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


Let there be light, and transparency

It might have been cold the day we visited Haddon Hall, but at least it was bright. We’ve had some very wet, slag grey days this last week, I doubt we’d have managed to see some of the historic detail had we been there on those days.

The windows at Haddon are beautiful.

Haddon leaded light

We debated the windows, Mr Uphilldowndale said the undulating waves of glass was a feature designed to add strength, I said it was to make it look sparkly.

Haddon leaded light 3

During the 19th and early 20th century a great number of important medieval houses were restored and had their windows returned to an earlier style of glazing. The glazing of the western range of Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, is particularly effective as each pane is set at a different angle to those adjacent, creating jewel-like facets when seen from the exterior. 

Look at the graffiti,  you’d need to be posh to leave your mark, back in the day, not every one had a precious stone ring, with which to make a statement. Haddon leaded light writing_

this window tells you what a posh gaff it is.

Haddon leaded lights  panel.jpg

A very pretty addition to the Christmas decorations was the Wishing Tree, set by the window and bathed in sunlight, it was beautiful in its simplicity

Haddon wishing tree

You could add your own wishes if you  wanted too. I guess we all have many things to wish for in 2019,  I for one wish for a little more light and transparency from our world leaders and politicians, is it too much to ask?

Haddon wishing tree 2


Happy Christmas

From all the Uphilldowndales, and especially Spud


Spud Christmas paper_

Who just loves a nice bit of wrapping paper. He’d also like my nomnom chocolate a present from Tom, but he’s not having it.


nomnom chocolate_


Wishing you peace, health* and happiness.


*judging by how many  search hits I’ve had this last week looking for ‘Mr Muscle sore throat’ I’m hoping those who have cleaned their ovens in preparation for Christmas dinner, are well enough to enjoy their turkey…


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 Collectors’ Eyes

My blog lies unattended, my RSS feed is bulging at the seams, I’ve been absent without leave yet again. And it going to get worse before it gets better.

Last summer I decreed I was going to have a clear out, the boxes of ‘stuff’ that had come out of the loft the previous year when we had the house reroofed, and that were now languishing in the barn, were going to be sorted once and for all.  Some of the ‘stuff’ might once have been described as bric- a- brac ,  some of it I knew had a value but I didn’t know how to go about selling it; but now thanks to the world of eBay  it is ‘stuff’  that can be  found a new home.

Previously the Uphilldowndales have been shoppers on eBay, not sellers, I can tell you it has been a bit of an adventure and it has taken me six months to actually settle down and ‘just do it’. It has undoubtedly taken up swaths of time, energy and parcel tape*( the village post office is my new best friend). But what has been an unexpected bonus is some of the nice people that I’ve ‘met’ , not unlike the people I’ve met here in the world of blogs actually. I’ve particularly enjoyed hearing why people collect certain things and what make an  item a  ‘good ‘un’ **

I’ve sold things that I  whilst I appreciate the craftsmanship of,  I don’t necessarily want to share my life with. It has been rather cathartic, letting go, sending them off to new loving homes. OK, it has been fun too.

It has made me think what is not for sale too,  what is precious to me, for all sorts of reasons. For starters there are my vintage Christmas tree lights which I now know would sell for a pretty penny) and  then there is what my mum tells me is a ‘bread mug’; a large earthenware bowl, crudely made, a tad on the wobbly side but I’m simply fond of it.

Bread mug 1-1

What I love is the hand print in the glaze, made by the person that crafted such a utility item.

Bread mug 4-1

Today it has various uses, none involving bread: sometimes it is full of house plants others it might  be home to my most recent collection of fir cones and beach finds, sometimes it hosts only a spider.

Bread mug 3-1

One of the objectives in this mammoth clear out was to fund a new carpet for the lounge. I’ve achieved my goal,  and now I have to put some elbow grease where my money and my mouth is. There is an awful lot of work to be done before the carpet fitter can arrive.

Spud the dog will be along later to hold the blog fort, whilst we replace skirting boards, plaster walls and sweep chimneys. Spud may well have a paint brush tied to his tale.

*don’t buy Tesco parcel tape it smells of vomit.

** Mr Uphilldowndale say’s I should post a link to our eBay account then you could leave your comments whilst you did a little shopping