Saturday, 27 April 2013

A Walk Out

A friend and I went for a walk on the Beverley Westwood a couple of days ago to get some fresh air, mingle with the cows and watch the sunset. Mingle with cows? Beverley Westwood is pasture land granted to the towns people as far back as the 13th century just to the west of the market town of Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It boasts a golf course, a racecourse, a disused windmill and... cows, a fair few of them.

The light was too poor to capture a good clean photo of the cows, but the sunset was spectacular enough. This rolling landscape is a source of much pleasure for a whole range of the community, for walkers, joggers, families, golfers and Sunday picnickers providing you look out for evidence where the cows have been.

I visited another racecourse last week, possibly a slightly more famous one than Beverley - York. A mind body and spirit fair took place in the Knavesmire stand and I took good friends Linda, Helen and Phil to have a leisurely walk round the many demonstrations, exhibits, shops and therapists. We took in two lectures and a lovely packed lunch on the racecourse which is beautifully kept and manicured and again used by many sections of the community for gentle leisure.

I've cut the grass today and it's looking remarkably good considering after it's first cut it was looking dreadful. The Green Thumb people have been round and put some fairy dust on it and it's looking green and the moss has all but gone. I'm not doing flowers this year, I can't afford it and don't want to give the squirrels the satisfaction of digging them up. I've ordered some mini lavender bushes for my fountain and that's about it. Hopefully the perennials will provide some colour.

Last night I went to see a band called Celtarabia, a local band playing a mixture of Celtic and Arabian music and other folk genres as well at the local town hall where I live. This was an exciting evening with wonderful entertainment. This group of musicians, including a bass guitar, drummer, dulcimer, percussion and hurdy-gurdy player I went with friends. I'm not a pub person. For the last thirty years barring the last few, I've never had money to spend in pubs or beer or nights out so I suppose I never got into it at all, but recently have been a few places and seen some decent entertainment and I will try to see this band again. People were dancing to the music and there was drink available although most people bought their own. 

Here's a little short video sample of the performance, the sound quality isn't brilliant, but if you've never seen a hurdy gurdy - here it is!

Chat soon


Thursday, 4 April 2013

500 Not Out (Despite the Weather)

Unexpectedly, because it's crept up on me, this is my 500th blog. 500 bits of nonsense that suffering readers have endured - congratulations if you are reading this - YOU deserve the prize!

The weather remains bitterly cold here in the north of the UK with the easterly wind continuing to drawn down cold breezes from the north of Europe and temperatures remain much below average for the time of the year.  Having said that, in relative terms it has been dry and these last few days have seen a fair amount of sun. Behind a window or in the car, it's lovely and warm and the early morning sun defrosts the car for me before I have to go to work. The lakes of water on the land have more or less disappeared around here now although reading a blog by Weaver in North Yorkshire, there is still a lot of standing water around and in some parts, snow still causes problems.

I don't like the cold much although I love the seasons still.

I have taken a few days off like many others and tagged it onto the Easter Bank Holiday weekend thereby saving a day of holiday entitlement. I've cut the hedge which was admittedly a bit hairy and wild and the grass got its first cut for this year on Tuesday. The fish ponds have had a crude quick makeover without disturbing the fish too much and the protective nets are off. You shouldn't really feed them until the temperature is around 5 degrees and we have just about got to that but the night time frosts are keeping the water temperature down. I've tempted them with a little wheatgerm, but so far, they haven't touched it. 

I apologise for the picture quality - taken on my mobile phone.


My lad saw a squirrel the other day actually find a peanut that it had previously buried in my grass. They are a pain sometimes but they are nature's creatures. There were holes all over the grass I discovered created by the furry monsters when I cut it, but you can tell unless you are standing over it so I guess I can put up with it.

The birds are very active right now and there have been some subtle changes around here in respect of them. Firstly we have regular daily visits from long tailed tits, a very active funny little bird which hitherto we only got in sporadic visits, I hope they are nesting nearby, they are such fun to watch as they hyperactively and acrobatically flit from branch to branch. Wrens are supposed to be the most popular bird in the UK in so far as numbers are concerned, although we only see one now and then. There are now daily appearances of this delightful if somewhat shy little brown thing. 

A bird I haven't seen for donkeys years appeared the other day - a pair of redwings. It looks like a light coloured blackbird but has a russet red patch just on the side of it under its wing. It doesn't nest here, but I'm not sure where they migrate to in the UK summer.  A fieldfare, a kind of thrush has also been hopping about, another winter visitor, soon to depart these shores. It's been a delight to see these birds.

I watched the news this morning, something I'm trying to do less of and noted the tension in the Korean peninsular is increasing with this incredibly odd regime in North Korea now making serious public threats of attack on the United States of America. I am not debating the issues here which are complex, historic and cultural, but I am concerned for world peace once more. I ask everyone who reads this blog, whether spiritual or not, whether religious or not to spend a few minutes sending positive thoughts out for a peaceful resolution.

None of us need or want war, whether its on our doorstep or not.

Chat soon