Uphilldowndale

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


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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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Sending…

On Saturday one of Mr Uphilldowndale’s running buddies (I’ll  not publish his name, I’ll just call him ‘G’) was seriously injured when he was in a road traffic collision whilst out on his bike. We’re all sending  our thought’s, love, good wishes, prayers or what ever we have to give, to G, his family and those who care for him. Worrying times and we feel impotent, we wish we could do more.

 

I came across G a while back here.

Change in the  weather 4-1 

 

We were both on our  way to work, he had stopped to admire the view,  whilst I more likely, had stopped to catch my breath. We chatted, he was in reflective mood. I told how  him how Mr Uhdd was frustrated at not being race fit and was niggled by minor injuries. G offered this advice. ‘Tell him to eat more pies, he thinks he need to keep his weight down but he doesn’t, he need to eat more pies; I know I’ve done it myself.’

 

So I’m sending pies, or at least the metaphorical health giving properties of pies, its all I can do.

 

Heather x


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How Time Flies

I’ve been busy decorating, I’ve set myself a bit of a deadline, I’ve invited the neighbours round for a bit of a do, its in a good cause.   The British Heart Foundation is a charity close to our  own hearts, especially in memory of Daz H.

The invites have gone out.

ramp up the red

But it does mean there is no time for dawdling, but more haste can mean less speed: this is an old house, no wall is true, no plaster smooth, (I did succumb to a little plaster envy the other day) exposed  oak beams may brim with ancient character but they  are a fiddle to decorate around. Here is one on the landing.

oak beam

And this is my favourite beam, in the lounge, I love its rough and ready, vernacular style and wonder why a load bearing beam was placed over a window opening?

forked oak beam_

 

One day we’ll find out how old they are.

 

I was so busy at the weekend,I forgot about the The Big Garden Bird Watch.

Take a look at these birdy videos, mesmerising I really want to get to see a murmeration of starlings.


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Headspanner

Well I made it, I ducked in under the wire on the very last day of the exhibition Brains. The Mind as Matter. So glad I did.

As I set out Mr Uphilldowndale asked ‘Where is it you’re going?’ (in that husband and wife way that says we’ve may have been talking to one another all week but were we listening?)  ‘I’m going to see an exhibition about the brain, a mixture of science and art’ I replied. ‘Can you mix the two?’ he asked (I hoped he was jesting, as Leonardo Da Vinci seemed to manage it OK). ‘It’s at the Museum of Science and Industry’ I told him. ‘Ahh that’s OK then’ he replied. Ever the engineer. 

 

My favourite  art exhibit was by Katherine Dowson*  My Soul 2005 no photograph I can find does really does it justice.  Laser etched in  two blocks of glass,  it shimmered like a mirage, now you see it now you don’t . Now you understand it now you don’t,

 

 

 

Wellcome Trust employee Zoe Middleton poses for the media by a work entitled 'My Soul' by artist Katherine Dawson, that is a laser etched in lead crystal glass of the artist's own MRI scan, at an exhibition call 'Brains -The Mind as Matter' at the Wellcome Collection in London, Tuesday, March, 27, 2012. The free exhibition is open to the public from March 29- June 17. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

 

Many of the exhibits were human remains and the advisory age was 14years + given the sensitive nature of some items. However, there were plenty of younger children in the gallery, which wasn’t a problem, although I noted some of kids looked like they were being primed very early for a career in medicine, and  hat they may have been happier,doing a post-mortem on a bit of road kill in the garden shed, with a junior hacksaw set, rather than having every detailed label read to them.

 

Whilst I was at ease with the human exhibits,  and fascinated by the craftsmanship, and beauty of centuries old moulage,  what I found deeply moving  were the sections of the exhibition given to over to both ‘giving and taking’.

Taking, the horror of the children  and adults murdered by the Nazis under a policy of euthanasia, some 120 000 people killed, those with apparent hereditary disease or deemed to be feeble in mind and body. The doctors who perpetrated such acts and then who then went on to have successful medical careers after the war, could only give rise to disgust.

