Monday, June 22, 2015

22nd June - what a kerfuffle

Penultimate day; Still stuffing odds and ends in boxes.  Some time of today is devoted to ordering some bedroom furniture and finding out delivery, of course that means music for half an hour and an automated voice, banes of our modern world.  Then of course the new large dining table that has also been ordered as well, been trogging around with the wax in my handbag for the last few days - table to be waxed immediately so said the man at the shop.  We have no bedroom furniture for the new house, it was all fitted here, but we have two joiners in the village for building fitted wardrobes at some stage.  Then there is the unplugging of phones, two routers for separate companies, and that means internet connection will be cut off soon.  BT arranged the other end for two weeks time, broadband is slower up there, but better than Newton-on-Rawcliffe village where you had to go through 'Billie the radio'.  My constant companion is a notebook as I record dates.
All very scary   :-) but it will be over soon.....

Closing down for a few days ;-)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

'Eagle flew out of the Night'



A Happy Solstice day to everyone, I suspect the people will not see the sun rise at Stonehenge, as the weather is dull and damp at the moment, but the occasion must have been exciting with wildly dressed druids and maybe even shamans.  The primitive urge to go back to our ancestor 'religion' which of course we know nothing of is as strong today as ever.  In Scandinavia they decorate their houses with branches and wild flowers and have great fires outside to celebrate their longest day.

I shall listen to Peter Gabriel and Solsbury Hill, which is such a happy tune, and I think of the eagle 'that has come to take him home' he mentions flying aloft over Bath.  People have asked me in the past whether there are eagles there, the answer is sadly no - just imagine them say I. 

Today I learnt that the National animal emblem of Scotland is the Unicorn, it was mentioned in the 12th century, fancy that, the magical white unicorn prancing across those verdant plains and rocky mountains of Scotland.

But to return to Solsbury Hill, a steep long walk up the lane out of the village of Northend, you can drive your car to the top, but there are really only two parking places, so it is best to walk and take in the verge flowers.  The hill is classified as an Iron Age hillfort but was not occupied for that long, you can wander around it easily.  There are two great stones sticking horizontally out of one of the ramparts, and it is said that the farmers could measure their plough runs by them.  On one corner of the inner space, is a maze, created many years ago, when the A36 (or was it the A46) was enlarged and protestors camped in the trees to stop it, of course it went through in the end.

Moss and I once walked up on Good Friday, though I course did not realise the day, lots of people were trudging up the lane and ahead a gold cross was carried, penny dropped, and I talked to one or two of them.  Friendly, pleasant people, there am I a true secularist, questioning this odd ritualistic act of going to the top of a 'pagan' hillfort to remember the hanging of a man, who apparently died for 'our sins' and I won't go there in case I offend.  But in truth these people did it every year, it was a celebration just like Solstice day, there was food and children running round at the top and everyone enjoying themselves.



I am writing early, basically because the last three nights we get up anytime between 3 and 4 in the morning, I've been around a long time today, and though my work is finished LS is still packing stuff in the studio.

And a last thought, the protestors of the road above, were echoed by protesters for the new Newbury Road in 2010, and as a recorder of such things, this moving video of the 'Wild Horses of Newbury' perhaps reflects something of the battles that have been fought, and of course the anti-austerity protest march in London and elsewhere that took place yesterday, a good sign that people still fight for what they believe in.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The afternoon





The day moves slowly, I am wandering around like a lost cat, we are down to 90% of stuff packed, the above painting which is about 6 foot by 6 foot has just been wrapped, last painting to be packed in bubble stuff.  It is a very calming painting, can almost hear the swish of water as the carp swim round.  In actual fact it will have some work done soon, it is to be framed, and a crease line smoothed out,  photos never quites gets it gold 'sprinkle' colour.  How these symbolic carp/dragons and goldfish are part of the tradition of Japan and China.

A short break in between writing and holding down bubble wrap, the bike has gone! pleased about that, two men, one the father of the younger one, took it way and that was that. Another burden melted into the world, I gave it away, though new, because I hate hassle over money and very rarely go down that path anyway,  LS of course keeps his, also only ridden once...

