Thursday, August 31, 2023

Stop petting the dolphins

 To the east where there is sunshine

The Mind must turn for the beginning

of the World, in which only love matters

A couple of lines from a poem by Chandran Nair, a poem written by a man who has worked for the World Economic Forum and UNESCO.  Someone who wants to be part of 'saving the world' maybe?  The lines of the poem is written to his wife.
But I am not exploring his life, it is an article written by him in Resurgence - The 'awe industry'  it is about us and our need to explore the world.  Have you never thought it is rather selfish to go exploring the 'wild' wandering through the realms of other creatures as if the land was set out for our pleasure.
Our Western society does it, we have become rich on the back of our colonist past, we can  afford to holiday, to safari, to munro mountains, to wild swim in rivers and lochs.  We become tourists to the far reachings of the Earth, we visit the North and South Poles and pat ourselves on the back for being so brave.  Yet in our wake we strew our rubbish and pollution from the mechanical transport we use.
Some time ago I read a story of how a Norwegian climber had walked past a dying Sherpa on K2.  It was videoed by another two climbers and whether she did do as claimed is anyone's judgement.
But mountain climbing the large Himalayan mountains for some sort of plaudit belongs to the rich, the locals are there to carry the luggage and oxygen people need to brave the summit.  Also we are not prepared to call these mountains by their real names but foist on them our Western names.  
Snowdon has just been renamed in the language of it's Welsh inheritance, Yr Ywddfa, a taking back.  Did you know that Mount Everest is called Sagarmatha/Chomolunga.  True, difficult to say but it belongs to its people, it is not a tourist spot.
I have been in love with the Tibetan culture, or at least the stories that I have read.  I imagine the cold air of the plateaus, the tinkling of the Tibetan prayer wheels as they turn.  Perhaps Tibetan people need  modernity it is not for me to judge but the harshness of Chinese
colonialism reminds us that our culture had the same effect on the countries we 'conquered'
Humans change the world, at the moment disastrously, we are called to slow down our activities in the wake of climate change.  Technology did that the other day when airports were brought to a sudden halt by the computer programme outage.  So a lot of cross and grumbly people demanding compensation probably for the 'outrage' they endured!
I suspect that what I have just written will make some people angry and yet it has to be said in the end, we have to change become less self serving  and learn the word humble.

Mount Kailash

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

A memory churned up - Henry Cliffe


Henry Cliffe (1919-1983)

Painter, printmaker and teacher, who enrolled in 1946 as a student at the Bath Academy of Art where he was to later teach alongside William Scott, Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost, Bryan Winter, Howard Hodgkin and Adrian Heath.  He was chosen for the British Pavilion at the 1954 Venice Biennale with Ben Nicholson, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud returning again in 1960 alongside Pasmore and Paolozzi. His first one-man exhibition was at the Redfern Gallery in 1956 and three years later his first one-man print show was held at St. George’s Gallery.

Well to continue the theme of artists, I looked up a friend from Bath, long gone, who was also an artist.  It was Tasker talking about the fox that visited their garden and it jogged my memory, and I remembered Henry also fed the foxes each evening.  The Cliffes, Valerie and Henry, lived in one of the large Victorian houses in Weston Park in Bath.  My husband then had rented out their attic flat from them and they had become friends.

We lived in a modern house the other side of the valley between Weston Park and Weston Lane, our house built into the downward slope of the hill had a long garden meeting up with the gardens of Weston Park, there was a 'ha-ha'* separating the two gardens. 

Once before our houses had been built there had been a field, through which ran a stream which had had a bridge over it, the stream in the middle ages had serviced a mill further down the lane.  

In late Victorian times  the occupant of the house behind us had designed Victoria Park, and in our garden there were still a couple of old Japanese trees and some Japanese knotweed, which never did anything spectacular by the way but stayed as a clump in its position.  The house next door to this Victorian house belonged to Leo McKern of 'Rumbold of the Bailey's' fame.  And his deep actor's voice could often be heard, especially when he was telling off a neighbour complaining about his garden fires.

Henry once gave us a painting, now lost in all the moves, and I was at the time never aware of all his paintings.  

