Uphilldowndale

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


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Morning Meadow.

What is not to like about a meadow at six in the morning, on a beautiful summer day. Spud the dog and I took a meadow meander,

Meadow Morning

My friend Mrs Ogg say’s I look like I’m wearing a ball gown. I think the silhouette looks a little like the game piece in that little box of treasures I found at my Mum’s.

Game piece_ 

In fact I was wearing far more casual attire. My dressing gown, wellington boots, accessorised with a mug of tea, obviously.

Fashion statement

Seize the moment, I say.


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Visiting Time

We are off to Wales to see Tom tomorrow. It is rare for us to venture out on the roads on a bank holiday weekend, but Tom hasn’t been home over the Easter holidays as he’s been to Greece climbing, and we are keen to see him (Spud the dog is coming too).

I’ve a heap of photos I’ve not published from our last visit (I hasten to add Tom is living in student accommodation at Bangor, not as this photo might suggest a cave).

Tom Wales_

He took us to Dinorwic slate quarries,  the second largest slate quarry in the world, where part of Clash of the Titans  was filmed, it is certainly has an other worldly feel about it.

Tom Wales 2

The scale of the place is mind blowing.

Tom taught me, his techiphobe mother to take a panorama shot on my phone.

Look, see.

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Of course we had to make a visit to Pete’s Eats’ as students are always hungry and keen for parents to buy them food.

 

I’m sad and shocked to report another of Mr Uphilldowndale’s running/cycling  friends has landed in hospital, following an incident with a heard of cows; very nasty indeed. (And  I’m afraid to report ‘G’ remains  still very poorly in hospital).


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My Life in Linoleum

As my brothers and I peeled back the layers of the family home of 48 years  swatches of decades gone by, started to reappear.

I remember this linoleum in my parents room in the early 1960’s (Kath Kidston, eat your heart out).

1950's lino_ 

And this fern fronded pattern in the bathroom (it comes with later paint speckles)

 

1950's lino 2-2

Wall paper in the bottom of drawers and the backs of cupboards all arc straight back to my childhood (hands up, who ‘backed’ their school books in the following papers? I don’t think there were many designs to choose from, were there?)

1970's wallpaper_

We found a tin of watches that time forgot

where time stood still

I don’t remember us being much of a ‘game playing’ family, my brothers are older than me by a good measure, I’m sure as a little sister I would have been a bit of a nuisance, impatient for my turn.  But we must have done at some time.

broken beads and games

Another moment captured in time, a lone Christmas peanut, lurking in the box

 peanuts_

Is that a box of pins from my Spirograph? Oh look, what fun, you can play on line!


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The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog 16th April 2014

Here he is, sporting is spring hair cut. If you think he looks a little miffed,I don’t think it is the lack of his coat that is disturbing him, its more to do with the fact he’s just discovered he is going to the kennels. Poor Spud.

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Poor Spud. Our holiday arrangements are a little complicated this Easter,but more of that in a day or so.

I mentioned in my last Spud post that he’d been lame. It was most noticeable when he came down steps or stairs, he  moved in bunny hops rather clattering down in his usual style. The vet thought it a soft tissue injury and prescribed anti-inflammatory/pain relief and complete rest, you can imagine we had trouble communicating that concept to Spud…

Although not completely cured, he does seem a lot better.


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Mothering Sunday

The title Mothering Sunday, rather than Mothers’ day is a nod to my late mother in law. She’d no time for the latter as  for as far as she was concerned, it has it roots in commerce not religion.

 

As you might imagine, its been a bit of a melancholy one for me. But is has been a beautiful spring day.

 

Wild plum_

Joe knows what he thinks of Mothering Sunday, he ‘pot washes’ at the village pub at the weekend. Today he and his shift mate washed up for four chefs and 110 covers.


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Taking the Biscuit

I’m here still here; wading, savouring and wallowing in the boxes of family photos, memorabilia and documents that have emerged from my Mums house.

This caught my eye,  from the Buxton Advertiser in 1939. I’ve yet to work out why the page has been carefully stored away since then.

Many of my family were employed by the Co-Operative Society, back in the day. I wonder what they would have made of the current debacle. 

In 1939, the bonus offered, to their customers, at any rate were much more modest.

