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...


Saturday part 2 - banging!

Continuing on from Dog Days Saturday - we met up with Youngest, he and his lovely girl were still sorting out the last of their plants so we stopped and had a mug of tea with them. Suddenly I could feel a migraine or rather - I noticed I'd lost my sight in my left eye - so after taking tablets immediately - I took Moss and Himself for a highspeed walk - over the years I have worked out that walking hard and fast as soon as I can helps reduce the intensity of my migraine which then helps reduce the length I then have the headache for. (In the past I have had them up to 72 hours). 

We don't know the outskirts of Lancaster so the walk was an adventure with plenty to discover. We headed upwards towards Williamson Park - a very prominent feature with the Ashton Memorial at it's highest point. Himself made sure I was safe and pointed out things I could not see clearly.
By the time we'd yomped our way up to the monument I could see again and only had the sparkles (aura) around the outside of my eye. We kept up the pace - Moss thought this was great at first as she is a speedy walker however when she realised we were walking past all the water features at the same speed she was a little miffed!
It was a glorious day with such blue skies and the grounds were filled with relaxed families sitting in the sunshine. The monument itself was hosting a wedding and there were a couple of vintage cars all bedecked with flowers and ribbons. I would have taken a photo but just as I was about to all the bridesmaids appeared and Himself felt it was a bit intrusive.
We walked up and round then back down to Youngest's house and by the time we'd returned I'd managed to shake the aura and get my vision back - another big drink of water and I'd managed to beat back the pesky headache - thank goodness! We still needed to fill the van with Youngest's goodies and he planned to take us for lunch at a rather excellent Indian takeaway - but that adventure is for another post 😊🐾


Dog days of (not quite yet) summer!

 Our view on Saturday morning was utterly sublime....

Clutching a mug of tea looking towards the small hamlet of Sunderland in the early morning chill whilst still curled up in bed in the van - was wonderful.

We'd gone up to Lancaster to collect Youngest's goods and chattels as it is end of term. We decided to go the night before so we could wake up and breathe in the cool coastal air during a quick walk before lifting and shifting. Moss was almost besides herself with excitement when she realised where she was!

We walked through the sleepy village down to the 'basin' where a pair of swans were quietly swimming in the draining harbour. The tide was on it's way out exposing the mud flats making boats appear to be resting and giving plenty of space for birds as they looked for breakfast.
Moss kept 'accidently' falling into puddles both briny or filled with mud - she was certainly enjoying her day out!
We were not too bothered as we knew that on the returning path, she could throw herself (and she does) into the canal basin and rinse off the mud. It was so picturesque and still so quiet - it was a glorious start to our morning.

Once back at the van, she was ruffled dry with her towel by then it was time to go off to Lancaster to meet Youngest.

more to follow xxxx


Castles, rainbows, fairies and boars

We often find that the first night in the van after a longish break isn't always the best of sleeps for us - but I think a combination of already being tired, lots of fresh air and plenty of miles that we both slept for about ten hours straight - unheard of! But most welcome indeed.

We awoke with little slips of light sneaking below the window shields - tiny slivers of sunlight inviting us to wake up. Himself is very good, he gets up first, puts the kettle on and while it is rumbling away, takes Moss out for a quick pre-breakfast piddle and back for her biscuits just in time before the kettle starts to whistle a piercing shriek. I on the other hand stay snugged up in bed until the steaming mug of tea is handed my way - bliss. This Sunday was no different and as I slurped my tea, I took a cellphone picture of Moss chomping on her breakfast.

We'd promised ourselves that after breakfast we'd return to Leyburn for a proper look at the Campbell's shop, plus a couple of others which had been closed. We popped into several interesting places and came away with some lovely gifts for upcoming birthdays. 

However we soon became 'hill starved' and returned to the van, sorted out lunch and walking nibbles then set off. Our start this time was Redmire - a small hamlet with a now volunteer run and owned railway station. We crossed the rusty tracks down into a bumbling clutch of cottages, small fields filled with friendly sheep, kids toys and the odd escaped hen (they should be penned due to Avian flu). Our path took us along an ancient track, sunken deep below the hedges, filled with mossy stones, violets and daffodils and ivy-clad trees.
There were glimpses of Bolton Castle through the gaps. The castle has such a presence and seems to be visible from most of the valley, a lot of which is part of the castle's lands and unusually is still in private ownership rather than a trust and seems to have a vibrant and active summer of activities.
One of the little villages we bumbled through had an amazing tribute to those lost to covid - a small stained glass sign hanging up unassumingly - so touching.
A little further along (after we'd picked out way through a recently muck-spread field - urgh) we approached a rather interesting place - a typically quirky English sort of thing ... (and all I could think of was of Aril from Gnat Bottomed Towers

