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


April 1st 2014

This advert was always going to capture Spud the dogs heart, dogs just want to have fun.



BMW announced a new system that puts the thrill back in to driving for April Fools Day 2014. It claimed that the Force Injection Booster works by “extracting kinetic energy from the car’s engine and converting it into positive g-forces”. The effect being that drivers can experience the thrill of high speed driving even at modest speeds of just 20mph.

Additional BMW ‘AirNet’ technology works to keep occupants hairdos in tiptop condition while all this is going on. In the press release Professor Mika Notbetrü, Head of BMW Innovation, described FIB technology as “Mind-blowingly unbelievable”


Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/86388/best-april-fools-day-jokes-car-companies#ixzz2xeUUz7UG


Spud on Sunday part LXX

Spud the dog jumping though hoops.

Through hoops -1

Well only a hoop, but it is only a matter of time before it’s hoops: I’ll explain.

It was my birthday yesterday, a few weeks ago I’d said to Tom and Joe that I’d quite like a hula hoop for my birthday*, I thought it would be a bit of fun (I feel one should be on guard against life being too serious especially at 52 years of age). I imagined that they get one from Poundland on the way home from school, but being the Internet shoppers they are (that, or they didn’t want to be seen on the  school bus with a hula hoop!) Tom sourced and ordered one online. But due to a little communications glitch Mr Uphilldowndale also ordered a hula hoop. I shall soon be in receipt of a second hula hoop.

Joe has enhanced todays image, with special effects

Through hoops -1 With fire

‘Have you tried looking for hula hoops on the Internet?’ asked Mr Uhdd ‘It is soooo complicated’. Many things are too complicated on the Internet, that is why I haven’t yet managed to decide which camera flash gun I want, I think I may have even started the process last birthday *sigh*. Mr Uhdd shopped here, they were very helpful and efficient.

* I’d like to point out I asked for a hula hoop before Grace Jones got in on the act at the Queens Diamond Jubilee Concert: come on Grace keep up…


The Green Man Goes Cool


The Green Man with a contemporary flourish.

cool dude 3-1

A lost pair of sunglasses could not have been placed in a more prominent position.  I think he looks a little like Simon Cowell from this angle.

cool dude-1

I’m left wondering if it was just serendipity that the glasses were placed so well or if the finder was on a mission to find just the right branch to perch them on. 

There is often something to catch the eye on this part of my route to work. The trees cling on to the side of a steep gully

cool dude 1-1

with every last root at their disposal.

tree roots-1

It is where I’ve seen the brawling wrens in the past, today there were violets to admire.


I really can’t grumble about my commute to work.

Here is a Green Man blog, with some very nice photographs, very nice indeed.


Packing Some Summer Colour

As a family we lack the ability to pack light, and as ever we arrived here by different routes, Mr Uhdd went to pick up Joe from Southampton University, where he’d a high old time  on a course for year nine pupils (age 14)  in marine technology (he wants to do another course next year with the Smallpeice Trust)

So with two cars, mountain bikes (x3), boats (x3) I felt I need to bring something just for me. I brought a pot plant (no not that sort of pot plant, someone has made that joke already) I brought my pot of  mesembryanthemums


it was too pretty leave behind, and it would be past its prime by the time we get back.  I think taking a plant on holiday is something my family would describe as one of my Miranda moments (I have many, it seems).

Mrs Ogg brought her colouring pencils on holiday

Mrs Ogg brought her colouring in set-1

This is what she made

Salcombe (c) Mrs Ogg-1

And she does other stuff too

talking on the beach (c) Mrs Ogg-1


Backing a Winner

Interrupting our little jolly around Pembrookshire, I bring you breaking news that Mr Uphilldowndales début TV performance has hit the screens.

The new £3.5million campaign from Hovis featuring a TV ad in which farmers race to promote that it only uses 100% wheat has rolled out to beat this year’s Grand National.

He’s to be seen more than once in different roles, he’s easiest to find in this full length version, 90 seconds ( Frustratingly, I can’t get it to load as a video clip)

We’ve told him not to give up the day job, but he’s done that already…

I think regular readers might recognise  the landscape, especially the drystone walls ( note, no drystone wall were injured or harmed  in the making of this film).  This is the shorter youtube version, 30 sec, without my man.


Modern Day Pirates

When I visited Overbecks, the National Trust property, a previous post here, I was amused on several counts. In the first instance I was amused and grateful because I got free tea, I like tea anytime, especially free tea.

free-tea-for- me-2

The reason for my tea entitlement was that I hadn’t arrived at the property by car, its an incentive for visitors to use public transport and shanks’s pony, a greener option, but not the reason for the Green Ways name. What amused me was the through interrogation I got from the National Trust Volunteer manning the entrance, she was an archetypal National Trust volunteer* and she wasn’t giving away tea vouches without due process. I passed the test, I arrived by boat at North Sands and then walked (I thought for a moment she was going to ask me about the carbon foot print of bobbing about the Salcombe estuary** in an inflatable dinghy with a very modest sized outboard (ask Tom, he wants more power!). Access and tea were granted.

cool shady place-2

I laughed about  loud at a conversation I heard between a little girl, aged about 8 and her dad. The girl was completing a quiz about Overbecks, the questions were scattered around the garden.

modern day pirates-2

She was struggling a bit with the question ‘what sort of cargo would you like to have on your pirate ship’  dad offered words of encouragement, ‘Go on then, what do you think pirates today might steal?’ She thought for a little while before declaring ‘Gold and errrr, pieces of eight; and when they’d stolen them they’d sell them on eBay.

I liked and was amused by the handrail along a set of steps (surely a later addition to the original Edwardian design? You see, I should have bought the handbook the lady on the gate tried to sell me)

hand-rail 2-2

Back home some of our local farmers make a habit of driving their tractors over 5 bar gates, I must suggest this to them as an outlet for  the resale mangled  galvanised gates.

hand rail-2-2

* I was tempted to take a photo of the lady in question, I’m sure she’d been sent from central casting; but it seemed a little unkind.

** Yes, I know, its not an estuary its a ria


Even Handed

‘Spud has stolen my marigolds! I’ve found two of them but one is still missing.’ I announced.

Tom and Mr Uhdd exchange perplexed glances

I continue my rant, ‘I was going to plant them out today: but he ran off with the tray, I found two down by the bonfire, but goodness knows where he has taken the third. They’ve survived the frost only to be trashed by the dog!’

‘Ahhh,’ says Mr Uhdd, ‘I get it now, I thought you were talking about Marigold gloves,  not bedding plants, I couldn’t see what the problem is, I mean how many rubber gloves do you need?’

image  image

Tom shook his head in that ‘Oh mum’ sort of way, that teenagers do.

The marigold thief

Marigold theft -2 

The third plant was eventually found by the rhubarb patch (which survived the frost, I’m pleased to say, as I’ve not made a crumble yet.)

Frost rhubarb -2

What I didn’t tell Tom and Mr Uhdd, the Marigold gloves by the sink? They are both right handed, I keep wearing the left ones out, I wonder how that happened?

Spud also had a chew on a log, whilst he was in sack cloth and ashes mode

Spud and charcoal-2


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