Thursday 30 December 2010

and a partridge in a pear tree... the song of twelve days of Christmas goes. Well Christmas has gone along with most of the snow. We look forward to the New Year and all it has in store for us. As I went up to drop the shopping off at the farm after 4pm today I took this photo of the bantams perching up in a chestnut tree. They have a shed to go in,but they prefer to go and roost up in the tree even on the coldest of nights.
As New Year Eve is almost upon us. Have you got your piece of coal ready to be brought in by the first footer by a dark haired man? Jack has first footed so many houses in the past but his hair is not quite as dark now as it was and I reckon we will be tucked up in bed well before midnight.

Saturday 25 December 2010

Christmas Day -a family affair

Christmas on the farm is pretty much the same as any other day -animals are to be fed and watered.Probably it is busier,when we kept milk cows my uncles used to be up at 3.30am to get the cows milked so the delivery man could come earlier and get finished so he too could have his Christmas dinner. Yesterday my dad who is now 88 had a very busy day.Besides the usual jobs he had the tree to decorate,the turkey to get ready and the cake to ice.Then when it was dark he remembered he had some new potatoes in his greenhouse. We had a wild turkey which Nicholas shot and dressed,vegetables my mum did, I made the bacon rolls,cranberry sauce,bread sauce and thanks to Gordon R we had a very good Christmas pudding. I made the cake and my dad dressed it up. And Jack ate it !Nicholas was at the farm getting the animals fed very early then returned later bringing Claire and Rubi-Sue to see us for Christmas. Even the stag get decorated for Christmas. Always remembering Appy and Fred who when I was as small as Rubi-Sue until recently, gave me lots of wonderful Christmas memories.

Thursday 23 December 2010

and the First Tree in the Greenwood.... was the holly. Holly is not only what country folk go foraging for and cut to decorate our homes at Christmas,it is extremely important for the little birds and also other wild animals as they provide a supply of food to them in the winter months.As an evergreen, birds often take refuge in hollies as they provide shelter and give protection from predictors by their prickly leaves.Amongst it other uses, it throws out a lot of heat when cut into logs and put on the fire and is used to make the white pieces of a chess set.
I love to have a bonfire and tonight was no exception. The heat of the fire and the cold of the night air. The trees are covered in snow and frost but in the light from the fire it transformed it into a winter wonderland with the stars twinkling high in the sky. Peace in the countryside in the background the rushing water in the stream was all that could be heard. A million miles from the humdrum of of city life and the last minute shopping.
If you look closely at the bottom of fire can you can see the Holly King-otherwise known as Grandfather Frost

Wednesday 22 December 2010

I have won.....

If you don't enter you cant win. It is very true as this morning I received a wonderful book written by Rachel Allen -Entertaining at Home. Apparently Rachel has a TV series Rachel's Dinner parties and the book includes all the recipes. It is thanks to JUST MILK that I entered their Christmas competition and won.You will also find more fantastic recipes on
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday 21 December 2010

The Winter Solstice ...

The 21st Dec -the shortest daylight hours of the year but as usual in the run up to Christmas it was a busy day here. There is always lots of jobs to do but with the icy cold weather it is always nice to get finished at the end of the day and thaw out in front of a warm fire. The Christmas lights and decorations are in place and here is the little village I hope will be so magical for Rubi-Sue. It is a lovely village scene lit up with twinkling lights. It reminds us of village life and friends around us.
This is a special Christmas wish and blog dedicated to two dear friends I briefly called on today. Maybe we don't see them for a month or so-their hospitality is always outstanding and their friendship very valid.It is to these friends and others like them in our lives that we raise a glass or two at this time of year and wish them all the very best and hope that Santa brings them gifts -Missoni style x

Thursday 16 December 2010

Helmsley-Window shopping for Christmas

Last night I nipped down to Helmsley which is our local market town. I thought you may like to see what Helmsley looks like with its windows dressed up for Christmas. I love to window shop and as you can see there is a good variety of shops and what they have to offer. Friday is market day when stalls set up in the square. There are fruit and vegetable stalls ,cakes and other edible produce and the "fish" lady. About 40 stalls in all selling their wears. A favourite especially at this time of year is the man who sells jumpers. He gets lots of cashmere - end of range etc. Last week I managed to find a Brora one so I was well pleased. They do a brisk trade and have every colour you can think of. While I bought one, a lady was buying 9 for Christmas presents.

Thanks to my husband and his chain saw...

