Tuesday, August 31

G is for Grafting!

I have certainly been grafting away since my last post! My exhibition is set for late October so I am working on some new designs. I am using some dried flowers and think they look quite sweet. Each individual collection will be based on a different flower, the ones below feature miniature red roses against velum.I have lots of ideas and will share some over the coming weeks. It is an exciting busy time and my Christmas cards also need to be ready for the exhibition too. My website is to be updated too, I have my 2010 weddings to add to the gallery and also the christening commissions I have undertaken, but do feel free to add a comment in my visitor's book!

Monday, August 30

Current Commission

The weather has been dreadful over this Bank Holiday Weekend, so nothing new there then I hear you sigh! We did manage a blast to Whitby on Saturday, originally heading over to Scarborough as I wanted to go to Marks & Spencer’s for their special meal deal which is currently on – you know the type where 2 people can eat well for £10! We had the tank bag on the motorbike all ready to pack our purchases in but even as we headed for Whitby the skies looked black!
Just as we arrived in Whitby the heavens opened and we had quite a dramatic downpour! I say dramatic as we were under cover of the railway station roof at that point! Parking was a bit of an issue, not sure what is going on there but as the skies continued to look darker we decided the politics of the bike parking could wait until another day and we would make a dash for home.
Now normally the distance from Whitby to our house can be covered quite quickly on the motorbike – but as we just came onto the Moor Road the blackest of clouds in the distance must have noticed us and headed our way with speed! The raindrops seemed to be the size of golf balls as they hammered loudly onto our helmets! Rain thrashed against us and as it hit our leathers the cold rain found its way down our trousers and into our boots! We were drenched in the time it took us to get home!
Yesterday was no better. The weather forecast said it would get out later – but how late was the big question! 5pm and it was still high wind, mist and raining!
I decided to do some work on a current Christening Commission I have – the Christening is in September, the date we will know later this week. I always like to give my clients a couple of ideas to work with.
This first one has a more formal approach:-
Invitation 2 Front
The second one is a more relaxed approach – which do you like?
Invitation front idea 2
On the inside of the front cover is a detailed page with Harry’s birth details.
Inside front of invitation
Once the date is known I will work on the insert details and an RSVP.
I love anything like this – I was in my element! The card itself is 12cm x 12cm – just the perfect size for a christening I think! I will be in my study for quite a few days now as I am preparing work for an exhibition in October. It will be in our local village hall and will consist of individual greetings cards and my Christmas collection. I am quite excited about it. I will be taking orders for Christmas as well as selling many of my cards on the night itself. We are currently updating my website so do check it out and feel free to leave a comment in the guestbook!
For more Monday macro shots visit here

Saturday, August 28

Chicken update!


This morning when I let the chickens out I noticed a pale blue egg! This means that Bev has started laying again after her broody period. I knew she would eventually start laying again but was a bit concerned that the attitude of the other hens towards her would put her off, but it would seem things are getting back to normal! The bullying has settled down but she does tend to keep herself to herself! This morning I fed them their favourite treat, cooked boiled rice mixed in with their layers pellets and some grit!


On a small farm just over the hill there lived a farmer named Farmer. He took some kidding about his name, but not much, mostly because he didn't talk to many folks. He lived alone with his wife, Mrs. Farmer, whom he loved very much. And they had a chicken, whom he also decided he loved very much.
"I love this chicken," he said to his wife one day."Yes, I love her too," said the wife. "She's a nice chicken." "By cracky, I'm going to write a love poem for her." "I'm not so sure people should write love poems for chickens," she warned, but his mind was already made up.
Mr. Farmer worked on his poem for an hour. He had never written a poem before, so he didn't know how bad this one was. It went:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You're a great chicken,

