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  ...so  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 ..now 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 ...hot 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

Monday 25 May 2020

Well Bob Geldolf I did like my Monday

I always remember when the Boomtown rats brought out their song in 1979 I don't like Mondays and it has stuck with me ever since.

 Monday was the first day back to school, which I hated to go to, after the weekend on the farm it was like being in a prison and so unnecessary, such a waste of "farming "time. My uncle left school at 14 and he didn't like school either. He didn't like singing lessons so the teacher used to let him sharpen pencils in the porch of the school. It did him no harm at 92 years old, 2 weeks before he died he was still writing cheques and keeping the farm books .Could add up and take away all the VAT in his head without a calculator .He did admit when it was taking 17 and a half % off an amount he had to concentrate. He used to keep both the accountant and the solicitor on their toes. I always felt comfort that before he went to Heaven that he had done a quick trip round the world to the Kremlin and the White House  and to other parliamentary homes of the World and back to give them a talking to in the Houses of Parliament before he laid to rest . He was interested in state affairs and politics and people said he would have made a barrister but he chose to work the land with his beloved horses.Image may contain: grass, plant, table, outdoor and nature

Anyway back to my Monday.

I actually had a very nice day and hope you did too.  I spent the afternoon out with my metal detector in the sunshine. Okay I didn't find anything but I live in hope.

 I hadn't been home long when I got notice from Cooper Wilson that he had a swarm of bees hanging off his garden table. As he is just a few miles away and these bees were very considerate as they were so easy to get. While the bees were settling into the box I took to bring them home in I took a look at Coopers' donkey she is lovely. It is always nice to catch up with Coops I have known him a lot of years and he never changes .He is a wizz with horses and rather like a horse whisperer I could have sat in his garden all evening  chatting about old times. He always has good stories to tell.  Please look at his website www.cooper-wilson.co.uk and this is an extract from it .. 

I have competed in Point to Point races, Team Chases and Cross Country events and have been breaking horses and ponies since I was 12 years old.
This experience has given me a deep understanding of horses and how to work with them, something that cannot be learnt from a book or course. I believe that I have served a lifetime apprenticeship with horses and that they have allowed me to develop a gift that I can now begin to repay. They continue to teach me about life in my interactions with them. I always give horses the choice and work with what they offer me. In this way they learn to trust me, and allow me to work with them to heal.
I hope that this site will broaden the way in which you think about, and interact with your horses and other animals.
I believe that horses and other animals we come into contact with often offer us everything they have unconditionally. Sometimes this is unintentionally abused due to sheer ignorance and as a result the animal suffers. We owe it to all animals to constantly strive to understand them better, to learn all we can and make their lives as stress-free and harmonious as possible.The man who communicates with horses | Craven Herald
Home - Cooper Wilson animal communicator, healer & Reiki

Sunday 24 May 2020

Have you heard of Zac's Virtual Tour

Recently I got a Facebook message from a friend telling me about this page to join . I hope you will too . 
ZAC"S VIRTUAL TOUR.   - I did as if it helps Zac to fill in a few hours of pleasure why ever not. It doesn't cost ,they are not asking for money just to spend a few minutes loading some photos for him. I am sure you will get pleasure too in looking and see photos from around the world . So if you have a Facebook page please .Be as creative as possible and take a look at some of the other posts which will give you an idea of what to do if you are not sure. I sent one with Jack and his dogs and puppies and some of my Dad in the garden .And a  few words about us too 

Hello everyone! My name is Denise and my friend and coworker Angela Connolly has asked if I could help her and her son Zac out but starting this group.

Eleven year old Zac Connolly is a fierce warrior who, as a toddler, successfully fought and destroyed 4th stage Neuroblastoma. Last year, he and his family were blindsided with the tragic news of his relapse. Recently Zac and his family have been told that his cancer has stopped responding to treatment and it has spread to a point where further treatment is no longer helpful.
Zac loves geography, maps, military and territorial history, especially Europe. Zac has received some postcards from people around the world and he is loving it! Some people have reached out and asked if we could make a page where they could post pictures about their daily lives in their own countries. So here it is, Zac's Virtual World Tour! Please share this link and spread it far and wide 🥰
If you are willing to send a postcard to Zac, that would be amazing! Please send them to Zac Connolly, 48B Levy Road, Upper Rawdon, NS B0N 2N0, Canada. They will be delivered right to him.
Thank you so much for helping Zac see the world! xoxo@[1358239864223264:11809:cover photo, Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

Saturday 23 May 2020

First Yorkshire strawberry

First strawberry of the season. 

