Wednesday, June 28, 2017

wednesday 28th June

Today there is persistent rain it falls in the greyness of the churchyard unrelenting in its soft fall to the earth.  The little robin sits on the wire outside the window, drenched probably wondering why I sit in this chair all day and do not provide tidbits anymore.
So what do we make of it all, well lets quote Winston Churchill,

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Then say whatever you find appropiate, we find ourselves in the middle of problems we have reached a 'crisis' in our government, (been there before) and a terrible catastrophe for hundreds of people at Grenfell.  Slowly the scale of all this has unfolded, people made homeless and already being shunted from pillar to post.  There are no long term plans sitting in the council offices it is just fudge and make do.  Perhaps it has to be that way.  I could be pessimistic say that the long term systems that run the world are buckling under the strain.  For instance our utilities and services are being sold out to other nations.  The fire resistant boxes that protect the gas piping are only one third done at Grenfell - the firm got sold in March along the way to investors.  
Some people think that Corbyn is the messiah, much as I would like him to be, he is not, just another change along the way.  No Utopia will suddenly appear, many of the problems are difficult to extricate from the muddle of bad bureaucracy.  We must have faith in the people of this country for individual humanity.
Lucy has been very mischievous with my enforced sitting in the chair, she trails the papers around, along with books. She brings my slippers when I'm walking, she is also helpful, though getting things off her is difficult!
The funeral went as well as can be expected, and my son is looking into auctioning off all that 'old brown furniture' though finding that some have a good price on them ;) I have refused any of it my state of 'not owning much' as far as belongings are concerned stays fixed.
If I would moan, it is perhaps that I cannot see the garden, though of course this rain will bedraggle everything anyway.

Monday, June 26, 2017

26th June

This is a photograph taken by my daughter yesterday, her first remark under a photo of the Abbey was 'I had forgotten how beautiful Bath is'.  This kaledeiscope of colourful umbrellas adds to the sunshine today.
Bath is a remarkable city, luckily the traffic manages to keep to the outer edges and its Georgian interior remains a graceful legacy to the past, though not in the photo above of course, this photo must be taken at the bottom end of town which was heavily bombed.
I used to love to walk down to town from Weston Lane where we lived, through Victoria Park, where Moss's ashes are scattered. Meandering past the Royal Crescent, beloved of so many Jane Austen films and then turning left into Gay Street, and eventually Milsom Street,
Milsom Street

the shops would be opening by 10 am and the tourists yet to leave their hotels.
Aerial view of the Royal Crescent

I have written of its Roman history, but not the fact that my daughter went to the dentist on The Circus, or that my young grandson went to school not too far away.

The Circus with its central group of trees, see this blog as to design by John Wood
We all loved Bath, the stream of language students through the household, bringing the spice of foreign stories to us, creating myriads of problems.  Sad Japanese girls who wanted to stay, Turkish Mohammed who practiced on my spinning wheel and bought me Turkish coffee cups and a darling sister who always started her telephone conversation with 'good bye'.  About 250 passed through my hands, some almost reducing me to a breakdown, I will never forget you Davor!
Nostalgia is not good but it was part of my life at the time.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


This is my diary notes for now,  you don't have to read............

Yesterday was a busy day on the phone, organising but I am now booked into the York hospital for the first of many appointments I suppose, my heart sank when told I was 9th in the queue on the automated line, but then they came through and gave me a time and date.   Never go to the doctors, so introduction there to be negotiated.  Vodaphone worried about how much credit I was spending made me a better offer, so the world of automation has a heart too ;)
Which all goes to show that I have now taken my mobile phone use in hand and can circumnavigate it - great relief.  What with sitting with my laptop, and talking to people there I can rule the world from the confines of my armchair.
Paul has been marvellous, escorting me through Lucy's 'assault course' carpet strewn toys and shoes, though of course he clears it. And even Lucy has been excellent and is settling into the routine. She is a good funny companion, every time visitors appear, after the initial bark, she dashes into the sitting room and grabs a chair for herself, luckily she has a fan base.
Meals are going to be simple, ready made pastas and yesterday fish and chips yesterday from the pub next door, always full on a friday as the locals come in.  It is 'pie day' tuesday and 'three roast day sunday' at the pub, wholesome food but enormous plates of it! We share one portion.
Lovely card yesterday from a friend that wound itself down from the Huddersfield hospital, marked by her with my name and the orthorpaedic dept, it found me....
Of course the projected visit tomorrow to the funeral of my ex-husband is off for me, so I had to arrange the paid for room in my daughter's name.   I had foregone insurance on cancellation unfortunately so that had to be dealt with, reminder to myself insurance is necessary!
And lots of reading material,  The Times, we have swopped papers temporarily from the Guardian, to get a different view. Resurgence this morning, and Newstatesman yesterday, that should shut me up.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday - accidents do happen

