Watching nature take it’s course, from the top of a hill in northern England.

I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words and photos where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ a bit.

On the other hand I may just be adding more words to the cyberspace compost heap. Only time will tell!

Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

We live in what was once a working farm, it’s the area of Northern Derbyshire where I was born and raised, as as the Scots would say it’s not just where I stay, but ‘where I belong’ we have a few acres of land, hens,  a dog, cats, a duck pond and a leaky roof. We consider ourselves to be very lucky indeed.

This blog has been bobbing along for fifteen years now, its pace and tempo has changed with the passing of time ( with a very slow tempo of late)  but  it still has nature and curiosity at its core. The interaction with the outside world of other bloggers and readers across the globe has been an added joy.

I’m rather possessive and protective about my words and photos, they belong to me! All original content is © drop me a line if you wish to discuss the matter in detail!

39 thoughts on “About

  1. Am looking forward to your writings as I,ve followed some of your comments on other peoples blogs and I concur with most of your sentiments. Theres a rich seam of humour within you….

    Welcome to the wonderful world of blogs….kingmagic .

  2. I,m studying 19th and 20th C history. Mainly British political history and WWII German history.

    Its something that I loved at school but unfortunately had a crap teacher who tried to make it as boring as possible.

    I,m also very interested in the “Sharp” books and the early history of the British Army.

    My wife says that I,m turning into an anorak!

    I,d rather say that I,m a cagoule!

  3. I loved geography, I think it was because we had a very dynamic teacher who got us out (and lost) in the peat bogs as often as he could, (maybe it was a front and he was trying to get rid of us.) Ahh hanging valley’s, drumlins limestone pavements, when he took us to Chamonix I thought I was in heaven; happy days. I could learn so much more from seeing and doing, than stuck in the class room.
    On the subject of cagoules when were they invented? I seem to remember the teacher kitting us all out with bin liners for an expedition to Malaham Cove, (holes cut for arms and head) to wear over the top of our anoraks.)

    My family have concluded that I am morphing in to a bit of a train spotter, as I have started a collection photographs of dry stone walls. I think they are fascinating, I must post about them. (Click away now, before its to late!)

    Off to look at digital SLR cameras today, there will be no stopping me then.

  4. Half a story!; what SLR? we are trying to look at Nikon D40x, Canon EOS400D, or OlympusE410.
    I say trying because I can’t find a shop with the Olympus on the shelves.
    It’s a long time since I have been in camera shop, but I can see it is an industry in a state of flux, if you are competent enough to handle digi images, you can cope with buying your kit on line…. so who needs a shop except to get a ‘feel for it’ then go home and but it on line 😦 I may have to go to a CITY next week, yuk!)
    On the subject of competency, do you do tutorials in images for blogs! not got the hang of it yet, where do I start to look for a gargoyle?!
    good luck with the PC, we have had our BT bill today and the end of our relationship with them is nigh; not looking forward to the ‘interruption in service.’

  5. I cant remember the stats for the camera…but its expensive!
    Will have a look at what I,ve ordered when I get home and let you know.
    Look in WordPress for the tutorials on images, its a case of trial and error at first but it gets easier.
    I usually Google most of my images or use my own collection of weird and wonderful stuff (but I have not got a single one of an anorak or a cagoulle!)

    p.s. nothing wrong with drystone walls…I,ve got a collection of stones, rocks, pebbles and other assorted bits of hard stuff accumulated over twenty years which I intend to build a life size replica of Stonehenge in my back garden (planning permission allowing)

    p.p.s. if planning permission is turned down then I am going to return all the above stones to the dark recesses of my mind from whence they came…off home now.

  6. You should have submitted the PP on the solstice, for good vibes, I thought in returning your stones from whence they came you were going to live your life in reverse and so discover immortality.

  7. anneholloway

    ah – a chicken keeper – thank you for reading and posting on my blog – I shall keep an eye on yours now! I too work term time only, write and have just finished studying for a while.

  8. Hello out there –

    stumbled across your wonderful words (great Blog BTW) via Stonehead’s Musings.

