Saturday, 25 July 2020

July - Harvest comes early

3 weeks on and nearly the end of July .The days are  noticeably shortening and harvest has begun. Whether it be fruit,vegetables or herbs we need to spend all our spare hours making use of all this produce for future months. Even trees are being harvested ,yes trees have a life span too and we happily now have a good store of dry logs for the winter.

So often have I thought to make mint sauce as we have so much mint in the garden, but never seem to get round to it. Lockdown as given me the time to do such things. I am on the ball making mint sauce enough for two households ,my Dads and ours and I guess a few to give away too . Mustard jars with the yellow plastic tops are the best to use as the vinegar can't rust the lids and it is just a nice size to keep in the fridge. Beggars cant be choosers so I have to use a wide array of jars.

My tomatoes are doing well and getting ready nicely, whereas my Dads havent started to turn red yet. His cucumbers are ready for eating and mine are like well, let's not mention them.  So it is nice to swap. We are having a race to see who can get the first runner beans. Mine stand about the height of me now but no sign of a flower as yet.  The peas have been pulled, blanched and in the freezer and we have started on the broad beans. My dad and I sit at the table shelling them and talk of happier days when it would be a proper family event . We had rows of them in the field. My Dad and uncles would bring them in sackfuls and we all had our place around the table chatting away as we did them. My Mother would be in the back kitchen with the cooker on full blast and steam pouring out of the door blanching them. I cant write about it anymore as it makes me sad as those lovely family members are not with us anymore. It must be so hard for my Dad too, but he doesn't complain. But all of you who knew them ..Fred,Appy and my Mum , will know what I mean.

 Then there was fresh rosemary and garlic to stab into the cheese we started supper with this evening .

The waistlines never get less as I spend time baking , tonight it was plum pies .This one reminded me of Bowie ... such a vivid imagination people used to say to my Mother and I guess something never change.  It was just the plums had boiled out .

And I reckon the 4th photo down deserves someone to appreciate its art and pay me millions of dollars for this piece... might call it the end of the coffee cake .... or the scrapings of the bowl ...well it seemed more digestible to me than an image of an unmade bed

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Man with chainsaw

Man with chainsaw makes more space in the garden . Another part of our exciting 'Lockdown' programme .

Can't wait to see it finished and all climbing plants surrounding it .Place to sit and stare and breathe the beauty of the air .

I love using a chainsaw ,well who doesn't. But today again I had to leave it to the professional.  I said goodbye to the remnants of my beloved pear tree. Three firs which were planted out as little Christmas trees over the years and grown far too high , the rest of the the laurel that Jack took out to try to let sunlight to a bedroom window and also  a few self seeded bushed.

My vision for this is to create a sitting /eating area cocooning us with sweet smelling and colourful climbing roses, passion flowers and clematis and any other bits and bobs that I come across . Maybe a bed of sunflowers next year .Some of you may remember when Jack planted half an acre a few years ago to brighten things up . Any suggestions are welcome .

Hope your day was as productive as ours

Look who came to see the waterfall ..

This must be our video of the year even though you have to be quick to see it.I was clearing some of the debris away near the waterfall and heard a grunt and then another and it went on for 5 minutes or so .So I climbed up the bank side and [you have to be quick to see it at around 11 seconds in ] a deer had come to inspect what we had been doing . It is just above the waterfall but I am sure if I had been really still it would have come even nearer. This was 2.30 in the afternoon so when we say we have deer in the back garden we really do have. I guess the grunting was the fact I had blocked its path down to the back garden gate. 
Will be interesting to see if arrives later or if I have disturbed it for today

Monday, 6 July 2020

Jack's good idea

When Jack goes somewhere to eat, he always seems to be the one who makes the best choice from the menu. Go on a drive and he says lets just have a look down here and it turns into somewhere amazing when we were in New Zealand 14 years ago, we turn right and ended up at the Huka Falls...never heard of them before.