He thought it was good enough, and he wrote it out in his best handwriting and brought it to the chicken early the next morning, and set it down in front of her so she could read it.
The chicken looked at the poem with one eye, then the other. Then she hopped on the paper and scratched with her talons, until it was nothing but shreds. The farmer frowned and walked away silently.
He was downhearted, but Farmers don't give up so easy. He said to his wife, "I love this chicken."
"Yes, I love her too," said the wife. "She's a nice chicken."
"By golly, I'm going to write a love poem for her."
"But you did that already, and she scratched it up."
"That just means my poem wasn't good enough. I'll write a better poem."
"I'm still not sure people should write love poems for chickens," she warned, but his mind was already made up.
Mr. Farmer worked on this new poem for five hours. He had only ever written one poem before, so he didn't know how mediocre this one was. It went:

Dearest chicken, lovely bird,
Love is not too strong a word
For the way I feel for you,
And hope you feel it for me too.
I love you more than I can say,
And even more each passing day.

He wrote it out as before, and brought it to the chicken early the next morning. He set it down before her, anxiously watching for some sign of approval.
The chicken stared at the poem for a second. Then she pecked at it. And pecked again and again, poking holes in the paper until every word was obliterated. The farmer grimaced and walked away, choking back a sob.
But a Farmer does not admit defeat so readily. He said to his wife, "I love this chicken."
"Yes, I love her too," said the wife. "She's a nice chicken."
"By God, I'm going to write a love poem for her."
"But you did that twice already, and she tore 'em both up."
"That just means they weren't good enough. I'll write a better poem."
"I'm pretty sure people shouldn't write love poems for chickens," she scolded, but his mind was already made up.
Mr. Farmer worked on this third poem for three whole days. He had only ever written two poems before, so he didn't know how good this one was. It was, in point of fact, the greatest love poem ever written by anyone in the whole history of poetry. It went:

As grains in the cornfield, for thee have I shucked,
Words of love do I offer, yea of praise and renown,
Winged yet earthbound, as seraphs cast down,
To thee have I whisper'd, to me hast thou clucked.
Pulchritudinous poultry, from beak to thy legs,
To gaze at thy galliform soul is to sing
Of the unbested arm and the untested wing;
I toast thy fowl beauty as I toast thy fresh eggs.
Say not love is folly 'twixt chickens and men;
For hath not my heart forged a bond with thy breast?
Yea, a thick bond, which thickens, like mud in a nest,
And quickens my pulse for thou pullet, thou hen.
O chicken, surpassing the swallow or dove,
As thou swallow my corn, spurn not my love.

He finished writing it just as the sun came up on the third day. He brought it to the chicken, and bowed low as he placed the parchment before her.
The chicken looked at the poem for almost a minute. Then she clucked musically, and the farmer's heart filled with joy.
Then she turned around, and pooped right onto the sonnet. She defecated again, and again, until every word was smothered in chicken droppings. Mr. Farmer stumbled back to the house. He could barely see for the tears in his eyes.

That night, he said to his wife, "I love this chicken."
"Mmm, so do I," she agreed. "May I have the other drumstick?"

For more camera critters visit here

Friday, August 27

Food for thought for Friday!

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55. Here is mine for this week, a recipe I often use for something tasty!


Quick supper dish!

Cook onions and add minced beef. Add seasoning and flavourings of choice. Add  stock cubes and place in oven with water to cover. Chop and cook potatoes. Remove beef from oven, drain off excess liquid and put to one side. Spoon potatoes on top and sprinkle with grated cheese. Brown under grill.

Tuesday, August 24

Frugal Food, fun and Friends!


Good weather had been predicted on Sunday so we went for a motorbike ride with friends. Our neighbour knows the Dales area well as he was brought up there. He led the way and we were happy to follow, it was a proper mystery tour! We had never been on some of the roads before, but the scenery was utterly spectacular!




river swale

We stopped in Reeth and had a wonderful picnic. I say wonderful as it was a bargain! I only had a few minutes to prepare so I threw some eggs in a pan and hard boiled them. There was some bread buns in the freezer which I had bought for the price of 10p! I buttered the partially defrosted buns knowing by the time we would stop for lunch they would be just nice. I nipped to the local post office who do the most wonderful yorkshire ham. 6 slices for the 6 of us! Desert was a pineapple, again bought at a reduced price of 35p! It was quite a sight when we set up our picnic area on the green at Reeth and Jon produced his penknife and sorted the pineapple out! We did get some stares but hey even bikers can have a healthy picnic! None of those dodgy burgers for us! We rode to Hawes and after an icecream and a chat with friends we mad our way home via Leyburn, Bedale, Northallerton and Stokesley! A wonderful mystery tour! In fact Fantastic!

