Uphilldowndale

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


4 Comments

Winter Walk

Nothing finer than a  winter walk for  the restoration of equilibrium, Mr Uphilldowndale and I were both in need the other afternoon. We went down by the river, always a good move.

Riverside walk-1

Up through the woods and across the fields.

late afternoon walk-1

Spud had a high old time, you can just see him here, heading off  towards a rather handsome wall, that’s topped with snow.

late afternoon walk 1-1

At the moment freezing rain is hammering against the windows and the rising wind has been piling snow back into the lanes this afternoon. The forecast is for the weather to get warmer over the weekend and for the snow to melt; we’ll be glad to see the back of it for a while I think. The weather conditions have led to tragedy.

We walked back past the church, not a bat or a bear in sight.

late afternoon walk church -1

I saw some photos of ‘ zombie snowmen’ in the press this week, I had to admire the skill in their making, their location was described as a disused graveyard in Bristol,  it led me to wonder, how can  graveyard be disused? Its not like a factory is it? Isn’t always going to be ‘in use’ by its residents?


7 Comments

A Fresh View

Sat in my mental folder marked ‘things to blog about’ is my day at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port.

There were plenty of colourful, photogenic boats and much more besides, but as usual it was ‘the stuff round the back’ that caught my eye.   A dilapidated wide beam boat awaiting restoration,

Broad Beam -1

My friend Mrs Ogg thinks it is a watercress barge.

What is it about peeling/fading paint that I find so appealing?

paint fade-1

The reason for my visit was a photography course, I thought after five years it was time I found out what some of the knobs and buttons on my camera do. I think my camera enjoyed have its brain taken out for a walk.

Narrow boat-1

It was good to get away from things for a while, and on that subject; I’ve just spent a sublime half an hour looking at the blog of Steve McCurry, oh my, what a joy his photographs are,  his reasons for blogging are interesting too. I may have to pour myself a glass of wine and drift back for another look.


5 Comments

Timeless Elegance

I think regular readers will have gathered that most things about boats and yachts don’t  really ‘float my boat’ but every now and then one catches my eye and to be frank you’d have to be blindfolded to miss the elegance and beauty of this yacht, that was sailing out of Salcombe harbour this morning.

Salcombe 2-1 

I don’t know what she is called, but we do know she shared a mooring in the harbour with  ‘Sceptre’ who raced in the Americas Cup 1958

Over the years various bits of boats and even a whole pram dinghy* have cruised into our kitchen at home, seeking warmth, ‘so the varnish will dry better’  during one of  Mr Uphilldowndale’s  boat repair and restoration projects (of which there are many) but I doubt any of the bits from this boat would fit in our kitchen, even if they came in through the window(true story).

Salcombe 1-1

*Pram dinghy? Here is one we sold earlier

 

P4100445

(Joe still has a passion for tartan trousers, ten years on, but not for boats).

P4100449


8 Comments

Spud on a Sunday Part LXIV

Spud the dog is in his element. Here he is on his Sunday morning walk.

Happy dog -1

Not a little girl in a  pretty sundress in sight. The early morning mist burnt off for a stunning sunny day.

However Spud did blot his copy book, I was distracted briefly whilst making the sandwiches for lunch and when I returned all that was left was lettuce leaf on the kitchen floor, Tom’s order of ham salad with pesto mayo was no more. Naughty Spud. Just as well I had preselected my beach reading.

in defense of dogs -1


6 Comments

Whatever the Weather

It has been a very odd mix this week, lashing rain, sultry heat, high winds that have dumped a fine layer of sand over the car (and even the lily pads in the pond) goodness know from whence it came.

Yesterday evening I was pottering around the hills south of Buxton, it was warm and rather pleasant. I don’t know who this little bird is (answers on a postcard please) but they were rather sweet and willing to pose briefly.

bird on fence -1 

Tom has been in the Lake District completing the expedition  section of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. I’m much relived  that he is safely off the hill, given the storms and flash flood there have been (he tells me the thunder and lightening they experienced was ‘awesome’ I’m sure we will get the finer detail on his return this afternoon).

