Wednesday, 31 March 2010

No news is good news

I think I'm going to have to stop listening to the news on the radio, I can't stand all the bickering that is going on between the political parties. I suppose it is only to be expected in the run up to an election, and it is going to get a whole lot worse the closer we get to it.

I used to be quite interested in politics, especially when it concerns matters that might affect me and my life, but these days the politicians just want to score points off each other rather than run the country. Some of the interviews end up as slanging matches, I get so annoyed I just want to bang their heads together.

What really makes me blow a gasket is to listen to them discussing the financial deficit, and how they are going to get us out of this mess. It sounds to me like the UK is bankrupt, but that's hardly surprising, their business acumen is appalling. They pay people who have no intention of looking for work, they pay women to have lots of kids, they let anyone into the country and give them anything they want, and they prop up businesses that are about to collapse, then allow the directors to carry on paying themselves massive bonuses.

And then they have the gall to say there is not enough money to look after our older generation, and they want us all to pay into an insurance so we can have care in the home. Excuse me Government, what happened to all the income tax and national insurance contributions I have paid for the last fortyfive years? Mr Brown, what have you done with my money? I didn't have a choice, you took it from my wages. I thought that was my insurance, that it was going to be used to look after me. And now you want more, because you have squandered all the money I have already given you.

I'm going to have to stop listening to the news.

Ship shape and Bristol fashion

I've done my litter picking stint this morning, in between the showers. The village is starting to look ship shape and Bristol fashion now, no idea where that saying comes from, or what Bristol has got to do with keeping things tidy, ha ha. It's surprising how many people are speaking to me as I go around with my plastic bag and pickstick, everyone says hello, or good morning, or makes some light hearted comment about the weather. I seem to have aquired lots of new aquaintances. People even shout and wave to me from across the street. I was worried that people might think I was bonkers, but it has not happened I am pleased to say.

I started some small talk with a woman waiting at the bus stop, as I picked a sweet wrapper up from near her left foot. She asked why I was doing the job. I thought that was a strange question. I muttered something about the kids buying sweets from the shop and discarding the wrappers as they walk along. She immediately replied, 'It's not kids from round here that are doing it'. I said, 'I don't care where the kids come from, I am fed up of seeing it lying around so I am doing something about it.'

I see we are entered in the Best Kept Village competition, there is a poster on the notice board outside the Post Office. I will try and find out when the judges are expected to come and look round the place, then I can put a bit of extra effort into it the week before. It would be nice if we could win, we have been very close in past years.

Talking of rubbish, we have just had the new Thompson Local Directory delivered. I can't see the point in this publication when we have two perfectly acceptable directories called Yellow Pages and The Phone Book, both from BT. Why do we need another one? Well I don't want it cluttering my office up, it is going straight into the recycle bin, along with all the other junk mail.

I'm off out now to take Ben dog a walk. You can bet your life that if I don't take my pickstick I am bound to see some litter lurking, so I had better take it, just in case. We shall go a walk up to the smallholding so I can get some free range eggs, I have run out. Toodle pip.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Try something different

I picked up a few bits of shopping yesterday on the way home, and was pleased to get a decent size cauliflower for 50p, (normal price), and some reduced price broccoli. However I was not pleased to discover that my usual Tesco fruit yogurt had gone up a massive 20p, from £1 for a pack of six, to £1.20. What a cheek! I wonder why it has leapt up so much, is the fruit in short supply, or has half the country's cows dropped down dead?

I decided to leave them on the shelf and think of something else I could have as a treat that doesn't cost as much. I noticed they had a special offer of 70p on the 500g size of Low Fat Natural Yogurt, so I bought one.

When I got home, I opened a tin of Morrisons own brand peaches in light syrup, and was impressed that the tin was packed full of fruit, not half full of juice like you would expect of a cheap 24p tin. I chopped the peaches and put some in a dish and covered it with the yogurt. It's lovely.