    Well, if you’re a drystone wall ‘cagoule’ you’ll truly love some of the distinctly unusual examples we have here – we’ll try & post some on our Blog for you although we’re not sure we have an SLR (as being ex-military, to us that abbreviation means a Self-Loading Rifle – but a camera is a lot less terminal unless in the hands of a tabloid photographer, methinks…?!).

    Anyway, by way of introduction we’re former RAF Officers turned fellow ‘downshifters’ (never worked harder) & in Jo’s spare – ahem – time she writes articles for ‘Smallholder’ magazine whilst Tony is an airline pilot (paying off the mortgage!).

    Meanwhile we’re just about to launch our goat dairying business here in South West Wales: our 36 acres is home to a herd of pedigree British Toggenburg goats; a flock of Shetland/Ryeland ewes running with a Greyface Dartmoor ram; a pair of Shetland carriage ponies; two Welsh Cobs (one as a logging horse & one as a quadruped because we don’t believe in environmentally-unfriendly quad bikes); a flock of hens; a trio of ducks; a gaggle of geese; & of course, our three fearless Maine Coon rat-cats & our Greenland Guard Dog. I’d also mention the piggies; but alas, they’re in the freezer!

    Hope you’ll be happy to pop the kettle on for an intentionally regular visitor: & please feel free to warm your welllies against our Rayburn whilst indulging in honied homemade Welsh Cakes & of course, a goodly cuppa…made with fresh goats’ milk, naturally!

    Best wishes,

    Jo, Tony & Ffarm Fach (aka LittleFfarm Dairy) menagerie.

  9. Hi Jo and Tony, and welcome, I’ll be round for a brew, although I expect being ex RAF, you can probably rustle up a jug of perfect gin and tonic in the blink of an eye and that would be nice too. 🙂

  10. bobsmum

    Oh no, I can feel an addiction to uphilldowndale coming on…
    Greetings from a hill in Somerset, where the view is lovely (when the mist lifts and it isn’t raining like this morning) although not in the same league as yours….

  11. Hi,

    I’ve just discovered your blog (followed the link from Stuart McBride’s blog), and I love it. You make me quite homesick, as I am originally from the north of England.

    My husband and I lived in California for 9 years before deciding to “downsize” our lives (and our expenses), and move to a rural area of Oklahoma. Put the kettle on, I’ll be back.

  12. Lola Snow

    Kudos for the Dr Seuss widget, (up-up-up with a fish!)
    Your photos are amazing, the colours are so vivid. I really like “Flight” and…actually I realised I’d be here forever, they are all great – the clouds set is particularly atmospheric. Just like those arty greetings cards, that I keep buying and refusing to send to people because I like them too much!
    Lola x

  13. rhosie

    i love your place…i think to live in a farm is truly wonderful experience than living in a city wherein pollution is rampant….thanks for sharing the wonderful photos on your site and i must say they are truly great…

  14. My partner is a dry-stone-wall specialist and worked a lot in the LD. I love your photos – they remind me of the first and only time that I have visited the area – simply stunning.

    I aim to go back – and hopefully, soon.

    Thank you.

  15. Having grown up in Macclesfield and lived in Bollington for several years I’m trying desperately to work out where you are. I know you won’t want to publish it online but would you be willing to put me out of my misery by e-mailing me and telling me the general area ? I have two possibilities in mind, one begins with K and the other with R, so many of the scenes look familiar but I can’t quite place them.

    Best wishes Rowan

  16. Nadezhda Konovalova

    Hi! Found you through flandrumhill blog of Amy-Lynn.
    Your blog is so beautiful and photos are amazing!
    Have a nice day!