Monday, August 23

Kettle is on!

My first cup of the day!


When you’re feeling sad & blue
And have no clue what to do
Sit down and have a cup of tea
And a hug or two or maybe three
Feel those troubles melt away
And start you on a better day.

by Paulette, 1998 (TLC Creations)


First cup of the day tea or coffee? Mine would have to be tea, in fact 9 times out of 10 I would choose tea. I have to really be in the mood for coffee and just can not take it first thing! Over the years my tastes have changed from sweet tea, black tea, strong tea and now I am developing a taste for herbal tea. For some years Jon has been having black tea as he heard about the health benefits and although I tried it for a time I really can not say I liked it that much.

I guess the whole healthy eating issue is really big business right now, people wanting to know quite rightly where their food comes from and the effects the food process has on the environment, so I was quite impressed with the free samples which came with this month’s BBC Good Food Magazine! I hope the good earth tea bags will be available locally! Reading some of the information on their website I noticed the benefits of elderberries, this interested me as I notice the elderberries are beginning to ripen, so I would say another week before we start collecting them in.




Looking at the photograph now urges me to have another cup……so what is your preference?

For more Monday macro shots visit here

Friday, August 20

Friday’s Task!

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55. Here is mine for this week!


Today’s maths children!

If it takes two men, each approximately 550 centimetres tall, weighing approximately 180 pounds each, twenty hours to build a wall, twelve metres long and three metres high with a width of thirty centimetres, using concrete which is fifty percent water 30 percent sand and thirty percent cement, what did they have for breakfast?

When I was teaching mental arithmetic was a daily task, sometimes mid way through reading the question I would invent an alternative outcome, it did give the lesson an injection of humour! lol!

Tuesday, August 17

Eye Eye!


On Sunday we tootled to York on the Motorbike. We decided to head inland as it was quite chilly and overcast on the coast. What I enjoy about York is there always seems to be something happening and last weekend was no different! On the 14th and 15th August, York Minster  holds a Stone Carving Festival for Masons, Carvers, Sculptors and Apprentices from across Britain and abroad. The Stone Carving Festival was the first to be held at York Minster in ten years since the hugely successful York Stone Festival in 2000 when the octagonal stone bench in Dean’s Park was created.Up to eighty Masons and Carvers worked on stones in the Minster School Grounds. The stones were auctioned off to the public and all the proceeds were divided between York Minster Fund and York Against Cancer. We arrived just as the auction was taking place – these were some of my favourites!






DSCN1141   DSCN1144

It was quite amazing really, but the top one was definately my favourite! The sky over the minster shows what a glorious afternoon’s sunshine we had!

Back at home Bev is doing well in integrating with the rest of the she is joining in for a dust bath in the sunshine!   


The girls love to have a snooze in the sunshine, preferring the cool soil in the heat! Proper free range conditions, just as nature intended!


Monday, August 16

Memory Lane!



Last week during one of our daily walks I came across some rosehips growing amongst the hedgegrow of Parkhouse Farm Lane.

During World War II, in a rare show of Governmental frugality, the ministry of health put forth a scheme to begin gathering rosehips, which hold 20 times the amount of vitamin C in oranges (rosehips contain 2000mg of vitamin C/100g of fruit). Due to the lack of fresh fruit and orange juice being imported at the time, it was essential for the people of Britain to get a good dose of vitamin C from somewhere and the wild larder provided.As a child I remember collecting these by the sack full and taking them to school as part of this scheme. (Many years after the second world war I hasten to add! lol!) I vaguely remember getting some sort of badge for my efforts but the size of the badge nowhere comparabled with the sack loads of rosehips both myself and my family collected from Eston Hills.

