Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bits and pieces

Unpacking; Clothes are so easy, it is the seed pods, that are deep in my jean pocket that need digging out, the memory of that walk following the mushrooms along the beck still lingers. LS picked up fir cones as well, to go back into the bowls of dried flowers I keep.  Then there is the bag of heather, purple flowered that I cut from  the moor, now residing in the fireplace.
Also there is my handbag, large and with plenty of pockets, in here resides the 'important things', such as cheque book (will we ever see the back of them) never go out into the wilds of this country without a cheque book, you will suddenly find that the hotel or inn you are staying in, only takes cheques. There are still seeds in my bag as well, perennial sweet pea pods which I gathered from a pub garden.  Then you will always find something to nibble, a packaged biscuit maybe, LS was so pleased to find a packet of peanuts the other day.  This need for food at regular intervals has been with me throughout life, like my son I carry glucose sweets but do not have diabetes as he does. 
The first time this ability to faint happened if I wasn't fed every so often manifested itself at the convent I was boarded at, early morning chapel was a killer, and I got special dispensation to have a couple of biscuits and a cup of tea before attending the service.
Then there are the  half a dozen archaeological books/pamphlets that the 'book' man at the charity shops my daughter works, or even runs, has set aside for me so I am duty bound to buy them, I buy three little painted parrot coasters as well.  Darron my son-in-law is back home, feeling better but sounded a bit husky on the phone, the hospital cannot find the clot but think there is something according to all his tests and so his illness goes on.  The prodigal grandson, Tom, has at last phoned Todmorden, someone stole his phone is his story, my daughter sounded sceptical about this.  He has been working in London all through the university holidays, so seemingly has fled the nest for the time being.

There is one more thing I would like to record, and that is a potter who was exhibiting at the Museum,  John Egerton works in Sandsend and makes the most beautifully decorated pots in smudgy greens and blues, unfortunately the price ranges around £300, so slightly out of my reach!

John Egerton

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pirates in Whitby

It was Pirate's Day in Whitby, so rather unexpected when we emerged from the wholefood shop to see these two women with their swashbuckling escorts in front strolling down the alleyway,
What the pirate was doing with the typewriter heaven knows.

Newton-on-Rawcliffe's ducks

George Weatherill - Turner of the North

George Weatherill's Whitby and above Whitby Abbey

On Saturday we went to Pannett Gallery/museum to look at the two galleries which are free.  George Weatherill is called the 'Turner of the North' and you can see why, he at one time worked or was taught by Turner and you can see it in his misty watercolours of Whitby.  The busyness of the town is caught in the above painting, beautiful sailing ships moored by the bustling quayside and the Abbey above and it is little changed today.  His children painted as well, a streak of genius that must have run in the family, Mary Weatherill, his daughter went on to fame as well.
It is said of George, that he only painted within 20 miles of Whitby and wandering round the gallery you can see his love of the sea.

Mary Weatherill travelled more widely than her father but there is still that unmistakable air of Turner about her works as in this painting of The Grand Canal, Venice

The Grand Canal, Venice - Mary Weatherill

The Wreck - Mary Weatherill

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Penultimate day; we wandered round Whitby yesterday along with a lot of other people, and their dogs of course, Whitby is renowned for its dogs, (hear my son-in-law comments on the state of the place!) it truly gets packed, this is the Southend of the North, LS's parents used to come years ago on the coach and stay at the large Royal Hotel on the West Cliff.  Whitby has given itself to tourism like a good time prostitute, not quite what I meant to say but its garishness is a tonic for the soul.  Fish and chip eating people everywhere, goth shops, beautiful jet jewellry, fortune reading and perhaps LS's favourite haunt the fish shops, where you can buy three oysters at a pound each.  
The young gulls are fully fledged now and wander in their rather lovely grey plumage on the quay with that rather vacant blue-eyed look of the bird. 
Below is the rather ramshackle 'Bobbins' shop, which as you can see was once an old chapel the shop sells rather expensive crafted wools and hand knitted jumpers, especially the fisherman one. Here amongst the cheap goods are old wooden bobbins and toys.
Car parking is terrible, we pay £4.50 a day in the little car park in Silver Street, we went and saw Tom at the Reading Room Gallery and had a long chat about the family, he made us a fair offer on a space in his little underground car park for four months but we did not take it up.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

House hunting

Newton-on-Rawcliffe; Another pretty quiet village, this time a 17th century long house, which you can see in the photo.  Slightly ramshackle inside, needs work, but plenty of space, small sun trapped garden at the back.  There is a negative/positive side to this house, the present owners are converting a large barn behind into a house, very friendly we spent almost two hours with them and learnt everything about the village, and then surveyed their acres, can always negotiate land if we want for grazing but the fox eats all the hens round here...
We walked up the village, 3 minutes probably onto a track way that goes over the moors, the North Yorkshire Railway runs below in the valley, and over the hill is the Hole of Horcum; the views are spectacular but then this is my favourite road over the moors from the Wheeldale Beck Roman Road, enough said.

