Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Aliens and Sojourners

This is my alien Echium pininana sp. The silver thing in the front is just a  cut up crisp packet on a stick to frighten pigeons,. My Alien has a sparse midriff caused by winter damage. The cane is 6'high so you can see how far my Triffid has grown , its an alien because its not a native species. Its is not an I.A.S( Invasive Alien Species) because it rarely survives a North Yorkshire winter, and although hundreds of seedlings could  come from the seed of this one plant, they are so easily spotted and removed . 

Impatiens f. By River Hertford
 I have twice been in a group visit to nearby Flixton Carr with Tim Burkinshaw  of the Carrs Wetland Project . Here he explained how Impatiens glandiflera is now an I.A.S and it is being removed from the banks of the River Hertford as part of their Conservation Work , as it taking over from all the native Species.
Impatiens f is my favourite example of Seed Dispersal . I have picked the plant  for years to equip class after class of Children with a great example of ballistic dispersal . (Great maths too).The seeds may explode out across from the plant 23feet . 
Land  management these days is beginning to catch up with Good Practice in the light of mistakes made in generations before.   Hedges were removed across our agricultural land in the 1950s and 60s as fields were merged to increase  the food supply in Post War Britain . 60 years later costly remedial schemes and set aside grants , and hasty schemes and   long term schemes of enthusiastic professionals and Nature Conservancy groups  try to repair the biosystems.
R Hertford 
 . I remember my father talking about it when I was a child, as we drove frequently from Sutton village across Holderness to  friends in Skeffling.
 We'll rue the day ' He used to say ,
 and he was right.  My sisters and I recall passing through the villages of Preston, Keyingham  and Patrington being told each time the changes that were observed. '
So what about aliens ? Who decides what is a good alien or an IAS? Obvious species like Japanese Knotweed can grow through Concrete and damage foundations, and yet was introduced as an Ornamental by our passionate Victorian Plant hunters . I can call it  an undesirable alien .

Ive just been down Queen Street and checked to see if the removal of the Japanese Knotweed has been successful . Judge for yourself! ..>>>>>>>>>>>>



Gardeners all over Britain are growing  or trying to grow to an inflorescence of the Giant Vipers Bugloss Echium pininana.  Bees love it and one flower spike can last throughout the summer . I want to conserve bees, who I understand are also a threatened species. Echiums are great for this. Am I worried that my alien species will take over Filey ? Am I worried that in 100 years time they will be serious problem because Global warming has meant that all seedlings are likely to survive a Filey Winter? I am thinking about it responsibly. 

Here is a little sojourner for you . This Aquilegia is growing in a crack in Sandhill lane by the iron  bridge to St Oswalds and the Country Park . I give it 2 weeks before the SBC team are out with their weedkiller.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Eternity in the hearts of man

Echium Friday
I've wanted to use that phrase for a long time. Its out of context and relates to God but I still love the words. Today I went to the allotment for an hour to see what the recent rain had done and whether I could get my first picking of Asparagus. Four hours later I thought an hour had gone and came home. Certainly eternity or a paradign shift in my concept of time. 
It was just glorious out in Filey today. I had seen the light on the beach at 9am when I spotted the shining sea from the top of Cargate Hill as I did a quick shop at Angelas. Inland , with a cool breeze and blue skies it was perfect gardening weather. Yesterday I had been out at 6am in St Oswalds , watering the flowers, as I had forgotten on Saturday. The Iron work on the South Gate was covered in ice. The temperature in the allotment greenhouse however was over 30C today, and its no wonder all the sunflowers are up after 4 days , but the night temp must be nearer 3C. 
The Asparagus is showing , but only just. I couldn't justify picking the 4 first shoots all over 1cm thick. I'm quietly  pleased .

Echium Monday
My allotment neighbour D is in Lanzerote , land of lava . Little does he know that here in the no volcano any where near soil of Filey Allotments is growing my very own Echium , a native of the Canary Islands. It has grown 30cm in a week , beating the Blackberry , usually the fastest grower.
The recent rain though relentless for hours in Queen Street, has barely moistened the soil by the railway line. The Horsetails have begun their latest offensive , but I am on to them . 
Tomorrow I shall spend the day filling the baths with water with the hosepipe, check my micropond for signs of tadpole life, and try and plant some neat seed rows just to fit in with all my neighbours who are all school of Percy Thrower and his update Monty Don. I am school of Rosemary Varey and Blue Peter. John Siddle once commented that my gardening style was Organized Chaos. I'll take that as a compliment. One thing is sure . I will arrive at my very own corner of Filey and time will stand  still .

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Skylarks and Vipers Bugloss

Meaux Road , Routh ER
Cyling through the lanes around Sutton in Holderness with my school friend Christine Addinell over 50 years ago I remember the first Wild Flower I could not identify at all not even its  family . 
I remember just where it was, in the hedge, just before Routh Church (brass rubbing expedition) and could not wait to look it up .
Experience now tells me that it was probably a garden escape, but it was there in my book nevertheless Echium vulgare (oka Vipers Bugloss). 

