Uphilldowndale

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


4 Comments

A Reflective Walk

Loweswater-3

I’m not doing very well at posting, after my promise. Not to worry, I’ll get there, it may take a wee while to find my  blogging mojo. I’ve all sorts of adventures stacking up ready, just waiting.

I mentioned whilst the fell race was on, I took a stroll along the shores of Loweswater, en route I stopped to watch the fish, suspended in pools of sunshine, seemingly motionless in the flowing water, it is easier to see the shadow than the fish itself.fish river

I admired a handsome doocot*

doocot 

And look, a fine drystone wall and gateway, becomes something quite magical, by the addition of an over arching span of  Cumbrian slate.

stone arch

I listened to the cows, with their methodical munching and tearing of sward, they may get bad press from time to time, and deservedly so, but I’ve an affection for them.

cattle

In the wood, foxgloves  swayed and cow parsley effervesced in the scattered sunlight.

foxgloves in glade_

At the waters edge, I found a swing.

swing @ loweswater_

I had a go at finding my inner child, but concluded that the child needed to concentrate on having a good time. Play on the swing, or take photographs, it isn’t wise to try and combine the two. I have the bruises to prove it. 

selfie @ loweswater_

*it is 23 years since I lived in Scotland, but some words stay with me in  the Scots dialect, swithering, dreek, and poly-poke are a few of my favourites.


13 Comments

Mind the Gap

What a long gap between posts. There has been so much happening I’m not sure where to start, or stop.

One thing for sure the weather has been glorious,  and the meadow is in its prime.

Meadow

There have been farewells to say, cards and gifts;  which were almost too pretty to open.

pretty parcel_ 

And I’m pleased I wasn’t responsible for picking the best of the bunch out of this lot! All I had to do was mind the tombola.

Cake comp_

Eating cake was easy though; it always is. 

 

Today sees the start of a different way of being for me, whilst I’ve not got idea of how it is all going to pan out; I do know there will be more time to be out and about with the camera, and more time for blogging. I’ve promised myself that.


13 Comments

The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog 6th April 2014

 

Have you missed Spud? Here he is, his leg is much better, but not quite right yet.

IMG_8558

 

He got a bit excited today, Jimmy the farmer turned up in his big red tractor, with blade harrow in tow, to do a bit of remedial work on the field, where the pipes for the ground source heat pump were laid*.

big red tractor

 

Jimmy  jumped out of the cab for a natter, leaving the engine running. Time passed we carried on, nattering , putting the world, and the meadow to rights. When somewhat startlingly, the big red tractors engine went ‘Vrooooom, vrooom as only the engines of big red (and possibly green) tractors can.

‘Ahhh’, said Jimmy, knowingly,without missing a beat, ‘the dog will be ready for off then’.

big red tractor dog

Just as well, that as bright as they are, border collies can’t quite mange the clutch and the handbrake as well as the accelerator. A working dog has no time for idle chat and needs to put his paw down firmly from time to time.

 

* I will eventually get around to telling the full story of our magical heating system


10 Comments

Bright Woollen Things

A visit to the haberdashery shop was in order this morning. The only problem being, apart from the  miserable driving sleet and rain, that my vision for craft projects always manages to exceed  both my skills level and available time. But buying such stuff is always fun.

I found myself drawn to some exquisitely soft  merino yarn, especially the moss green shade.

wool

‘I don’t know why I’m looking at this’ I said to the assistant, ‘I can’t even knit’.

‘Oh you don’t knit with it!’ she exclaimed ‘You just put it in a basket, and stroke it occasionally, its all you need to do’.

I’ve obviously been missing a trick.


7 Comments

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…


12 Comments

Friends Old and New

Happy New Year dear blog buddies.

I don’t know about you, but it’s  a while since I’ve seen a  nice sunset, here is one from stock,  just to tide us over until this relentless wind and rain abates.

three trees december

 

I’m delighted to see that our dear friend Gerry has reappeared on the blog scene, I’ve missed her  wisdom, musings and whimsy so very much.

 

WordPress provided me with their  annual number crunching review of my blog, the gist of the ‘feedback sandwich’ was that 2013 wasn’t a vintage year for my blog. But then, I knew that.

 

I’ve been missing my blogging opportunities, and have resolved to ‘do better’ in 2014. Not because blogging is something I ‘should do’ but something I want to do,  my life is richer for it. I’ll need to get out more, in real world mode and in blogging mode.  So with that in mind, this weekend I’m aiming to zip off into Manchester, to catch, an exhibition by the skin of its teeth (it ends on 4th of Jan, just missing an exhibition is a reoccurring theme in my life). It’s ‘no photography allowed’ but as it  entitled  ‘Brains. The Mind as Matter’ I’m sure it will give me something to think about.

 

I’ve taken stroll out around the blogging world too, over the holiday, and fell upon this delicious blog, enjoy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 336 other followers