove things shelf by shelf on the Welsh dresser in the hall - dust them all - polish the shelves and put everything back.   Looks a lot better for it (the lady who cleans for me has covid).

Today I shall attack the top of the kitchen units - especially the corner where the tea/coffee/horlicks and chocolate live.

What else did I do?   The Times mind games and slept a lot of the day.  Any time awake I read 'Crow Country' (thank you John (by Stargoose and Hanglands ) - a fantastic read if like me you love rooks.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 20 December 2022


How quickly the Winter Solstice has arrived this year - I have now got to the stage of wondering if it will be my last one.   It seems always to be the middle of January before one notices it getting any lighter but at least one knows that it is on its way.   This morning when the rookies went over they were so much further away that I needed my specs on to see them. But there was the beginnings of a clear blue sky and a lovely crescent moon.   Now, at a quarter to eleven, the sun is shining, all vestiges of snow have disappeared, there is a westerly wind blowing to dry things up a bit and this time next week Christmas will be but a memory - can't be bad.

In an hour my hairdresser will be here - and I have remembered to leave my special perch where it is  as a  dining chair is a no-no for me now - I need to be higher in order to get out of it! 

The lady who cleans for me has Covid so I am trying to clean and tidy a bit before Christmas. Yesterday it was the book shelves I tackled, today it is my two trolleys - one by the side of my special chair (there I keep my various drugs and leg creams etc. and the other I use for walking about, going to the door etc,)   They don't know it yet but after lunch they are to get a good clean with a disinfectant spray

I am just too tired to do any more after doing the two trolleys and as luck would have it friend D called so I couldn't have done any more anyway.

 See you tomorrow.

Monday 19 December 2022

Slightly warmer.

 After the big freeze of yesterday when everyone stayed put indoors because it was literally impossible to stand up because everywhere was so icy, today is relatively warmer - at least above freezing.   At Hawes - fifteen miles or so up Dale they had nine or ten inches of snow (we had none here) it thawed so quickly that the river 'came over' = a regular occurrence.

It isn't a particularly nice day but at least for the time being it is not quite so cold.

A question for you today.   There have been two big televised events here his week-end.   One, on Saturday evening, was the final of "Strictly Come Dancing" and the other on Sunday afternoon the Final of World Cup Football between Argentina and France.

Let's just think about the first one for a moment.   Four couples in the final - three women and one man and in each case taught by a partner of the opposite sex.    We all had our favourites of course - in my case I favoured Hamza a young man from I think Nigeria (certainly an African country) and I thought his dancing was wonderful.   The judges noticed that in one of the three dances on the final evening he went wrong but quickly picked up without dropping a step.   I suppose you could argue that this should have lost him the contest but in the event he and his partner won the cup.   They were all brilliant and the winners were chosen by the public.   Derek on my blog in his comment suggested that he was always helped by the fact he was so easily moved to tears which gave him  public sympathy.

In the football final the next day I am sure you all know that after a thrilling final Argentina beat France and I have to say looking round the  spectators that after the final whistle there was hardly a dry eye in the house - Argentinians crying with joy because they had won, France in tears because they had lost.

Derek suggested (and if I misread you Derek I do apologise) that grown men don't cry and that one shouldn't call on the tears button to sway the imagination.  I thought  back to the men in my life to see how they fitted into the equation.

As far as my husbands were concerned neither were  over emotional - the only time I saw either of them cry was upon the death of their mothers.  A friend caught my husband in tears once when I was taken into hospital by air ambulance.

But my father, who I loved dearly and who was a good, solid, hard working man all his life was moved to tears at the drop of a hat.   He loved poetry (today I was struggling to tidy my bookshelves while holding on to my walking aids and I dropped a book on the floor -  'The Way to Poetry' - I opened it on the title page and it said 'To Dad for Christmas 1949 (I was 17)  with love from Pat ,that brought tear to my eyes for a second).