His wife Val on his death moved to a large flat just outside the city and we went there for parties but the saddest moment for me was when we had to visit to meet the private ambulance that was taking her to the hospice.

Her son had phoned up and asked us to meet the ambulance at the house.  It was a splendid Bath flat, the doors were open when we arrived, there was a pot of something simmering on the stove and Ron and I walked through to find Val in bed smiling sweetly.  In true English style we never spoke of what was happening, though I struggled with sadness, I packed her a suitcase.  Her wardrobe was a revelation.  A good dozen of pale silk blouses, colour coordinated, her clothes immaculate.

She phoned me a few days later to thank us and we talked but not about that creature in the room that was about to take her life.  I have often wondered would I have said anything differently now?

Val had lots of art books, coffee book table, she taught at the Bath Academy of Art, her flat was a joy to walk into full of colour and the books.

 I am not a fan of modern art but  there are a lot of Henry's paintings on the internet, and I am not quite sure about this one but it is titled 'Lansdown' which is of course part of the downs outside Bath.

* ha-ha (Frenchhâ-hâ or saut de loup), also known as a sunk fenceblind fenceditch and fencedeer wall, or foss, is a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier (particularly on one side) while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond from the other side. The name comes from viewers' surprise when seeing the construction.

Village Life in Weston 2007

Anglo Saxon history

Monday, August 28, 2023

28th August 2023 - Pesvner

Geoffrey Grigson on Pevsner: "What caused faint enduring resentment, which never quite died away with some people, was the existence and extraordinary and benison of his architectural guides, county by county, parish by parish, especially parish church by parish church.

They were an adaption of of German guides which listed the good things throughout Germany (though without much detail) and they were seen as interfering with the cosy art amateurism of English church crawling".*

 Yesterday on the radio Grayson Perry was talking about Nikolas Pesvner. Coincidence, as I had only been thinking of Pesvner the last few days.  Feeling rather guilty at being critical of his book, and there were many of them.  My Catholic (ex) guilt of being troublesome over a person who had done such a lot for architecture and the churches of England.

So this morning I found an old video of Jonathan Meade on BBC 4 and watched a fascinating part of our history and how we have changed over time.  Meade who is an good observer of our society did Pesvner justice but also stressed his omissions in the writings.

You can gather from the programme that Pesvner is a workaholic and is exceptionally intelligent but starting from the emigre's point of view in a strange country.  There lies the answer to my question. I love the very bones of my country, its stories and myths, its landscapes and shores, Pevsner had come with an European mindset. An Europe that was so more sophisticated than England was.

He lightly travelled the country, (his wife drove him) twice a month, made notes on the buildings and churches, wrote them up in the evening in their bed and breakfast and then they were published. He just sort of floated over the surface of churches, methodically layering them down to a few points of his making.  

There was also the stigma of being Jewish and German in a country heading for war.  He was held for a time, along with many other intellectuals imprisoned as internees, though in houses.  There is a brief glimpse of these people stuffing straw into bedding sheets, how times have changed


* Grigson explored the hate that  Pevsner  suffered at the time, racism of course, but I think Betjeman and others were just jealous of his ability to write voluminously and be published!

Sunday, August 27, 2023

27th August 2023

 So, Singapore, why are you interested in my blog? Do tell.  

Does anyone else get sudden sharp rises in their viewing numbers?  Are there gaggles of teenagers in internet cafes  sifting through my blog, or trying to find information about me.

Well you are welcome to my blog, nothing of interest in there for you.  In fact I shall find you some nice quiet photos of my life here in Yorkshire. (and elsewhere)

My daughter is spending the weekend in Sheffield.  Sheffield I spluttered, who goes to Sheffield for a weekend ;) Alright Y/P I am joking, she says there are nice buildings around the town.  They were going to do a barge trip, but the barge did not look up to the mark.

This is Piggledene, a run of the great sarsens that Avebury stones are made of, which is just a few miles down the road.

