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


A Fine Winter Coat

I should be carful what I wish for, after the relentless rain, this morning dawned dry and bright, but the light came with a high wind-chill price tag.

I took a trip out to the recycling centre (formerly known as the tip, goodness, I’m a girl that knows how to have a good time!) en-route I paused to admire some fine winter coats.

Highland cow -1

There was a camouflage version

Highland cow winter coat-1

One of the problems of pulling into  field gateways when driving a Land Rover is that, as they are still the farmers vehicle of choice around here, every beast around thinks you bring food*.  I attracted some attention; coming down the hill at speed was the leader of the herd, if it were summer you’d  have described him as gadding.

Highland bull-1

You may notice this photo is not that sharp, sorry, but never mind fiddling with the camera, I wasn’t going to stand the other side of a pile of loosely assembled rocks  with that hurtling towards me, all beef and horns, a steep hill and a muddy field under hoof, I stepped swiftly behind the Landi as he skidded to a halt. 

I don’t think there was any malice in him.  See he is rather sweet (I do want to liberate him from under that fringe though maybe he has to run fast to see where he’s going).

Highland bull 2-1

Then there was the horse, equally well wrapped up.

Horse coat -1

It’s a beautiful spot, but one that gathers the wind, by this time I’d lost, sensation in my fingers, and my hat.

* This has happened before, I once pulled over into a gateway in our old Land Rover  (a Defender 110) to take an important business call. I was immediately surrounded by about thirty heifers all mooing loudly, demanding to be fed. Fortunately the client had a sense of humour and was tolerant of my country ways



Indoors if Wet

It would be very nice to be out and about,

indoors if wet -1

after all, ‘Operation Cosy Christmas’ is a wrap, and whilst it got a bit fraught at times, getting everything done (Joe reupholstered six dining chairs on Christmas eve, he’s the fastest teenager in the north west with a staple gun)  we did it, and had lovely time. Now our guests have gone, all is quiet and still; it would be a good time to be out and about, mooching around with the camera, but it is just so, so, wet. So I’m pottering around with the blog instead, a new look and a review of the links in the side bar to follow. WordPress tell me my chosen new theme can morph itself to suit what ever device you chose to read this blog on, phone, PC, tablet etc, let me know how it shapes up especially if it is not delivering the goods.

It is not a bad place to be spending the darkest (I hope) of the winter days. Warm and cosy and in good company.


On Christmas Day

Happy Christmas dear blog buddies, wishing you good health, peace and  happiness for 2013. The uphilldowndales are still here, all is well, but a little exhausting, but once we’ve recovered from the gluttony of Christmas day, blogging service will resume to something  that resembles  my idea of normality.

larch cones -1

Normality is looking very attractive. Spud the dog sends his love.


The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog 9th Dec 2012

Snip, snip, snip. Spud the dog has had a trim this week, the hope is we’ve reduced his mud carrying capacity, but left him enough to keep warm. He’s been quite explicit about how close a shave he’s had

Spud -1

Jammy and Dodger the kitten-cats have had a more radical snip, they too have been quite explicit about their treatment.

Jammy -1 

The veterinary  nurse was quite specific about their post operative treatment. Jammy and Dodger should remain indoors for48hours, they should only have a little too eat for the next few hours, they should be kept warm.  We’d not a cat in hells chance of delivering any of that.  I locked the cat flap, to keep them in the utility room, when I went to check on them an hour later, I couldn’t find Dodger anywhere. That is until I looked out side, he was sat on the doorstep, wet and bedraggled, the temperature was .09c and sleeting: I’d set the flap to let him out not in. Nor were they happy about restricted rations, they took to launching themselves at the kitchen door in protest.

Spud was sympathetic to their plight, he’d been there before*.

Spud and Jammy -1

*both at the vets and being locked out in bad weather.

Sorry about the phone photo quality


A Fresh View

Sat in my mental folder marked ‘things to blog about’ is my day at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port.

There were plenty of colourful, photogenic boats and much more besides, but as usual it was ‘the stuff round the back’ that caught my eye.   A dilapidated wide beam boat awaiting restoration,

Broad Beam -1

My friend Mrs Ogg thinks it is a watercress barge.

What is it about peeling/fading paint that I find so appealing?

paint fade-1

The reason for my visit was a photography course, I thought after five years it was time I found out what some of the knobs and buttons on my camera do. I think my camera enjoyed have its brain taken out for a walk.

Narrow boat-1

It was good to get away from things for a while, and on that subject; I’ve just spent a sublime half an hour looking at the blog of Steve McCurry, oh my, what a joy his photographs are,  his reasons for blogging are interesting too. I may have to pour myself a glass of wine and drift back for another look.