Thursday 2 December 2010

New Home....

Hi folks, I have decided to move this blog to a new home where I hope you will join me.

I haven't yet inserted links to all your wonderful blogs but over the next few days that will be sorted.

Finally, apologies for not commenting regularly over the last few months, the old M.E. has been making it's presence felt but hopefully I will be able to make a greater effort soon.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

On The Move, please join me in my new home!

Hi folks, I have decided to move this blog to a new home where I hope you will join me.

I haven't yet inserted links to all your wonderful blogs but over the next few days that will be sorted.

Finally, apologies for not commenting regularly over the last few months, the old M.E. has been making it's presence felt but hopefully I will be able to make a greater effort soon.

Sunday 28 November 2010

This morning was forecast for heavy snow here but first thing it was lovely crisp start with a clear moon but as we arrived at the yard the clouds rolled across the valley threatening a big fall.

An hour later on the drive up to the cottage to see to the donkeys and hens (and Mother!) the sun came out again.

Half looking over my shoulder now, out of the doors into the garden the sky is once again looking dark and snowy, perhaps the forecasters will be right after all?

Horses in early this afternoon I think.

Saturday 27 November 2010


All that money.
All that technology.

And what did we watch on it tonight?

Bloody X Factor!!

Friday 26 November 2010

A Glorious Morning

It was a wonderful, bright and frosty morning here in darkest Northumberland!

A great day for lots of pictures but the day's chores got in the way and the afternoon turned dull and threatening, perhaps more snow tonight?  There is seven inches of snow lying just a little further north in the county, if I am really good and eat all my greens there might be lots more here by morning.

Newton Village

Thursday 25 November 2010

Breakfast Burger-Break

We woke to the first fall of snow of the year!

The girls shot out of bed for the first time in months and ran downstairs to switch on the radio, television and computer to find out if their school was closed.

Alas it was open for business as usual.

As their school is fifteen miles further up the Tyne valley they were devastated to find out that the nearest one, only five miles away, was closed!  Their Mother's school, also open, is even further away tucked under the edge of the Pennines!  Dress code out the window, off she went in walking trousers and boots ready for anything.

On the way to the yard I drove alongside the A69 and spotted these drivers pulled over for their early morning burgers!

What a morning to discover that Mr Nobody has pinched my gloves.....

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Snow Day?

We woke this morning with the promise of snow but apart from a few flurries we (or should I say, I?) have been disappointed.  Never mind, the week is still young!

So, instead of a stunning snow shot, you will have to make do with a cherry leaf....

The old collie has just come in, covered in snow!!

Thursday 18 November 2010

The Wilderness Months!

During my absence I haven't really taken many pictures, just a handful due to a great absence of inspiration and will......

Over the next few days I will dig out one or two.

Walter The Vorverk has grown into a fine young man with an eye for the ladies!

Not one of Walter's!

The autumn and it's wonderful light has been and almost past....

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Hi Folks!

Well, the wonderful weather has brought me out of exile......

After a very foggy drive up the Tyne Valley to take the girls to school this morning, the fog started to lift at our end of the valley by the time I arrived at the yard.  The light and the view back to the west was wonderful.  Enough to inspire anyone.

Hope you are all well.

Monday 13 September 2010

Fungi Season

Late yesterday afternoon I escaped the house and took one of the dogs to a local plantation for a short walk.  I was hoping to see some fungi and wasn't disappointed, though many were damaged by the heavy rain over the last few days.

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with all your Blogs but I have been a bit out of sorts since returning from holiday.  Hopefully back on form  soon and I am looking forward to catching up with everyone.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Japanese Anenome

One of my favourites, this is the only Japanese Anemone we have in the garden, not quite sure why only the one but we must have some more!

Thursday 9 September 2010

Tripod Required!

Today was the day, that overgrown hedge on the drive had to be brought back under control after two years of neglect.

My big hedge cutters had come back from the workshop and were lying there taunting me.

Oh well, out with the ladders and a couple of hours later the job was done.

