Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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All Mixed Up

I’m still here, there, and everywhere; wearing, as a colleague is fond of telling me ‘more hats than  they’ve got at John Lewis’.

This afternoon I drove to the village of Waterhouses  in Staffordshire, to collect Joe, he’d spent the weekend helping a Cub  Scout pack have a high old time at Orchard Farm. Mr Uphilldowndale took Joe there on Friday evening, through thick fog, not a pleasant journey. This was whilst I was at a rather  feisty public meeting, wearing one of my many hats, that wasn’t particularly pleasant either.

Waterhouses is set in the midst of beautiful countryside, but it was the nearby Cauldon Cement works that I wanted to photograph.

Cement works -1

But there was no time to stay and play,  as Joe needed to get home and get his homework done before his ‘weekend high’ slumped into Sunday night angst.

I’m looking forward to reclaiming some ‘me time’ to loiter around with the camera, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion its not going to be before New Year. So for the time being, ‘happy snaps’ it will have to be.

Joe was particular taken with the silos at the cement works,

silo -1

he said when they were out in a nearby field, they could hear the echo’s of their shouts (of which I’m sure there were many) echoing around the inside of the silos.

We’ve discussed cement works before…


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Calling a Spade a Spade

The press has been full of the story of ‘celebrity chef’ Antony Worrall Thompson stealing food from Tesco. I’m a bit weary of reading described  as ‘theft lite’ by couching the incident in euphemistic terms such as (from the Guardian yesterday) ‘snaffling’. He stole things that didn’t belong to him. End Of.

I’m very nearly a decade out of retailing, but ‘shop lifting’ still presses my buttons (even from Tesco!) You have to be a very committed reader to remember when I wrote about a similar experience. But the Worrall Thompson stuff has reminded me that I haven’t bloged about an ‘incident’*  in a ‘ leading high street pharmacy’

Joe and I were shopping, when I noticed something, not quite right about the young man in the aisle near the razor blades (one of the most stolen items) he was being very furtive, not really looking at the goods on display, but glancing around. It was all a bit odd, to me he had the jizz of a shoplifter.

Edge of Darkness 1

So I told a member of staff of what I’d seen. She thanked me profusely, and Joe and I continued our shopping, good citizen deed of the day done. Cut to ten minutes later when Joe and I are paying for our purchases at the till. The member of staff appears at my side, ‘I just thought I’d tell you’ she says ‘the gentleman you described, that you thought was a shop lifter. Err. Well. Err, actually,  the gentleman, he’s our store detective.’

The thaw 3-1

Over the Christmas break we went to one of our favourite beauty spots (where all the photos on this post are taken, at different times of the year) only to see that someone has stolen the bronze topography , presumably for its scrap value. Annoying.

Change in the  weather 4-1

At the top of the hill, huddled together against the gale that was blowing, we realised we were all standing in some recently scattered ashes, presumably human. Sorry.

Tomorrow, so I’m told the sun will shine and it will be bright and frosty; normal service will be resumed.

*something my family would describe as ‘one of Mums Miranda moments’


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Don’t Buy It

We are more than a little cross and upset in this household. One of the more senior members of our family has been duped out of £120 by this  Internet Scam.

He was rung, out of the blue, the caller convinced him there were problems with his computer that could be fixed remotely. They led him to believe they were ringing on behalf of Microsoft, they weren’t. There were no problems to fix, they conned him out of £120 and goodness know what information  they have accessed by gaining remote access to his PC.  We’ve got him to unplug the PC and we are making arrangement to rebuild his PC for him.

I’ve mentioned before, we don’t like being conned, please spread the word on this, we know of others who have been approached. Grrrrrrrr!

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