Tuesday, September 28

K is for Kidney Beans.

“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook”

Julia Child

I nearly had to reach for the dictionary for inspiration today - but there was my answer literally under my nose!

As I mentioned a couple of ays ago, I am on a diet! A strange time of the year for such a drastic measure you may think but as the colder months approach I will have to start wearing my winter biking trousers and if I remember from last time they were starting to feel tight - so I am operating a proactive approach rather than a reactive one. I am following Slimming World as I find this suits me. Basically I can have vegetarian days (green) which I quite like as well as meat inclusion days (red).

We do not have a great variety of local shops so I have to choose ingredients which I can find on our doorstep - kidney beans for an example! What you see above is what I had for breakfast this morning. I first make up my kidney bean mixture - I blitz half a can of tinned tomatoes + 2 level teaspoons of curry powder + 1 level teaspoon of chilli powder. Next I add one tin of kidney beans and blitz quickly so it is still quite crunchy and not too mushy. This mixture can then be added to a baked potato, spread on crispbreads with fat free cottage cheese or in the case above - added to scrambled egg! Absolutely delicious!

Last week I lost 2.5 lbs and will know how successful I have been this week when I get weighed on Wednesday evening - so I will update then.

I promise I wont go on - nothing worse but from time to time i will share any good recipes and good news!

Saturday, September 25

All Change!

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”

George Santayana

Having read recent comments it made me realise how fortunate we are to have the beach on our doorstep. I guess sometimes I take this for granted and only visit a couple of times a week, excuses ranging from it being too cold, too wet, jobs to do, etc. etc. you know how it goes! Yesterday I was reading somewhere of somebody who longed for the beach and really enjoys visits there as they feel really charged up and energised by such a visit. It really gave me a wake up call and I figured that I should embrace each daily walk and venture down on the beach come rain or shine. There are people who may not have access to a beach - so they can share my visits! That said - this morning the wind was howling and the rain was threatening to fall, so I wrapped up well and Freida and I drove to the beach. It only took us 5 minutes to get there and we had a great time.

I felt it appropriate to post the photographs in black and white as it just seemed to capture the mood on the beach. The sea was anything but calm, as it had been earlier in the week.

The weather forecast is not good for the North East coast and I now feel it appropriate to assume the next few weeks and months are going to continue to get colder and wetter - if any sunshine or clear days happen to come along that will be an added bonus, I am certainly not expecting as there are jobs to be done - the garden needs putting to bed, there are apples needed picking and chutneying, various tidying up, leaves constantly sweeping and I think we may have to light the Aga soon! Yes, changes are happening and in keeping I have changed the appearance of my blog - much more appropriate don't you think?

Thursday, September 23

Fun 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.

This week I decided to link my contribution to the current situation here in the Nesbitt household.....I am on a diet! Oh no! I hear you cry - she is going to bore us with tedious facts and revelations! Rest assured - I will not, I promise you - have I EVER bored you? Ok do NOT answer that!!! There are only so many free pies I can eat before the old waistband starts to complain and with the colder weather approaching (surprise surprise) it means my winter biking gear will have to come out of hibernation and I do not want "a scene" when I can not zip up my trousers - so I am being proactive in this and getting in quick with a diet courtesy of slimming world! I am not one to ramble (stop laughing)....and I will keep you updated, but for now just stick with me....anyway I digress.....back to my 55 for Friday.....inspired by a neighbour you may just recognise! lol!

You know what it is like being on a diet!

You would gladly give your right arm for a good meal – roast beef, a stack of yorkshire puddings, mashed potatoes with lots of butter, in thick onion gravy? mmmmmmmm!

OK ….back to the diet- so a nice juicy, crunchy, healthy fence all round then!

Tuesday, September 21

J is for Journey!

~ Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. ~ (Arthur Ashe)



This morning I had a fantastic time on the beach with Freida. As usual we had it all to ourselves and as the sun was warm and the air was still it was a fantastic space to be. Whenever I am near the sea I always think of the times I was away from home and missed the open coast so much. I returned home when my Dad died and I knew the time had come for me to return home and look after mum. I will never forget the journey home as I knew my life was about to change, but little did I know how much. A few months later I met Jon. A holiday had been planned with friends to France for 5 weeks. It was during this time I realised I had met “Mr Right”. The journey home was a very significant one as I knew it would be the last journey I would make , as a single woman. We were married a few months later.

What significant journeys have you made in your time?


The Journey

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice --
though the whole house began to tremble
and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
"Mend my life!" each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers at the very foundations,
though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.

But little by little, as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Sunday, September 19

If idle hands are the devils tools we are OK then here in the Nesbitt household!




Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

Walking up the lane last Thursday I noticed the duck pond was quite quiet as for some reason the ducks had chosen the second pond as their favourite of the day. It was during my walk with Freida I noticed the amount of elderberries, brambles and rosehips which were ready for picking. Our own plums are now picked and freezing ready to be made up into Christmas drinks. This week is going to be a week of picking & pottering in the kitchen as well as continuing with preparations for my exhibition……busy busy I think!

Friday, September 17

55 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.

This week mine is dedicated to Autumn who seems to be here – yes I did desperately try to hang on to summer but alas it seems she has other plans! There we were last Sunday enjoying the glorious sunshine out on the motorbike heading over to Bridlington – in a wink of an eye we noticed a “nip” in the air and we know what that means!

Well don’t mind me Autumn – why don’t you just make yourself at home? Do not worry about the leaves being EVERYWHERE and the sudden drop in temperature!

What’s that you said? You knocked?

Yes I DID hear you knocking but it is polite to wait until you are invited in!

(What a bloody nerve)

Autumnal Sky last night! Taken as I put the hens to bed


Tuesday, September 14


I was down on the beach by 8am this morning and had a wonderful walk with Freida. We were alone and the morning sunshine was awe inspiring. I tend to use such times for thinking . My exhibition is approaching and one of my categories is seascapes so I used the time this morning to do some planning!

Watch this space!



Live purely. Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.
Like the moon, come out
from behind the clouds!




"Be glad of  life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."

Henry Van Dyke


"If you cannot be a poet, be the poem."

David Carradine

DSCN1318 DSCN1319

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, September 10

Horsing Around!

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. Having just returned home from my morning walk with Freida I had a think about what the horses were saying up the lane!



Who are you looking at?


No, I am not in the mood!


I am not speaking to you!


Give us a kiss!


Quick! Give me the sugar whilst they are not looking!


Her bum looks big!


Just let me rest me lovely nose for a while!


Are you just going to lay there all day?

Tuesday, September 7

H ……Hole of Horcum


Whenever I am out and about I like to think what I can post for my weekly ABC Wednesday and as H approached it was perfect for the Hole of Horcum, an area of outstanding beauty not far away on the Whitby to Pickering road. We travel on this road almost weekly and I had been watching the changing colour of the Heather – knowing it is always at its best at the end of August/beginning of September! The photograph above is one I took in 2003 but the rest of the images were taken last week, 1st September.



We found ourselves with a free afternoon and with the weather being good we decided to go out for a tootle on the motorbike. I knew exactly where I wanted Jon to take me and so we headed up towards the Hole of Horcum. Just as we parked in the carpark the action kicked off with an ambulance with its blue light flashing pulled alongside us.


Apparantly a lady had collapsed right at the bottom of the valley and needed to be taken to hospital. The words “Air Ambulance” were mentioned so we knew a Helicopter was on its way! We sat patiently, enjoying an icecream and eventually the helicoptor arrived.

I took several photographs but I think the one below captured the moment! The lady was fine and I was well pleased with the extra H for my planned Hole of Horcum idea. We headed home and would you believe as we travelled through Danby a hedgehog crossed the road! The moment was witnessed by both Jon and myself but there was not time to photograph the incident!