We are lucky that my Dad always made future plans.I was brought up that every year we plant trees for future generations. Although the fir trees have not been planted many years -fifteen maybe, time flies and this type of tree grows pretty quickly.Yesterday Jack, my Dad and I went off on the mule to find one .Not as easy as you think with about half an acre to choose from. A 30ft tree is no problem but then with our low ceilings we only need one 8-10 ft. Jack took the chain saw. I was mooching about looking for branches of pine cones to spray. I cant understand why people use plastic ones as it is the smell of the pine which makes it seem like Christmas. I bought a couple of nice decorations when I was at Castle Howard the other week -a pheasant and a cocker spaniel dog. I have some beautiful ones that I have collected over the years. When I go to Holland I always try to buy some there they really go to town on their tree decorations. I have trumpets that you can blow and they make a noise and Chinese dolls I was given as a child .So I am busy collecting now for Rubi-Sue and got two pure white doves with lots of feathers on them. Another new one this year is very glitzy in silver and got glass in it to look like diamonds in a crown,I am going to give that to my friend Louise -as I know she will love it as it will go with the chandelier -yes she has a chandelier -in her kitchen.

Sunday 12 December 2010

Dine out with Rubi-Sue

As every female utters when she is asked to go for a night out "What do I wear" For Rubi-Sue. last night she has set the trend for the 15 month olds. Supper after 6pm- for girls the colour is most certainly pink with a big P. Pink slippers ,pink socks ,pink pjs,pink vest,pink hat and pink coat. Should we go high street or designer brands , Ruru says go comfortable. Jack and I met up with Rubi-Sue who had come chauffeur driven -of course, travel in style baby by her mum Claire, and with dad Nicholas. Only a couple of hours before a cow was calving so the date may have had to be cancelled but the cow had its baby and all was well. Rubi-Sue had the day shopping as girls do in Leeds and sat patiently while Claire had her nails done in Harvey Nichols as a Christmas treat . Its a wonder she had not wanted hers done too. We went to The Carpenters Arms at Felixkirk -the food as always was superb but it was being with that little girl that brought us the most pleasure. It could have been beans on toast for all I had cared and I think Jack would say the same. He is really pleased to know she likes dogs and is already looking to buy her a dapple grey pony. There is something about dapple greys and little girls that are special and this little girl is truly very special to us. Next Christmas will be even more magical for her as she will understand more about Santa Claus.The thing we wish her most of all is health .You cannot give health or buy it but is the most important of all. The bottom photo shows she is now ready for her bed ,chauffeur waiting she is getting ready to go not forgetting her main accessory her pink dummy

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Christmas time at Castle Howard

The Howard Family kindly invited the members of Tany to spend the afternoon at Castle Howard today.It is all decked out in its wintry finery to share the spirit of Christmas with us. Baubles of every shape and size adorn the fir trees brought in from the Estate,candles and log fires to add to the atmosphere. Halls decked with holly and personal letters written by the young Master Merlin and his twin sister Miss Octavia to Santa Claus for all to see. They hadn't left anything to chance -leaving mince pies and a drink for Santa,carrots and hay for Rudolf and his friends. What a magical place for children to live in especially at this time of year. So much history and tales of long ago being passed down from one generation to the next.We were welcomed into the Grecian Room with its roaring log fire to enjoy mulled wine and hot mince pies.And as if by magic as we admired the views from the window the snow started to fall.
Due to recent bad weather the Castle has now extended its opening days in the run up to Christmas so don't miss out. Santa will be there to read stories to children by the fireside. Rubi-Sue is a wee bit young yet but hopefully she will be there next year.
Thank you so much to all at Castle Howard who have worked incredibly hard to make our day so special

Tree Bears ...

I have just been out with my friend Louise to visit her mum. She makes the most amazing bears and I came home with one for Rubi-Sue . Eve calls them Tree Bears they are to hang on the Christmas tree.She makes them for her family and friends. Each one is unique as you can see.It must be lovely to be so clever as to make such dear little treasures. Each is crafted from antique material and customised to who the person who receives them is. Hours of work must go into them as they are all hand stitched and the smaller they are the harder they are to do Rubi-Sues' is the one with the green head and mink collar.

Monday 6 December 2010

Fancy an Adventure..

Sometimes called the Chelsea tractor, but as we don't live in Chelsea we do need to have a 4x4. Not only with the wintry conditions we seem to have started to get over the last few years but also for Jack's work with the dogs,we would not able to get out. There is a new company set up called ukLANDROVERevents where you can hire a Landrover to drive oer a 50+ route ,taking in a variety of on and off road terrain around North Yorkshire. You are even allowed to share the driving with your friends. You may like to look them up on their website or ring them on 07787555060 for further details. This is just another way to spend a day when you come to stay with us.