Blogland

I have a few moments, waiting for stuff to fill the three half full boxes.  So I shall allow myself a ramble around the blogs.  In actual fact the personal blog is an anomaly that has only developed over the last few years, you may call it a 'stream of consciousness', except that it is best not to hurt others.
My blog list reveals ordinary people just chattering away, filling in their lives, being happy with the things around them.  There are the occasional blog that seems to be written in a stratosphere far removed from one's own life, I call it 'The Laura Ashley conundrum', which seems to live in a refined Western culture world, without taking heed that the majority of the people worldwide are poverty stricken.  Now I don't think we can do much about that except consume less and also I won't use the word 'class' in the hope that such things as that will die a decent death.

There is a distinct difference between male and female writing, stating the obvious of course, men are better raconteurs, whereas women fill in the detail.  The younger you are, what becomes obvious the more emotion is expressed and that is where trouble starts.  I belong to forums, where the young males give way  to strong language, I am never quite sure whether in their raving for better justice in the world is for themselves or for the people around us.  Of course there is terrible social injustice and inequality in this country, but no matter how much we yell it will continue, the only way to create a perfect world is to turn to a strict, probably state of communism, which will definitely not be agreeable to all.  I have always believed in what I call the 'balance of state', a yin/yang compromise, on Earth it is called homeostasis.  

Being the target of abuse several years ago was upsetting, but the only thing that I learnt was to stick in there and ignore, their nasty problem it belonged to them not to me.  I learnt to become neutral in my language, and I believe that the best way is to become less subjective in argument and just address the subject of the argument without rancour.




Back to work listening to my favourite bird...

Friday, June 19, 2015

And it's Friday

Two thirds through of packing, LS's studio was the worst, though he did all of it, notice some things should still go into boxes.  I cleared all the kitchen cupboards yesterday, produced some problems
when it came to cooking the meal later on! No rolling pin, used a beer can, no grater, chopped very finely.
But the cupboards are empty, when sorting through cupboards you learn to throw away, and so two car loads of stuff down to the recycling place.  Also, my second going over the shed has reduced enormously heavy things; stuck a sign to the gate 'new bike going free' no takers yet.. Book boxes are very heavy, feeling sorry for the removal men already 




need boxing


Square boxes hide the fact that a lot of the stuff was round, heavy, awkwardly shaped

Again, because our neighbour Keith is away for a few days have to water his garden, so I have sorted out some large pots for the tomato plants he is growing, hopefully he will take them.  Our other neighbour who is also a Keith (we call them major and minor), goes away with his wife to Spain for 6 winter months of the year in their enormous motorhome,  LS usually keeps an eye on their house. The new people who are buying this house, from London, should be able to integrate, they are very quiet, and have friends and relatives around here.
The 'exchange of contracts' came on Wednesday afternoon as I was talking to my daughter so she got to be part of the news, she is now already talking about meeting in York for shopping days, she must have forgotten my hatred of shopping.  But it will probably be easier to catch the train at Malton to York then take the car, York is such a central hub for trains, and it is very easy for her to, as she always uses trains.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

16th June

Waiting for boxes to be delivered, the contents of the cupboard and wardrobes lay sprawled on the bed in anticipation... Notice Japanese snow shoes are going to be thrown away (is that all?) but little else at the moment.  Had a 'stream of consciousness' from my daughter on F/B this morning, she seems really excited about our move up and it was lovely to read her comments, I am blessed ;)

LS says reading my blog gives him a deeper insight as to what I'm thinking, so here goes, it DOES NOT HURT to throw away stuff if you are not ever going to use it in the future, let alone store it in the next loft.

I think I shall talk chickens, want some 'blue pekin' bantams, friendly and pretty they are great companions in the garden, though in reality should go for a large breed for the bigger eggs.  I remember my pair with great affection pottering around the garden, squawking should our urban fox be round, though he eventually got them in the end.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

We are moving........................