I still use my childhood flora, though have had to progress to Roses 'Wildflower Key' , and Staces 'New Flora of the British Isles' after my serious Botany courses :still intuitive identification , though not scientific , rarely fails me as long as I have plenty of info to back it up. Years and years as the daughter of a fisherman  led to a childhood of sitting still by river banks; Derwent,  Hull , Bain, Cover and Ure with nothing to do but watch and listen . My sisters and I learned to recognise Mayflies, Stone flies ,Damsel flies and the like so that we could tell our father what fly to use.

It sounds idyllic but it wasn't always, sometimes it was just boring. I probably became a reader at that time too. I soon learned to name all the plant life , loved fungi  and lichens as well as the vascular plants  and started my own collection of Wildflowers pressing and drying and displaying in accordance with Instruction for Collectors PLANTS  (British Museum ,Natural History 6th Edition).
So  I nearly threw away all the Rowling Herbarium when we moved back to the cottage from Kiaora , but I started again and have for the past 5 years been enjoying monitoring for Plantlife  on KM Square OS TA1081and collecting again . I look again at the specimans collected as a child , and remember the river banks!

This year Plantlife and the BSBI *have moved on in the National Plant Monitoring Scheme , a more scientific and rigorous Survey has just launched . My allocated KM GRID square has changed to OS TA1281, and so now I have the opportunity to monitor some different habitats including  Maritime cliff tops and slopes

 I joined FBOG (Filey Bird Observatory and Group) last year. I'm not a dedicated birder but their latest Bird Report makes it quite clear that the study and understanding of the flora of the Filey Area (and beyond ,DG) is integral to the wider picture of what is now called Filey Nature**. I have member benefits now , and can have access to Rocket Pole Field for my survey so will be introduced to the protocol by Jack Whitehead next week. Sue Hull tells me that a wildflower patch has been sown there and is keen for that to be monitored .

Burton Agnes E .pininana 08
The child who learned to watch Skylarks and spot Yellowhammers down East Carr Lane every Sunday, and at 15 found her first Echium is now aiming for the National Collection . Not really, but am thrilled to be expecting a good inflorescence on my allotment of Echium pininana which , is safely through the winter. 











*Botanical Society of the British Isles ** Yahoo Group .

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Don't blame me for the state of the NHS and Social Care..

Or my aged parent. The people doing stats, the economists, the politicians and everyone on the Bayswater Omnibus with the exception of the baby know that everyone grows old . Thankfully people are living much longer than in those days . I just can't understand why no one realises it and factors it in to the Budget forecast for the NHS and Social Care .

Why do I have to feel so guilty because my aged parent is in full time care in a Care Home in Beverley where the Care Staff are paid so very little ? 

 Mothers Care is not free .   It is not her fault she is old . I have had small use of the NHS really , and I have paid my way all my life, taxes and N.I.  My fathers contributions paid for my mother, who never really worked for money after her 4 children were born. She never stopped working however, washing, cooking , ironing , cleaning , gardening . She was in the WAF, and knows what a World War is like. She remembers her brother coming back from Dunkirk after standing so long in the water that when he got home his clothes were mouldy.

The sooner the agencies dealing with an increasingly AGED population get together and liase properly the better. My Gnome of Zurich sister doing Mothers finances has to wait months and months before adjustments are made in payouts and payins.

JUST TELLING YOU IF YOU WANT ME TO VOTE FOR YOU!

Its very difficult some times visiting my mother , who is really well cared for , mostly happy and contented, who is always clean, well fed. Her laundry is efficiently done and returned, her room  and bathroom always spotlessly clean.

Its really DIFFICULT because those kind carers and cheerful cleaners  are paid so VERY LITTLE for a job we will probably all need doing for us .

A little note of JOY. Mother and I had a lovely time together in the garden yesterday without coats. She was still able to name the shrubs and flowers and we both took such delight  in the prospect of spring springing and grass rizzing. 

WE found a few Sweet Peas had lasted all winter and were blooming outside in the raised beds next to the French Doors . I put one in a glass next to her Steradent as a surprise fragrance for her .

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Update with nespresso machine

For many years I have not drunk instant coffee. I only have one cup of coffee a day, we are really tea people in our house, ordinary old fashioned PG tips or Yorkshire Tea . We are not connoisseurs. I dont care if its from  teabag as long as its strong. Coffee however is a  different story. I like coffee made from ground beans, ground myself , or strength 4 or 5 FairTrade Columbian ready ground for preference. I do understand that fashions come and go. I still have to learn how the new trend is for the cold filter of water through the coffee. Somehow I dont think #cafechurchfiley is quite ready for that. Its barely got used to non instant coffee anyway .