Sunday 5 December 2010

Demijohn - The Liquid Deli

On my recent trip to Edinburgh I wanted to bring something back for Jack and I found the perfect shop -Demijohn - the Liquid Deli- It was just round the corner from the Missoni Hotel where we were staying.Angus Ferguson and his wife Frances opened the shop in the Edinburgh's Old Town in 2004. It was like an Aladdin's Cave -where else could you buy a ball of Marmalady gin,lime vodka liqueur or elderberry and port liqueur in wonky bottles.They have vinegars and oils too and all beautiful wrapped. To personalize them you can have whatever you want written on the bottle. Yes we do have 4 litres of raspberry vodka and more litres of sloe gin on the kitchen window sill which Jack shakes with great enthusiasm every morning. The antique looking containers and huge demijohns, they are stored at in the shop, make it resemble a grown ups sweet shop.
I must say a great thank you to Sarah and to all concerned who had to go to the trouble of running around to the Missoni hotel to pick up my purchases from the Demijohn as I had left them there. They sent them on to Glasgow and they were finally deliver here safely and now are sat under the Christmas tree. Only later did I find they have a shop in York too.I am so glad I found this shop as when you need something for someone and you are stuck for ideas look no further .They do mail order too

Friday 3 December 2010

Another day, another picture...

...this shown how beautiful our countryside is whatever the season. On the edge of the North York Moors National Park and in only one of two areas designated for its outstanding beauty in North Yorkshire .We only have to open the door to look out at this view.Looking over the top of our farm , in the distance there is Newburgh Priory and Coxwold and on a clear day you can see the face on the church clock. But it needs very good eye sight to tell the time.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday 2 December 2010

The cat crept in...

and didn't go out again. What a wise cat we have. We often talk about the dogs, guests get lots of pleasure for taking them for walks during their stay with us. We seem to forget the cat but here you see her making herself very much at home in from of the fire. Her name is Duchess she was born the day Prince Charles married his Camilla. her brother was called Marmaduke so then we had a Duke and Duchess. You would think with all our dogs about she has nearly got though all her cats lives now but she very much holds the court.She is much loved by everyone who sees her and has a special friends called Sue and Dave who is a regular guests from Cornwall. Until then she is happily sleeping with her paws over her eyes as cats do this when there is a storm didn't know this happened in a snow storm too

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Animal on the farm...

...and skies that have that wintry look to them and a near Nativity scene I nipped over to the farm with some shopping as I had ventured out in Jacks 4x4 .As soon as you got down Byland Bank near Byland Abbey and on to Coxwold the snow was only about a third of what we have here. Back home on the farm you see the donkeys,cattle and Herdwick sheep all eating there are some Llamas close by. We are feeding the little birds in the garden and even in this cold weather they reward us with a song. Please remember to feed the little birds near you too.

Monday 29 November 2010

Snowy Approach to Wass

We came back from Helmsley this morning turning off the A170 coming down Wass bank and the entrance to Stanbrook Abbey down into the village of Wass. Although the snow scenes are very pretty to look at it means lots of extra work making sure all the animals are warm fed and watered on the farm. Pipes are getting frozen up. It is harder to get around so I am so glad I bought a pair of Ness wellingtons when I was up in Edinburgh the other week. They are marvellous in the snow with good cleats [ if this is a Yorkshire word it means grips] on the bottom of my wellington. My cheeks are rosier than normal.This afternoon I am going to make a few more last minute Christmas cakes. My dad has been out feeding the pheasants and saw three deer near the wood side. I am busy keeping the bird table stocked up for all the little song bird. Wish my camera had a longer lens as the first to eat after I had put some more food out was a robin -you couldn't get more seasonal than that if you tried.

Sunday 28 November 2010

George and Ameila's Christening celebrations

This afternoon we went to the Christening celebrations of Jack's great-nephew and great-niece,twins George Arthur and Amelia Anne. Their proud parents are Richard and Val Robson. Richard is also Jack's godson. Jack soon had picked them up as he loves children and crossed their palms with silver -well a £1 piece -as he does with all young babies he sees.Val's 90 year old grandma baked the cake and it was very much a family effort to mark such a wonderful occasion.The wind and snow was making it a very wintry day outside but it was warm and buzzing inside the marquee. Hopefully these little treasures are now tucked up in their cot. Apparently they go to sleep holding hands...sweet. Thank you for a lovely time and hope you like the photos Hopefully it wont be long before we see you all again.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Castle Howard opens....

