Uphilldowndale

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


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The Problem Solved

I’m always curious to peep into a box of mystery items, I came across this on my travels this week.

A book, published in 1900. The Problem Solved, a practical treatise on artificial incubation and chicken rearing. What a title.

 The problem solved_

A quick scoot around the Internet shows me that that the title reprinted many times, and translated into French. According to the box, this particular copy was found in a empty farm house that was about to be demolished to make way for a quarry.

Hearson’s Patent Champion Incubator or not, Rocky our cockerel, will be pleased to note that he can’t be cut out of the process of rearing chick.  He has been growing new feather of late, just to let the girls know he is in peak form.

new feathers 2

I know I’ve blogged about new feathers before, but it’s a process that never fails to interest me. The way the quill grows first, the tip breaks off and the new feather emerges like a fine paint brush

new feathers 3

Here he’s giving them a bit of a ruffle.  Clever isn’t it?

new feathers 4


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Unknown Names

Not named

I found the image above in the box of family photos. It’s not named, which is rather sad.

I do know the name of this young man, but nothing about his uniform and medal. Can any readers help me?

Jack Winterbottom

Here he is again, a man now and looking rather dashing.

Jack Winterbottom adult

I went down to the service at the war memorial on Sunday, I’d not been able to go for the last couple of years. It was sad to note that the WWII two veterans were not there. Suddenly, it seems, there has been passing of a generation. I missed them;  but I’ll not forget them, we will remember them.


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Tour of Britain

Stage Six. Far from the maddening crowd; less atmospheric than  watching in the villages I suspect, but an  impressive cavalcade non the less.

I made my way up above the road know locally as Long Hill, for a birds eye view. It was blustery but warm and fine, which was just as well as in my haste I’d left my boots at home, and I’d had to tip toe across the fields in girly shoes from where I’d parked my car.

Tour of Britain. The wrong shoes

I watched a bit of traditional hay making while I waited (you can see we were a select bunch of spectators)

Tour of Britain  Hay making_

Some beautiful clouds skit by

Nice clouds_

I mused on how the road has changed over the centuries, you can still see the old road, snaking its way up through the centre of this image.  A steep and difficult climb for horses and stagecoaches.  That was superseded by the first toll road in 1780 built by John Metcalf of Knaresbourgh Yorkshire, known as Blind Jack

Long Hill 2

The road now sweeps along with the contours of the valley.

Long Hill_

At last they came,

Tour of Britain 3

and went

Tour of Britain Long Hill 4

in a flash!

Tour of Britain 4

It’s a spot I must return too, another day, there are grand views in all directions.

Tour of Britain Long Hill 6


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Mud Larks

When in Devon,Mrs Ogg and I went mud larking, I’ve a fondness for finding bits of pottery, and down on the foreshore of the Salcombe estuary I’d found a  quiet spot where there was plenty.

I think there must have been an old bottle dump nearby, that’s now giving up its treasures to the waves.

mud lark 2

It took a little while to get your eye in, broken pottery tends to look very much like broken sea shells.  I think Mrs Ogg had the best find of the day, I thought it looked like it might  Gothic Revival style what do you think?

crown swan

 

So what will we do with our treasure trove?

beach finds_

Earlier in the day I’d seen a rather inspiring piece of recycled ceramics. Mr Ogg thought we should cut out the mud and just buy it.

Pot pig_

I don’t think he quiet realised it was pretty much life size (and pigs, in my experience, are always bigger than you think they are going to be). 

But maybe Mrs Ogg and I should set the bar a little higher?

 

We weren’t the only ones to find treasure on the beach, Spud the dog returned home from his holidays with nine more tennis balls than he started with (and we know how much he loves tennis balls ) he made a nest of them in his bed. Happy dog.

Spud balls


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The Forgotten Army

Remembering VJ Day

When you go home don’t worry about what to tell your loved ones and friends about service in Asia. No one will know where you were, or where it is if you do. You are, and will remain “The Forgotten Army.” ― attributed to General Slim.

My Mum often told me how hard it was for her, when everyone was celebrating VE Day, not because she wasn’t of course delighted, but because her sweetheart, my Dad was serving in Burma, with the Royal Engineers, and for him the war was not over. So remembering VJ Day is a matter of importance for me.

He’s on the right in the foreground of this photo.

Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 3

 

This is the letter she sent to Dad, on hearing the news he was coming home, in November 1945, Marian was his older sister.

VJ letter home

The letter arrived too late for Dad, he was on a ship home by the time it arrived. It was sent safely back to blighty,  to his sisters address. I think Mum would be cross with me for posting her letter on the World Wide Web, but then  again she wouldn’t want anyone to forget either.

Dad used to tell just a few war stories, the same ones often!  But  I’m pretty sure they were what he considered palatable,  we never got to hear the full story, he came close once, to telling my brother, but stopped when he became tearful, and he had nightmare throughout the rest of his life.

Fourteenth Army

Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 2Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 3Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 4Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 5Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 6Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 7Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 8Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  Engineers 9Burma Fourteenth Army Royal  EngineersBurma 

My Dad died eighteen years ago, when Joe was just a few weeks old and Tom was two years old, so sadly they have no memory of him. Joe got his A Level exam results on Thursday, and of course it was one of those moments that you want to phone mum and dad and tell them the news:  looking at these photos, maybe it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Joe has chosen to do a degree in civil engineering…  As they say around here ‘what’s in the tree comes out in the branches’.


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Thirty days wild. June 25th

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

I thought this a wall must have been a labour of love, such small slender stones, its not far from a quarry, maybe it was made with ‘free spoil’ that were too small for other tasks? I must take this blog on an away day to the National Stone Centre, its near Wirksworth

drystone wall 2


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Thirty Days Wild. June 6th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_06

‘The best thing that you can do for nature is to make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

 

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

 

more than 97% of meadows had been destroyed in England since the 1930s

 

DW30 meadow

Freddy the farmer, told me there  were once corncrakes in this field.

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