Last week, when the grandchildren were here they spent 2 very wet and happy days in the stream at the side of the house . Jack decided to make it a bit more fun for them as they tried to damn it up and so the idea grew. In 2021 we will be offering we will be offering a very unique space for guests to enjoy .And of course there will be days that the children will have their own waterpark. We need to get some tubes and clear the way stream for them too . I love using a chainsaw, there will be plenty of opportunity to do that from what I can see.
So here you see the beginning of something very new, very unique and very private. We will be able to let friends and guests enjoy when they come to stay with us here at
It isn't everyone who can boast they have their own private fresh water relaxation pool 2- 3 ft deep with waterfalls and shaded areas to enjoy the tranquility and peace of the countryside in their back gardens. As recommended in @cocotravels blog of perfect picnic places for 2020

Thursday, 25 June 2020

All in Order .

Just to let you know that when we feel the time is right to open our doors to welcome guests through our doors we are already ready .We understand the rules and regulations. We understand the precautions we need to take to make your stay as safe as we possibly can.

We are not opening for the time being as we feel that as lockdown eases that the virus will rear its ugly head again. With my dad been 97 and Jack and I the wrong side of 60  we feel for us it is not the right time. 

We do miss having guests here and I love to cook, so I miss the breakfasts ..the smell of cooking bacon. I miss cracking the eggs with their deep yellow yolks. I miss the smell of toast.  I miss your ohs and ahs when I set your plate down in from of you and I miss your cleared plates when you have finished. I miss the satisfaction I get form giving you pleasure of unexpected treats, of sharing our knowledge of the area. 

 Good To Go England

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Team building, Summer and Family

Talk about the Adventures of the Enid Blyton 5 .. We have our very own 5 ,when the children come . We are lucky to have the beck that runs down through our woods near the house and water has always been a fascination to children over the years . They don't seem to feel the cold , icy cold water. So today as the temperature peaked into the 30s there was no better place to be. We have waterfalls and they jump down into them fearless, but they want the water deeper .Only one way then is to dam the water up. They worked like little beavers as I sat on a moss covered stone watching them all do their bit . At one stage they started to make a mudslide but I could see accidents about to happen so the idea of that had to be aborted as they had took off their wellingtons and filled them up and pass them along for one to the other to make it quicker and easier for them.
They ended up taking their dirty clothes and washing them in the water like the people do at the side of the River Nile. Then putting them back on again. Emmy had just got some new Joules wellies which had a ruler marking on the back of them  which can in very useful. So off the wellies used to come off to see how deep the water was.
I said they were like water nymphs. But then maybe they were just wood fairies. So after happily playing for over 2 hours  with no fall outs ,they had fairy buns  and a change of clothes and went home smiling .
Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

A place to picnic by Samantha Wragg

We are very lucky to be added to a blog written by Samantha Wragg who goes under the name of @cocobutter

  • I just wanted to let you know that I've included Little Holbeck in my picnic spots blog post - - and I'll be promoting this across my social media channels tomorrow to celebrate International Picnic Day. 

    The best places for a picnic in the UK

    Best picnic spots in the UK
    With International Picnic Day coming up on the 18th June, let’s hope that the weather plays ball so we can enjoy some al fresco dining! There’s just something so magical about eating outside – little sandwiches and sausage rolls accompanied by a glass of fizz while relaxing on a picnic blanket, bliss!

  • We have some great local shops were you can buy items for your picnic or just let us KNOW and we can sort it for you 

T.he best places for a picnic in the UKLittle Holbeck“This picnic spot is free for guests to use when they stay here with us at Carr House Farm, Ampleforth North Yorkshire. It’s situated at the side of Little Holbeck which is set on the southern edge of the North York Moors National Park and in the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is part of our “back garden”. If you are quiet you will probably see deer taking their lunch and there are woodpeckers who nest here every year.”“This picnic spot is free for guests to use when they stay here with us at Carr House Farm, Ampleforth North Yorkshire. It’s situated at the side of Little Holbeck which is set on the southern edge of the North York Moors National Park and in the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is part of our “back garden”. If you are quiet you will probably see deer taking their lunch and there are woodpeckers who nest here every year.”

