This is Christ Church, Earl Sterndale, founded 160 years ago. It has a lot of family connections on my Mother's side, as her own mother's family farmed nearby. The names in the graveyard are all familiar to me, and relatives are buried there. The hamlet is truly tiny, in beautiful surroundings.
I have to say this looks more impressive in real life, it hasn't photographed particularly well. What I really needed was a helicopter for a nice aerial view.
The moors have been having a bit of a selective trim. They used to set fire to them but (for possibly obvious reasons) this doesn't happen any more and is more of an accidental event these days.
I will be away for a week from tomorrow. I have lined up posts to appear as usual, they are all things I've seen while out and about the last week. I'm not sure I'll have internet access, but please leave any comments you feel appropriate (!) and I'll scour them all on my return. Likewise with my reading of my blog list...
These are some doors/gates from the local allotments. I like the way some are weathered while others have a fresh lick of paint.
I missed the allotment open day, very annoying. I hadn't seen it advertised anywhere, which is typical of things round here. I'm sure they could have had a lot more visitors if only they'd have put a notice up somewhere. I'd have loved to nosey round and get some good tips.
Do you think you can have letters delivered to an allotment?
The farmers are taking every opportunity to cut the grass and make hay. As it rains at least every other day I'm surprised they ever get anywhere, but they do.
At the moment there are tractors in every field for miles around, whirring away...
It's one of those strange facts, but I never seem to see the bales being made. I see the mowing and raking into long mounds... but the bales must be made by the fairies in the night because they just appear!
I was driving somewhere the other day when I saw some freshly made bales. I thought what a good picture they'd make as they were near to the road and stacked beautifully. I also thought I'd stop on the return journey in a couple of hours and take some photos. By the time I got back they had gone... magic, I say.
Is it purple loosetrife? I've roamed the internet trying to pin it down, but am still a bit undecided. Whatever it is I'm rather taken with it. It's growing in swathes at the roadside, more this year than I ever remember before.
Occasionally I catch sight of intense, dense patches of it in the fields; more purple than it appears close-up. I'm sure it's classed as a weed, but beautiful all the same.
I remember as children we used to strip the leaves off. Then we'd chase each other and use it as a whip on anyone who got caught. We did the same with rhubarb leaves, very effective I seem to recall... you had to make your own fun back then.
Added: I agree with Janet (Puppet Lady in the comments) it's definitely rosebay willowherb. I thought the leaves weren't right for loosestrife. Is it a bit of a Northern thing then?
Start the week with a cake. This is a recipe I've been baking since I could wield a mixer and is from BeRo.
The topping is neat lemon juice mixed with enough sugar to make it just a bit looser than a paste. Stab the cake well with a fork and slap it on while it's still in the tin. Leave to cool and enjoy the crunchy topping.
This is a small deep version and you don't need much of a slice to fill you up, so it goes a long way. Unless you're really greedy, in which case just double the mixture and go for it!
My water lilies are flowering at last, they are quite unfurled this morning and are most open in the evenings. There are four so far. A modest achievement, but considering they were out of water while the pond was re-lined I think they've done very well.
The chickweed is back in force, despite treating the water with a special potion. I'll have to do it the old fashioned way with barley straw and see if it's any better. I don't mind some in the pond as I think it gives cover for the fish and looks sort of old fashioned and wild. But when I'm having to skim the pond every day it's too much. I bet it's a good fertiliser for the garden though, or I hope it is as that's where it all goes!
The sun is out at the moment, I really hope it sticks around as the weather here has been truly dreadful. I even wore a thermal vest to work last week. In July. Cold and rain (of the torrential variety) do not make for a good summer. I know, we have enough of them...
All my hard work in the Room of Doom has proved most unpopular with its inhabitant. She was angry and upset. Partly that I'd 'touched her things' and partly because, and I'm agog here, she likes it like that. As in she prefers to live in a shocking mess.
I'll share with you one of the main reasons I cleaned the room, because I really am a believer in privacy and kids looking after their own stuff. The Doctor. Or any emergency service for that matter. I have this fear that she will fall ill, requiring a doctor's visit. The options then being having to carry her to a more respectable room for consultation or having the doctor see the room and reporting us to The Authorities for neglect. We would then appear on one of those reality shows where they analyse bits of your carpet to see what lurks there.
We can all fall ill with complete peace of mind for a while. I'd be proud to escort the doctor to any room in the house. Almost.
Teddy is wearing my very first FO. In as much as it was the first garment I ever made. I think I must have been about twelve and I made it to fit a teddy bear that I'd had for years, he's gone now as he fell to pieces some time ago and was beyond repair. As you can tell he was bigger than this one!