 

Co-Op buscuits


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Vintage Years

We finished emptying Mum’s house this week,it goes without saying that it was emotional work, but there was laughter as well as tears. Here is a photo I found, that Mum had taken in  July 1997, the garden in full bloom.

Pride and Joy

It all looks a lot sunnier than it did on Tuesday.

There many discoveries, of lost childhood memorabilia, forgotten heirlooms (notably, a spectacularly hideous antique plate that had been waiting for its moment to shine, for over five decades, hidden away in the back of a cupboard, as I lifted it out, the bag it was in disintegrated, the plate fell to the floor, smashed beyond repair. My brother who’d recently seen a similar plate on a TV antiques programme, refuses to tell me just how much it was worth).

In the cupboard under the stairs, I found six crates of my Dad’s home brew, dating back as far as 1989.

 

home brew

Some of it looked very dodgy, and alarmingly it was in screw top bottles.

home brew 4

After a dynamic risk assessment, I decided a little eye protection wouldn’t go amiss before moving it.

home brew


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Forever Flowers

Thank you all for your kind words, following my Mum’s death, I’ve taken time to read messages and cards and even to just sit smell the flowers,

Forever flowers_

I’ve done this in a way I’m not sure I could have managed when my Dad died some 16 years ago. His death caught us all by surprise, Mum had been very seriously ill herself, just a few weeks before, and was just home from hospital to convalesce.

 

I found when I rang family and friends to tell them of Dads death, they did a double take, having assumed the ‘sad news’ I forewarned them of, was the news that Mum had died, not Dad, it wasn’t what anybody expected.

forever flowers 3

 

They were strange, stressful times, Joe was just 12 weeks old, Tom two years, Mum as weak as a kitten. Throw into the mix the fact I had my own business (with the weight of secured business loan attached) plus Mr Uphilldowndale, had his own stressful job too. I had to ‘soldier on’ , to ‘be strong’.  Looking back on those times now, I can see, to my mind, that not actually being able to take time to grieve took its toll on my health and wellbeing even if that didn’t really manifest it’s self until a couple of years later.

 

Flowers have played an important part of the comforting rituals of the last few weeks, I tried to source some mimosa for Mum’s funeral flowers, I couldn’t get hold of any. But it was OK, I know she’d have loved the mixed spring flowers

Forever flowers 3

I did miss her not sitting in the second row of pews though, directing my pedestal arrangement,

forever flowers 4 

Just as she had always done, ever since I tackled, with the confidence of youth, my very first, back in 1974 for my  big brothers wedding. She used to love coming with me to decorate churches, not just this one where she and I were married. Some times were more dramatic than others.

I remembered with a smile, when we arranged the flowers for Dad’s funeral, how Tom toddled up and down the aisle and loved jumping off the steps on the pulpit. 


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Wind Egg

Or maybe, storm egg would be a better title, wind eggs we’ve covered before.

Who knows,  if it was  the 80mph winds we had here last night; but something upset one of the chickens.

 

storm egg 2

Poor girl.

storm egg

I suppose I’m going to have to get used to thinking, ‘I’ll tell Mum about that’ and then feeling the stark realisation that I can’t, tell her anything anymore.

 

In the distracted, absent minded way of the recently bereaved, today I tried to put chocolate sauce on my fried egg, instead of brown sauce. Sigh.

 

Here, is how a shell is formed, and here, how the egg develops


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Mum

My lovely, lovey mum died in hospital on Sunday night, aged 87.

 

Mum

We are comforted that she managed, until last Thursday to live  independently in her home of 48 years. She wouldn’t have wished for anything else.

On Saturday I received direction from my brother that she wanted a trifle taking when I visited the hospital that evening, it was late in the day and I feared she’d be disappointed with my earlier choice of fresh fruit salad. But when I got there she was not looking well at all, she didn’t want anything, except she told me, ‘If you see any pork pies, the ones with jelly in, will you bring one?’ Really, given my last post, I couldn’t have made it up.  It was not to be.

Here is Mum in 1928, a couple of years ahead of the game on cuteness, curls and Shirley Temple. Dressed appropriately for the hideous storms that are raging across the UK tonight.

Mum 1928 Edit

 

 

G’ remains in a critical condition, we send more pies.

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