Best picnic spots in the UK
With International Picnic Day coming up on the 18th June, let’s hope that the weather plays ball so we can enjoy some al fresco dining! There’s just something so magical about eating outside – little sandwiches and sausage rolls accompanied by a glass of fizz while relaxing on a picnic blanket, bliss!
With a little help from some of my favourite hotels and tourist boards, I’ve put together a list of the best places to have a picnic in the UK. So pack up your (erm) pack up and pencil in the date to enjoy a munch at these perfect picnic spots. Don’t forget to observe social distancing and follow government guidelines at all times during your day out.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Sunday Update ,getting ready to come out of Lockdown in North YORKSHIRE

Can't believe it is 10 days since I wrote a blog. After writing one every day throughout lockdown I felt it was time to open out a little more. For you to go out and about as you felt fit and for me to focus on how we can think to reopen and what we need to do to make you feel safe and happy in your holiday surroundings.

So this is what I have come up with ..

I have bought enough hand sanitiser, disinfectants ,wipes and the like to sink a ship. Well maybe not a ship but it certainly weighed my car down at the back end. 

I already use a steam cleaner in bathrooms and will continue to do so and use it in the bedroom were possible .

Our laundry is professionally cleaned offsite in any case and the laundry services has had over 100 years experience and we have every confidence in them.

Booking will be for 3 days or longer as we intend to not have straight turn around .So there will be 3 days before you come into a room no one will have been before you and for the two days after you leave to safeguard me as well .

Any booking in 2019  we will take no deposits. Leaving you free to cancel ...but please let us now if you are not going to be coming to stay.

Our rooms have their own front doors so that if you prefer you do not have to have any contact with others you don't need to have. 

We are still thinking about breakfasts which we know are an important feature of why you come to stay with us. As we get more guidelines from the government we can put things in place.
Unless you are part of the same party, guests will sit at separate tables and if prefered seperate rooms. Or if the weather is nice maybe you would even like to enjoy it outside as we have done so many times over the last few months.

We are opening up more and more garden,field and forest space for you to enjoy. So if you just need to get away and not venture far but just come for a change of scenery and air we are hoping you will be pleased at what we can offer you.

We would like you to ring us 
to discuss your needs, your preferences and your worries too on 01347 868526.

In the meantime I will leave you with a few photos of life with us. I am still keeping my hand in cooking breakfast as Jack doesn't say no

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Not my last post but as Lockdown is easing

 All the way through lockdown I have been writing a post every night .
I felt I owned it to everyone to read them and enjoyed them to keep going. Some of my day are very much the same, eat, sleep and work or maybe sleep ...I love to sleep, so contact me up to 12.30 past midnight I am rarely in bed by then but when I don't have guests in I  sleep in . I sometimes don't even feel the urgency at 7.30am when someone rings to pick up the phone . It would be Jack's mate who wants some advice about his sheep or Jacks cousin Stuart who I am sure rings up at some unearthly hour to wind me up.  I plan to have a code if my Dad wants me. So the secret is out ,when I have been invited to do webinars and zoom meetings early doors you know why I dont accept the offer. Susan Briggs' zoom meetings I really look forward to.  I try to make them all as she has worked so hard during the lockdown to keep us all going I try not to miss those. So even if she did them at 6am I would crawl out of bed to listen in.

As you probably know I do a lot on social media and always trying to help other businesses and also during lockdown other than the telephone it has been a great way to keep in touch with people.

I set out with great intentions at the beginning of all this lockdown to get certain jobs done. One thing I really want to do is to finish a book I have been writing for some time, so this is why I am going to write random blogs probably once or twice a week. Forgive me, but by the time I write a blog, double check the spelling and still get words wrong. Find photos from my jumbled up photo library, it is nearing 12 midnight when I get these posts up ..often taking me around an hour.