So for 94p I have got a lot more fruit yogurt than I would have had out of six little pots, and it keeps for almost two weeks in the fridge. The moral is, if you find prices have gone up more than you are willing to pay, look for something cheaper that is just as good. Be prepared to change your normal eating habits and try something else.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Derbyshire Peak District

I don't know if I mentioned that I had joined it's a lively forum and there is always something going on most weekends. Ten of us met up yesterday morning at the church in Youlgreave, a village in the Derbyshire Peak District. The weather was mainly sunny with a light breeze.

It made a nice change not to have to find my own way, although I still carried a map because I like to keep a record of where I have been. Forgive me if this post is lacking in detail, but I rather let my concentration slip a bit as I was enjoying the company and looked on it more as a day off.
There are quite a lot of unusual shaped rocks in this area.

Everyone rushes to be the first one to the top.
Lovely views from the top of this pile of rocks.
This is the entrance to Hermits Cave, it was believed to have been inhabited around the 12th century, it's occupant carving a Christ image into the rock.

Tall rocks hidden behind the trees.

These lamas live at Barn Farm, a holiday complex for campers and caravaners.

Boys will be boys. Radder and Joe are standing on a funny shaped rock called the Cork Stone. It is a tall stone which has been shaped naturally by the weather.

One of the many stunning views looking down from Stanton Moor.

Here's one for us, girls. Now you know why I like walking. When you get eye candy like Radder, it's worth going, believe me he is a hunk :0)

Some of the boys like climbing, and here they are looking up at The Earl Grey Memorial Tower. Shall we give it a try? This memorial was built in 1832 to mark Earl Greys electoral reform bill that gave every man the right to vote.

The legend of the Nine Ladies Circle says that it was formed when nine witches were turned to stone when dancing to the music of the fiddle. Thank you to Joe for giving us printed information on these landmarks.

Nearing the end of the walk it was time for a group photo session.

And finally a pretty little cottage next to the River Lathkill in Alport. It looks a lovely place to live, but I'm not sure I could stand the noise of the water rushing past my front door every minute of every day.

This morning was a bit disappointing. After staying overnight in Hathersage Youth Hostel, I was looking forward to another day of getting high, onto the moors that is, ha ha. A drizzly misty start, and the weather forecast said it would be the same all day. Oh well, better make the most of it while I am here. I checked out of the hostel and set off. Not too bad, just a bit damp.

It got worse, the mist came down covering the tops. I did manage a couple of climbs. When I say climb, I don't mean with ropes, they are just very steep hills, I am not into mountaineering. These boulders were huge at the top of this peak.

After a couple of hours the rain was coming down heavier and I was getting fed up of plodding through mud, so I headed back to the car. I came across this strange ruin in the middle of a wood. Not sure what it might have been, but I thought it looked interesting.

I think I'll stay at home for a few days now. We've got Easter coming up, I don't like going anywhere on a bank holiday, too much traffic, too many people.

Back in a bit

Have you missed me, sorry about disappearing again. I went to meet some walking pals from the forum, yesterday.
We met in Youlgreave, Derbyshire, had a lovely walk, then I stopped in a Youth Hostel at Hathersage, and did some more walking this morning. I cut it short because of the rain so I am back a bit earlier than planned. I'll post again later with some pics when I get them sorted out.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Ramble around the Lincolnshire Wolds

I've done it! ;0) I wanted to beat the 16 miles that I did last week, yesterday's walk came in at 18.13 miles on the mileage checker I walked my little legs off, ha ha. I decided that to walk further I needed to choose an area closer to home, so I drove 23 miles to the Lincolnshire Wolds. The hills may not be of the same greatness as Yorkshire or Derbyshire, and may not require the same level of physical fitness, but the views are still impressive, and the solitude of walking in a less busy area gives one the sense of being at peace with nature.

I set off from Nettleton , a village a mile and a half south of the market town of Caistor. The time on the clock church is 10.30am.

My route for a good part of this walk was the Viking Way. I have walked the northern parts of this long distance path around Barton upon Humber before, so I wanted to see how it develops further down. The only problem I can see with walking the Lincolnshire Wolds is the lack of footpaths. Not a problem with shorter walks, but to do a longer circular walk, without doing a lot of road walking means going a bit out of your way to get back to the start. Which is what happened to me.

