Monday, 31 December 2012
Well we all had the Queen's Jubilee,followed the Olympic Torch around the country and then watched with pride the Olympics. But for us here 2012 held other memories too. There were highs and lows. Our biggest low was losing Quozzi our beautiful cocker spaniel. In May, Jack celebrated his 60th birthday. He was a youngster compared to my Dad who was 90th birthday in September. In June we went to Canada -the first summer holiday in 34 years of doing bed and breakfast. We travelled from Vancouver to Calgary. We had 3 days on a ranch rounding up cattle in Alberta on horseback. As neither of us had ridden for 15 years it was a bit of a shock to our bodies. In Jan it was announced by BBC Countryfile that we were in the top 10 places to stay in the UK for a rural experience. We had a great breakfast party at the end of Jan and raised over £8.7000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The year was topped off by being in a Finalist in the Deliciouslyorkshire Awards for Best Use of Local Produce on a plate. I couldn't have done this without the great support of my wonderful friends and family. My main prop in all of this show is Jack as without him it just wouldn't have been possible. So here I am summing up the year,Jack is is bed as morning will soon be here. We wish you all ...
Monday, 17 December 2012
Well #BackLeBid has paid off. Last Friday it was announced that Yorkshire is going to host Tour de France on the 5th and 6th July 2014.It is thanks to Gary Verity and his dedicated team at Welcome to Yorkshire that the deal was clinched. Although the routes have not been disclosed yet I would be very surprised if Sutton Bank is ridden up which would mean Tour de Yorkshire will be on our doorstep. To celebrate this from Spring 2013,
Saturday, 15 December 2012
When did -2 degrees every stop you from doing what you like to do?. Here is my Dad with Alan another die hard fisherman on Wednesday.Togged up to keep the cold out it was carry on regardless. The fog wasn't nice and it was bitterly cold but it didn't deter us from having a few hours over at Filey on Wednesday. It is good to have the Beach hut to go into to get a hot drink and shelter from that bitter wind. With fish and chips and Sterchi's chocolate inside us for subsistence we brave the bad weather.High tide was around 3pm but the tides were high and there was plenty of swell in the water. A few people walked their dogs but there was only Dave and Alan with us fishing. They were luckier than me and caught a flattie apiece
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
Welcome to Yorkshire held its Christmas event at Nunnington Hall this evening. I used to pass the Hall every day when I was going to Malton Grammar School 45 years ago. The Clive family lived there along with their St Bernard and it was very much a family home.Now run by the national Trust.it is home to the Carlyle Collection of rooms in miniature. There was reindeer, outside to welcome us, and a green sleigh but no sight of Santa Claus. Indoors a huge fire and decorated Christmas tree. I had a chat with "the butler" about days gone by. In the dining room, he served us sherry in his tailed jacket. The table was set for dinner. Upstairs they had reconstructed what rooms would be like in the 1920s. A
Monday, 3 December 2012
A drive over to Harrogate to take a look at the exhibitors at the Country Living Fair. Stalls displaying the most amazing gifts to buy for Christmas.Amazing Christmassy smells filled the air .The first exhibitors were selling their wares of garlands -cones trimmed with oranges and cinnamon sticks. Pine cones and ribbons. All those things that stir your senses reminding you of Christmas past. Sophie was there with Sophie loves paper decorations like what we had when I was young -very much the vogue at the moment. My favourite stall was Halinka's Fairies which I visited twice. Such a talented lady who makes these delightful little figures that look that at any second they are going to fly through the air. Halinka started making these fairies to help fund her daughters dream to study ballet in Russia. Halinka is so proud of her very talented daughter and even though she was very busy she had time to show me her daughter's graceful poses on her phone. Halinka herself has travelled the world and is very talented -it shows in her work. I bought the rabbit with a balloon to go on a Easter /birthday cake.I couldn't resist buying a pair of ice skaters too -Christmas present to myself.There is a fairy for the top of the most well dressed tree.
It has been a funny old year so far. I think this photo sums it up very well. I took it as I was going to York shopping. The straw was still laid baled up in the field. Too wet for the tractor to be able to get it gathered in. More than a heavy frost on the ground. It was a slight covering of snow. We have roses still blooming. Bulbs are starting to sprout through. Beautiful sunny day followed by the greyist of grey days.It must be a very hard job being a weather forecast. So do we rely on the like of Mr Fish that gave that famous no hurricane
Friday morning was very frosty and the roads were like glass
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Despite lots of fields been flooded by the River Swale I managed to get through to a Herriot Country meeting this morning. With Ian Ashton and David Shields at the helm we learnt of interesting things which are going to happen in 2013.After the meeting I went with Alis
Sympathy goes to all those effected by the floods. We have our fair share of standing water in the fields but as we are over 990 foot above sea level we are luckier than most. As I was going towards Byland Abbey this morning 2 people were exercising their horses. Memories of 35 years ago when I first used to ride out with Jack when he had point to point horses. Until then I had only been a fair weather rider. We were riding out every morning in all weathers. A 6 mile rising trot was fair more pleasant on a crisp sunny autumn morning than what these riders were having this morning. But they still had a smile for me. Dedication to getting their horses fit for racing.I expect they would then head up Wass Bank. A mile long climb certainly tests the horse's stamina.