Again we have had rain today, which as well as refreshing things has made the weeds wake up too so I really must spend some time before our little jungle becomes an even bigger one. It was 10.30 pm when I came indoors from the garden this evening  and it is twilight I love these Summer nights. There is some bonus to living in the Northern Hemisphere .

I will leave you this evening with some photos of what Nicholas has got going on at the farm. He runs Wass Grange Hatchery and here are some of today chicks that have hatched out . So I will retreat to my "hatchery" and bring you news again before too long.

Stay safe, dear people. Stay strong and remember we only one chance to get it right. So try to stay at home  and look after yourselves. Dont take any notice of other people if they want to venture out and be silly bs that is their choice. I would like to think we will all still be here tucking into our Christmas dinners and moaning about the sprouts.

If you know of anyone who wants any eggs hatching or chicks Wass Grange Hatchery has a facebook page and all contact details are on there.

No photo description available. 
Image may contain: food

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Did you do a rain dance

We were getting desperate for rain. Not only in the gardens as you can always carry buckets of water for these but in the fields. We have  some stony land on hillsides which when there is constant heat and sun they just burn off and there is no grass for the animals to eat.  The crops are not grow , the grain will not fill out on the stalks if there is no rain and we will have droughts . So as much as I have enjoyed the sun and the warmth we  were ready for a steady steam of rain.Native American Indian Rain Dancer On Prairie Wall Picture Art ...
So batty as I am I thought I must follow in the footsteps of the native American Indians and do a rain dance. And as my dancing feet  are not like they used to be when we used to 'rock around the clock" and Jennifer and I used to make regular trips to the Grand in Scarborough on a Friday night and show those townies what country girls were made of.  When we could balance on 6 inch heels and dance the night away.  Have 3 hours sleep and be up bright and breezy to start work ....those were the days...
Instead I did a gentle jig around the circular garden in front of the house..That is maybe why we got steady rainfall instead of a deluge.  A deluge after all this time of being dry would not have done any good.It would not have sunk in and probably caused more bother than what it was worth. The roses would have been battered to death and the peony would have lost their petals overnight.

So as the day went on the sunshine came back and we were reward with the most amazing fresh and flowery scents of the garden. Sorry I cant send you the smell but can share a few of the flowers with you. The sheep and the cattle are happy too as their pastures are refreshed and lets hope it rains gently for the next 2 weeks and nature will bring back the green grass, otherwise I will have to get my dancing shoes out again.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

if you like trees and water and peace

What do you have when you step out of your back door.

When you live in a place like we do I suppose we take it for granted and some people would spend a lot more time up here than we do . I like to be near water and near trees and sometimes away from the telephone too . Here is a short video to show you just some of the things what you are missing.

When Jack is near the trees he usually has a chainsaw in this hand.

Getting the wood in for winter and as you will see there are a lot of fallen branches to keep us busy. When guests come to stay with us they often get in their cars and go off for the days. To visit stately homes and castles ,walled gardens and even plant centres. They come for all sorts of reasons. But what better place to go some take a book to read,others an easel and some just nod off in the peace and quiet. So as we hope to be coming out of lockdown before too long we are starting to think that people may just want to have a bit of space to themselves ,to feel safe and not to join the multitudes but to come and stay with us and simple enjoy our "back garden" They need to bring their cameras too as you never know what opportunity is there for you to catch , a deer with young ,the woodpecker , the fragile life that live in the woods, fungi and microorganism today gone tomorrow.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Blowin' In The Wind -Bob Dylan with Lyrics

Bob Dylan originally sang a two-verse version of this song during its first public performance at Gerde's Folk City on the 16th of April 1962. I was only 6 years old when this record came out . It is an old favourite  of mine, so when I laid in the sunshine yesterday under the trees as the wind blew the leaves ...listen you can hear them ... and the words came back to me . And the little birds are singing too   for the song 

 and then what brought my thoughts to the record .  The Answer is Blowing in the Wind..

