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...

31/07/2022

CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS!! πŸŽˆπŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ

I don't normally share faces of my family here but as I have been given special permission - I want to share how full my heart is for these twoπŸ˜ƒ❤️ Youngest and his lovely girl.


We were invited to their graduation ceremonies and what a brilliant (and long) day it was - so very proud of these two!


And if you think you are going to see a sensible photo - think again! Life is too short to be boring.



Here is to the next step in your lives - may it be as good as today❤️

26/07/2022

What weekends are for!

It is really early in the morning and I am sitting on tenterhooks whilst Youngest is about to do 'an interview of a life time' - fingers are crossed so tightly that typing could be difficult! **

So - to keep my overactive imagination doing somersaults I thought I would share our weekend adventures. We, Himself, Moss and I drove down to Eldest and his lovely girl and spent some time with them.  They had a couple of place they wanted to share with us and we had a pair of Eldest's shoes to return,  he'd accidently left them behind at their last visit!


On Saturday we popped into a lovely new eco-shop with a glorious range of deli-style foods, a refill station, gifts and locally made jewellery, I could have spent a fortune there! We have a community eco-shop in our village which has won several awards and it was really good to see how others interpret the same brief. Here is to many more popping up!

A selection of plants and fowl from Pot Hamlet
We then went to a little farm style 'retail village' where you can wander around whilst chickens stroll along the lane or be startled out of your skin by a shrieking peacock - brilliant! We had lunch there, tickled goats until they were almost comatose, laughed at ducks and guinea fowl, were amused by the posturing turkey cock and checked out the garden centre. After lunch we walked along the Silkstone Waggonway which started from the village - Moss thought that this was far more fun that 'shopping'! (Despite her being bought a 'doggy ice cream' and her scoffing it in record time!)
Moss says she's a lapdog!

That evening we shared a meal at our van and despite the chilly wind, it was a lovely evening - especially as Eldest and his lovely girl cooked for us and it was super yum!

The Trans Pennine Trail, lots of rain, stepping stones and a fascinating tunnel.

On Sunday, Eldest, Himself, Moss and I went for a walk along part of the Trans Pennine Trail. Although it must have rained for most of the way, the rain was warm and it turned out to be a really good walk (wet but good haha).

The tunnel was amazing, the reverberations and echoes were incredible!

All too soon we had to return home so after a delicious lunch of soup and cheese toasties, we headed home - tired but replete. These are what weekends are for - filling your soul ready to take on the next week!

**I am typing this at the end of the day and Youngest has returned from the interview feeling positive - it is now just a waiting game - fingers crossed!

21/07/2022

The thirsty garden

After the searing heat from the last couple of days (yes even I agree is was definitely the wrong sort of warm and sultry summer weather) today we woke up to gently overcast skies and even more gentle rain. I could feel my garden crying with relief.

I was working this morning and I delayed going out for about twenty minutes as the rain was heavier at that point, however I decided the best thing to do - was to go out and get wet with the gardens.... so I did. And whilst I listened to swallows chittering over head with my hands in damp soil I kept catching myself smiling.

And it was wonderful.

The smell of petrichor, the taste of the mist as it swirled around my head, the light pinprick of droplets on my forehead and the accumulating rain droplets on my eyelashes were magical.

In Africa - rain is a gift, and now in the uk - today - it was too, our precious thirsty garden is just that - very thirsty.

I hope you were gifted with some rain today - gentle, cooling and essential xxxx

19/07/2022

Meanderings of the muddy kind

It has been a busy few days recently, however today I started work really early to get the bulk of it done before it was too warm. I can deal with the heat quite well having lived in Africa til I was in my 20s but gardens in the uk can't. They sulk. 

So whilst the garden owner was swanning around in her fuchsia pink Japanese kaftan, matching toenails and flamingo mug of frothy coffee, I got stuck in and planted several trays of plants I'd placed last week but had not had time to settle in. She is lovely lady - mellowed as we have got to know each other. When I first worked for her she was quite the dragon (ex senior school head) and stood for no nonsense as she dictated where EXACTLY each plant was to go, what was to be pruned, what was to be moved/watered/etc and all the plants were spoken about in their full Latin names. After a few years I changed jobs (the boys were older and I could stop being freelance around their needs) and a fellow gardener took over.

Fast forward nearly a decade (jeez where does time go) and I now garden for this client again. The previous gardener was more than happy to give back the gig (in almost indecent haste) and I picked up where I'd left off.

