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


School of Magic

Amongst the many events of summer;  Tom graduated…. 

Grad bears

Tom’s graduation was a lovely day, we can’t quite believe how quickly three years have passed, its all been rather angst free for Mr Uphilldowndale and I.

Bangor University is in a lovely part of the world, the older buildings do have a Hogwarts look about them. Tom has found a it a magical place to study climb’ surf and ride!

Bangor uni_

He has plans to go traveling, New Zealand and Canada are high on his list. For the moment he is closer to home, we’re not sure where though, just some where, in our camper van


A throning, or a party by any other name

I’ve a string of posts to deliver,  I’m behind schedule, I’ve been distracted; they are going to tumble out randomly, it seems to match the mood of the nation!

You’d be hard pressed to call where I live a street, but it didn’t stop us having a street party to celebrate the Queens 90th Birthday a few weeks ago.

There were a lot of planning meetings (Mr Uphilldowndale will tell you  what I mean by this, is that there was a lot of drinking of prosecco  on Sunday afternoons for the previous month) I’ll tell you the planning was just as sociable as the party.  We then went on holiday and left the neighbours to all the hard work, arriving back in time for the sound of popping corks.  They did a fab job, we had  music,  flowers, porta-loos, road closed signs, bollards and bunting, a proper party.

Road Closed_

We even had very official notices to close the road, who could resist a throning of neighbours?



Thronging 2

We didn’t divert any carts as far as we know, a few cyclists and a couple of walkers meandered through the tables, most took  the diversion in good  heart.

We brought out the finest vintage food (the ‘food miles’ of some of it could be measured in inches rather than miles)


Ate proper pie (Yorkshire pie, brought over the county boundary under special licence).

proper pie

I may have mentioned the prosecco before


So many cakes


and a few gate crashers.

Gate crasher Moo over

We raised money for charity too, we are very lucky to have such lovely neighbours…


How old?

Nine years today, since my first post. Which seems pretty amazing to me.  As does this view, it’s Newborough beach on Anglesey, we’ve visited here a few times; whilst Tom has been studying at Bangor university, not so very far away. He’d have been twelve when I started blogging. He handed in his dissertation last week and has only a couple of exams left to sit.



Time flies

It seems impossible to us, but our fist born, turned 21 years of age yesterday. It seems like only yesterday that he was born, but then again it seems like a life time ago, how can it be both?

Tom, big eyes

At nursery he earned the affectionate nickname  of ‘bush baby’. I can report he has now grown into those eyes. 


Spud the dog, an update

You may remember, Spud the dog is recuperating from an operation to remove a lump from his shoulder.

The good news is the lump was nothing sinister, and he has been taking his recuperation very seriously

spud 2

However the wound wasn’t healing well, so he’s had his stiches removed and after weighing up all the options it was decided the best bet for Spud was to leave the wound open to heal. It’s not been pretty. But he has been a very good patient and has allowed me to bathe the wound in salt water and apply an ointment containing Manuka honey *  The good news is that  it is healing, its not weeping now and  the hole in skin has gone from hens egg size to small plum size in the last six days.

We’ve found a  protective collar that is more comfortable for him and us, a Buster collar

Spud Buster

it just about stops him from reaching the wound, for as you can imagine a combination of salt and honey is as near a salted caramel as he’s going to get, and smells very tasty! So he is keen to give the area a good lick.

He’s in reasonable spirits for a Spring Spaniel under house arrest, nothing wrong with his appetite though.  Here he is fancying a rather delicious egg custard that Mr Uphilldowndale isn’t willing to share.

Spud Buster 2 

He’s waiting and waiting to play ball…



* I think the vet may well have prescribed the Manuka Honey as a placebo for me, the ‘first-aider’ in me has struggled with the concept of leaving the wound uncovered.


Top Coats

I can’t keep up, I haven’t posted last weekends snowy photo’s and today we are taking our ‘top coats’* off, because it is + 12c

Never mind, I shall force last weeks snowyness upon you.  because it was pretty, and a very welcome change from rain and grey skies.

Does that not look like a happy sheep? Must be its warm woollen coat, you can see its insulating properties.

 sheep header_

I like the patterns in the fields, where the snow has fallen in the tractor tyre tracks, it reminds me of the tracks on an LP, which dates me.

two horses_

*Top coat, not sure if this an old Derbyshire expression, but it is how my father referred to winter weight coats.  He was fond of saying ‘Buxton is always a top coat colder than everywhere else.’ And it is true.