So you can see how when we have all this on our back doorstep why there is no need to stray too far, even though lockdown isnt as it was .We would rather be safe than sorry. 

 ps I haven't started tree hugging yet but Jack is a bit worried I am talking to my tomato plants ..but I just do that to wind him up .  And I must say for one who doesn't like cats by the time I got up this morning he had taken it out into the garden and put it in one of the wire penthouses we have if we have to have a dog in for any reason and there they were both side by side both enjoying the sunshine . 

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Early birthday present ....Kitten love

My birthday isn't until the 23rd June. I was supposedly born on the most romantic day of the year, but as I was told about 25 years ago which I hadn't known till then, it was a full moon. The Summer solstice and the night of a thunderstorm  if you find me a bit weird  I will put it down to that.

When I was small my Dad used to ice my birthday cake. My mum wasn't the best cook in the world in fact she was not very good at all .My Dad could plough a field and bake a cake and my Mum certainly left the icing to him . I have had ponies on cakes, sweet peas, even a goldfish. We often use the same cards from year to year. I remember when I was 7, I got a card and I liked it so much  it had a horse on rather than a pony .It was a bay horse with black man and tail eating in a field full of buttercups.  I had it until I was at least 12 I just got an extra x[kiss] on it every year.  That is what saddens me about life today it is so materialistic . One year I got a goldfish ,one, not a whole tankful but it swan round in a glass bowl. In fact as June is a busy month on the farm and hay making is more important ,the year I got my goldfish, on the actual day I got a carrot in the shape of a fish and a stick. I think it was the wooden end of an old washing up mop as my Dad hadn't had time to go to Malton to get a fish for me. So I had to stir the water round very quickly to make it look as if the piece of carrot fish was swimming . Children don't throw wobblies in those days ,it was a day when the rest of the family sang happy birthday to you  as you blew out the "preloved" candles on the cake. You had to be quick as the candles had to be used by others on their birthdays too ....and you were grateful. People say Covid will have an effect on people make them realise what small acts of kindness are and how the world will change and people will be appreciative  . I really wish this was true but I can't see it.

Duchess our cat is 15 years old now as April past. She was born the day Camilla and Charles got married .We had the Duke too , Marmaduke, but unfortunately he died . And I know she may last another year or two, the cat I mean not Camilla, but a time will come when she is no longer here. I have being saying for a while I was wanting another cat.

So I was delighted on Friday when my Dad rang me to say he had got my birthday present. He had gone down after tea to shut his greenhouse up and there on the path was a kitten. it had appeared from nowhere. Farm kittens are usually wild and sizzle, unless you get them early. If the mother cat sees you looking she is crafty and will move them. But this one was so quiet and let my Dad pick it up .How he managed to get it up to the house and into a box I don't know, as he walks with two walking
sticks but he had.  We reckon it is about 3 weeks old as I knew one of the cat had some about 3 weeks ago and as much as I had tried to follow her to find out where they were she kept giving me the slip. And so now you can see  my early birthday present. The verdict is out on a name so maybe you can help . My Dad thought Felix, but I am sure it is a girl, but he said they always had a Felix . I had a Belinda when I was young and loved it until a cow laid on and killed it. Then I thought of Rose and Daisy... and I can't really just call it cat with no name

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Roses are yellow

Just a little update on what is happening in my Dad's garden. I have been hoeing between his onion rows which was a harder job than I thought with one hand as I had an ice cream in the other. The rose bushes that were pulled off the trellis in the strong winds last weekend don't seem to look any the worse .In fact he counted over 50 blooms on it . The fuschia is looking glorious too . It has been there since  the year dot and however hard he hacks it back it always put on a good show .
We then went down into the green house and I dug some potatoes up for our dinner tomorrow. Yes it's Sunday again tomorrow and so it will be Yorkshire puddings.
The grapes are coming along nicely and all the fruit is formed in not much more than pin heads but it looks like a good crop. they tend to get mildew some years for whatever reason. My dad likes to dry a few bunches of grapes too so he can eat them in the form of raisins . I have yet to put some in a cake but maybe if I remember I will have a go later in the year.

