Sunday, April 30, 2017


we have in the near future to vote, not only locally but nationally as well.  Well I am stumped as to how to vote.  Locally it will be for someone to protect the environment of the North York Moors, he is a 'Liberal' not 'Liberal Democrat'.  Basically he stands against fracking in the area, which has already been given the go-ahead by the government.. So Kevin Hollincrake, my MP you are not getting my vote, because you are  a conservative and as a conservative you will sell anything to anyone to make a profit - its called the free market and I definitely do not hold with that.
That is what I call a 'statement of intent', but where does it leave my voting nationally, I really do not have much confidence or faith in either Liberals or Labour parties,  I suspect there is a lot of people like me around.
There is another threat to the moors, this time an enormous potash mine at Sneaton, promises that it will be environmentally secure, (don't let me weep into that bucket) I do not believe because, they say, there is going to be an enormous tunnel to transport it all the way to Teeside thereby keeping traffic off the roads.  Someone should of course speak out for the environment, and certain organisations have done, but we need a spokesman represented in the Houses of Parliament, and to be quite honest we need a new system of government but that is unlikely to happen.
Industrialisation has a lot to answer for, it may have given the average life of a human being a better world, though not so in other parts of the world - check which part of the world your clothes came from or that chocolate the beans picked by children.  But the enormous tractors that till the soil, destroy it in the same process, and those giant tunnel boring machines undermine the very existence of our water supplies and the ground we walk upon.
End of rant;

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Some notes on Saturday

4 smiling grandchildren, myself and my daughter, 5 years ago.


"In keeping with our unrestrained consumptiveness, the commonly accepted accepted basis of our present economony is the fantastical possibility growth, limitless wants, limitless wealth, limitless natural resouces, limitless energy and limitless debt.  The world ending fire of industrial fundamentalism may already be burning"....
Wendell Berry

When you see people arguing on a forum, the depth of hatred so thick you panic, what do you do, write a reply which won't get far.  Or as I have done seek words and music and a photo of a happy family, your own, to reassure.  

My magazines have both arrived this week, Resurgence and Permaculture  full of words, not necessarily of wisdom but of calmness, and the knowledge that we cannot do much but each small brick we build helps towards the eventual solution.

Harry Dodson in the garden

The music is at this moment in time The Victorian Garden, composed many years ago to accompany a series on a Victorian walled garden, a secure and warm place for the vegetables and espaliered fruit trees that grew along its walls.  Such security in our erupting world seems hard to achieve now, we are beset by leaders, who should definitely not be leaders, threats that are worrying and a whole way of life that says panic at every news headline.

Walking the dog this morning down Salton Lane, and the grass verges are full of dandelions and starwort which laces through in a light and dainty manner.

Star wort
So what else do I find calming on this day, you can see I am striving for Tricky Wolf's 'Five on Friday' blog.

The coffee pot at ten in the morning

And then there is Lucy who is waiting patiently for her lunch, but unable to feed her because her chicken is frozen!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Thought this painting was pretty, think it is the colours.  It is quite an eye-opener as to how many woman artists have worked through the centuries.  I suppose you would call it decorative art.


Jessie Arms Botke (American painter) 1883 - 1971

Demoiselles Cranes and Lotus, s.d.

oil and gold leaf on canvas.

Well it has been cold, snow and sleet flutters down but the garden survives. Walking into a North-East wind is not good, but soon the weather will change, it is just English weather after all.

Blossoms bloom everywhere, the hawthorn buds are teasing with their flowers.  The birds in the garden flock for food in this cold weather, pigeons by the dozen, the jackdaws, a favourite of mine.  Then there are the little sparrows, robins and finches.