A lot had happened to the both of us in those intervening years, her husband had died, my job had turned sour and I'd fallen in with the black dog and we both had changed. Now we get on really well, she is a pleasure to work for, makes a really good mug of tea and only buys the best biscuits (and her taste in nail varnish and earrings are top notch!)

Funnily enough that was not what I was going to post about, it sort of just happened, my fingers typed one story while my head was ready to tell another. So - lucky you - you'll get both!



Over the last weekend we celebrated the last of the 21st birthdays - Youngest's girlfriend reached that milestone and we all trouped over to her parent's town for fish and chips on the beach. It was super warm and extremely busy when we first arrived so we did a quick walk along the promenade culminating at a rather delicious ice cream vendor, we then returned on the shore which was a lot quieter and far cooler. And MUDDY...... !!🀎🐾

Mud = HaPpY DoG!

Back at the van I attempted to rub off as much as the silty mud as I could but her white fur was stained a rather niffy chocolate brown - hmmm. 

We, the boys, their girls, Miss Muddy Moss, Himself and I, walked through a small woodland to arrive at the house - the garden was lovely and cool compared to the promenade and much to Moss's horror, I asked to borrow the hosepipe and Himself and I rinsed her down as best we could.

The afternoon was a pleasant family affair with music, cake and presents, silly dogs and sillier stories.  

Then in the evening when it was finally cool enough to let the dogs run without expiring, we went back down on to the beach where both Moss and Oscar had great fun.

It felt good getting sand between the toes and shoes and sandals were quickly abandoned as we walked along the shore.


Watching a gentle sunset slip behind clouds was a lovely refreshing end to a warm and family filled day. It was time to go home...... 

Happy Birthday C!! Welcome to the over 21's club😁



13/07/2022

Not doing that again

Saturday afternoon saw us do a 'insta-pack' of the van as we loaded with food for the next 24 hours, a change of clothes and dog food/bed/lead/toys/towels/poop bags - almost like packing for a toddler!

Himself wanted to try a quick overnighter in an area we know but have never actually stopped at. It did not take long to arrive at our site - a farmer's field in the village of Askwith in Wharfedale not far from Otley, Ilkley and Burley in Wharfedale.

To be honest, first impressions were not that positive, although the field itself was lovely and flat with a thick and green lawn, the farm itself was messy and piled high with various 'streams of income'. Huge piles of wood, stored containers, mounds of demolition debris and discarded building materials. Vehicles, vans and static homes were stored all along the outside of the field and their owners popped in and out fairly regularly. Quite off putting and difficult to find a pleasant view from the van as the hedges surrounding the fields were rather high so any long distances vistas were non-existent. The farm was also under a flight path of the Leeds and Bradford airport .... sigh.

So we 'turned inward', put on the radio quietly, cooked and chatted and stared at the sky and identified the aeroplanes as they flew overhead.

On the plus side, we watched buzzards and kites hunting in the surrounding fields. We were greatly amused by juvenile jackdaws testing out their wings in a huge tree alongside us and in the evening we listened to barn owl babes hissing and wheeting as their parents soundlessly scoured the area for prey. We decided that there were two nests of barn owls and one of a tawny owl.  A Mr and Mrs Pheasant trundled around the camping field with pheasant jnr and the blackbirds were garrulous and argumentative with beakfulls of berries. Then, just before we eventually turned in - we were treated to a rather odd display across the valley of a drone all lit up and going up and down flashing green and red. 

The next morning we decided to walk early-ish to avoid the heat and we followed a trail with the delightful name of 'The Welcome Path' .... ummm. It was so overgrown and impassable in places that we quickly felt let down by the lovely name. We managed to blunderbuss our way until a stile rescued us and took us into a field. Phew we thought ..... until we realised the path took us towards another farmstead with a large family of cows and calves and a £*<%!/& enormous bull - who, alerted by the cows who'd already spotted us, stood up and turned to face us - no, not again. I am not doing this again...

So Himself turned us directly into the farm yard where it was made very clear that it was not a right of way - hollered to a 'Mrs Farmer' that we were coming through because he did not want us to walk through the bull and cows. The 'Mrs Farmer' dithered and yelled at all her barking dogs and kept repeating ...'Are cows and the bull there? are they there? He's not to be trusted that one' Himself kept marching firmly through the yard as she twittered on about the bull being 'a bit of a one' and 'not to be trusted' Jeez.
Any hoo, it took me a bit to stop shaking (a number of scarily close calls with bulls or cows and calves in the last few years have been enough for me to take evasive action immediately) and we resumed our walk. At this point it improved greatly and by the time we'd got down to the river Moss was very ready for a swim. And swim she did!

