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


Another one down

This time I’m not referring to trees (although another 3 have come down today, Mr Uhdd has a new shiny axe).

new axe-2

I’m referring to the demise of another rural pub, Tom and I drove past The Highwayman, Nr Rainow in Cheshire this afternoon. It was boarded up with all too shiny metal sheets at the windows and official notices pasted to the door, in that repossessed ‘got the bailiffs in’ sort of way. Last week saw quarter day when leasehold payments and rents are due, maybe that was the final straw. If you’ve not dug yourself out of a financial hole after the Christmas/New year festivities you’re not going to do it in January (especially given the snow and ice we’ve had in the last few weeks). Very sad for the landlords, and for those awaiting monies for goods and services supplied. The only winners are the collectors of taxes and the banks. There are rave reviews online about the food at the Highwayman, but problems like this can’t have helped

On no account follow the directions in the Good Pub Guide, which claims that The Highwayman is located on the A5004. It isn’t. It’s on the B5470, between Whaley Bridge and Macclesfield,

Other than that sorry sight, it has been a glorious day, blue skied  and sunny; cold, yes, but invigoratingly bright.

The pond froze over last night (note to self, fill Dandy the cats water bowl before retiring tonight) and a light shower of hail had fallen, very pretty it looked.

pond -2

Iris seed head

Iris seed head-2

Pondweed and ice

pond 1-2

And the pussy willow hints at spring.

pussy willow-2


One Down

One down, twenty two to go. Mr Uhdd  felled a tree today, it’s part of a clump of  twenty three ‘Christmas’ trees that have out grown their welcome (We’ll planting again, with trees more suitable to the location).

Tree with death sentence -2

It’s no easy task, they are 35 ft high; but he’s done this sort of thing before and developed something of a technique that manages to pop the stump out of the ground in to the bargain.

Tree felling-2

I’m sorry to disappoint if you were anticipating an action shot of the tree falling. I tried, I really tried, I’d hung around, keeping Spud from under the axe and providing hot tea, if fact I’d expected to be called upon to give a bit of weight on the rope (husbands have a way of emphasising words such as weight.) But having cut through the main tap roots, Mr Uhdd gave the rope a tug and it popped out like a cork from a bottle. Never mind, I’ve another twenty two falling tree opportunities to go.

He was pleased with how the tree fell, however he’s not pleased with Draper axe shafts , this is the second one to fail like this. You can see how new it is, he hadn’t even worn the sticky label off the head.

Draper axe-2

I’m not sure what to make of this shot, it’s a ‘string thing’ a cluster of bailer twine and frayed rope blowing in the wind. I like it because it is colourful, I like colourful.

String thing 2-2

The sun shone today, I was very pleased, I been very hacked off with grey this week. I’ve not been myself.


Where are you going?

Mr Uhdd went running yesterday. On Bleaklow.

Mr Uhdd on Bleaklow

The snow might have gone down in the valley’s but on Bleaklow there was no shortage of deep snow that was frozen enough to run on, which is actually easier going than the normal terrain.

How deep was the snow? Well this is how it normally looks,


the  snow filled gullies, know as peat groughs.


Taking My Turn

Today is my first post over at Vision & Verb.

Winter, time-4

this is the photo (keen eyed readers will recognise it.) the words that accompany the image are here.

If you’d like to take a scenic train journey around these parts (and you can access BBC iPlayer) you can watch last nights edition of ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ Buxton to Matlock and you can wave to the fisherman as trundle down the valley.


A Little Blue

A little blue sky would be welcome and cheery. We’ve been wrapped in grey for days and days.

Sledge tracks, top field.

Blue sky wishing -2

Over the weekend I’ve had a very cathartic time clearing out the barn (well part of it) ferrying a load of ‘stuff’ to the recycling centre ( the destination formerly know as the tip) It was a simple pleasure.

Spud seems fully recovered from his operation, it’s been nigh on impossible to keep him calm. He was ecstatic to be visiting the vets this morning, for his check- up, I almost lost hold of him as I opened the car, not that he would have run off anywhere other than straight in to the vets. As the vet observed ‘He obviously has no recollection of what happened to him last week.’ I can’t start to tell you what a relief it is to have a dog that wants to kiss the vet and not savage the vet.  we went straight to the pet shop afterwards for a reward.


