Uphilldowndale

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


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Behind the Bling

The  third and final post about the John Rylands Library in Manchester

I started out calling this post ‘Behind the Bling’ but that felt a little uncharitable. I’m not sure The John Rylands Library in Manchester ever ‘set its barrow down’ to be ostentatious, more a philanthropic sharing of knowledge, the gift of education  and a celebration of art, architecture and craftsmanship. (Oh and the fact northern money was as good as southern!)

An on the hoof  exterior photo as we dashed for our train, in the fading winter light

John Ryland Exterior -1

Within  the building is a spectacular collection of historical documents and books. painstakingly catalogued and preserved for posterity.

John Ryland Reading Room -1

it is the third largest academic library in the United Kingdom, and the Deansgate building houses over 250,000 printed volumes, and well over a million manuscripts and archival items.

Many  are painstakingly shrouded for  their protection

shrouded books -1

I looked at these books and carefully stored documents

John Ryland Reading Room 4-1

and thought how I would be a disaster working in this field

John Ryland books -1

(as disastrous as I’d be as an air traffic controller! each to their own!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed our tour around, pop over and have a look at the secrets of a more modern building over at VWXYNot? Fascinating.


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Spud on Sunday Part LXIXIII

As you can imagine things have been a bit hectic around here of late. It seems, and I’m sure Spud will vouch for this, like an age since he got to have his very own adventure. But he makes the most of it, in that Springer spaniel sort of way, along with a little help from his friends (thanks to Glo  who after last weeks post,  used her creative talents to visualise Spuds  canine dream for us mere humans).

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g324/Lesmore/spuddiggingtennisballs.jpg

(remember my  fever dream, at the creative hands of Glo?)

Spud likes to muck in with who ever is about and as ‘men and machine’ have been digging for victory in very wet conditions over the last few days, muck is indeed everywhere. Here Spud and Tom check todays progress

Spud tom-1

(Tom is also able to add to his geology homework by studying what our house is built upon (looking at that clay, it is no wonder the bed shakes like a jelly when anyone slams the back door!)

Spud will always seek a hug, muddy paws and all.

Spud tom 1-1

And look, I nearly forgot, Spud took delivery of nine tons of best Derbyshire limestone yesterday. What fun.

limestone -1

would you like to see some more mud?

IMG_2215


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Not So Freshly Pressed

Uphilldowndale, One Thousand Posts Later

This is post number 1,000, I’m finding it hard to believe, but there you go, the nice people at WordPress kindly provide a behind the scenes (or screen) page of statistics about my blog and the little counter at the bottom of the page says my previous post was  number 999 and  as I can’t recall ever deleting any of my posts this must be it.

I thought I’d dish up a favourite post, but I couldn’t decide, I couldn’t even decide on a photo (some of my favourite blog photos are huddled together on my flickr page). In the end I settled for this little chap, who fledged from a nest in the barn wall back in June 2008, (maybe its how I felt when I first started the blog, it was a bit of a leap into the unknown)

Little bird 2

Tonight  is a double celebration as I also pressed the send key, and dispatched the last piece of work for my course of study, off into cyberspace. Woooohoooo; me time beckons, the hills are a calling, time to get out and play.

Thank you all for stopping by and taking the time to comment, it wouldn’t be the same without you xx.


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Michaelmas

Back to School for the Autumn term

Michaelmas daisy 2-1

That’s it the summer is over, the boys are back at school (actually they went back last Friday, which seemed like an odd day to start, but never mind). Joe and Tom posed for the traditional ‘first day of term’ photo* before they left for the bus and I promptly sent Joe back in the house to change his trousers, it seems I hadn’t been rigorous enough** in the cull of trousers from the previous academic year, they were half way up his shins.

Tom got all new gear, now he in 6th form he is required to wear a suit. Thank goodness for Next Directory, it saved trawling round town with a teenager and any heated debates about suitability of said suit could be confined to home, excellent, for both of us.

* Easy to take such a simple family ritual for granted

** Idle would be a better description of the trouser cull


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New Perspective

Unlocking Writers Block

I’ve a deadline looming and a few thousand words to haul together, it hasn’t been going very well. My desk is littered with books, notes ‘post its’ highlight pens and half drunk cups of tea and mind maps. I’ve done the reading (even if I did fall asleep at my desk, no easy task on a swivel chair) and I’ve deployed every ‘study aid’ tactic I’ve ever heard of, but  despite my tenacious daily  efforts the word count stays resolutely stuck (it’s not that I don’t write something, just that I swipe the previous work. ) I know from the course forum I am not alone, as there has been a major outbreak of assignment rage.

So I decide to take a fresh perspective on the matter (or maybe I was just looking for a displacement activity, to get away from the keyboard). So I moved my ‘office’ furniture around, instead of my desk facing the wall, it is now by the window. The aspect is pleasing.

Brighter outlook -1

Mr Uphilldowndale stuck his head around the door and declared ‘You’ll get nothing done, you’ll just be gazing out of the window, watching the birds go by’.  He is probably right, but I don’t care, the move was a quality of life decision.  I’ve still not broken the back of the assignment, but I’m in better mood, this evening I’m trying a study aid not listed in the books, a bottle of red. There may be quite a lot of editing required tomorrow. 


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WoooooHooooooo

Today’s the day Tom got his GCSE results

I drove him over to school this morning to collect them, we parked up in the supermarket car park across the road from school and I was instructed to wait. So I waited, anxiously, as parents do; reflecting that it seems no time at all since his first day school, when he had to be peeled, clinging, from my leg by the headmistress. Now look at the size of him.

Eventually a text dropped into my phone, from Tom; it simply read Wooooohoooooo. Yes! my heart did swell with pride, and my eyes may have been a tad misty, but wait a minute, what  exactly does Wooooohooooo mean in teenage text talk? is it a variation on boohoo in which case I’d best prepare of incoming teenage angst.  I waited some more, knowing that Tom would now be lost in the ‘what ya get?’ conversations with his mates.  Impatient I rang Mr Uhdd to compare notes, but we were none the wiser, in the end I rang Tom.  Tom was a happy bunny, he was pleased with his grades, they weren’t what he expected mind; there gains and losses on what was predicted.  But now we know Whooooohoooooo is good.

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