I will never look into a puddle again without thinking of the first Doctor Who, when that girl disappeared into the puddle

Lillie catching up on school work

This book just gets a big sigh from me

Wet and miserable

A willow but which one I don't know.  Not 'pussy willow'

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday 24th April

As we wait, with some trepidation for all those plants in the cold frames, for that cold blue line to sweep down Britain this week, yesterday was beautiful.  So as my daughter and granddaughter were here we all went for a walk into the woods.  The main road were full of caravans, motor-homes, cyclists and motor cyclists, streaming by in long lines, the tourists have definitely arrived.  But in the woods all was peace, Lucy in her element walked through every puddle she could find, her plump matronly figure chasing after a stick.  Poor Teddy who is a whippet is not allowed off the lead, just in case he takes off, was sporting a very fashionable knitted coat.  The two dogs get on fine though Lucy does not like other dogs.
We walked through the trees to an open spot, the turf eaten down by rabbits, a perfect picnic spot, I had seen along the way, primroses, cowslips, two types of violets, wood anemones, yellow rattle and purple orchids all in flower and many more, unfortunately did not take my camera to record.
Whenever they come I have to do the sewing of badges on to uniforms, Guide gear, karate, etc, my daughter has never bothered to learn how to sew, she even brought me a book to make things for her house.
Teddy's coat garnered a  lot of attention on the train down, Karen my daughter was selling them in the shop, and had only just found out that the person who knitted them was an old lady, now ill sadly. The man who had brought them in wore a Nazi badge on his arm, which infuriated her, this is the Hebden Bridge shop, the town according to her, hosts many strange people, but clothes can often be good expensive stuff, some people though give away designer clothes never having dry-cleaned them.

One else thing we did though was explore Ancestry, something K had signed up to, mostly to find out about her paternal grandfather and his illegitimate birth from a lady-in-waiting, and King George, probably the 4th.  All very romantic, a story that has hung round the Opper family for a long time. Well this time my family came up under scrutiny.  I have a very complicated background, written it down a couple of times for the family but people can never follow the ins and outs.  I am also illegimate, born just after the Second World war, I was adopted by my paternal grandfather, the offspring of his eldest son, but given a very different story or two during my childhood.  My first stepmother was Elizabeth Catherine, who died when I was about two.  She was Belgium, as was my grandfather, a fact I never knew until yesterday.  My next stepmother was someone called Barbara, who was never really part of my life and the final stepmother Vivian who I detested!  Meandering round the names the people become alive again, so I can understand Jennie's (Codlin and Cream) fascination with past history.  Even my own first name was different, Janet Colclough, two months later I embarked on a totally different life, my mother Betsey Loiusa went on to marry and have quite a few children, but I never wanted to get in touch. So as I have the password to the 'family tree' I shall explore further.

Friday, April 21, 2017

friday 21st April

Unexpected, a new election when we were promised this wasn't supposed to happen.  It seems the person/woman on the street, just says " for goodness sake not again" which we may gather means we are all thoroughly fed up with politics.  Marine le Pen storming away on the right in France where will it all go, the idiot Trump in America, his language skills are appalling, why did the Republicans set him up in the first place?  Then of course we have Theresa May,* representative of the right wing in this country or perhaps we should describe her as 'establishment', do the demons of hell crouch behind her left shoulder, or perhaps I am being melodramatic.  Everywhere we see whether in newspapers or media the condemnation of Corbyn, Socialism is definitely foundering, perhaps for the good, though Corbyn started out with a good socialist speech yesterday, we need to address other issues.
Firstly, don't push the prices of houses up, our young cannot afford them, they definitely can't live in the countryside in one of those pretty little  holiday cottages that sell at hot prices.  Who put, before they even had stepped onto the ladder for a mortgage for a house, a £50,000 debt on them for going to university?
Something is skewed in this country, not only with politics but with the whole running of every state institution we possess, which is not very many as we have sold out all over the world our various utilities, and don't get me started on farmland...
So what did I put down on my list when the first electioneering manifesto came through the door, well I crossed 0 - not voting for the three main parties, though there will probably not be a fourth option.  No fracking anywhere, affordable houses, leave the libraries alone.  Not sure what can be done with the NHS, except perhaps become more strict with who attends hospital and restrict pay to executives who seem to milk the system very well.  What of course needed to happen, was more council homes to be built, proper housing for the old and maybe even nursing homes to help with the overspill of hospitals.

*You may consider that I do not like Theresa May, it is her politics and the people she supports I do not like.  She is an attractive and I would think a caring person, it is just that her politics are very far removed from mine.  It is the balance that says put money in the pockets of the few that grates against my soul, and the long wearisome call 'growth', growth will destroy this planet on which we live and with it the other word which I detest so much ' the economy'.  