Another capture

Silbury Hill, again just down the road from Avebury.  The largest
                                                 man made barrow in Europe
North Yorkshire moors when the heather is brown

A Yorkshire Beck

This is Moss who has been dead for many a long year, on his favourite walk through the ransomes, so it must be early spring

Saturday, August 26, 2023

To Reminiscence

The Cove at Avebury

 Listening to a programme this morning about a charity ride in Scotland on horseback, or at least walking alongside the horses, I though about walking pilgrim ways.  This walk was eventually to finish at the island of Iona.  There is so much to think about that we need at least three lives to sit down and ponder.

Going on a pilgrims walk does not necessarily mean you are religious, same as retreats, you escape life for a bit and live in the present.  I bet even blogging is an escape route into past memories.  Why do we collect our photos of churches we visit, there is no religious need to do it. but we have an innate curiosity about the world around us.

West Kennett Long barrow

My interest has been in megalithic prehistory, the grey standing stones that pockmark this country of ours, and other countries of course.  Still, silent sentinels marking perhaps a grave spot like the great Neolithic long barrows.  Is there a spiritual magic that the stones speak of? Or is it our reverence for the passing of Great Time over the millennia.  

It is like belief in ghosts, we never see them but just hope that they are there because without ghosts life would be a bit boring. Do they live in our psyche or wander around in the spirit world calling out to us. An unexplained mystery.

I am whittling on because I rather fancy a trek by horseback through England, though this should be undertaken in the months of May and June but it wouldn't be to a place of religion, it would be more an acknowledgement to 'The Spirit of Place' Does it exist?

The  length of West Kennett long barrow

Friday, August 25, 2023

25th August 2023

Virginia Woolf wrote, “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman,” 

Where to start?  Last night my daughter and Lillie went to see 'Barbie' the film.  A run down from my daughter this morning and she explains the two worlds of this doll turned human, and how the film sorts out the feminism, from the plastic world of the doll to our real world, Barbie chooses our world to live in.

“A woman should be first a mother, then a housekeeper, then an ‘echo’ of her husband.” Judith Flanders – A Circle of Sisters

Feminism is a subject that has evolved over time, as women have fought to have equal footing in society, so things have changed, albeit slowly.  They have been held down by the rigours of child birth and housekeeping duties.  Today we address these problems and husbands or partners are now allowed time off from work to look after the baby and wife.  But as always as a society we muddle through equality between the sexes.  It will come eventually, whether by good law or commonsense.  There is always a fight going on, humans are very good at that!

But one thing that has always been lost is the creative force that women also have either in painting or writing.  This is somewhat emphasised by reading Grigson's 'Recollections' of his working life in the 1930s.  His subjects are invariably male, women only having a small walk on part as wives or girlfriends, they are not the main figures in the art world.

Now let us introduce Christa Zaat and her work - Rewriting Art History in collecting in albums female artists.  She does it on Facebook, and I have no shame in being there by the way.  Why? because there are history contacts, art, gorgeous costumes through the centuries and jewellery and ceramics to die for.  Each day I see art and am stunned by the achievements of both men and women, who work creatively and then their work lives on for us to admire.

I believe Christa Zaat is doing an excellent job, just to pick up one point in the above article......

For centuries, the Art Canon was dominated by art made by men, preferably white and dead for at least 50 years. That was the paradigm about art. No matter how talented and skilled a woman was:

We have gone down a singular road, taste was dictated by males, they did not even bother to evaluate women's art through the restricted confines of their narrow view of their own importance. It is changing but let us hear more from the female side.......

Street music 'Dancing in the Dark' listen to it sung in Italian, so romantic...

Rewriting Art History with Christa Zaat - No Smoking (

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

23rd August 2023

“All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others.” 

― Virginia WoolfTo the Lighthouse

 A question:  How do you butter the holes in sourdough bread?

this is what I wrote yesterday, the blankness of the holes in the bread stopped me from writing further, is that what is called an existentialist question, never mind.  One of the problems you will see from the above is accessing my computer because I am setting my small table loom on the same table.  One good thing is I can use You tube for the 'Warping of a Rigid Ashford Loom' but it makes it rather difficult to type.