An aside. I have lived in Filey for nearly 25 years  and rarely had 'coffee out' until the last 2 years when I have been wont to meet dear friend from Burton Joyce . I have tried all the coffee shops now. We usually go to the Bistro for the ambience, which suits us both. For coffee however I like it from the shack/van parked outside T---- supermarket . I always pick one up en route to station before going to Beverley . Kaths tea at the station is great  too when Michelle is not with her shack, but neither open early enough for me . To be fair , Ive just found that the coffee in Pitstop is good , and she is open at 8am. The punters of Filey are all moaning that a Costa or a Cafe Nero might come to the new site where the Police Station was. If they serve their usual great coffee and open at 8am I will be picking up my coffee for the train there. Ive tried all the coffee shops near the station in Beverley for my return journeys, or somewhere to hang out at 8am before going to mother for  free wifi ,Cafe Nero is the business , opposite  M& S near my bus stop. It has atmosphere, a reward card and like Michelle, really good coffee, 

I am in Hull as I write this, en route to London, on our much delayed business trip . C and I have stayed in Mercure Royal. I've known the hotel all my life, but as the Station Hotel. It was here that 60 years ago my mother would meet my Aunty Mabel , in from Withersea on by train, for coffee. It was here that I took my first coffee out alone , sitting in the Lounge salon watching the world go by . Mother always told me it was the place to use the Powder Room , but I should always take coffee as well , not to take advantage. In the 60s it was an old fashioned place to take coffee as a young adult, but one basked in the charm of it. The Coffee came Silver plated Coffee pots, with a smaller pot of hot milk and another of boiling water and a little dish of brown sugarand 4 biscuits on a plate. This was so different from the boiled milk and Camp we had at home . It seemed very grown up and expensive. (Fields was THE place to go, but often too full for a seat).

So too for my thoughts on the George Clooney machine in our room . It took me 1 wasted  capsule to work out how to use it, but the Expresso was good, but not as good as Rosellas in Bella Italia .

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Inspiration and a New Find

Rogier van der Weyden
Portrait of a Lady is one of the first portraits I liked. I like the pins holding the veil together and the flawless complexion of the sitter. 
When spouse and I were in the Baltic Gateshead in 2008 we saw a photographic exhibition of People of Tyneside, and I loved it. This theme runs because in Hackney Library recently we enjoyed an exhibition of Photos of Hackney residents , made all the more poignant when we met a family who had made a special trip to see 4 of their own Family Pictures from years over 40 yrs earlier on display .
Nelissa Mendy with pics of her family taken in the 70s
I never get tired of seeing Photos and Portraits of my fellow men , indeed I love People watching , and am never bored when theres a stream of passers by , and sitters around , and coffee drinkers . Starbucks in the Whitgift Centre is a joy of  an Observation Hide, as its in the middle of the Mall with life going on all around it . I spent hours there when I was caring for the needs of my aunt in 2013, waiting for her to die, and needing to be in the midst of life whilst she determinely withdrew from us. Croydon is a great place for People as the population is so diverse.
Zubeir Tai , Freelance Photographer 
We had a great day in Leeds last week . We were people watching as we had our lunch in the cafe opposite the Parkinson Building , and our coffee inside the Costa Place inside the Parkinson Building before we saw the Exhibition that had brought us to Leeds , Nostalgia and Progress.
Replete with culture we moved on to the Art Gallery , and were people watched ourselves by Zubeir Tai (I love his name). He runs a great Facebook Site and Tumblr page . I am going to Blogroll him , and have  already done so on the Filey Parish facebook Site . He takes random pictures of people as inspired by HONY*. His site is Humans of Leeds. Well done for calling it that , of Leeds and not in Leeds. 

I started this blog page on Monday night , but have been overtaken by the events of a Family get- together to celebrate the Baptism of my Grandsons. They just decided they wanted it . So today with all my children around me , and they with all their grandparents around them we have been taking lots of photos, not the random sort , but the lets get us all in the picture together sort. 




*Humans of New York

Monday, February 02, 2015

Posts within Posts, Self Promotion without shame

View North Saltshouse Road from Newlands 260  c1965

View East from Newlands 260 Saltshouse Road  1965



History is happening in Facebook groups . I belong to several Facebook groups where people post photos of the places they remember and talk about them . Mu own experience started when our plumber started the group Photos of Filey Old and New . I am not a Filonian , and have only lived here for 23 years, but I do like to know about the houses and streets around me  and the characters that have given a place a certain Identity, real or imagined.
Cover pic of 'The Hull Connection' 
 One never knows if heresay is correct, and so the most people who discuss a place or an event , the more likely there will be agreement as to  the accuracy of the   remembered records of the past. I know that even though I was not born here I know a great deal about the recent past of 25 years, because I am part of it. I remember well now because I am not yet too old . 
Its very important to me that shared experiences are recorded for posterity if they are of common interest. I am enjoying the Listening Project on BBC. That too is recording History , not of facts about places necessarily , but about how that nation engages in talking to one another. 