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
We went to Rodgers Roses at Pickering to pick up the 2 rose bushes I had bought my Dad for his birthday. besides selling roses and bulbs they also sell fruit trees. My Dad must have 150 fruit trees but there is always room for another . Here you see we got to see what the end result hopefully will be . Armed with pen and paper we walked round twice to make sure we had chosen the right trees. How often do we buy an apple tree and not be able to see what fruit it produces.An apple tree is an apple tree to me - a cooker or an eater. But for my dad the professional we was in his element making sure he choose apples that will see him through the winter .At the farm we have a bedroom called the Apple bedroom and that was what it was used for .A north facing room cooler than the rest of the house the apples were put under the bed. This year there is very few apples about so we wont be walking up the stairs and getting that lovely apple smell drift through the
We have had a new arrival. A baby llama was born on the farm recently. As we have had a lot of rain he and his mother has come indoors. Now he has a fluffy coat. He remains unnamed at the moment. No doubt the children will think of a name to call him. He often hides behind his mother and she has a habit of hissing. I tend to keep my distance as I am not sure of her diet. Having shown her teeth to me on more than one occasion.
Sunday, 11 November 2012
We had a great night at the National Railway Museum in York. Made a change from wellingtons and Barbour jackets to get dress up as it was a black tie occasion. I am on the advisory board to Deliciouslyorkshire and look after the interest of the hospitality side of things. I was also there as I was a finalist -in the top 3 for Yorkshire for the Best Use of Local produce on a plate/menu. I had been judged a few weeks before by the well known columnist and foodie - Elaine Lemm. Although I didn't win I was very pleased to have got as far as I had. Local friends and business were on our table amongst them Jessica Barker and her husband Phillip. They have self catering near Thirsk called Thief Hole Cottages. She had been in a similar position to me a few weeks earlier when she had been short listed in the White Rose Awards. A good night was had by all.I think Jack enjoyed it even though he started off having to wear a dickie bow and having to have his collar fastened
Saturday, 10 November 2012
Monday, 5 November 2012
6.30pm and we were ushered into the glass conservatory for supper. Eighteen hungry mouths sat down to a fine 3 course meal. We began with a pork terrine with a layer of tasty pork fat on the top delicious along with spelt toast. Not counting the calories we tucked in to the main course which was beef from James White's the butchers where we had been earlier in the day. Topped off with a three way apple dessert. Shame I had to drive home but then all good things come to an end sooner or later
The next part of our day out before dinner was a tour of James Mackenzie's kitchen and the dining room he has upstairs for private parties. It comes complete with sitting room and bathroom. The set up in the kitchen was amazing with the £50k+ oven. Chefs were hoovering around and trying not to look disturbed as our nosey party peered into drawers.It is all about preparation . Everything waiting to be popped on a plate to garish and enhance. The Michelin star has to be earned and attention to detail is what it is all about. The highlight of the kitchen for me was a huge stock pot bubbling away on the stove. Veal and pork cooking for 2 days I think James said.It looked as if there was leek and carrots in there too. I guess a lot more besides.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
We boarded the bus and soon arrived at Hutton Cranswick to be met by the jovial butcher -James White. We were ushered first to see the incinerator.I couldn't believe how easy it was to access and with the push of a button it was all fired up ready to go. We then saw the area which would become the last few steps for the animal. This was too much for some,but for the nosey and blood lusty of the rest we listened to how the process from living animal to sausage meat happened. I actually knew and have seen it many times before.I listened just to check he hadn't missed anything out.The highlight here for me was having a go at making sausages. To tie them together is a bit like a knitting pattern. Once you get the hang of it you can do it easily.Before then it is mind boggling.I set off well but then got gradually worse. James was very patient and we laughed until tears ran down our faces. We were allowed to bring our sausages home .James' wife Ria has just been on a chocolate making course and is setting up shop selling chocolates. What a kind gesture we were all presented with a couple of the most delicious truffles.I am sure you will be hearing about Ria's chocolates
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
A kind invite from Sue and Aidan Nelson via Vikki Harris brought me to the Pipe and Glass to start the day with a delicious sausage sandwich - I should say 4 sausages and in very soft bun made for a very good start. This more than made up for the terrible foggy ride I had going across the Wolds at break neck speed so not to be late. More on the Pipe and Glass later.Our first stop was the Wold Top Brewery at Wold Newton. We were given a talk by the new owner,Tom Mellor. We looked down on the stainless steel vat and inhaled the rather warming smell of brewing beer.It was the brainchild of my dear friend,Katrina Gray who with husband Derek
Autumn has made up for the summer and a very early start to winter. The trees this year have been a picture. \\\\\Amazing colours that the camera hardly does justice too. The trees behind the house are russets,yellows and burnt orange. Here in a photo, as the road approaches Ampleforth College from the east. It stands 50 ft high and is the largest cross in Britain. It is the memorial to Cardinal Basil Hume made of steel and pine. Ten years ago I
Monday, 22 October 2012
Fancy going for a bike ride and haven't got a bike.Maybe you don't want the hassle of bringing them with you .We have the answer.We have a couple of bikes you are welcome to borrow. A leisurely route with not too steep hills around Wass, Byland and Oldstead. For those who want to to challenge them selves there is always Sutton Bank a few miles away. We take no responsibility for how many good pubs and eating places you find on the way to waylay you. There is photo around every corner.A view to be admired and a memory to take home with you. The roads are well signposted and there are also a network of cycle routes for you to enjoy.
However many days it is now, 65-