I'm surprised at what a good job I made as prior to this little sweater, knitted from a baby pattern, I'd only made straight fabric. I used to make lots of pieces then sew them up into other things; hats, scarves, blankets and so on. Then I got a book about how to do shapings and away I went. I added the pattern as it was originally plain, it's known as a false fisherman's rib I think.
The colour, which I refer to as maroon, is a favourite. It reminds me of a car my Dad had, when I was very young, that I loved. I think it was an Austin 8, it was old and beautiful with leather seats that had springs in them. We also once had a marvellous Austin van where my sister and I had to sit in the back on a funny little hard seat. It didn't go up hills very well, but it was fantastic.
We never had new cars, or newish even, My Dad liked working on old cars and we had a succession of them. My own first car was a vintage Morris Minor, then I had a very old Mini which once caught fire while I was taking my sister to a very important interview.
Flames were coming out of the dashboard. What to do? Park it down a lane and leave it while we caught the bus of course. I expected it to be a burnt-out wreck when I returned at the end of the day. But no. it started first time. It also had a dodgy accelerator cable, there was a time delay between pressing the pedal and the increase in speed. Which made for interesting overtaking. There was also a green MG Midget with a soft top. Very impractical here, but great fun to drive.
The flooring is going down in the bathroom today. Once I can see what it looks like I'll do some paint swatches. I have a theme in mind but am worried it'll look bland and cold rather than chic and refined...
So this is the progress in the bathroom so far. The tiling is almost finished, the plasterer has been and the tongue and groove is almost there.
The dust and mess are unbelievable, but I've stopped worrying about it as it won't change anything. There will be no bath in the new 'bath' room, just a walk-in shower. I think I like the idea of that, bearing in mind no-one ever uses the bath these days. But it will be very different. I still have to decide on paint colours, but I want to see what the flooring looks like before I plump.
I think I'm most looking forward to the new heated towel rail, with an old fashioned style radiator built into it. Well, and a really good shower instead of the thing we inherited with the house. I hate choosing fittings, and it'll be interesting to see how it all looks together in the end. Fingers crossed.
Today is the last day of term, an afternoon of leavers' speeches looms ahead. I don't like that bit of the annual ritual, though that's not the fault of the staff. It all just goes on too long. And all following the leavers' assembly and prizegiving. A day that's to be endured rather than enjoyed.
I have spent the last two days washing and ironing. Thank you for the sympathetic comments left re the Room of Doom, but really you have no concept of the mammoth task it was. I am vicariously ashamed. But enforced minimalism is now the order of the day, she just doesn't know it yet- arriving home this evening as she does.
I also found ten (yes, really) books from the school library stashed about the gaff. I returned them yesterday, anonymously, with the quip that I hoped there was an amnesty on. The receptionist smiled, unknowingly. She didn't recognise me so hopefully we're safe. I'm pretty sure they weren't checked out in the first place... I simply cannot imagine where my daughter got this hoarding habit from.
Youngest went off on a school trip to Belgium on Sunday morning, and what a palaver that was. Best friend/room-mate ill so not going, coach delayed by two hours as the driver hadn't turned up to work... mobile phone ceased to function... need I go on?
Anyway, while she's gone I decided to suit-up and tackle The Room of Doom (you remember the last time?). Gawd, how can one teenager amass so much laundry? And, more importantly, it is the fashion these days to wear socks once and then deposit them on the floor until an unsuspecting kindheart decides to risk life and limb (not to mention sanity) in a brave attempt at cleaning up?
I swear by the end of the week we'll need a new washing machine. Good job the iron is a fresh one,not that a lot of it will be seeing the iron as it only ever gets crammed into a drawer. Or left in random piles in tRoD.
Thank goodness I'm not relying on a dolly tub and mangle (or, horrors, a washboard) as my Mother had to do when first married. And it was in 1964 not 1864. I remember it well, out in the wash-house at the side of the house. The wash-house that, on receiving a new-fangled single tub and spin dryer (Yes, it spun, no, it didn't dry. So why call it that??) combo, my Mother decided would look good knocked into one with the kitchen.
So, she got a sledgehammer and knocked through. On arriving home my Dad was horrified as it was a supporting wall. He spent all evening putting up pit props until it could be dealt with and an RSJ built in. But the kitchen was great when it was finished. She also decided that a new window on the end wall would add the finishing touch so she... but you know what's coming next, right? My Dad had to make a new frame pronto.
Must fly, washer to fill. Anyone for a quick chorus of My Old Man's a Dustman?
Be not afraid, tis only a courgette, albeit a big one. Yes a large, ripe courgette that I grew myself, here in Wetsville.
