Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Dotty puppies

Seem a long time since I have written my blog .Sorry folks but it has been busy here -Exhibition weekend at Ampleforth College brought parents from all over the globe. And then Daisy has had her puppies. Little dotty ones. In colour that is . Daisy kept us on our toes as she was 5 days late and finally in the early hours of Sunday morning she gave birth to 7. Both boys and girls in a range of colours. The white ones with coloured dots on will eventually go roan. Mother and puppies are doing fine. Jack and I are exhausted.To get over it we went down to the White Swan for our suppers and had the best steak we have had for a long time. We are so lucky to have this pub on our doorstep. All the visitors have gone down there to eat tonight as it is only a mile away


Saturday, 21 May 2011

George Pickles - a very special person.

As I said in my previous blog that I had been to visit the Museums in Ripon. I have been wanting to go to hear the Hornblower for such a long time. When you live on the door step so to say you never go. This was the ideal opportunity to do the two together.George Pickles is the Hornblower and a nice man he is too. Afterwards he hands out lucky wooden pennies and I was lucky enough to receive one. The next day I won £25 on the premium bonds and other things have happened too . Hearing the Hornblower I know will be the highlight of my year.One of those things you remember all your life. A tradition kept alive by George going every evening come hail or shine to do his duty. It is very humbling to see how he embraces his job and welcomes people from all over the world.The monies he gets for doing this is spent on having these wooden pennies made which up to count has given away 22,000. A remarkable man. I hope he will get a medal from the Queen to mark his dedication. George has a very informative website which will tell you so much of interest please spend time to visit it http://www.the-ripon-hornblower.webs.com. Also I have made a Youtube so you can hear what happens at 9pm every evening. You will find it under CarrHouseFarm -Ripon Museums and the Famous Hornblower.
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Friday, 20 May 2011

Ripon Museums for the poor and naughty....

Three museums linked together right in the centre of town.There is the Workhouse Museum,The Prison and Police Museum and The Courthouse. Each has its own story. What is incredible other than I would vote it the best value ticket you could buy ,is that there are 120 volunteers.They work tirelessly to give people a look at Ripon and its Law and Order in Victorian times and a

smell of carbolic soap. There are 2 stone baths that I would have very happily brought home with me. Lots of tramps and vagabonds will have be scrubbed clean in them. It was good to see the Mayor and Lady Mayoress come to support the team as they opened their doors the other night to welcome the Herriot Yorkshire members- me being one of them. Brian went along too to guard the mayor's gold chain.It was very interesting to talk to him as we tucked into wonderful food which was generously given by the Deliman of Ripon.Brian's role on Thursdays is the town crier who at 11am lets it to be known that the market is open. I promise I will go back and take some photos.How marvellous there is so much community spirit in the town. As we then went on to see what I will probably say is one of the most thrilling things of the year for me to witness...you will read more in my next blog.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The sheep in the meadows...

and so are the cows. Silly isn't it what we learn in nursery rhymes. Little Boy Blue had his sheep in the meadows but his cows were in the corn.It would be "Quick get the vet out -the cows are blowing up". We would be very worried if the cows were in the corn. As green corn makes lots of inescapable gas and virtually the cattle would blow up. As a child I have seen the vet

stick a knife straight into the side up the cow and deflate it like a balloon. Happily from the photos you will see ours are in a lovely field of grass with sweet buttercups. I wonder how many children today play as we did as children. We used to hold a buttercup under our chins in the sunshine and if our skin looked yellow you liked butter too. Far better than computer games.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Herriots Yorkshire AGM

Our Herriot Yorkshire Country Group held its AGM at the Rural Arts centre in Thirsk yesterday evening. Ian Ashton has worked so hard to get this off the ground to whom we should all be eternally grateful . On the "high table" along with him the ever efficient secretary taking notes one hunderd to the dozen.David Shields and Sean Murricane from Welcome to Yorkshire and last but not leaast Sam Goudy who is the whizz kid of us all tweeting and getting out there telling everyone about us. If you are in Thirsk it is well worth a visit if not far the Arts side of think but for the scummiest of cakes.After seeing the glass tiles in the ladies cloakroom I am hoping they will soon be running a course on how to make them.Like all good meetings it went on late into the night and it was past my bedtime when I got home thus the late blog this morning.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Supper at the Fairfax Arms in Gilling East

The last time we went to eat at the Fairfax Arms -known to locals as the Fax- must have been three years ago. So tonight I persuaded Jack that even though Cinderella did not want to go to a ball she didn't want to cook either. We ventured across the valley to Gilling East. It is sited in the middle of the village. A stream runs just in front of the front door so make a nice place to sit out on a sunny day and watch the world go by. It is quite a busy road as it's the main road from York to Helmsley but pretty all the same. We were both very hungry so after I had drooled over a good choice menu I settled for the same as Jack in having a steak with all the trimmings. Of course I didn't get through even half of it so it is now sat in our fridge to be eaten tomorrow. It was very tasty and so were the onion rings,mushroom and tomatoes. It amazes me how they get these little tomatoes to be all the same size and ripen at the same time. My Dad been an expert on tomatoes of the bigger varieties never seem to achieve this. By the way the chips were proper ones too and were also very good. So here we have another good eating place to add to a list of local eateries and watering holes.