The trip to Hebden went well, when Karen had remembered to message Tom and Ellie at which cafe to meet us we found a table.  The little square in which the cafe is, is crowded from people wandering around, some definitely tourist, whilst at one end of the square is a pile up of the motorbike lads, (all this side of 50 years old).  Music is playing as is the sun brightening up the scene.  We pottered around a couple of charity shop, I have no desire to acquire anything anymore,, so for me it is browsing and wondering about all the lives these clothes, books and jewellery were home to.

Ellie fell in love with Mollie, whose piercing tones from the top of the stairs summoned a presence and Ellie obeyed meekly.  Mollie has settled into my room and hardly wanders around the other rooms in the house, she is settled, safe and secure in one room and that is the way she likes it.

I went through the December 2015 blogs this morning and thought this would fill in for the photographs I no longer take. So here is 'Wednesday' from which the above Virginia Woolf quote comes from.  And the 27th December 2015 when the rain fell unceasingly and the basement of this house was flooded.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

20th August 2023

Today is my daughter's birthday, presents to be opened later, tea and cakes at Lillie's cafe this afternoon and then takeaway meal tonight.  So I have chosen a song from my era, and as I type my fingers dance to the music.

We were discussing Carnaby Street this morning and clothes, her charity shop is set in an upmarket area in Manchester, and she is an expert on the 'vintage' clothes from 70s/80s/90 and the shop does well, especially as they get new unsold stuff from the fashionable small shops nearby.  

But what of Carnaby Street, I remember it as a lively place where stereotypes of my childhood were at last broken down and girls became independent and we had to struggle with short skirts and dresses.  Remember to go down, back straight and never bend over....

When you look at videos of the time the young were so much happier strutting their stuff, and we were so much thinner.  Three meals a day and not much junk, it just didn't exist.

Now women have to work because two jobs in the family is essential to pay for childcare, mortgages and the higher cost of utilities and food. We lose some things along the way, one obviously being the freedom of youth and we look at the youth around us and nag them as we were once nagged.

So a happy birthday to my lovely daughter, and the four grandchildren she has 'blessed' me with.  Okay Lillie I will forgive you that heart stopping moment last night when you said my new computer did not work and we then spent a panicked half an hour righting it.  You found the solution on the internet and everything is back to normal.  Luckily we had Andrew as well, who has a much calmer nature than myself.

  Naive and childish but fun.   
History of Carnaby Street - YouTube

Friday, August 18, 2023

18th August 2023 - Books

 Books; and dull ones at that, so no need to read on!

With me when an idea strikes I have to investigate it and at the moment it is Pesvner and his reception in England. Pesvner was a German Jew and had left Germany in the 1930's there was talk of him being sympathetic to the Hitler regime, but whether this is or was true I cannot say, only that he was a very clever man who could write on art and architecture.  So two books thudded through the letterbox yesterday, Geoffrey Grigson - "Recollections" and Stephen Games on "Pesvner - The early life, Germany and Art."  Both ex-library.

Dipping into Grigson I am immediately aware in his capturing of the notable people of his time, it is mainly gossip and labelling, something like we do today in fact.  Stephen Games whilst reviewing a book of Pesvner had mentioned Hilter in his review but not in the way it was to be interpreted later by others.  So his book is a long, lengthy explanation (much of which I will not read) as to Pesvner's life in Germany before the second World War.

I have a feeling that poor old Pesvner was a bit boring as far as the leading lights of Grigson Recollections are concerned, and it will be interesting to read little, short biographies of Elliot, Auden, Moore, Dylan Thomas and MacNeice.

The other book is far too long to go back to.  I was talking to my son over the weekend, and he asked if I had ever read Dostoevsky.  Yes said I in my early 20s, The Brothers Karamazov.  I can impress my children sometimes!  What had struck me though of this large book was the religious argument used in it.  Meet the Grand Inquisitor and understand how if Jesus had followed the devil and not his good conscience we would all have been in a better place. He was burnt on the Auto-da-fe for not following  the advice of the Grand Inquisitor.  

Think on? maybe the human race has always followed the devil's teachings.....

