Uphilldowndale

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


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A Second Glance

Amidst all that must be done after a bereavement, I have managed to slip away for a day of good company, delicious food and a little creative play time, it was such a tonic. My destination was near the Derbyshire village of  Sheldon. I hadn’t realised, approaching Sheldon from the direction of the village of Ashford in the Water, just how close I was too Magpie Mine, which seems to be a place I always stumble upon rather than a destination (although I have promised Mr Uphilldowndale I’ll take him there on one of our Friday excursions when we mange to get them back on our radar).

 

sheldon_

I paused by the farm (to let the moths out of my camera bag,it feels such a while since I took photos for fun!)

The cows were curious

Curious cow

and the farm cat had no option but a cold tin roof.

cat on a cold tin roof

 

Old time readers may remember my story of the bears in the belfry, well this story in the press today, totally upstages my furry flying friends. All thanks to the deliciously named and refreshingly successful Raspberry Pi  Well done you Pi makers.


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Vintage Years

We finished emptying Mum’s house this week,it goes without saying that it was emotional work, but there was laughter as well as tears. Here is a photo I found, that Mum had taken in  July 1997, the garden in full bloom.

Pride and Joy

It all looks a lot sunnier than it did on Tuesday.

There many discoveries, of lost childhood memorabilia, forgotten heirlooms (notably, a spectacularly hideous antique plate that had been waiting for its moment to shine, for over five decades, hidden away in the back of a cupboard, as I lifted it out, the bag it was in disintegrated, the plate fell to the floor, smashed beyond repair. My brother who’d recently seen a similar plate on a TV antiques programme, refuses to tell me just how much it was worth).

In the cupboard under the stairs, I found six crates of my Dad’s home brew, dating back as far as 1989.

 

home brew

Some of it looked very dodgy, and alarmingly it was in screw top bottles.

home brew 4

After a dynamic risk assessment, I decided a little eye protection wouldn’t go amiss before moving it.

home brew


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Forever Flowers

Thank you all for your kind words, following my Mum’s death, I’ve taken time to read messages and cards and even to just sit smell the flowers,

Forever flowers_

I’ve done this in a way I’m not sure I could have managed when my Dad died some 16 years ago. His death caught us all by surprise, Mum had been very seriously ill herself, just a few weeks before, and was just home from hospital to convalesce.

 

I found when I rang family and friends to tell them of Dads death, they did a double take, having assumed the ‘sad news’ I forewarned them of, was the news that Mum had died, not Dad, it wasn’t what anybody expected.

forever flowers 3

 

They were strange, stressful times, Joe was just 12 weeks old, Tom two years, Mum as weak as a kitten. Throw into the mix the fact I had my own business (with the weight of secured business loan attached) plus Mr Uphilldowndale, had his own stressful job too. I had to ‘soldier on’ , to ‘be strong’.  Looking back on those times now, I can see, to my mind, that not actually being able to take time to grieve took its toll on my health and wellbeing even if that didn’t really manifest it’s self until a couple of years later.

 

Flowers have played an important part of the comforting rituals of the last few weeks, I tried to source some mimosa for Mum’s funeral flowers, I couldn’t get hold of any. But it was OK, I know she’d have loved the mixed spring flowers

Forever flowers 3

I did miss her not sitting in the second row of pews though, directing my pedestal arrangement,

forever flowers 4 

Just as she had always done, ever since I tackled, with the confidence of youth, my very first, back in 1974 for my  big brothers wedding. She used to love coming with me to decorate churches, not just this one where she and I were married. Some times were more dramatic than others.

I remembered with a smile, when we arranged the flowers for Dad’s funeral, how Tom toddled up and down the aisle and loved jumping off the steps on the pulpit. 


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Wind Egg

Or maybe, storm egg would be a better title, wind eggs we’ve covered before.

Who knows,  if it was  the 80mph winds we had here last night; but something upset one of the chickens.

 

storm egg 2

Poor girl.

storm egg

I suppose I’m going to have to get used to thinking, ‘I’ll tell Mum about that’ and then feeling the stark realisation that I can’t, tell her anything anymore.

 

In the distracted, absent minded way of the recently bereaved, today I tried to put chocolate sauce on my fried egg, instead of brown sauce. Sigh.

 

Here, is how a shell is formed, and here, how the egg develops


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Mum

My lovely, lovey mum died in hospital on Sunday night, aged 87.

 

Mum

We are comforted that she managed, until last Thursday to live  independently in her home of 48 years. She wouldn’t have wished for anything else.

On Saturday I received direction from my brother that she wanted a trifle taking when I visited the hospital that evening, it was late in the day and I feared she’d be disappointed with my earlier choice of fresh fruit salad. But when I got there she was not looking well at all, she didn’t want anything, except she told me, ‘If you see any pork pies, the ones with jelly in, will you bring one?’ Really, given my last post, I couldn’t have made it up.  It was not to be.

Here is Mum in 1928, a couple of years ahead of the game on cuteness, curls and Shirley Temple. Dressed appropriately for the hideous storms that are raging across the UK tonight.

Mum 1928 Edit

 

 

G’ remains in a critical condition, we send more pies.


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Sending…

On Saturday one of Mr Uphilldowndale’s running buddies (I’ll  not publish his name, I’ll just call him ‘G’) was seriously injured when he was in a road traffic collision whilst out on his bike. We’re all sending  our thought’s, love, good wishes, prayers or what ever we have to give, to G, his family and those who care for him. Worrying times and we feel impotent, we wish we could do more.

 

I came across G a while back here.

Change in the  weather 4-1 

 

We were both on our  way to work, he had stopped to admire the view,  whilst I more likely, had stopped to catch my breath. We chatted, he was in reflective mood. I told how  him how Mr Uhdd was frustrated at not being race fit and was niggled by minor injuries. G offered this advice. ‘Tell him to eat more pies, he thinks he need to keep his weight down but he doesn’t, he need to eat more pies; I know I’ve done it myself.’

 

So I’m sending pies, or at least the metaphorical health giving properties of pies, its all I can do.

 

Heather x


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How Time Flies

I’ve been busy decorating, I’ve set myself a bit of a deadline, I’ve invited the neighbours round for a bit of a do, its in a good cause.   The British Heart Foundation is a charity close to our  own hearts, especially in memory of Daz H.

The invites have gone out.

ramp up the red

But it does mean there is no time for dawdling, but more haste can mean less speed: this is an old house, no wall is true, no plaster smooth, (I did succumb to a little plaster envy the other day) exposed  oak beams may brim with ancient character but they  are a fiddle to decorate around. Here is one on the landing.

oak beam

And this is my favourite beam, in the lounge, I love its rough and ready, vernacular style and wonder why a load bearing beam was placed over a window opening?

forked oak beam_

 

One day we’ll find out how old they are.

 

I was so busy at the weekend,I forgot about the The Big Garden Bird Watch.

Take a look at these birdy videos, mesmerising I really want to get to see a murmeration of starlings.

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