Well it is all on, sitting drinking our coffee at ten, the phone rings, exchange of contracts today, (edit; not quite, in two days time) we are to be out on the 23rd at 2.0.clock.  We sit there rather breathless looking at each other, no going back now!  I have just boxed all my old books, wondering if I should have been more savage in my culling, too late now.

Weekend was spent in a low key mode, wondering whether Michael's (our solicitor) sharply worded email to the other solicitor would work, of course it did.  I like Michael, a laid back Whitby solicitor, who will chatter for a long time, me worrying about whether we have to pay a couple of hundred pounds an hour for niceties. He already holds the deeds to the cottage for that business when it gets to be sold again, a nice business acuity  When we first started LS was phoned up by one of those hybridised firm of solicitors, they act like call centres, 'no' he said firmly, 'I want someone I know'......

We are moving into an area we already know, Whitby with it's new Sainsbury/Homebase, the local recycling (so useful), and Pickering with its Lidl and Co-op.  The Yorkshire countryside so different from this southern busyness, will be much cooler I expect, must knit LS some more jumpers.  There are shops that we like in Whitby, Boyes where you can get everything and the kitchen sink, Yorkshire Trading has also the same benefit, a lot of tat on offer of course, and then there is Botham's the baker, supplier of bread, savouries and chocolate cake of course.

Restaurants come and go in Whitby, The Magpie, famed for its fish and chips always stays, though you can get plenty of other fish dishes there.  LS of course loves pubs, we go to the Jolly Sailor there for its cheap beer but the cottage is surrounded by pubs, though strangely when you live in a yard the sounds of the streets do not penetrate, unless they walk by the entrance to the yard.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

14th June

Dyes

Love the detail in this photo, and the way the old lady draws the fibre so finely.


This is an old blog about Japanese dyes, LS has carefully collected and stored all these dyes in their boxes, presumably for a museum, but I also dabble in dyeing, though haven't been able to do anything this year with all this moving saga.  I also spin so it was this photo that captured my imagination of a woman spinning on an Indian Chahkra wheel, she is spinning silk, and I have some silk to spin at the moment.  When you dye silk the colour is much stronger and more vibrant than on wool, I use acid dyes mordanting with white vinegar, but you can mess around with other mordants, though alum for plant dyeing is to be preferred.   My wheel is the traditional Australian Ashford, a simple wheel but a good work horse.

What bought this to mind, was a photo found in one of the  folders of a large painting that had azurite/Gunjo mineral in its colouring and also pearl/shinju dust if I remember correctly.  It is not a very good photo, and the painting it went to auction somewhere in Europe, having arrived from Australia.  What I remember most was a computer person coming to read the special marks of the school/painters; he used a special programme to read  the almost invisible stamped marks.


And an earlier blog show the Tamamushi Beetle which can also be found in LS's boxes of wonder....

Saturday, June 13, 2015

13th June

Birthdays

And now to something different, something I hardly write about, being a 'granny'.  They give me great pleasure my grand children, each so different, especially in their growing up.   Today is Lillie's birthday, will she be the hippy of the family I wonder, she wanders along in her own world, dressed  always in  flamboyant colours . She will not conform, adores chocolate cake, spends hours eating her meals often alone because the family will desert her in exasperation as she idly plays with her food, you cannot change her there is a stubborn streak there.


When she was little she bossed her older brother round really badly, and he took it with a gentle humour, she would order him out of the room sometimes, or to sit next to her in the car so that she could fall asleep on his shoulder.  'Go away Tom, I don't like you' would easily fall from her lips, but in reality as she grew she adored Tom, and one of the nice things on Facebook is to see Tom's avatar, she has just rushed to hug him on a return from Uni - their kinship is sealed.



One of my favourite photos when they were little was of them playing miniature golf at Ruswarp, she stands there so little and yet she is  desperately trying to be part of the older children's gang.


So happy 9th birthday Lillie, all of you grow at such a pace but I am immensely proud of you all...

Friday, June 12, 2015

12th June


Today there is a high pollen count of grass seeds, so photos of the grasses up on Bath Downs will calm my nerves!

