Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thursday 8th Dec.


Spottiness; The laser lights are working and I see others in the village have their outside lights as well, xmas is on its way.  Today I shall make a start on a wreath, love the greenery of the season, especially the carols, Holly and Ivy even though it is a bit kitsch, except perhaps (which is my favourite) The Boar's Head carol by Steeleye Span and Maddy Prior  justs rolls pagan with medieval historical tones round the house, though of course if you do read the history, christianity was imported at a later stage.

Reminds me of a story I read the other day, this was about a Whitby custom, whereby the locals have to build 'a penny hedge' in the sea and it has to last for three tides.  Well it all goes back to three young nobles who when hunting for a boar in the forests round Whitby, found the boar had taken refuge in a monk's cell, where it died.  The three young hooligans demanded the body of the boar from the monk but he said no, and then of course he was beaten almost to death by them,  They were called to appear before the abbot, who was quite happy to sentence them to death but the dying monk spoke up for them and asked that each year this hedge be built in the sea, must find the original words in the book and so it came to pass.

Well poor chickens all over the country have to stay inside according to DEFRA, no wandering round in the fields for a month because of this Avian flu that is going round in the wild birds, especially those migrating birds.  Not sure what to do, my little lot will go 'stir crazy' if they don't have their ramble around in the afternoon, but heavy fines?


And if you want the words to The Boar's Head

The boar's head in hand bring I 

Bedeck'd with bays and rosemary. 
I pray you, my masters, be merry 
Quot estis in convivio.

Caput apri defero 

Reddens laudes Domino.

The boar's head, as I understand 

Is the rarest dish in all this land 
Which thus bedeck'd with a gay garland 
Let us servire cantico.

Caput apri defero 

Reddens laudes Domino

Our steward hath provided this 

In honor of the King of Bliss; 
Which, on this day to be served is 
In Reginensi atrio.

Caput apri defero 

Reddens laudes Domino.

About this song:

"The boar's head carol" is a traditional Christmas carol dating back to 16th century England. This song is sung on Christmas day at Queen's college, Oxford, where the custom of bringing a boar's head to the dining table is still maintained.
This tradition has its origin from the Pagan custom of serving boar as the first dish at Roman feasts. This is what Wikipedia says about the origin of the tradition at Oxford - Legend has it that a scholar was studying a book of Aristotle while walking through the forest on his way to Midnight Mass. Suddenly, he was confronted by an angry wild boar. Having no other weapon, the resourceful Oxonian rammed his metal-bound philosophy book down the throat of the charging animal, whereupon the brute choked to death. That night the boar's head, finely dressed and garnished, was borne in procession to the dining room, accompanied by carolers singing 'in honor of the King of bliss'. Shows how useful it is, to have a heavy book of Philosophy lying around!
Translation of the latin terms used:
Quot estis in convivio - all who are feasting together
servite cum in cantico - serve it while singing
In Reginensi Atrio - within the Queen's Hall
Caput apri defero - I bring the boar's head
Reddens laudes Domino - Sing thanks to the Lord.




Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday 5th December

I stare at the blank page of my computer, and wonder where to start, they have just been discussing on the radio 'the uncomfortable truth' which is that our Muslim brethren do not integrate themselves into the community.  To be honest I know very little of how such things work, there are isolated facts bad Muslim schools teaching only their own faith and such things as the superiority of the male over the female.  The entire cloaking of the body by Muslim women does worry me, but then I have only to look at one of the trashy papers to see the racism that exists in this country.
Matilda my granddaughter has a Muslim friend, her small gang of friends also include two boys with Jewish names, she goes to a school where integration is important.  She is the first to yell 'xenophobia' should you step out of line, the argument that these things should be discussed from an older generation usually falling on deaf ears. This shows of course that each succeeding generation brings different thoughts to the table.
One should never argue at the dining table I can see Lotta, her great-grandmother admonishing her, her great-grandfather would throw a napkin over his head at the table, saying S.A.D., S.A.D. which translated into 'sometimes I despair' and everyone would shut up or laugh.  He did his work in UNESCO and was the gentlest man, but was intolerant of racism, and would have been shocked at the world today, especially what is happening in England and America.
What we have now in England are small communities of different indigenous people, be they Muslim or European,  They may come from Pakistan, India, Africa, Poland and Romania and one day we will in this country be multi-coloured.  Do I worry about that? no is the answer, the world changes, not so much in Yorkshire villages of course but hey-ho things happen, as our children come back with different partners.
Was it Al Gore who used the words 'The Inconvenient Truth' about a different subject, then of course it is beholden on us all to look to the nurture of this planet we live on and perhaps learn to live together as well before our problems are eclipsed by extinction anyway.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday 3rd December

Malton Food market - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en


Yesterday we went shopping in Malton, this is our third town within a few miles.  It has a large Asda and Morrison - joy(I am being sarky here) - for food shopping.  Noticed the other day Nelson, the person who lives on his acre of land with his sheep and hens, washing his wellies over the road at the stand tap and thinking bet he is off to Malton for a wander round Asda, as we had met him a couple of times doing just that.  The above photo is old Malton, we always arrive on the long straight road down to the station, lined with shops and you wonder how do they all make a living?
Morrisons was full, and we wandered down to Yates, large ironmonger to sort out some saucepans, one for cooking large mounds of spaghetti when the family arrive, the other for dyeing wool, something I haven't done for ages.
On our shopping trips we take Lucy, she just loves going out in the car, gently snoozing on the back seat, slightly affronted when she has to get out and walk!  One problem with this is that we both cannot go into some shops together and one of us wait outside with her.  She often draws smiles from passerbys and pats on the head from older people,  plumpness, shaggy coat and spotted legs are an unusual combination. We are still doing battle against the plumpness but she does love her food.....
Two birthdays this month, Matilda who will turn 15 on the 10th, I give my grandchildren money for Xmas and birthdays, they are perfectly well equipped for spending it on what they want. Matilda has already ordered her £60 Dior perfume, yes I could not believe it as well, but she is sophisticated, even her head teachers don't stand up to her, so what influence do I have?
The other birthday is LS, who spends most of his time saying I don't want anything, so my suggestions fall on deaf ears, though I do fancy a water feature in the garden, as long as it is not the river flooding over the banks.

Skies are in a fabulous mood at the moment

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Edge of the World

 Yesterday I read a blog, about living on the 'Edge of the World' what she was talking about of course was retiring to a quiet part of Ireland, buying three acres with a rundown bungalow, and then making it into a marvellous self sufficient place surrounded by the trees she had planted, the vegetables and flowers and the homemade crafts in the house.  Of course that is retreat from our world, a world that is not only turbulent but fast going into destructive mode.  In a way that is what we all do retreat from the chaos, we made the decision to live in a quiet Yorkshire village, far removed from the skirmishes of the South savouring a slow quiet life but maybe my judgement is all up the creek,  How do we banish news from our lives and do we have a right too?



Trivia news - tallow in five pound notes,  To those who complain just give up money!
                       Trump and family and the fantasy they live in!

News we should really be worried about; And above all caring.  Of course the list would get too long.

Aleppo and the whole of Syria, being beaten to death by opposing factions. I wept for that young teenager sobbing his heart out because his mother had just been killed by a bomb as they made their way out of the city on the 'exodus road', on the news last night. The bodies of other victims lie scattered around the road, what is the answer the UN man did not know he seemed in despair at the enormity of the tragedy that has displaced so many people into refugee camps.                  
                       
So many places in Africa, where starvation and sickness are the normal 'round' of the                           day, girls that are seized by rebel groups and taken into captivity/

The slow extinction of flora and fauna, whilst the world gobbles up all mineral resources.  The daily rape of jungles to destroy them and the wild life associated with them for the growing of palm trees for palm oil.   We should really put every biscuit package down with the word palm oil listed in its ingredients and just maybe fight at the tills for the creatures that are slaughtered in our names, the tuna fish and salmon. Just off a coast in America the orcas, or killer whales are starving to death because of lack of salmon.                                 

