Uphilldowndale

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


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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. 


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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…

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* 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.


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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.


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Spud on Sunday 17/01/16

Spud the dog  is looking rather wistful, he’d really like to be playing in the snow.

poor spud

He’s had an operation to remove a lump from his shoulder. Now he’s recovered from the anaesthetic  he’s back in full springer spaniel mode, which takes no account of his wounds need to heal.

Here he is when he first came home from the vets,  a little dazed and confused . 

Poor Spud_


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Three Wise Men

They didn’t come from the east, more of a south westerly direction.

Cutting and sticking away at Christmas cards in my girl shed the other day, I thought I heard voices, not from above you understand; but from the field below: and low, it came to pass that three wise men had decided that the old slurry tank in the field would make a great bench for a winter picnic lunch. It seems quite fitting, as my girl shed was once a stable.

Just a quick snap, I didn’t want to disturb them, they looked very contented, with their bales of butties and flasks of tea.

Three wise men_

When they were rested, they set forth, following yonder star, and probably in search of a swift half of beer in the next village.

On Christmas eve, I was more in need of a shepherd than a wise man; the grass being greener on our side of the drystone wall, we had unscheduled visitors .

Sheep Christmas Eve_

We are have a quiet and relaxed day, just the four of us and Spud the dog of course, he exhausted himself with his wrapping paper shredding fest, as is traditional.

Spud Christmas day

Have a lovely Christmas, wherever you may be, especially those who don’t have the chance t rest and relax and have to work.

We liked this decoration, spotted in our local hospital, definitely making the most of what comes to hand to raise a little festive cheer.

Seasons Greetings_


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Christmas at Kew

We returned to  the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew last week, you might remember we have a special family connection to Kew.  We attended the preview night of their Christmas at Kew event.

We had a lovely, colourful time.

Kew Christmas Lights_

The candle lights were a big hit with the grown ups, we loved the smell; they had a touch of the pagan about them (the Wicker Man was mentioned) , my photos don’t do them justice, they seemed to go on into infinity, and that was beyond my skills.

Kew lights 4

Grown ups and youngsters liked the curtain of light, very tactile.

Kew lights 3

and great fun even if the photos were a bit hit and miss!

Kew lights_

Mr Uphilldowndale had a go at finding his inner child, I couldn’t keep up (nor would I want too, I can feel nauseous on the Pendoino trains*)

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The palm house is my favourite, from every direction, it makes such a fabulous canvas for the lights.

palm house Paxton

The palm house was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, I think he’d have been impressed by the theatre of it all. 

* The train is forgiven, we can leave Euston station in London and be turning the key in the front door  just over two hours later.

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