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...


True story

 Sitting in the front of the van after a really satisfying walk up in the Dales with Himself and Youngest.

Have your glasses with you? (me asking Himself)


Can I quickly borrow them (mine are in the back)

Hang on....(rustling around in his pockets until he locates them and hands them over) ... here

I'll just clean them first (using my scarf to wipe the lenses)


As a treat for them


And so that I can see through them

I just lick them .... (cue a silly grin)

You can really go off someone....

You only realised that after 30 years? (followed by a satisfied blokey chuckle)

Thank you Youngest for this excellent photo

Remind me never to leave my glasses out of reach.....


Knitting 'knitwit'

It has been a little while since I have successfully wielded knitting pins. I was on a roll with Himself's green moss pullover and as I cast off and wove in all ends it was with a flourish! I had a plan and could not wait to cast on my next wip.
For Christmas I'd asked for wool so I would have a lovely pile of woolly goodness to knit myself a cardigan. I had spent some time trawling the 'net researching 'the one' and felt a little giddy when I selected a pattern which seemed just right.

So almost before the knitting pins had cooled - I was up and casting on my new project...... Which was ripped back after a couple of days knitting .... this pattern didn't feel quite right after all.... so I started researching again, looking for several evenings until I found 'the one' - yes this time - this time it was the one for me....
Until, a couple of evenings later I ripped back again. Once I'd started I realised that it was beyond my simple level of knitting so I wound the ball back up and replaced it in the basket with it's companions and went back for another look for a pattern. I now knew that 'top down' cardigans were not for me, I had to look more carefully. And then - I found it ... Yes, this was definitely 'the one' cue a happy dance!!

Except it wasn't, once again I ripped back and this time, I walked away. I thought I was going to be cool with starting again, but no - I was rather annoyed. And just to show my knitting THAT I DID NOT CARE! I started something else ..... and cast on and finished in record time a simple scarf which I started wearing almost immediately as the temperatures dropped for a few days.

After a couple of weeks I tentatively picked up the wool, cast on a pattern and .... yes you guessed it, I frogged after a day or two. This was getting ridiculous. So. another break, more researching and checking out patterns when I found ..... no - I am not going to yell 'this is the one', coz there is still time for it to be frogged, however.... this piece of knitting has survived so far and has grown in size past all the others and is making for gentle knitting and a happy heart.

The knitting good vibes just may have returned and I am taking odds on finishing this particular wip - watch this spaceπŸ’™πŸ’œπŸ€πŸ’œπŸ’™

*My only comment is - the colours in the images are not true - the shades are more muted and thunder sky than the bright blue it appears here.


This must be how birds feel

Saturday was crisp and frosty with with a heart achingly blue sky. We packed a lunch, wrapped ourselves and the dog up and we headed for the hills.

am always interested in what and why folk feel the need to leave some sort of 'mark' of their passing.
Sometimes it is a pre-painted rock - the type that seemed to flourish during the pandemic and now is almost endemic around the country. Stickers are increasingly common on road signs or gates. I was amused by the upside down sugar skull until I took a closer look and saw it was actually the right way up! 

My favourite I have to admit is this one .... SHEEEP! I wondered if the farmer who painted this was either distracted half way through and when he returned just continued without realising - or, if he wrote it as if he was yelling at the drivers who bomb through this open bit of moorland road with out even heeding the grazing ewes and their lambs. Who knows....

Moss of course threw herself into her walk - collecting sticks along the way regularly  'upgrading' until the stick was too large to 'dog-handle' along the narrow woodland path. She 'dog-fully' and doggedly dragged it some distance before discarding it for a very much smaller piece.
Alongside the path, I spotted at eye height, the sweetest and most exquisite nest made entirely of moss with a snowy centre. It seemed so exposed and vulnerable, but I suspect when the hawthorn is in full leaf, the nest would be magically invisible and it's contents safe.
There was frost encrusted winter debris all through the woodland which crunched and crackled beneath our feet.
On the far edge of the woods, where the trees thinned and the landscape felt ancient, we stopped for a mug of tea and watched brick red beef heifers graze and browse amongst the birch and hawthorn. They gradually surrounded us, occasionally lifting their huge shaggy heads to balefully glare however they never encroached or threatened us and we in return sat quietly and respectfully.