So once more the dreaded news  hits home, and I realise hating all the cruelty in the world will not stop it we are indeed helpless, less babies being born might help, the daily drudge of calling people to account for their deeds  also helps, but the images we see on our screens, the military  bullying of the indigenous people of Standing Rock so that an oil pipeline might be driven through their ancestral land, will also be found in places such as South America, as mines use slave labour to gain the materials for your computer or mobile phone.

Standing Rock, the barbarians at the gate?
Bill McKibben - Standing Rock is the Civil Rights issue of Our Time;

If you think protest is good, look at the military facing up to The Standing Rock Sioux Indians and fear for democracy, now more people are joining the protest, including war veterans.  To use the military and private security firms to force through the Dakota oil pipeline against the wishes of the indigenous people, brute force is being used.  But never forget that the piper calling the tune is those great oil companies that have an uncanny grip on world politics.
This is a battle not just between military and ordinary people, it is the need to for everyone to take control of the greed of a few and wrest our world back to a gentler backwater. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Art


Rebirth: Artist Manabu Ikeda Unveils a Monumental Pen & Ink Drawing Nearly 3.5 Years in the Making


You can read the story about the the reason why Manabu painted this enormous canvas after the tsunami in Japan here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday 29th November




From fog to ice and low temperatures, but the light of early morning bathes the world in pinkish tones, iced candy....  0.2 degrees on our outside temperature gauge, but probably more, the chicken door were frozen stuck, and needed a kettle of hot water to release it.

Leaves still hang tenuously to the trees but garden shrubs hang their leaves as if they have lost their will to live, the cold biting through their evergreen skins.


All night, every time I have woken up, the soft tones of the barn owl greet me, and I feel sorry for the creature having to hunt in this cold weather.  I see the barn owl when we go for a walk in the morning occasionally, floating across the fields to the old decrepit barns of the farmhouse. 

We have netted part of the holly tree to protect the berries from the pigeons.  The holly tree in the front will be robbed for the church decorations at Xmas. This time of year halfway between two seasons, we still hold on to Autumn but Winter comes creeping in banishing the soft shades of autumnal tones and harshness will cover the land. Though of course a wintry landscape can be piercingly beautiful as well.

A hard winter once in Bath
I have been uploading photos from my old computer onto the new external hard drive, a simple enough job but tedious.  Except of course you get caught up in all the memories, the holidays, days out with the family............


My eldest grandson Tom in Switzerland, tucking into a bun and then now, grown up working in Manchester, a family get together, and no I do not wonder where time flies, only that it moves forward with a silky quickness.  When I had to look after him, I would blackmail him to come walking the dogs in the morning, with the promise of a sticky bun on the way back.  He hated walking the dogs over the race course and would bargain from tree to tree.  He still has that appetite for food, though not for cheese which he used to claim he was allergic to. 


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday fog

Lucy enjoys it up here

Foggy today, we walk up our third walk in the village to the hollowway time has forgot, not the farmer though for there were deep holes where cattle had sunk in the mud.  But this small piece of land full of slopes and ridges, harbours stunted hawthorns, gorse and deep holes where rabbits dig even deeper burrows - slightly ankle breaking!
The fog closes in the world, it is cold to bare skin but one can feel the presence of the sun behind it.
This is gloomy old medieval England when fairies and elves formed themselves from the twisted branches of the hawthorn and witches reigned in England.  Untidy and unkempt a preserve for the ubiquitous pheasant and the rabbit.
Up the 'green' lane

tangled hawthorn showing its' age

all mist and gloom




Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday - Not Black though

"Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are one."

