Monday, 31 October 2016


Today is my eighty-fourth birthday, the sun is shining and it is warm for late October.   It has been an ordinary day - twenty birthday cards arrived from family and friends, flowers arrived from my God daughter and her husband at lunch time and more flowers are promised from my grand childred tomorrow - so with birthday cards and flowers all over there is a real celebratory feel to the house.

An hour ago my Step Great Grand-daughter, D'arcy arrived with her mum and dad - I will leave you with a photograph of her.   She was absolutely captivated by the dog - and the feeling was reciprocated!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Winter hoardings.

We have two walnut trees along the edge of our garden.   They have been there for thirty years or more but they never do really well - perhaps their position is wrong, or we are too far North for them.   At the most they have around fifty or sixty nuts on each year, and, although the farmer gathers them, we always find  that the nuts inside shrivel before they are ripe enough to eat.

This year the farmer picked them all as usual, putting them into a wooden crate and carrying them into the big shed (this is the shed which houses much of our farm equipment over the winter).   There were around a hundred walnuts.    When he went into the shed the next morning the crate was empty.   Something had taken the lot overnight.

Now I like to think that there are quite a few mice who have chosen to spend the cold winter in a state of semi hibernation in the shed and that during that one day they carried off the walnuts to stock up their winter larders.

I must say I do not begrudge them a single walnut - bon apetite mice wherever you have chosen to store them.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Busy day.

It has been a busy day today with lots of other people around.   First of all there was the usual Friday morning coffee with friends - eight of us altogether this morning.

Then it was off down Railway Street to Tennants Auction House Garden Rooms, where there was a Craft Market.   Lots of stands and some really clever handwork of all kinds.   These people put such care and love into whatever they have decided to make, but quite often it just isn't to my taste, or I just don't feel justified in spending the money on it.   The trouble with craft work is always the same.   Folk put hours of work into thinking up the designs and making up the finished articles and then no-one is prepared to spend what their products are worth - they virtually have to work for nothing.  I ended up coming away with just one item - a pair of lovely warm fairisle mittens which will make a nice Christmas present for someone.

Then it was into the cafe for our lunch - along with a huge crowd of people.   But we managed to find a table for four.   Three of us had fish, chips and garden peas with plenty of tartare sauce and W had hot pork pie with chips and mushy peas.  (hot pork pie is a popular dish up here.   I had never heated a pork pie until I came to live up here).

Then it was a walk round the lots for sale in tomorrow's Auction - always an interesting walk, although today there was nothing which took our fancy.

Home, feet up for half an hour and a cup of coffee (Ethiopean) and I felt more like myself again.   Walking around is really very tiring.

'Have I got news for you' - one of our favourite programmes - tonight and then an hour of playing Rummikub, and then time for bed.   Another enjoyable day.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

There is no mistaking today for anything other than an Autumn day.   There is a chilly wind blowing from the South West and as I stood in the upstair bay window, thousands of golden beech leaves scudded past the window in a flurry, like golden pennies from heaven .

The hedge cutting man, Mike, has arrived to tidy our hedges before the winter comes and the fields get too wet to bear the weight of the tractor and cutter. 

We have four types of field boundaries and all and treated differently.   One field is bounded by a plantain (a small wood) and a beck.   This is fenced to prevent cattle getting over the beck and into the wood and the farmer keeps the fence in good order.   At the moment it is full of grey squirrels, which Tess would dearly love to catch - but they are much too clever for her.

Then there are the stone walls - this is the most common form of field boundary in the Dales and we have many.   They do have to be maintained, so that usually there are some repairs to be done every year.   Small creatures tend to live in these walls over the winter - stoats, weasels and the like.

Some fields are separated by "cams" made up of ancient crab apple and hawthorn trees or large bushes.  These might be trimmed back a bit if they venture too far out into the field, but on the whole they are left alone as shelter for the birds (and usually there is a wealth of berries which are also left for the arrival of the fieldfares and redwings).

We also have a few short hedges and these are cut each year.   Yearly cutting means that they thicken up nicely and so provide perfect nesting sites for small birds; earlier this year we had three pairs of yellowhammers and their offspring at our birdtable and all nested in these hedges.

