31 July 2019

Rainy Days

I’ve just managed to take Rick out for his afternoon walk between showers.  It has rained on and off all day and some of the downpours have been very heavy indeed.  The beck in the village is running again after almost drying up completely last week.  Barff  Lane is completely under water and we had to turn back as I didn’t want to paddle through the muddy water.  The Yorkshire Dales got very badly hit yesterday by torrential rain and many homes got flooded. I hope Weaver in Leyburn has stayed safe and dry.

This time last week we were basking in the sunshine and enjoying the garden.  Right now the flowers are looking very sad and soggy.
Peacock Butterfly enjoying last week's sunshine

The good news is that the builders are arriving on Monday or Tuesday next week to start work on my kitchen.  Bring on the dust and rubble!

30 July 2019

Excuse me, there haven’t been any blog posts recently!

Excuse me, there haven’t been any blog posts recently!  This was the lament I received from Sarah, my eldest daughter in Oz this morning.

I blame her young sister Kat.  She was on leave last week and spent the week with us, generally leading me astray.  We ate too much, drank too much and lazed around in the sunshine or in front of the television watching the Tour de France.  Housework, laundry chores and blogging were cast aside.  Paul accused me of hiding his underwear this morning.  The truth was that his dozen or so pairs of pants were piling up in the laundry basket.  

Kat has now returned to her RAF base and normal service resumes.  This morning Paul and I went shopping for paint.  Our new kitchen has been delivered but the builders, who were due to start work on 15th July, have been delayed.  I’m not too sure when they will arrive to knock the kitchen wall down but in the meantime the dining table has been dismantled and my dining room looks like a dentist’s waiting room with the chairs lined up against the wall. 

Last night we watched the last episode of Killing Eve.  Kat messaged me halfway through needing the answer to a cryptic crossword clue -  “An alternative volunteers tube”.  I finally figured it out halfway through my weetabix this morning.

16 July 2019

Stranger Things

We went out cycling for just over an hour this morning, round through the Tofts and then back up through Spridlington and Normanby.  My mind wanders a bit when I'm cycling so when we passed a signpost for a Green Burial Site I started thinking that maybe it would be nicer to be buried instead of cremated.  I thought about how I've always had an irrational fear of fire (doesn't everyone?) so maybe I'm a reincarnation of Joan of Arc.    Just random thoughts.  A couple of minutes later a black convertible drove past.  The number plate was J348ARC.  Seriously.  Spooky or what!

Nothing to do with this strange coincidence, can anyone identify this tree in our garden?  Paul enthusiastically cut it right back in autumn and it has now gamely sprouted some attractive feathery branches but we have no idea what it is.  Any ideas?

14 July 2019

Sunday Afternoon

Images from my afternoon walk with Rick...

a cloudy Lincolnshire sky

Rick checking for rabbits

raindrops glittering like diamonds

back home in the garden...
... ready for another game of ball

12 July 2019

Dog Talk

G’day Rick, how you doing mate?
Hey Buddy,you’re looking cool, I like your hoodie.
It’s not cool at all, that’s why I’m wearing the hoodie.  It’s only 19 degrees today and we’ve got some cold weather coming from the Antarctic.
Only 19 degrees?  That would be a heatwave over here.

the hood keeps my ears warm

So, what tricks have you been up to Ricky?
Not much.  I led my mum a merry dance this morning chasing the milkman round the village.
Makes a change from the postman.
Good on ya!
Where are you Buddy?
Happy hour at my local.  They know me here, I’ve got my own bowl and the punters feed me treats. They fall for the puppy dog eyes every time.
I see we managed to thrash you at cricket.
Strewth mate, we’ll get you next time.  You watching the Wimbledon?
No, my humans like to watch the cycling.  I was pounding my paws on the table with them yesterday watching big G make that last climb.  Barked a bit too for added effect.
Got to go now Rick, good to speak to you. Get yourself a hair cut, you look like a Sheila.
Bye Buddy, don’t spill any beer down that posh outfit.

my latest girlfriend, Fifi

10 July 2019


a shopping trip to the pretty town of Brigg

I’m exhausted!  Three days of socialising is too much for a shy introvert like me.  Monday was Art Club and end of term lunch, Tuesday a trip to the shops and lunch, and then coffee morning today.  The ladies in the village are determined to get me out and about and I’m certainly not going to turn down their efforts to make friends with me.

Socialising and small talk doesn’t come easily to me.  I have spent a lifetime denying the fact that I am an introvert, pursuing careers that were very much about interacting with other people – nursing, law enforcement, public relations and my last reincarnation as a corporate HR Manager.  When I took early retirement at the ripe old age of 49 we moved to France and I was happy to hide away in my ivory tower in the countryside and enjoy a hassle free, bucolic existence.

Now I am making an effort to be part of a community again.  No man is an island.

my new friends think I'm a bit of a lush!

7 July 2019

Sunday Car Boot

Paul is now a fully paid up member of the village carpet bowls club; they play at the village hall on Tuesday and Friday evenings.  He is on the look out now for a set of bowling balls so we had this in mind when we visited the local car boot and market this morning.  It was a big affair but we didn’t have any luck finding any balls for Paul.  However, I did spot some glass demi-johns and bought six for a grand total of three pounds. Bargain!  Just what I needed for my wine making.

I spotted this book at the car boot - whatever happened to the Hattatts?

It’s a warm and sunny day here so I’m having a lazy day pottering around the garden.  The vegetable plot is producing well and we have our usual glut of courgettes.  Last night Paul cooked a delicious vegetable risotto.  He found a recipe from that Italian chef, Gennaro Contaldo, using broad beans, courgettes and French beans. It was a really nice, alternative way to use our fresh vegetables.

Paul's garlic drying, keeps the vampires away I suppose

the bumble bees are loving the honeysuckle