  17. dariaelisabeth

    heya 🙂
    thank you very much for your picture comment on my easter egg! HAPPY EASTER and take care,
    yours daria 🙂

  18. Dear uphilldowndale:

    My name is Leora Trub and I am a student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). I am conducting a study of the reasons that people blog and what benefits it brings, which at this point are still largely unexplored in research studies. I am therefore reaching out to you as a blogger who can help deepen our understanding of this phenomenon. I believe that your voice is an important one to be heard and hope you will enjoy participating in the study. I have developed an online questionnaire that asks about specific aspects of blogging as well as asking about feelings about yourself and others in your life. The survey is a mix of numerical scales and opportunities to reflect in an open-ended format about the role of blogging in your life, and how it has changed over time.

    You are eligible to participate if you are at least 21 years of age and have been maintaining an English-language personal blog for at least six months that you update or visit at least twice a week (on average). Your participation involves completing a confidential online questionnaire. The data will be downloaded onto a secure server to which only I have access. No identifying information, such as your names or address, will be collected. If you desire, you may choose not to share your blog name, in which case I will not access your blog for any reason after this point. If you do share your blog name, it will NOT be connected to your responses in the survey. Additionally, you will be given the opportunity to be identified by a code name in research reports and to have your blog description changed slightly so it cannot be identified.

    The survey takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and participation is completely voluntary. Three participants who complete the survey will be randomly selected by a lottery to receive a $75 cash prize.

    There are no foreseeable risks to participation in the study. Although some of the questions are personal in nature, participation in the study provides an opportunity to think about the role that your blog plays in your life.

    If you have any questions about this research, you can contact me at (732) 407-7928 or ltrub@gc.cuny.edu, or my advisors Dr. Arietta Slade at (212) 650-5658 or arietta.slade@gmail.com and Dr. Tracey Revenson at (212) 817-8709 or trevenson@gc.cuny.edu.

    The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Graduate School of the City University of New York and meets of their guidelines as well as all state and federal guidelines for research with human participants. If you have any concerns about the project at any time, you can contact Ms. Kay Powell, Institutional Review Board at the Graduate School of the City University of New York (212) 817-7525 or kpowell@gc.cuny.edu.

    In order to participate in this study, I need to send you an invitation through survey monkey. If you are interested, please send an email to ltrub@gc.cuny.edu from the email address to which you would like the invitation sent. I hope that you will decide to participate and also that you will share it with others if you decide you would like to. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


    Leora Trub, M.A.
    Doctoral student in Clinical Psychology
    Graduate School of the City University of New York
    365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309

  19. Dave Thompson

    Dear Sir Ive been inspired by one of your photographs of a derbyshire farm in winter. I am an amateur artist and would like to paint my interpretation of this scene in oils. Therefore I am asking for your approval of the use of your photograph. I will obviously credit you. on my label. Thanks in anticipation Dave Thompson

  20. Doug's Dad.

    Thanks for your photo’s and thoughts through the year.

    I wish I had your time, skill and commitment to capture and share my surroundings and daily goings-on.

    (Although I doubt everyone would find reports of some of the things I have to do, or some of my opinions palatable).

    1. Thanks Doug’s Dad, its always great to get interesting comments too! 2016 will see Mr Uphilldowndale and I travelling around the country quite a bit. We plan visits to many a blog worthy place, so watch this space. It’s the things I’ve learnt from blogging, and the knowledge and observations brought in comments that have given me the most blogging pleasure over the years.

      1. Doug's Dad.

        If you’re passing, or indeed if you can make a minor detour, may I highly recommend The Ship at Dunwich, Suffolk which is an excellent dog friendly proper pub with rooms, and excellent walks on the beach, the marshes and the forest – you know who would love it – Doug does!!!

        The Beigel Bake at 159 Brick Lane, London E1 (you must have the hot salt beef) and The Brown Eagle caribbean restaurants in North London (brown eagle.co.uk).

        Landguard Fort and Common at Felixstowe for a bit of history and a mind-boggling view of the container port and perhaps spend a few pennies in the pier slot machines – very old school.

        Safe travels and I look forward to your reports.

  21. peaks956

    So utterly in awe of your blog; I’m just starting to blog about my work in the Peak Park. Such a wonderful format and loads to explore. Thanks so much for inspiring me with ruraldementiaresearch.com

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