Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


In which York was trod and airheads are dissed.

Saturday had been planned for a while - a day in York - not a jolly out though,  no, this was serious stuff. We were off to check out the University of York for Youngest.  I, recalling how far we trogged around University of Lancaster for Eldest, thought that it would be a good way to clock up some miles for my #walk1000miles challenge.

I managed to squeeze my much improved and getting thinner ankle into my boot, set up my 'strava' (my mileage logging app) and took my knitting (for in-car entertainment of course). We had to be there for 10am so it was an early start. Wow the weather was foul!  Storm Erik was playing out too and to show his presence he'd kindly tossed down a few trees and branches down along the way (so kind...)

Anyhoo - we arrived in good time despite Erik's truculence. Youngest - usually fairly ebullient was decidedly unsure and chattered nervously however once we'd signed in and started the programme of events he suddenly became very quiet. The talks given were interesting - albeit a little light on information but we had been promised more details in the afternoon as we were to be taken on a tour by existing students where we could chat to them and ask them questions.
What is not very clear are the words on the sign .. it says ..
DANGER - thin ice keep off (must be very thin, the geese were swimming)

I quietly took a look at my 'strava' and saw that the miles were quietly stacking up - I'd reached 3 miles just walking around the campus between the talks. By now it was lunch time, we'd found details about housing and finance among other necessary things and we were suddenly starving.  One cafe later (fresh sarnies and hot tea have magical properties I am sure) we made our way to the afternoon programme. This time we had to meet at the department were Youngest would be based, the students would go and meet the lecturers who'd taken them around and chat to them while we would meet the present students who would give us an insight to uni life.

oh boy.

We walked out. If we had to hear a silly little girl saying .... literally, like, oh yeah.... one...more...*!!*//!! time I was going to shake her...... I have never met more vacuous pair airheads as these two - I did originally write a slightly sharper account of them but felt I needed to retract ... **

What did they take us to see?

Accommodation? Nope
Library? Nope
Anything ? Nope - unless you mean three bars and a hall where they have regular 'soirees' .....

Before you think - but they are young etc - the Lancaster University talks were also given by students and we saw all the varieties of accommodation available, where the library was, the laundry, recycling, dustbins - whoa! What a difference......

Youngest will be happy here.

Any hoo - having turned around and walked away with a ...this is the best bar- literally ... ringing in our ears, we walked to York.

What a breath of fresh air - 'literally'.

We walked through fields away from the university and tumbled into some allotments - it was wonderful peeking into sleeping secret gardens, adorned with winter hardy leeks or kale and hosting the most characterful sheds and lean-tos. The allotments gave way to suburbia then to historic walls and finally we found the river. Full to bursting after Storm Erik induced rains.

York centre, despite it being off-peak season and a rather blustery and cold day was full of folk, so we did a quick yomp through the Shambles and one or two other famous places then returned to the riverine walk.
This too was full of folk but they were all walking with a purpose rather than congregating for shopping or meeting up with friends. Eventually it was time to turn back so we followed another route back to the university - this time through a military training grounds - with the most amusingly appropriate yet different road sign. It tickled me :)

We returned to the uni - back to the pre-arranged waiting place (a warm reception room in the departmental building) and sat and sat and sat. My tired ankle was giving a good impression of toothache and I was ready for home. But no sign of Youngest.

About 3/4 hour after we'd arrived, the airheads and their group of bored-silly parents wandered in and joined us. They looked fed up and cold. The airheads both gave us a sneaky sideways look as they walked past us - pah. I felt vindicated at going AWOL.

Youngest eventually appeared - in his usual languid loping gait - He seen the library.....walked past some accommodation ... visited a few lecture halls and he'd had a very successful afternoon and enjoyed it.

Oh oh oh and my mileage??? A whole 11.10 miles - wow!

Durham Uni in a fortnight... 

** I am saddened that, at this day and age of proactive equality, girls still feel the need to act and appear silly and helpless - I don't want to say 'man up' although until there is a better genderless way to say get a grip (oh - hey - I'll use that one :) ) those silly silly girls need to 'get a grip and man up'.


Of half imagined things and dreams

She sleeps. 
Her tongue very very slightly out, 
the tips of her toes gently moving. 

From our perspective, she is a zonked out dog dreaming of ... dreaming of? Of what? We often just say ... oh look she's chasing rabbits... but ... is she?

Or is she dreaming of flying over the moors, soaring with eagles as they chase after a never tiring tennis ball.  Does she laugh with the crows as they tumble in the breeze, rolling over the updrafts while they chase after a Frisbee.

All four feet are twitching now, a dreamscape re-enactment of running with greyhounds, her front legs stretching forward as if she had seven league boots on. The greyhounds are left far in the distance - they have given up and wandering off, they have a bus to catch. Our Moss grins over her shoulder as she soars free as a winged griffin, paws flashing and tail lashing.