Rosehip Syrup:

  • 500g Rosehips
  • 500g Sugar/Caster sugar
  • 2 pints of water (first infusion)
  • 1 pint of water (second infusion)

Give the hips a good clean and remove any stalks. Place in a stainless steel pan and pummel the hell out of them with a potato masher, you can if you prefer, roughly chop them with a knife, but if you need to vent any frustration: Potato masher.

Boil 2 pints of water in a kettle, pour over the rosehips in the pan and bring to the boil, then remove from heat, cover and allow to infuse for 30-40 minutes.

Strain the contents through muslin or an old pair of tights (my personal favourite) into a bowl. For the second infusion transfer the pulp back into the pan, pour over a pint of boiling water and repeat the process as before. This removes all those irritating hairs.

Combine the strained liquids into a fresh saucepan and bring to the boil reduce by half. Add the sugar and boil fiercely for 5 minutes till all the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat and pour into a warm, sterilized bottle or jar and leave to cool. Store in a warm place and consume within a week or two. To make it last longer, you could add a small amount of tartaric acid as you would when making elderflower cordial.

What to do?

Moving with the seasons, rosehips are only ever available at this time of year before the first frosts begin to take their toll on them. Therefore it seems only right to use the syrup for something to warm the soul. Either drizzled over a steaming apple & blackberry crumble or combined with other liquids to make a delightful hot drink…

Rosehip Toddy:

Other than a good woman, this is the perfect fireside companion, absolutely incredible, possibly even better than the original and that’s saying something! Put a good slog of whisky in a mug (Glenmorangie original is quite delicate and a perfect partner, if not than a nice blended whisky like Famous Grouse…do NOT use Bells!) Add a little rosehip syrup and the juice of a 1/3 of a lemon and top up with boiling water. You may want to experiment with quantities as everyone has their personal preference. This drink is certainly packed to the hilt with vitamin C; it may even be useful to soothe a cold! For a children’s version, simply leave out the whisky.

For a good cocktail, hot or cold, a rich dark rum, rosehip syrup, apple juice and a slice of lemon will be enough to get any party started…a good addition to Halloween and bonfire night! The leaves make a fine aromatic tea and can be used alongside the syrup; the syrup can even be used as a cordial.

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend making a batch of rosehip syrup. It’s one of those perfect Sunday afternoon projects. Go for a walk, get your rosehips, make syrup, and enjoy a Rosehip toddy the very same day. I wonder what it would be like in mulled wine? I will have to find out later…midday is a bit early for that kind of thing!

For more Monday macro shots visit here

Saturday, August 14

Henhouse news!

Chick 187

A couple of hours ago our neighbour rushed over to tell us the latest news from the maternity unit! Mabel has successfully hatched a chick!

Chick 189

There had been a couple of disaters – but she and the chick are doing well!

Chick 192

Chick 194

Chick 188

Bev however has not been successful and so we brought her home! The trouble is the rest of the hens have forgotten who she is, so we had a touch of bullying and 4 onto 1 is not fair so she is spending the night in the goose shed now my potting shed. She is very thin, so I am feeding her up with plenty of food and water!

Chick 197

Watch this space!

Friday, August 13

Friday + Special!

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55. Here is mine for this week!


Gentle Man kind blue eyes wearing a loving broad smile.

Smart appearance, tweed jacket and matching hat.

Interests include his family, home and garden.

Endearing sense of humour and a very generous nature,

Looking after all around him.

Last seen August thirteenth nineteen eighty six

Answers to the name of John Henry Davison, Dad.

The greatest gift I ever received come from God, I call him Dad!
- Anonymous

John Henry Davison came into my life when I was 7. Mum had just got a new job at the prestigious ICI, Wilton Training Centre. One of the Training officers was John Davison, or Jack as he was known. Mum was one of the secretaries. This was her first job following the harrowing divorce she had gone through, a visit from the bailiffs to strip the house we lived in, seizing goods to cover my biological father's bankrupted business debts, a nervous breakdown.