Mohawk Prayer of Thanksgiving

A small verse from a very long prayer, simply said.  Woke up this morning to a still world, Lucy was barking at a pheasant on the lawn and we have both been out to wander around the garden.

The Trees

Now we turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter, others with fruit, beauty, and other useful things. Many peoples of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.
Now our minds are one.

structurally beautiful, its branches stand firm against the storm

golden leaves against the gloom of the yew trees subsuming old graves


Well he is not going to clear it up!
LS has invested in some lights for Xmas. No not christmas lights for the tree but to light up the house.  Can you remember at the Olympics in 2012 , 'Our House' well it won't be like that, more a muted flashing of red or green lights, not sure what it will be like, sure it will make the children happy!



You will note in the video that the laser beams are directed on Buckingham Palace, apparently the Queen is mostly paying for the work to be done on the Palace, 85% taxed is she, so the royal family do pay their taxes which is more than can be said for some others.
An interesting phenomenon has suddenly just popped up in the last few days, one minute we are all thinking are these media reports all true, then we are told 'fake news' is happening.  Apparently it is coming from Macedonia.  Does not everyone take the news with a pinch of salt? 

So please don't believe a word I say;)......

It is tree-dressing week next week, see Common Ground

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thursday 24th November

Notice the little spring, that is supposed to go down the stairs and never DID!


Just heard on the radio this country owes two trillion pounds, not sure who to or how much two trillion is, but as I was thumbing through Giles cartoons at the time, Grandma Giles came to mind!

But something more historic, fell in love with photo of a milkmaid in the Faroe Isles knitting whilst walking along.  She is knitting like myself at the moment with four double pointed needles, mine are bamboo and come from Japan, hers look like traditional steel ones.  History of knitting in 46 minutes.


Times change, politicians still steal the limelight with 'kissing babies' though Giles has an answer for that as well, perhaps the black humour of Giles should inspire more renegades in this country, we have become too po-faced with our earnestness.  I find the Guardian cartoons too difficult to interpret sometimes, changing personalities into enormously fat pigs or slimy snakes devouring the people, the faces become so distorted that I fail to recognise them.  Is it not funny though that if I was to turn to one of the cartoons in the 18th century Hogarth books I have downstairs they would figure the same themes.   I will not say politicians never change but that humans never change, either in their motivations or needs.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Beggar's Bridge




A rather charming little bridge with a story to tell, it is called 'Beggar's Bridge' and its mostly true story can be found here.

@Wikipedia Creative Commons



Tuesday 22nd November

The weekend has passed peacefully, my daughter only comes with Lillie now as the two teenagers are working over the weekend.  Teddy of course comes, he is happy to settle down in Lucy's old bed tucked under the radiator like Anubis with his sharp pricked ears.



Lucy on the other hand takes to an armchair, after much sulking about the settee.



Lillie has been helping with coffee making it since she was about 4 years old grinding the coffee beans, brushing them carefully into the filter and then watching the liquid go down.


A quiet weekend though we went to the pub for tea, LS had been in earlier and found a bunch of men who were out  pheasant shooting, their guns stacked neatly in the corner.  It is an old fashioned pub, no gastric entrepreneurship here, later on in the evening there would be a carvery, not something the family is keen on.
My daughter had an email from her aunt in Switzerland saying that she was sending over a large box with family 'treasures' in.  There was another quilt the mirror image of the 'kaleidoscope' quilt she already has given Karen, though to be fair I have it because Karen does not like it.  There was a patchwork skirt made by her granny, and various other things that are to be passed down through the family.  
It made me think how patchwork had anchored itself in the family, Karen's grandmother had made patchwork dressing gowns for the children, mostly with Thai batik materials, and S, Karen's aunt had followed in her mother's footstep, though S had a patchwork frame to stretch her work.
Amateur attempts ;)

a cushion cover waiting for an edging....

