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.


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!


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!


I was over in Holmfirth this week, the weather was bright, a little nippy, but I didn’t mind that.

It’s rather a stunning drive from here to there (or a hair-raising one in bad weather). I paused at the summit of Holme Moss  you could see for a long way.


Kindly they’ve  framed the view, sort of a Yorkshire contemporary, creative, version of the Claude Glass,  splendid.

framing the landscape_

It’s a popular route for cyclists, but not many of the Lycra clad clan were out and about on the  Le Col de Moss when I passed by,

Holmemoss 2

It was once was a different story

The Recession is Over

Look, it must be, I took Mr Uphildowndale to the store in York, where I’d seen signs that the recession was deepening.

And lo, it has to come to pass that all discounts are off,

recession ends

the asking price is back too £9.99

recession ends 2

Ahhh, but wait, it’s not actually sold yet has it? Maybe we shouldn’t count our Easter chicks before they’ve hatched.


Barnitts  store is a bit of a gem, I could have left Mr Uphilldowndale in there for many happy hours, it sells what our friends Mr and Mrs Ogg  might refer to as ‘items of faffness’ Mr Uphilldowndale loves such places and enjoys seeing all the very useful faffy things, woodworking  tools, small things in little plastic bags, balls of string and other  very important things*.  See  dodgy photo below. as they say in York, “if Barnitts haven’t got it, you can’t get it anywhere!”20140415_103315

On entering Barnitts I thought I was going into a small shop selling light fittings (I’m always trying to source light fitting I like, I’ve not managed it yet) to my amazement, it was like entering, Narnia I found myself in  a warren of departments, all on different floors and levels I emerged an hour later from a door way two shops down from where I’d gone in!

I discovered many shops are like this in York, the result of trying to squeeze modern shopping fashions into a historic city of jumbled buildings.

If you wanted to buy a new tea pot, Barnitts will have 20 to chose from, a flask to keep the tea warm? dozens.’ Letter boxes? Did you want brass or wrought iron? and a door knocker to match? I can’t imagine what it must be like to stock take, but I do know the total stock value must be massive!

This letter box is in a door at York Minster, not Barnitts, but I’m rather taken by it.


letter box york minster



*String is a very important thing
  Rope is thicker
  But string is quicker

Spike Milligan

Of course for full on faffness, you could make your own string

A Walk in the Park

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park to be precise. I walked further than I expected, but it wasn’t a problem, the day was bright and crisp.

I was bewitched by an ‘intervention’ by David Nash.

Seventy One Steps

Sevety one Steps -1

Made from oak that is charred and oiled they follow the lie of the land. The steps are set into 30 tons of coal, they will weather and erode into the landscape.  Climbing them, they felt were quite magical. They are no ordinary steps.

I thought the woods at the top of the steps were rather magical too.

YSP woods-1

I loved the gnarled roots. I’m sure I heard somewhere that 90% of a trees roots are in the top two feet of the soil?

Narled roots -1

Duncan obviously like it here, once upon a time.


Spud on Sunday Part XXXIV

Take me with you, Please!

Don't leave me-1

Spud  the dog tries to hitch a ride with Tom, who has set off on his Silver Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award expedition.

I shall protest if you leave me behind

I shall protest if you leave me-1

This part of Derbyshire is freckled with parties of teenagers yomping across the hills on their DofE expeditions. To date all Toms training trips have been on home turf, of which he has a pretty good knowledge, because of the ground he covers on his mountain bike outings; but this time he is off to the Yorkshire Dales, he will have to pay attention to the map.

Bursting Buds and New Fangled Things

Spring is bursting out all over

Spring day-1

darling buds

We’ve had a couple of lovely warm days this week, but today hasn’t been one of them, it’s been cold; Tom has gone off on a camping trip, preparation  for his Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition. As his mother it is my duty to worry that he won’t be warm enough; but he should be, he’s taken enough fleece, down and Gore-tex with him.

loving the larch-1

my lovely larch

Tom was bemused last night, when I explained that when I went on a school field study trip to Malham Cove circa 1974, the teacher instructed to take a bin liner each, with holes cut for head and arms, to use as waterproofing over our anoraks, as it would rain in Yorkshire, and it did. Tom couldn’t quite imagine that  the cagoule hadn’t been invented (if it had it hadn’t reached us yet). Mr Uhdd was consulted,  my sepia tale was verified and no, he didn’t own a cagoule until he was in his twenties. It only occurred to me later as I was putting rubbish into the bin, that in 1974, bin liners had only just been invented.

Return of the White Stuff

The white stuff is back.

quince in snow-1

The novelty has worn off already.

Mum is home from hospital, but not fully well by any means, it’s just how it is. We used to be able to coral all her medications into an ice cream tub, but  since her stay in hospital we’ve had to up grade to a biscuit tin, affectionately known as the selection box..

I’m ready for my bed. Mr Uhdd is about to set off into the night to walk from Edale to Marsden and then back again, the aim being to finish tomorrow afternoon. Mad as hatters the lot of them.