On a lighter note, the hens went walkabout yesterday, one minute they were feeding in the graveyard, next they vanished for two hours over the fields, came back at 6 0 clock completly unperturbed, led by Phoebe who loves her home, luckily Fluffy was with them, she is slightly 'not with it' and will lie in the sun and sleep at any excuse.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

19th April

Guilt;  Why do we suffer it so, should have said this or that, should not be so harshly judgmental, or, now this is foolish considering it went back five years, I should have taken our friends the right way round to the 'sacred springs'  they were looking for on the Prescelis!  It still catches my breath, though I'm sure all is forgiven for making them walk up an uphill bog, though I think they were exaggerating there.
So as I look through my photographs of my favourite place on earth in a bout of nostalgia, I remember standing by the car for what seemed like hours, hoping they hadn't got lost or slipped into a bog.........Of course they arrived safely back.

The landscape from the top

Tumble of rocks

Rounding up the sheep

The wanderer's return

Pentre Ifan

Sheep coming back at fast trot


The Bishop's Palace at St.David's, Wales

Sunday, April 16, 2017

There is one sure way to save our ailing churches – give them away. Simon Jenkins

Spring lambs on the bank

I am listening to Kate Bush at the moment, her album 'Aerial', 2005. It was released such a long time ago.  I had been listening earlier on to Radio 3 Classic music and on a Sunday they play bird song with their records, as she does with her cooing wood pigeons.  There is a slight madness to Kate Bush songs, but all very individual.  It reminded me that  I had taped the song thrush singing away on a capstone yesterday, short but sweet.

Listening to the radio on the religious programme, Simon Jenkins was arguing for a reuse of our churches because of the bad attendance for services.  It does seem right that these beautiful stone buildings should be given another life when they are used but once a week, if that, our church is fortnightly.

'Whether this can be replicated at parish level must be doubted. But this issue of ownership surely can. As long as parish churches are seen as shrines belonging to a tiny minority of the community, any hope of wider commitment is pie in the sky. Struggling local churches must be secularised, desanctified. They must be vested in an endowed local trust or parish council that literally owns them, so they become community assets, for whose upkeep local rates can be levied, as with public parks and gardens. There will be many spills along the way. But these buildings cannot be demolished or nationalised. There is simply no alternative.'

I quite like the idea of churches being run by the parish council and local rates (voluntary) used to subsidise the upkeep of the church.  Churches in  medieval times were after all often the market place of their small villages.  There is a call by a local committee to have a new village hall, our present village hall is an old World War 1 hut, perfectly adequate to fulfil its function of serving two villages, ours and Marton (which only has chapels).  But the committee want to find half a million pounds for a new one.  Now that is a lot of money and maybe could be halved at least if the money was spent on refurbishing the site.

Now you have to admit it is not the most glamorous of huts, but it was placed here in 1921, already has a history of it own and maybe is a historic building in its own right.  You can see I am trying to convince myself here, that green paintwork is terrible and would have to go!  Marton also has a chapel which is used for village events, not sure who it belongs to though.

All in all Simon Jenkins argues a good case, we have beautiful churches but no attendance, we have to think the unthinkable, but also, and this very important, we have to have strong minded volunteers to run such centres, the quibbling that goes on in a village would demand strong argument in favour of reusing a church in a more friendly manner.