Mum borrowed the deposit for a small terraced house from her 2 brothers, Uncle Bob and Uncle Stan. It needed lots doing to it, including total rewiring. We all know how single women are targeted by unscrupulous workmen, and back in the 1960's things were no different, so Jack helped Mum by making sure she was not taken for a ride. He also helped where he could, as electrics were his "thing!"

The very first time he came to our house I was introduced to "Uncle Jack!" Years later I learned he had been more nervous than me! I was playing with my doll's house.
He spent time talking to me and I liked him. He re-wired my doll's house, I had the best there was! Independent switches in each of the rooms, as a real house would.

Over the years a friendship developed and he would visit us every Saturday. It was quite a treck for him as he did not drive and travelled from just outside Guisborough.

Mum eventually introduced him to her own parents.
My Grandad, a man of few words took him out for a walk! He wanted to know his intentions as Mum had been through so much.
Jack assured him he had her and mine best interests at heart.
Grandad was re-assured and a great friendship was kindled between them.

On one of his visits as Jack sat with Nana who was quite ill. Nana drew him close and asked him to promise he would look after Madge and Denise....he promised.
On June 17th, 1970, Nana died.
On November 1st Uncle Jack and mum were married, the day before mum's birthday.

We moved to a bungalow and after a couple of years we all moved to Guisborough,
Dad's home. Mum and I loved this change although by this time I was at University.

Mum and Dad were both still working at ICI. Dad had a very stressful job and in 1983 he suffered a massive heart attack. It resulted in him having to stop work.
In those days ICI was one of the best emloyers, with very good benefits, both Dad and Mum left with "Golden Handshakes", mum deciding to leave in order to ensure Dad had the rest he was to need.

Happy with their bungalow in Guisborough, they bought a static caravan at Rosedale Abbey. They loved to visit and stay whenever they had the time. Infact, the photograph above was indeed taken in the caravan, by mum.

On the morning of August 13th 1986, whilst staying at the caravan, Dad told mum he would prefer go home. He wasn't feeling very well. They had planned on going to Danby Country Show, one of their all time favourites.

They packed up and set off for home. It would have been a very busy day on the roads, due to holiday traffic, -the Whitby to Guisborough Road in particular!

As the car passed Gisborough Hall, Dad brought the car to a stop and slumped forward.
He had died, literaly at the wheel.

I was teaching in Nottingham at the time.
I received the news later that afternoon and returned home the following day.

This was to be a turning point in my life. I was to return home and look after mum.
I had a fantastic relationship with Dad, he was indeed my Dad.

Notice how he suddenly evolved as Dad from Uncle Jack? It was the same in our relationship.
I don't know when it happened, it just did. One day I just called him Dad!
Dad recounted the event to mum..he had cried at the time, privately, with pride and love.
I often sit in Dad's chair and remember him....I will take great comfort in doing that today, August 13th 2010!

When Dad was at school he learned the poem " Meg Merilles" off by heart. This he would recite when his teacher asked the class to stand up, one by one and sing. Dad was incredibly shy as well as tone deaf, this was his contribution. he often recited this, infact at the drop of a hat!

Here is the poem in it's original form, for Dad!

Meg Merrilies

Old Meg she was a gypsy; And liv'd upon the moors:
Her bed it was the brown heath turf, And her house was out of doors.
Her apples were swart blackberries, Her currants, pods o' broom;
Her wine was dew of the wild white rose, Her book a church-yard tomb.

Her brothers were the craggy hills, Her sisters larchen trees;
Alone with her great family She liv'd as she did please.
No breakfast had she many a morn, No dinner many a noon,
And 'stead of supper she would stare Full hard against the moon.

But every morn, of woodbine fresh She made her garlanding,
And every night the dark glen yew She wove, and she would sing.
nd with her fingers old and brown She plaited mats o' rushes,
And gave them to the cottagers She met among the bushes.

Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen, And tall as Amazon:
An old red blanket cloak she wore, A chip hat had she on.
God rest her aged bones somewhere — She died full long agone!

John Keats

Tuesday, August 10

D is for Dairy Cow!

We learn something new every day don't we? Well yesterday I learned that the Dairy cows I pass when Freida and I go up Handale are of the breed Holstein, typical black and white colouring. They belong to our neighbours, Blue House Farm. I asked Sue what the colored tape was on the bottom of the cow's tail and she told me the various colours indicate how often the cow gives milk and of any antibiotics the animal may be taking. I found this quite interesting really and now you know too! lol!


In this photograph in the background is the North Sea, so you can appreciate how close we are to the sea.


In the ear of the cow is a tag so the milk produced by each cow can always be traced. Each cow has a name and it amazes me that Sue and Phil, infact all of the family can identify the various cows in the herd! I find cows such lovely animals and would make such a lovely subject for a there's an idea!


The main function of a dairy cow is to produce milk. In the UK & Ireland and many countries across the world, the Holstein is the predominant breed because of its ability to produce high volumes of milk efficiently.

As the average cow in the UK was born before 1995, and the UK Holstein population has been improving quickly for at least the last decade, this means that the average cow in the UK will no longer have a positive PTA. In fact only around 40% of milking cows will be positive for PIN.

The calf

Calves can be born throughout the year, unlike e.g. sheep where lambs are usually born in the spring. When the calf has been born, the mother licks it to remove the birth fluids. The calf is able to stand within a few hours of birth and will drink colostrum from the cow’s udder. Colostrum is a special milk produced for the first 24 hours or so after birth and protects the new-born calf from disease.
In modern farming systems the calf is taken from its mother within a couple of days as she is needed to produce milk for sale and it is less stressfull for both the mother and calf. The farmer feeds the calf milk from a bucket for the next 6-8 weeks until it is weaned (can survive on solid food).
The calf must, by law, be identified with a tag which is inserted into its ear shortly after birth. Calves may be dehorned when they are a few weeks old. This procedure does not hurt the calf but stops the horns from developing and causing possible injury to other animals or humans.
Bull (male) calves are usually reared for beef either on the farm or at another farm which specialises in beef production. In exceptional cases where the bull is of superior genetic merit, it may be used for breeding. Heifer (female) calves usually stay on the farm and are reared for entry into the milking portion of the herd.


Before a heifer can produce milk she must have a calf. Heifers are mated at 18-24 months old. Artificial insemination is the usual method although natural service may be used. If all goes according to plan, the heifer will be pregnant for nine months before giving birth. Once the heifer has given birth she will begin to produce milk. (She will be called a heifer until she has her second calf when she will be called a cow). Milk is removed from the heifer using a electricity-powered milking machine which mimics the natural sucking action of the calf. The milking machine has a ‘cluster’ of four rubber cups which are attached to the heifer’s four teats. Gentle suction is applied to the teats and the milk is drained into a system of pipes leading to a refrigerated tank where the milk is stored until it is collected by a tanker, usually once a day. The herd is usually milked twice or occasionally three times a day.

Frequency of calving

Ideally the cow should calve once a year. Because the gestation period (pregnancy) is nine months, this means that the cow needs to be mated three months after she had her last calf. The cow continues to produce milk throughout most of her pregnancy until about three months before she is due to calve when she is ‘dried off’ i.e. the farmer stops milking her. This allows her to rest and be ready for her next lactation (milk producing period). The lactation period lasts for about 305 days. If a cow does not calve every year, the amount of milk that she produces will gradually get less.
In her lifetime, a cow will have on average, 4 calves and 4 lactations.