Tis a day I am not particularly inspired to write. There has been a hitch in the selling of houses, their solicitor is playing what I would call a 'silly buggers game', I have a feeling it is to make us reduce the price, LS has called their bluff, now we wait!
Books have still been thrown away at Sainsbury's recycling this morning, and I am happy with that.  I should turn to the news for inspiration but only note that charities are being called to account over how they spend their money.  It does seem a lot goes to charity with actually very little seeming to be done in the country that is supposed to benefit, and large salaries to charity heads fills one with unease.
The latest news from Langtang in Nepal, the village was wiped out completely, is that rebuilding should take place at Ghora Tabela.

AN’s Temba Lama (from Langtang) has suggested that any rebuilding of the main Langtang settlement might best be done at Ghora Tabela, which is less prone to avalanche damage. Rasuwa Relief are already speaking with experts in the geomorphology of Langtang and with structural engineers. This will ensure any rebuilding will be safely sited and built using methods giving greater earthquake resistance, but still being practical in remote mountain areas.


We are saturated with news at the moment about tourists stripping and posing nude on top of a sacred mountain in Malysia.  They are idiots and therefore deserve what is coming to them.  If our Western culture 'yoofs' thinks it is fine to go round the world in a discourteous fashion, actions and consequences comes to mind and they have to live with the laws of the country they find themselves in.  Am I getting old and grumpy, probably yes but in an age when photos can fly instantly to social media what were they thinking of? And  also they were incredibly rude to their guide, now that really makes me cross......
Edit;  A  more erudite article by Jonathon Friedland in the Guardian this Saturday

Soothing photos from 2008










Ash trees; Up on the downs the ash rules supreme, late coming into leaf it survives the cold of winter and the fierce weather of gales that can be found on the more exposed parts of the downs.
But of course ash is the magical symbolic tree of - the Norse Yggdrasil tree, from which Odin hung for 9 days - a magical number in itself.
If you look at the leaves as they emerge, many ashes have a terminal leaf with four leaves on either side of the stem, making nine, though to be truthful sometimes you can get an 11 leaves or 13 leaves trees; perhaps they have hybridised along the way, so perhaps if you found a nine leafed ash, it was a bit like finding a four leafed clover.

But there is more to the tale, Aubrey Burl in his Stone Circle book, says that the ash also has a phallic symbolism in that the large black terminal bud has two small buds on either side, think on.....

Thursday, June 11, 2015

11th June





Rosa Mundi I think a 'sport'
11th June: Possessions.

Do not own them was my first thought this morning, they drag heavily on your soul! I am packing books, and though they have been sorted once, they are going through another culling.  Even if, at this late stage, the sale falls through, I shall be grateful that this job was done.  Careful though because I can be too enthusiastic, there are four boxes for these bookshelves, the rest will go..  I came up with the bright plan, (LS doesn't seem to think it is,) that I could pack some of the china in my baskets of patchworks and wools, giving them a soft ride in the van.

LS has a massive job, all my efforts as to getting rid of some of his books to no avail, some will eventually go to the British Museum, so he says according to his will.  Quite a lot of the studio stuff has been taken by others, especially the work bench and drying boards which were very long.

It makes you think, owning stuff, you eventually leave this earth, leaving  your children to 'tidy' up after you, do they get a skip in or do they take your furniture in out of  a somewhat nostalgic link with the past.  Or do they sell it and make a profit;)

Well it is no use writing or procrastinating, downstairs, make up those wretched boxes into squares and then fill them!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

10th June - The Computer

The Advent of a Computer;

I reckon it must have been about 20 odd years ago when it arrived in our household,  my son was about 12 and demanded one, though Mark was hardly the demanding type.  Large and cumbersome it dominated his bedroom, he became fascinated by it, the motherboard was examined minutely, it even burst into flames one day as I watched horrified (don't worry mum).  Another time his friend brought his computer to transfer information, and they joined the two computers with an 'umbilical' tube, that is what I called it anyway.  And as the information began to download, the letters started dropping off the screen, some wretched bug was on the stranger computer, and he panicked then because his computer was 'joined' up to his father's computer (don't tell him mum), and he righted the problem because by then he had become adept as to how these clever 'typewriters' worked.

