Saturday, 17 October 2020

Oh how Deer ... and precious

 How I love Autumn. 

The trees are looking amazing all warm red,oranges  and some days the skies are too as the sun rises and set. The former I don't normally see as many of you know I am quite a night owl. Although this morning I was up before 4am as we have just been having some new shelves put up in the and I needed to fill them ...well more like I needed to make space. 

I think it looks as if I will be back to writing my blog more often as we are going back into stranger times, so here goes.

I take some of the dogs out during the day when Jack is on the shoots and in fact have quite enjoyed it . I managed to pick quite a gathering of blackberries [before the devil spit on them ]- Some say the 10th October but as I looked this up I feel there is more sense to the date being the 29th September,which is Michaelmas.  After that the early frosts seem to come and make them all mushy . 

 I gathered quite a lot of fungi and we have survived although I left some in their natural habitat as I wasn't too sure.

The longer I walked the more the dogs seemed comfortable to do their own thing and  I liked that too as I wasn't tripping up over them all the time . They are very good and always come back when I shout ...well most of the time .

And look what I came across ... the photo below show a little fawn curled up in the sunshine. probably no more than a couple of days old. I have never been to one so close before and it warmed my heart for days.To begin with I wasn't sure if it was dead or alive .then I saw its ear twitch and a step nearer you could see its tiny body breathing . I went back a couple of hours later  without the dogs  just to check it hadn't been left .By this time it had opened its eyes as I heard a noise high above me .Its mother was calling out as I made a quick exit as I didnt want its mother not to come back for it .

Nature is such a marvellous thing and this last few months as the pace of life has slowed down for many of us we start to see things more or less on our doorstep . 

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Still gathering in the Harvest

 It has been a bumper year for fruit and vegetables,  so the house has had a lingering smell of vinegar over the last few weeks. Cucumbers ..there are only so many ways to eat cucumbers. I have not let any go to waste as made them into bread and butter pickle and not a piece of bread in sight. How it got its name as it is said it is so good to eat you only need bread and butter with it . We like it with cold meat or pork pie. It also went down very well with some Scotch eggs I made .They are easy to make and I think fry better when they are coated with semolina rather than bread crumbs and seem to hold to the sausage meat better. You may like to give it a try. .Also another tip about sausage meat is to make your own with minced pork . Just add some bread crumbs,herbs and an egg to bind it together. Works out it doubles in volume and so makes it a cheaper way to make your Scotch eggs,

Now I am into the hedgerows collecting rosehips, brambles and elderberries .I am concentrating more on picking rosehips as they have a higher value of Vitamin C in and at least don't stain your hands like elderberries. 

This morning Jack said when he was out with the dogs it was trying to snow. Do we really need it yet . It is certainly log fire weather now .

 I am busy saving any paper,  as in the Spring I am hoping to run courses for 6 people here. "A 6 friends get together" and will talk more about it in later postings  . But in the Spring looking to put together courses for you . The idea is to have one party of 6 people who are old school friends , relations - 3 generation parties  or just 6 friends wanting to get away and spend a few days together in a safe environment . We live in a dark sky area and what we take for granted is not what others have. So to enjoy eating a meal under the stars what better way to finish your day off. 

My website is going to be updated shortly and will then reveal all these new and exciting programme of stays that we hope may be of interest to you . And there will be always something you can take home with you too .

So now back to the pickling kitchen .

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

September is here.

Jack was off first thing yesterday morning back on the shoots. It was the first day of the partridge season. The day sets off just like sending your child to school, but for me it is sending the husband off. Clothes already laid out ,so no last minute rush.  Sandwiches, flask, more clothes in case the weather changed. Even wasp spray incase a dog got attacked. And goodness knows what else he had with him.

It is always strange the first day he is away after having him here since the beginning of February but with no lunch to get ready I was able to crack on with plenty of jobs. I was blanching  and putting beans into the freezer. Skinning tomatoes and putting them in too . I am nearly at the end of my tomato harvest, so started raiding my Dad's greenhouse.

The days are shortening, but with it brings those lovely Autumn smells and colours of the countryside.  Harvest is  a busy time in lots of ways for us .My dad is disappointed he can't go to the sheep sales as he is over 70 . On the 25th, he will be 98 and is still as wise as an owl and as cute as a monkey. He was having beetroot sandwiches for his tea last night as he likes to boil them and says I don't cook them long enough. He has grown enough to keep him in beetroot sandwiches for the winter.

Hope you all managed to watch the first in the new James Herriot series last night. It is great to showcase the area, but coming from a farm I think I could have done a better job of calving that cow. But certainly the best hours viewing I have watched for a long time .

The Harvest Moon was full last night and will shine for 3 nights at least . Marvellous how nature helped the farmers light the fields before tractors were thought of .

Friday, 21 August 2020

2020 Summer Newsletter - if you would like quarterly ones please go to website and sign up

Well what a roller coaster ride 2020 has been so far. Here's hoping this email finds you safe and well.

Here in North Yorkshire, we have been keeping our heads down and have set out to do lots of things. We are in our 42nd year of ‘should be welcoming’ guests so making things better here for when we are open up again. I really miss having guests staying, so if I can't cook for you, Jack is getting double helpings here! My Dad enjoys the extra baking too.

I have even been making bread and some damper bread which you make in flower pots. I have dried wild garlic and made proper mint sauce enough to feed an army so need some more shelves up in the store cupboard.

First we set on and had a stretch of the driveway concreted so gone are the potholes and a drain down the side so hopefully this will take away the excess rain that used to wash down in bad weather.

The grandchildren have spent some lovely days here playing in the stream and waterfalls.

We were named as one of the top 6 places in the UK for our picnic area which is up in the woods and only accessible to our guests.

We have seen the deer bringing their two fawns within 15 yards of the house when they would be no more than 2 days old.

We have had some lovely puppies and now they have gone to their new homes.

So keeping the best until last

We are thinking to put in 2 rooms… fridges, toasters, microwave and a selection of crockery, cutlery etc. so you can make you own meals and snacks so you do not have the hassle of having to go out to eat.

This is not full self catering but we are asking for your comments to see whether this is something you would like to see happen or are you happy for things to stay as they are and you just come on a bed and breakfast basis. Also any other ideas of how we move forward to providing you with what you think would enhance your stay with us.

Again we trust you are safe and well and look forward to seeing you when time allows.

Best Wishes from

Anna and Jack
Carr House Farm B&B

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Hidden Places and more gardening in August

A place I am going to visit in September when the schools have gone back.


Hidden gem: Hayburn Wyke

Found along the Cleveland Way National Trail, hidden beyond deer-dwelling woodland, the secret cove of Hayburn Wyke offers a pebbled paradise, home to a host of shallow rock pools at the foot of dramatic cliffs. A place to explore from both above and below, those longing for a relaxing coastal walk you can dream of strolling along the clifftops, discovering an old railway line and wandering through ancient woodlands, full of stunning native trees in all their autumnal glory.

But there again it is maybe not as nice as been here,but for me it is a change and everyone loves a change.

It has been a busy time in my summerhouse turned greenhouse as I am the proud owner of 2 cucumbers. I say the proud owner but haven't eaten them yet, but we have had lots of tomatoes .I thought this marrow was very "designer" too, it had just grown like that.  I have picked the first blackberries - we call them brambles and will have them stewed with apples.

And lastly for today there is a brand new James Herriot series  -All Creatures Great and Small coming out in the Autumn. I think I will have to start writing my blog a bit more often again  as so much has been happening of late and I want to keep you up to date with all that is going on. 

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.