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


A brief moment in time

I walk down to the dentist this morning, not something you’d  normally leap out of bed for.

I took the old railway incline down into the village, it was part of the Cromford and High Peak Railway, that brought limestone down from the quarries to the waiting narrow boats in the canal basin. It’s now used as a path, and has been planted with trees (less controversial that current trees V railway issues)

I caught the cherry trees, at just the right moment,

Cherry blossom incline.jpg

If the wind had picked up, or if it had rained, it just wouldn’t have looked the same, clusters of blossom were hiding in plain sight

Cherry blossom.jpg

So glad I decided to walk, rather than drive; on the way back it got even better

Deer 4.jpg

I think this might be the same beautiful animal I saw in the field a few days ago, I think it is a roe deer, not something we’ve seen here before, red deer occasionally from off the moors, but not roe. I felt a little sorry for it, it looked like it might be happier in a herd (but its OK,  it seems they are solitary animals).

Deer 7

Too think, I nearly didn’t take the camera with me.




The beast from the east ate my garden

Warm weather has arrived, hooray, its been a long time coming, mind you we have a yellow weather warning for rain, so one mustn’t get too excited.

I’ve been taking stock of the damage done by the winter storms, namely the Beast from the East. There were casualties

Mahonia, euphorbia, viburnum all took a hit.

Ate my garden_

Some things seem to have been freeze dried.

Ate my garden 2

As I’m something of a sentimental gardener, I particularly sad to lose a lavender plant from my mum’s garden, and it touch and go if an Edgeworthia Chrysantha, from my father in laws garden will survive (I do have an heir and a spare so to speak, by way of another plant, potted up in a container, that I took into the barn for safe keeping)

But perhaps the thing that made me go ‘ohhhh noooo’  has been the demise of my Dad’s ‘degging can’ . I can’t remember a time when this wasn’t part of my gardening life. It was precious

Anyone know a tinsmith.

leaky watering can_





Could I ask, what software my WordPress friends are using to write their posts please?

For many years I was a happy bunny with Windows Live Writer,  with a new computer I found that is no longer available, I tried Open Live Writer, this did not go well. Freezing screens, photos failing to load and crashes taking down carefully crafted words and links have left me a little frustrated.


Screaming in frustration, from the top of a hill in the North of Derbyshire.


Thirty days wild. June 17th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_17

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.


Hawthorn of a pink hue,

Hawthorn pink_


My dad wouldn’t let us bring hawthorn flowers into the house, he said it was unlucky.

Its a superstition that is rooted into a time when people were more in touch with their senses,  than we are today, I don’t imagine many of us would recognise the scent of   trimethylamine?


‘In Britain it was believed that bringing hawthorn blossom into the house would be followed by illness and death, and in Medieval times it was said that hawthorn blossom smelled like the Great Plague. Botanists later learned that the chemical trimethylamine in hawthorn blossom is also one of the first chemicals formed in decaying animal tissue, so it is not surprising that hawthorn flowers are associated with death.’


Thirty Days Wild. June 5th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_05

‘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.


Spud the dog thinks this thirty days of blogging is a splendid idea.

DW30 spud_

The apple blossom is almost over, 

DW30 apple blossom 2

only a few clusters remain, however there looks to be plenty of fruit set, for future apple crumbles, if that’s not too depressing a thought…

DW30 apple blossom

Thank you to the helpful people at Derbyshire Wild Life Trust, for access to the fab graphics.


Bring Back my Bonny to me, to me

Take a look at this, post. What powerful images.

Town Mouse

I went into Bigtown on one of my biennial shoe shopping trips and found rather more than I had bargained for

shoes representing missing schoolgirls

More than 200 pairs of girls’ and womens’ shoes, placed there in solidarity with the kidnapped girls in Nigeria. You were supposed to take a selfie, I think, and tweet it or facebook it, but I stuck to photographing the shoes and talking to a few of the folk who were doing the organising.

I’m not 100% sure what I think of these sorts of campaigns – taking a selfie and sending a tweet doesn’t seem calculated to acheive much of anything except making ourselves feel a bit better about something, rather than helpless (you could say the same about pedalling on Parliament) and ‘trending on Twitter’ is not the same as ‘actually liberating 200+ schoolgirls from a horrible fate’. But then again, I do find it encouraging that…

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Toe by Toe

‘Exceptionally fantastic!’ That was the response of Joe’s podiatrist, when he saw his x-ray.

He was referring to the lump of bone on his big toe, that shouldn’t be there. To give it it’s proper name it is, or was,  a subungual exostosis

Joe Uphilldowdale Subungual exostosis

and apparently it is a fine example (I’d actually prefer it if my family would stop having things wrong them that arouse the interest of the medics,  I like to think of us as a healthy family, but honestly, you’d not think so reading this blog.)

All this came about as a reaction to Joe stubbing his toe, last year,it wasn’t really a big deal at the time, in fact no one can  quite remember what it was he stubbed it on, or when, including Joe. We were all waiting for the nail to fall off, which it didn’t,  and I must admit I thought Joe had developed a fungal infection under nail, so it was a bit of a shock and a bad parenting* moment to discover his toe would need surgery (in my defence, remember, I’m married to a fell runner,  men with ugly damaged toe nails are the norm).


Two weeks off his feet, with his leg elevated for 55 minutes in the hour,  and compression stocking. School was off limits, but fortunately Joe was able to schedule the procedure for the start of the Easter holidays (his request the thought of trying to catch up his A level maths lessons was a motivator, this from the boy who hated school). 

It did mean however that Joe was pretty much ‘housebound’ for our holiday in York, luckily part of Joe’s specification for our holiday let, was that it was too have an internet connection, so at least he was able to to keep in touch with his mates and occupy himself with some gaming; here he is in holiday attire.


Something of a fashion statement, do you not think? I’m rather proud of Joe, he was a stoical and patient through out, after two weeks he was able to return to school, with us ferrying him too and fro, and with him being careful to keep it out of harms way and elevated as much as possible.

We’ve learnt that foot surgery is no stroll in the park. You need to take care tootsies I’ve heard many a gruesome tale of long and painful healing by those who have tied to side step the post op care instructions.


Joe gives his consent for me to share the photos of his toe as a work in progress. He says he doesn’t mind who looks at his toe, so long as it isn’t him! It’s not pretty. You could look at the sweet kittens



and then click away. Or if you’re curious….

six days after surgery


Big toe 2

The nail was removed a week later,

Big toe 3

which made things look a whole lot better! Here we are 18 days after the procedure.

Joe toe


*Bad parenting moment, when Tom came home from school with the news that the school nurse said he was under weight and needed his eyes testing as he couldn’t see the blackboard.


Toe by Toe, how Joe laboured through this book, but he got there in the end, and it was a great help