Friday, 13 May 2011

An after breakfast activity...

It is surprising how many guests who stay with us ask to see our dogs. It is a regular occurrence that they go with Jack for a tour of the dogs.This is usually an after breakfast thing.Jack is able to answer their questions and tell them who is who. As we have puppies at the moment it is an added attraction. This morning was no different to any other. Here you see the guests enjoying the antics of the little cocker spaniel puppies.Sometimes people's lifestyles mean they cant have a pet.But it doesnt mean to say they don't like them. It is a two way thing as the puppies love

the attention too and it does help that they get used to people and are well socialised before they go off to their new homes. These will be going shortly. We are keeping one called Harry.here you see everyone enjoying the May sunshine.

Shandy Hall in Coxwold

Year after year I drive past Shandy Hall and admire the clematis. It grows for ever upwards in an old tree. Looking like a flower variation from Jack and the beanstalk.Lawrence Sterne lived here in the 1700s when he was the Vicar of Coxwold.Between sermons he had time to write such classics as Tristam Shandy,Sentimental Journey and Letter to Eliza. I remember as a child going to visit "Mr Charlie"and his wife-Mr and Mrs Smedley-with my Dad and uncle enjoying hospitality around their kitchen table. They had a big woolly dog and it slept under the table.Little did I know in years to come this homely old farmhouse would be open to the public.The gardens are open too. So I looked over the wall and here you have a glimpse of what you will see if you decide to visit. The Smedleys were a wonderful couple and finally moved into a smaller house further down the village.I have read how Alf Wight-in his capacity as vet ,in the James

Herriots' Yorkshire book also experienced the Smedleys' hospitality -drinking many a cup of tea in the kitchen.People came in and restored the house. Although they got recognition for this, it is the presence and the spirit of the Smedleys that gives the warmth that is felt in Shandy Hall today.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Jacks birthday before the big 6 0

Tuesday was Jacks birthday.I decided -for my sins as if I didn't have enough jobs to do- that I would invite a few old acquaintances over for supper to celebrate Jacks birthday. A few got to 20 plus. It was certainly a surprise as 4 hours before hand Jack didn't have a clue.It was all being got ready under his nose.I then started to lose things I had hiddena dn so I had to tell him.

I think he thought I was acting a bit strange but then that is quite normal so nothing seemed amiss. I am sure a good night was had by all.Best friends and old racing buddies came from far and wide -now he is planning his next one. All he said was "well I wanted to got to the White Swan really"-in Ampleforth- so we went tonight instead.Jack had their giant fish and chips which could pass as whale and chips and I had a chicken Caesar salad. Both were very good. Washed down with Pimms for me and red wine for his Lordship. I am not very good on icing cakes so it was the usual "snow" scene with 59 miniatures bottles of liqueur around it.

The White Horse- our local landmark

Jack isn't one to stray far from home. When he was younger.he rode on point to point courses as far down country as Cheltenham. He was always glad to see the White Horse come into view. He knew he was nearing home.On the hillside high above Kilburn is our local landmark- a white horse carved into the limestone hillside. It can be seen for miles around.On a fine day it can be seen as far away as Leeds. It was carved in 1857 by John Hodgson the school master and the pupils at Kilburn school. It covers over 1.6 acres of land. They say 26 people once stood on its eye. It measures 318 long and is 220

ft high. You can walk up the steps at the side of it and get a magnificent view from here. Then sit and eat wild bilberries at the top.As I was coming back from shopping from Boroughbridge the other day I took this photo on the road between Hustwaite and Coxwold.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Royal Honeymoon.....

So where did the Prince fly off with his new bride to spend their weekend? For this young couple the world was their oyster. The tabloids said "spending their first married weekend in the UK". How wonderful to hear that they had chosen to do this.And even more so when we heard they had been in North Yorkshire. We fly the flag hard and proud for North Yorkshire and even more so now. The Royal seal must

now be stamped on how perfect a place North Yorkshire is. Our wonderful county is already known as "Gods Own County". Now can we have a Royal seal of approval as being the Romantic place in the UK?. Time will tell. You don't have to be of Royal connection to come here. We are a friendly county and welcome guests from all walks of life from all over the globe. Don't be too long before you come and see for yourselves. Here we offer a bed fit for Royalty and a view equally deserving.