But he could and did cry often.   He read   poetry often and would cry while reading it -   especially if it was about nature and the countryside.   But the incident I remember most - and i may have told you this before - was when only he and I were left at home on my wedding day, waiting for my flowers to come and he said something along the lines of I mustn't mind if he cried when they came - it didn 't mean he didn't wish me to marry M (my first husband) it was just that he loved me.   Such a fond memory.   And did it mean he was a weak man or that he was after my sympathy?   I think not.

Saturday 17 December 2022


 Oh dear.   After a week of drawing back the blinds to an apricot sky full of rookies flying over purposefully making their way to the  pastures 'up dale' where grubs and worms are plentiful, let me describe the scene this morning:

I draw back the blind to a leaden sky and a row of silver birches across from my bungalow, their wet, black branches dripping snow which is falling heavily.  Wet snow  two or three inches deep, thrown up onto the footpath by early traffic is not a pretty sight, although of course it does advertise the fact that it doesn't intend to hang around for long.   And indeed I switch on the Today programme to hear the weather forecaster say that somewhere in the Borders the temperature was minus eleven last night but in a couple of days will have jumped twenty degrees to plus eleven.   It does make the sight outside my window slightly more bearable.

I have missed the rooks, all but the last tardy few - are they the old, tired ones struggling to get up and get going (I know the feeling rooky friends)or have they stopped off on their journey over the three fields from their rookery because their sharp eyes spotted a worm in the wet snow?

It is indeed a dismal sight out there but bearable when you know it marks the beginning of a warmer spell - "from the great freeze to the great thaw" as the weatherman goes on to say.

John (By Stargoose and Hanglands)- thank you for the book on rooks recommendation (and thank you Amazon Prime for the very prompt next day delivery in spite of the postal strike).   Lovely book.  And John - can we have an explanation where you got your site title from please?

Half past nine - blue sky is appearing and drops glisten along my clothesline like Christmas lights.  My windowcleaner C came yesterday (I can see cleanly and clearly out of m y  windows now! ) and thank you C for going all the way round the footpath round my bungalow shaking grit so that if I go out I don't slip (he doesn't know I no longer go out and it does mean anybody calling doesn't slip either.)  C has cleaned my windows ever since I came to live here - I knew his Mum well (she died a couple of years ago) and he has become another friend as he has been coming a while.

I have just noticed a few seagulls about.   When I was a child you only seemed to see seagulls at the coast but I understand they nest here too now in suitable places.   Does anyone know?   I can't imagine why they should when there is usually a fairly plentiful supply of fish and chips to steal at the seaside!   And have 'our' local seagulls ever tasted fish and chips?

See you tomorrow.

Friday 16 December 2022


 Friends - I couldn't do without them and they will never know just how much they mean to me.   This morning a conversation with my son made me realise that I needed drugs from the pharmacy - and the lady who usually collects them for me is away until tomorrow.   The specialist is completely changing my main epilepsy drug but it has to be done very gradually on certain days,   Because of the very poor health of my son's wife he keeps well clear of our little town (there has been a 22% rise in Covid infections in the past week)   I had not realised that the next drug change is tomorrow when a 500mg tablet changes down to two 200mg tablets.  But another friend has stepped into the breach and is collecting them for me this aternoon.  All it took was a phone call - and she offered before I even asked.  As I said at the beginning - what would I do without them?

Friends, knowing I can no longer get out pop in for ten minutes for a chat (this has happened four times this week), friends ring if they are going near town to see if I want anything.  I don't usually because my carer has also become a dear friend and has eyes in the back of her head as we say here - if she sees I need anything she gets it before I have a chance to ask.

I had a long chat with an old school friend (also 90) the other day - both of us housebound but both in good heart most of the time.

And then of course there's 'you lot' - most of you dear old friends now and new  ones joining all the time.   Old friends amongst you will know that I like to imagine us all together in my sitting room with a drink (cup or glass) but new ones are always welcome.