I start with a history of my use of the computer through my son, his advice whenever I panicked that I had done something terrible and messed it all up, was simple, 'just put your finger on the start button, hold it for 20 seconds, and then it will go away'!  In my early days, the boys played those terrible killing and driving games, there was even a driving wheel hooked on to the computer and a foot pedal that directed the speed.  Tom my grandson about five years old would sit on my lap in front of the computer and 'drive' and I would foot pedal.  This made me incredibly sick, the motion of the fast moving car.  I bought sensible games of building cities and earth (sim earth) all to no avail, it was the thrum of killing and fast cars that could always be heard.  Luckily all this translated into jobs for Mark, as he learnt the arts of computer languages, remember those thick books that came with the early computers.

So where is this going, well in praise of the computer and all its functions.  Yesterday we were informed by our solicitor that LS had not replied to an email demanding several points of information, I suspect the secretary had not sent it because he had not received it... five of the points were easy, all they required was copying through the email, the last one asked for papers from 25 years ago.  This was more difficult, the architect for the building of the studio had retired, so LS went online to the Council Office Planning Dept, and lo and behold, there lurking in Historic Records, the relevant paper was found, they had only been put on the computer in 2010.

One day of course we will conduct our lives through computers, bank accounts, shopping and selling houses, still somewhat surprised to see people buying online through Rightmove without even visiting the house!  But for now I praise the computer, and its vast font of knowledge that regularly takes up my time every day for far too long. ;) And, I even pay Wikipedia a fiver a year when they ask for money, think of all those encyclopedias you don't have to own anymore...


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

9th June




Well nothing to write really, so I start with a Thelwell fat pony;  humour after all is good for the soul, and I really like these fat mad ponies with little girls dancing around in the air, and especially the hunting cartoons, it is so underhand in its gently poking satire.  Been trying to remember the 'old granny ones' she would sit in the corner glowering at her family, but it wasn't the Garnetts maybe the Smiths.
I had started out to write about roses, so glorious at this time of the year, I collected them in Bath, also fruit trees, mostly for their names, and perhaps when my head is on straight I shall write about them.  Yesterday we cut branches off the cherry tree overhanging the driveway, for when the removal van comes, I don't know what today brings, perhaps another visit to the recycling place. Joy.



Edit; It came like a bolt out of the blue, it was Giles, his books of cartoons were those extra small pressies at Xmas.
LS collects Japanese 'Manga' cartoons, there is a great rift on humour in our relationship!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

7th June - River Ter

A last walk round by a favourite spot.  The little river Ter. The landscape is wild at this particular spot, the farmed land leaves a wide pathway to walk, the little river choked with plants, great willows lie tumbled around, their roots clinging to the banks.  We pass an old oak tree, then a willow dying from the top, hardly any wild flowers, this is due to the presence of farmed land.  But in the hedgerow there ramps several hop plants, a relict from times past.


The river runs like a dark ribbon, empty of fish, but  three ducks are sitting quietly on a bank as we approach, they fly off and looking down over the bridge there is yellow iris.



When I walk and go to favourite spots, I am like a nurse, feeling the pulse of the place, noting the flowers and their health.  Here is meadow's cranesbill, not too happy, but look at the lines (ultra violet to the bee) that takes the bee to the pollen and the heart of the flower, it lies in a tangle of goose grass and cow parsley gone over and of course the hops.



The other side of the bridge, the river becomes a tiny rivulet choked by exuberant plants.

the silver of the willow leaves, the sting of nettles that line the banks.

Two things I love, underwater leaves streaming along with the current and old bent branches.

unloved, neglected? maybe not just nature filling every corner with life..



Which brings me to Old Man Willow, a Tolkien's character in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Cannot find this poem/story on the net, yet whenever I visit an Bronze age barrow, these Barrow-wights always also come to mind.

