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



Especially for mj, Barry Flanagan’s wonderful hares; striding out across the canal pond

Nijinski Hare -1

Leaping through the trees

leaping hare -1

The poised, Large Nijinski on Anvil Point

Nijinski Hare on Anvil-1

And possibly my favourites, the petite Empire State with Bowler- Mirrored,  a piece that is obviously appreciated by the local spiders

Bowler -1

They look so deceptively simple in close up, as if given a a pack of plasticine anyone could knock one up (oh no, I’ve just looked at last years post and I thought Damien Hursts work looked like pasticine, I think my art appreciations need s mature beyond primary school)

In previous years the Beyond Limits exhibition at Chatsworth has comprised of sculptures by many different artists and whilst I knew I would enjoy the Flannagan sculptures, I do prefer the bigger more diverse event that I’ve posted about before I’m a bit puzzled that it’s described as a ‘selling exhibition’, could so many of Flanagan’s works be for sale at once? But then  is anything is for sale if the price is right?


Summers Past

And the making of memories.

Forgiving me for returning to the beach and family holidays. But a couple of   posts I’ve read this week have catapulted me back to Devon.  First there was Nancy’s post reflecting on just how many summers her family had enjoyed their favourite beach  just like the Uphilldowndale family’s love of a certain Devon beach,

Summers Past -1

then there was Sarah’s post that made me smile and recall our coastal meeting with a grasshopper.  So I nipped back to the post I’d written at the time, back in 2009, about our encounter with the artist David Measures, about his glorious art and his generosity with both his time and knowledge: sadly, when I followed the links, I discovered that David died last year.  Looking at the website of Southwell Artists I saw that Christine Measures, David’s wife, is also an artist.

When I met David he told me he was working on a book that would capture, not just the markings of a butterfly, for identification but how it moved, its mannerisms, what a bird watcher might call it’s jizz.  The slide show of Christine’s art captures both David and Devon summer holidays perfectly. Beautiful.



Seaside Rock

How quickly our seaside holiday is becoming a distant memory. How quickly the real world piles in to the vacated mind.

How heavy it has rained today! Just as well I have some holiday snaps to look back at.

On the coast path there were some fine lumps of rock (you know I’m fond of them) ancient gate posts, long since disused girded with hand forged iron.

seaside rock -1

The remnants of old walls

seaside rock  1-1

The bizarre weather we’ve had in UK this summer seems at least to have pleased the costal flowers, or just made them flower later than usual. I can’t ever recall  ever seeing quite so many as this year.

seaside rock  4-1

The insect world seemed appreciative

seaside rock  6-1

Just delightful really, *sigh*

seaside rock  5-1


Best of British

Tonight we  beach buddies will be gathering together for a feast and watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic games at the holiday cottage with the biggest TV.  I hear a rumour steak is on the menu, I’m pretty sure it will be British and as  I’m pudding monitor I can vouch for the British strawberries, although there are a few French blueberries involved, but that is the spirit of the Olympic games, isn’t it?

A friend who was involved in the building of the stadium, attended the dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony, all she will say is that it is amazing.

I’m twenty minutes late already, I must away. Enjoy.


Spud on a Sunday Part LXIV

Spud the dog is in his element. Here he is on his Sunday morning walk.

Happy dog -1

Not a little girl in a  pretty sundress in sight. The early morning mist burnt off for a stunning sunny day.

However Spud did blot his copy book, I was distracted briefly whilst making the sandwiches for lunch and when I returned all that was left was lettuce leaf on the kitchen floor, Tom’s order of ham salad with pesto mayo was no more. Naughty Spud. Just as well I had preselected my beach reading.

in defense of dogs -1


Spud on Sunday Part LXXII

Spud the dog has been very, very naughty.

No,  I know what you are thinking,thankfully it is not the precious new lounge carpet that has been on the receiving end of his mischief.