Festival churches

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

A quiet week, this morning's walk was slightly drizzly but sunny at the same time.  Yes it has been dry for a long time, the ground is rock hard and the river low, so rain would be welcome.  Fairly early, the tractor was just leaving the farm yard to plough the field, frightening the hare who stood in solitary splendour hardly visible against the reddish-brown earth.  The tractor made a straight line to the buzzard tree, and the buzzard watched its movement almost up to the tree and then flew away in long sweeping curves.  Lucy was also fascinated by the tractor and got left behind as she gazed with curiosity at this interloper into her world.  Rabbits galore bounded away from us. The  blossom of the wild cherry trees beside the road is out, small rather tasteless fruit later on.  Nelson's hens have been laying their eggs in the hedgerow, and he has acquired some goats, three kids and two nanny goats.
Everything bursts forth with a rampant eye for domination, there is blue in the painting as well, forget-me-nots, the small bugle and an escapee, grape hyancinth wanders illicitly along a bank.  Across on the other side the leaves of meadowsweet thrust through. Underfoot on the wide grassy swathes ground elder  and the great dock leaves, nettles, all 'thug' wild plants make their presence known.  A curse on the free use of nitrogen on our fields!
So to one plant whose name is intriguing.  Now is the time for dog mercury, (mercury perennis) a small unassuming plant that grows where old woodland was once, Grigson describes it as 'so country people called this gloomy crop-plant of damp woods and leaf moulds and dead twigs after boggarts and snakes'
Anything having the term 'dog' applied always means it is inferior or bad and so it is with this woodland plant.  'It is an emetic, and dangerously purgative, causing irritant and narcotic symptons'
So this boggart-flower, dog flower, snake's food, may have come from a German translation, all to do with Good King Henry, the plant of course, which Grigson goes on to elaborate.
And before I forget, which I did, the barn owl has been missing from Bridge Farm for a fortnight, but I did see one hunting by Salton lane a couple of days ago.  Also, spied two swallows in the sky diving over the fields, though not nesting yet at the church.

Albrecht Durer - Young Hare

And a Happy Easter to everyone, do not eat too much chocolate and definitely stay away from Dog Mercury if you do...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday 9th April

Yesterday we went to a birthday party in the afternoon, most of the village was there and not only had the weather decided to grace the day with sun but the garden was also very beautiful. There were about 80 odd people in the half acre garden, with a marque set on the lawn.  We sat round in circles of familar faces and chatted, there was a band later on but we did not stop for that.  The party was for mother and daughter, one birthday yesterday and one today, so there were plenty of young people as well.  We had a tour with our host of the garden.  Set in an old orchard, some trees dead but retained for their shape, collections abounded, old watering cans, wooden barrows and a lovely little summerhouse.  Also  got to meet other people in the village.  One person has a rather marvellous job, he is the 'security' for York Minster, and has to keep an eye on this vast edifice.  Another useful talk was with the people who lived in the large house next to the cottage the party was at, they have a right of way skirting their garden, I had been always rather nervous about walking round there but she assured me it was alright.  To be truthful I need more backbone when demanding the rights of way, but faced with bad-tempered people my courage goes walkabouts!
Rachel whose land goes down to the river behind us says there are definitely kingfishers and otters in it, but still haven't seen them. They are getting seven lambs today. the ewes were sent to a local farmer, produced their offspring and now will come back, this is hobby farming of course.  Talking to her husband, he mentioned the fact that I had handed in my 'egg money' that morning to the coffee and cake event, and we chatted about the church.  Also a non attender he is the fabric manager of our small church, when the electrics go, and they do, he mends them and recently has put up a grill on the one rather beautiful window.
Photos of today, starting with one solitary car spied on the green this morning, where all cars had to be left..

four little bunnies captured in hiding

Ransoms and dog mercury are the plants on show at this time

Primroses in the church, but not wild

Looking towards Rachel and John's fields

Cottage just gone up for sale, in the hands of one of these cheap internet estate agents! Will the real, on the ground ,Estate agents disappear?  The little attached cittage was the journeymen's cottage in days of old.

A thought

Hesketh David Bell - 1849-1872
Can one ever imagine  Stonehenge as peaceful and open as this painting, the clawed hand of industrial farming is still not to be seen as are also the trees.  Sometimes romantic versions of what we want and not what we have are just flights of fancy, as I am sure this painting is, though obviously painted when the dreaded car was yet to be seen.  I have seen elsewhere discussion about the rocks in the foreground, not to be seen today, but I think a certain artistic licence is granted to  artists, and Bell's other work features dramatic rocky landscapes.  Strangely it reminds me of the North York moors, featureless except for the open space but coloured by the vegetation of its underlying stone.  Subject matter contrasts our lowly 'peasant' with his two cows and smattering of sheep against the far off prehistoric stones.  Judge against the 'horror' of the traffic laden road which is the subject of  controversy today and weep ;)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Saturday 8th April