Woolly Minded Thinking

That is where I’m at tonight, I’m struggling to string a sentence together never mind write a blog post. Too many meetings, late nights and deadlines have been and gone this week. It’s been a week not without  the odd dose of nonsense, but on the whole satisfactory  progress has been made.

Stick, wool, ice

stick, wool, ice-2

And the weekend is all mine, all mine.


Sheep searching for food.

sheep feeding-2

I’m in the mood for a tidy up and a clear out, of head and home.


Rabbit tracks

rabbit tracks-2

I will be back refreshed and clear minded, after a good nights sleep.


Field Barn

A disused barn, I love the chunky matter of fact stance about this building (I worry that its roof has started to fail though.)

Field Barn 1-2

I’m sure if you could get planning permission to convert  this barn into a dwelling, someone would have done it by now. The views are a bit special and so is the location.

Field Barn-2

I think it should stay just as it is, fair and square.

I can report that Spud is a giddy as ever, despite his operation yesterday; the vets advice to keep him calm has fallen  on spaniel ears that appear to be selectively deaf. Despite having a ‘lampshade’ on his head he has swiped  a 2lb bag of sugar off the worktop and sprinkled it liberally around the kitchen and stolen a tissue out of the back pocket of my jeans, whilst I was stood at the worktop. So much for no jumping up……


The Dog’s …………

Today is a big day, for Spud.

He is off to the vets for a little operation. It doesn’t seem five minutes ago that he was but a puppy, do you remember? spud u like 1-2

Now he is a  a macho dog

He dog-2

and before he get any wanderlust ideas, we’ll get him ‘attended to’.

Of course he is in denial about the whole thing.

in denial-2

Who wouldn’t be.

Mr Uhdd says that I should explain the title of this post, in case the slang expression ‘the dog’s ………..’ is one which overseas readers may not be familiar with.


The Big Day

Tomorrow is the big day. What big day? The launch of Vision & Verb a collaborative blog, by women of a certain age, and I’m one of them!

 Toni and Marcie have been grafting away, getting the site looking tickety-boo, marshalling the team into a running order and gathering in biographies and vintage photos, we have a forum and buttons and, well everything we need to get the show on the road. So pop along to Vision & Verb and meet the gang ( and you can add a Vision & Verb button to your blog if you’d like to help us get the ball rolling.)



I was very flattered to be asked along, I hesitated a little before accepting but only because the invitation came a few days after I’d made a sweeping statement about making sure I didn’t ‘over commit’ myself in the new year. So I’d like to make it clear, from the outset, I’m not over committing, I taking on new challenges. OK?

Tomorrow is also a big day for Spud, but more about that later.


As the snow fades away, I’ll leave you with a ‘while stocks last’  random selection of fresh and fluffy snow.

Football, languishing on the trampoline

football -2


Hawthorne tree


An ‘oasis’ of green,  the water from an emerging spring is warm enough to keep the boggy grass clear of snow


Snow blasted tree

up the tree-2

A very wobbly slippery stile


and a view across the valley

across the valley-2

And the other news from the home front is that Mr Redcar, has been reunited with his car and they are heading south.


Demob Happy

The persistent rain that fell through the night has cleared great rafts of snow and ice, we can see green again. Everyone is very cheered by this.

miss m-2

The chickens are out of their run and nibbling on green grass,  Tom will be out on his mountain bike and Mr Uhdd will be back in his running stride (not that the snow has stopped him running you understand, just hampered progress.) Mr Redcar is on his way back to retrieve his car.

The atmosphere in the village is quiet giddy as people get out and about more easily, although I doubt it there is a jolly atmosphere in the post office, because the queue is six deep out on the pavement, I couldn’t see to do a head count inside, but it was packed (the staff are never what you would describe as ‘relaxed’ on a good day; it would be a brave soul that chose this morning to complain about the non delivery of post over the last few weeks.)  Outside the vets it was business as usual as the vet and Mr and Mrs farmer struggled to get a sick ewe across a remaining sheet of ice and into the vets.

At the supermarket the car park was a bit fraught, for all those people who only run a car, just to get to and from the shops, (often described by us as ‘hat drivers’ but in general the elderly and drivers of a nervous disposition) and who don’t venture out when the roads and pavements are bad have all descended on the store en-mass, add to the mix the weekend shoppers and chaos is on offer in ‘buy one get one free’ quantities.