I came over the brow of a hill and came across this beastie chewing the cud. Not knowing if it was a he or a she, I kept my eyes on it as I gave it a wide berth. It glanced at me and carried on chewing. On closer inspection I decided I was safe, it looked as if it was ready for the knackers yard and wouldn't have the energy to haul itself onto it's feet. Phew, I'm always cautious where cows are concerned.

In fact I came across a lot of cows, didn't always have to walk through them but they add a bit of interest to the photo's. I think we should all stop eating them and just keep a few as decoration, but that's another subject for another time.

Gentle rolling hills were the order of the day.

On the map it said disused pit, I came across several of these tunnel entrances which have been bricked up. It looks as though they went into the hillside and came out at the quarry at the other end. Probably a way of transporting the chalk away from the area.

I was lucky with the weather, blue skies and fluffy clouds for most of the day, with the ocassional dark cloud passing by.

I spotted this golf ball from a distance,

and made a short detour to get a close up picture. It's a Radar Station.

I passed through the pretty little village of Normanby le Wold, and came to Walesby. The church is worth a good luck round here, as it is called The Ramblers Church. It sits high on a hill outside of the village, and is lovingly cared for by local volunteers.

A notice on the board says they had some lead stolen from the roof, and it has now been replaced with a substitute material which has no value at all, and is security marked. We have had that same problem, as I suspect a lot of churches have, twice our lead has been stolen. It is now going to be repaired with stainless steel.

This is the view from the church looking out over the Wolds. The wooden bench gives walkers a welcome rest place. Looking across the horizon I can see Lincoln Cathedral, a good 25 - 30 miles away.

As I left the church I looked back to take this photo.

A lot of the footpaths were well defined bridleways and easy to follow. If you look on the horizon of this photo you can see where I entered the bridleway from the road, the path followed the gentle curves along the edges of the fields.

I left the Viking Way at Tealby, it was about time to set off back. I went through Tealby, Stainton le Vale, skirted round the edge of Thoresway, and arrived in Rothwell to see this babbling stream.

All the villages have their own individual signs, this one stands proudly on the roadside close to the pub. It's a shame that I am too early for the daffodils that are about to come into bloom at any time.

I arrived back at my car at 6.55pm, just in time for the Archers. Thank goodness it isn't far for me to drive back home after my epic journey. You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

I am a mapaholic

I think I need to join OS Anonymous, if there is such a thing, I am hooked on Ordnance Survey maps. 'My name is Ilona and I am a mapaholic'. I have just bought three more, well they were on offer, buy two get one free, so I had to take advantage of that.

I have a total of nine now. I like the newness of maps. When I open one I imagine a journey of discovery, like I am the only person who has ever been there. I gently tease out the folds, taking care not to tear the paper. Then I spread them out on the floor and search for interesting places to visit, lakes, rivers, hills, mountains, forests, woods, railways, nature reserves, castles, churches, they are all there on the map, so much to see.

I spend hours just reading maps, I even read them in bed, planning where I am going to go next. Give me an OS map and I am happy. Is there no hope for me!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Not talking with robots

Today I have been comunicating with a robot, yet another of our public services has gone automated. No longer is there a counter with welcoming ladies ready to assist with the returning and borrowing of books, now we have a robot, which apparently can do the job just as well, without the smile and chit chat of course.

I was in the library today and chose three books, pressed the 'borrow books' button on the screen, and inserted my card underneath the scanner, bar code uppermost. The message came up, 'error, seek assistance from a member of staff'. I looked round, where was the member of staff, now they have all been dispensed with. I spotted her sitting at a little table in the corner, tapping away on a keyboard. She put my details into her computer, and handed the card back to me. She said, 'That's ok now, you've been updated for another three years'.

The nice smiley chatty member of staff approached the robot to show me how it works. Scan the card, put the books onto the shelf below the screen, press 'print ticket', and there you go, job done. It even knows how many books, and their titles, I have out already. Apparently if you put 20 books on the shelf it will read twenty titles, and list them all on the ticket. Amazing. All very well when the system is working, but what happens when it crashes, will they go back to the old fashioned way of rubberstamping the date inside the cover?