this Saturday -27th November until the 19th December. Lucky children will sit by the fire and meet Santa Claus. Decorated beautifully for Christmas for all to see. Castle Howard is just one of the 60 stately homes and castles we have in Yorkshire.So when you hear of people going to visit the chateaux in the Loire Valley tell them there is only 16 but we have 60 such properties in Yorkshire.
I went to a Welcome to Yorkshire roadshow meeting yesterday at the Spa in Scarborough. Gary Verity and his team at delivered "The Big Picture" on Yorkshire.They are all working very hard getting out there to let you know -Yorkshire is great and what we have to offer. With 179 independent breweries in Yorkshire, where many a great chef came from and returned to, we are the county with the most Michelin starred restaurants in England outside London.Apart from them there are 30 -40 top class eating places serving top quality local produce and a numerous array of choices for whatever takes your fancy. Yorkshire has always been known as God's own Country - granted the Gods have been kind to us.Game and meat from the Moors and dales ,fish from the coast and fertile land to produce the very best of vegetables and fruit. Nobody will go home hungry after they have visited Yorkshire. We are now the European capital of food and drink. The coast has 22 beaches and coves. A stunning coastline with 4 Blue Flag beaches-Whitby,Scarborough,Filey and Bridlington. I could go on why not come and see for yourself.

First snowy day of 2010 at Carr House Farm

A lovely sight as you can imagine. It is very cold outside but lovely and warm inside . My guests today have left the car here and gone for a walk in the snow hoping to get to Ampleforth Abbey Tea rooms for their lunch.

Friday 19 November 2010

Rubi-Sue's new old chair

Rubi-Sue came with her Mummy this afternoon. Great Granny Ruby found out a little chair we have all sat on over the years which had belonged to Rubi great great granny. She was happy to perch in it and could get out of it by herself but had to be lifted on to the seat. She still has a nasty cough but she was more up for playing today and took amusement from hiding under the table cloth than her toys and teasing GG George by nearly handing over toys then not letting him have them. When she coughs she even put her hand over her mouth. It amazes me and although I can remember lots of things Nicholas did when he was young I think children are far more "switched on" these day.The rate she is going she will be a good help working out all the mod cons for me -like when I was staying at the Missoni the other night it was far too high tech for me.Good job we changed from £s,shillings and pence when I was at school.She went for her first day to school at Terrington Hall Prep nursery this week but will not be able to start full time until she is 2.Time goes by so quickly it doesn't seem two minutes since she was born.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

My Trip to Edinburgh,HRH Princess Royal,The Missoni and the Witchery.

So much to do and so little time to do it in.
Remember the saying "Travel intercity like the men do"- on Monday Jessica and I went North by train to Edinburgh going to a meeting at the Missoni Hotel,staying there too- what a funky place it is. My eyes are just getting over it.Clashing purple and greens,striped black and white carpets and only glass for a window and mirrors every where. I should have taken a degree in how to master the ultra modern controls for everything in the room including the air conditioning.It was funky and totally different to here. Mirror door and partitions that I kept bumping into.Ideas for my new bathroom. Good to experience but wouldn't like to live in such a trendy way .Missoni-Edinburgh have just won the Best New Hotel in Europe. Thanks to Jeffrey,his team and Lindt for their very generous hospitality.
We shopped till we almost dropped,dined at the Witchery which was fabulous.All these things I would do again.
Having just bought a pair of NESS wellingtons -the ones that are part tartan which I have had my eye on for ages now and a treat from Brora for Rubi-Sue. We surely were in the right place at the right time when HRH Princess Anne or Royal as she is now known passed as she was coming down from the Castle. There were very few people on the street Jessica and I waved,HRH actually saw us and waved back and smiled also. I couldn't believe the effect it had on me. My legs went like jelly and I shivered all over it was really odd. I would have practiced a curtesy had I known we would see her.
The top photo shows the Assiette at the Witchery,the two below are in the dining area in the Missoni Hotel

Saturday 13 November 2010

'Twas the sound of his horn brought me from my bed

The Sinnington Hunt met this morning at The Wombwell Arms this morning at 11am. It was good to see so many children there who had been taken to see the horses and hounds, a few were mounted. Dawn Otterburn was there with one of her grandchildren on a tiny pony - It doesn't seem long ago that you would see her out with her own children -so nice to see another generation coming along.The horn was blown and off they set through John Richardsons' farmyard and fields,along through ours and into Craykeland woods. They didn't manage to find a fox but stirred 4 deer who we had pleasure in watching from the top of the hill, leave the woods to grace the fields but they seemed quite relaxed about the whole episode.We left then as it was a chill wind and the hounds would be heading eastwards towards Ampleforth College and beyond.