Debby of 'Life's funny like that' blog had mentioned the other day of reading with much pleasure to her grandchildren.  I remember I read to Mark my son till he was about 10 years old.  Then one day found myself reading the 'Lord of the Rings' to him and realising I would never finish it.  Telling him to read it himself, lazy creature.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

16th August 2023

There is not much to write about this morning though the day is glorious.  I have wandered up the canal path, watching the feathers on the water go by.  Probably from the 20 or 30 Canadian geese who flew overhead.  Along the waterside there is a small oasis of weeds, the dreaded ragwort, oxeye daisies, fireweed and a tall pale white something that looks like a hollyhock in its growth but could well be a musk mallow.

My daughter is home after one of those terrible migraine headaches, we think caused by her abrupt stopping of anything with caffeine in.  As I had tablets with caffeine in when I succumbed to headaches, I am not surprised at the backlash.  Our bodies adjust to what we eat, but throw in a spanner and there is a tantrum, migraines especially so.  We both feel relief when the sun goes down, probably showing how the rhythms of the Earth have a bearing on our physical being.

In my delving on You Tube I came across the 'Unexpected Gypsy', I am not giving a link but she is an artist, that either lives in the clouds or with the fairies.  In fact her work is based round fairies. She is one of the New Agers who will dance around at will and talk of meditation and looking into oneself and talking out her problems, and of course loving oneself.

The National Treasure Mollie is refusing her food, whether from 'I don't like that stuff' or whether she finds it difficult to eat I don't know.  But health wise she zoomied round the room this morning.  Her mate for nineteen years was Ginger, the cat I mentioned recently.  He wouldn't let her eat and that is why they have been parted.   Mollie has a particular loud Miaow, this caused by her deafness, and can get irritated should I go down stairs, she sits  at the top furiously and loudly meowing. There is something very autocratic in her little soul.

I rather like this craft room of Carl Larsson

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

15th August 2023 - Poetry

 This morning as I listened to Radio 4, they announced there was a programme on this coming Sunday about Seamus Heaney and his life.  When I first started this blog I was in love with his poetry, especially 'North'  I had managed to get a copy from Bath library and wrote down some of the poems.  You will find them in the links below.  Heaney had done an archaeological course at Queen's Universities of Ireland, same as my archaeologist husband.

So the poems from 'North were archaeology based, deep and rather miserable I suppose you would say. Brooding on the death of the 'bog' Queen - a fascinating story. Read it here.  Heaney, as Jennie said at the time was influenced by one of his set books probably - 'The Bog People' by Glob.

If you have ever encountered a desiccated body from way back in time, the picture will remain with you for ever.  Mine is from the British Museum when I was a child, when we encountered an orange coloured corpse that had come from a desert somewhere. It lay in its incongruous surroundings on a patch of sand, my first encounter with death.

He is the only poet I know that took in every aspect of the prehistoric era and blended them into words.  It was through poetry that Paul and I came together, he collected it on a well known site and also on a blog here.

North Stoke: Grauballe Man

North Stoke: Seamus Heaney

North Stoke: Seamus Heaney

Sunday, August 13, 2023

13th August 2023 - odd thoughts that just bob up

 Well lets start the morning with elderly cats.  As you all know Mollie seems to be settling down well, but I wish she was not so picky over her food.  I laughed this morning when my daughter sent me  this link about another elderly cat called Ginger in need of a home - Tasker maybe?  Ginger has obviously all the traits that Mollie has, a tendency to domination and her needs fulfilled or they get cross and you will receive a reprimanding paw for disobeying.

Things that have struck me in my listening.  Orwell describing politicians as like 'being a necklace of corpses strung round our necks'.  Very apt, obviously the old white male (and apologies to any man who is reading this) is still an enemy to fight.  Though in this case the present government have idiotic younger men and women.  Liz Truss is so, fill in whatever word you think suitable, ambitious is mine, that like Margaret Thatcher does she even belong to the female race ;)  Orwell's essay on writing is matchless.

Talking of which, Journalizing, (you have won American dictionary, I shall use the dreaded zzzzzzz instead of the English ssss) but only to signify a different type of journal.  To journalize is to write privately each day, often embellishing your notebook with photos, collages or anything.  Similar to a blog but a blog becomes public and so is approached differently. 

