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


A green and pleasant land

I followed this link on Gadget’s site this morning and it left me reflecting on how I would fair if I lived in a city; not very well I suspect.

The weather has been dramatic today, big roller coaster clouds mixed with bright sunshine strobe lighting the hills,

Brighter later 1 

I took the dog for a walk this afternoon, past a house that we considered buying when we moved back here from Scotland. Woffle’s  post got me thinking about the choices we have, or don’t have, about where we live.


I feel I have been ‘National Lottery lucky’ about where I’ve lived my life, the very early years were on a farm, then a small and pleasant council estate, (complete with a couple of ‘police houses’ and a  resident police dog) it had lots of ‘greens’ where we kids messed about for hours and if we got bored with that there were plenty of hay fields, sledging hills and wooded areas to build dens in, a park, a playing field and a youth club.

When we lived in Scotland you could open the back door and walk off into the Ochil’s; I never went away to university, so I never did the grotty flat in the less than pleasant part of town, I am indeed very lucky. Not that I would wish you to think that that this area is crime free, ask our neighbouring farmer what he’s had stolen and his face will darken like today’s clouds,


before he gave you a long list of stolen machinery and equipment and the detritus of drugs misuse can often be seen scattered around beauty spots.  I am sure my parents fretted as much as we do, about our kids safety; as we grew up in a post ‘Moors Murders’ era our safety must have been constantly on their minds. Some times the cities dross makes it out this far to do its dirty work, its often burnt out stolen  cars in isolated lay-by’s, but its been far, far worse.

But I have never lived in a home where I haven’t been happy to stride out the door, in to a garden or the country side, where I am simply in my element, in a city I would be like a fish out of water.  It may be a tad over dramatic to say I would wither and die, but I am sure a part of me would.




It was party time at the weekend, an 80th birthday

we gathered at the Severn Valley Railway

Train and churns

It was an ideal location as we are a scattered clan; as well as the most senior member of the family the very smallest were in attendance

Tiny fingers

But it wasn’t all sepia tones, we had Champagne


and the birthday girl had, colourful gifts, flowers

Gift      Gift 2

and a magnificent cake, (the map is of a favorite family holiday location)


We had a lovely meal on the train and the staff were all excellent and equally as colourful as the party.

At your service 



As well as chuffing up and down the line I had chance to play arty with the camera.

Steel and steam




I even got to have a look around on the footplate


After a very pleasant day out, the journey home was enhanced by the fact we had been able to hand over the sails to BiL, that we collected for him the other week,therefore we didn’t have to share the car with them on the way home, or listen to the boys complaints that they smelt like wet dog.


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