Wednesday 31 December 2014

The run up to Christmas...

We continue to feed the birds hard as Jack always says feed the birds in winter they reward us with birdsong for the rest of the year. I was out at 3 pre Christmas dinners one with Rachael at Sophie Legard's famously known Malton Supper Club and then with Matthieu to the Ryedale Beekeepers dinner.Matthieu has been staying with us for 9 weeks .A student from France who was polishing his English and I was broadening my French. He took home Christmas crackers they apparently dont have such things in France. He looked at me in total surprise when I stuck one under his nose and said pull.Also they dont have Christmas pudding but after three different times to get him to try it ,it was still a no-goer for him Lastly food wise I went with an old and dear friend, Kate Davies ,to be cooked for and entertained by Steve Bulmer who runs the Swinton Park Cookery School -but that is another blog the latter been a totally wonderful expience I would love to do again.

Monday 15 December 2014

Wool Is Dangerous - we go back a long way ....

This popped up tonight and I just had to post it. It shows Christine who I used to go to college with and her son James. It is over 40 years ago that Christine's Dad,Eric and my dad used to take it in turns to drive us back to college in Scarborough every Sunday night. I am sure she will remember the girl who used to get a lift with us every week. Her dad never offered and her coat always smelt of mothballs. It was Christine's mother Maud who taught me to cook at the local bakery. She worked very hard and could roll pastry out so fast. As I graduated from washer up the jobs I got to thumbing up pastry which was my favourite job.Thumbing up meant you made the pastry once it has been rolled out to fit the pie tin. I truly believe that what we see and did in our teenage years moulds us for what we are today. I remember as a 15 -16 years old in the summer holiday we would think nothing about clocking 80 -90 hours of working a week. So Maud is one of the people I have to thank today for giving me the work ethos that has got me to where I am today.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Dinner with Chelsea Pensioners .. Also Breakfast tickets still available

You may remember 3 years ago when we raised over £8,700 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance as part of the breakfast week -Shake Up ,Your Wake Up. It took a lots of weeks hard work and generousity from a host of people. Unfortunately this year as my mother has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of thyriod cancer I am not able to give as much time to feeding the 120 at one go as I did last time. But with it being Breakfast Week- the week bed and breakfast people taken it upon themselves to raise funds for good causes I still feel I want to do something. Back at the beginning of October we were privileged to meet some of the Chelsea Pensioners when they came to North Yorkshire .So I have had this plan in my head since then. Things are finally coming together and we can know let you know... I am passing on some of workload to Robert Thomspon and his hard working team to produce a dinner on the Monday evening , Thus been in a position to raise more money for the Chelsea Royal Hospital. We have 2 Chelsea Pensioners coming to stay with us for a few days. On the mornings Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th Jan 2015 we are hoping you will come and join us at 9.30am . Each table of 6 will be headed by a Chelsea Pensioner.It will give you ample opportunity to hold a conversation with him over breakfast and plenty of photo opportunities. Tickets are £15. As these are limited and going quickly you may like to attend the evening event We are also holding a 3 course Dinner at the White Swan in Ampleforth on the Monday night 6.30pm for 7pm . George Pickles -the Ripon Hornblower will be pleased to know that Roast beef and Yorkshire puddings are on the menu. Ian Rogers of RV Rogers of Pickering will be presenting The Chelsea Pensioners with Tommies Roses which were speically created for the 100 year memorial. There have been grown on the soil that the children brought back from the Battle of the Somme on a guncarriage. We hope that these will be planted in the Royal Chelsea Hospital Gardens along with one of the newly named "Ampleforth" roses. Jim and Wendy Davison who used to be the licencees at the Horse in Ampleforth have helped to bring about this event and will be in atendance throughout . So any one who knows this lovely couple will know we will all be in for a good night Tickets are £25- 01347 868526.