Can't believe they have started to ripen so quickly .It was only the other week that the flowers were on them and I was weeding the strawberry patch at my Dads .My strawberry plants have formed fruit on them but probably need more water as we have hardly had any rain. My Dad tends his plants very well and tonight we shared the first strawberry. He sits in the shade of a tree in his deckchair and has the hose pipe in his hand watering his garden. It is good that the weather has been nice and he can sit out and enjoy the sunshine but some days when he has been in the greenhouse it gets rather too hot when the thermometer reaches 120 degrees

I hope there are some more that will ripen before too long as our three little "blackbirds"[grandchildren] arrived to stay with their Daddy the other day and are here for 2 weeks.  Martha is a really fruit lover and will probably pick a handful for "later' but she always like to share with her great granddad . The first week that there are here on the farm we are not seeing them  other than over the fence. We will be careful as with my Dad so old now we take all the measures we can to keep him safe in this Covid time. He loved to see them and they like to come to see him too . Now they are older they say we have just come to see if you are alright . They know where the goodie tin is too  and are partial to his store of toffees. Saying that they are very good as if it is near meal times they take one for after dinner.  Whether they eat it in the stackyard on their way home is another matter .

Tomorrow they will be having some new potatoes as Rubi helped her Daddy to plant them and they always taste better straight out of the garden  with a bit of butter on them





Friday 22 May 2020

When is my blog not my blog

Well tonight after doing a blog every night I have taken the easy road out and I am copying a blog by Will Hide who is a travel blogger who has written about me.  I have diligently been writing one every night in  lockdown .So as it is Friday night when once a merry day was the night we all went out .Tonight I will just have the night off I hope you don't mind but I will leave you in the capable hands of the professional blogger Will Hide   https://www.travelwithwill.com/post/__jam
  • Will Hide

We're jammin'. Hope you like jammin' too.The World Jam Festival in the picturesque North Yorkshire town of Helmsley may have been called off this year because of Coronavirus. But put September 11th and 12th 2021 in your diary when it will be back stickier and sweeter than ever.


We asked the event's coordinator, Anna Lupton, to give us her recipe for fig jam so on your marks, get set...cook!
"I am the world's worst at handing out recipes as I rarely use the scales," says Anna.
I was going to enter some of my fig jam in the festival … One year I made over 100 pounds of it.
What I do it cut the stalky bit that has not flesh in it off, and then cut the fruit in half then each half into quarters and add some lime juice as well as lemon just to take the “tacky” taste off it with just enough water to stop it burning on the bottom of my jam pan.
I would say 5 to 6 lbs (2.25-2.75kg). Keep giving them a stir and cook them until they have gone soft.
I just put the pan on the hottest ring of the Aga. I will have about 4 inches [by eye] deep and add about 6 scoops of sugar which I buy in bulk in 25-kilo bags, so again about 5-6 pounds, you can tell by the feel, which I know isn't very helpful to people how haven't made it before! Then stir it in and get it up to a good bubbling boil for about 10 minutes, stirring on and off.
Then I get a saucepan and drop a bit on and if it runs in a thick stream it's ready. I then add some butter, probably about 2 ounces. If it doesn't work you can add a bit more, to take the froth off the top, then take it off the heat."
If you want somewhere to stay for the festival, Anna runs her own B&B at Ampleforth so click HERE for details

Thursday 21 May 2020

is it a tree feller or a fella up a tree

They say from a small acorn doth the mighty oak grow. Well ash trees grow too. And the ash tree behind our house has been there for a very long time. 45 years ago it was just a nice 15 foot tree and as the years roll but so another ring on the tree grow. Sadly it has something called ash dieback and as a branch was hanging well over the kitchen roof if we had not had it taken down it could have caused a lot of damage.  I counted up to 60 rings on one of the branches  so that will make the branch 60 years old . I will let the grandchildren count the rings on the actual stump to see how many they can count..to know how old it really is .Well that will be their maths lesson for the day and keep them quiet for all of 3 minutes.

We were very lucky to have found Oliver of Bilsdale Tree Surgery by recommendation of another tree man who doesn't do jobs like this. It is a very skilled job I understood that .You have to have a head for heights and know which way a tree will fall. I love using Jacks chainsaw at any opportunity I can ...it is a bit like using the strimmer. You can see where you have been and have more or less instant results .

