Wednesday, 17 September 2014

New Front door!

From this, which was painted pine, always expanding with wet weather, so sticking & rotting,

to this,

hand-made in solid oak. Made by Wyn Roberts, a superb craftsman in Clapham village. It's the third thing he's made for us, the others being a built-in wardrobe & a mobile 'island' in the kitchen, all superb quality. Thank you, Wyn.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Tour de France fever

Yellow bicycles & bunting everywhere along the route, as I saw when coming back from Durham last month.

And here, 18 miles from the nearest point of the route ...

                                                our contribution!

Apart from breakfasts at 7am for guests needing to get to their spot on the route by 9am.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ingleborough Gathering, 30 June 2014

Why did I wake at 4am??
Subconciously - it's the last Monday in June!
An eyelid raised ...its a clear sky.
Get up & go - it's the Ingleborough Sheep Gathering!

All the farmers with sheep on the fell, gather sheep down to sorting pens around its base, thence to their own farms, for shearing, on the last Monday in June. As a neighbour to Bleak Bank Farm, I go along & help. As does Jack, on his 50ft lead, with great enthusiasm - the one day in the year he's allowed to chase sheep!

We pile into a trailer, six of us plus dogs, on the back of a Land Rover & lurch & jolt up the fell, which takes us halfway, then march on up to the top where we meet with others from Cold Cotes. 6am on the top, as arranged. "Clapham farmers left at 5.20" - so they'll be below us to the east, gathering that area. We can see tiny figures below, the size of  midges, working out of Chapel-le-Dale to the west & north-west, searching the limestone pavement at the base of the escarpment.

We spread out across the top & eastern side & steadily move south, like a huge net. Those with dogs stay high, letting the dogs do the work, whistling instructions from their vantage points. Then across the rough ground to the next viewpoint.

We gather down to Bleak Bank's top field. By 8am we're down, enjoying a cuppa & I'm off to help Di with tidying up after B&B guests.

It's now 1.30pm. Jobs done. Back to Bleak Bank; they've already sheared several sheep. Team up with Ruth, farmer John's sister, who with sheep of her own always helps with the shearing here. I get them into the clipping pen, a few at a time, then feed them to her, one at a time. She wrestles them until sat on their tails, checks their feet, clips & treats if necessary (pedicure as well!), then shears. I hold, Liz (another sister) marks them with a red "D" & tail spot & then it's on to the next one. John & William (John's son) join in & continue through the afternoon. It's exhausting, but they don't seem to show it. Judith (John's wife) comes in as Liz leaves & in no time it's 7pm. There's still more to do, but it's supper time & we all pack up. Home to a bath & bed!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

OGUG & the weather

Ingleton's OvergroundUnderground festival ( always seems to be hit with wet weather, though in patches this weekend - that's the problem with holding it on a Bank Holiday weekend! Still, there's been plenty to enjoy & instruct & there's more on Monday & next year to look forward to.

As part of the festival, friends in Cold Cotes, a neighbouring hamlet opened their converted barn to show off Margaret's landscaping business & Kevin's watercolours & prints, many of the immediate area, including the iconic shape of Ingleborough. We have our eyes on one or two of his pictures. Look him up on

After getting home from that Jack & I set off for his walk. Well, my walk today. With Three-Peak guests in exhausting themselves on the 26 mile circuit of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside & Ingleborough,  & no chance of a long plod tomorrow or Tuesday, we'd better get a good one in today. So, we made the top of Ingleborough inside 70 minutes from home, faster than I've* ever done it, (*=dog assisted. 6 legs better than 2. Would be a lot slower without!) before or after accident. Then back home 2½hours after leaving it. Nice hot bath & a doze for Jack.

Views from the path down:

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Wildflowers (& not so wild)

Last Thursday after guests had departed, and as no-one was due that night, we paid a visit to Parceval Hall, near Appletreewick - it's been on the list of things to do for ages.

Well WOW! The rhodedendrons there are fantastic! White to deep reds & all shades between. There's been a fine display of daffs, but they've been succeded by other bulbs, wisteria - Oh, just amazing displays.

Our own wisteria is just out & smelling lovely,

as is the azalea by the pond - a rich deep pink.

I walked back with Jack from the village up a little used track yesterday the primroses have given way to bluebells & other wildflowers:

And finally, there's the barn with a view. If there was ever a chance to live there (but...), this would be the place. A hazy day but you can still see a bit:

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Friday, 7 March 2014

Spring - beginning at last!

Last week was DRY!! (mostly)

We heard the first curlew of the year;

have had our first sighting of the Tawny Owl;

and seen hares chasing each other across the fields.

Snowdrops are beginning to fade, crocus are flowering and daffodils by the roadside are starting.

And it's just the start of the lambing season around here!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Unseasonable flowers

Here we are, at the beginning of February and we have a number of unseasonal flowers out. Aubretia seem to have some flowers  almost all year round. Until very recently, Gazania were in bloom & as the photos show, a "pink" and kaffir lillies and Calendula.  Elder bushes are already sprouting leaves and Pulmonaria are in full bloom. We only saw our first snowdrops recently and our first crocus a couple of days ago. daffodil bulbs have six inches growth. Only hope there isn't a really cold snap to hit everything back.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Day Out

Lovely day today. 

Promise of showers from the 'Weather Channel' didn't materialise.

Clapham Beck was boiling & the falls by the church were spilling with white water after all the rain we've had recently.

Drove over to Settle with a friend staying from America & then on to Malham, over the moors. Good views of Malham Cove from distance & close up. Malham heaving with walkers - always a very popular spot.

Thence over the hills into Littondale & Wharfedale. Rivers full & waterfalls white & visible from afar. Upper Wharfedale is part of the Tour de France route - it'll be packed in July!

Turn left towards Hubberholme, the lanes get narrower, the road wetter. Must have flooded recently. Lovely little Dales Church at Hubberholme with pews by the Mouseman, tucked into the hillside.

Up the hill, pass the last hamlet & over the hills to Hawes, glimpsing back at a magnificent view of Ingleborough, dark against light sky, prominent nose facing west & with a cap of cloud, rays of sun slicing through the clouds to the east. Aaaarrrghh! why didn't I bring the camera?!

Wensleydale Creamery at Hawes. Presents for friends down south and a quick run back, via the Ribblehead Viaduct, just as a train was coming over it - a good day out!