Her back, warmed by the fire, twitching, tickles the cat who frowns with a disapproving stare however, Moss is still deep in her dream. The protruding tongue tip curls as she swims through a deliciously cool stream, her paws paddle-steaming her as she hunts down that elusive stick we have just thrown.

Suddenly the actions hots up, her tightly shut eyes flicker and her ears jerk back and forth - dragons have appeared and they want to play too. Moss, ever the ready, races around them, her legs flying as her chops puff with an invisible woof.

We watch and wonder - should we wake her - remove her from her dream - are we rescuing her or interfering with the magic?

The deep throaty grumble followed by a whistling squeak makes us lean forward and give her shake.

Blurry eyed and confused our fur-hero is awake and at first she seems befuddled and embarrassed but after a large dog yawn and a bow-stretch she is back on earth - her mission to save the dragons is temporarily put on hold.... are these are the musing of a much loved dog or are they the over imaginations of her owner?

Does our dog dream? Oh yes - but what does she dream? Her little walnut brain probably has far more colour and stories than we give her credit ... or does it??

We'll never know!

Have yourselves a lovely weekend :)


Not for the faint of heart....

Look away now if you are squeamish.....

But first, a bit of a back story.

I have, if I say so myself, rather slender delicate ankles - the kind you look at and think ... hmmm ... very nice.

The rest of me looks down at my ankles with a certain amount of envy and wishes their slender and delicate nature was indicative of me as a whole. But no - the rest of me is just downright envious of my ankles with their angles and curves and their slenderness ..... until that is...now.

My left ankle has taken on the personae of Jabba the Hutt's not much smaller sister ...  Image result for jabba the hutt
You don't believe me?
check this lot out ....
Can you see the family resemblance?

My poor left ankle can not believe what has happened and the rest of me is like ... deal with it fatty! mwuhahahahah!

And for those who have managed to stay without feeling the need for reaching the smelling salts, a fan and a convenient seat I shall explain what happened.

I tipped sideways into a hole (a small divot - not much bigger than a saucer) which was cheekily hidden beneath a layer of snow. Youngest and I walked into town last week - it was a beautifully icy wintery day with shockingly blue skies and sparkly snowy hills.

I was admiring said natural beauty when the rather sneaky - previously mentioned - small hole leapt out and sharply grabbed my slender and delicate left ankle. For a few moments it was just not the sky that was blue.  !//**!!~#!!

When I got home (bravely limping and cussing) - I pulled Jabba's sister out of my boot. Owie owie owie!


So you can imagine it has kinda scuppered my #walk1000miles somewhat.

Now, several days later, still limping and sporting a elasticated support bandage and a grimace, I took my ankle out for a walk - I was going stir crazy at my self-imposed house arrest.

Himself, Youngest and I went to Skipton Woods to find the sculptures and walk amongst trees, listen to tumbling water, marvel at ice coated twigs and breath some cool fresh air.

We saw grazing horses,
...even managed to stroke a muscled neck.
We followed a well trod, well maintained path through sleeping trees and alongside gurgling streams. Crusting ice decorated the edges of the leat adding another layer to the reflections in the water.
We found the Medieval huntress as she raised her bow and aimed carefully. She did not blink her eye and was not distracted by our presence.  
Along the way I spotted a carved bench down by the river. Adorned with kingfishers and a giraffe - I was confused by the inclusion of an African animal until I saw a small metal plaque. Then I knew

A little more sombre we walked on, beneath the castle high on a narrow ridge flanked by water on both sides.
Once in Skipton we found a corner alongside the canal and stopped for lunch.
A local tried his luck and when he noticed we had Moss with us
he hurled abuse and foul words at us
and rattled his little fist
while we chuckled at his antics.
Then after he'd said his worst words, he came back down and 
continued to patrol his patch.
Muttering dark and catty things at a blissfully unaware dog.
We returned back along the path beneath the castle,
past the huntress, still poised and steady,
past the bench with the giraffe and kingfishers,
past the stone poetry seat covered in rock hard ice.
Through the sleeping trees
and over the chortling brooks.
Up the steps and along the paths.
Back to the car.
My ankle was tired.
But we'd managed a whole 3.3 miles, Jubba the Hutt's not so small sister and me :)

Now - feet up
(no really - my foot is up
 - being elevated to help reduce that squodgy mess that.is.my.left.ankle
fire on, brew to hand and happy.
(despite that blue/green/grey hue)

Bring on Monday!


Words for February

It is, I have to say, a little chilly here in the north of England, certainly to be expected for this time of year and no way as deep frozen as north America. But as I sit here with my foot up (I went and sprained my ankle yesterday .... groan) and the woodburner tickling away - I am feeling cold.

Any hoo - enough self indulgent nonsense.

Thank you everyone who joined in with January's Scavenger Hunt - some cracking photos and stories and some lovely new hunters.
Welcome to our little corner of the blogisphere :)

February is just around the corner (ok ok - it is tomorrow) so I thought as it is such a short month I better crack on and give you the next lot of words ... ready? Good. February's words are going to be a little 'different' - let me explain.