My shoulders are now numb, how on earth did I manage to cut hedges for eight hours a day in the ever distant past, day after day?  All I could do later was to wander round the garden and take pictures of some of the plants.

Some Quercus or other! (Well it is The Children's Mother's Birthday so I won't belabour the fact that she can't remember!)


One glass of Birthday Malt and now her brain has gone completely....!


I better go back to landscapes tomorrow!!

Shirley Valentine!

Happy birthday for yesterday Hilly.

Lutsa Beach, Peloponnese Greece

Friday 3 September 2010

After a short break thanks to internet problems and an all to brief visit to The Peloponnese in Greece I am back in the real world, albeit slightly dishevelled!

Today I paid one of my occasional visits to Newcastle, this time to see if I could organise a new pair of eyes, the current set are getting a bit worn out (like the rest of me apparently!)  Several hours later I weaved my way blindly across the city thanks to several doses of eyedrops.........

By the time I had got as far as the RVI Hospital my sight had just about recovered enough to take a couple of pictures.

The first shot is one of the new hospital extensions

Across the road is one of the older University buildings, I'm not sure about the new architecture but I love the contrast in styles and strangely they work well together.

Earlier in the day, Jack took the opportunity to try out a new seating position in the car...........!

Perhaps a few pictures from Greece in the next few days.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Back From the Wilderness

Internet problems have kept me off-line for a couple of day's, thank you Talk Talk!  Hopefully my heroes at Orange will prove to be Knights is Shining Armour in the next few days.

Never mind, time for a couple of quick shots.

This robin chick was keeping a close eye on me yesterday.

A sunflower to brighten the day!

Monday 26 July 2010

The Harvest

Well I have crawled out from under my rock at last.

After the last few days of politics and bad weather, the school holidays are upon us but I managed a quick walk round one of our local fields to collect some mushrooms this afternoon.

Lots more tomorrow.  Our own eggs with fresh mushrooms on my own toasted home made bread.....


Thursday 22 July 2010

Moderation by any other name?

It appears that our friends in the other place are at it again!

A dictionary definition..........


 Pronunciation /ˈsɛnsə/


  • 1 an official who examines books, films, news, etc. that are about to be published and suppresses any parts that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security

  • Psychoanalysisan aspect of the superego which is said to prevent certain ideas and memories from emerging into consciousness[from a mistranslation of German Zensur 'censorship', coined by Freud]

    2 (in ancient Rome) either of two magistrates who held censuses and supervised public morals


[with object]

  • examine (a book, film, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it



Monday 19 July 2010

Plaj..? Plageris....? Copying!

Ok, I confess.  I copied the idea for this shot from one The Children's Mother took a few days ago.

I will be in trouble tonight when she finds out.  Good healthy competition I say, until I find myself looking down the wrong end of a strongly wielded frying pan!

I will be in for a few waspish comments, some will probably be quite stinging.....

This is about as close as I want to be to a wasp!  I hated them even before I managed to put a brush-cutter into the middle of a nest one day, they weren't happy......I seem to remember bursting into the clients kitchen half naked having cast off most of my equipment and clothing during the 400m sprint back along their driveway.  The wasps had got under my hat, behind my face mask and inside my shirt. 

Ye Gods it hurt!

Well I have just finished hanging two loads of washing out to dry, and it is now pouring down.  The children will have to go to school in their pyjamas again tomorrow......

Saturday 17 July 2010

Beasts of the Realm

The sun appeared fleetingly between showers this morning, so a chance to nip into the garden and see who (or rather what) was about.

I have no idea what these insects are called and I haven't a book to help, so we will just have to look and wonder!

Small Heath Butterfly   Coenonympha  pamphilus

Longhorn Beatle  Strangalia  maculata  

Soldier Beatle  Rhagonycha  fulva


I have just received an educationalists slap on the ear from The Children's Mother who has patiently handed me our book of insects etc!

The pictures have now been titled.....

The Old Bird!

I took this shot of my Mother with some of the older hens the other night.

She is the one on the right...!!

Thursday 15 July 2010

New Arrivals

The menagerie is expanding!