Some people object to these hedges being cut, but we have fields full of over-wintering Swaledale sheep with long, matted wool.   These hedges by Autumn are full of the briars of blackberries.  Sheep and briars do not mix and the more they twist and turn when they get caught, the worse situation they get into.
So it really is essential to keep them trimmed.

This Sunday we put our clocks back for one hour - then it will be dark by five in the evening and although an hour lighter in the morning, this never seems to make a lot of difference.   Yes, we are really entering what my mother used to call 'the dark days before Christmas'.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016


We had an especially lovely Poetry meeting this afternoon as our hostess, W, has a very Special Birthday coming up shortly.  Secretly we have managed to buy her a piece of silver, which she collects.   Friend S also baked a super cake (which had mashed pineapple and mashed banana in it and was delicious) so, apart from the poetry it was all a huge success.

The poetry, as usual, was varied - some serious, some light-hearted.   J, as usual read her favourite Betjamen; we had a good laugh, a lot of lovely poetry and I am sure we all came home having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. 

The Autumn colours are just coming into their maturity here in the Dales.   This is the Rowan tree I can see from my kitchen window.   Hopefully, over the next few days. I will have more beautiful photographs of our magnificent Autumn colours.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Hard work.

Three days away and it is hard to get back into the routine of putting a post on every day.  Does everyone find this?   Normally I have thought of something to blog about by around ten o'clock in the morning, but today my thoughts have been occupied by first of all having my usual Tuesday morning coffee with three friends and then managing to concoct a reasonable lunch from various things left in the fridge.

I hate to waste food.   I always think of all the people (some of them in this country, let alone all in other places) who find it hard to manage to feed their families - either through lack of money (here) or through wars, or through lack of food generally.  And when I put out food for the farmer to take down for the chickens (who will eat absolutely anything rather than the expensive food which is put into their troughs every day) I feel a stab of defeat that I haven't managed to use it up before its sell-by date (a bit of a load of rubbish anyway.   As we were saying over coffee this morning - forget the date on the packet, smell it, inspect it carefully and unless there is something seriously amiss - eat it.)

So, it was tail end of a joint of ham, fried up left-over 'new' potatoes, various salads and - joy of joys to the farmer - a proper rice pudding made because I had excess milk and also some single cream left.   Cooked slowly all morning in the Aga - it was a delight.

Now tomorrow it is back to normal food-wise.   And as all the washing and ironing has been done, the same is true of getting the house straight too.   Tomorrow is our monthly Poetry meeting, so this afternoon has been spent looking for what I am going to read tomorrow.   So far I have chosen parts of A E Housman's 'A Shropshire Lad' - the part which quotes 'those blue remembered hills.'
Searching for the poems is almost as enjoyable as reading them out to the group.

I will be back again tomorrow to let you know how the meeting goes.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Home again

We have just returned after taking our dear friends back to Durham Tees Valley airport for their flight back to Amsterdam.   Their plane left at 17.10, so they should be home and almost through Schipol by now.  (it is an hour's flight).

And what a lovely weekend we have had with them.   The days have been too short to go anywhere but nevertheless, we have managed to enjoy life.   Saturday we took it easy - they had had a very early rise and by the time we had eaten lunch the daylight was almost over.   But yesterday the farmer took us for a lovely drive through the most beautiful part of Wensleydale, stopping for a short walk for them to look at West Burton Falls (painted several times by Turner).   Our friend, F, remarked that we really do live in a very beautiful country - and I must say I agree with him.   Then we went for Sunday lunch in a pleasant venue where we all four had a lovely lunch.  Each evening we have played Rummikub - a game which they first taught us many years ago - and luckily we all managed to  win some games, so no-one was disappointed.

There really is nothing like spending time   with old friends who are such friends that one can relax and not have to 'stand on ceremony' as they say.

Earlier in the year, when we went on our cruise, we met them for the tour round Kukenhof Gardens and they kindly bought me a lovely book explaining the origins of the gardens and the thinking behind the planting.
I look forward to reading it and may well share some of it with you later.