I have been contemplating setting up my small rigid loom, have looked at a couple of videos just to check, but need some cotton yarn.  Problems arrive via the warp, my table is four feet, so short. Should I take the warp to the bookcase it will be much longer, but do I need that length?  Also, this is silly but I get sick from going back and forward.  I think it is middle ear problem but annoying.

What annoyed me in the video of 'The Anguished Road to Tormorden' was the young man's flippancy (and so many have it) about the Unitarian Church.  His silly remarks about 'the church for the units of ???' cheap words are easy, long ones not so.  Flippancy is the sign of insecurity.

  Obviously I have a certain amount of insecurity.

Also, quite pleased about this, what was nagging my brain about Pevsner.  It was just that in his descriptions of our churches, he details almost 98% on the Norman and later era.  So it is all stone and none of the beautiful wooden carvings that adorn the churches.  From the carved stories that feature at the end of pews, to the traceried chancel screen.

For instance when scrolling through some photos I came across the wooden font  in Normanby church.  Well if you lifted it up and looked at the underside there was a little mouse carved by the 'Mouseman' more recent history of course but there to tell us who the maker was.  I found another carved mouse on a wooden seat in the village of Newton on Rawcliffe.

Friday, August 11, 2023


Mollie at the window

I would like to introduce you to Kutovakika, she is Finnish and a knit ware designer.  Always happy and energetically living her life, her videos are a  must when she produces a new one.  Knitting - well males do not have to watch this video, knitting being out of your scope, though actually there are male knitters out there.

It looks a delightful Scandinavian holiday cottage her family occupy, sun, water and trees. Kutovakika is energised by all she sees and perhaps rather than think knitting is for fuddy-duddy old people, it is increasingly taken up by younger folk.  So I would say to our yarn makers that produce the knitting wool for us.  Would you please go out to Italy, France and the Scandinavian countries and look at what fabulous yarns they are producing

I knit daily, better than a blood pressure pill, and I can listen or watch things on my computer.  Orwell Essay's today, and Melvyn Bragg on the English Language.

I listened to Orwell's thoughts on writing style, it seemed to boil down to do not over complicate your writing, and do not go in for long wordy sentences.  Be simple!

Some things I have knitted recently, in what I would call the 'fluffy' style.  This is done by knitting two strands together, one a double knit or 4 ply, the other strand a lovely  silk/mohair.

You will have to excuse the photos from my lousy camera but I note I can get the 'saturation' about right for the colour.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

10th August2023


Nikolaus Pevsner (l902 -l983) and his wife Lola's grave at Clyffe Pypard

 German-British art historian and architectural historian

Sometime ago I dismissed Pevsner's great output of writing on the architecture of English churches and felt guilty at the time. So when I saw this photo some days ago I hunted around for books on the subject.  Google Books are very good on this by the way.
He came from Germany and although he became nationalised as English he of course suffered from racism.  
he lived next door to the Grigson family for a short time, Geoffrey Grigson being a great favourite of mine (book noted along the way - an autobiography by Grigson - The Crest on the Silver) but they were neighbours and were companiable enough. Though Grigson did say of Pevsner 'that he had no soul and no real love of art or literature'.
The current criticism at the time said of him that Pevsner suffered from 'German dryness and Teutonic thoroughness.' The other person (another favourite) was John Betjeman who conducted a campaign against Pevsner for years.  He wrote 'The Herr-Professor-Doktors are writing everything down for us ... so we need never to bother, to feel, or think or see again' 
This made Pevsner research the English hatred of foreigners, and now  I am beginning to feel rather sad for someone whose cultural (but dull genius) writings we should admire.
I find it strange in our modern world how much literature meant in the early 20th century.  No cameras or video cameras, no mobile phones or computers to write or picture on.  But what we have lost from those golden ages is the ability to write for long periods on subjects that mattered.  Whether it be literature, art or history.   AI has given us instance access to knowledge, but it is flimsy and short, just picking salient features.
Anyway the photo came from this blog in 2009, I wonder if there was a part two?  Another blog popped up at the same time, this time of St. Catherine's church in Winterbourne Bassett. A pretty little church with a rather magnificent wooden font cover.  Snap on the photographs for decent images.

Paul tackling off-roaders at Avebury.  Goodness know where they had departed though!