The latest additions arrived a couple of nights ago in awful weather but have settled in nicely, ready to join the others eating us out of house and home!

Hopefully these 8/10 week Light Sussex and Vorwerk chicks will form the basis of a little breeding flock for the future and provide a few more delicious eggs.  Both these breeds are officially "rare" but the Vorverks are particularly so almost dying out some years ago.   They will be welcome and interesting additions to the hybrid egg producers we have at present.

No doubt they will appear again!

Sunday 11 July 2010

A Quiet Day

Turned out to be a quiet sort of day, the girls returned exhausted from parties and sleepovers and the boy was out.

A few household chores and settled down to watch the Grand Prix.  A great victory for Webber and a good drive from Hamilton!  Now the sun has come out at last.......

A peaceful picture for a peaceful day.......

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Life Goes On....

Despite the rogue gunman just north of us in the beautiful village of Rothbury, one of our old walking and climbing grounds in the Coquet Valley, life goes on.  Dogs are to walk and the wonderful countryside is here to enjoy.

The children's Mother was a little unwell this morning but dashed out for a short stroll with the dogs in the plantation up the hill from our house in the Tyne Valley, before going back to work this afternoon

It was a lovely morning and nice to be out for a few minutes.

Slender St John's-Wort  Hypericum pulchrum


Northumberland.  It's a big county!

Monday 5 July 2010

If You Go Down to the Woods Today.....

After my visit to the woods last week I posted a shot of an orchid which I had not seen there before.  Today I went back on my bike and to give the dogs a run, imagine my surprise and delight to to find this white orchid!  Later, almost back at the car I found a clump of the lilac variety.  Even better!

Common Spotted Orchid  Dactylorhiza fuchsii

On the ride I saw these trees, the lower branches dead and bleached but revealed by some recent thinning.  I couldn't decide which I preferred, the harder contrasty top shot or the softer bottom one.  So you have both!  Looking at them again, I think I prefer the harder one.....

Friday 2 July 2010

Frog Health?

Another uneventful day, a bit of sun, a bit of laundry, collect one of the girls from school and watch her ride this evening.

Vague attempt at an "arty" shot!

What ever next?  We haven't even got any frogs......

Thursday 1 July 2010

Woodland Treasure!

We avoided the forecast rain today (we will pay tomorrow)!

Up to the cottage late morning to collect Mother's terrier for the day and cut her lawn in the warm sunshine.  The light was good so I took a couple of shots that I had had my eye on, then up to the local forest with all the dogs.  The young terriers running for all they were worth, it must be great fun being only a foot high and able to running round under all the trees!  The old collie wandering along in the rear and me wandering vaguely in the middle!

I love the contrast between the Buttercup and Cotinus leaves.

At last I found an Astrantia with the right background and lighting.

The real treasure trove of the walk was this wild orchid, it looks like a Southern Marsh-Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa, though we are possibly a little too far north here and it was on the small size (that could be the northern climate).  It is the first time I have seen any orchid in these particular woods, though I have seen one variety in Kielder Forest.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Old Man's Baccy

The eldest girl set off in heavy rain this morning for a  trip to Oxford University with school to see the various Colleges they might apply to.

The rain cleared and by early afternoon my washing was drying and ironed in time for The Children's Mother returning from school.  Waiting for her was an envelope containing the "Beachy Queen" voucher from Lavish .  She opened it, and fainted again!  It's no good Lulu and Suzi, the thought of that Bikini Wax is costing me a fortune in whisky......

I took the terrier with me for a short walk when I went up to the yard tonight and found this Old Man's Baccy.  More groveling around on the ground!

Sunday 27 June 2010


Today our village had a charity garden and scarecrow walk about!

Some of the scarecrows were really impressive....

I have to confess that I drove past this one twice last week before I realised it was a group of scarecrows!

"Jurassic Park"

"The Evolution of Scarecrows"  
This group depicts the evolution of scarecrows from "Scarecrowius fishius" to "Scarecrowius erectus"!

"Scarecrowius fishius"

At the other end of the village, this chap was keeping an eye on things......