View to the moors

the little brown beck

 heather still flowering;

plenty of wool colours there

Very large fly agaric, and unbitten.

these fly agarics were coming up everywhere on the edge of the larch wood

The dark miserable larch woods
Village duck pond

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

North Yorks

Yorkshire is a beautiful place, especially when the weather is good, and as we travelled to Kirbymoorside and Thornton Le Dale, the impression you get  is a substantially wealthy county.
But house hunting is not for the faint hearted, lots of pretty cottages facing onto village streets but then where is the garage?
So yesterday we visited Kirbymoorside, a typical country town, small and quiet, we had seen a town house with five bedrooms here, but the photos had not shown that the 1600 years century house was attached to a fairly substantial Georgian hotel with a big terraced garden which though separated by a large wall would still have been noisy in the evening.  The house even had a wobbly chimney (which was cute but not practical), the owner came back from shopping whilst we were contemplating the house and seemed nice enough, extolling the virtues of a 'proper' town, but nowhere to walk the dog (I have not got yet) easily.
Thornton Le Dale is very pretty with the river running through the town, but is ultimately a tourist destination, and its shops reflect this, lovely cup of tea though! Ducks galore, and the car park is a great walled area, which must have been in its time the walled garden of the 'big' house, now a care home.

This is Thornton Le Dale, it even has a chocolate shop in it.......

Kirkbymoorside below is a substantial small town....

The house with a crooked chimney, and has a plaque on the wall, Lord Villiers I think once lived here, funnily enough there is a crooked chimney stack in the top bedroom of this cottage, as it tapers up into the roof.
The truth of the matter is that estate agents photos of houses are always much better on paper, they must be air brushed, but I notice from the photos that it has an aga in the kitchen, something my daughter has now got much to her delight, and now keeps her kitchen warm.  My poor son-in-law is still fretting in hospital, a clot has been diagnosed but not in the lungs, which I suppose is one good thing, 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Arriving in Yorkshire, grey and rainy, the first photo is of Mytholmroyd, a completely unpronounceable name, known by me for the fact that Sylvia Plath is buried near at Heptonstall, well their festival was not going too well, just a sea of umbrellas.   Then through Hebden Bridge, a bit like Glastonbury very hippy and incense shops, and finally we arrived at Edible Todmorden where my family live.  The news was not particularly good, my son-in-law had just been taken to the hospital  the day before with either a suspected heart attack or an embolism, but seems to be coping well.
On sunday we wandered round the town with the children through a lively market and down by the river.  My daughter runs two charity shops for discarded greyhounds, the shelter has about 100 of them but the person who runs the charity, is thinking of moving to Doncaster create a bigger shelter, with other animals, including shire horses and a restaurant. 
LS is busily working in the bathroom, so I feel rather redundant, we should be going out later today to look at houses, this is our plan to eventually arrive at a place to settle, if it will work out I don't know........

Hebden Bridge


This is Todmorden's Council
building, to the left is the River Calder, I think, but the centre of the building defines the boundary line between Lancashire and Yorkshire

Just happen to like the way the geese took off.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Toads and hares

Over the weekend I have had migraines, yesterday also, everything comes to a halt, can't read or work and I resent this enforced rest, but this morning, though I could trace the inside of my head quite accurately the heaviness has disappeared, maybe I'll read the weekend papers!  We are off this weekend up to Whitby, though first calling in to see the family at Todmorden.  I have sorted a couple of houses to look at outside Pickering, which, if we move up North is the place we like, small country town, near to a train station. 
Strangely my house hunting is a bit of a failure, conducted through Rightmove, there is not much too see but we might be a bit choosy.  Taking Cornwall and Yorkshire counties in either hand and feeling their weight, the first thing that strikes you is that Yorkshire houses are more sturdy and attractive, Yorkshire villages with their rows of substantial cottages have a grey-stoned appeal, whereas Cornwall has been somewhat blighted by 'bungaloids' a Dapne Du Maurier term, applied to the rash of bungalows that went up from the 1960s, we will see.
There is a new article about Stonehenge, which has come out, and which I must keep a record of, parched grass revealed that the Stonehenge circle was complete, and that another ring could be spied in the grass encircling the lintelled ring.  All because the hose pipe was too short when it came to watering the dry grass. 
Stonehenge is of course the most debated and visited ancient monument in Britain and it comes as a bit of a surprise to find out that there is something new to learn...
Things to cheer the mind, are a couple of photographs from probably 2006 of harebells and toadflax, a small history to follow.  Also, John Hooker found the replica gold Lansdown 'Sun Disc' on line which is at the British Museum, small and neat found in a Bronze Age barrow,  a thousand blackened bits is all that remained of the original, but the replica glows with the promise of gold and a mysterious star surrounded by small satellite discs.




Dyers weed, though I never picked any to dye with

These beautiful dragonfly haunted the garden every year.

So consulting Grigson on this, he thinks that the beautiful toadflax (linaria vulgaris) is a nuisance, never bring it into the garden,"every quarter of an inch produces another plant", a bit like ground elder I suppose. It has about 30 local names, 'bacon and eggs' for the two toned effect, fairies' lanterns, fingers and thumbs, buttered haycocks, and of course snapdragon which it looks so like. Apparently it was very similar to the flax crop until it flowered and that is why William Turner in 1548 named it.

Harebell -Campanula rotundifolia  Even this frail beauty has a range of names that link it with witches and goblins and Geoffrey Grigson says Bluebell of Scotland no, it was also the Old Man's Bell, the devils bell, which was not to be picked, the Witch Bell, the Witch Thimble, the Cuckoo's Thimble.  The reason of course is the 'hare' in harebell, the hare of course belongs to a witch!