I don't like all this automating things. I remember when I was at the Job Centre (Labour Exchange) searching for a job by pressing buttons on a screen, then printing a ticket out. The one I really hate is the serve yourself checkouts at the supermarket, what a pain that is. Whizz an item over the scanner six or seven times, and it still won't blasted well scan. I gave up with that one and would rather wait for a real person to serve me.

I can cope with the hole in the wall to withdraw cash, but I still like paying my bills the old fashioned way by writing a cheque. They say it won't be long before cheques will be phased out, I think we should all be fighting against that happening, and writing as many cheques as we can to let the powers that be know we want to keep them. Don't suppose it would make any difference though, we are all doomed to a world run by robots. That's a thought, maybe they will make a better job of it than the present lot we have in power.

Monday, 22 March 2010

The sequel

I have just written a sequel to Martha Elizabeth Helen, and posted it as a comment. There are parts of the story which will never come to light, too much time has passed, I felt I had to draw it to a conclusion here. Thanks for reading.

Pussycat bag

I've been neglecting my craft work just lately, sorry to the people that look for my creations. I have just made this shopping bag which I am going to give to my friend Sue who has thirteen cats, I think she will like it. I thought I had used up all of the gazebo roof which I pulled out of a skip, but I found one last piece in my garage. A good scrub up with soapy water on the table in the garden, and it has come up like new.

The size is 13" tall, 11" wide, and 7" deep. I cut the cat shapes out of the vinyl from the Scrapstore and stitched them on by hand. I did try machining them on but it wouldn't feed the fabric through smoothly and the stitches kept getting smaller. I used blue embroidery thread to match the bag so it looks acceptable, in fact it gives it a home made look. Can't wait to give it to her, I am as excited about it as she hopefully will be.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

She's a good sport

Hasn't it been a lovely day today. I went another walk this morning, no not my usual hike, this time it really was a stroll in the park. My friend Irene did a three mile sponsored walk for Sports Relief, along the roads surrounding Central Park. I went to keep her company. There was the usual razamataz at the beginning, the warm up session that had us hopping about and clapping our hands, the colourfull fancy dress outfits, and the pop music blaring out. It was nice to see a lot of families with small children taking part, groups of teenage girls enjoying themselves, and a few serious runners who were quick off the mark. This is Irene.
It didn't seem to take us long to complete the circuit, even though we were last in the three mile event, mind you we were nattering all the way. I think Irene did extremely well considering it wasn't that long ago that she had an operation, and she also has a few back problems. As far as I could see, Irene was probably the oldest person to take part, and I was probably the second oldest, ha ha.

When we got to the finishing line Irene was given her goody bag and a medal, then I was handed one as well. I said I wasn't taking part, but they insisted I had one because I did the walk. So we both have a medal. I think Irene might get hooked on this walking lark, maybe I have found a walking buddy.

I called in Tesco on the way home and found a few bargains. I spent £4.45 on reduced price, bread, crumpets, hot cross buns, mushrooms, potatoes, and cauliflower. That is all I need, I still have lots left from my big shop last week.

I did a bit of work in the garden this afternoon. Normally at this time of year I have got my seeds in trays on the window sill, but I haven't done anything yet. I will have to pull my finger out or I will have no veg to eat in the summer. I am going to keep it simple this year, only grow stuff that doesn't need pampering, I will get it started then it will have to look after itself.

I found some seed potatoes for £1 a bag at Poundland. They were well chitted so I put them straight into the raised beds. I have sown runner beans, tomatoes, and cucumber seeds, in plastic drinks cups. I didn't buy any new compost, but used the old compost from last year out of the raised beds. I don't know if the seeds will germinate, we shall see.

I've still got some sprouts left to eat from last year, as soon as they have gone I can use the bed again for something else. I am not going to do brassicas again, it is just too much trouble to keep them covered. You get them going in the spring, the butterflies somehow manage to get under the net curtains and lay their eggs, and the slugs attack them from the bottom. I just can't be bothered.

