Friday, 21 October 2016

Normal service.

Normal service will be resumed in a few days time.   Meantime - enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

32 weeks and counting.

I am shortly to become a great-grandmother again - in about a month.   Today my grand-daughter sent me a photograph of her thirty two week scan, showing the baby sucking its fist.  (they do not want to know the sex beforehand).

It took me back fifty-eight years ago, when I was expecting my son.   Then you went to the doctor when you suspected you might be pregnant, he sent you to a clinic attached to the maternity unit where you had chosen to have the baby and you went there once a month.   That was it really.

Now there are so many 'photographs', blood tests and the like - progress is staggering really.   I suppose it is the same in all areas of
health, but they certainly keep their eye on you, which is good.  

So I shall keep you informed of progress from now on.   Looks like only four more weeks to go.   She is still teaching as I write this and is feeling very well, so I hope now that all goes well for her.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Tess by Glennis

,My friend, Glennis, sent me this lovely photograph of Tess today:
It is always difficult to get Tess in a position which makes a photograph easy to take, but Glennis has managed it here - so hope you  enjoy.   And thank-you Glennis (thanks from Tess too.)

Monday, 17 October 2016


What a difference a bit of sunshine makes.  My visitors from The Netherlands are coming at the week-end and I am busy organising things for them coming - we are so much looking forward to seeing them.

Yesterday was fog, rain, cloud and thoroughly miserable - today (what a difference a day makes) there is a light breeze and the sun has shone all day.

This morning the farmer went to his feed merchants in Masham, about ten miles away.   I went with him for the ride (as I usually do) and I took my camera, expecting that the trees of Autumn would be spectacular.   They have hardly begun to change yet, apart from the odd beech tree here and there, so my Autumn colours of Wensleydale will have to wait a while.

The farmer has started tidying up jobs for winter.   I am trying to persuade him to hire a skip and fill it.   I am sure there is enough 'rubbish' lying about to fill a dozen skips - but my goodness me he takes some persuading.  In fact I shall not mention it again or I shall tip the scales over into nagging rather than persuading.   He does agree that there is a lot of rubbish on various benches (last year a robin built a nest on the bench in his big shed and the nest was really not visible unless you knew exactly where to look.)   Everything on the bench was the same brownish colour - tools, rusty bits of this and that, bits of old rag etc.   She laid her eggs, reared her young and off they flew and nobody disturbed her.


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Cabin fever.

I am suffering somewhat from Cabin Fever, but really it is such horrible weather that there is no point in going anywhere.

Today we awoke to thick fog, which has at last cleared after an hour of rain.   Now, mid afternoon, the sun is trying to break through the clouds, but it is very cold.

Lamb cutlets for lunch served on a bed of spinach and with new potatoes and savoy cabbage on the side.   And for once I got the cutlets cooked just right.   Television chefs tend to cook them for about two minutes each side and then serve them really pink.   Neither the farmer nor I are keen on pink meat whatever it is - we belong to the well-cooked brigade.   Nice crispy fat on the edge also enhances them - so tasty they were indeed.

More than two days in the house and I am getting restless.   I always think that there may indeed come a time in the not too distanr future when I cannot get out, so while I can go out and about I shall continue to do so.   Back to 'normal' tomorrow.   And hopefully the weather will have improved.

Saturday, 15 October 2016


Today has been a quiet day for me, except for a very early start as it was 'flu' jabs at the Medical Centre just after eight o'clock this morning.   They have it all so well arranged that the farmer and I were there and back in twenty minutes.   It is a bind going and I know that left to his own devices the farmer wouldn't bother, but I always make him go.   Anything is better than a dose of 'real' 'flu' - and I know the injection doesn't cover completely, but it is the best they can do and certainly more protection than nothing at all.

I can't bear to go out leaving things to be done so I had to have an early start in order to put the breakfast pots in the dishwasher, make the bed and have my shower.

My only other job of any value has been to make a large blackberry, raspberry and apple crumble to put in the freezer later today ready for our Dutch friends who will be here next week-end.   I have done this, also making three small ones for the farmer, myself and friend W - we might as well sample the mixture.

Now, at half-past two in the afternoon (by my
newly-found wrist watch!!)  I shall empty the dishwasher and then knit until tea time.   A woman's work is never done.

Friday, 14 October 2016

The Cat is amongst the Pigeons.

Oh dear.   "For having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."   For this Bob Dylan has been announced as the latest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

I am torn two ways, as I have said on Tom Stephenson's post today (and interestingly, only two of us put a single word in for the man).

I looked up the ten UK recipients.   You may be interested in the list:

Rudyard Kipling.
WB Yeats.
John Galsworthy.
TS Eliot.
Bertrand Russell.
William Golding.
Seamus Heaney.
Sir VS Naipaul.
Harold Pinter.
Doris Lessing.

Does Bob Dylan sit well alongside these?   I wonder what he himself would say.

But I do know that as a great fan in my youth, I still remember many of his lyrics - and use quite a lot of them in my everyday chat (yesterday's paper with yesterday's news springs to mind).

I  know that many of the previous recipients rate highly in my reading list - TS Eliot I absolutely love, the same goes for Seamus Heaney.