On the other side of the thin trees we arrived on the rolling ridges of the Dales. The thin blue icy sky felt high and brittle and oh so beautiful. It surrounded us, covered us and elated us.
This must be how birds feel when they fly.
We followed the higher path to the edge of the sunlight then dropped back into the valley, we had to return to the van before the sun slipped behind the hills taking with it the thin warmth we were holding on to.
Once back, we cracked on the kettle and curled cold hands around steaming mugs, ate digestive biscuits and watched the last of the light fade. These days fill my soul and clear my head.



Tuesday spotlights🀍🀍

The tips of my fingers are still cool as is the end of my nose. The two digestive biscuits and mug of tea tasted amazing once we'd returned from our afternoon walk but are now long gone. The snow and ice that covered the ground first thing this morning (when my car thermometer registered -4.5℃) had begun to melt creating a green and white marble patterning on the grass.πŸ€πŸ’š

Our village has several prominent hills surrounding it and they were all still flecked white and draped in misty layers beneath the dark and heavy skies. Despite that, the sun managed to find chinks in the clouds and fill our walk with warmth and light.πŸ’›πŸ€Ž

Himself, Youngest, Moss and I did our local 'dog-loop' which is our go to short walk when weather permits. 🧑❤️

I am sure - almost 99% sure - that I have spotted our first Highland Coo calf but the mum was a large and hairy barrier and all I could see were little legs beneath her tum. No lambs yet - far too cold to give birth outside and the ewes that are out in the fields are still 'mums-with-tums'!

It is dark now, Moss has been fed and is gently snoring while she dreams dog dreams, Himself is in the kitchen baking an apple crumble as I type here. After a rather long morning of completing on-line mandatory training - it is little precious moments like these that make my day.πŸ’™πŸ’œ

Hope you have had some of those today too (and I don't mean the mandatory training!!)


Sunday Sunday - so good to me

After days and days (and days) of rain or chilly winds, today is clear and still and although still cold, in the sun it feels warm!

We leave the cosiness of the house and woodburner and set off for a Moss-led dog loop. It seems that other dogs and their owners had felt the same pull - to be out and getting some air! We walk up 'Dead Duck Lane' - not in our usual yomping style as we try to forge our way through the weather, no it is far more meandering. We stop to see if any of the local sheep had lambed and although they must almost be at bursting point, the ewes determinedly chew winter weary grass in the soft sunshine.

We carry on up on to another lane, around another sheep field, past a large house with a small and rotund elderly jack russell. A raspy yip yip was all it can manage then it sighs at our lack of respect and toddles back to the house. In it's 'hey-day' it was a nasty piece of work with reputation of 'quick to bark-quick to bite' which unfortunately landed it's owner is 'the dwang' when they requested a home visit by a doctor who on arrival discovered that not only was the owner not at home, but was then both barked at and bitten by the jack russell. Suffice to say - the doctor wisely got back in the car, drove back to the surgery and rang the owner and had a word or two.....
We continue to follow Moss up a narrow farm track with large and mature trees full of holes and splits and hollow trunks. They are fragile and venerable and beautiful. Sadly I can see that once they start to fall, they will not be replaced. I stroke their grizzled old bark as I pass. I am sure I can hear them whisper their stories to the wind.
 Despite the quantity of rain we have had, the fields although wet are surprisingly mud free. Moss makes the most of the seasonal ponds and drags Himself through the centre. 
This field is also full of expectant ewes, so Moss remains on her lead and because she can not gallop up to the next puddle we can watch a small and garrulous flock of gulls bathing in the fresh water or 'puddling' for worms as they trot on the spot until they can catch a witless worm.
The fresh air, which when we first set off felt icy and sharp, now feels invigorating and restorative and the soft sunlight gently bathes a wintery landscape in an almost translucent peachy glow. Popping up here and there are bright green blades of various bulbs - a bit too soon, their enthusiasm will wane next week when the temperatures are forecast to plummet. Here is to the ewes who will hopefully be indoors soon when they are due to lamb.
So, another weekend has slipped by. We have had Youngest and his lovely girl staying with us for a couple of days - now, Sunday evening, the house once again cosy and warm with the fire keeping Moss in a state of molten fluff as she basks in it's glow. Monday tomorrow, and at this very moment I am not ready for it - but I know by the time I get up, into my work kit and in the car - I will be ready for a day of mulching well rotted manure.... bring it on! 



So...  What have I been doing? Well.....

Knitting ....