Dark came under hill. Tom, he lit a candle;
'Hoo, Tom Bombadil! Look what night has brought you!
I'm here behind the door.  Now at last I caught you!
You'd forgotten Barrow-wight dwelling in the old mound
up there on hill-top with the ring of stones around.
He's got loose again.  Under Earth he'll take you.
Poor Tom Bombadil, pale and gold he'll make you.

And then there is Old Man Willow, strangely enough neither of these characters appeared in The Lord of the Rings, I expect there is a several dissertations on the net as to why not, but we won't go there!

Up woke Willow-man, began upon his singing
sang Tom fast asleep under branches swinging;
in a crack caught him tight: snick! it closed together,
trapped Tom Bombadil, coat and hat and feather.

'Ha, Tom Bombadil! What be you a-thinking,
peeping inside my tree, watching me a-drinking
deep in my wooden house, tickling me with feather, 
dripping wet down my face like a rainy weather?'

One last photo of the rose that hung its drooping flowers at The Cats pub and maybe LS holding one of his favourite glasses of beer up to the light to show the clear amber gold of its colour...



Saturday, June 6, 2015

6th June 2015

We have been up and around since 5 this morning not actually doing much except general household stuff.  But I did manage to sort out three bags of books which will go to the Oxfam bookshop next week.  Also got LS to open the 'secret space' for the black box which houses the Chinese tea set, and now it is packed and ready for transport.



Paper thin, hand painted with wistaria flowers, there are only 8 cups left, and more saucers, though two broken, they snuggle happily in their red silk box.  A  present from Lotta Opper, from her grandparent's adventure in China, such a long time ago.  The other thing I have is a beautiful silk embroidered dragon and flowers piano cover.  The silks have all gone grey, colour has long vanished but it is beautiful.   In Bath I hung it up as a 'tapestry' on the wall.

We are off to lunch soon, last visit to The Cat's pub for a ploughman's lunch, saves LS cooking a meal tonight ;).

Friday, June 5, 2015

5th June

We woke to the low rumbling of thunder this morning, a 'grumbling' sound not those fierce bangs and strikes of lightening we normally get, then the soft sound of rain, so it does not look like we are going into town, as LS hates the rain.  The joys of moving is of course the working through utility companies, stopping debits and changing addresses, redirection of mail also. The boring bit as I would call it. Hail is now lashing down.

I chose the top photo today because at one time we contemplated moving to Cornwall, the ruined engine house in Minions was a familiar sight.  In fact when we arrived at our pub room, and looked out on the bleak moor, rain pouring down the first thing I saw was a ruined engine house clinging to the side of a hill, it looked so surreal.

We had not wanted to move near to the sea, houses were far more expensive there anyway, and of course touristy.  Wandered round the towns but found them also a bit bleak, but I did love Bodmin Moor, and inland there was such pretty wooded valleys to live amongst.  But Cornwall suffers on one point,  and that is distance from family and London.  The A30 road breaks up Bodmin Moor it is something you always have to traverse to get into the towns, and presumably one day will become a motorway.  The economic depression in Cornwall is also obvious in some of the towns, and we both took against bungaloid estates  as Daphne du Maurier describes them in her book - Vanishing Cornwall.  They were built from the 1960s onward, and some look pretty depressing, why is it that house building cannot always be perfect. Stupid question, but even Maurier only puts the 'pretty' side of Cornwall in her book.  I think my greatest disappointment was 'Jamaica Inn', ugly, everything for sale for the tourist, one could not find an iota of Cornish romance in the place.  I just sat in the car second time around we visited and watched a lone man walk up the moor in the far distance envying him being far from the madding crowd.

Still Cornwall is megalithic heaven, stone circles, standing stones and cromlech dot the scenic moors, but I notice from my photos that the weather is more often grey than sunny....