And you never know what comes out of our 'chats'; a couple of days ago I sang the praises of my dear friends the rooks who in their thousands fly over my bungalow morning and evening.   John (By Stargoose and Hanglands)* mentioned a book he thought I would like about rooks.   No sooner said than done - two seconds later and two presses of the Amazon button and the book is 'winging' its way to me and would be here today wereit not for our postal strike.

So a heartfelt thank you to you all - near and far.   When you reach 90 by golly you really do realise just how much they mean to you.

*Good to have him back with his wonderful photographs isn't it?


Thursday 15 December 2022


 Christmas indeed and don't we all know it.   It is plastered all over our newspapers and television screens and our computers too.   The other day somebody on here asked me to write about Christmas when I was a child.   Well the first thing to say is that it did not take over our lives like it does now (if we let it)

I was 7 when the war started in 1939 and my dearly loved brother was in the army (and was at Dunkirk).  So Christmases were muted to say the least.   I do remember one Christmas when he got leave and we didn't know until in the middle of our Christmas lunch he suddenly knocked on our side window!   My mother fainted away.

Because we had a spare bedroom we had to have either an evacuee from one of the 'threatened' cities or a civilian worker off the airfields (living in Lincolnshire - a flat county - we were surrounded by airfields. )  My parents chose a civilian worker and we had a variety throughout the war years.

We used to hear hundreds of planes go off nightly to cities in Germany  on bombing raids to  places like Dresden and Hamburg - such dreadful losses of life on both sides -( just as in Ukraine today - all so pointless). 

So to some extent Chistmas was a very muted affair - for example fairy lights (even for those who could have afforded them) were a non event because of the blackout ("put that light out" as the warden would have called on his nightly round)

Presents?   We had one or two - often home made (there wasn't that kind of money about).   I tried to remember any I got.   I had a Tan-sad doll's pram - bright red I remember- and once I had two very pretty nighties and a dresssing gown.  Then I saved up with the bits of money I got from various aunts and uncles who called and bought myself slippers to match.

Dinner?   Well my mother loved dressing poultry and was very good at it so dressed poultry for the village butcher - chickens, the odd turkey but mostly geese in those days and we always had roast goose .  We always had plenty of good, fresh veg as my father was a keen veggie gardener and my mother always made a pudding.

And that's  about it really but we enjoyed it -once we knew my brother was safe.   When he first joined up in 1939 he was in The Lincolnshire Regiment which I believe was an Infantry Regiment but later, when REME was formed he was transferred because he was a mechanic before the war and there fore had the right skills.

As an afterthought - my mother dressed some birds called (I think) capons.   Can anyone enlighten me - I rather think they were something like cockerels which had been castrated.   And I think it became banned.

I read this back and think how we looked forward to and enjoyed our Christmases and contrasted it with today when bombaarded with television adverts and the like we can become pressganged into spending money we haven't got.   I heard on this morning's news that the average credit card debt on presents this Christmas is just below £500.  As there must be many who did as I did years ago and have no credit card debt I can't imagine what some folk must have,   What did I do - I got out the scissors and cut it in bits.   And what a good feeling it gave me.

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Please come a bit warmer.

 It has been so cold over the last ten days - not at all the kind of pre Christmas we are used to is it?  But if you can ignore the cold then today has been a lovely day.  I drew back the blind this morning to a pure apricot/turning to blue sky and it has been like that all day and this evening graced with thousands of rooks.   Set to turn warmer over the weekend and then back to colder again.   This is when I miss the log burner (but not chopping the sticks and cleaning it out.)

My lunch consists of a fresh salmon steak and a salad (plus a jacket potato).   I always add baby beetroot in sweet vinegar and then dress it with a yogourt and mint dresssing.   Delicious.