Himself - a moss green moss stitch pullover

Me - a simple scarf in garter stitch with left over wool. It was to be for me to wear at work but Himself has eyed it up, so I may be making another one soon....

And about to start a cardigan for me with chrimbly gifted wool in sea washed denim shades.

Cooking ...

Picture from website

Mushroom and lentil Hotpot - ye gods - absolutely delicious! (Recipe HERE)

Cranberry Muffins (Recipe HERE)

picture from website

Making ...

dozens (and dozens) of paper birds - for work, for friends and for home
Wire flowers and tiny houses to decorate the 'tree' for spring
Wreaths bases for work
Willow plant supports

Walking ...

Miles and miles in the Dales - Himself and I both losing ourselves in blue skies and gentle sunshine 

or in woodlands, breathing in deep earthy scents full of flavour and aromas

Repairing ....
Jeans, harem pants, Wool overcoat

That crystal clear scent of the first hyacinth bloom as it swirls around the room

Reading ....
Ichigo Ichie (Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles) - still loving and learning and absorbing and trying to live by these words - and when I can put them in practise - it seems to make the day so much sweeter!

Also Vesper Flights (Helen Macdonald) - just dipped in and already enjoying it, 
and have Wakenhyrst (Michelle Paver) waiting to be picked up.

Gardening ....
At work mostly - hard wood cuttings, compost turning, woodchip mulching, glasshouse tidying,
 willow plant-support making, seed selecting(buying) 
and happy dancing when I spot a snowdrop in the woodland garden we are creating. 
Last autumn the volunteers and I planted thousands (and I do mean thousands) of bulbs - 
to see them beginning to appear is like a shot in the arm of pure delight.

Mandatory training for work - firefighting, H&S, emergency first aid (to include gunshot wounds, pierced eyes, first to the scene responder at a multiple car pile up and removing a splinter from a finger ....) - boy do I feel prepared (NOT!)


as much as I can, noticing the good, finding that moment of joy
(even when I want to grind my back teeth...!)

So - that is just a little of what I am up to - what you knitting? Reading? Eating? Making? Enjoying?

Go on spill the beans - I love to hear what you have been up to :)


A moment in time

 After, what seems like weeks of dreary wet or bitterly cold days, yesterday was a gem with glorious gently warm sunshine and just a hint of a sharp breeze.

Himself and I (and Moss of course) took the chance and threw together a hasty picnic, donned boots and coats and headed off to a wooded valley surrounded by wild moorland hills between us and Hebden Bridge.

The air was bitingly fresh and the views sharp and clear. We followed a narrow bracken lined path around the edge of a boggy hill down to the valley bottom. There we crossed a chuckling stream which Moss desperately wanted to throw herself into.

We were staggered by the colours - after so many days of driech grey and sepia shades, the bracken in the sun beneath a clear blue sky was almost overwhelming. There was a brief respite from the breeze at the river's edge then as we climbed back out of the valley, we found it again. It was sneaky and could slip between scarves and up sleeves. However we soon warmed up as we plodded upwards to the ridge.
At the highest point we stopped for lunch by sheltering in a grouse butt (shooting box) with our faces in the sun. Sharing sandwiches and mugs of tea, I offered Moss a dog snack which produced a series of goofy faces...
Our path took us off the edge and down through old farmlands and into older woodlands. The beauty of walking, is not just the act of movement, the joy of discovery it is also gives me the opportunity to think. I've been dwelling on my 'Word of the Year'. Last year was 'Care' and I kept that as a guide line, a bench mark a goal and on the whole it worked and I am gently pleased at the guidance to gave me.
I had toyed with the word 'Confelicity' (taking pleasure in another's happiness) which, when I thought about it - I already do, so that was a bit of a cop out. This walk found what I wanted ... my word for this year is actually a Japanese phrase - Ichigo Ichie which directly translates into - one time one meeting. The principle behind Ichigo ichie is to encourage you to appreciate the magic of every moment as it will never reoccur the exact same way ever again. Time is fleeting and each moment should be cherished as they may never be experienced again even with the same people at the same place.
Our walk was the first serious one of 2023 and apart from the staggeringly beautiful day after all the dreary grey we've had recently, this walk was amazing and just filled my eyes and my heart. 

And gave me my word for this year - I certainly want to make the most of every moment and this was the perfect start!

Do you have a word for the year to guide you, inspire you?
Do you do new year's resolutions?
Did you manage to get out on the bank holiday and breathe in some new air?