So - is it an effort to bring the prize down to something which resonates with the 'common man'?   Of does it make a travesty of the whole thing?   Or is the answer somewhere in between?

I don't know, but I would love to know what you think.  I realise Dylan is not from the UK but I have quoted 'our' winners to make comparison easier.   Also, reading through the list of winners on Wikipedia, it is a long time since the US had a winner.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Put the flag out!

Earlier in the year, when I briefly went into hospital, I lost my watch.   The farmer had bought it for me for christmas quite a few years ago and I loved it.

At first I thought I had left it in hospital, but a call there could find no record of it being handed in.   I went through all the likely places at home and through all my pockets in the wardrobe in case I had slipped it in one of them.   But there was no trace anywhere.

I gave it up as lost, but the farmer insisted that one day I would come across it.

Because we have guests coming next week I have been doing a bit of straightening up and cleaning (nothing like someone coming to stay to make you look seriously at cobwebs).

On Monday my cleaner and I cleaned the utility room together and out from under the sideboard rolled a ball in the shape of Santa Clause which Tess had in her stocking a few years ago.   Since then Tess has played with it non-stop, bounding up and down and putting it at my feet in an effort to get me to throw it for her.

Her toys are kept in a tin between my chair and my cookery bookcase in the kitchen.   The tin is full to overflowing and last evening I decided (when she was not looking) to clean it out and throw some of the old, tatty ones away.

And what was in the bottom of the tin???   My watch.   How had it got there?   I can't begin to speculate.   Maybe it had slipped off my wrist - I do use those shelves a lot because the top shelf holds all my reference books for crosswords and the like.   But I shall never know.

Sufficient to say that I have welcomed it back like an old friend.   It has stopped working but I think that is probably the battery, so shall take it for a new one later today and hope that it works then.

So the farmer was right - sooner or later I did come across it; and in the last place I would have thought of looking.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


It happens every year.   Suddenly there is a dramatic change.   For a few weeks it seems to get dark just a tiny bit earlier each night and then suddenly you look out of the window (as I did tonight) at six o'clock and it is almost dark.   Alright, to it was a cloudy, wet night, but had it been otherwise it would still have been dusk.

And the same goes for the weather.   Just three weeks into Autumn and  after several weeks of pleasant, sunny weather, suddenly it is cold - and I really do mean cold.   Today it has never got to what I would really call daylight and has just been gloomy.   Sitting in our usual Tuesday morning cafe relieved the gloom for a couple of hours but that was the coffee, the toasted tea cakes and the friends more than the weather outside the window.

And then there are the leaves on the trees.  Or rather there were the leaves on the trees, but over the last three or four days, as far as the ash trees are concerned, it is more the leaves off the trees.  I was hoping for a glorious, colourful Autumn - so come on weather - give us a change for the better.

Monday, 10 October 2016


On Saturday I cracked my ankle on the corner of the dishwasher and made a tiny mark which bled a little.  I mopped up the blood and thought nothing of it until evening when I found it had leaked some sort of colourless fluid into my slipper.   Now this did worry me as I know that legs and injuries at my age don't go together without causing alarm.   

The tiny wound leaked all night and all day yesterday.   In an effort to dry the place I went around all day with my trouser leg rolled above it.   But still it leaked and when I got up to the bathroom in the middle of the night it was still leaking, so I resolved to pop into our medical centre this morning to see Sister.   But joy of joys, when I got up this morning it had stopped.

So I have had a really productive day.   Lots of little jobs done for my visitors coming at the end of next week.   Three loads of washing and ironing done, lunch cooked (and eaten).

During all this the farmer has been to a farm a couple of miles away to hire a giant 'muck spreader'  from a friendly farmer we know and is now up and down the drive taking said muck to all the fields to spread now that all the grass has been eaten off.   Then it has all winter to be washed in and do the grass some good.

After this blog I intend to print off the cover for the quiz sheets I compile to sell for our local Nature Reserve.   I had got in quite a mess with my printer but thank goodness yesterday my son popped round and sorted it out for me.  (took him less than five minutes, whereas I had been trying for several hours).

My son's friend, S, has been staying over the week-end.   He lives alone and devised what I think is a super holiday for himself.   He is a keen cyclist.   He lives on the South coast and planned a week cycling around twenty miles a day then catching the train to some place where he had friends (or one of his daughters), staying the night and the doing the same the next day.

On Friday he caught the train to Garsdale (on the Carlisle to Settle line and the nearest it comes to here), got off there, misread the map and cycled to Dent - in the completely wrong direction.   He then had to return the way he had come and then continued through Wensleydale towards here.   He decided to make a detour (I told you he was keen)
by going over the Tour de Yorkshire route up the Buttertubs into Swaledale and coming here that way.   Half way up the very steep incline to the Buttertubs his chain broke.  He pushed his bike to the summit, freewheeled down to the bottom and the village of Muker, from where he rang my son, who collected him and his bike from there.  He then had the chain mended on Saturday and left Sunday morning.   My son took him to the top of the hill  going South, from where he cycled to Otley for lunch with more friends before catching the train back home to the South.   Quite an adventure.   What it is to be young(ish)