Our return to the van was pleasant enough with no mishaps and when we arrived back at the van, we moved it into a bit of shade and had lunch and watched the planes, the jackdaw babes and a recently arrived caravan being set up. Time to go. We'd had a break - with adventures πŸ‘€πŸ‚and Moss got a walk and swim, so not all bad. 

Will we go back?

No.





11/07/2022

Adventuring!

After several missed opportunities or 'busy-ness' of life getting in the way, we finally managed to get out and visit a 'local-ish' to us NT property.  I'd been before in my capacity as a NT volunteer however on Saturday Himself and I were visitors and we loved it!
The Great Barn (aka Tithe Barn) was open and full of atmosphere and vintage horse drawn vehicles. 
Including one - that greatly intrigued me - which had a number plate! Dating back to the early 20th century you could make out the highly decorated wood and despite it having faded over the last 100ish years I could see the owner and builder's names painted on the panels.

Having inspected everything in the barn we stepped out into the sunlight and walked up the drive towards the main house.
When we'd driven in and parked up, we noticed a wedding being set up in another barn hall, I can see why they promote themselves as a wedding venue - very picturesque indeed. We had come to wander around the gardens and so we headed off to the herb garden where I just melted into the plants and kept sniffing or tasting the leaves and flowers or going ooh or aaah! Himself is so good and allows me just to be me  πŸ’šπŸ’š

We wandered into the formal gardens around the building and were hit by a heady waft of floral scent. Lilies and roses were filling the walled garden with such a powerful fragrance - we agreed it was incredibly heady and probably accentuated by the heat of the day. Their perfume was so dense I could almost taste it. 
It was glorious - if a little overpowering!
We wandered further and found the bird hide, stone bee bols (just need the willow skeps inside) and the gardener's outhouse - should you get caught short haha

We even treated ourselves to lunch in the bothy cafΓ©, something we never do - it felt rather decadent to be honest despite it only being a cheese and pickle sarnie and pot of tea and a scone for Himself.


After lunch we walked down on to the meadow and followed the riverside walk around a huge field with plenty of newly planted trees. The space was filled with butterflies, dragonflies, damsels, bees and hoverflies. Hardly any other walkers which was rather pleasant as it meant we could linger and stop, take photos and just enjoy walking somewhere new to us.

Our little jolly had to end eventually - we'd not been able to bring Moss so she was at home waiting for us and keen for the second part of our adventure. So we returned to the car and headed home - our hearts and souls gently filled with beauty and inspiration.

All we had to do was pack the van and set off!...... but that is a story for another day x


08/07/2022

Blogging whilst watching 'Glasto' on playback (as you do on a Friday evening)

An almost spontaneous visit to one of my favourite little towns happened yesterday afternoon and it was such a treat. I am not one who likes 'retail therapy' or loitering in towns but I will make an exception for Hebden Bridge.

I love the quirky independent nature it has within a very traditional mill-town setting. You can feel the history as you walk where hundreds of clogs, for years, clattered before you. The stone steps bearing the scars of the iron 'shoes' that scoured up and down daily.

I often wonder about the homes that no longer exist along the terracing as we walk down into the town. The back walls are barely visible between the weed trees and scrub but they are there and you can just about make out the floor plans. How many generations of families lived in these tiny dwellings and walked down in to the town to the mills for work?
As we approached, I spotted some new street art since my last visit - it was beautifully eye catching!
It was at this point I could hear music as buskers struck up a song, the tune unrecognisable as it drifted around the buildings. We crossed the bridge (of Hebden BRIDGE) over a very low river where children were damming the trickle of water into pools which the ducks seemed happy to share.
Although plenty of people about - it was not as busy as I have known it pre-pandemic times, so it never felt claustrophobic in any of the shops.
We popped into a few of our favourite haunts and visited new to me ones too - and all too soon it was time to walk back up all those stone steps to the car and go home.
For some reason Youngest sprinted ... yes sprinted ... up several flights - I did catch up - eventually....


On our return journey home - there was a bit of a traffic jam..... 

Our visit was successful, we got what we'd set out to buy but more than that - I actually enjoyed the act of 'going out' - thank you Youngest - your company was wonderful.



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Please can you spare a moment and send hugs and love to Fil of Fil's Songs and Stories who has recently lost her Mum xxxx  πŸ’›