Well unexpected things happen, and I will never rush down railway steps again for a train.  Leaving Todmorden took me to a whole new adventure, firstly a lot of pain, there are several fractures on my ankle, three months of hobbling around.  Lots of things to do with doctor, hospitals (I was transferred) and I have decided to get a wheelchair so that I can help downstairs with cooking.
The NHS is a wonderful service, don't let this government sell it off to Virgin or the highest bidder, they will just mess it up for us and make a profit for the investors.  The incredible kindness and efficiency of the doctors and nurses has to be experienced and also watched to understand.  It is obvious that I am an observer, and so gathered the tales of all the other occupants of the beds in the ward.
One story comes to mind, the Asian doctor examining the wound, said simply 'I was born in this hospital, and now I am working in it'. We are a mixed baggage of nationalities, and this is nowhere more obvious than a hospital, we have to learn to trust one another, the bastard terrorists are more often than not singular, young men/or women not given to humanity or tolerance.
Politically our country is changing, Grenfell though not political showed us an ugly story of ineptness and perhaps more importantly the great division between rich and poor and people sat up and noticed; that is a note for optimism.  The young have to take a role, as they did in the voting, of taking an interest in what is happening in this country.  The Torys are on the backfoot,  Theresa May got a shock, and to put it crudely is a 'dead man walking'.  
My visit to Todmorden to see the family went off well, Lillie baked her own chocolate malteser cake for her birthday, which got dropped on the floor and into her mother's bag, but got scrapped back together again ;).  I do have photos but it will some time before I can attach them to my computer.

And some strong words from Kensington, don't watch if you don't like swearing....

This link gives the experience of a fireman who was at Grenfell.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Our front lawn was once a meadow, and so through the year we find wild flowers struggling to survive, this slightly blurry photo is of the hawkweed, or fox and cubs.  We have native bluebells in the lawn at spring, I have seen woodland strawberries by the old wall, sadly taken by the strimmer.  But the hawkweed is a striking flower, if only for its colour.  It can be found in church yards, where the land still lies undisturbed and I have seen it at Lastingham church, and probably other churches to, church yards also yield the different species of wild violets to be found still existing.
Anyway, the hawkweed has no folklore or healing properties according to my herb book, but it is distinctive for its 'furry leaves'.
Apparently banned in New Zealand for its invasive habit and the species is considered a noxious weed in some states in America and also Australia.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday - 11th June

nepeta tumbles with a perennial geranium, plenty of bees for these two plants.

All is quiet for the time being, a walk down the lane yesterday amongst the flowering grasses,  do grasses flower I wonder they seed anyway? a soft haze of gentle creams, browns and buff.  The hedgerow sporting the delicate wild roses and seemingly hundreds of chattering sparrows.  Icing on the cake was the barn owl floating back and forward on the 'wild' strip of land that edges the field.  Barn owls can't hunt in rain, it soaks their feathers, so that is why you see them hunting in daylight.  She hovered, swooped, landed in the grass succesful in her hunting.
The people who own the farm and fields cherish the barn owls, for which we should be eternally grateful, the farmer has even seen otter in the river.  Unfortunately no camera, though the eye captures the moment.

A poem by Duffy, not sure if she is still poet laureate, she captures the moment of  the defeat of TM by the young vote which rallied the thinking of these times.  As Giles Coren said, the winner has lost and the loser has won in this campaign - who would have thought it ;)
Campaign a poem by Carol Ann Duffy
In which her body was a question-mark
querying her lies; her mouth a ballot-box that bit the hand that fed. Her eyes? They swivelled for a jackpot win. Her heart was a stolen purse;
her rhetoric an empty vicarage, the windows smashed.
Then her feet grew sharp stilettos, awkward.
Then she had balls, believe it.
When she woke,
her nose was bloody, difficult.
The furious young
ran towards her through the fields of wheat.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday - Helmsley photos

A visit to Helmsley for a cup of coffee and a wander, sadly the coffee machine was not working.  Helmsley is pretty, a small tourist town, you shop at delicatessens rather than large food stores. Its' history is still to be found within the town, ruined castle, old market square, and the lovely walled garden of the castle to be found here.

The little beck from the town joining the River Rye
Just love the way this old hotel has snuggled down into the land beside the church

market day on friday

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday - the aftermath

It is over, the mighty have taken a tumble through foolishness, we are almost back to where we were before the election.  Now of course comes the analysis.  What makes me giggle though is the thought of us all burying our heads in the sand and not voting, we would have still arrived at the same point in time.  Theresa May has been humiliated, and though I hate cruelty she actually did it herself, lacking in charisma the message she hammered home was arrogant, I feel sorry for her!
So I concentrate on the things around me, bread has just gone in the oven, watching the sparrows.  We have probably about a couple of dozen, they live in the virginia creepers and ivys that bestride the fence.  Dance around on the stones and forever bickering over the seed feeder, a new one which I bought yesterday in the vain attempt to stop the squirrel dashing the old feeder to the floor, can be filled to the top - expensive creatures the wild birds.
Making plans to go to Todmorden next week to see my daughter and grandchildren, Lillie's birthday party is on Tuesday, always a home affair with presumably a chocolate cake.
Something I came across yesterday in the book I am reading, it is about the establishment of the Cistercian order.  A good 'green' philosophy.  It should be well known that a lot of the Cistercians abbeys started up in Yorkshire, they needed a 'desert' wild unruly places to start up in, so the following was the goal;

Does salvation rest rather in soft raiment and high living than in frugal fare and moderate clothing? If warm and comfortable furs, if fine and precious cloth, if long sleeves and ample hoods, if dainty coverlets and soft woollen shirts make a saint why do I delay and not follow you at once?  But these things are but comfort for the weak, not the arms of fighting men.... Wine and white bread, honey-wine and pittances, benefit the body not the soul.  The soul is not fattened out of  frying pans!  Many monks in Egypt served God without  fish, pepper, ginger, cumin, sage and all the other thousand spices may please the palate, but they inflame lust....