And so too I am enjoying all the photos shared on another Facebook Group called Old Hull. A Hullesian I most certainly am. I was born in the Inchgarvie Nursing home in Albert Avenue, and we lived in a flat In Marlborough Avenue until 1953 when my parents bought some land from Mr Baston of Sutton and had Sewells build a house for us. Today Mike Savage posted an old photo of Saltshouse Road. It showed all the 1930s Houses built just North of Sutton Annexe Hospital.
 It has a link with Filey too, as Im sure that when the Princess Royal came to open the Annexe it was about the same time she opened the Royal Parade in Filey. We stood outside our house in Sutton and waved at her, and thought of our friend Margaret Spooner who would be giving her the bouquet at the hospital,  privilege of being the daughter of the builder no doubt .

I left home to go to college when I was 18, and never again
lived at home, a sister still lives in Sutton Village, and my interest in the history of the village and of Old Hull has never flagged. As Hull heads for it City Of Culture status its so important it realises not only where it has come from but why it is the way it is.  I have had such joy from a book of Poetry I picked up recently called The Hull Collection.

A list of my Sutton on Hull and East Riding blog posts;

Hull Blitz

East Carr Lane 

Crisps and Chips

South Riding 

Philip Larkin

Hull Hell and Halifax

Felix Mendelssohn,His part in my life

A city on the East Coast 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A quiet place to sit and think

Not something from War of the Worlds , but the remains of a couple of sunflowers promise a treat for Goldfinches when the snow comes. I've just been to get the paper and the newsagent's assistant  is excitedly passing on the news that snow has fallen in Seamer 3miles away. She's listening to Yorkshire Coast Radio  and I expect Paddy in the Morning is glad to have  something new to talk about .
I have my sledge ready , and my new snow boots are waiting for some road testing. 
Yesterday however was a glorious sunny day and bitterly cold here in Filey. I had a really productive time out in allotment hinterland. Sometimes , and often in January when SAD is affecting people around you, a series of upsets may be  magnified out of proportion to their actual importance in the scheme of things. I wanted time out yesterday. I wanted a trip somewhere. I wanted some comfort food. I wanted some space alone. I wanted something DIFFERENT. None of my suggestions en famille got anywhere. I was up for a trip to Primark , or a meal in the White Lodge or a look round the exhibition in Leeds.
At present I'm sitting at the desk in the sitting room, listening to Bach's Cantata for the Epiphany BMV65. I was listening to The Seeger Sessions , We shall Overcome , from Bruce Springsteen . Its upbeat , nostalgic and memorable but spouse doesn't like it and has been sitting in the kitchen whilst its on so I have tried to compromise. He says that the Bach is OK .
My thoughts have been reinforced by a timely blog post from The Big Forest. They reiterate all I am thinking . I am glad I gave myself some space albeit not in Leeds or Primark for I was so determined to go somewhere , anywhere, yesterday I took the compost to the allotment. Wrapped up in my down coat, my beret , two pairs of gloves and my Docs I took off. Timing yesterday was so God given for I spotted a car and trailer unloading manure to the plots . So I now have seen 'John the Muck Man 'from Folkton who for a modest sum will deliver horse manure with no straw straight to my compost bay . Ive paid him for two loads for the year and am thrilled. Its doesn't take much . If that wasn't enough I've also acquired a coveted item from the vacant plot next door, just a piece of old tin advert. but I've  loved it for years. My perfect morning continued with a stroll round the plot, plans in my head , catalogues to browse, noting the lavender needed a trim in April and the Echium was still alive -JUST in its fleece blanket. Next a sit down and a sojourn awhile in the greenhouse , a cup of tea from the flask and half a packet of midget gems , sweet heaven ,and time to just BE. Vicar Andrew said on the first Sunday of the year that we didn't sit quietly and just listen to God any more. Well! he needs a sit down for an hour in my Greenhouse.
I'm refreshed and happy, enthused and inspired today. I have well rotted mulch for my Asparagus bed, plans for Spring, a place to call my own . The last nine weeks of disappointment waiting for an op that has been cancelled 3 times, getting the fridge and laundry up to date so C has nothing to do 3 times and the inability to make any plans , fade now .
The Clarkia will have self seeded, the Chard will soon be coming back to leaf one more time, the Clary has dropped masses of seed and  soon  Rhubarb will burst forth again. I am warm, well fed, have a roof over my head and not in pain.
All in perspective again.



Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Just settling into winter

Echiums ready
I am wearing wool again this year. Now that I am 3 sizes smaller than last winter I am cold. Last year I wore M and S thermals , only I have had to wear them most of the year. I still have one back up item or 3 for my winter layering system . I have bought some sports tops that rugby players wear to keep warm on the field, presumably when the ball is down the other end . They do such lovely colours and are much cheaper then thermals from M and S. So I am really thrilled that the temperature is dropping . 
I shall wear M and S thermals, rugby tops (close fitting)and my new wool polo neck sweaters, and a thin fashion garment over all , from Primari  to make me look fashionable. I have never given spouse much sympathy for being cold all year as he is on Rat Poison to thin the blood. I am having sympathy for all those children in refugee camps who are now facing cold nights in the middle east. It has taken me this much to cotton on. I remember life before central heating very well, ice patterns on the bathroom window, hot water bottles the only bedroom heat, and doing homework with my two sisters  round a coke fire in the dining room. If you were too near the fire your legs went red, and you felt sleepy, if you were too far away from the fire you were frozen and couldn't do any work, but at least you were alert. These days no one would  bat an eyelid if one wore fingerless gloves and a hat indoors and a pashmina drape. Remember Chilblains!!
Echium Lurking behind the leeks 

I've looked at the weather app and tonight we might have the first frost of the winter. I had to nick a roll of fleece from Bernard's half of the allotment shed and have wrapped my Echium Pininana . I haven't had a decent 13foot inflorescence for 5 years now. I get them through all winter and they are caught in April, or the top dies out and it branches or I have a sorry sight one morning as my lovingly tended crop are all died one night when I was sure it wasn't as cold as I thought . I have not put any in the greenhouse this year. I am trying to go au naturel. I am using the Chelsea Physic garden wrapping method, more or less. Theirs are neater. At Kiaora I have found last years fleece bags and used them over the wrapped echiums .So , I'll keep you posted. I'm a nerd I know.

Monday, November 24, 2014

I am a cynic I know.


    Apple kale and lime juice.
     PUT it in a bottle with Apple Juice and Lime juice and charge a lot for it. Thank you Waitrose, you know I love you dearly, I miss you, I wish you were in Filey , or even Scarborough as I would shop and shop but not drop as I do in Tesco BUT  why bottle Kale Juice?

    We grew row after row of it in the clay soil of Holderness when I was young. It was about the only vegetable one could hope to do well with  all through the winter. How I dreaded the words would you just go in to the garden and get me a picking of kale for dinner.  Mother would cook it to death and press a saucepan lid over it to get out any remaining goodness. The dog under the table never liked it either .


    Have you noticed everyone how the food Police have recently discovered that some very cheap products are good for you? Have you noticed everyone ,that vegetables that are really easy to grow, easy to store and easy to spell are becoming the staple add-ons for the Baby Lead Weaning generation . Here they are then
    • Beetroot , obvious red or orange: NB very expensive crisps
    • Kale , tough as old boots green , or black if using the Italian variety:NB very expensive soft drinks and  oh so exciting vegetable when fried or something awful ,but freshly picked from the restaurants own veg patch
    • Swedes, orange and easily grown  NB very expensive microwave ready to eat puree (with the addition of black pepper I know)
    • Not a veg, but have you noticed how Black Pudding , the cheapest of meat products is now going gourmet ?
    • Broad Beans are back , only they are called Fava beans in posh places. The frozen variety taste just as good from Herons , and I damned if I'm going to skin them and puree them .
    My allotment continues to enthrall me, yes! really. I have tried Celariac this year as it's always expensive to buy, but its a real pain to grow. Celariac mash just doesn't do it for us anyway, we prefer Parsnip Mash and that root is always cheap in Filey, and takes the addition of Jerk seasoning to make it taste really delicious and different.
    I wonder how long it will be before Chard Juice hits the shops. Perhaps its already in Neals Yard or Daylesford in Pimlico Road, both places where spouse and I like a good snoop .If anything is good enough for the Stockpot in the Kings Road just past the Fire Station its good enough for us, and they are not serving Chard. I am however growing it in abundance because it is foolproof, lasts through the winter and comes back smiling and verdant. 
    My wonderful Italian vegetarian cookbook from the 80s is still used frequently. Chard is the star of many of its recipes that are now firm family favourites, often used in place of spinach. Spinach and Rice Pie is the most used.  I wonder how long before my simple Italian peasant food becomes the best thing since sliced bread in Waitrose, after all it will feed a family of 6  for about £1.50.







    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Gardening ,Blogging or visiting Aged Parent



    Kilham to Rudston Road 




    I went last week and cut the Asparagus down on my allotment. It was satisfying to see the sturdy fronds and know that next year I will be able to take  my actual crop. Colin came and cut down this years Blackberries so they  will fruit on the new growth which is lethal to deal with and all needs tying in. I felt so guilty as I saw all the scratches he had collected along the way defying his Warfarin soaked blood system . 

