Friday, 5 February 2021

Water, water everywhere.

 It is saying something about my present quality of life when a man coming to dig a hole in our drive is the most exciting thing to happen in my week/month. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that a pool of water had sprung up in front of the garage and we were having to dodge around it if we needed to get the car out. Since we have been going nowhere for months on end this hasn't been a problem. We have had so much rain that water is everywhere and I wasn't unduly concerned, the water table must be at it's highest. Did we have an underground spring? "It's annoying," I told Himself, "but it will disappear once the weather dries." But he is cut from a different cloth. He had a poke about and announced that the water was running. A phonecall to the waterboard brought a man out immediately. Leaks are taken seriously - the country is awash with them. The man tested the pool and announced that it was drinking water. Quelle horreur! Some years ago a small leak had appeared on the road outside our bolthole in the Yorkshire Dales. No great surprise given the enormous brutes of farm tractors that trundle past. That escape of water had cost us hundreds of pounds, were we in for another large bill?

The very next day a couple of men appeared with shovels. I'd already scraped some of the surface stones to one side

A broken old clay pot.

Himself inspects the replacement.

Excitement over, it's mended.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021


Snow still lay on the ground when I woke this morning and the sky was an unpromising dull, leaden grey. Nothing to make me rush out of bed! We have a number of small outbuildings and sheds about the garden, One of the former kennels now has shelves where the apples are stored, another houses paint cans, the scaffolding tower and assorted junk. There is a garden store  full of  tools and flowerpots and a separate small freezer room with a tall and a chest freezer crammed with garden produce. A wooden shed houses the lawn mower. But the shed that we appreciate the most on days such as these is situated just outside our front door, tucked out of sight behind a rather straggly fir tree. Can you see it?

We painted it a dark colour so that it will not attract the eye.

I really dislike dank days and low light levels, the weeks around the end of January and the month of February are the lowest times in my year. But this little hut is the solution! We wrapped up against the thin falling sleet and took a shortened version of our daily walk. When we got back home Himself said, "Fancy a sauna?"

It's the best shed we've ever bought!

Just room enough for us both.

And no, should you ask, I have no intention of rolling in the snow.

Sunday, 24 January 2021


This morning we woke to a light covering of snow and I wandered round the garden to take a look at the transformation that it brings.

Shrubs, flower heads and bushes were all capped in white.

The frames that support the herbaceous summer plants look skeletal in the borders. Just a few leaves of snowdrops and daffodils peeping through.

All quiet by the lake.

Duck prints all along the path!

When the sun came out we had our usual daily walk up the road. The snow was already thinning. Footprints told us that a few dog walkers had been out before us. There were also rabbit prints, a bit of excitement for the dogs!

It was lovely.

We had a takeaway for lunch, a traditional Sunday roast beef  with Yorkshire pud from the local pub.
Delicious - just the thing after a walk in the snow!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021


 When we are just slipping out of the house briefly, down the path to collect the post or to the wood store for some more logs, we step out of our indoor clogs and into battered old gardening ones. We keep pairs beside all the exterior doors. The weather is poor and yesterday when we opened the kitchen door we found this bluetit taking a rest from the wind and rain inside an extremely scruffy clog belonging to Himself. We thought that it would fly away immediately but it stayed for sufficiently long for me to be concerned that it was damaged. The kitchen door has a canopy so it is a dry place to be and the little bird stayed there for quite a while as we moved past it in and out of the house. I was just starting to think that I should pick it up and check it over when it flew away.

I wore clogs as a child when playing in the garden and so did our daughters. We bought these little red ones while visiting friends in Denmark when our daughter was three. She is now forty-nine!

She loved them and staggered about in determined fashion for a while until she had mastered them, running and playing about outside. Her little sister then took them over and next in line is little sister's son.

We have had the soles replaced ready for action should he still be small enough to wear them once the virus is under control and we can enjoy family life again.

My gardening clogs by the front door, at the ready.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Goodbye to 2020

 This has been an unhappy year, one that I hope we shall never repeat. The day started crisp and clear with a clear blue sky and a light covering of frost.

I had a walk around the garden

and then to the lake to see if the water had frozen over.

Sun was already melting the frosted ground.

It was a quiet, reflective day, with no preparations for dancing and partying as on previous New Year's Eves. A full moon in the sky this evening seen through the window mixed in with our Christmas lights.

Dear friends and fellow bloggers I wish you all good health and happier times ahead.

Monday, 28 December 2020

A walk

Boxing Day is usually when people leave their homes, the remains of their turkey, their sofas, t.v. and chocolates to get a breath of fresh air.  But not this year. We are not in an area of severest lock-down but I didn't put so much as my nose out of doors because the weather was so grim. Himself brought in a good supply of wood from the store and we lolled about in the warmth of the wood burner crunching on chocolate almonds.  Storm Bella rattled round the house throughout the night but then, hurray, we woke to frost and sunshine. Walking boots on, we would stretch our legs and go on the road to the next village.

The field paths looked inviting but, knowing how much rain had fallen,  we were not tempted and stuck to the road. Cyclists passed us, all with cheery greetings; they have relished the quiet roads that this pandemic has caused. The farrier came by on horseback with his family and stopped to chat. He was riding the horse that had foaled in the summer, all happening quickly before the vet could attend. He and his wife told us again about it, such a dramatic and moving experience for them, while their little son waited patiently on his pony.


It was good to be out. Even on the road we had to pick our way carefully every now and then.

Then it was back to the sofa and the chocolates!

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Christmas Greetings


We are ready to celebrate an unusually quiet Christmas. New Covid restrictions mean that family members are keeping to their own homes, spread around different parts of the country. We shall join together digitally, but for once the house will not be awash with wrapping paper and there will be some semblance of order in the kitchen. We are a family who enjoy tradition, so there is no doubt about it, it is going to be strange. At six this evening we shall stand outside, as the other villagers intend to do, and ring bells to demonstrate our solidarity in dealing with this rampaging virus.

I've finished decorating the windows but when I stood on the kitchen steps to hang up the lantern and angel mobile I saw how mucky the white muslin shears had become. What a slattern!

 Down they came for a thorough wash. No chance to hang them on the line in constant rain. They were draped over the kitchen creel overnight.

Ah, that's better - and a bit of sunshine!

The table is ready for several days of feasting.