It was a rather imposing stone gate post complete with gargoyles at either point - one a crowned head atop what looks like a white rose of Yorkshire and on the other was a boar with magnificent gold tusks! What tickled us was the blue plaque above the metal door handle resplendent with boar, peacock, salmon and lions. Brilliant!
We also came across an ancient village cross with some rather mediaeval faces carved into the stone while the steps up to it were festooned with painted stones - most of them being cats!
Not far from the village cross was a very pretty cottage and garden and their wall was decorated with fairy doors and plenty of evidence of elf activity!
Our path took us up on to the side of the valley as we headed round towards the castle through newly constructed wetlands. Naturally boggy areas had been sympathetically landscaped to capture water and create habitats. Although it was very fresh, birds were already using and investigating the ponds. We saw coots, mallards, curlew, dunlin (we think) pootling near or around the site and as we sat with a mug of tea and a certain type of chocolate egg we watched buzzards over head and rabbits all 'twitter-pated' in the fields.
From this point the view ahead as we walked was the castle - oddly it seemed bigger from far away and as we approached it seemed less imposing although still large. 

The final stretch was along a disused railway pockmarked with many many rabbit warren holes - so so many!
Back at the van (eight miles later) Moss had something to eat and put herself 'to bed' in the cab while we took our boots off and agreed it was another really good day. 

Shame weekends are only two days...


Spring Sunshiney Saturday

For what seems quite a long time, Himself and I (and Moss of course) jumped in the van and spent some time on the hills walking miles and miles. 

Although I had hoped to set off Friday evening, we were both rather tired so opted for a night a home first then we set off early-ish Saturday morning.

Driving any distance these days has to take into consideration the price of fuel, so we bumbled slowly across country taking in the definite signs of spring. The lower fields were so full of lambs of all sizes from the teeny tiny wobbly legged versions to the more bouncy chunky 'mini' sheep size which were racing around in 'schools' around their mums.  We were going to stop in a lumpy farmer's field just outside of Leyburn.

Our first walk started from village of Wensley along the river Ure. Moss was unsurprisingly delighted, throwing herself in at every opportunity.
We stopped for break on a large fallen branch overlooking the river and breathed the fresh air. We could taste that tang of spring - a sharp metallic feel to the air, it was so delicious. Green shoots and catkins were in abundance as they pushed through last years twigs and sticks. We'd brought along a flask of tea, chocolate digestives (and dog biscuits of course) as we watched the river burble by.
The path led us up to a rather Victorian/Medieval pastiche bridge with a bit of an interesting history. We took our lives in our hands crossing it as there were no footpaths for about 200 metres and despite the narrowness of both the bridge and the road, traffic hurtled along it as thoughtless speeds - the worst being the tractor drivers - shame on you.
Middleham Bridge , now a Grade 2 listed building, has a rather interesting inscription which I managed to quickly snap a photograph between vehicles, unfortunately I still could not make it out, so with a bit of research I found this ...

'THIS BRIDGE was erected by Voluntary Subscription
A.D. 1830, RALPH RIDDELL ESQr. of Cheeseburgh Grange, Northumberland having
very generously contributed thereto thro' the medium of Mr. J. DOUTHWAITE
his Agent by a gift of the land on which the North Abutment and Wing Walls
are built. Messrs. HANSOM & WELCH, Architects'
The return journey was higher up (and much quieter) on the valley side, through farmlands and on simple tracks, finally returning to the village of Wensley and the van. It was time to drive up to the farm and set up for the night. The view from our stop was rather pleasant overlooking rooftops of the outskirts of Leyburn over towards the distant hills. After we'd eaten we wandered down into the town and did the touristy thing of looking at the shop windows.
We did pop into one cornucopia of culinary delight - Campbell's of Leyburn and bought some very essential supplies - shortbread, gingercake and some rather delicious locally made vintage marmalade. As it was getting late we left and promised ourselves we'd return tomorrow for 'serious further investigations'!!
Once we'd returned to the van we had to sample our foraged treats and cracked on the kettle, nibbled both the shortbread (ooh yum) and the ginger cake (swoon!) as we watched the sun go down behind the horizon. It had been a really good day, nearly eight miles of walking, swimming for Moss, glorious spring sunshine and there was still Sunday to enjoy!

More to follow .......