    Today he is coming with me to take up from home the 3 huge bags of vegetable waste for the Compost heap. I have had to coax him , as he is firmly of the opinion that its my plot and he wants it to stay that way. I on the other hand feel that a good walk the near mile to the plot would be good for him and his WSB  system .
    I am treading a careful path. I feel I am leaving my beloved spouse alone too much in our cosy but dark 18thC Fishermans cottage. I did not know when I took on my small piece of Gods Good Earth that I would also be taking on in excelsis the duties of the dutiful :Daughter that is.
    For the 6 years since I have been blogging I have often found so much to write about in my journeys across the Wolds to Beverley, going as I did every week or so . I loved stopping on the way home to take a picture of my favourite view from  the Rudston to Kilham Road or as I always drive it , the Kilham to Rudston road. Ive always been one for coming home a different way from going, and Burton Fleming to Kilham is my usual outward journey .
    Yorkshire Bank King Edwards Street Hull 
    Now Dutiful daughter is travelling to Aged Parent twice a week using her railcard as its cheaper for I to travel Filey To Beverley on the train . Sometimes I get the 7am train and travel through to Hull to meet my Sutton Sister in the Caffe Nero that was once my first Yorkshire Penny Bank opposite the Dock Offices and Ferens Art Gallery. It still has a lovely Plaster ceiling. I nip round the bargains in Primark and get the next train to mother.
    You could say its a grand day out! I certainly enjoy it,good coffee stops , a bit of shopping and a good chat with AP showing her all the clothes I have got for £20 including purchases for her,Jumpers  of the fawn or pale blue variety .
    When I'm not being a dutiful daughter , well dressed by Primark , or Fileygardener well dressed by old clothes , I'm a retired of Filey well dressed by Cammishes, and doing all the other stuff that housewives do , shopping and cooking, Flower Arranging, making beds and
    thinking about cleaning .
    I have though about it a lot recently, 
    and realised I just don't do any except for just before every one comes for our homegroup on a Wednesday night  . So in the interests of SANITY and keeping my husband , I have now employed a TREASURE.
    So when I'm not gardening or visiting AP or cooking or shopping I am now able to report that I am able to spend more time with my husband of 42 years, but he's asleep in his chair, library book on his lap waiting for 'Neighbours' so I am going to get back to some more Blogging !



    Tuesday, November 04, 2014

    Devices and desires



    Laptop Screen Capture Device


    I talked myself in to a new and extra smartphone for my recent travels. The reasoning went thus

    • there is no EE cover in Iona
    • (How would spouse manage without updates from me? He doesn't see Facebook like all the rest of my family who know my every move)
    • if I had a fall on a deserted beach who would know it?
    • the camera on the Z xperia models has 20MP and comes as a best buy in Which
    • I will need a good camera next year when I go up the Rhine
    • I can teach spouse how to use a smart phone if he has one to practice on
    • an incognito phone could be a wise buy when one is digitally hiding from relatives who are text crazy
    So there it was and now is reality. The tiny Isle of Iona has had after all these years to lay down a
    helipad next to the Fire Station because of the increase in accidents and the need to fly people off. I was brought up a serious youth hosteller and never would walk anywhere alone without telling someone my destination.  This last summer a young man lay for hours  in Iona without being able to contact help. A whistle might have helped. My smart phones have emergency access, but only my new O2 Xperia Z compact would have got a signal. I keep reading articles  urging the necessity for good signal coverage across Great Britain, and I stand too with that plea. 

    And so I have been remembering my teenage years , the thick mist that descended on Scarth gap Pass from Buttermere as I walked right over into Wasdale past that best of all lake District Youth Hostels ,Black Sail Hut.  We walked , my sister Sue and I , with her friend Julia, from cairn to cairn across the passes, and had to ring the warden of the last YH to let him know we had arrived safely . In the 1960s even the rucksacks seemed heavier and the boots were a nightmare 'wear in'. I used to walk round the garden for hours having spooned the backs trying to soften the leather. Even then elastoplasts were always carried for heels. This year , my walking boots went on in the shop and walked easily ever since. 

    This year I was with my other sister Christine. Sometimes the weather was vile in Iona  but we were dry and warm with our 21C wet weather gear. Even when the wind was howling , the ferry safely moored home behind The Island of Women and not running because of the weather, we were safe and cosy on the Machair in Skerryvore, with our 21st C comforts, TV, and Telescope and central heating, and a great signal for EE in the corner of the kitchen, and wifi for the O2 everywhere else.
    The islanders do not get anxious about travel , if the ferry cant run they just get a text message , and subscribing to Calmacs updates kept us all in the loop. If the ferry wasnt going to get us off Iona , certainly no one would be coming on the island wanting our beds.
    The BBC weather app is so accurate. I knew to within half an hour when there was going to be a rain storm.
    The Google Sky app was great on our first night, as there was a clear sky and I could view the unpolluted sky .

    Night of 23rd Oct looking E from Iona 
    In Steinbecks great novel Sweet Thursday ,when Docs friends at the Palace Flop House buy him what they think is a new microscope, but is the largest telescope the whole goddam catalogue. Doc says that 'it doesn't matter whether you look up or down as long as you look!'