Monday 8 December 2014

The Messiah at Ampleforth Abbey

If you missed this great musical event ,make a note in your diary for next year .We are only 5 minutes down the road. Our guests who came from Switzerland and London to listen. Mince pies and drinks are served half way through. Wonderful setting for Handel’s masterpiece The Abbey Church at Ampleforth provided a wonderful setting and backdrop for a superb performance of Handel’s Messiah. Hundreds of people, including those who had travelled some distance, came together to hear schoolchildren and professionals sing the masterpiece. Parents and local residents to the Abbey, together with representatives of the College and monastic community, gave the performance an enthusiastic reception. The choral masterpiece remains a classic musical oratorio and a fixture in Yorkshire’s Christmas calendar. Performed in the Abbey’s church, more than 110 students aged nine to 18 performed alongside internationally renowned soloists. Soprano Julie Cooper was unable to be there and her place was taken by Bethany Seymour alongside Marie Elliott (contralto) Matthew Long (tenor) and James Platt (bass). The Ampleforth Chamber Orchestra, with leader Dara De Cogan, provided the music while the chorus was provided by the Abbey’s School Cantorum and the Schola Puellarum plus the Schola Sancti Martini. The conductor was Ian Little, director of music at Ampleforth College. The Ampleforth choirs with Leeds Roman Catholic Cathedral Choir will give a programme of sacred music on March 22

Friday 5 December 2014

Thursday must be film day ....

Thursday was the day that reports were revealed on how the impact of the Tour de France cycle race had been on the county.Yorkshire had hosted its Grandest of Grand Depart. There had been a conference about it. The Yorkshire Post had an article on the front page and I was interviewed by Tyne Tees presenter, Jonny Blair. It gave us good coverage showing the outside of the house as well as the inside. There was an interview in the dining room and me making a bed. I had to do it 4 times for the filming. It showed Matthieu our French helper studying with his book and he gave an interview too in very good English may I add. It was shown on Calendar at 6pm and again at the end of the 10pm news. It is always nice to hear from friends who have seen me for a while to contact us and say I have seen you on TV. My Dad said I was ok and didnt make a hash of it and so that is fine praise indeed. My Mother said I didnt look too scruffy and by wearing a shirt I didnt look too scraggy necked. So again that was praise. Jack oked it too .So the TV celebrity went to bed a happy bunny. I will try to post interview vis Youtube for those of you that cant get our regional news

York Designer Centre and the Ice Event

Welcome to York held their Christmas networking event at the MacAuthur Glen deisgner centre on Monday evening. Outside there was an ice skating rink which is open every day to the public . A funfair and little cabins with a Christmas theme all added to magic in the run up to Christmas. We were treated to warm hot chocolate with marshmallows and a mince pie or you could have mulled wine -this was in the PapaKata kitchen. The shops were open until 8pm so I went and had a look around. All the shopping crowds seemed to disappeared, so I more or less had the centre to myself. I bought a pair of snazzy pink Crew wellies for one of the grandchildren as she seems to have shot up all of a sudden and these were on her Christmas wish list. Here you see Janet Deacon from Scarborough and Welcome to Yorkshire with the ice rink and giant Christmas tree behind her

Sunday 23 November 2014


November can be damp and dismal with fog and shortening day light hours .But there are advantages to November too. Those heart warming meals that we forget about in the Summer months. My favourite soup book must be the Covent Garden Soup Co one they are so simple and so good. My dad doesnt need a cookery book he cooks up stewing meat .Pulses,potatoes, swede and carrots from the garden. My Mum adds the salt and pepper and I guarentee you will come back for more. At 92 I thought it most be a hassle for him to dice up the vegetables, so offered to do it for him as he set on to make a panful to feed 20 plus people the other day .No he didnt want any help .He gets great pleasure from cutting vegetables up from his own garden - It takes all sorts ... Today being Sunday and Yorkshire puddings I made a bread and butter pudding. Made with saffron fruit cake I then added a nice red apple from our garden with some honey. It made all the stings I had bestowed on me worth while to be able to use our own honey .Jack was able to tuck into this and there is still a bit left for tomorrow.

Sunday 9 November 2014

Sunday Lunch Time is always Special

It used to be when we had a large gathering of family around the table. All sort of subjects came into conversation from a cow calving to the local fundraising as well as the local scandal of the area. Today my Dad came out with the below poem. I dont know what started off the conversations. At 92 he reeled it of word for word . He couldnt believe he hadnt told me it before. That is why Sunday Lunchtimes are so special. So I have shared this poem with you because in this day and age things such as this often get pushed aside for plastic toys and high tech games, I hope it will be passed on for generations to come Oh dear, oh dear sobbed the tiny mole, A fairy has tumbled into my hole. It’s full of water and crawly things And she can’t get out ‘cause she’s hurt her wings. I did my best to catch hold of her hair, But my arms are so short and she’s still in there. Please help her white rabbit your arms are so long. They say you are good and I know you are strong. Don’t bother me the white rabbit said, As he turned up his nose and his ears went red. There’s lots of mud and it’s sure to stick, To my beautiful fur so white and thick. Oh dear oh dear sobbed the tiny mole, Who will help this fairy out of my hole? A little brown rabbit popped up from the gorse, I’m not very strong but I’ll try of course. His little tail bobbed as he waddled in And the muddy water came up to his chin. But he caught the fairy by the hand, And helped her back to fairy land. She kissed him first on his muddy nose. She kissed his ears and his little wet toes. And when the day dawned in the morning light, That little brown rabbit was silvery white.