On dayslike today often the rooks 'drop off' on their way home and spend half an hour or so in the field behind my bungalow - I used to climb up to the top of my garden to watch them chatting away (wish I could speak 'rook')  but I can no longer get up there - but I can still hear them. 

Keep snug and warm all of you in the UK - I feel lucky here in the Dales - heavy frosts and a lot of fog around but so far no snow.  Hopefully I will find something to write about tomorrow,

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Freezing fog.

Not nice weather at all here in The Dales - at least no snow lying but very cold and freezing fog drifting everywhere - one minute the sun is out, the next I can't see across the road.    The central heating is full on all day and hot hocolate is the favourite drink today.    The overnight temperature in Braemar last night was minus seventeen - only minus seven here - and that was cold enough.   I seem to remember the weather forecasters telling us we were set to have a mild winter - seems it will get a bit warmer at the week end and then go cold again.

Plenty of fairy lights burning electicity along our Grove while The National Grid struggles (and before the bills come in).   I'm afraid that apart from my cards (which I love and look forward to every year - a link with old friends) I no longer bother.  I had a lovely visit from E, an old friend and neighbour his afternoon.   She has just gone on her way delivering their cards by hand.

I watched the dance off of Strictly Come Dancing last evening - now the last couples dance off next Saturday evening, one couple will win and then it will all be over until next year.   I shall miss the programme.

Two more local cards to deliver and that is me finished.   Hope you are all nearly at the relaxed stage (but I doubt it).  See you tomorrow,

Monday 12 December 2022


 My goodness it is cold.    It is not long since we were told by the weather forecasters that we were in for a mild winter.   As is is it has been bitterly cold and foggy for days.    There seems no end in sight.   Now that I can no longer walk unaided it seems to be colder than ever.

But - happy to say - I have finished my Christmas shopping and sent it all off ahead of our postal strike.   My dear carer is providing my Christmas lunch and I can now relax and let it  wash over me.

When I think of Christmas in 'the old days' I am sure we enjoyed it justas much - maybe half a dozen presents at most, a Christmas dinner, maybe games round the fire in the afternoon - and that was it.    Now it seems to go on for days.

Ice is gathering on and around our lakes over the last week - sadly still thin ice and yesterday three young boys - the eldest ten - killed by falling through thin ice - and a fourth fighting for his life.  So tragic, especially so near to Christmas.   Our thoughts go out to their families.

Take care all of you, wrap up warm all of you unless you live where the sun is beating down of course,   Hopefully see you again tomorrow.

Thursday 8 December 2022

Farmer's wife.

 Sorry to have missed a day or two but would you believe it when i say I have just been 'too busy' to put a post in?   But now my Christmas list is getting shorter I have decided my post is first on todays list: so here goes - let's talk about coming to farming late in life as I did.

Iwas 59 when after being a widow for just over two years I fell in love again with David - a batchelor farmer   I did know what I was letting myself in for - my mother's brother farmed in the Lincolnshire Wolds - no water laid on - they fetched it from a spring every morning in a barrel pulled by a dear old mare called Maisie - I loved her dearly.    I spent most of my school holidays there and dreamt  of being a farmer's wife - in fact I had a proposal from a farmer in his early twenties when I was 17 - he lived in the wolds too.   I had enough sense to turn him down (gently he was a lovely young man).  But then I met Malcolm, my first husband and father of my son, D.    We fell in love and we had almost 40 years together - we both taught and in our spare time as well as boating, walking and meeting with friends we made early music together. Then sadly he died of kidney cancer.   We already knew D, my farmer and walked his land and chatted most days.  I knew his mum well too.

Once married I was landed immediately with doing "the books".  D used to put everything in a box. hand it to his accountant once a month and go in and sign the cheques.  Then the Cattle Movement Service came into being and I had a computer and was reasonably Computer Literate so I took that over.

Every morning before milking D had three slices of home made currant bread (plum bread as we call it up here. )   His mum taught me how to make it and each week I would make it and put the bowl on the front window sill in the sun to rise.   His mum would come round to the window and let me know when it had risen enough.  Another job learned.  