Thursday 11 November 2010

McArthur Glen Designer Centre-by a doting Grandma

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday we had glorious sunshine,today we had the strongest winds and the rainiest of days so thank goodness for indoor shopping. Must be 6 years since I have been to this centre outside York. I met Rubi-Sue now 14 months old and her Mummy for some girlie shopping time. How good this little girl was. Other than having two little walks and to stop for her dinner she sat in her buggy "reading a book or two" putting up with this shopping trip for 4 hours.She didnt go to sleep as you could see she wasn't going to miss a trick. She brought chunks of cucumber and peanut butter sandwiches, a drink and some grapes. Mummy said Rubi would have some chips too. There she was sat up like a little lady dipping them in a little box of tomato sauce then popping them in her mouth. Straight in and no sauce on her face. I was amazed.She had finished her drink then started on my banana milk shake.Her little face was a picture she sucked it up through the straw and then tipped it up as well as Jack does with his pint. She wasn't beyond sharing either, holding out her hand to give me some of her grapes.
Cant wait until she is old enough to have a pony. I had a chestnut one,it was always a bit of a handful . I have always thought grey ones have a sweeter nature so now Granddad Jack is looking out for her a little grey mare. If any one knows of one please let us know.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Saved again by James Martin ....

...devilled kidneys that is one of the goodies on the menu for the shooters breakfast in the morning. I need a recipe fast ,as always, I have far too much to do and too little time to do it in. I am sure if you gave me 6 balls to juggle I would drop the lot.That is why I am going to bed hungry as I forgot until I have just got finished preparing for tomorrow morning that I hadn't had my supper worse still hadn't taken it out of the Aga. I decided although I would like curly hair that I would not succumb to eating burnt offerings.In the world of the Internet I often look a recipe up on the web . Needless to say I always put in James Martin's name too. I like the way he cook straight forward and no fiddling about, you get the delicious end results too. Now I have to go and look out my shooting clothes for tomorrow . I will need a couple of plastic bags too to keep my feet dry as my Hunters are leaking.They are like dear friends I dont like to part with them but I am afraid their days are numbered

The Wold Cottage are the winners....

of the Deliciously Yorkshire breakfast award. When Christine and I met up with Katrina last week she said she was going. We hoped they would do well and so they have -they have won. Here you see Katrina and Christine braving the rain and then Katrina tucking into her lunch when we ate at Middlethorpe Hall.
She is also a doting granny with the title of Granny Gray .Since her little granddaughter was born 5 months ago Katrina has managed to see her every month since then. As the baby lives in Dubai it is quite a feat. So I guess winning the award was quite a doodle compared to that. It was after 1am when Katrina had got in last night,today she is off on a well deserved holiday and of course dropping in to say Granddaughter on the way. I mustn't forget to congratulate husband ,Derek, too as he has been known to rustle up a good breakfast too. Safe travels Katrina and Derek and trust you wont need the umbrella x

Thursday 4 November 2010

Ladies who Middlethorpe Hall.

Here you see my dear friends Christine Ryder from Scaife Hall Farm and Katrina Gray from the Wold Cottage in the elegant drawing room before we were called to lunch today at Middlethorpe Hall,Bishopthorpe just outside York. We had a wonderful lunch of elegant sufficiency, as my mum would say, which lasted nearly 4 hours -so you can see we put the world to rights. We all have bed and breakfast places and Katrina has self catering too. One of us is hosting Status Quo when they are visiting the area at a later date. -how exciting. The waiters,who were from Cannes, were very charming and let us sit at the table way after the other diners had departed. It was a most enjoyable time and we vow to do it again as Christine said -save me from a day in the lambing sheds and we cant let her down.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Trip to Holland.

Went with my friend Susan on a mini holiday to Holland the other week.When Nicholas was young we took him to a fairy tale park called de Efteling and although I have wonderful memories of it. I needed to refresh my mind for taking Rubi-Sue and the boys. We had a good crossing from Hull to Europort. I took the car and with our lives in my hands as I had not driven on the continent for over 6 years. It is an hours hard driving with often 4-6 lanes of traffic to think about. I was well impressed with my little car, that a lot of you think should have bit the dust long ago- 113k and still going strong. We had a wonderful time in Efteling but it was bitterly cold and I have decided it is definitely a summer outing. We just had an hour or so to stock up at the supermarket in Kaatsheuvel. I bought geneveer to make the equivalent of sloe gin and some cheese, chocolates and other bits and pieces. Another smooth crossing and time to read a whole book cover to cover made for a very pleasant trip.

The Hare Inn's Cheese Souffle go to town...