Wednesday, August 9, 2023


 The following video is about Todmorden. I don't really like the tone of Charlie Vetch, the person taking the video a certain scoffing note I detect. He names the video "The Anguished Road to Todmorden", he is the Anguished Road, or at least he titles all his videos like that.

What I find fascinating is that he captures some of the visual element of the town, but having only spent a few hours there, he just boards the train back to wherever he lives.

On closer inspection, this is what is written about him. Another person who gets into trouble with weird ideas. Death threats and David Icke - yikes, no wonder I found him scornful. Also I have a certain reservation about the beginning of the show, four policemen in Manchester to tackle a shoplifter, seems a bit strange.

But as a Youtube journalist he does capture some of the spirit of Tod, and he is obviously fascinated by the cobbled Water Street, that lies directly in front of the Town Hall.  He notes the river that runs alongside the street.  This is the river that divides the town into two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire.  

Sunday, August 6, 2023


  1. Cancel Culture:
  2. a social environment in which publicly boycotting or withdrawing support for people, organizations, etc. regarded as promoting socially unacceptable beliefs is widespread practice:
    "there's a middle ground between cancel culture and free speech absolutism"
  3. The other day, I asked the two girls what they understood about the 'cancel culture'.  I had just read about someone called Lizzo, a singer who had 'bullied' her dancers.  At the time I thought well everyone can seem to come on the internet and moan about whatever.  

Phillip Schofield has been cancelled recently as has J.K. Rowling, one for unspecified wrongdoing with a young minor and the other for her views on transgender.

If you have followed me for sometime you would find I hate cruelty of any kind, I am immediately on the side of the underdog.  But the people chosen to be cancelled are often celebrities and will then have this black mark hanging over their heads. Do they deserve them? well I am not Solomon but  I dislike intensely the ability of scores of voices on the internet to give voice to nastiness.

The Morrison man has just been with our shopping at 7 am no less, Matilda and I have unpacked it. The cat is zooming around like a mad creature, forget her age of 19 years, she is energetic, demanding and fussy and settling in perfectly well.

I did read something that pleased me though.  Trump on his appearance in court was brought down to ordinary status by the female judge who kept him waiting for 20 minutes, who treated him the same as she would treat any other 'felon' - sweet.

Also read the long article on this very interesting book called,  Looking For Eileen - How George Orwell wrote his wife out of his story by Anna Funder.

Rescuing those who have helped their loved ones through their writing careers is not very common.  And Anna Funder mentions the fact of culture cancellation, this time for George Orwell, should his actions be read as wrong through her book.  She is not condemning him only bringing to our attention the role that his wife Eileen played in his life, which somehow he never mentioned!

He was, as I keep reminding everyone, only acting as the society round him acted.  It was normal behaviour in his time, we cannot bring the lens of today to judge past behaviour.  History is already written and cannot be undone.

Friday, August 4, 2023

4th August 2023 - Brittonic Kingdoms

It is misty today, the sun obliterated by drizzling rain, wet shiny road surfaces and an ambulance, sirens ablazing rushes through.  How many time have I heard that noise early in the morning.  It must be to do with half awake motorists I suppose.

The above photo is of Normanby in December. the walk I would go most mornings with Lucy.  The light captures the stiff seed heads  of the dock plant and I can remember the barn owls who lived at the farm in the old ruined barns we passed, swooping round this field, hunting for prey. i wonder how they are getting on?  There was also a heron often to be found, like a tall old man forever standing in one spot.  I love the way the rain clings to the stem, bubbles of light like diamonds.

The bank that stopped the river from over flooding into the fields

From the 8th century the Vale of Pickering is associated with the people of Deira, and may have formed its heartland, as the Vale has the highest density of early churches in the UK. There are a remarkable number of 7th and 8th century religious communities found on the borders and approaches of the Vale of Pickering (at Lastingham, Gilling, Stonegrave, and Coxwold). Within the Vale the survival of architectural or sculptural elements such as Anglo-Saxon carved stone and/or the reuse of Roman material (sarcophagi etc) and archaeology attest to the significance of sites such as Kirby Misperton, Sherburn, Hovingham and Kirkdale. These may all be associated with prayer houses or burial by Deira’s ruling elite. If the Vale of Pickering is the heartland of Deira it may account for anomalies in the faunal record at West Heslerton, where the lack of market age cattle in a huge animal bone assemblage may result from their being used in the payment of tithes or taxes. 