Duloe Stone Circle



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

3rd June. Keys Becks Road

Steve Partridge via Wikimedia Commons


I was going to write in depth about The Old Wive's Well, which is situated down there at the bottom, or at least on the rise of the hill of the above photo, well at least a few hundred yards into Cropton Forest but you can read about it in the following link  Why this photo, well just at the bottom is another beck that goes under the bridge across the road.  And it is here that the Roman road would have crossed from Cawthorn Camps to the illustrated one on my other blog, in fact it is here that you park and go through the little gate to follow the path of the old Roman road.
Old Wive's Well; Copyright Gordon Hatton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.



You will read on the Yorkshire wells site that..

On the stone lintel over the well chamber are the words "NATTIE FONTEIN", carved in rough letters. It has been suggested that this could be derived from 'Fons Natalis' - a Celtic water nymph. On a visit to the well in June 99 it was noted that the N and A in "NATTIE" are carved in such a way that the word could be read as "MATTIE FONTEIN" perhaps meaning "Mother Fountain". This might then be another reference to the Old Wife ?.

'The Old Wife' can be found quite often in this part of Yorkshire, and some would say that such a name belongs to the far past and even a celtic goddess. Take all references sometimes with a pinch of salt, it may be true of course, but those learned antiquarians of past centuries were quite happy to dabble in latin inscriptions, and though this well is on the track way for Roman legions marching by, would it have been inscribed?..... as for Mattie/Nattie/Natalis  See Die Natalis which means a birthday or annual event.
                                                        ------------------------------------

Yesterday evening a knock on the door and our neighbour wondered if we would like a drive in the electric car he was contemplating buying and which was on loan.  Intrigued we went off for a drive, silently it glided out of the driveway and off we went very quietly.  Just a whole new game show, with the computer on the dashboard telling us what it was doing.  Would I like one, not sure, this car was a bit blingy, very comfortable and dashing, but not terribly practical.  The batteries are apparently slung all along the bottom of the car, and you can travel for a hundred miles before you have to recharge, not exactly the best for long journeys.  I had noticed on the motorways that you can recharge (fast) at motorway service stops.  Funnily enough I am contemplating a car, small and secondhand for travelling about more, as LS does not like walking as much as I do, but think I would give electric cars a miss.  Fancy breaking down on the moors, you would have to be towed away....


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

2nd June

It is sad when good men die, especially politicans, but Charles Kennedy filled the post admirably, except... I have not seen much of him in the last few years, was it his resignation from the Liberal Party leadership, or his disagreement with his party over joining the conservatives I wonder.  Or perhaps his need for alcohol that allowed him to slip from view.
The tributes pour in, we are good at honouring the dead, perhaps we should have taken more notice of Kennedy when he was alive.
We have a 'pencilled' in date for the move, third week in June, LS plots our journey, we are to stay in a hotel along the way after emptying this house, so that we arrive in good order at the new house to meet the removal men.  Hopefully the weather will be fine, the wind has rattled round the windows all night, it is a very low 'low', not experienced for several years in June, the summer month or so I believe.
He still prods me for more things to throw away, but I can't find anything, yesterday we took to the charity shop a whole china set (free from a Barclays offer years ago), plus a guitar and badminton bats.  I have a lot of old antiquarian books that I did think of giving away to Oxfam but LS says no.
Yesterday Michael, our solicitor phoned up, he is finishing the searches, LS has been worried (amongst many things) about the Chancery Liability, which translates into if you are near a church you may have to pay for their upkeep.  But apparently you can insure against this, Michael said that all of the Whitby houses comes under this outdated law.  Given that Whitby has many, many churches it made me laugh, a legacy from the past.  Why do you think it is though that Whitby home to a religious fervour because of the saint Hilda, should also harbour a great Goth cult as well, the darkness of satanic vampires sits so easily in its religious setting, especially up at St.Mary's church yard.
Coffee time...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ongoing 1 - Wheeldale

Following through on the Wheeldale Roman road and the two cists which adjoin, or at least cut through by the making of the road.  Photos taken from Hayes and Rutters research report; 1964


The capstone on 4n is missing now



I suppose one should say that honouring the Bronze Age deaths were not part of the Romans/other priorities, but a distinctive marking of the road for surveying.




