Uphilldowndale

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


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Sharp

A sharp frost and a foggy morning, and more than a little black ice.  I must be getting to be a grown up, because I chose to travel the road more travelled, not less, where I could be more confident of some salt on the road. I managed to find some pretty things though.

Frosty Taddington_

These burrs look much more attractive on the plant, than they would entangled in Spud the dogs fur.

Frosty Taddington 2

The seed heads of the cow parsley looks poised for the insertion of ice diamonds

Frosty Taddington 3


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Gale Mill

Dark and Satanic*, or Warm and Welcoming?

I can’t quite make my mind up. This is  the wonderfully restored and  preserved, Gale Mill in the Yorkshire Dales;  it was late  afternoon in November  and the light was fading.

Gayle Mill 2

There had been heavy rain the day before, and the river was thundering by.  The roads were awash.

Rivers were not to be messed with.

Langstrothdale

And then there was the snow, we’d chosen quite a high route to get to Gale and Hawes, but traveling in the campervan, we decided discretion was the better part of valour, turned around and took the low route instead!

20161117_134144

In the end the snow didn’t become a problem, but the local highways department were in a state of preparedness…

Gayle 2

I was glad we were in the campervan and not camping!

Not camping_

I’m also glad we spent money on  a diesel heater for the van,  rather than spending the money on a van in any other colour than white, which comes at a premium. We were snug as bugs.

snow van 2

* Dark and satanic mills, might not be what I always thought they were!


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Twekesbury Abbey

We travelled to Teweksbury Abbey between Christmas and New Year; sadly it was for the funeral of Mr Uphilldowndale’s Godfather.

The Abbey was gloriously decorated for Christmas, I’ve just few camera snaps, taken after the service, but I think you can see what I mean

Christmas Abbey

The music, especially the singing, was very special: members of the Ebor Singers had made it through the ice and fog to sing. It was quite magical and gave me goose bumps.

The low winter sun, made the stained glass look spectacular.

Felix funeral 3

As it was a cold, foggy and icy day, we were please to find two of the these  imposing Gurney heaters, installed in the abbey in 1875 

Gurney heater

Even with such beasts of heaters, I was so glad I’d worn my winter coat. ( I nearly didn’t take my coat, just a jacket as I have a habit of being the overdressed northerner at family occasions south of Birmingham!)

As music is in the DNA of Mr UHDD’s family, so is an interest and admiration of the manufacture of such a magnificent piece of engineering.  Mr UHDD couldn’t resist a closer look at its  inner workings. His Godfather would have thought it a commendable curiosity, of that I’m quite sure.

Gurney heater 2


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And so to work…

Back to work tomorrow. I have a beautiful commute.

Late for work, again

It’s 14 years since I worked in retail, but the novelty of being able to have a long break at Christmas and New Year has still not worn off.

Tomorrow I think an extra layer of clothing may be in order, our office can be chilly on a summers day. Two weeks of the office heating ticking over on thrifty frost setting, may mean there is an unseemly dash for the fan heater, first thing. Lets call it an office huddle, we can at least try and look like we are back in harness.


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Did someone mention Spring?

Well, it came and went

snowing april_

Cold winds blew

snowing april lamb

Then the sun shone, but it seemed no warmer, although the sight of a curlew always warms the heart.

Curlew_

Then clouds blew by again, I’m fascinated by how different fields ‘hold’ the snow longer than others.

All kinds of weather_

Strangely the life force that is spring growth, has kept moving despite the chill of winds from the artic , you know I’m a sucker for larch trees

larch cones  3

The icy jewels were a very pretty adornment, that kept my rapt attention, for quite some time. 

larch cones  2_

Then it was drawn to my attention to the fact,

larch cones_

that I did promise I’d play ball….

larch cones  and spud


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Fluffy Clouds

We got more blue sky and fluffy clouds today than the weather forecasters led us to expect. Not very warm though.

The trees are on the brink of bursting into leaf, but we are there yet.

fluffy blue sky_

Yesterday was the Queens 90th birthday, our neighbours got a nice new flag to mark the occasion.

McDW  Flag_

It’s a while since I posted, we’ve been a bit under the weather, Mr Uphilldowndale and I, a strange little virus that seemed to be able to drain every last drop of energy and leave behind achy joints and lethargy. We are on the mend now, but it scuppered our planned trip away in the van last weekend.