I read up on calving and disagreed with how our calves were being reared  (in individual pens and reared from day one from a bucket.)   I had long discussions with D and his dad and eventually they let me take the whole operation over (one big pen where they were all together and fed by bottle so that their heads were up as they would be if drinking from the tit).

And so it went on - feeding any orphan lambs was next - in a morning the minute the back door opened there was a cacophony of bleating until I was out there with the bottles.

Comfort and support were needed when we actually caught Foot and Mouth and every animal on the farm - apart from Tip the sheepdog- had to be destroyed.

But we soldiered on and for over twenty years had a wonderful life together.    Those were the days.

Sunday 4 December 2022

Wet (ish)

 Not snowing but promised.   Not at all Christmassy here - a fine covering of snow would probably help, although it is far too early anyway.   But these are the thoughts of somebody who finds Christmas almost too much (this is likely to be the last year that I send out cards).   I don.t possess a single decoration and have thought  I might buy some battery operated lights to put along my sitting room window ledge.

I think back to Christmas and New Year when the farmer was here and we had a house full and I cooked a turkey and had parties at New Year (most of the folk who used to come now long gone). 

And sitting thinking about it all I suddenly remembered an incident which will probably amuse you.   When we were newly married and I was 'playing' at being a farmer's wife I thought hens might be lovely wandering about the place (well you need hens on a farm don't you?) I bought a dozen free range hens (we soon became inundated with eggs and living on a lonely road it wasn't easy to sell them at the gate - we almost lived on delicious quiches- until we found an outlet for them.)

Then I bought a clutch (two hens and a cock) of bantams.  My farmer's dad was still alive and was not amused.   When they laid their first egg I took it round for  the farmer's mum to boil it for his tea!  By golly how they ruled the roost.   Then two ducks flew in from nowhere and adopted us (attracted by the food I suppose.

Farming friends had geese,   When one of my hens went broody he gave me two goose eggs for her to sit on.   she  produced two adorable fluffy chicks.   But oh dear - baby geese might be adorable but adult geese are a different matter.   The only things they took notice of were the bantams - all other feathered things and also the farmer's wife were easy meat (I was scared stiff of them and they knew it).   My dear farmer said nothing and the geese did as they were told when he was around.   Finally I got so that I dare not go down the yard  when they were around.

One day the goose farmer rang - he would love them if I no longer wanted them.   I couldn't get rid of them quick enough.   It was suggested we had roast goose for the Christmas party - but no thanks - I wasn't that hard hearted.


Saturday 3 December 2022


 Lists - a word which tends to be uppermost in everybody's mind around Christmas - I have actually got round to beginning to make one today and I have got out a box of cards to begin writing them.   Oh dear - my hands are very shaky all the time and it is no easy task.   Still, it;s a start.

Thursday 1 December 2022


 It is a very cold day with no sun to warm us up.  I read The Times (did a few mind games again) and made a cup of hot choc.  I drank it, fell asleep and woke up at lunch time very cold in spite of the heating being on.

It is one of those very still and quiet 'nothing' days and I try very hard not to put the TV on on these sort of days (not difficult at the moment as my interest in football is nil)(sorry Rachel).

There is not  a breath of wind and now that my son has taken the last of my garden rubbish (lawn clippings) to the tip everywhere looks pristine.   I must say we have an absolutely excellent collection service here.   Once a fortnight we have collection of black bin rubbish - all the   usual household stuff and the other recyclables.. Then for an extra £25 a season (April through November) we can have a green bin for garden rubbish.  I wish I had somewhere for a compost heap but as my garden is  'layered' up steep steps it would be of no help to  wild life (hedgehogs) and now I can't climb the steps no help to me either.

My fingers are frozen with typing so off I go to make a cup of tea.   Wish you could join me.