Whenever one looks at ancient monuments, it is always wise to remember that they could have been 'robbed' in times past, this photo of  1912 the stretch of Roman road seems to have much larger stones, but over time robbing for walls, houses and the hardcore for modern roads, can remove all trace.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday 26th May

There is not much to write about today, we sat outside Pets for Us, or some such place, because it did not open till 10.30 LS moaning about how religion affects us to the smallest degree. Did point out that it was Sunday and a day of peace, the hordes had yet to arrive at Chelmer Village outlet, and so we watched a man get out of his taxi car, unload a heavy ruck sack or two.  The other ruck sack was for this enormous brown and white husky type dog which also jumped out the car, which he strapped onto the back of the dog. Now you don't see that very often in crowded Essex.

I wanted some wild bird seed, Asda had run out and my dove was complaining about lack of food. What the birds are going to do when we move, heaven knows, and I have brought plenty of seeds to leave and even written a note to the new owners about feeding my little crowd of feathered friends.

Do love the constant battering of Blatter, and although I won't show it, this from the Observer this morning summed up a lot of people's feeling.  Tomorrow is the 30 year old anniversary of the 'Battle of the Beanfield', written by one hippy - Tim Vince - who seemed to have made 'good' i.e. money.....

To return to gypsies, which I haven't actually talked about but Weaver of Grass mentioned the local horse fair in her corner of the world.  Gypsy horses are always to be found grazing on forgotten pieces of land, here it is the water meadows by the river.  I sometimes fear that horses that do not make the grade get eaten, or sent over to France which is sad..

Long gone but a favourite, think he must have been the stallion for the herd

the horses always loved it under the cool green of the willows


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ongoing

1912 photo of Wade's Causeway



1912 old photo on the net


Wade's Causeway
I am fascinated by this stretch of road, I become obsessed by the detail, the folklore, there is a WHOLE chapter on Wade the Giant sometimes thought to come from Scandinavian folklore, he has a wife as well called Bel, and if you write books on history, the etymology of names will take you back to Celtic gods and goddesses and paths that lead you down deep and mysterious ways.  All theorised of course.  The more prosaic medieval story tells of two castles being built by these two, miles apart, and the causeway joined them, one was Mulgrave Castle, not sure of the other.  Wade as memorials in standing stones, there are two, it is a bit like King Arthur, who managed to dance round Wales and Cornwall in all their ancient scheduled monuments, an 18th/19th naming by antiquarians.
But for now I will focus on bleak moors, trashed by the way by Bronze Age settlers, it was originally forested.

Wade Stone North
The above first photo taken I believe in 1912 is of the revealed 'supposed' Roman road across the Wheeldale Road.  Let it be said at the outset I believe it is Roman, the evidence gathers at a pace when you read the research report of 1964 by R.H.Hayes and J.G. Rutter.  Map photos of the time drawn point to a linkage between Cawthorn Roman Camps and the above road over the moors, travelling on its way through Grosmont on to Lease Rigg, and then presumably to Malton or Derventio which has a whole host of roads, one of course being South to York.



The supposed route onwards towards the East coast is maybe difficult to work out, Sandsend further along the coast has also been put forward, but along this stretch of the coast Roman signal forts have been identified.  Logical therefore that if you are making roads, to take them to the coast for supplies and also back south towards York,  a northern capital, Ebaracoru.  The Romans also had trouble with the Brigantes tribe up here, a show of strength had to be made, a building up of infrastructure as they made their way further north must have happened over the years.

Taken from R.H.Hayes and J.G.Rutter


One of the reasons it strikes me as Roman, are how the engineers surveyed the route.  Taking the highest point between two readings, they often followed prehistoric stones, barrows and trackways which also topped the high points.  There are several stones that follow the modern Wheeldale road across the moors further on, now whether these have been moved in more recent times to help the traveller across snow covered roads may be one reason, but the marked Roman road also has Bronze Age cists abutting the road, an indication of 'sighting'.


It is not a 'straight' road

Cambered effect still showing under the grass, and edging ditches showing green

kerbing

Suspect this was a drainage channel

water collecting,