The Hare at Scawton have now launched Smithy's Souffles, a pair of individual souffles you can buy in upmarket delis and shops and will soon be hitting the top supermarkets. What a wonderful idea. Geoff has been creating these for a life time making it the signature dish at the Hare. Jan is so enthusiastic about it all, backing him all the way doing a lot of research and marketing this wonderful addition to our shopping basket. It has a shelf life of more than a week and will keep in the freezer too.Ideal to keep and pop in the oven should you have unexpected guests for supper. Breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner for that matter. I had one of mine for breakfast the otter morning . Versatile as an egg but then they are free range eggs and made with mature cheddar cheese. Even a token on the back to redeem at the Hare.
After the other souffle got eaten as well I decided that is what I needed for supper last night I fiddled about for ages making one. It was fine for a hungry soul,rose a treat but I substitute the mature cheddar for Parmesan ,jong Gouda I recently brought back from my trip to the Netherlands and a good helping of Spanish Manchego that was kicking about in the fridge. All I can say with the help of Italy,Holland and Spain to provide the cheese it was not half as tasty as using a good old Cheddar from England. Photos the top souffle being Geoff's and the bottom one mine.

Monday 1 November 2010

Rubi-Sue and her farmyard friends.

It was a lovely autumn afternoon and Rubi-Sue arrived with her Mummy and had a tour of the animals on the farm. What a delight -there are pigs that grunt,cows that moo,sheep that Daddy had brought in from the field that go baa, hens that clucked,dogs that wagged their tails,cats that meowed,quails that scurried about,partridges did the same. Pheasants that called out, and the geese that went hiss and ducks that quack.She is now walking and there is no stopping her as she toddled off the full length of the stack yard to investigate looking through the bars of the gate while we got the sheep in.Hopefully it will not be too long before she is chasing them in herself. All of these animals we take for granted as they surround us all the time. Which was her favourites - I think it is great granddad dog called Floss and the geese she couldn't quite work those out.

Sunday 31 October 2010

Welcome it's Halloween...

Our friendly witch has perched herself on the front door to welcome you. She is getting attacked by the little blue tits that are now along with the other little birds coming out of the woods and back into the garden for the winter. They are trying to peck the material off her dress is now somewhat distressed. I have been taking the old summer plants out of their pots and baskets,replacing them with yellow pansies and purple cyclamen. There are still a lot of leaves falling and yet to fall. The autumn colours have lasted well this year as the weather has been pretty kind so far. There are lots of berries-haw,hip and holly about so guess we will have to be digging the thermals out soon and keeping the home fires burning.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Halloween Pumpkin cat for Rubi-Sue

When I was a child there was very rarely anything as exotic as a pumpkin about. So we used to go into the field and my Dad would get me a turnip. It was such hard work trying to take the middle out and by the time it was done there was array of bent spoons,knives and potato peelers, not to mention huge blisters and cut fingers. If children did those things now a days the parents would be locked up for putting their children in such danger
Rubi-Sue who turned one in September is now walking and saying a few words one of which is Molly,who is the cat. She obviously likes the cat so I set to work today to make her a pumpkin cat . I hope she likes her Narni's handwork and it isn't too scary for her and she realises it is a cat. SO armed with lots of candles to go inside I hope she enjoys her Halloween cat.

Monday 25 October 2010

Coxwold Chimney Pots ...

It is not the chimney pots that Dick van Dyke and Julie Andrews danced between on the roof tops of London in my favourite film Mary Poppins , but the left hand side of the street in Coxwold heading up to the church which I capture last night just as the light was fading. I think I was about 6 when I was taken to see Mary Poppins at the picture house. It was the first time I had ever been out late at night I guess we were home by 8pm but in those days it was a great adventure. I think I will be able to count on both hands the time I have been to the flicks which then became the cinema in my whole life. The second best film I saw was Madonna in Evita and that was when it came out second time round. I think she has the most amazing voice. As I have said before memories are marvellous things.
Must go as a chocolate cake and an apple cake are waiting to come out of the Aga and don't want them to burn. Guess I will have to sample them before I go to bed.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Full moon and white owl...

Although I did have the camera with me last night I doubt if I could have caught the picture I wanted. It was a full moon and the sky was clear,the usual autumn nip in the air. I took the pups for their last run before bedtime, on one of the fence posts down the drive sat a white owl. He was obviously waiting to catch a mouse or vole . We have lots of owls about as you can often hear them hooting at night and sometimes those horrible ones that shriek. Barn owls are special,maybe because there are so few about, it is always a joy to see a white barn owl.Fortunately now there are 4 or 5 in the area . You see them at dusk skimming low in the fields backwards and forwards for twenty minutes or so. They seems to glide so graciously a few inched above a thorn hedge. These are the things that make staying in the countryside so special. The green woodpecker is also about again after his summer decamp into the deeper parts of the wood but is too quick to catch with my amateur skills with the camera. A dormouse enjoying the afternoon sun and nibbling on a fallen apple in the orchard. Jack snipes are also to be seen, a clue that winter is on its way.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Another back to school day......

