Uphilldowndale

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


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Gilding the Lily

Lilies do not need gilding, nor do orchids really. But I couldn’t quite stop myself  from adding this art deco brooch to an orchid plant. The colours are just magnetically drawn to one another.

gilding the orchid

I‘ve spent the afternoon, surrounded by magazines and scraps of paper and glue, in an arty collage workshop event, I had a lovely time. I do need to play out more,things have been far too serious of late.  I need to feed my soul.

 

I’m told it is my blogs seventh birthday today, my blog would like me to play out more too.


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Good Friday

Spud the dog thinks it is a very good Friday as he is home from kennels, he’s been simply dizzy with delight. He is now exhausted and crashed out on the sofa, snoring loudly.

 

We came home from York yesterday evening, too late to collect Spud, but an easy journey home, for the eve of a bank holiday.

 

It has been glorious here today. After a cold and frosty start

lambs frost

But the sun and blue skies melted it all away. The spring flowers like the birds are just singing.

 

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I’m not sure next door’s cockerel is too chuffed at the return of Spud, I think he’d been making a move on our chickens in his absence. Spud pointed him off in the right direction, again

public footpath 

Have another flower or two, there are plenty to go round.

snakes head


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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,

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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.

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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

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

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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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Iced Plum Jam

The deep freeze continues. But there are buds of hope. Jammy the kitten-cat would like to show you, look he’s pointing.

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Tiny blossoms are lying in wait.

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Here is the same tree on the 28th March 2011  it looks a little different, frosted granted, but not marooned in snow and ice. I think it’s wild plum, look I’ve even found a recipe for a recipe for wild plum blossom ice cream, written by Blanche Vaughn (I really couldn’t line up any more snowy, white  icy themes if I tried).

The snow isn’t going anywhere fast, here is the lane to our house.

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Here is Jammy tip-toeing through the snow.

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Bdahlia

As a child I could never quite master the word dahlia, I always called them bdahlias, b’s and d’s were never a friend of mine.

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My Dad grew lots of dahlias his favourites were  spiky deep crimson varieties, they always remind me of him (and earwigs!). He used to insist each autumn on drying the tubers that he’d lifted from the flower bed (to protect them from frost)  in the airing cupboard. My Mum was never impressed by this intrusion to her line dried laundry!  I snapped these  dahlias in the garden at Chatsworth House on Saturday, I nipped over just in time to capture the penultimate day of the Barry Flanagan sculpture exhibition. More photos to follow.


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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.

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The remnants of old walls

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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.

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The insect world seemed appreciative

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Just delightful really, *sigh*

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Here, There and Not Quite Everywhere; Yet

We’ve been bouncing around the country like a pinball this week, the trusty family estate car (station wagon) clawing through the miles*, since the wedding in Oxford last weekend, destinations have included, Aberystwyth which is as difficult to get to as it is to spell, London, Manchester, Bakewell, Matlock and Bangor. And it’s not over yet, Stirling and two trips to Manchester have still to be chalked up this week.  Whilst we’ve had some rainy trips, we’ve managed to avoid the worst of the flooding that has blighted great swathes of the country, it is all to do with the Jet Stream apparently

At dusk tonight Spud  the dog and I went out for a spot of bat watching, no hope of capturing them on camera I’m afraid  they are too swift and agile for me to manage anything other than admiring them.

Another summer evening pleasure to my mind is the scent of the garden, however this year, to my nose the honeysuckle’s perfume seems rather diluted by the lack of good weather,

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but closer inspection of an image taken with flash shows that as far as insects are concerned the honeysuckle is as attractive as ever.

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*We tried to travel by train, but the cost of fares and scheduling of trains put the mockers on that plan.

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