In the meantime, the washing machine is singing away merrily, as is the tumble drier with the first washed load.  The farmer and I have just had toasted cheese for tea, and once I have written this I shall look at what you have all written while I have been absent. 

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)

Sunday, 9 October 2016


Before I start on today's topic - sorry about the photographs yesterday - I forgot to put them on.   If you are interested, I have added them now, so scroll back and you will see them.

Now to my hobby horse today.   I will not refer to the present case all over the papers yesterday - after all, as yet, nothing has been proven.   So let's make it a general comment.

Why is it that people who have millions, people who earn huge salaries (£250,000 a week is par for a footballer), people who inherit huge amounts of money, seem hell-bent on getting financial advice which enables them to invest the bulk of this money in 'off-shore' and similar schemes - all designed to evade
income tax 'legally' (so called )

Do they not realise that roads, the country's infrastructure, pensioners, people on low incomes, who have to count every penny each week, and the rest of us  who manage well and save our money if we can to leave for our children, pay our taxes at source, toe the line when it comes to increases and generally pay out what we have to towards the upkeep of roads and such like in our country?   

And while we are on the subject - most of us have a car to get from A - B these days (if we can afford it) - but on the whole we don't splash out on half a dozen top of the range vehicles, many of them four tracks which block the lanes and play havoc outside schools on the school run.

And no, it is not jealousy.   I have absolutely no desire for the jewels of Kim Kardashan, or the Chanel bag carried by Colleen Rooney, or the swish yachts of the super rich.   I am happy as I am, thank you - but I do resent paying more in the way of taxes for our utilities so that funds invested offshore and such like, can avoid paying tax on large parts of their incomes.

End of rant.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

A Long List but a few ticks.


The farmer is walking today with The Wensleydale Society so I am here alone (well Tess is here of course).   I have a long list of 'Jobs to do' but so far I have only done two and a bit.   You forget how much slower you get as you age.

I have baked a fruit cake for my son and his wife to take on holiday - they will not get it until the day they go because, like his father before him, once he knows there is a fruit cake in the tin he has to have a piece.  I have also cleaned out the remaining two drawers in the kitchen so now I have cleaned and tidied all of them (and in the process found one or two things I thought I had lost.)

Having taken Tess for her lunch time walk I felt in need of a sit down so thought now was the time to write a post - and at the same time complete job number three which was to order my niece's Christmas present on line.   That completed I can tick if off on my present list.

And speaking of ticking things off - if I make a list I get
a great deal of pleasure from that tick which says 'done it'.   Do you?

The drawers I have cleaned out this morning are in our old Welsh dresser, which stands along one wall of the kitchen.   The back houses some of my collection of Portmeirion plates and the drawers and cupboards house my cutlery and china.  Interestingly, this piece of furniture has been made from something else.   I don't know what but I have taken a photograph of the inside of one of the cupboard doors to give you some idea of what I mean.  It has stood along this wall ever since the farmer can remember and he is 73, so where it came from and what it was before is anybody's guess, but it has a 'churchy' feel about it don't you think?   I imagine it could tell some stories about the past.

I am off now to do my next job, which is a sitting-down one - I intend to do the menus for my friends' week end visit in a fortnight and a shopping list to go with it.   This will make life at the time much easier.

 Sorry that the pictures didn't appear; someone called just as I finished writing the post and I switched the computer off, intending to return and put them on after my visitor had gone.
An hour, and several cups of tea later, I forgot all about them.   They have arrived at the top of the post but sorry about that - at least you can see them now.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

New arrivals.

There were new arrivals on Monday as ewes and lambs came to spend their winter in our fields.  We are about six hundred feet above sea level here, but of course that is nothing compared with the top pasture grass high above the Buttertubs Pass in Swaledale, which is where these sheep have spent their summer.   Hefted sheep, they have enjoyed their fill of the moorland grass throughout the Summer, but at that height the grass is already stopping its growth and the sheep have largely nibbled it all away.  

The farmer has just been on his morning walk with Tess and the sun is just up and low in the sky.  I asked him to take a photograph for me.  The sheep are rather distant, but on the other hand it does show our pastures and the trees which have not yet begun to shed their leaves.