 I had forgotten that Bernicia and Deira the old 'dark age' kingdoms of the North were part of the landscape.  In fact the old North pushes up much further into Northumbria, the Romans keeping the warring Picts behind the walls of Hadrian's Wall and 20 years later behind the Antonine Wall in central Scotland though this wall did not last as long.

There was so many small kingdoms through this Celtic age, as the Romans left Britain rather abruptly in the 5th century and the warring for territory took precedence for incoming Saxons and Angles. 

Here I might be living in the small kingdom of Elmet, in the Calder Vale where Ted Hughes once lived and who also fell in love with the old history of the area.

But today is Friday, we are having fish and chips for tea tonight.  Matilda is here working, 9.30 till 6.0 on the computer and Lillie still to get up maybe going to work at the cafe in Hebden Bridge.  She is also thinking of taking on another job as well in the restaurant we had lunch in the other week.  This time making pizzas on a wood fire.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

3rd August 2023

Morning Routine;  Thought I would be a tad boring today.  After breakfast, I tackle a jigsaw, Wordle, Spelling Bee and then a Codeword, to see that all my facilities are still working.  They are.

A minor triumph, bought some food yesterday from Lidl for Mollie and she knocks it back as if there is no tomorrow, 'Prochoice' if you are interested.  But I was really worrying that she was hardly eating the food she came with, which was classified as pate.  When the world is starving, we give our pets luxury! Matilda is coming down for the weekend. She will be interested in Mollie, as is Lillie, though Mollie is an independent creature. 

I do a lot of the cooking, butter bean dish last night, we have dined simply this week, with Lillie her favourite is Macaroni Cheese, and the other night we had Risotto.  Carbs are needed by the working girls.

We are nearly all vegetarian, even Andrew.  The world is slowly turning to making their diets more plant based, we still eat fish now and then but that is all.  I read yesterday food is one of the most important things we have to rely on and that is true.  Veganism is trying to address our use of meat and dairy products.  Now that is where many of us fall into the deep hole of butter and cheese.  The Vegan alternatives are not the same and as for organic food too expensive to buy.


 Just testing but I have taken three of my blogs off, to see if this warning still applies. "This blog may contain sensitive content. In general, Google does not review or endorse the content of this or any blog. For more information about our content policies, please visit Blogger's community guidelines."

Can't see where I could have gone wrong, except maybe, especially on my political views ;)

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

2nd August 2023 - three market towns

Pat was drawing attention yesterday as to how our market towns are changing reminded me of the homesickness I often feel for the three market towns Paul and I shopped in.   If I had had a choice Kirkbymoorside would have been the place I would have crept away from life.  But I needed my family and they live on another side of Yorkshire.  Yorkshire by the way is a helluva big place.  Transport to this particular area meant train services out of Malton and taxis to the station.

Market towns are still a muddle of small cottages, wide open space in the centre, now often turned into car parks, and as always the church and small shops often selling local produce, with the market on market day selling food. 

Walking up the street when Pickering market was in full flow was exciting, you don't have the calling out you would get in a London market but vast arrays of (whatever had fallen off the back of a lorry?) shoes, coats, underpants or anything that was saleable greeted you.

Pickering church with wall paintings

Helmsley is of course a tourist spot, with the centre turned into a car park though cars have to move when it is market day.  With the castle and the walled garden, the stream that runs through it and the delicatessen with its array of delicious food.  Then the coffee shops that would greet Lucy with a bowl of water, it was at its best in the sunshine.

The town we went to most of was Kirkbymoorside, it had a Co-op and a selection of small shops where you could buy most things, something that has now got lost because of the internet and its ready access to everything

Here is one of my short videos of Kirkbymoorside. Every year there was a tractor show, that went through our village and then Kirkbymoorside.  You will see Paul step into the picture for a moment, smiling away, his love for this part of the world already established.

Helmsley Gardens