    Friday, October 31, 2014

    Further to my Rex Whistler post

    Five  years ago I wrote of a visit to Pickering, and this week someone commented on the picture featured there. From this random event I looked up the profile of the commentator and found that she was the person who had crafted the beautiful embroidered felt picture I bought in the Found Gallery in Dunbar earlier this year . So here it is Jackie Cardie  , and I love it. My very arty son in law tells me to buy an acrylic frame to cover it from dust, perhaps I will, but I like touching it. My own son crafts and stitches in felt and I went to the Found Gallery to see his work for the John Muir event and found the Jackie Cardie work . 



    And an unashamed link to the blog that began the circle. Happy Crafting everyone!




    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Written in the dust

    Spindle Tree
    I have just found Eva's name written in the dust on the back of a chair in the sitting room of our cottage, just like all the white vans with clean me. I am not humbled , I don't do housework unless I have to. 
    So the downstairs bathroom is cleaned on the morning before Homegroup, the upstairs bathroom cleaned before my sister comes to stay, the kitchen floor rarely but thoroughly. Spouse is heard putting the Carpet sweeper round the downstairs carpet when I am drinking my first tea of the day in the bedroom above, so I know its done. 
    I do the Old Furniture with Liquid Gold a couple of times a year, but only to stop it from cracking with the heating from the Central heating. I actually wonder how people actually find time to clean, and have another life. 
    When I worked for money I always had a 'treasure' , and thank God for the Joans and Anns who managed to make sense of my random housekeeping arrangements. This small cottage is perfect for any one of the seemingly hundreds of the retired of Filey. Its near the shops, near the Buses and Trains, near the Doctors and NHS Dentist, and the sea is seen from the front door. And still I who have everything have no time.

    I am organised, I buy fresh food every day and cook from scratch . I know how to wash and never iron , and I batch cook Bolognese sauce, Soup and stews (in the slow cooker). I make wholemeal bread when we need it , and boilwash the whites every fortnight. 
    Why am I always looking forward to a day with nothing on the calendar? Why cant I be content to be busy?

    Lifestyle Check
    1. Come off rotas at Church
    2. Don't go to any Meetings unless subject matter really interesting (only 2 good talks in last 5 years, Liz Kitching on St HILD, and Prof Nicky Milner on Flixton Carr dig)
    3. When people offer to help you, ie. buy flowers for Weddings at St Os instead of  me doing it, let them
    4. Do shopping when shops quiet 
    5. Read interesting novels and give up when you know its not grabbing you (I have just done this and am amazed at how often I plough on with a boring book)
    6. Flag e mails. What a simple way to not lose important ones , why has it taken me so long to realise this.
    7. See every essential task as sheer joy to be had , and never moan or be negative . Look for the adventure in them .
    8. Thank God more often .


    An adventure in being positive (when pissed off by something)
    Spouse was so good yesterday, bringing me my Ist cup of tea in bed at 5.30am . I heard him put the Carpet Sweeper round, the front door being unlocked. He facilitated my departure for the 7am train to Beverley. 
    Have you got your glasses, your keys, your mobile, your purse? Have you switched the tap off in the bathroom, Have you thought about what we are having for Dinner. Yes, Yes, No.

    Although an Essential Task, visiting Aged Parent in Care Home twice a week is a pleasure because I have made visiting Beverley a pleasure too. At 8am in the morning my day here always starts with a look at the flowers in just opened M and S, followed by a Coffee and a toasted Panattone (no butter no jam) in Caffe Nero. Not only another tick on the blue card , but now I have the chance to sit in a leather seat in  the window and watch people going to work : always  pleasure that! 
    I walk quickly to Mother across the allotments and by the field side path and hear the Minster Clock strike the quarter past Nine as I walk expectantly in to Lindum House with Alstroemerias armed with my GOOD IDEA. 
    Pause here to explain . Today I am taking mother to Morrisons in her wheelchair on the  10 :40am  bus. She keeps saying she wants to go to Morrisons, we'll browse the biscuits and sweets, see the price of Harveys Bristol Cream, laugh at how we always came here for Tripe, buy something like useful Value Tissues, have a cup of tea, and walk back in time for her lunch at 12.45, which she always takes alone in her room, and never wants to miss. (Next plan will be a bowl of Chips in  Waitrose at lunchtime, when were in the car.)
    PLAN IS THWARTED.
    Mother is fast asleep, in bed, her day has not yet begun. I made noises off to myself, Did they realise I made  a 40 mile journey , left home at 6.45am, have meetings in the afternoon, have a meal to cook, am responding to Aged Ps wish to go to Morrissons? Pissed Off covers it. 
    So I arranged her flowers, signed out and took a trip myself to Morrissons on the 9.40 bus.
    My brain and good sense kicked in . Try the route, do a dry run. 

    When one gets off the bus make sure you use the road  crossing with the angled down curbs.

    The Shrubs next to the wheelchair footpath needs cutting back. 

    The path down back to the road home passes a several very fruitful Horse Chestnut Trees.  

    Inside Morrisons , Tuesday is a quiet day for a browsing Aged Parent.