Of course it needs specially trained people with specialist equipment and huge saws and heavy ropes and pulleys. It is all very interesting to watch. Had I been 30 years younger maybe I would have been the only female tree feller in the country. I have half a head for heights and perhaps you just get used to it. I remember climbing the bales in the Dutch barn as a child. Going up was ok but I used to hold on for dear life as I made my descent.
Jack would be no good for the job as I remember when we were in Canada. I had to book months in advance to eat at the revolving tower in Calgary which is 155 metres high and revolves every 45 minutes getting a wonderful view of the city.  Well it wasn't quite the treat it was supposed to be .To get to the restaurant you walked over a glass floor on the top floor. If you had seen Jack ,he was like a stubborn sheep who just won't budge. I thought he was teasing me to begin with as Japanese tourists who were going to dine posed on the glass even laid down on it  to have their photos taken with nothing but a piece of glass between them and the ground 450 ft away .... Jack turn pale then red., yellow then green. I am sure he would have got a job as a mobile traffic light . He really couldn't hack it so we had to cancel our reservation and opted to eat on ground level.

Anyway back to the tree. It took nearly 2 days to get it all down but oh it has brought in so much sunlight and in another post I will tell you all about what I found in the underneath . There is now firewood to last us a very long time .This is just one of the piles in the photo but it will lay where it is to dry out for some time yet .
So if you have a tree that needs felling and need to know of someone reliable remember Oliver and his gang from Bilsdale Tree Surgery.  And if you are as lucky as I was I got treated to a sausage sandwich . They really make a good job and tidy up well. They burn the brash and the second day they barbecued their lunch in the hot embers






.

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Today has not been an easy day...

as we said Good Bye to a family friend

BEADNELL George Raymond 'Ray' (83) Born: April 20th, 1937 (Ampleforth, North Yorkshire) Ray joined the Junior Army aged 15, and subsequently served 25 years in the British Military with postings in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa before an honourable discharge at the rank of Warrant Officer, Class One

I have sifted through my photos and couldn't believe I can't find one of Ray. I have taken one his niece,Julie Hartley, posted of Ray escorting his sister [Julie's mum] to her wedding. When I look more closely at the photo, it is ironically as the lady holding the little girl I am sure is my mum holding me. We did things like that back then, going to watch other villagers getting married . Can't believe we haven't one of him on a shooting day or  from when we used to see him in the pub. But Ray was much more to us all than that.

I used to do his mums hair when I was a mobile hairdresser nearly 50 years ago. Ray was 20 years older than me , married to Pat. Even though he was a good shot I am told Pat was an even better one .They had 2 little boys John and Andrew.. dark haired little chaps  just like their Dad when he was young.
They lived in German and used to come back to the village to the family home on holidays, polite little boys . Life did not deal them a fair hand as Pat suffered a stroke and they came back to England early leaving the Army.  John, the eldest son  later followed in his parent's footsteps into the forces and sadly died at an early age.

When I got the message from Andrew who now lives in Canada that his dad had passed it was very sad. But felt very touched he had let us know with us as we all go back a long way. Ray is part of my Ampleforth roots.
Ray used to go shooting when he came home on leave in the fields that joined on to ours. Been the crack shoot he was, my Dad decide that it was probably a better idea to have him come shooting with us than not. He wasn't going to shoot a few in the wrong field if he could come on a days shooting.  In return he did so much for us .I remember 2 days before we were due to go on holidays he took the engine out of a red cortina we had as something drastic had gone wrong. we drove off to Holland without even having time to test drive it. Ray was there to mend an engine, mend your gun. Ring Ray...he would come to shoot pigeons on the corn fields with his camouflage gear.  I have seen many tributes to him of how he helped the young lads in the village with their motorbikes.  He always serviced our lawn mower too and a few pints were enjoyed in return. A man not to mince his words and swearing can quite natural to him but not in a nasty way .I can hear him now saying to me " What you doing with that silly bugger "meaning he didn't approve of my choice of boyfriend at the time. So as his coffin passed his house for the last time with Phil Thompson stood near the Union Jack ..Ray was a big British Legion man I cried as the hearst passed his old house and he was out of sight . I can see him now back straight as a ram rod in his khakis ,sleeves rolled up,sunburnt arms with the obligatory tattoo on his arms from his travels striding up the street for the last pint.
Then I rushed home to video the live stream service for my Dad. This is the result of the Coronavirus .Poor Andrew and his family were in Canada and so it was left to his grandchildren, John's children Anne-Marie and Christopher to stand at his grave site. As his coffin was lowered into the ground it was quite apt really that even though the little birds were singing in the churchyard a pigeon cooed in the distance. I think there would be a few swear words floating about as the pigeons will be able to eat the crops to their heart content.

