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


Drink Coffee, Eat Cake, That’s an Order.

It’s the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning

This morning Macmillan Cancer Support get the kettle on; all over the country.

I’ve baked, the sun is shining, we’ll throw open the doors and windows, sit in the garden and do as we are told, drink coffee and eat cake with friends, colleagues and family, but most importantly we will raise loads of dosh, we are on a mission.




Beyond Limits Chatsworth 2011, more of my favourites

More of my favourites from the exhibition

Large Left-Handed Drummer by Barry Flanagan

Large left-handed Drummer-1

(Joker the Lurcher and Mrs Ogg are fans) I think this would be well suited to our field…

Frog with Fly by Richard Hudson

Frog with Fly-1

I struggled with the title, but liked the piece, hours of entertainment in the reflections, as you could this  mirrored piece by Nadim Karam




Beyond Limits Chatsworth 2011

And so to art. Chatsworth makes a stunning location, even when it is wrapped in white plastic.  Two Damien Hirst sculptures,  Myth and Legend were placed at the top of the Canal Pond which was garnished with a couple of white swans for further effect.

Myth and Legend

Myth and Legend 1-1


Legend Damien Hisrt 2-1

The whiteness of the white is simply brilliant (obviously not Dulux paint then) and I liked the fact these sculpture didn’t have the silly little fences around them. I loved how the light bounced up off the plinths up-lighting the beasts


Legend -1


Myth Damien Hirst-1

Looking at the texture, it brings to mind the sight and the smell of a new packet of plasticine 

Legend Damien Hisrt 3-1


Spud on Sunday Part XXXVIV

Spud has never been to a stately home before and  Chatsworth House is a bit up-market for a country dog.

Here you can see the garden reflected in an mirror inside the house, complete with yet another statue.

Chatsworth reflected -1

And here you can see  Spud, Mr Uphilldowndale and me, along with Spuds attendant school party, who took a bit of a shine to him.

Chatsworth  and Spud reflected -1

Everywhere we went they came too, Spud liked them as much as they liked him ( I don’t imagine many of them will have a dog as a pet at home.)

school party chatsworth -1

They were a large party, but then Chatsworth is a big place and the children were very well behaved.

school party chatsworth 1-1

I bet none of the children leaped into  the lily pond, when ‘teacher’ was looking the other way. Naughty Spud

Spud and the lily pond -1


Beyond Limits at Chatsworth House

A Sunny Day and a Dash of Sculpture

The sun did shine yesterday,  I went with Mr Uphilldowndale and Spud the dog* to see the Beyond Limits a ‘selling exhibition’ of contemporary sculpture in the grounds of Chatsworth house, it was luck rather than forethought that meant we turned up on the sunniest day for weeks.

Chatsworth House has a long history of artistically punctuating  it stunning gardens and vistas with works of art.

Chatsworth House Robin-1

So I’ve a heap of photos to share, it will probably take me all week. Readers with tenacity will remember I’ve been to Chatsworth before, a couple of years ago.

Chatsworth house itself is swathed in plastic whilst it has a bit of a wash and brush up.

Chatsworth House -1

It looks like a big job and after having had our house roof redone last year, a job and a bill the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire are welcome to!

I can only think when the covers come off the house is going to bright enough to be seen from three counties away; look see, compare and contrast the cleaned and freshly gilded urns peeping out above the covers, compared to the  lonesome unwashed one

Chatsworth House before and after-1

The Devonshires have always had a capacity vision and budget to think big,  and make the grand gesture, take the avenue of trees in this shot

Family house Deybshire, stunning view to open countryside -1

and here; note the two blocks of green, just below the band of trees on the skyline.

Chatsworth landscape-1

Visibility wasn’t the clearest, but perhaps you can make out the letters ER within the block of trees?

ER Chatsworth -1

The trees were planted to mark Queen Elizabeth’s II  coronation  a grand gesture indeed.

* dogs are allowed in the garden on a lead


Moving On

Yesterday it rained, that fine mizzle sort of rain, there was not a breath of wind, Mr Uhdd and I took Spud a walk around the field, the sheep have gone (Spud waited patiently at the weekend,

Sheep moving on  1-1

whilst the farmer and his dog moved the flock on to pastures new (each  working dog to his own says Spud, English Springer Spaniels to game birds, sheepdogs to sheep) and he’s glad to have the free run of the field again

Sheep moving on -1

Afterwards I took a stroll around the garden, that looked very prettily damp. A clump of bronze fennel being the star of the show*, a bit of bling from raindrops goes a long way to giving the fading garden a bit of a lift,

Garden September-1 

Today however it is  raining and blowing a hooley, I’ll be lucky if the fennel is still standing tomorrow.

*most of the shots are rubbish, juggling low light, rain and a black umbrella was never going to work, never mind I enjoyed the show