I will just grow the things that I know will do well, like the courgettes, cucumber, salad leaves, runner beans, a few tomatoes, carrots, and of course spuds. They will have to look after themselves while I go gallivanting about.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Martha Elizabeth Helen

March is always a sad month for me. The 4th was my mothers birthday, she was born in 1918, and the 20th of March 1982 is the day my dear mother died. She was 64 years old and suffered a fatal heart attack. It was such a shock to us, my brother and sister and me.
When I was young she told me stories of her life in Hamburg. She had a comfortable life as a child, her teenage years were happy years, and in her early twenties she married and had a son, she called him Ingo. Her husband was unfaithfull and in those days that meant divorce.
Then came the war and she found herself homeless with a little boy in a pram, most of Hamburg had been flattened. She met my father who was a serving soldier, and came to England to marry him. There was pressure from family members to leave her son with his father to be brought up in the country of his birth, his father had remarried. This must have been a heart breaking decision to make, but as she did not know what she would find in England she thought it best to go along with their wishes. One can only imagine how distraught she might have been, Ingo was four years old.
Mum then had four more children, the last one being a premature baby boy that did not survive. Alas her second marriage was unhappy, she did not get the support she needed from my father, and it ended in divorce. In the beginning there were letters, and photographs of Ingo, arriving from Germany, but they eventually became less frequent and stopped altogether. Her life revolved round us, her three children born here. Although she had very little money, she went without herself so that we were clothed and fed. She had such a hard life, she was a hard working woman who did her very best for us.
In 1981 mum received a telegram from her brother Henry in Hamburg, he had received a phone call from Ingo, asking about his birth mother. He was now 37 and wanted to contact her. Next came a letter from Ingo and over the next few months letters and phone calls passed between mother and son.
A date was set for mum to travel to Germany to meet Ingo, I was to put her on the boat at Harwich, and Ingo was to meet her at Hamburg. She wasn't able to make the journey, she had a heart attack a month before she was due to go. She said she didn't feel well so I called the doctor. I watched him in disbelief as he pounded on her chest with his fist, cracking her ribs in the process. I rang for an ambulance and thankfully the medics came within minutes. They continued resuscitation all the way to the hospital and they managed to save her life.
For several months after she wasn't well. I was writing to Ingo in English and he was writing to me in German. We both had to get our letters translated. I told him that she wouldn't be able to travel, even though she was recovering from the heart attack, she had developed angina. He would have to come here to see her. Ingo wrote to say he would come on the 1st of April 1982, he would fly into Heathrow Airport and I said I would be there to meet him. She died on March 20th, she never saw her son again, and he never saw his mum.
My darling mother, after all this time I am still carrying the pain of your passing, the tears of sadness flow freely from my eyes, on this day every year.
RIP Martha Elizabeth Helen

4.3.1918 - 20.3.1982

Friday, 19 March 2010

Not a stroll in the park

I finally decided that my walk was going to be a one day walk, so I asked my mate Tony if he would like to come along. He wasn't needed at work so he he said he would. Tony isn't an experienced walker, in fact never tackled anything like this before. He was happy to leave the route to me, saying that ten miles was about right. He also warned me that he was a fast walker, I didn't mind because I wanted to get more miles under my belt anyway.

We got to Pateley Bridge, a pretty stone cottagey type small town a few miles north of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, at 9.50am and got on our way at 10am. We left the car in a long stay car park, I was certain that we would be back before they closed the gates at 6pm.

We set off along the Nidderdale Way, this is a circular 53 mile long distance footpath around the valley of the River Nidd. It wasn't long before we reached Gouthwaite Reservoir. Quite often you can walk along the top of a dam, but this one had locked gates across. I was only able to get this photo of the impressive structure as it was partially screened by trees and bushes.

The path follows the edge of the reservoir along the whole of it's length, I looked back and took another shot, you can just see the top of the dam on the left.

And another view forward. By now we were striding along, the well walked path was easy to follow. We arrived at Bouthwaite at the other end of the reservoir, and continued on to Lofthouse.