Britain-Dogglerand-Europe all joined

Today, through the post another book arrived - Mapping Doggerland by three authors.  Somewhat disappointed because mapping is about the only subject covered, I was looking for more archaeological evidence, but it is still exciting the idea of a whole mesolithic landscape inundated by the waters of the sea, caused mostly by glaciation  but happening over a period of 11,000 years.
At one time we were part of the mainland of Europe, that mass of land we are so busy trying to unleash ourselves from now - with what consequences heavens know! Now the North sea splits us from the continent but all those years ago a lost land of rivers, hills and plains existed over which settlers from Europe made their way to our country, to places like the Mesolithic Starr Carr just down the road from us.
Starr Car reconstruction

There is another book I am reading this is Naomi Klein's - Capitalism vs The Climate, just read this article to see how politically written it is, somehow I never saw me being part of the 'Green Movement' as a politically red/socialist move, still don't to tell the truth, maybe we all see the world in different colours.
In a way it sort of ties in with a 'lost landscape' of Doggerland which was caused by a natural disaster or happenings, whilst we are at the moment living through an era when all natural resources are up for grabs! My beef is the loss of species all over the planet, everyday I sign petitions against habitat loss, against cruelty and the continual rape of the Earth we live on - do I make a difference, doubt it.
So I shall return to my own corner of the world, which is beautifully sunny and warm for the weekend.  I see dozens of rabbits in the fields on the walk but today I saw a hare, puzzled for a second by long ears and long back legs my mind jumped with a leap of joy as I realised what it was.  Also saw a peewit/lapwing in the field, I wonder if these birds like the curlews are making their way up to the moors for breeding.  What else, not many bees sadly, but a bee-fly hovers over the lawn and a yellow brimstone, also an orange tip, the butterflies are starting to appear.  Our lawn which up to several years ago was a field, yielded bluebells last year and I also found two plantlets of the wild strawberry huddled against the wall. 
I am reading Massingham's anthology of a landscape before the second World War - The English Countryside (1939) at the moment as well. A quote from Elgee on the word Moor old Norse Mor, which signifies such land as peat, turf, heath, or ling.  The Anglo-Saxons use the word mor to define waste-land, a moor, or heath.  Elgee goes on to say that....

Many names are of Scandinavian origin and more or less describe the character of the particular moors to which they refer.  Such is Murk Mire Moor near Egton, the name of which has been derived from Old Norse myrkr signifying dark and myrr a moor or boggy place. Again the word "swang" is of frequent occurence - Glaisdale swangs and moss swangs, a word originating from the Old Norse svanger,  a hollow usually more or less boggy.....

A small video of a stream running from Murk Mire Moor

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday 2

There are times when you want to bury yourself in nostalgia, as the Syrian news flashes across our screens of babies and children fighting for breath, their small chests pumping up and down, there is a need for the peace and quiet of old rural England.  Well Edward Thomas died in battle, his dates are 1878-1917, making this year his centenary year.
So to the beautiful landscape we live in in this united Kingdom, his poem Lob is a tribute to a long vanished, (and not necessarily  true picture) nature ramble through the mythological landscape of Wiltshire.

John Constable's  - Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadow

Lob by Edward Thomas

At hawthorn-time in Wiltshire travelling
In search of something chance would never bring
An old man's face, by life and weather cut
And coloured,--rough, brown, sweet as any nut,--
A land face, sea-blue-eyed,--hung in my mind
When I had left him many a mile behind.
All he said was: "Nobody can't stop 'ee. It's
A footpath, right enough. You see those bits
Of mounds--that's where they opened up the barrows
Sixty years since, while I was scaring sparrows.
They thought as there was something to find there,
But couldn't find it, by digging, anywhere.

"To turn back then and seek him, where was the use?
There were three Manningfords,--Abbots, Bohun, and
Bruce:And whether Alton, not Manningford, it was,
My memory could not decide, because
There was both Alton Barnes and Alton Priors.
All had their churches, graveyards, farms, and byres,
Lurking to one side up the paths and lanes,
Seldom well seen except by aeroplanes;
And when bells rang, or pigs squealed, or cocks crowed,
Then only heard. Ages ago the road
Approached. The people stood and looked and turned,
Nor asked it to come nearer, nor yet learned
To move out there and dwell in all men's dust.
And yet withal they shot the weathercock, just
Because 'twas he crowed out of tune, they said:
So now the copper weathercock is dead.
If they had reaped their dandelions and sold
Them fairly, they could have afforded gold.

