Once Upon

Once Upon

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Monday, 21 December 2015

A Lot Meant an Allotment...

....ahem.....as I mentioned before....despite having no discernable interest, skill or ability in growing anything other than impatient, I obviously decided it would be a good idea to take on a full size plot of a seriously overgrown, historically proven to be non-productive, allotment......it makes perfect sense.

A fortnight's flurry of back- breaking jungle clearing activity on my part utilising a series of rapidly breaking, ill-suited, hand-held garden shears (where an industrial strength powered strimmer and military grade flame-thrower might well have struggled, ) finally resulted in me being the proud landlord of a 20m x 20m patch of unkempt grass/weed patch of sloping earth which I would be transforming into a small-holding of soft fruit, vegetables and meadow flowers and a haven of a wild-life garden to boot, in a blink of an eye.......wouldn't I.

Nice spot, over-looking the river, with an un-interrupted view of the gently flowing water and it's lush banks, and my 'plot' itself partially shaded by a serene silver birch and edged with a family of sycamore....

I consulted with, and took considered advice from, many an experienced "allotmenteer" about what was the best thing to do with my particular piece of land.......but I decided to carry on with it anyway....

I invested in a range of nice shiny tools so at least I could look the part, and I readily adopted a suitably quirky wardrobe of 'special" clothing including a range of hats that should never ordinarily be sported in public. It seems quite the thing to do judging by the appearance of my neighbouring allotmenteers...

I double- dug ( and no, I didn't know what that was either before I Googled it ) an arrangement of troughs, beds and selected areas that I percieved as the optimum placement for my various produce, and painstakingly removed the thriving resident colony of well-rooted weeds and un-wanted flora to eventually leave me with a patchwork of nicely turned over soil. I had inherited with the plot a couple of well established apple trees, which I left proudly standing in what I now regarded as my Orchard Terrace.....as opposed to my Soft-fruit Terrace, my Vegetable Terrace and my Meadow Flower 'nature' garden Area. I entertained thoughts of opening my grounds to the public in the summer so they might marvel at the profuse abundance of my horticultural expertise.

Pleasantly, throughout this time of my labours in preparation for my future harvest, though back bent and head down, I still noticed that I had the welcome company of the usual suspects of feathered friends......Robin, Blue and Great Tit, Jackdaw and Wren etc....Mr Heron was also often spotted indulging in a spot of fishing nearby...
So....

I am led to understand that this is what Raspberry canes look like....

Quince.....


Rhubarb.......


Gooseberry...

Meadow flowers....


However, presently, my versions look like this.....





.......I could post some pics of Robins, Tits and Wrens etc......as I mentioned previously.......but I suspect you all know what they look like anyway..... so instead, I shall try to figure out why I started this allotment in the first place...













Friday, 11 December 2015

Right, here's the thing....
The urge to scribble things down on this blog departed a while ago ( following an initial flurry of activity ), so things have lain dormant for a while now because it gradually occurred to me to be a bit pointless and, well, self indulgent, to be honest.
I have to admit that at first I rather liked the idea of revealing my as yet, undiscovered but clearly undoubted and soon to be celebrated literary skills to the people of earth, whether they wanted them or not, and I do still secretly enjoy the actual process of writing down the words of my choice in an order of my preference. It strikes me as a mildly creative way  of showing off really......but unfortunately, the effort involved in actually thinking of something worth writing about became a bit of a chore.....and I found I was weirdly forcing myself to produce a post as a sort of obligation..........to what?......and to whom?....not that any of it mattered anyway....and the few, very few, very very few folk who looked at my missives were an indication that maybe it was a bit of a waste of time.....especially if I myself was getting nothing out of it ....
Daft.
Anyway,
Despite that,  it seems that the urge to sprout on about stuff has unexpectedly returned, unannounced and out of the blue......

My active life-long interest in yer "naytcha" and outdoorsy things...( with an unhealthy side dish of cod philosophy and half- baked opinion, musings and random thoughts) may again prompt me to put pen to paper (!)....er, finger to touch- screen, and inflict some errant ramblings upon the general populace.
Be warned.........I've been out and about, as is my want, walking and adventuring in the hills and vales of this fair province....I've taken on an allotment despite having no discernable interest in ' gardening '.....I've had a shift of emphasis in my so called " working " life.....which comes as a bit of a surprise to me, as I was looking forward to not have a 'working' life at all.....and, most worryingly of all, I have been doing some of that there thinking........so all in all, I should have fodder enough to give me reason to blog. Watch, as they say, this space....

Monday, 2 March 2015

Repeated Repetition....

I know......it's been a while....I haven't felt the urge to make with the virtual pen and paper for some time. No particular reason......just haven't, that's all.
However that doesn't mean to say that I haven't been 'out and about' .....
There have been many memorable mentionable moments in the meanwhile, but by not making mention of these moments at the moment of their happening ....mention now means a rather muddled memory of a mish-mash of memorable moments...many meanderings amongst my much frequented ' on the doorstep' natural locations......gladly and repeatedly walked, many times over. The woods, river- banks and pathways that surround my home location, seemingly unspectacular, and rather ordinary rural environs, continue to offer me many an hour of quiet pleasure in their well known, familiar, but ever changing natural settings.


I've lost count of the number of times I've wandered the same circuit around my local woods, farmland and river-bank as an extended diversion to the otherwise short walk to the nearby supermarket. The immediate mundane requirement for milk and toilet-paper prompting a very pleasurable hour or so amongst the beech, birch and oak of a riverside sojourn.

The extensive grounds of a well known nearby N.Trust locale was visited one fresh, chilly day.......and it's normally somewhat busy visitor status was quitened and made all the more pleasant by a frosting of falling snow......and a power cut.


