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


Wet Weekend

Well if it was August sunshine you were looking for this weekend, this wasn’t the place to be.


but there was no shortage of moody skies

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and heavy downpours

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In other news: Dandy the cat has never been fond of going out in the rain, and known as a rather lazy puss, but he is hitting new lows, when I arrived home late last night I found him fast asleep in his litter tray. *sigh*


Spud on Sunday Part XXXV

An early post,  as I’m off out for the day,

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But don’t you worry about Spud, I might be out but he won’t be fenced in: he’ll be having  his usual fun and games with the boys;  boy he’s going to miss them big time when they go back to school at the end of this week. In the photo Spud is on the second floor roof terrace at the holiday cottage down in Devon, so despite his doleful look,  it is one of his favourite places,  as its just the job for watching the world go by (and drying washing, so long as you peg it on the line very firmly, it’s very windy up there).


Putting the Cart Before the Horse

I had a very evening nice evening out with two friends I hadn’t seen for a while, Sara told me that the  Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition at Chatsworth House is ready to roll, I must go, I’ve been before (remember the floating baby?) and very much enjoyed myself.

Sara is a big fan of horses (not a hobby for me, too much faffing  around for my liking, almost as much as sailing, and just as expensive) so I’m posting these photos for Sara, I took them at Snape Maltings in Suffolk the other week. The sculptor is Sarah Lucas

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The horse is life sized the concrete marrows are not, here is the detail,


The horse for me was a flash back to the china Beswick horses of my childhood, back then I did aspire to own a horse, as it was I only had the ceramic variety galloping across the sill of my bedroom window; I was always breaking the legs off them and my dad used to stick them back together in a  complex ritual that involved, two tubes of Araldite glue and some matchsticks. Dad was very talented with all thing mechanical, the aesthetics of adhesives however were not his forte

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How you get painted concrete to this sort of a finish is a mystery to me, although I’m dammed sure it’s not Dulux paint.

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I went off and searched for Beswick china animals, and was surprised at their value to collectors,one of my mothers friends has cabinet full of the things, bulls, cows, pheasants dogs and foxes, a  dust harbouring rural menagerie. In fact she inherited some more from an ‘elderly relative’ just a few weeks ago (not bad, when the friend herself is in mid 80’s) they were a bit grubby, so she carefully washed them, one, a shire horse with a striking resemblance to the horse above, was immersed in warm sudsy water and all four legs fell off. So there is the explanation as to their value,

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I assume it is only horses with a leg at each corner that bring a pretty penny.



Today’s the day Tom got his GCSE results

I drove him over to school this morning to collect them, we parked up in the supermarket car park across the road from school and I was instructed to wait. So I waited, anxiously, as parents do; reflecting that it seems no time at all since his first day school, when he had to be peeled, clinging, from my leg by the headmistress. Now look at the size of him.

Eventually a text dropped into my phone, from Tom; it simply read Wooooohoooooo. Yes! my heart did swell with pride, and my eyes may have been a tad misty, but wait a minute, what  exactly does Wooooohooooo mean in teenage text talk? is it a variation on boohoo in which case I’d best prepare of incoming teenage angst.  I waited some more, knowing that Tom would now be lost in the ‘what ya get?’ conversations with his mates.  Impatient I rang Mr Uhdd to compare notes, but we were none the wiser, in the end I rang Tom.  Tom was a happy bunny, he was pleased with his grades, they weren’t what he expected mind; there gains and losses on what was predicted.  But now we know Whooooohoooooo is good.


The Family of Man

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Ancestor I, Ancestor II, Parent I

The Family of Man, by Barbara Hepworth at Snape Maltings. To be enjoyed by the family of man. In the background, the sails of boats on the river Deben

The sign is rather weathered

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The sculpture is rather tactile

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What I can’t capture here is the sound of an orchestra, rehearsing in the building behind me.

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The Reluctant Sailor

Spud the dog is liberated from the kennels, I’m back at work and should be back at my studies, but I’m easily distracted. I suppose eventually this blog will return to its Derbyshire roots, but in the mean time I’ve a camera load of photos of Suffolk to serve up,  sort of a second helping of summer.

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It’s been mentioned here before,  that I’m a land lubber at heart, so my men folk left me ashore whilst they went to play on a friends boat, sailing down the river Deben, around Felixstowe before mooring up in the marina in the centre of Ipswich; where I joined them for the night.  I’d never visited the area before, but we’d called on Mrs Ogg and the Oglets on the way, for a yummy lunch and she’d tipped me off where to go a take a look.

The lobster above I found in Aldeburgh along with some handsome hungry  gulls


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Off Limits

When in Devon Mrs Ogg and I were much amused by a sign at Salcombe harbour, now we don’t wish to make light of such a serious topic as rabies prevention; it is a  very serious matter indeed

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But it was the kangaroo that caught our  attention and imagination

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The thought of a kangaroo bounding around below deck seemed more than a little surreal.

Another sign this evening, also told me what was prohibited, this time at the local petrol station, back here in Derbyshire. I was not permitted until further notice  to buy petrol in a can ( fuel for the lawn mower), ‘what not even a proper* petrol can?’ I asked. ‘No’ was the answer. ‘Have you been having trouble?’ I enquired, ‘No not here, it’s because of the riots’. This also seemed a little surreal.

Mr Uhdd is considering cutting a path down to the petrol station with the mower to fill up. The downside with this plan is that he’d have run out of petrol before he got home again.

* I’ve seen some odd things being filled up


Apologies for Absence

Spud the dog is unavailable for his usual Spud on Sunday appearance, we’ve been away to Suffolk for the weekend and Spud couldn’t come (yes I know our feet and paws had barely touched home from  our holiday in Devon). We are home now, but unfortunately Spud is subject to a lock in at the kennels. Poor Spud, the house is very quiet without him. We’ll liberate him in the morning.