I’ve a stack of posts in mind, some of them about quarrying, some about the limestone and gritstone landscape around here.

Limestone -1

For starters, the lay of the land. Quarrying is big,  it’s a big employer, it has a big impact on the landscape, lumps of rock on an industrial scale..

Quarry Derbyshire-1

Half a hill, near Harpur Hill

Quarry Derbyshire 3-1

(and if you are looking for the so called ‘Blue Lagoon’ don’t) go to Iceland please.


8 Comments

Spud on Sunday Part LXVIII

It Seems Spud has a quality, not quantity approach to sticks. The field and garden have an abundance from which to chose. But oh no, the only ones that meet his high standards are fresh from the  apple tree. 

Spud and apple tree-1

Being green sticks they don’t break so easily, but Spud is willing to put some effort in.

Spud and apple tree 1-1

I can’t get him to understand however that he is meddling with his supply of chewy apples for next autumn.

Spuds interest in the goings on in the pond continues.

Spud and frogs-1


6 Comments

Spud on Sunday Part LXVII

Spud has had a high old time this afternoon, for it seems spring has arrived in the pond. There has been much croaking and splashing around going on.

frog search 5-1

I could find the cause, with a softly, softly sort of approach. But Springer spaniels are not built for stealth. Crashing around in the undergrowth is what it is all about.

frog search-1 

Interestingly he wasn’t for leaping in, in his usual style, just wading in the shallows.

frog search 1-1

Then he went for a better look, leaping on to the floating island; this is something that started out 10 years ago, when we built the pond as a couple of sheets of polystyrene, stitched into a piece of pond lining fabric, which has now been colonised  to such an extent it has its own eco system including a couple of young willow trees and drifts up and down the pond at the whim of the prevailing wind.

frog search 3-1

However it isn’t very stable, Spud wisely decided it was not the place for a bit of frog spotting, and made a giant leap for dogkind to get ashore. We were impressed he made it.

frog search 4-1


10 Comments

Call Off the Search

We’ve looked high and low, checked and double checked the barn, the shed, the stable, even  considered dredging the pond. Dandy the cat has been absent without leave since Wednesday morning.

In yer face

He is sixteen years old and getting rather geriatric in his ways, he’s not been further than a couple of yards from the back door for months. He’s never missed a meal in all those sixteen years, his routine is eat, sleep litter tray; eat, sleep litter tray. So you can see why we were worried. He’s got himself into mischief before and frankly we thought he’d done that cat thing of going off to die.

So when I returned home this evening and found him sat in the porch demanding to be fed, I was both surprised and  delighted and scooped him up to take him indoors to delight  Spud, Tom, Joe and Mr Uhphilldowndale.  Maybe, as Inspector Gadget had already suggested (he knows about finding lost things) Dandy was off out and about soothing his old bones in the warmest September/October weather in the UK for over two decades* We will probably never know, I’m just glad he’s home, and if he could mange in future, to keep his bottom inside the litter tray, I’d be especially pleased.

 

*18C at 8am, 25.5C this afternoon, it feels quite tropical this evening, what with the early, swift sunset, very odd, well odd for the UK


12 Comments

Beyond Limits Chatsworth 2011

And so to art. Chatsworth makes a stunning location, even when it is wrapped in white plastic.  Two Damien Hirst sculptures,  Myth and Legend were placed at the top of the Canal Pond which was garnished with a couple of white swans for further effect.

Myth and Legend

Myth and Legend 1-1

Legend

Legend Damien Hisrt 2-1

The whiteness of the white is simply brilliant (obviously not Dulux paint then) and I liked the fact these sculpture didn’t have the silly little fences around them. I loved how the light bounced up off the plinths up-lighting the beasts

Legend

Legend -1

Myth

Myth Damien Hirst-1

Looking at the texture, it brings to mind the sight and the smell of a new packet of plasticine 

Legend Damien Hisrt 3-1

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 300 other followers