R.I.P Ray -



Tuesday 19 May 2020

Glider pilots are starting flights again in the skies above Sutton Bank, near Thirsk, following the easing of lockdown restrictions by the Government.
Yorkshire gliding club, which is based opposite the North York Moors National Park Centre at Sutton Bank closed eight weeks ago, just prior to the official lockdown announcement was made, along with all other gliding centres in the UK.
The North Yorkshire club has become increasingly popular in recent years  offering fabulous views from the Moors across the Vale of Mowbray to the Yorkshire Dales.
We are only 10 minutes away from the Gliding Club so if you are thinking of bringing your glider and  taking to the skies we can arrange your breakfast to fit in with your flying patterns.
 .My uncle who had only been out of Yorkshire a couple of times in his 82 years ,had chance to go up in a  glider one day. He was braver than I am and thoroughly enjoyed his trip and I suspect he "farmed" all the way round. He came over the farm and we all stood out and waved to him . When I was a child most years we would have the great excitement of a glider down.... It was ok as long as it didn't land in a crop of corn and waste it . And we always got some money from the pilot for the  trouble they caused.
Gliders return to skies above North Yorkshire

Monday 18 May 2020

Cooking with Rosemary Shrager on Wednesday

I have always had great admiration for Rosemary Shrager, not just as a chef she is one of lifes' genuines . Down to earth and a great chef even though she never was college or cookery school trained and as she says learnt "on the hoof" and with a lot of hard work. She is happy in her "own skin" and I think that is why I admire her so much as I think I am a bit like her too .

.Wasn't Rosemary great , she was in the jungle ... her attitude lets get on with it and make the best of what we have. She makes things look easy and so even the most untalented cook will not feel over fazed 


Rosemary used to run a cookery school on the Isle of Harris and on Wednesday night you can cook along with her too. I wish I had been able to experience that. One day we will get to Harris if they will let us in.

Rosemary posted on her facebook page -La Voix and Rosemary are back on Wednesday at 6pm for another 'Queens of the Kitchen' cook along. She says  if you are joining us you will need to prep these ingredients (make sure the butternut squash is cooked in advance). Even if you don't fancy cooking along, join us anyway for a giggle!


I would have preferred her to be doing something with seafood ..she is a dab hand with lobster, but as we are still in lock down, we will have to be glad to be able to cook along together making risotto instead . I am sure it will be fun and if you open a bottle of wine and drink half of it before hand will be even more enjoyable. .Remember to dice the squash before you drink the wine .We dont need any accidents ...Happy Cooking,Happy Eating 



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Sunday 17 May 2020

Was my eyes playing tricks in Lockdown ..or is it just a topsy turvy day again ...

So Sunday was a strange day today ... Jack wondered what I had done to his Yorkshire puddings .I had added mint to the batter rather than put it in the gravy.  I cooked him a dozen and my Dad and I share a dozen with a few left over for my Dads dinners in the coming days.
As I was coming back from the farm I looked across the field and  thought by gum them sheep look white .
In fact they are a flock of Meat goats called The Boer goat 
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A commercial Boer goat buck
Commercial Boer goat buck
Boer goat, Doe
Boer goat kept as a pet
The Boer goat is a breed of goat that was developed in South Africa in the early 1900s and is a popular breed for meat production. Their name is derived from the Afrikaans (Dutch) word boer, meaning farmer.

They were probably bred from the indigenous South African goats kept by the Namaqua, San, and Fooku tribes, with some crossing of Indian and European bloodlines being possible. They were selected for meat rather than milk production; due to selective breeding and improvement, the Boer goat has a fast growth rate and excellent carcass qualities, making it one of the most popular breeds of meat goat in the world. Boer goats have a high resistance to disease and adapt well to hot, dry semi deserts as well as here in North yorkshire 
Boer goats commonly have white bodies and distinctive brown heads. Some Boer goats can be completely brown or white or paint, which means large spots of a different colour are on their bodies. They possess long, pendulous ears. They are noted for being docile, fast-growing, and having high fertility rates. Does are reported to have superior mothering skills as compared to other breeds.
So if you fancy trying some goat meat to eat you can always call Wass Farm Shop  on 07779340799 or look on the Facebook page to see what they have on offer at the moment.
Today they were enjoying the sunshine and looking at the oil seed rape which is in bloom at the moment in the next field.
Where was the lone goat herder as the song goes. https://youtu.be/UmmOJx_Hxto
eating his Yorkshire puddings I suspect