    The Disabled Loo is near the entrance and has plenty of space and very clean..(Also noted 5 wheelchairs for the public to use if we bring her in the car)
      The Wheelchair path is direct, but I wouldn't have found it without a rekky.
    The Road to Lindum is blocked to traffic at the west as a new By pass is being built into Beverley from Hull ,BUT until yesterday I did not realise that it was open to pedestrians and wheelchairs.

    By the side of the path I saw and recognized my first Spindle Tree, and enjoyed all the early autumn berries. 
    When I got back to Lindum at 10.30 , Mother was up and dressed and breakfasted. No she didnt want to go to Morrisons, infact she couldn't remember having ever been there. But we went out in the garden and sat and watched the young gardener dead heading and tidying . Mother said the grass needed cutting , and how lovely the fresh air was. We had a good laugh when she asked if I lived with Margaret Mary , and I said I am Margaret Mary. 

    I realised that since February I have been busy doing my Plant Recognition Course with BSBI and doing my allotment, and visiting M twice a week . No wonder Ive had no time to do the housework, or thats my story .










    Saturday, August 02, 2014

    I have just seen ..



    Here again the lovely month of August, when all the flowers on my allotment are promising seeds for the future and joy in perpetuity . 
    I am having to cut the Clarkia and Clary all the time , as I want to be able to have lots to decorate St Oswalds for Helens wedding on the 16th August. I am working on the premise that they will keep flowering for longer if I cut back now. 

    Weve just had our 42nd Wedding Anniversary. Plants play a huge part in my life, and C arranged for Michael to drive him up on to the Wolds last week so he could get me some of my favourite Wild Scabious. 
    Memorials , memories and significant dates and places may figure large for some people. I have been musing on remembrances of time past. It was the photo that started me off. WE saw this installation being made when we were in London at the Tower last week . The finished 'Blood swept lands and seas of red' is an amazingly bizarre way to remember a war. I don't like it at all. 

    I have no wish to remember or celebrate or make money from or reflect on WW1 at all, or Agincourt or Afganistan or Slavery or any atrocity . I am having enough trouble coping with Andrew White's (The vicar of Bagdad) reports  of what is happening in northern Iraq right now, or will children be learning about that in 100 years time , slotted in to a module in RE called Martyrs.


    taken by PaulGannon



    Monday, June 30, 2014

    Traveller's Joy or is it?


    Bryonia dioica

    Waiting at Beverley Station this afternoon after visit to aged parent I just couldn't believe the sound of the Blackbird sitting under the roof . I thought at first that it was a recording , a  cunning plot of Northern Rail to subdue hot  and frayed tempers, remembering the piped classical music at Croydon West Bus station installed for that very purpose. But no, fellow travellers and I could see the Blackbird, and the beautiful sound was spectacularly magnified by the shape of the glass roof. Beverley Station has to be one of the dullest pieces of architecture in the East Riding, but this traveller was cheered , calmed and uplifted by the sound of a masterpiece of design.

    I am getting used to the walk to Lindum House now. I have my route all tried and tested and varied .Today I walked past the allotments and followed the footpath that skirts the fields all the way around the estate where Mother lives. It takes 20 minutes fast walking from the station, and I enjoy the seasons as seen in the hedgerows and trees. Today the Elderflowers are over and the berries beginning, the Hogweed is seeding and the first signs of pink of the flowers of Rosebay Willow Herb bode full summer.

    I love the path alongside the Beverley Allotments particularly, now that I have a vested interest . I have had a strange few weeks on my own allotment . The potatoes have slug holes, the path needs urgent cutting, and 'though I filled all the water baths with the hosepipe,one bath was completely empty the next day. I realised that it had siphoned back as I had left the hosepipe end beneath the water. I have had Gooseberry anxiety as I tried to decide whether picking time had arrived, and had to remove to the incinerator every Brassica plant as they had been infected by Swede midge. On the plus side the first Broad Beans were delicious, and my Clary for Summer weddings is coming on nicely.  

    This traveller has had lots of joy reading her new Library Book on her train journeys . Val McDermid's , Northanger Abbey for  'The Austen project" might not have thrilled the critics , but I am loving it. Travelling is a suspension of time for me. I can do nothing but please myself how to spend the time between Filey and Beverley and Beverley and Filey. I always board the train where I see the Wheelchair sign and sit in the designated place for Carers when able to . Its best for every facility, and my faithful wicker trolley on wheels is in no ones way.  There are of course some places on the journey where looking out of the window is not optional ; the glacial valley from Hunmanby to Reighton Field, the view of the sea at the Sewerby end of Bridlington , the River Hull at Driffield, and the drain at Arram Carrs where the Heron is. Today I saw my first glimpse of a Poppy field just south of Driffield by the canal. 

    All my 50 years  of botanising I have been mistaken . Today I realised it for the first time. This is not Travellers Joy (Clematis vitalba), it is White Bryony (Bryonia dioica).