And reasons for using Rapeseed

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday 18th November



Quiet week.  Family coming weekend, went to the quiz night at the pub the other night, as the only person who does not eat Harriet's pies, delicious though they may be I got a good pasta dish with garlic bread.  Our table lost at the quiz but we won a bottle of wine in the raffle.  The weather is atrocious, windy, wet and cold, rather worried about the hens and warmth. People come for eggs, and I worry that there won't be enough to go around.  
Think this tree is a beech.


 Jennie (Codlings and Cream) both of us take an interest in archaeology basically because we have studied it in years gone by.  Yesterday they announced a new Anglo-Saxon cemetery found in Norfolk, the burials follow the Christian burial practice of east-west burial and no goods which are often found in Pagan burials, the news can be found here in The Guardian.

Prittlewell Anglo-Saxon burial 1/12 miniature
A brief biographical note: I was married at 23, and then widowed at 27 years old with a young daughter, during 10 years of being on my own, I studied, working sometimes.  Eventually I married my archaeology lecturer, so had a long period of my life looking at sites and digging and working on places such as Castle Acre Priory, drawing etc and looking after the volunteers.

Perhaps for this winter season I shall concentrate on more archaeology, sometimes I think I should be more 'together' in my writing but somehow doubt this will happen.  One of the things that drew me to archaeology was that during my widowed period I lived in Calne, which is about 6 miles from Avebury's stone circle, a place I would take my dog to walk, so perhaps it was inevitable that I would be drawn to archaeology.

As a note; Watched Standing with Stones live talk on F/B last night, when it got over its technical hitches, which was about half an hour, the talk was interesting, people came and asked questions in the 'chat box' and the discussion became quite lively, though I will never believe that Stanton Drew wooden pillared circles were used for pig baiting!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tuesday 15th November

Slightly nervous this morning waiting for the new car to arrive.  A lot of soul searching went on about getting a second car.  My commitment to the environment argued against it, but there again it was essential if LS's car was to go bust or even, heaven forbid, that he became ill.  So that was part of the argument, the other argument was that I could find better places to explore on my walks with Lucy and that LS could be a passenger, something he complains about is that he always has to drive.  I can't drive his automatic car, and like the good old fashioned gear system.  When I told my son over the weekend about the car, he said mum, you are going back to your old ways, which means that my need to explore and walk is as still strong as ever. 
Well that supermoon did not live up to expectation, I went a walk in the fields as it was getting dark to see if I could see it, but all I saw, and  it was much better, was a barn owl swooping low over the field, great compensation!
Yesterday a friend in Cornwall sent a video of him training his young pup Tweed a few years ago, the music was Spinal Tap and Cat Steven's, and the young dog's excitement at meeting Scottish longhorns and sheep was almost tangible, and of course the film was taken over Bodmin Moor which added to its appeal. 
It shines as new! sadly doubt if I will keep it in such good condition



Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday 14th November

Birds



Saturday when we walked over the fields, I spied what looked like a grey-white post in the distance on the path, getting closer and it turned into a heron basking in the sun, as we got nearer the bird took off that slow flapping of its great wings taking into the air.  Yesterday there was a bang at the window, pigeons often fly into them, so going to the french windows (why french?) a pair of golden eyes glared at me, it was a sparrow hawk, chasing the pigeon into the window.  The pigeon had taken shelter behind the flowerpots, and as it disappeared a couple of hours later survived presumably.  Now I am not over fond of these idiotic plump birds that slowly potter around the garden eating up all the food for all the birds, so not too heartbroken over their demise.  This morning they were all there as I went out to feed the chickens but the jackdaws have become much bolder so that there was a criss-crossing of grey and black birds visiting the bird house.
The chickens appear at the top, probably asking for food, I should take more photos of them they are very funny, sheltering by the front door under the porch should it rain, accompanying visitors to the back door trying to get in.  They fly up into the grave yard and potter around under the yews, I just rattle a bowl on the wall and they all dash over flying down for whatever goodies there are.  They dig great holes in dry corners and huddle together also having dust baths, I can pick them up quite easily they just seem to hunker down when your hands appear above them.
There are a lot of chickens in the village I can think of at least 6 people who keep them, and my interest in them today came from this appeal to stop one of those chicken factory farms from being built,  You would think in this day and age that battery hens were a thing of the past but no.