Friday 7 November 2014

Staithes on a dark November evening

Had the pleasure of going to the opening evening of Vicky Dixon and Matthew Asquith's new venture. Better known for their Whitby Seafood co and Whitby Crab co. Vicky has now got another string to her bow.They have taken on a b and b in Staithes with a restaurant underneath. It has even been renamed The Endeavor Kitchen with rooms. There was quite a gathering of foodies including Amanda Wragg and Jill Turton, both who write for the Yorkshire Post. The last time I met Amanda was in the Michelin starred Pipe and Glass kitchen run by James McKenzie.Tonight we tucked into soul warming seafood chowder . Followed by pulled pork and apple sauce rolls along with other tasty goodies rolling out of the kitchen. Tricia Hutchinson was in the kitchen tonight. We shared a table with John Stokoe the journalist and his wife and young daughter. We all agreed to return sooner rather than later. The Kitchen is going to be open from 8am throughout the day. So if you are venturing to the coast why not pop to Staithes and make the Kitchen your port of call.

Monday 3 November 2014

Hovingham Farmer's Market

On Saturday, Matthieu who is our French helper and I took an hour or so off painting the kitchen to go to Hovingham. There is a market there every first Saturday in the month. Last Saturday for once I remembered. Haxby Bakery had a great selection of bread.Matthieu said it reminded him of home. He declined a crossiant as he was watching his waist line -bless him but was drooling for bread.So I loaded him up with loaves. On top of this he carried some tiffin which again he gave way to the chocolate temptation from the young Mrs Rooke - Apple Charlotte and then I found Justin Staal . I had never met him before but heard a lot about him Justin and his amazing smoked fish - not only fish but duck and chicken. He had samples and thought he did very well to keep his cool when a lady took a generous sample and fed it to her dog. I love his logo, it is so Justin Staal. Sarah Stark was there with husband Peter and baby Stark -Sienna with the biggest blue eyes bouncing about in her pram quite content as she was amused by the crowds of people around. It was a great way to spend an hour out in the Autumn sunshine.The village of Hovingham is also well worth a look around.Hovingham Hall, seat of the Worsleys for generations and childhood home of the Duchess of Kent is the jewel in this North Yorkshire village.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Finalist in Brand Yorkshire

Last week I made a trip over to Harrogate. It was to the Brand Yorkshire awards in which we were finalists. It was run by Ten Fathoms, Donna[photo] greeted Rob Vickerman and myself. Rob in a rugby player although I did comment to him I thought rugby players were stockier than him. He looked more like one of todays football players. There were lots of businesses to meet from across Yorkshire. We both came away with a £100 voucher and a bottle of red wine which will go down well at a later date. After entering the competition, we were shortlisted and then were telephone interviewed by the boss of Brand Yorkshire. The people that won it were late on arriving and called Green Pea Soultions. When I read up about them later I thought I had done very well to get as far as I had done.

Men in red coats

We got a telephone call last week, our friend Jim Davison who used to own the village pub said bring the camera. It is always good to catch up with Jim and Wendy .We go back a long way .On Jack's 49th birthday Jim took Jack and a group of friends to London and they had lunch at Scotland Yard. It had been a great day out and had sung all the way hom on the train. Jack was still singing as he can up the yard at College Farm at well past midnight.This time Jim was out with the boys. The boys were in fact 6 of the famous Chelsea Pensioners. Their medals gleamed and so did their boots. Jim has a big heart and along with some more guys treat the Chelsea Pensioners to a 3 days break here in Yorkshire. The day we met up with them they had been on the steam railways from Pickering to Whitby .They had had fish and chips and a look round before starting their pub crawl back to base . It was a delight and honour to meet them.

