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


A Walk in the Park

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park to be precise. I walked further than I expected, but it wasn’t a problem, the day was bright and crisp.

I was bewitched by an ‘intervention’ by David Nash.

Seventy One Steps

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Made from oak that is charred and oiled they follow the lie of the land. The steps are set into 30 tons of coal, they will weather and erode into the landscape.  Climbing them, they felt were quite magical. They are no ordinary steps.

I thought the woods at the top of the steps were rather magical too.

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I loved the gnarled roots. I’m sure I heard somewhere that 90% of a trees roots are in the top two feet of the soil?

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Duncan obviously like it here, once upon a time.



Spud on Sunday Part XXXIV

Take me with you, Please!

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Spud  the dog tries to hitch a ride with Tom, who has set off on his Silver Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award expedition.

I shall protest if you leave me behind

I shall protest if you leave me-1

This part of Derbyshire is freckled with parties of teenagers yomping across the hills on their DofE expeditions. To date all Toms training trips have been on home turf, of which he has a pretty good knowledge, because of the ground he covers on his mountain bike outings; but this time he is off to the Yorkshire Dales, he will have to pay attention to the map.


Bursting Buds and New Fangled Things

Spring is bursting out all over

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darling buds

We’ve had a couple of lovely warm days this week, but today hasn’t been one of them, it’s been cold; Tom has gone off on a camping trip, preparation  for his Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition. As his mother it is my duty to worry that he won’t be warm enough; but he should be, he’s taken enough fleece, down and Gore-tex with him.

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my lovely larch

Tom was bemused last night, when I explained that when I went on a school field study trip to Malham Cove circa 1974, the teacher instructed to take a bin liner each, with holes cut for head and arms, to use as waterproofing over our anoraks, as it would rain in Yorkshire, and it did. Tom couldn’t quite imagine that  the cagoule hadn’t been invented (if it had it hadn’t reached us yet). Mr Uhdd was consulted,  my sepia tale was verified and no, he didn’t own a cagoule until he was in his twenties. It only occurred to me later as I was putting rubbish into the bin, that in 1974, bin liners had only just been invented.


Return of the White Stuff

The white stuff is back.

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The novelty has worn off already.

Mum is home from hospital, but not fully well by any means, it’s just how it is. We used to be able to coral all her medications into an ice cream tub, but  since her stay in hospital we’ve had to up grade to a biscuit tin, affectionately known as the selection box..

I’m ready for my bed. Mr Uhdd is about to set off into the night to walk from Edale to Marsden and then back again, the aim being to finish tomorrow afternoon. Mad as hatters the lot of them.


Going Down

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Going down the Bingley Five Rise, if that isn’t a contradiction

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The Bingley Five Rise, is a set of locks, five of them, no surprises there then; they are in ‘staircase’ formation, with each lock opening into the next rather than being separated by ponds of ‘neutral’ water.

Here are the  names and the figures

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For me, apart from marvelling at this amazing feat of engineering, 1774, for goodness sake, to put that into context, that’s two years before the American Declaration of Independence.  The locks contained all that I do not like about boaty things,  that is deep sheer sided drops

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in to broiling black waters ( the things I do for this blog)

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Mr Uhdd sensed my unease ‘You really don’t like this do you?’ It’s OK there is nothing to worry about’  he said, I pointed out that this was about as helpful as me standing with him at the top of a cliff and saying ‘don’t worry you won’t fall off’. (Mr Uhdd doesn’t like heights, which can, on occasion, be inconvenient for a fellrunner.)

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Wisely British Waterways lock keepers are on hand to guide novices through the locks. I went and stood at the bottom, and waited for our narrow boat and a photo to emerge

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British Waterways, will be handed over as part of government reform, from government control, to a ‘civil society’ next year. I’m not sure if that is good or bad, idea, the locals are thinking about.



Graffiti Gaffe

In total contrast to my previous post, to bemuse, if not entertain you; whilst I scramble together a couple of more photogenic posts, about our canal holiday. Here is some graffiti we came across,

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it is spray painted on the wall of the Damart mill, that flanks the Leeds Liverpool Canal, just below the ‘Bingley five rise’ locks.

Tom and I discussed the question posed: it’s a democracy that people gave their lives for.

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I took this shot on the 21st of October as we cruised eastwards towards Saltaire. When we returned along the same route the following day, some additions had been made

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He/she goes on

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‘What kind of democracy is this? Labour giveth The Tory/Wigg taketh away.’

At the time we  pondered what sort of person might have done this act of vandalism, we daubed it ‘graduate graffiti’ as the words ‘Wigg’ and ‘taketh’ aren’t your usual graffiti phrases (although we should point out that it is Whigg, not Wigg, so he/she, the vandal, is evidently  not an ‘A grade’ student).

At the time we were joking, about the graduate bit, but given the events of this week, its not so funny now.


Lest We Forget

I’m rather late in the day posting, but at 11am, I was thinking about this memorial, we came across it on our canal holiday on the Leeds Liverpool Canal; it was erected in memory of seven Polish airmen who lost their lives when their plane crashed.

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The full story is here

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The photos were faded, but clear enough to tell their story,

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This bride became a widow, after only three weeks of marriage.

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In 2007 she unveiled the memorial.

I can’t believe all of this,” said Mrs Stebbing. “I am so very emotional. I had a job to control myself during the service and my legs were shaking. I am so proud of those boys they were very brave and this memorial is a wonderful tribute to them. When Peter came to see me I didn’t imagine a service on such a grand scale.”

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