Feeding the cow

In order to be able to produce milk, the cow must eat large quantities of food and drink large volumes of water to obtain the nutrients that she needs. The cow is a ruminant which means that, unlike humans, she can make use of fibrous foods such as grass. In the UK & Ireland, most grass grows in the months between March and November. The herd grazes outside during this period. Surplus grass is preserved for the winter months. The most common form of preservation is in the form of silage which is fermented grass. Drying grass in the sun is another method of preservation which produces hay. Cows will eat silage or hay in the period between October and April when they are kept indoors.
Because we expect the modern dairy cow to produce large volumes of milk, her grass-based diet needs to be supplemented with extra energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Concentrates are used for this purpose. Concentrates are mixtures of cereals, rape meal, sunflower meal, peas, soya, vitamins, minerals etc which are ground and pressed in animal feed manufacturing mills to produce small, brown pellets.

P.S. Hen update - hmmmm seem to be kicking out the eggs. Sitting on 2 eggs now - will keep you posted!

Monday, August 9

Monday Morning!


How do you like your eggs? I am a boiled egg fan – I even have my favourite Peter Rabbit egg cup and matching plate. I boil the eggs for 5 minutes as they are quite large and have toast with butter. I usually have breakfast around 9.30 after I have done the early morning jobs….infact looking at the picture is making me hungry!

Our eggs were popular this weekend! We went to Pickering Steam Engine Rally and I made some scotch eggs! They were delicious even if I say so myself!

We have had an action packed weekend so I need to do some general housework and get the ball rolling in the every day life here in the Nesbitt household!

Watch this space!

For more close up activity visit here

Friday, August 6

Friday… time!

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55.

I am continuing to use a photograph as a source of is mine for this week!



How she had ended up in this situation, God only knew.

She could see the look of anguish on the face down below..

She could hear the panic!

“Don’t do it!”

She called…”Please don’t do it!

Who will look after me, walk with me and feed with me?

“Don’t jump – Please Don’t jump!

Oh God!



Eva, on the worktop is so keen to be with us! Just by chance I turned to see she had not only entered the kitchen but had jumped up on the worktop!


“Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching for what it gets.”

(Henry Ford)

Tuesday, August 3

Cornfields and Chicken update!

Chicken update - Bev and Mabel continue to sit on eggs, very Contented. 12 days sitting so far out of 21 day incubation period!

As I took Freida for a morning walk up the lane it was lovely to see the cornfields glowing in the sunshine.


The corn was so ripe and ready!


We must have walked a few miles really – just ambling along the lane and walkways.


It is always nice to be greeted by our neighbours!


and meet the new arrivals!


Each month, TATE ETC. publishes new poetry by leading poets such as John Burnside, Moniza Alvi, Adam Thorpe, Alice Oswald and David Harsent who respond to works from the Tate Collection.

The first poem to appear is John Burnside’s beautiful meditation on John Nash’s evocative wartime landscape The Cornfield 1918, currently on display at Tate Liverpool



after John Nash

Nothing is as it was
in childhood, when we had to learn the names
of objects and colours,

and yet the eye can navigate a field,
loving the way a random stook of corn
is orphaned
- not by shadows; not by light -

but softly, like the tinder in a children’s
story-book, the stalled world raised to life
around a spark: that tenderness in presence,

pale as the flame a sniper waits to catch
across the yards of razor-wire and ditching;
thin as the light that falls from chapel doors,

so everything, it seems,
is resurrected;
not for a moment, not in the sway of the now,

but always,
as the evening we can see
is all the others, all of history:

the man climbing up from the tomb
in a mantle of sulphur,

the struck match whiting his hands
in a blister of light

Monday, August 2

Captured …but not for long!

Wind and Thistle for pipe and dancers and never a ploughman under the Sun.
Never a ploughman. Never a one.

Hilaire Belloc


Whilst clearing our grass verge I came across a thistle growing amongst the hedging! I noticed a huge bumble bee to start with, but as the time went on a number of other creatures found the plant interesting. Although I was clearing weeds I decided to leave this one.

Hubby came home from work and we continued to work in the garden, I was weeding the dry stone wall up the drive and Jon did his favourite garden task which involves his sit on garden mower! He did a good job, especially of the verge – yes, the thistle has now been despatched!

I am glad I captured this moment and it has made me realise that when I plant my wild flower/meadow section I will plant some thistles – can you think of any more plants which would attract creatures?

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