Friday 3 October 2014

Autumn is on the way

If you go for a stroll up behind the house you can always take one of Jack dogs with you for company. The leaves are now starting to change colour and there is that autumn smell in the air. And perhaps you will find a mushroom as big as this one

Sunday 28 September 2014

Now we can talk about it

BBC Countryfile was on TV tonight.We were very impressed with Byland Abbey standing out in all its glory, which is only just down the road from us. We had the Countryfile team here for about 4 hours filming the piece about Tricia Hutchinson with the help of Helen Skelton dying the sheeps wool.My Dad was disappointed they did not mention us and the woods, but I knew it would be a hard match to get it mentioned as they said No publicity . My eagle eyes spotted the roof of our house and the chimney as the girls walked up through the wood. What was brilliant for us I thought was, the sheep dog trials as it showed lots of shots and minutes and minutes of coverage of our new wedding reception venue spot.It was the back drop for much of the filming and as the woods came down to the field in the distance on the left hand side this is where we reckon is one of the best views in North Yorkshire .It showed it perfectly so thank you to those who did the filming. My Dad always said if there was two ways to skin a cat I would find them. -This is a saying not something that I intend to do physically. The film crew were great and Helen Skelton was a lovely chatty lady.The young Irish competitor stayed here so I reckon it was my breakfast that put him on the right road for the day. It is all over now and I would just like to extend thanks to Susan Briggs of Tourismknowhow for coming up with the idea of the sheep and Catriona McLees for instrumenting the project. On to the next project girls .... Here are a few photos I managed to sneak past the researcher

Thursday 18 September 2014

Going to Scotland today

My Dad and I set off early this morning to St Boswells. This is a yearly affair as we go to buy gimmer lambs. This year was much the same as any other. but with the voting going on I was not sure if we would get back or not .So I took my passport. At the border there was a Scotch man dressed in his kilt with the bagpipes. I dont know if he was called Donald he didnt stay longer enough for me to ask.It was quite windy and guess he would have been happier in his troooousers, along with some Japanese people and their cameras .I guessed the latter were tourists and asked if they were here on holiday. No, came the reply they were come over to film the coverage for the voting. My Dad is wise beyond his years said where has the saying gone."United we stand,divided we fall" Tomorrow we will here the outcome .Hopefully the sheep we bought up there today will get here without a passport but I took mine just incase.

Carr House Farm Bed and Breakfast-Our Garden where flowers and weeds gro...

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Native American Blog: Essiac: Nature's Cure for Cancer

Native American Blog: Essiac: Nature's Cure for Cancer: Note: While this article states that Essiac has been in use since 1922 - in actuality it has been in use for many hundreds of years by the...

Anything is worth a try

Monday 15 September 2014

Mr and Mrs Andrew Thornton's wedding surprise - September 14th 2014

So very pleased for Harry's Mummy and Daddy. We have known Yvonne since she was a little girl and so pleased to see her so happy. She is the florist who brings joy to a lot of people and this time it was her turn. May they have a long and happy life together. I had rung her up on teh Saturday to talk about a wedding couple who were wanting a price for their flowers done when they hold their reception on own land next year.She was 'doing flowers for the christening " and couldnt stop to talk and she sounded in a bit of a rush but said she would catch me soon.Now I know why.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Just down the road

Just over a mile from here is Byland Abbey -A Cisterian ruin knocked down by Oliver Cromwell in the Dissolution of the Monasteries -the naughty man.Now a ruin which is upkept by the English Heritage. It is still a very impressive site. With its rose window it is our local landmark. From our fields an idyllic backdrop for all your "take home" photographs to show the rest of the clan. Jack was brought up at College Farm, which is part of the Abbey Ruins.I guess this has helped bring about his sense of belonging and proudness of being born under them there hills.He is not a happy bunny if he is far away. We live 5 fields away so that is acceptable. If you go down in the evening after supper for a stroll around the Abbey itself is floodlit.

Thursday 14 August 2014

Just for you

Sunday 3 August 2014

A Bee's Eye View

The bees are busy at work. The conditions have been nigh on perfect for them .I was rewarded by taking a whole super[the name given to the square box where the honey is made]of 11 frames of honey this week. 20-30 lbs in weight.Next it will have to be extracted from the comb. A sticky job I guess.I have to take the carving knife to slice the comb open.Better keep my fingers out of the way. Jack planted me half a field full of sunflowers.Gary Verity wanted to turn Yorkshire yellow for Le Tour Yorkshire this was my idea for us to do our bit. However they are just coming out . But hey ho who cares, the bees are delighted and even though the photo only shows a bee on each Jack said there was at least 5 on each one when he looked.