Okay, I had to grow it in the greenhouse, but even so... I'm rather pleased. There are plenty more in there as well, but the French beans are very puny. And the strawberries? Well, the dog hasn't eaten them after all, but the baby blackbirds have. I'm willing to overlook it as I'm so glad that at least two of them are still here in the garden.
It is phenomenally wet here, and not very warm. A nasty combination that seems to be affecting quite a bit of Northern Europe. Which is very annoying as No2 departed for Belgium yesterday for a Languages and History trip and No1 goes off tomorrow hostelling around Germany, Austria and Slovakia. I think the sun cream will be coming back unopened.
Oh, and it was produce the noun not the verb in case you were worried...
I know it's Saturday, but I've been with out my computer for a few days. The new keyboard has been a big deal. They (computer geek shop men) have tried several new ones to no avail, finally sending it off to be dismantled to look for a part number. I know nothing about computers but, come on, how hard can this be. I even bought the thing off them.
I also know I can blog from my phone. Yeah. Screen the size of a postage stamp and my eyesight really not up to it. Even with the new glasses, which I'm going to take back for a check up as the right lens still leaves things blurred and I end up closing it for a really good view of anything!
Anyway, the little jacket is just a stash buster really. Or was until yet another person at work announced a forthcoming addition. So there'll be more knits to come.
Today is carnival day here and I didn't go to watch it. The first time ever, when I've been in town, that I haven't bothered. This because it's raining. Raining like someone is pouring continuously from a large never-emptying bucket. It is truly awful, on the back of what was a really nice week. Such is life.
About an hour ago I was minding my own business when I heard a plane flying low, a very loud and obviously vintage plane. I rushed outside, without having time to get the camera, to find it was a Lancaster bomber. I knew this at once, though I'm not sure how I knew it. It must have buzzed the town and the travelling fair that is set up on the Market Place. It was very low, and it was quite thrilling really.
That's the most excitement there's been for a while round here...
Edited to add: The Lancaster flew over in tribute to the Royal Marine form town who was killed in action last year (local newspaper has the story). Many of his fellow servicemen were in town raising funds for the Help for Heroes fund. Some quick thinking person has already managed to get it on Youtube. Please go over and give them some hits!
We've lived here four years, ad waited as long to have the bathroom sorted out. It was a case of all or nothing. It wasn't worth bothering tarting it up as there was just so much that needed doing.
A leak in the guttering last year also caused damage near the window and the shower had been leaking underneath the floorboards. So it all had to go.
Once the fitter started pulling at tiles and such it really did all go!
Even the skirting boards have been taken out as I'm going for something completely different. Anyway, they were so chopped up and clapped out it wasn't worth saving them, original or not. Sometimes you have to be ruthless.
There's a separate toilet next door (as well as one on here) and that will be getting similar treatment, though hopefully it's not so drastic in there. All, and I mean all, of the new fixtures are here and in the dining room. Every last bit arrived on the day the local builder's merchant said they would. And they gave us a good deal, what more could you ask for? Well, lots but we won't go there.
So, this is most definitely the Before Stage. I don't know how long it's going to be until I can show you the After pictures, hopefully a couple of weeks.
It's sort of exciting, mixed with dread of the mess and my dislike of having people in the house. Don't know where that stems from, but it must be overcome if a lifetime of DIY is to be escaped.
They are ripening. Very, very slowly, but it's happening!. I know you Southerners will be scoffing, but you try living somewhere it rains a lot of the time. And where it isn't overly warm most of the time. And where it's dark the rest of the time.
So, I'm pleased with how the two planters are coming along. A combination of the two might yield enough for a few scones and cream. If the dog doesn't get there first. Bunty the 12 year old labrador loves strawberries.
In the first summer we had her I had planted up a modest pot and stood it in the sunniest part of the garden. The girls watched it grow and the few berries ripen. We were waiting until they were just right, so was someone else. One morning we went out to find Bunty carefully eating the perfectly juicy berries, leaving the hulls still attached to the plants...
She used to eat all the pansies as well, so I don't bother buying them any more. No doubt we'll know this latest crop are ready when the dog starts nicking them.
In blackbird news: the male was in the bushes with two of the babies the other day, stealing my fruit. And yesterday I heard a thud against the back door. One of the young had flown into it and was stunned. I went out to see if it was okay and both parents were there keeping an eye out. It was fine and flew off after a few minutes.
There are sparrows nesting in the eaves at the front, they are very noisy. On Monday I was locking the door to go to work when a baby bird landed next to me in a low bush. After faffing around and trying to revive it I realised that it must have died in the nest and been thrown out by the parents. I buried it in the garden. Sad, but the rest are still up there raising the roof.