Tony was beginning to flag a bit so I suggested we take refreshment, there is a hotel marked on the map. His pace quickened when we saw the sign for The Crown, 500 yards. Amazingly a real log fire was ablaze in the grate as we walked in, very hot and thirsty. A pint and a half of cider was ordered and we went out to the garden to sit in the sun. It was turning into a glorious day. The view beyond the lovingly maintained gardens, of the hills reaching up to a perfect blue sky, made me think, you can't get better than this.

It didn't seem to matter that we ate our own sandwiches, in fact I think it was positively encouraged. The elderly rather portly dog which eyed us up in the bar, rose slowly to it's feet and walked ahead of us towards the door. I realised later that he has probably gone through this ritual many times before. We sat down, and so did the dog. He seemed to have a fixation towards Tony, and more importantly to what he was eating. I'm sure he sensed that Tony had the meat and I didn't. It was so funny, his stare never wavered, pleading with his eyes untill Tony caved in. Clever dog.

Leaving The Crown we went up Trapping Hill, a minor road which climbed steeply towards Lofthouse Moor. Nearing the top we took a footpath on the left which took us along the edge of the moor past Thrope Edge. It was very high up here and gave spectacular views.

We were striding along without our jackets on and hadn't noticed the cloud coming over. The wind started buffeting us from across the moors, but we didn't care, we joked as we went along. Two walkers coming towards us were well wrapped up with all the gear, they looked frozen with drips from their noses, and I could swear that one of them had tears running down his face. Anyone seeing us would have wondered what we were on, all I can say is that we had taken copious amounts of our glorious countryside. Surely better than any drug you can get from a dodgy guy on a street corner, and virtually free as well.

I didn't take many photo's because Tony seemed keen to stride on. I'm not sure whether he wanted to get to the end more quickly, but I did say that if he was uncomfortable or he was in pain, I could modify the walk and cut it short and head back. He said his feet were hurting and his back was aching a bit, but he was alright to carry on.

Coming down off the moors we did a u-turn and rejoined the Nidderdale Way to head back. By now jackets were needed, as it looked as if we were in for some rain. I hate walking over the same ground twice so I picked out a route which made a slight detour bypassing Lofthouse, and through a small village called Middlesmoor. We checked the time every so often and I reckoned it would get us back to the car just within the 6pm deadline, although it would be cutting it a bit fine.

So no time to waste, we quickened the pace. We planned to come back down the other side of the reservoir, using mainly footpaths but a little bit of road walking. I'm pleased we took the detour because we came across How Stean Gorge. The road goes along side it and you can look down into a deep ravine, and see the caves and massive rocks below. Pity we haven't time to stop and explore.

All was going well, we were making good time....untill we came across a stream that we had to cross. I'm sure there should have been a footbridge, or some stepping stones to get across. Maybe the fast flowing water had washed the stones away. We could see the stile on the other side that we had to climb over, but how can we get across the water. Tony found a spot with two or three large stones which were above the level of the water, and decided he could stride across. I didn't have the confidence to try it as my stride is not as long as his, and one of the stones was partly submerged and was no doubt slippery.

There was only one thing for it. I took my boots and socks off, rolled my trousers up to the knee, and gingerly stepped into the freezing water. I was in danger of losing my balance not knowing how deep it was, and how slippery the stones were, so halfway across I hurled my boots towards Tony so I could use my hands to steady myself. I reached the big boulders on the other side, my feet were so painfull with the cold, I thought I was going to lose my toes to frostbite. After half an hour of walking they were just about getting back to normal.

Further on we came across this non stream. It looked a bit strange, dry rocks, I've no idea where the water went. This one was a lot easier to cross, ha ha.

Passing Ramsgill we still had a long way to go, but I was still optimistic we would make it and get the car out before 6pm. Although we were covering a lot of ground quite quickly I must admit I was becoming a bit anxious as I checked the map, and the time, every few minutes. I hate deadlines. By now Tony was almost on his knees with his painfull feet, but he put a brave face on it. At 5.15pm our chances of getting there on time were becoming slim. We had decided to stay on the road for the last few miles as it seemed the most direct, and made quicker easier walking.