Super moon tonight though someone on Radio 4  said that it won't be terrible spectacular.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday 12th November



People are unique, sometimes I wish I could take a photograph of all the personalities in the village, looking at Nigel's lined bearded face the other day wondering what life had thrown at him., I was again struck by the people attending the Cheese and Wine function yesterday in the church.  We walked along the unlit path between the yews yesterday, dark as the ace of spades, to enter the church to a buzz of words and then the lights going off, so that darkness also reigned in its interior.  Yes you can't run the lighting with the electric heating in our church! So we sat and chattered with wisps of cold clouds coming from our mouths, someone standing by the meter to trip the electricity, candles fluttering on the tables.  This on Remembrance Day, though the official ceremony is on Sunday, our money would go towards an airforce charity I think.
Food was laid out, neatly on the trestle tables, one glass of free wine, then you had to donate for the second.  Not terribly well attended, but with he same old faces, us newbies, Jim and Irene, Rachel and John, the rest were truly local.  I sat next to Peter, the church warden getting very old and frail now that I worry about him but he set out to assure me, and he talks for a very long time, that he was perfectly fit.  John and Rachel who own the land behind us told us about their two beautiful retrievers one of which has had to lose a leg because of a tumour, how the decision had been difficult and I remembered going through the same worry with Moss so many years ago.  Bernie our historian had come down from Kent for the occasion, he loves the village and already has his plot in the grave yard.
What strikes you though is the age of the local people, what will happen when they all die out, I know I am being negative here but these churches slowly fall into a 'Sleeping Beauty' phase the rot setting into the fabric, money no longer spent on their welfare.  One new piece of news, apparently below the cottage that was demolished to make way for two new houses, there was a cellar, full of treasures like grandfather clocks and furniture, but the villagers helped themselves to all this according to the builders.  Think this story will go down in generations to come about the 'treasures' that lay below Mary's cottage.
The photo below reminds me of a beautiful walk yesterday across the fields, the crab apples glowed like gold, a tinge of pink on the lower ones, unfortunately no camera, but a buzzard left the shelter of the trees by the river and also a great flock of our winter visitors, red wings I think though all I saw was very brown thrushes in the strong light of the sun.  Leaves lie around the garden in untidy tumbles, very windy overnight and a constant drizzle but when the sun shines everything becomes so beautiful.




Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday 11th November - poppy day

"It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder."
—Leonard Cohen

A straggly hedge through which the hedge sparrows every morning make their way
Well another personality has died, one of my heroes, at 82 Leonard Cohen has slipped away from this world, only a few blogs away I put up one of his songs - You Want it Darker I suspect he knew that death was on the way. For me he was a poet, his dark gravelly voice did not actually appeal but it was distinctive and conveyed the tone of the words, always important.  I suspect that I see this death as part of the 60s falling apart in this century, this is the century of the lunatics in charge, a complete power shift to large banks and organisations, the 'important' people skitter across the stage, we hardly know them by name, they put the jesters upfront Boris, Trump and of course Farage to distract us from what is really happening.



I have just bought a car, nothing special, just a small Kia from a local garage, used but with only 14000 miles on the clock, several years warranty, and sadly bright red, but it was such a good buy I had to put aesthetics aside and live with the colour, not being delivered till next week, and I am very nervous about driving again but hey-ho.