Cattle which came from the same farmer to spend
their Summer with us, are still here and show up nicely in the low morning sun.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016


Have you noticed how, if you do the same things at the same time every week, it makes the weeks just fly by.   In my case it seems to me that Tuesdays - coffee with the gang -come round in less than seven days; Wednesdays - exercise class - it always seems to be Wednesday.   And so on.

So today was exercise day.  Many of the group were away - one or two ill, one or two on holiday.
There were only four of us but we had a fine old time.   We ended up (very healthily) with a cup of tea and a slice of chocolate cake (I didn't have any but brought my slice home for the farmer's tea).

One of the group, who was there in spite of being quite a busy lady today, is going off to Florida first thing in the morning.   Did I mention that she is ninety five and fitter than the rest of us put together?  She puts us all to shame.   I hope she arrives after Hurricane Matthew has passed through and moved on.

Now I am home.   This morning I tried to order something  on line.   My skills on the computer are not brilliant and eventually broke down as I was unable to understand exactly what it was they wanted to know.   I do wish these sites could be made just a little bit easier to follow, although I do understand that security is paramount.

Friend G has had to have her beloved dog put to sleep.   How I feel for her.   Having to make a decision about such things is so hard, particularly when it is about a dog like Millie, who was almost human and such a good and faithful friend.   She deserves to be in some friendly, peaceful doggy heaven where the sun always shines.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Good news travels fast.

Indeed it does.   I can phone a friend in France or in Australia, or in South Africa and get an instant response.   Or I can e mail them and it is almost as fast.   Snail mail as folk are apt to call it, takes a little longer but to me there is something exciting about hearing a letter or two plop onto the vestibule floor.

This speed tends to make us think that in the 'old days' news took a long time to get around.   Well yes it did in relative terms and yet, considering the conditions it was surprisingly quick.

Last night I could not sleep.   I am still suffering with my throat condition and it troubles me more when I lay down.   After an hour of trying - and failing - to drop off (and getting more awake by the second), I got up, made myself a second cup of Horlicks and settled down to read for an hour.   And, as you do, I read about Cimabue and Giotto and Saint Francis.

Giotto was a humble village lad when Cimabue found him scratching drawings on to the rocks with a sharp stone.   Cimabue took him under his wing and taught him to paint (and what a wonderful painter he turned out to be.)

Cimabue sent Giotto to a chapel in Assissi - St Francis died in 1226 and Giotto was born in 1266,
so there would still have been people there who had known St Francis.   There he was to paint pictures - frescoes - on the walls of the chapel.  In particular paintings of St Francis preaching in and around his garden.

In the beautiful little medieval church of Wissington in Suffolk, there are wall paintings of St Francis's sermon to the birds frescoed on the North wall.   And they were painted before Giotto did the painting in Assissi.  Good News does indeed travel fast. How would it get here - well that is anybody's guess.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Just to breathe-

I rather feel that now I have an inkling as to what the Christmas turkey must feel like as it is put into the oven on Christmas morning.

Friend W and I decided that today we would try out what is possibly our best restaurant in the town - certainly in the top few.   So we had Sunday lunch at Tennant's.  (The farmer was out walking with his friend C).   We did not stint ourselves.  We had roast Irish beef and could choose whether we wanted it rare, medium rare or well-done.  It was served with duck-fat-roasted potatoes, yorkshire pudding, (note no capital y in deference to our blogging friend Yorkshire Pudding!), purple cauliflower, chantenay carrots and beautiful gravy.   Then we had a parfait with honey and figs, and finally coffee and petit fours.

We staggered out and home and now I intend to sit in front of the television and watch the news, followed by Country File, followed by the results of the first Strictly Come Dancing 'throw off'  (Ed Balls??) - I don't think I shall need (or feel like) anything else to eat before at least this time tomorrow - if then.   But it was jolly good.

Farewell to Poet in Residence.

Gwil has closed down his site as something has happened to his blog.   My skills are so limited that I don't understand exactly what has happened, but I do so hope he will find a way of returning - I shall miss you Gwil.  Do hope this is not the last we hear of Poet in Residence.