'The Lakes' were severally visited of course, as ever, with the ever usual blissful day-time wanderings in typical lakeland weather, and resultant evening-times spent in the ever usual blissful partaking of hostelry sustainance.....(new year's eve being particularly sustained)...

The beatifully wooded and laked local nature reserve providing it's welcome respite amongst it's surrounding suburban sprawl....a quick but gentle wander within it's confines always a pleasure...


A blustery, extremity-enlivening visit to a wildly deserted and stunning sweep of north-eastern coastline to launch and fly (hang onto) a soaring 'power kite' in the rather insistant prevailing offshore "breeze"....


Many an armchair-based but immersive literature adventure courtesy of John Muir, P.L. Fermur, McFarland, Gibbings et al....
yes, in reality, the body never moving,  but in mind, many a place experienced due to the power of the pen.....always a plus....

If I were to be asked today, what I want to be when I grow up, my answer would be now as it was when I was little ......." I wanna be a nexplorerer"...…
Oh well (*sigh).....one day...



Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Also as well....

Also.........I went for a walk Ullswater-ish.....simply because it had been a while.

I vaguely intended to head for my beloved Borrowdale, but ended up, because it was less of a drive to get there, re-visiting the granny walk along the eastern shore of Ullswater.....a stunningly beautiful, thus well trodden, and much waxed lyrical over path....and why not....I'm not proud......and it was.....stunningly beautiful...... but old habits die hard.....and after sauntering up the lake by steamer in sunshine with all of my fellow grannies as shipmates,
on arrival at Howtown, I asap struck off directly up Hallin Fell, direttissima style,  and arrived at the top in a bucket of sweat to walk the ridge instead......sort of.


Gloriously bathed in sunshine with views to die for, I found myself gradually ambling off track downhill to eventually join the lakeside route again.








A couple of 'mountain-bikers' were attempting to peddle the path a little ahead of me and were causing me endless amusement by constantly falling off in comical fashion.....tree roots and small rock steps clearly proving too much for their lycra- clad exploits....After I wandered by them for the umpteenth time as they extricated themselves from various pathside shrubbery, they ruefully informed me that they were to " *uck this for a game of soldiers".....sat down and had a picnic instead. I never saw them again.

After a long leisurely amble through sun-soaked fluttering Birch, Beech, Ash and Oak contouring alongside a shimmering blue lake,
 I reached the metropolis at the end of the water to catch the sailing back to the start. Oh happy day.




A little While...

It's been a while since I last put scribble to parchment,  but today, after completing my domestic errands, I found myself passing close to the local nature reserve, and so sneaked a few hours of relaxing casual perambulation amongst the sun-soaked woods.
When last visited, the woods were looking pretty forlorn in their sparse autumn, pared-down starkness.......all cold bare twig and branch with thin scattered ground cover, brown, bleak and shivering......today, however, the whole area was lush, green and verdant in "full-fat" summer rich livery...every tree in resplendent leaf laden bloom. The thick carpet of flourishing undergrowth and healthy hedgerow giving further evidence of summer's presence in this life-full green and pleasant wood.






Didn't see much...the bloody lushness effectively hid any feathered wildlife that may or may not have been present.....who knows..
Heard a selection of tweets and trills that I was pleased to sort of identify as I walked along, saw a butterfly
 and some fox-gloves,
and I then spent an hour or so in the lake-side hide,  immensely enjoying observing the water fowl, terns and gulls do their thing.
Was rewarded with the close-up sight of a jewel of a Kingfisher posing like a cliché on a branch sticking out of the water in front of me.
I walked back through the woods and caught a flash of Jay rump fleeing through the leafy canopy and also saw a G.Sp. (I think) Woodpecker.



Hardly a wildlife rich safari.....yet that simple period of being quiet for a while in amongst a beautiful natural environment was, as ever, a tangible boost to my mood and general feeling of well-being.

Whoever thought up nature.....boy did good.




Thursday, 6 March 2014

The couple next door....

Don't know if I've mentioned it.......but Jack and Vera live across the road from me.
Jack and Vera are very much a couple. A couple of Jackdaws.
They live amongst the chimney pots on the chimney stack of the house opposite.
I have shamefully named them Jack and Vera after that eponymous pairing of Duckworths from television's "Coronation Street".

The opening title shots of terraced roofs and chimneys of that celebrated soap-opera, clearly suggested that the two beady-eyed birds opposite, with their raucous devotion, take on the monikers of that long-standing pair of pivotal characters.



I wholeheartedly apologize for my personification of those two particular specimens of  corvus monedula........but hey.


I have casually observed the comings and goings of J and V for some time now, and feel I know them quite well.

I have been party to their territorial defenses......(and it has to be said, you cross gladiatorial beak and wing with Jack and Vera at your own peril !).....and have cheered their valiant victories.

I have rejoiced in their feathered fledglings good fortunes, and actually witnessed their first-flights with dewy- eyed pride, as if they were my own.


I coyly notice the caring and sharing that goes on between them, and ridiculously feel their discomfort when wind and rain oblige them to hunker down, wet and bedraggled amongst their adopted ceramic flues.

I actually become vaguely concerned when they are not there, however rarely that may occur, and in contrast, take irrational pleasure in noting their constant presence each time I glance out of my window.

Thrilling two birds with one throne.

They naturally have absolutely not the slightest inkling of my own existance at all, and clearly could not care less about anything else other than their own endeavours......they're birds afterall..... but I cannot help regarding them as good neighbours........and in fact, thinking about it........…compared with some.....??!!