Many years passed, and I went back again
Among those villages, and looked for men
Who might have known my ancient. He himself
Had long been dead or laid upon the shelf,
I thought. One man I asked about him roared
At my description: "'Tis old Bottlesford
He means, Bill." But another said: "Of course,
It was Jack Button up at the White Horse.
He's dead, sir, these three years." This lasted till
A girl proposed Walker of Walker's Hill,
"Old Adam Walker. Adam's Point you'll see
Marked on the maps.""That was her roguery,
"The next man said. He was a squire's son
Who loved wild bird and beast, and dog and gun
For killing them. He had loved them from his birth,
One with another, as he loved the earth.
"The man may be like Button, or Walker, or
Like Bottlesford, that you want, but far more
He sounds like one I saw when I was a child.
I could almost swear to him. The man was wild
And wandered. His home was where he was free.
Everybody has met one such man as he.
Does he keep clear old paths that no one uses
But once a life-time when he loves or muses?
He is English as this gate, these flowers, this mire.
And when at eight years old Lob-lie-by-the-fire
Came in my books, this was the man I saw.
He has been in England as long as dove and daw,
Calling the wild cherry tree the merry tree,
The rose campion Bridget-in-her-bravery;
And in a tender mood he, as I guess,
Christened one flower Love-in-idleness,
And while he walked from Exeter to Leeds
One April called all cuckoo-flowers Milkmaids.
From him old herbal Gerard learnt, as a boy,
To name wild clematis the Traveller's-joy.
Our blackbirds sang no English till his ear
Told him they called his Jan Toy 'Pretty dear.'(She was Jan Toy the Lucky, who, having lost
A shilling, and found a penny loaf, rejoiced.)
For reasons of his own to him the wren
Is Jenny Pooter. Before all other men
'Twas he first called the Hog's Back the Hog's Back.
That Mother Dunch's Buttocks should not lack
Their name was his care. He too could explain
Totteridge and Totterdown and Juggler's Lane:
He knows, if anyone. Why Tumbling Bay,
Inland in Kent, is called so, he might say.

Kent, is called so, he might say."
But little he says compared with what he does.
If ever a sage troubles him he will buzz
Like a beehive to conclude the tedious fray:
And the sage, who knows all languages, runs away.
Yet Lob has thirteen hundred names for a fool,
And though he never could spare time for school
To unteach what the fox so well expressed,
On biting the cock's head off,--Quietness is best,--
He can talk quite as well as anyone
After his thinking is forgot and done.
He first of all told someone else's wife,
For a farthing she'd skin a flint and spoil a knife
Worth sixpence skinning it. She heard him speak:
'She had a face as long as a wet week'
Said he, telling the tale in after years.
With blue smock and with gold rings in his ears,
Sometimes he is a pedlar, not too poor
To keep his wit. This is tall Tom that bore
The logs in, and with Shakespeare in the hall
Once talked, when icicles hung by the wall.
As Herne the Hunter he has known hard times.
On sleepless nights he made up weather rhymes
Which others spoilt. And, Hob being then his name,
He kept the hog that thought the butcher came
To bring his breakfast 'You thought wrong,' said Hob.
When there were kings in Kent this very Lob,
Whose sheep grew fat and he himself grew merry,
Wedded the king's daughter of Canterbury;
For he alone, unlike squire, lord, and king,
Watched a night by her without slumbering;
He kept both waking. When he was but a lad
He won a rich man's heiress, deaf, dumb, and sad,
By rousing her to laugh at him. He carried
His donkey on his back. So they were married.
And while he was a little cobbler's boy
He tricked the giant coming to destroy
Shrewsbury by flood. 'And how far is it yet?
'The giant asked in passing. 'I forget;
But see these shoes I've worn out on the road
And we're not there yet.' He emptied out his load
Of shoes for mending. The giant let fall from his spade
The earth for damming Severn, and thus made
The Wrekin hill; and little Ercall hill
Rose where the giant scraped his boots. While still
So young, our Jack was chief of Gotham's sages.
But long before he could have been wise, ages
Earlier than this, while he grew thick and strong
And ate his bacon, or, at times, sang a song
And merely smelt it, as Jack the giant-killer
He made a name. He too ground up the miller,
The Yorkshireman who ground men's bones for flour

