Uphilldowndale

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


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Domestic Upheaval

One of these days I’ll give you the full story, which must run to  a couple of dozen posts, but for this evening I’ll just say there has been a lot going on around here, especially for the last week; so much so that Dodger the kitten cat left home for three days, in disgust. His belly led him back, just as I’d drafted the ‘lost cat’ email to the neighbours. We are relieved to see him.

There have been moments of great beauty,  rolling mist framed by alpine blues, ebbing in and out of the valley

trees mist

 

Branches, twigs, encased in ice

oak apples

Oak apples

Ash tree ice_

An ash tree, where the ash keys once were.

But for the most part, it has been grey, muddy; and oh yes, very dusty. There is nothing quite like ancient dust, it has a  penetrating power of its own. The haze in this photo, is not poor image quality, oh no, it is dust.

This is the kitchen.

dusty kitchen_ 

can you see why my blog lies unattended?


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Sick of Snow?

Most people seem to be so, there’s still plenty of it about; there have been beautiful bright days; the sort of thing that would normally send me scurrying for my camera. snow landscape 3

But there have been a bit of a problem. Joe and I have had a nasty bout, of what we think was Norovirus,  not nice at all, I can tell you.

Joe was first down, in the small hours of Sunday morning. I followed on Monday night, I certainly don’t feel up to par yet. What can I tell you about Norovirus? Stay close to the bathroom, really work and get fluids down and I mean work, a pack of rehydration treatment in the medicine cupboard would be a good idea.

I went into quarantine in Tom’s room, rough as I felt, I did still love watching the light move across the snowy hills and the beautiful moonlit nights (I didn’t draw the curtains).

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and I did have some company.

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Spud and squeak were as interested in  warmth, sleep and comfort as I was.


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Keeping the Roads Open

Thank you to those who keep our roads open. We’ve some challenging roads around here;  they are the  primary roads you hear mentioned on the travel reports, the Snake Pass, Wood Head Pass and The Cat and Fiddle, beautiful but tricky, and the first to get hit by bad weather, but of course there’s many many miles more of roads to be cleared: take a  ride in the cab of a Derbyshire County Council gritter and get a different perspective.

 

The continuing snowy theme gives me an excuse to post this photo, from 1901, I’ve done so before

Snow 1901

I bet these folk would have loved  to see a snow plough looming over  the horizon. They’d  probably have liked central heating, electric light, tumble dryers and  4×4 vehicles.

 

Here’s a later image, the big  freeze of 1947, that lasted from 21st January to 4th of March;  both photos are taken at Sparrowpit.

Snow 1947


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Snow Surprise

Well it wasn’t a surprise, because it was forecast.  The amount that landed is generous by UK standards, but honestly, I feel the need to get on my snowy soap box here, why we do get our knickers in a twist over bad weather in this country. Severe weather is inconvenient to all, but why do we think the we have some divine right for all roads and paths to be magically cleared, so we can keep on with our day without so much as snowflake impeding our progress.  The weather, mother nature or the snow god,  call it what you wish;  doesn’t give a toss about our hectic schedules get over it.

sheep skull

Social media was full of ranting this afternoon, about the poor job the council were doing clearing the roads. I imagine if we want the sort of set up for snow clearance that countries who routinely get great dollops of snow, then we’d better start paying more for our services (how much do snow ploughs cost?) Sigh.

 

Look the trains were running on the Buxton to Manchester line.

 

buxton Manchester train,_

 

I could write about some of the shenanigans that have gone on in the lane today, it’s steep, andwhen it’s icy, it catches people out, it’s happened before. But lets just say if you pay an awful lot of money for a car, it doesn’t mean to say you know how, or more importantly  when to drive it.

As Tom would say ‘all the gear and no idea’.

lane_

Spud has had a great day

snow springer

Mr Uphilldowndale enjoyed himself too

this much


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Longer Days

Taxal Moor

The days are getting a little longer, the nights a little shorter, lovely.

I do struggle with the dull short days. Goodness knows how I’d fair in a Scandinavian country; I’m guessing that very grumpily,  and whilst stuffing my face with comforting ginger pudding and custard,  that I’d come to a grinding  halt. It’s no wonder Scandinavian countries make such a celebration of mid summer

This photo was sunset last Thursday. Rain on Friday cleared the snow and the weekend has seemed pleasantly mild. The forecasters say the cold weather will be back with vengeance this week  (hopefully not like areas of the USA though)

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