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


Selling Snake Oil

A bit of a rant to start with; really Waitrose (the supermarket subsidiary of John Lewis, they of the heart warming adverts) we expect better of the company that likes to pitch its self, as a cut above the rest, the favoured store for the middle classes .


The label on this jar of sundried tomatoes (I told you we were talking middle class) is sneaky, contains more weasel words than it does extra virgin olive oil


Yes folks, a measly 3% extra virgin olive oil. Read the label on the back

sundried 2

And you can see those sun kissed tomatoes are dunked in 47% sunflower oil, not luxuriating in a bath of extra virgin olive oil, as a quick glance of the label might suggest. (Waitrose artichoke hearts and sliced peppers share the same sunflower fate and  label pretensions). I wonder if the food boffins at Waitrose could convince us that 3% extra virgin olive oil brings anything to this product other that the words to the label?


I found an all together more genuine product, in the form of ancient bottle of  oil of eucalyptus when sorting mums house,  by the age of it, I suspect she and dad had themselves acquired it from a previous house clearance of an elderly aunt.

Pugh Buxton

I thought I’d see if it had retained its qualities, Sadly I broke the cork in the process (see I was right to be cautious of bottle tops)  but I didn’t need to go any further, it does still pack a punch of eucalyptus.

Pugh Buxton 2 

The dispensing chemist, Edgar Pugh of Buxton was mayor of Buxton in 1927 and the beautiful shop (which really needs to be photographed for this blog some day) is still a dispensing chemist, the historic shop and interior are listed, so thankfully haven’t suffered the same fate as Finlay McKinlay.


Gilding the Lily

Lilies do not need gilding, nor do orchids really. But I couldn’t quite stop myself  from adding this art deco brooch to an orchid plant. The colours are just magnetically drawn to one another.

gilding the orchid

I‘ve spent the afternoon, surrounded by magazines and scraps of paper and glue, in an arty collage workshop event, I had a lovely time. I do need to play out more,things have been far too serious of late.  I need to feed my soul.


I’m told it is my blogs seventh birthday today, my blog would like me to play out more too.


Bring Back my Bonny to me, to me


Take a look at this, post. What powerful images.

Originally posted on Town Mouse:

I went into Bigtown on one of my biennial shoe shopping trips and found rather more than I had bargained for

shoes representing missing schoolgirls

More than 200 pairs of girls’ and womens’ shoes, placed there in solidarity with the kidnapped girls in Nigeria. You were supposed to take a selfie, I think, and tweet it or facebook it, but I stuck to photographing the shoes and talking to a few of the folk who were doing the organising.

I’m not 100% sure what I think of these sorts of campaigns – taking a selfie and sending a tweet doesn’t seem calculated to acheive much of anything except making ourselves feel a bit better about something, rather than helpless (you could say the same about pedalling on Parliament) and ‘trending on Twitter’ is not the same as ‘actually liberating 200+ schoolgirls from a horrible fate’. But then again, I do find it encouraging that…

View original 132 more words


Toe by Toe

‘Exceptionally fantastic!’ That was the response of Joe’s podiatrist, when he saw his x-ray.

He was referring to the lump of bone on his big toe, that shouldn’t be there. To give it it’s proper name it is, or was,  a subungual exostosis

Joe Uphilldowdale Subungual exostosis

and apparently it is a fine example (I’d actually prefer it if my family would stop having things wrong them that arouse the interest of the medics,  I like to think of us as a healthy family, but honestly, you’d not think so reading this blog.)

All this came about as a reaction to Joe stubbing his toe, last year,it wasn’t really a big deal at the time, in fact no one can  quite remember what it was he stubbed it on, or when, including Joe. We were all waiting for the nail to fall off, which it didn’t,  and I must admit I thought Joe had developed a fungal infection under nail, so it was a bit of a shock and a bad parenting* moment to discover his toe would need surgery (in my defence, remember, I’m married to a fell runner,  men with ugly damaged toe nails are the norm).


Two weeks off his feet, with his leg elevated for 55 minutes in the hour,  and compression stocking. School was off limits, but fortunately Joe was able to schedule the procedure for the start of the Easter holidays (his request the thought of trying to catch up his A level maths lessons was a motivator, this from the boy who hated school). 

It did mean however that Joe was pretty much ‘housebound’ for our holiday in York, luckily part of Joe’s specification for our holiday let, was that it was too have an internet connection, so at least he was able to to keep in touch with his mates and occupy himself with some gaming; here he is in holiday attire.


Something of a fashion statement, do you not think? I’m rather proud of Joe, he was a stoical and patient through out, after two weeks he was able to return to school, with us ferrying him too and fro, and with him being careful to keep it out of harms way and elevated as much as possible.

We’ve learnt that foot surgery is no stroll in the park. You need to take care tootsies I’ve heard many a gruesome tale of long and painful healing by those who have tied to side step the post op care instructions.


Joe gives his consent for me to share the photos of his toe as a work in progress. He says he doesn’t mind who looks at his toe, so long as it isn’t him! It’s not pretty. You could look at the sweet kittens



and then click away. Or if you’re curious….

six days after surgery


Big toe 2

The nail was removed a week later,

Big toe 3

which made things look a whole lot better! Here we are 18 days after the procedure.

Joe toe


*Bad parenting moment, when Tom came home from school with the news that the school nurse said he was under weight and needed his eyes testing as he couldn’t see the blackboard.


Toe by Toe, how Joe laboured through this book, but he got there in the end, and it was a great help


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