As a small aside and recording detail;  Nigel came over this morning, to tell us that his dog Jet had died at the beginning of November. Sad news for them, but rather than mope they went out to local rescue centres and now have  another dog.  Jet was a large creature given to barking at all the farm machinery as it went along the road, when he was younger he used to race the tractors from the bottom of the field to the house.  He went at a good age, and though I don't think it is coincidental our friend in Cornwall who has 6 working border collies also had two dogs suffer strokes about two weeks ago, though thankfully not fatal. I suspect the changing of the seasons has something to do with it.






Everything has a crack in it, that is how the light gets in.  Leonard Cohen

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thought for the Day - Why not Haka!

The tree’s in a Shinto Shrine not a Buddhist Temple. You can usually tell the difference between a Shrine and a Temple as the former invariably has a big Torii Gate at its entrance – as here at the top of the steps.


A photo of a roped tree, it somehow clashes with the  busy road in front.  Well I was not going to say anything about the calamity that has happened in the USA, mostly what I have read is it will be over in 4 years 'keep calm' and Jennie's 'Trumptown' at least gives it a funny spin.  Also came across this from another friend a Haka by 60 people, such a good way to express your feelings without violence.  It is for a different cause in America 'Standing Rock pipeline' perhaps we should learn the dance in this country, against fracking of course!

TAIRAWHITI Maori have gone global with two rousing haka in their support for those protesting a multibillion-dollar oil pipeline at Standing Rock in the US.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday 9th November

Last night we went to a meeting down the road 'The Spirit of Japanese Gardens'. fascinating talk, though of course I knew quite a lot anyway.  Won two prizes in the raffle, and giggled with J and I about the hot tub J had in her garden.  To be truthful I did not expect hot tubs in the village but there are two!  J had gone in search of a donkey in Great Barugh, (you pronounce it Bath, but don't ask why) for the vicar to have in a service, donkeys were no good but the hot tubs were spied in one of the gardens and so they acquired one.

The Imperial Palace gardens photos taken by LS when he went to Japan a few years ago.

'Cloud' bushes

In this photo you can see an island in the water, a theme of Japanese gardens


Always a bridge, but not red, as you will find not only in this country but China as well painted bridges

But to return to the talk, he talked of the 'cloud' shaping of the bushes, the rocks and water of course, the lecturer had constructed a tea house in his garden as well.  One thing, the use of flowers is very limited, the interaction of moss, gravel and stone being more important.  LS has had problems with his moss so, carefully transplanted, the hens and the blackbirds just turf it over, so it has been netted to secure it.  The natural world is venerated in Japan, he showed us a photo of an old stump of a tree with a great rope around it, and people would say their prayers to it, there is one at the temple LS used to attend.

Our bridge on which you can meet very large farm machinery or lorries

looking to the Howardian hills, that forms a horseshoe round the Pickering Vale

The long straight lane which Lucy trots along reluctantly



Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday 6th November



He/she sits quietly brooding over the sitting room with the church behind.  Yesterday as the raindrops on the window show was windy and showers practically every half hour.  So the fire was a welcome addition to the day.


Made a quiche/tart for tea, leeks in a creamy cheese sauce sprinkled with nutmeg , delicious and have been mulling over christmas decorations.  My daughter will be working through the period so will not come till after the date, LS never knows what he wants to eat for the festive meal, me I am quite happy with vegetables, roast potatoes and gravy, alongside a meatless stuffing and maybe onion sauce.
Read yesterday in the paper that we are all having anxiety stress over the forthcoming election in the USA, of course Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian did mention that Trump has the biggest insecurities - that is what makes him how he is!  Also in the paper was a journalist who ate up to 24 eggs a week, think about it, 3 or 4 a day, my three hens lay about 3 eggs a day but often I find 2 at the moment, the winter season is pressing in. Eggs, as well as cheese, are a good protein, scrambled in the morning, egg mayonnaise on sandwiches, and omelettes for a quick meal.  
Morning has dawned better go and let them out....