We passed a bus stop and eagerly studied the time table, was there a bus coming, no. Only one thing left to do, try and get a lift. When we heard a vehicle approaching we turned to face it, put our thumbs up in good old hitch hiking fashion, and prayed for someone to stop. It's a long time since I have done that. Eventually a guy in a Range Rover took pity on us and pulled up. We couldn't thank him enough. I was surprised at how much further we travelled in the car, getting the lift was the right thing to do. We would never have walked that distance in the time we had left.

I have checked the distance we walked, and it was 16 miles. If we hadn't had a time restriction I am sure I could have walked the last three miles. Not bad for a Fit Old Bird.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Just get on with it

I am spending far too much time dithering, weighing things up, shall I shant I, this way or that way, it's driving me nuts. I need to get a grip, make a decision and stick with it instead of changing my mind every five minutes.

Take this weekend for example, I wanted a long weekend away, but where shall I go? I have spent most of this week searching through my maps, checking hostels on the internet, checking routes, distances, where is the best place to start a walk from......and it goes on. I couldn't find a hostel within a reasonable distance that can accommodate me for two nights, most are getting booked up on Saturday nights now. So I picked the area around Pateley Bridge north of Harrogate to walk, then looked for somewhere I might stay. Sorry fully booked, I'm too late. Missed my chance.

So then I thought never mind it is warm enough for camping, I got the tent out to check it over. I haven't used it for about five years, all is ok. Then I found a campsite exactly where I wanted to stay, and checked their web site. Not open till Easter. It's also £12 a pitch which I thought is a bit much, it's only a little tent.

I thought I'd better check the weather forecast, light rain on Saturday, chucking it down on Saturday night, showers on Sunday. Don't fancy that, maybe I'll camp when the weather improves, wonder how long I'll have to wait.

I have changed my mind yet again. I am now only going for the day, tomorrow. I had to ring my friend Janet to say she doesn't need to come and feed the cats after all, as my three day trip has turned into one day. So now I must pack my rucksack, now what do I need to take, oh heck, I've got a headache now. There is a walking forum meet up on Sunday in Derbyshire, I wonder if I should go on that one. I can't cope with all these decisions. Will somebody please give me a kick up the backside.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Woof woof, miaow.

It's been all cats and dogs today. First of all I walked down to the kennels to see Henry choc lab have his second swim. He was a bit apprehensive about going into the water and had to be enticed with some toys to play with, but once he was paddling around he enjoyed it. Here he is getting dried off by Jimmy.

Helen and I took him for a walk, and I just happened to have my pick stick and bag with me, wasn't that convenient, so I did a bit of tidying up as well.

Then I had a phone call from Flora, can I call in and see Ben and give him his lunch, there is some chicken for him. Poor old Ben has been poorly for a couple of days and after not eating anything for 24 hours, he is allowed chicken and rice to settle his stomach. Flora thinks he might have eaten something nasty. He seemed ok so I took him out for a gentle stroll. Luckily I had my pick stick and bag with me, a bit more tidying, ha ha.

I went back later at about 4.30pm and took him for another short walk, no litter picking this time. On the way back we were passing the surgery, and I noticed Sue cat lady had arrived to start work, so I stopped for a natter. Guess who should turn up, yes that's right, Mr Beasley.

I took Ben home, came back for Mr Beasley, picked him up and took him home. He scoffed two pouches of Felix, he was ravenous. I thought I might let him stay the night and take him back in the morning, but when my Bugsy came down the stairs and saw him there was a big hissy fit and a lot of growling. Oh dear, I don't think this is going to work very well. Sorry, Mr B, you'll have to go home.

He has a lovely home, I stopped for a few minutes to talk to his owner, she is such a nice young lady, both her and her son adore the cat, but she now thinks he might have to be rehomed. The thing is would he stay in a new home. We both agreed he is the equivelant of a stroppy teenager, wants to be top cat, and wants his freedom. He is very vocal and if he wants something he jolly well lets you know about it. I eventually ate my dinner at 8.30pm. What a busy cat and dog day it's been.