"Do you believe Jack dead before his hour?
Or that his name is Walker, or Bottlesford,
Or Button, a mere clown, or squire, or lord?
The man you saw,--Lob-lie-by-the-fire, Jack Cade,
Jack Smith, Jack Moon, poor Jack of every trade,
Young Jack, or old Jack, or Jack What-d'ye-call,
Jack-in-the-hedge, or Robin-run-by-the-wall,
Robin Hood, Ragged Robin, lazy Bob,
One of the lords of No Man's Land, good Lob,--Although he was seen dying at Waterloo,
Hastings, Agincourt, and Sedgemoor too,--Lives yet.
He never will admit he is dead
Till millers cease to grind men's bones for bread,
Not till our weathercock crows once again
And I remove my house out of the lane
On to the road." With this he disappeared
In hazel and thorn tangled with old-man's-beard.
But one glimpse of his back, as there he stood,
Choosing his way, proved him of old Jack's blood
Young Jack perhaps, and now a Wiltshireman
As he has oft been since his days began.

Friday 1

Today we listen to the news that 59 American tomahawk missiles have landed on a Syrian air base, as punishment for the terrible chemical attack in Khan Sheikhun.  No one can condemn this action of Trumps telling Assad that enough is enough, but war is a terrible calamity, and this chemical attack is just one more thing in a long litany of atrocities.  So yes I applaud Trump and his government for doing something to show Assad that killing his own people is a wicked act of cruelty.
But------------------------------ we should not be too hypocritical as Steve Bell's hard hitting cartoons shows us, we may not sell chemical bombs, but we have a long record of selling guns and rockets to so-called 'friendly' states.

And just to cloud the view of what you think happened, opposing views?  Peter Ford ex-UK ambassador for Syria, supporter of Assad....

 Kareen Shareem in the Guardian report from yesterday, this from Khan Sheikhun .

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday 2nd April

A short video of the Beck, a trip made this morning.  It is a most magical place, the curlews in the distance, old trees and hawthorns gnarled by age.  Large rocks that have tumbled down the hillside and a quiet tranquillity.

We went past the old well and I took a photo it had one daffodil to highlight the gloom of the well. Daffodils by their million must have been planted by every garden, farm and they even make it out into the wilderness as well at this time of the year.

We wandered up the trackway and down by the beck, LS collected three stones to finish his Japanese border, though apparently he still needs another two stones, to be arranged 3, 5, 7.  Lucy loves this place she dances round like a two year old, always heading for the water though she is not allowed in, but her spaniel nature tells her otherwise.  Actually saw two curlews, large, long curved beaks and long legged -a good finish to the trip.

We had the place to ourselves but on walking back spied three cars on the grass.  

This was a family from Derbyshire, they had driven 122 miles to be here, four generations, great- granny sitting on a chair and the very talkative mother of the two grown up sons, told us that they had loved this place since seeing it on Heartbeat, and so made a pilgrimage to the spot, then going on to Goathland (the village of Heartbeat) and then Scarborough finishing at Bridlington, a long and weary day.

There are three gypsy ponies here, there owners live very tidily on the other side of the road.

Idyllic cottage in the middle of nowhere

Sheepdogs at the back, goodness knows what those boxes were for...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 1st

well it is that day again, and that clever April Fool's almost 60 years ago, was remembered on the radio this morning.  First fake news? not so long ago of course, spaghetti was not really known in Britain, and as for olive oil you had to buy it from the chemist according to Elizabeth David.  A couple more  'spoof' stories also came through my email, one on underground tunnels under Stonehenge.
But of course the news all this week has been Britain withdrawing from Europe.  Theresa May even made a pretty good speech of it, and the letter handing in our resignation.  We will see what we will see ;) Two years of argument of course, the first already looming on the horizon - What is going to happen to Gibraltar? that little piece of rock we own,  unfortunately attached to Spain.  Figures are bandied about, will we pay 50 billions euros/pounds to Europe, we seem definitely to be taking some European dictats/laws with us, but what is this about the government finding some old Elizabethan law which gives them the power to take decisions without the will of the people/parliament.
There was an interesting book reviewed this morning on the radio - The Three Sisters, The three Queens by Phillipa Gregory which should be worth getting.

Another April 1st by the National Trust -