I shall be listing words that are not 'tangible' for example ...SOUND.

How do you photo sound? Well - the obvious ones are a radio or a TV, but how about a river burbling over rocks, a bird singing, a rock concert or a grandchild nattering away ten to the dozen.

Get the picture? 

Ok here goes:

My own choice

I can hear your collective intake of breath as you read these! They are not as hard as you think .

SMELL - could be a photo of a gorgeous rose or a pile of horse muck ready to be spread, TASTE could be that amazing meal you had in the restaurant last week when you celebrated your birthday, or it could be a rather 'interesting taste' in furniture or clothing.
SEE/SIGHT could be a favourite view or a quick snap of a strange sight.

So use all five of your senses and think outside of the box and enjoy!

We shall reconvene on Friday 1st March where we can share and show our results - until then I shall leave you with a photo of my garden and studio taken yesterday morning - at the moment I live and work in Narnia :)


In which a little bit of magic occurs .....

On Friday afternoon, I was itching for a walk but the weather was not playing nicely - wet and windy and most definitely chilly. In the end I asked if we could still go despite the driech wet stuff flying past our windows saying that it would do us some good. There was a modicum of dark mutterings from the younger member our walking pack but the dog and Himself were certainly happy to go out.  So glad we did. 

There be unicorns and dryads in them thar woods,
witches both wicked and true,
hobgoblins and weredogs with scaly tails and horns.
Bats, witch-hunters and
mist twirling through the trees.

What a brilliant little trail :)


Pendle Sculpture Trail, Aiken Wood, Barley.


January's link up party

Welcome to January's link up party!
Just add your name to the list if you have taken part :)
Don't forget to visit everyone else's page - thank you!

When you tap on someone's link - it takes a second or two before transferring you
please don't think it is not working :)



January Scavenger Hunt - first for 2019!

Hi there!
Wow January has slipped by rather quickly - admittedly most of it passed me by in a haze of snuffles, coughs and whopping headaches but I can now happily say that I am now raring to go!

'Fraid, due to said rubbish lurgy,  my selection of images have only just been hastily thrown together now that I feel brain-worthy enough to search for pictures and string a sentence together :)


A quick lino cut (all my befuzzled brain could deal with) of a cat,
silver ink and black paper- giving a lovely metallic look.

A gift from a friend some years ago - one of my favourites.

Or rather ... in the process of being made,
crochet scarf.
The yarn is alpaca and the plan is the colours
will filter in and out of each giving a woven effect.
Slow but happy progress.

A very old tree trunk - silvered with age and hollow sounding, 
once used as a gate post, now forgotten on a lovely old drover track.

A new roof for an old farm house, 
a mix of modern trusses and original struts.

My own Choice
Taken Wednesday on my walk (as part of my #walk1000miles challenge)
a lovely crisp day, crunchy under foot
and rather nippy on the nose and fingers.


My day measured in mugs of tea

Good morning!
The initial mug in the morning is made for me,  it is about the first thing I reach for as I stumble into the kitchen. Dressed but still asleep. I try to drink it fairly quickly, particularly this time of year - the kitchen is cold, slow to warm - quick to cool, so a mug of steaming of tea is a fleeting pleasure and should not be ignored.

My first mug is a painting of mine, made for a left handed user - me. So many mugs do not even consider a left-handed owner. 

My next is usually an hour later - a solitary brew of coffee - savoured in my tall 'Miro' Japanese style no handled mug. Perfect for wrapping cold hands around a warm vessel.  After that I return to tea.

When I am in the studio I take a humongous flask of hot water out with me and up to lunch time I quietly sip or slurp a mug roughly every hour as I work on my latest project or commission. It is that comfort thing of reaching for a warm drink as I ponder my next move or lean back to assess my progress. Mug in hand.

After lunch, Moss and I set off to add to our #walk1000miles challenge and once back,  I quietly drink a fresh hot drink in my large hare mug - recently a hot chocolate (all I have really been able to taste for the last couple of weeks) - and observe the birds through the window as they flit to and fro the bird table before I return to painting/carving/needle felting/writing/sketching.

The afternoon usually flies by - accompanied by a mug or two (some times three ...) then by 4 I start to tidy up, leaving my workbench ready for the next day and return home.

The family fall through the back door, the dog is ravenous as is the husband. The kettle is on as we chat and catch up - for me my smaller bone china mug, for him his favourite chunky mug. Then we eat.
Later, nestled on the settee, fire crackling away, something on the tv or radio quietly chuntering away in the background - we have the last mug of the day - Tea.


Totoro forest spirits

Inspired by the magical creatures of My Neighbour - Totoro and the need for a subject for a mini-workshop ... these fellows were created.

Meet Totoro (large grey) Chu-totoro (blue) and Chibi-totoro (smallest little forest spirit).
A really good way to spend a couple of evenings - one to practice and the second to share the knowledge :)

I rather like needle felting :)