Giving, the compassionate and telling photographic portraits  by Ania Dabrowska of those who had decided to donate their brain to medical science.  This brought very personal emotions, as my father in law who died earlier  this year left his body to medical science.

 

 

Albert Webb wearing a jumper he knitted himself, depicting his late dog Lucy.  Photo Ania Dabrowska

 

The exhibition is now closed, the book however isn’t and of course the mind, our magnificent, wondrous minds, should always be open. What could be more precious.

A thought provoking day.

 

*What I didn’t at first realise was that Katherine Dowson’s work was based on her own brain scan, part of a research project into dyslexia, her work on this subject, well, lets just say it speaks to me…


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The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog, 12th May 2013

Poor Spud, he has sensitive skin

sensitive skin dog -1

After the first day that resembled spring, one which Spud spent charging around the field  overnight he developed a sore looking patch on his neck, about the size of a 50p piece, it was troubling him, it was obviously very itchy. So Mr Uphilldowndale took him off to the vets. Where they shaved the fur off around the patch, Mr Uhdd said Spuds skin coloured up and started to swell in a flash. Poor Spud.

Spud came home with steroid cream, antibiotics, a fish oil supplement for his food and an £80 bill.

Dodger the kitten-cat decided after that upset, what everyone needed was a nice cup of tea, so he put the kettle on.

watched pot-1

The kitten-cats have, by their measure a very productive week, amongst others, we’ve got up in the morning to find a dead jackdaw (I’d have liked to see how they got it through the cat flap!)

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and a poor shrew that ended up with its head stuck in the mop bucket, not a nice way to go.

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I can report Spud is looking much better and adores the fish oil on his food. We just hope that unlike me, Spud is not allergic t the antibiotics.

antibiotics reaction -1


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My What Big Teeth You’ve Got

Jammy the kitten-cat in the oak tree.

My What Big Teeth-1

I returned to the dentists this week, to tidy up some of the emergency work done during my weeks of toothache angst. I was a little concerned by my dentists obvious excitement about the ‘unusually long’ root to my tooth, the very tooth he was about to start root canal treatment on. He’d had to order up a new longer file especially for me*. Gulp, I was starting to wonder if I was in for some alternative  trepaning. But I needn’t have stressed, the whole procedure was much better than my previous experience, helped by a ‘raincoat for my teeth’.

As Spring unfurls, Jammy and Dodger have been enthralled by the upsurge of bird activity in the garden. The bird table is groaning under the strain

The Bird Watchers -1

Sadly I found the remains of a swallow in the porch this morning, the price we pay for employing these rodent killers…

*Yay for the NHS…


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Hide and Seek

It’s been a strange sort of week.

The tooth drama rolls on sapping my energy as the weeks pass, today I’ve taken up the  offer of a second round of antibiotics prescribed by my dentist, ‘just in case’. Getting to the root cause of the pain has turned  into a  tedious game of hide and seek. I can tell you it hurts most when I drive up hill (don’t laugh it isn’t funny, remember? I live at the top of a hill. Maybe there is a reason for this?) Mr Uphilldowndale and the boys can vouch for the fact my sense of humour is AWOL too.

Something else disappeared this week, Police Inspector Gadget blog. This leaves a gapping hole in the blogosphere, as long as I’ve been  blogging Gadget has been popping by here, he was especially fond of Spud the dog.  One of his clear crisp text messages told me he’d written his last post and was pulling the blog. No fuss no drama. 24 hours later it was gone.

Gadget is always a man of his word, I know that. The news didn’t surprise me and yet it did, after all, seven years of blogging, 12 million hits and up to five hundred comments or more per post, not to mention the book,  has to be a huge part of someone’s life.

My camera has not seen the light of day this week, so I’ll leave you with a suitably occluded  image from my visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park a few weeks ago.

Basket #7-1

It’s taken from the inside of Basket #7 by Winter/Horbelt

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