It was a bit cooler this evening but my tomatoes at home are growing in leaps and bounds and so I have been busy staking some more up and tying them to the handles on the summerhouse windows .It is only as I type this now I wonder if I need a window open I will have to change the ties but it is dark now as it is gone 11pm.
But look at my first tomato, it is about as big as a marble. They are a bit leggy as I started to feed them with tomato feed as soon as I planted them. Father being the expert ,he  said you only feed them when you get fruit formed on them .. oh well ... . I also gave a splash to the lemon tree which after it's visit to Brown Nursery at Wiggington on the way to York  for professional guidance I am relieved to say it is sprouting new shoots

Friday, 29 May 2020

Banana and white Chocolate biscuits and what Friday brought ..

Well I didn't burn the biscuits, but when they came out of the Aga I thought do I leave them as they were a bit on the floppy side or bend them over like a sandwich. I chose the latter and took some outside this morning for us to enjoy in the sunshine. Some of them I took for the grandchildren so I am awaiting their comments ,it will be "please can we have some more "or "yuk".

 As the day went on the temperature rose, so did the thermometer got to a nice 100 degrees , which is 37.7 then it went silly but I forgot to take a photo and it got up to 42 degrees. I told my Dad he would have to stay inside until it cooled down. He said he had been in the greenhouse this morning and it was 120 degrees and in his bedroom which faces south it was 105. When I went over at teatime he was happily sitting in the shade of an ash tree with the hose pipe in his hand watering his vegetables. He doesn't believe casting a clout till May is out . Clout means his clothes and May is that the month of May or when the May flower is out - that is the blossom on the blackthorn hedges .This goes on to give us sloes for our sloe gin in Autumn. So as it is the last days of May he took it upon himself to change into his summer underwear and  he just hopes there isn't going to be any more frosts .
I heard this morning that Peter Dodd was leaving Welcome to Yorkshire . It is a sad day indeed as I felt  he was the strongest cog in the wheel and goodness know what will happen now . Time will tell. Peter did so much during his time at Welcome to Yorkshire . Did you know he was the main stay in getting the Tour de France Le Tour to Yorkshire.  He was in charge of the W2Y part of Chelsea Flower Show. And was so involved with the La Vuelta Spanish bike race,Amanda his wife had to reorganise her birthday. So we wish Peter and his family all the best in whatever direction he takes. So I will raise my glass of violet gin and home made elderberry cordial ... ok so I like my drinks sweet and say

Top award for Yorkshire garden | York Press
Thank you Peter and Good Luck

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Friday is #NationalBiscuitDay

Have you ever heard of #NationalBiscuitDay  I know they have all these#Days but one for biscuits.  So what am I doing at 11pm on a Thursday night making biscuits for tomorrow. 
I could have done without it but as I had 3 and a half very ripe bananas which I need to either throw out or use I started googling banana biscuit and low and behold there was a recipe .
So I read it once, read it twice, and then made up my own recipe as the recipe I read only used 2 bananas and had cinnamon in it . I think of cinnamon as a winter seasonings. I still work in ounces and pounds rather than grams but this was in cupfuls  that is too fiddly for me .So we have cups of varying sizes. So here is my recipe 
3/4 tub of Lurpak so approx 400 grams 
sugar to match and a bit more
 a large egg
a bit of bicarbonate of soda  a dig in with a teaspoon and then a bit shaken off
a pinch of salt as my mother used says it brings out flavours.
I substituted the cinnamon with two handful of white chocolate buttons which I broke up .
I started off with one handful and thought lets go mad and put 2 handfuls in .
 and as it is  this "Biscuit Day' 

They are still in the Aga so will have to show you the finished results later but can tell you I will probably be up till daybreak as those quantities will make enough to feed a regiment.

Also Blogger has updated its format so hopefully this comes out right  and the biscuits do too. 

