Everyone, please consider signing this petition, these forests are ours and most of the coniferous woodlands enjoyed by so many in my part of Britain were planted as national assets. The fifteen million pounds the government currently spends on maintaining and protecting these huge areas of woodland is in my humble opinion worth every last penny.
A hard frost last night so car doors had to be thawed out and big gloves worn.
The plus side was the lovely bright sunshine spoilt only by a light haze. Up at the cottage the hens were basking in the sun and enjoying scratching about under the scrub on the bank side above the burn and the dogs digging for moles. Meanwhile I took the opportunity to wander round and take a few pictures.
I love the structural quality of this Old Man's Baccy and have taken many shots before.
Beside the new, fresh looking Foxglove leaves was this one from last autumn.
The discovery of a damp patch in the pantry instigated a week of various repairs and decorating. During the upheaval we unearthed the long missing jam pan which Jack immediately adopted as a pretty cool bed!
I don't suppose I can interest anyone in some delicious homemade jam? No, I thought not............
[caption id="attachment_1314" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="In a jam?"][/caption]
Yesterday I had a very quick visit to the big city and took this shot while I was waiting for the return train. I happened to press the shutter just as our train was called and some of the passengers started to move, unfortunately the chap second right looks as though he has just had a terrible accident!
WOW! The nearest thing to alchemy I have ever seen!!
For a while now I have been wanting to make some butter, it sounded so easy. The catalyst presented itself by way of some cream being sold off cheap(ish) at Waitrose last night, we haven't got a house cow yet..... So this afternoon I girded my loins, if you get it wrong I was warned things can get messy! Half an hour later my litre of double cream had magically turned into 700g of gorgeous, creamy butter and half a pint of buttermilk, though I would have to get the family science student to explain how! To me just pure alchemy...
After all these years life is starting to look pretty damn good.
Helen's home made bread, my home made butter and Granny Charlton's seedless black current jam. Oh yes, and the hens have started laying again.......
We woke on sunday morning to a good covering of snow, most unexpected as the forecast suggested only the possibility of showers on high ground. Only an inch down here in the valley with a hard frost.
But up at the cottage at least 3 inches had fallen.
It barely warmed up through the day but the freezing temperatures didn't stop Jonny and his mates pulling apart another one of their cars and eventually putting some of the bits back together by mid-evening!
[caption id="attachment_1288" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="The village scrap yard or our driveway?"][/caption]
Last night Hilary and I took the youngest girl over to Allendale Town to watch the ancient tradition of carrying tar barrels through the village, a spectacular event which attracts visitors from across the North East. This little "hoodie" is ours!
The barrels are carried on the heads of "Guisers" a role often handed down through local families and much honoured. After the parade the flaming barrels are thrown onto a huge bonfire in the market square, marking the turn of the new year.
The Guisers traditionally wore a standard costume but today there seems to be a trend towards a less "conventional" dress!
Being New Year there is of course a romantic element, at one point we thought that this couple may need oxygen!
As Hilary will testify, even short people need to take pictures! Somewhere in there is the eldest girl with her friends......