A wedding with a view

Last Saturday Sami and James got married at Scampston Hall. They had their reception up in one of our fields high above Byland Abbey. This is Rubi's View and on a clear day which it was you can see from the East coast over to the Pennines and beyond. The back drop for the bride and groom is of course the ruins of Byland Abbey. A truly unique situation. Guests came from far and wide with James's sister flying in from Australia and a lovely family from the Isle of Skye -lots of Celtic connections here The weather and the marquee looked fabulous, decked out with flowers and fairy lights. As the sun went down people were still sat out admiring the views. Here are a few photos to show what a glorious place it is and what fun guests had.There was a lovely relaxed atmosphere about the whole day and of course the bride looked beautiful If you are thinking of getting married in the Summer of 2015 you are welcome to come and take a look around. You may have your ideas set in stone or need a few ideas.We have wonderful suppliers, many who are local should you need any.You can pick and choose from our list with pleasure. We are here to help you day run smoothly and have memories to look back on as being the best day of your lives.

Friday 18 July 2014

Roses at Rogers

Last weekend was the British Isles Breeders and Growers Rose Festival in Ryedale held at RV Rogers just outside Pickering. It was a lovely summer's day and the roses all looked a picture. I took my Dad along to see the 150 or so roses which were on offer. The Calender Girls were there too as they had a rose named after them. The Ryedale Rose was given by a kind couple from Sheffield and there was a prize giving. All a lot of work for David Wilce the Chairman. The presenttaion lasted around 90 minutes.The champion winner had come all the way from Andover and was quite a young chap. Along with a magnificent cup I had given a prize of a free 2 night stay here with us .No doubt I will be hearing from him shortly. He said it would make a nice change as he usually attended these shows and slept in his camper van. My Dad got talking to Ryedale's youngest Chairman of the Council Luke Ives.My Dad's maternal side of the family were from Norton so Luke would get quite a history lesson I think We had a lovely lunch and Jonathan who is always a obliging member of staff was on hand.My Dad really enjoyed his chat with him. We had a lovely lunch whilst the jazz band played in the background. Oh so English country garden with lady artists donning their straw hats to paint their corner of the day. This is the second year that it has been held.It will continue -so a date for your diary next year.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

A busy bee day

It was time to check on the bees again. I doubt we will get a tonne of honey this year.I needed to be into the hives to see what was happening. The bees are quite happy for me to look in on a warm day as they are too busy to bother about me as they are bringing the nectar back to feed the young in the hive. I managed to take a few photos but with a veil on and my gloves and suit it didnt give me much room to move about. I tried to take a "selfie" but I missed totally. We have 5 hives 4 are in a field here and one over on the main farm. We will not be eating any honey from them this year I doubt as they are busy getting established. My guests thought it was a spaceman coming through the gate. A relation is joining them tomorrow and he keeps bees so we are going to get him to take a look at them as I have spent ages looking for the queen. Talk about a needle in a haystack it is the queen in the beehive I can't find

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Our Ryedale Rose

I came up with this crazy idea.It turned out not to be so crazy in the end. t I thought wouldn't it be good to have a yellow rose to celebrate Le Tour Yorkshire -the cycling event which will be coming to Yorkshire in a couple of days time. We have the most amazing nurseries in Ryedale. Apart from fruit trees and plants R VRogers of Pickering are rosegrowers. I was lucky enough to have lots of support from a team of people who like me want to keep Ryedale on the map. Craig Nattress works for tourism at Ryedale District Council and took the matter up with David Wilce who is the Chairman of the British Isles Rose Breeders. To cut a long story short the outcome was that on 7th June a rose was named A Rose for Ryedale and you will see me holding the rose which was presented to, I guess the youngest Mayor I have ever come across.Not only is it a rose but it is a yellow rose. Ian Rogers of R V Rogers Roses of Pickering has kindly agreed to support us and is going to grow it at the nursery and you will be able to buy them there. For each rose which is sold £2 will be given to Ryedale Special Needs Families Charity. Next weekend the 12 13th July over 150 rose breeders will gather at Pickering at Rogers Roses and this is open to the public and well worth a visit and it is free entry too .I do hope my Dad will be well enough to go as he loves his roses. I was hoping to buy some this year for his garden but it will be 2015 before they go on sale.