The Hole of Horcum is a massive natural amphitheatre that was carved out of the rock of the North Yorkshire Moors by the action of glacial ice flows - an interesting place in itself but also the location of much activity during the prehistoric period. It is situated at the western end of the ancient trackway known as the 'Old Wife's Way' which leads east towards Blakey Topping and it is also the location of several Bronze Age round barrows, dykes and settlement sites further to the southwest on Levisham Moor.
Gallows Dike consists of a 3 metre wide and roughly 2 metre deep ditch with eroded 4 metre wide banks on either side that runs roughly north-south over a small raised section of land close to a kink in the A169 road on Saltergate Moor. There are 3 round barrows close by and it is possible that as well as being burial monuments they could also have served as territorial markers - they are probably slightly later in date than the bank and ditches. There are also several cross dykes running northwest to southeast further to the southwest beyond the Hole of Horcum and these also have round barrows nearby or associated with them. A much damaged series of banks and ditches known as Horcum Dikes also run north-south along the east side of the glacial hollow.
To the southwest of Levisham Moor there are several burial mounds and further later Iron Age earthworks, there are also associated field systems and enclosed settlement areas, one of which showed evidence of being involved in iron making and thought to have been in use well into the Roman period.

Monday, September 6

Business and Pleasure!


Monday morning – another week of fun in the Nesbitt Household! Breakfast for the hens – layers pellets, grit, oats and their favourite which is just cooking right now – rice! They tend to prefer rice with their meals now – ruined! I enjoy Monday morning especially after a good weekend which we certainly had!

It is that time of the year when many people have to start thinking of the C word! Butchers are amongst this group as C time is big business. I am sure you have noticed “Join our Christmas Club” notices in many butchers – a way to start saving up for the inevitable feeding of the 5,000 over the holiday period. One very popular item is the large pork pie – at Christmas they are made for special orders, 1lb, 2lb and gala sizes. As you know hubby Jon is a tool and mould maker and now is the time for the butchers to place any orders with him, in time for the Christmas demand.

Contacting and keeping in touch with our customers is my job and on Friday I spoke with new customers in Ingleton, a village in the Yorkshire Dales and one of our favourite routes. Incidentally it is this very route which we use when we make our annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Man each June, so what better excuse to call in yesterday.


We stopped for a picnic about 6 miles from Ingleton near Ribblesdale viaduct.




I took the picture below as the group of bikes looked really colourful against the blue sky.


In Ingleton once we had spoken with the butcher we had a cup of tea and a huge cake. We shared the cakes, Jon went for a huge strawberry creamcake and I chose a vanilla slice. Really one would have been quite enough shared, but no we had to indulge! It wasn’t a wise choice considering the route home! No sooner had we got back onto the motorbike and began to wind our way round the roads home did I feel a little green around the gills! Fortunately the feeling soon disappeared as I concentrated on the route home. We always like to return home via a different route so we came home via Skipton, Harrogate, Thirsk, Helmesley and over Blakey Moor – one of my favourites!



Ralph’s Cross – I know we are nearly home when we pass this!

A great day – 200 miles in all!

For more Monday macro shots visit here

Thursday, September 2

Ultimate Cheese on Toast!

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, continuing with my food theme. I do think some recipes are complicated so to get the information into 55 words is a good way to encourage people to have a go! This recipe is definately one of our big time favourites, great on a cold day – we actually had it last Saturday after riding home in the rain from Whitby! It is also a great way to use up our wonderful eggs! The picture gives it justice I think – so have a good gaze then read how to do it – this could be on your plate in a matter of minutes – go on! You know you want some! lol!




Get yourself some EXTRA strong cheddar cheese – a huge wedge!

Grate it!

Meanwhile find yourself a big fresh egg

Beat it!

Mix them both together

add  Worcester sauce and mustard

Season it!

Find some thick sliced bread -

Toast it!

Spread cheese mixture on top – THICKLY!

Grill it!

Plate up!

Eat it!