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Be careful what you wish for

I would have loved to go to Whitby or Filey or anywhere along that stretch of coastline over the last few days as the weather I hear from my friend who lives there has been glorious. Far too many people about and really I never go to the seaside on Bank Holidays as I think it is the very worst time to go . The world and his wife seem to descend on the shore and most leave their brains at home. And especially this year when we are in /out /nearly in/nearly out of lockdown there was no way I was sitting in a traffic jam for hours to risk getting Covid.

So we have spent sunny days and balmy evenings in the garden.

In the post yesterday arrived my Simple Things magazine which is the first of three I have bought on subscription I have been deliberating whether I should bother and finally after 2 +years I decided to bite the bullet and order it .
So there I was laid in bed last night reading or rather flicking through the pages as I was too tired to set on to read much and they was a recipe for ... and crab... Ah crab, I thought, oh I wish I could get hold of a couple of crabs.

When I was a child I was allergic to them and got an itchy rash if I ever ate them and had to be taken to the doctors, who duly gave me a course of turquoise  tablets and I had a few days off school . So even though I got this very unpleasant rash I took any opportunity to eat crabs, so I could have time off school . Now you realise how much I hated school .If anyone who didn't know I wasn't supposed to eat crabs and I was offered them in a sandwich I munched them down quite happily knowing I would have a few days off school .

I grow out of my allergy as well as growing out of school. Both Jack and myself love a good crab sandwich. I mix the cooked meat with a blob of mustard which seems to enhance the flavour. My Dad is partial to crabmeat too, so there is one for him .

People talk about their prayers been answered ,well today my thoughts had been answered and Mark's friend who used to be a trawlerman off Whitby  arrived with a  bag and handed it to me at arms length .
They had arrived as fresh as anything trying to crawl out of the bag at 5pm this evening and now they are cooked and in the fridge ready for our crab sandwiches tomorrow.

When Jack was a bit younger he was determined to tempt fate and eat the dead men . He survived and I really not sure if they would do you much harm but I am not going to try them as even the feel of them put me off .But boys will be boys however old they are.

Can you eat crab when pregnant? What to know

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Woodpeckers still around

We usually see woodpeckers on the bird table - the black and white one which have a flash of bright red on them ... a bit like the red lipstick I used to wear, No 14 by Chanel ,which they don't make anymore . That makes for another story.
But we will stick to the greater spotted woodpecker that graces our garden. In winter we see a pair regularly. Guests  eat their breakfast  roughly the same time as the woodpeckers come to have theirs. You have to be very quick to get a photo of them and not too near a window ,but they come as regularly as clockwork. Now the garden is buzzing with them as they must have again hatched off a brood. They come like day trippers for a quick wizz round. The lockdown doesn't worry them as they are very timid and quick they self social distance whereas the robin,sparrow and blackbirds nearly eat out of your hand. I think it is their colouring that makes them look so exotic. If you don't see one, you will not be long before you hear one.
 I looked it up on Wikipedia.. and they call it drumming we call it tapping .Quite like a pneumatic drill at times. You can't believe such a little bird makes such a  big noise in the trees which surround the house. I have any idea where the nest is based as they always seem to head home in the same direction sweeping around the end of the house. It is in one of the Poplar tree plantation to the north of the house. The Poplars are a great height now but if we have the North winds they shelter us from them. We had one brach leaning too far over for my liking so last week when the men were here taking the ash tree down the young lad went up and took a limb out for us. I didn't want to get squashed by it as i needed the hot tub to be moved nearer the the east side to get more sun as the trees to the west block out the sun far too early in the day. The hot tub does get very hot as it is fueled by logs and I keep stoking it up . Had it up to 104 degrees one summer and felt pretty wobbly when I got out. Now you think oh tub let me explain it isn't your usual hot tub it is my hot tub built to my specifications . It is a 150 gallon cattle trough which has been fitted with a coil pipe which as it gets hot by burning logs around it heated the water up inside and works on hot water rises and has it comes out of the pipe the cooler water circulates . 
So tonight we have woodpeckers, poplar trees and water tubs  so you can see how my mind works most of the time 
A Wonder of Evolution - Woodpeckers | BirdLife
.All about the Great spotted woodpecker - GardenBird