This time it was held at the Best Western's Forest and Vale in Pickering. Arranged by the Yorkshire Tourist Board before all the funds dry up. Dee Marshall, as usual gave a first class presentation on PR and marketing strategies followed by a young lady who loves to twitter called Kristal Ireland. It was nice to see David Shields there and Craig who are always at the end of the phone should I have a query and thanks to Sarah Borrrowby for getting us all together. It was a very intense couple of hours and so I am now back to the computer in earnest to make a Facebook entry for Carr House Farm Bed and Breakfast.Please join as its friend. I thought I had uploaded lots of photos for you to see but they have disappeared into orbit somewhere, so hopefully they will come back and landing my account sooner rather than latter.
There was a definite nip in the air this morning as we had our first frost so it is time to pair all my odd socks up so my feet will be nice and warm.That is a mammoth taste in its self . The other mammoth taste of redecorating has finally finished - all the outside paintwork has been done along with bedrooms,bathrooms and staircase and the kitchen and other bits and pieces I have found along the way and Joe the painter will soon be off on his holidays- well deserved ones at that.

Saturday 2 October 2010

We celebrated at The Carpenters Arms at Felixkirk..

1977 -roll on 33 years, we went out to celebrate that this is was the weekend when we met all those years ago. Where have all those years gone.I bought a posh new frock and no it wasn't from the charity shop.I got it in Helmsley from the shop where Judy Boggett works. If it wasn't for Judy I would probably not have found it nor would I have parted with my money, but Judy is so lovely and always makes you welcome whatever the weather and it certainly rained yesterday. She is the shops biggest asset as Judy has her regulars too and she knows what suits them, keeping her eye out then is happy to ring you when something suitable comes in
.Thirty three years ago...Never then did we think of having grey hair,needing glasses to read menus and weighing a couple of stone more. Jack was in his hay day then riding all those winners on the point to point courses and I was a mobile hairdresser. We went to Felixkirk to have a meal as it has just changed hands and under the umbrella of Providence pubs of which Michael and Sacha Ibbotson have made such a success with Durham Ox in Crayke. Sacha was sat waiting patiently for Michael at the bar when we went in so got a chat with her before being ushered to our table in a very cosy ,warm dining room. Everything was perfect. We both had a generous amount of scallops sat in melted gruyere to begin. Jacks eyes lit up when he got his main course of T bone steak. It is not often you see that on a menu now. I stuck to a rib eye both rare and cooked to perfection.I have brought half of mine home to eat later. This was our first meal there and it certainly wont be our last and a good recommendation to guests.
We have had a lovely day and soon it will be over but with another memory to put in our box to store. Life is very precious.

Friday 1 October 2010

Absolutely amazing ...

oh my dining room I just want you all to come and see it. I never thought to use this pale blue but it just looks amazing against the darkness of the wooden beams and oak panelling. As the weather turned to rain today we could not have the outside done so the painter turned his talents on in the house. A bedroom and bathroom were done in no time and then what do we do next. I was routing about with the paint tins and came across some blue I had bought for ...don't ask me but as there was only a small amount used it must not have suited me to continue so I thought it may as well be used to see what the effect was in the dining room. It is truly wonderful I am so pleased with it and hope when you come to see it you will be too . As you will see I have taken this photo to show you before I have even got everything set straight.The curtains are not even up yet but it will all be in shape for breakfast time even if I have to stay up half the night.

Tuesday 28 September 2010

George Lupton is home and recovering well..

Thank you for everyone who has sent good wishes to my Dad over the last few days. He had a bit of a set back on Friday but thanks to the staff at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton I was able to bring him home last night. Although he got dressed and put his gallises[North Yorkshire word for trousers braces] on he cant do any work for a couple of weeks. Those who know him will remember he was driving a tractor within a week of having his pace maker in. He celebrated his 88th birthday on the ward and was very touched when all the staff and patients sang Happy Birthday and presented him with a cake. With his gall bladder gone he will be able to go back to eating nice things again but for the moment is taking it steady and just glad to be home. It was a huge cloud that has hung over us for the last year that has now lifted and we are just so grateful for all the support you have all given us. Thank you . This photo was taken last shooting season and hopefully there will be many more days like this to come

Friday 24 September 2010

Update on my Dad....