Taken from Letters of St.Bernard of Clairvaux

Never worn a hair shirt, but normally try to eat sensibly ;) I just love the image of the frying pan exulting me to lust ;) going to make an omelette for lunch with greens out of the garden...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday 7th June

Look who has flown into the garden, well not quite, the boddhisattva came in a van yesterday.  Remember the  story of the Buddhist who sacrificed himself to feed the tiger and her cubs, well here he/she will reign here,  at the end of Paul's Japanese shady side strip in the garden.

There is one more thing we need and that is water.  We have been looking at  half wine barrels and the largest might do.  I miss the dragonflies and damselflies that hovered round the ponds in Bath, my son and I had dug out two ponds.  The first quite deep and I remember putting the pond lining in half folded one evening, and next morning when we came to lay it out there was a couple of newts already in waiting!  Watching the larvae of the damselfly mutate into beautiful winged creatures was a great joy.  The other pond was shallower and larger, goldfish multiplied in its mirky depths, till one day the dog chased a cat across it, and then the water disappeared, to be turned into a bog garden after that.  I surrounded the ponds with reeds that already grew in that part of the garden, because at one point in its history there had been a stream running through the valley and a bridge in our part of the Victorian garden..  Also a medieval mill at the lower end of the valley, and when a great pipe was dug along the valley, they uncovered the walls of of the leat and dam.

Wiki entry;

"In Buddhism bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish and a compassionate mind to attain buddahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Bodhisattvas are a popular subject in Buddhist art."

Something slightly different, another woman artist. Jessica Hallyata. Again decorative and pretty but have you ever seen her work?  maybe the paintings of flowers are too domestic ;)
Here is her dad, from whom she got her talent along with her sisters - polite cough here as to the first reference I found for her was male ;)

Elizabeth Hallyar

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday 4th June - Another bad day for London

Once more we record another IS attack, this time in London, not going into detail it was horrendous.  But just to state that my grandchild Matilda has Muslim friends and will support them to the hilt.  It is only this generational time lapse that will bring peace eventually, and education of course.
And so to lesser things

notice the wagging tail

Before and after photos of Lucy;  Alison clipped her yesterday and though she looks smart, somehow I prefer her scruffy!  But it has given her a new lease of life.

heavy heads

a blackberry put in last year has plenty of flowers this year.

rather pretty irises

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Catching up on Saturday

Well beautiful as Yorkshire is, there is another side to it of course.  I picked this up on F/B this morning, a Channel 4 news clip in Teeside.  The young reporter is a friend of my eldest grandson Tom, and highlights in his first report the fact that there is not enough work for the young in the North.  And that really we don't spend enough money in keeping our young out of trouble.  Amongst all the angst of the coming election it is well to remember that actually nothing much happens in the lives of ordinary people.

It rained probably all last night and the ground has had a good soaking, brilliant sunshine as I took Lucy down the lane with the swallows wheeling overhead.

A mixed week, my ex-husband died a few days ago, and my son is having to arrange the funeral and all the myriad of things that needs doing.  He was a good son, visiting his father in hospital, and my daughter Karen and I will go down for the scattering of the ashes.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thursday 1st June

We are living through interesting times.  Theresa May started out with much confidence that she was going to win a strong conservative election but has seen the gap between the labour party represented by Corbyn and herself slump to 3%.  Corbyn has powered away in the popularity votes, at least on the ground, where will we be in another 10 days? Another hung parliament, not what May was aiming for. Still Yougov figures may be inaccurate.

Almost lost Lucy down a foxhole yesterday we would have had to have half of Yorkshire's farming community to get her portly figure out!.  I sat on the ground hanging on to her back legs, till I managed to grab her collar and hauled her out.  She as always was remarkably unflustered by it all.  

The roses are making their appearance and I am so happy that I chose the warm church wall for them to cling to.  The swallows are starting to make tentative nests against the walls of the church and the house opposite we seem to have quite a few this summer, not all doom and gloom in the natural world.  

The song thrush darts about feeding her young, there seems plenty of them, and there has been a welcome upsurge of bees round the flowers.  I watched the swallows gathering mud (not much of that around in this dry weather) from a large muddy pool that always graces the corner of Salton Lane.

Went for a pub lunch yesterday at Hutton-le-Hole, very hot weather, Paul had whitebait, those little fishes that look into your eyes as you eat them, even though they are encrusted with batter;).
Everyone was enjoying the weather, walking about mostly with their dogs.

We have a vast expanse of stones for our drive, but these little  darlings always pop up here and there in them.