Uphilldowndale

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


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Less than Most

We’ve less snow here most areas of the country, this is unusual, we’re the ones who usually cop for it. It’s been bitterly cold,  I’ve never caught sight of the thermometer above –3.7C all day.

Fields -1

I’ve been confined to the house today, I’ve yet another bout of some cold/flu bug (and whilst it isn’t anything like as bad as the  outbreak of purple giraffes, I do feel rather bleugh…..) The photo  above dates back to the 28th of November.

Given the general ‘shock horror’ attitude going on around the country about snow,   I feel it is worth reposting these photos from the family archives, the full story is here

From 1901

image

and 1947

image

I’m happy to be corrected, but I think both photos are of the village of Sparrowpit, the first one being the ‘Wanted Inn’


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Thou shall hev a fishy, on a little dishy

Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a fishy when the boat comes in.

Assorted  lyrics  for this traditional song are here, or you can listen over here for added atmosphere.

 

Bernard-2

Meet Bernard the gurnard, the boys seem to manage to catch a gurnard every year on their mackerel fishing trip: it is always called Bernard.

Not sure why Bernard looks so happy, he is destined for the bar-b-que.

Bernard take 2-2

and very tasty he was too.


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Men on a Mission

Mr Uphilldowndale, Tom and Joe have been on a mission. Remember all the trees we cut down? Well they needed splitting down into firewood size chunks.

a pile of potential 1-2

It was no small task. So we borrowed my brother in laws (BiL) log splitting device, in fact we brought it all the way back from Weymouth* with us  (so it was just as well we left Tom down there fore a few days or we’d have never squeezed everything in the car.)

So time passes and BiL has come to visit, and  he will be taking his machine away with him, so it forced the log splitting task to the top of the very long ‘to do list’ that is running here.

Look! Mission accomplished. I think this heap of logs is a thing of beauty, very hunter gatherer, it is April and we’ve got next winters logs sorted. Excellent.

a thing of beauty-2

  Must dash, we’ve a handsome slab of beef is roasting in the oven and I’ve finished my glass of Fursty Ferret 

* If I mention Weymouth relief road in this post it will make BiL’s ‘Google alert’ go ping on his phone! Ha Ha gotcha BiL, twice.


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The local Vernacular

If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you " pretty maid," and chuck you ‘neath the chin,
Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been !

 

Quintessentially English country cottages

thatched cottage-2

For Dorset at any rate, we don’t tend to do thatch ‘up north’  we have neither the reed beds nor the climate for such roofing material, traditionally we have ‘stone slates’

Post box cottage-2

I must point out for overseas readers, that most villages have just a handful of thatch cottages and that they command a premium price,  most modern homes lack such character (especially the roaming estates of little bungalows that seem to skirt Weymouth, horrid. Tom and I concluded, having taken a route through one that there probably wasn’t anyone alive in the place, it was dead to the world, eerie, it certainly didn’t inspire a photo.

primrose cottage1-2

Some things are traditional through out the country though, the pleasure of a leisurely pub lunch

Bitter-2

At the Smugglers Inn, Osmington Mills, marred a little by the chefs inability to cook Mr Uhdd’s potatoes wedges to a  turn, not once but twice. The beer was good though.

Smugglers inn-2

The pub has had a variety of names through the years, the ‘Picnic Inn’ being one, The Smugglers inn, is undoubtedly more ‘atmospheric’ but I doubt the average smuggler was likely to turn up at the bar for a tankard of cask conditioned ale, not whilst he was working at any rate.  Painted on the walls throughout  the pub are verses from a poem. One I hadn’t heard before, but Joe had, at school, it’s by Rudyard Kipling,  read it below or your can hear an acoustic version here

A Smuggler’s Song


IF you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by.

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark –
Brandy for the Parson, ‘Baccy for the Clerk.
Laces for a lady; letters for a spy,
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by!

Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don’t you shout to come and look, nor use ‘em for your play.
Put the brishwood back again – and they’ll be gone next day !

If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining’s wet and warm – don’t you ask no more !

If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you " pretty maid," and chuck you ‘neath the chin,
Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been !

Knocks and footsteps round the house – whistles after dark –
You’ve no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty’s here, and Pincher’s here, and see how dumb they lie
They don’t fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by !

‘If You do as you’ve been told, ‘likely there’s a chance,
You’ll be give a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood –
A present from the Gentlemen, along ‘o being good !
Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark –
Brandy for the Parson, ‘Baccy for the Clerk.
Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie –
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by !

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