Just to thank everyone for their concern and kindness . My Dad had his operation later than planned, yesterday. He wasn't able to have keyhole and had to have the bigger operation to take out his gall bladder. My mum and I went in for only ten minutes last night so he knew we knew he had had his operation and was back on the ward. I didn't sleep very well and rang before 7am when they said he was comfortable so I waited until the day staff came on to get a better update as although he went in in good spirits he is 88 tomorrow and no spring chicken. I rang at 9am and he was sat up having his breakfast. This is good news and hopefully he will be up and about soon and able to have a good shooting season and use the cartridges he bought on Monday. What spirit he has.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Rubi-Sue's Christening.

On Sunday, family and friends-not forgetting her playmates and little boy friends like Arthur came together to celebrate Rubi-Sue's first birthday and christening.Everyone was dressed up in their best bibs and tuckers. There was a table groaning with food. pink balloons and a pretty cake and the most wonderful violette water from France that was not only pale violet in colour just right for a little girls party but tasted of violets too .Rubi-Sue of course biased view of Granny's little treasure -was the belle of the party and behaved so well. All the children did and played nicely together - all 17 children were under3. My next mission is to go to France to get some of this voilette water, it came in a very swish bottle too-.

Friday 17 September 2010

My DAD- George Lupton

My Dad is 88 years young this next week. Here you seeing him admiring some of 70 sheep he bought when he went up to St Boswells yesterday on the Scottish borders.They had just been delivered on a wagon which was 4 decks high. They all came out very well and were soon feeling at home munching away on the grass. Sometimes I go up but it is an early start and as I had breakfasts to cook I had to miss out this year.What is more noticeable in Scotland than down here is that shepherds have the most wonderful crooks.The carvings on them most have taken hours. My dad has to go for his gall bladder out next week but he has plenty of work to do before them and also has planned an evening to go duck shooting. So lets hope it is a good night as he will probably be out of action for a few weeks. Please think of him on Thursday when he has his operation which is the day after my mum and dads 56th wedding anniversary and 2 days before his birthday.

Out with the paint pot.... Remember to shop local..

There is a saying "it is who you know not what you know" and how true. It has been a very busy summer and the paintwork is now in need of more than one lick of paint. I know it is supposed to be spring clean but when spring comes there are also lots of other jobs that need to be done. Thanks to Eddie Bramley who runs JEB Taxis, which our guests use when staying here, he is a mine of information. He has put me on to his painter and decorator, Joe who came last Saturday morning. Not only is Joe is a dab hand with a paint brush, he makes everything sound so easy. He had a quick look round at what needed to be done, giving me a price and told me how much paint etc I needed to get.Even better he will be here in October. How much easier is it than that.Didnt fill my head with silly colours and really knows his stuff. I had one man who thought the dining room was "crying out"to be library green and his wife chirped in with,"or bold red". Have you seen the size of my dining room -if you have you would know that was a silly statement. I always try to get my paint from the Home Decorating Centre in Kirkbymoorside.The lady there is very friendly and again she is a mine of information. So by 3pm I was home armed with all that was on my list and some discount without even asking. So I reckon as well as being proud to support the local shop ,it worked out cheaper than the larger shops nor had I had the stress of running round the shop floor looking for an assistant who would then declared " I only started yesterday -so I will have to ask". Remember if we dont use our local shops we will lose them as well as characters who run them.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Back to school with Susan Briggs...

well maybe not back to school as in fact it was to the Arts Centre in Thirsk where Susan Briggs was the guest speaker. If you ever have chance to listen to Susan try to get to one of her seminars. This one today was on How to market your town -not quite me but Susan is a hidden gem when it comes to giving you good logically ideas to market your business.I was so lucky it was only a few miles away as one lady had travelled from Devon. To my left was a young lady from Southwell-who I was amazed had never heard of the local Bloodhounds as they were on parade the last day we went to Southwell race track. Jack has ridden his point to point horses there many times. The last time he had a runner there it was with Missile Man his own gelding who was ridden by Simon Brisby on the all weather course and it won at 10/1. To my right was a jolly man who had come with some colleagues from Morpeth who was promoting the Farmers Markets in the North East. He runs three websites so I guess he will be burning the midnight oil if he takes on board all Susan told us. Home now and back into getting Jack his supper. I think I will fore go eating tonight as the food at the Courthouse was as good and plentiful as ever-many thanks to the girls who do such a good job with the catering there..

Saturday 11 September 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Rubi-Sue

Rubi-Sue,our little granddaughter, is a year old today. As she has a very hectic social calendar we celebrated her birthday yesterday. Jack had blown up 6 pink balloons for her and I made her a pink cake with a candle on. She was more interested in the balloons and dogs at the farm than she was in her presents. She is a happy little soul who prefers custard cream biscuits to cake. Claire ,her mum,has got her hands full as she has now started to walk and does a sterling job. Here you see them both setting out to blow the candle out and the second photo after she has tucked into her custard creams.