It was my brand new,  fresh out of the box, girly, suede shoes, my beautiful delphinium blue* shoes, with ribbons and everything; purchased specifically to wear at a wedding this weekend.

The house is littered with shoes, ancient slippers, flip flops, school shoes,  fell shoes, Crocs. But no, it was my new shoes that Spud felt he had to make his mark upon by chewing the heel. Grrrrrrr.

Blue suede shoe-1 

I managed to find the strip of leather he’d peeled off on the landing and between us and a tube of glue Mr Uphilldowndale and I managed to mould them back into neatness.  We suspect this and  Spuds other mischievous acts this week are related to the fact that Tom has been away…

Of course in the grand scheme of things,  the tidiness of my shoes made not a spot of difference to what was a lovely wedding, the service was in the chapel  at Exeter College in Oxford

Exeter College -1

( I couldn’t find Inspector Morse anywhere)

Exeter -1

the college is steeped in history and  the chapel is lit by glorious stained glass.

Exeter College Oxford -1

The reception was in the Fellows garden.

Fellows Garden Exeter College 1-1

* When I managed to buy shoes and jacket to exactly match my chosen dress, in the space of half an hour in our local market town, everyone said how lucky I was; but of course luck had nothing to do with it, I was simply complying with the fashion worlds yarn buyers agenda. 

Mind you looking in the chapel, perhaps yarn buyers have been around for a few centuries, I’ve seen that shade of blue somewhere before.

this seasons blue -1


Spud on Sunday part LXIX

Spud the dog would like to hand over this Sundays post to Freckle


Freckle is a fire investigation dog, working with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service

Freckle 1-1

Freckle was out and about today at the Emergency Services Open day which was in the  beautiful Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, here are the gardens on a colder day.

Freckle has some dandy little shoes (with Vibram soles to boot) to protect his paws when the going get hot or rough. (Spud would like a set so he doesn’t get friction burns on his pads when playing ball in the yard with Tom)

Freckle 2-1

Though at £75 a set, Spud can just go and play ball in the field, as tennis balls are cheaper to fund.

Freckle was not the only sighting of a Springer spaniel, there were a couple of hungry hounds with the Derbyshire Cave Rescue display,

Working dogs -1

I don’t imagine they are cave rescue dogs, but I’m happy to be corrected, I suspect they were just in it for a free lunch.


Delays Expected

Thank you all for your very kind words on my 5th Anniversary post.

I just wanted to give you the heads-up that ‘Spud on a Sunday’ may be a little delayed tomorrow, Spud is going to a party. He is very excited, especially as he has to share the journey with a rather yummy looking cake and a couple of quiches.

When I collected the cake the lady briefed me on keeping it cool during the journey. She looked a little startled when I told her the cake was going to be ‘travelling in the boot with the dog’.   She replied ‘I take it its a little dog?’ I didn’t try to explain.



The Thread of Life

I’ve been at the Whitworth Centre in Darley Dale today, it is somewhere I’ve driven past hundreds of times, but never given much of a thought to, it is a grand Victorian building (although its website is not so grand).

Joseph Whitworth invented a few things, the Whitworth Screw and Whitworth Rifle for a starters, and he was a wealthy philanthropist

As I was there in the guise of paid employment I didn’t have my camera, or the time to dawdle around collecting blog fodder. But I did take a few snaps with my phone, of the wonderful polished limestone panels that line the main corridor of the building. It was dimly lit so the quality is poor, so I’ve played about with the images to try show you the fabulous fossils in the limestone.

limestone Whitworth Centre-1

It’s like gazing into a distant galaxy…

limestone Whitworth Centre 3-1

Fossils make me think how

limestone Whitworth Centre 1-1

the human race is just a little blip in time.

limestone Whitworth Centre 4-1

The Whitworth Centre is hosting part of the Derbyshire Open Arts Festival at the beginning of June, if I can face the bank holiday traffic, I may return for a more leisurely look around.


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