Friday 30 September 2022

A day indoors

It's been very wet here for most of the day. I have entertained myself indoors. Mayze says thank you for putting the gas fire on. 
Gloria has grown a fringe. She is still naked at this point, I need to sort out some clothes for her. 

I have read the meters and now I am going to email the numbers to the utilities company. Tomorrow is the start of the new tariff, whatever that might be. 

Tomorrow is check in day for the walking group members. Let us know how you are doing. 750 miles is the target, have you reached it? 

Thanks for popping in. Have a soooperdoooper weekend. Toodle pip. ilona 

Horses for courses

Good morning. I noticed that John of Going Gently is studying counselling. This has prompted me to dig out my coursework from an Introduction to Counselling course I did in 1999. At the time I had recently moved to the area and didn't know many people. I reckoned that if I did some evening classes at college it would be a good opportunity to get me circulating with likeminded people. 
I had already completed a Stress Management course at Keel University before I left my home in the Midlands, and later on I did a GCSE Psychology course after I moved up north. Prior to the 1999 course I did a ten week course on Community Work Skills. I still have the notes for that. 
When I started this counselling course I had to hand write a lot, then I went back to school and did an Introduction to Computers course. I bought a computer which made writing up the notes a lot easier. 
I keep my notes for reference, they are a great reminder for a subject that I am interested in. 

Some of the things we looked at for this course.
The Counselling Environment. I chose to visit a local funeral directors room where they speak to clients who have been bereaved. Location and size of the room, the decor and colours used, the furniture, and the lighting. I took photographs and drew a plan of the room. 
We looked at Maslows hierarchy of needs, personal identity, and self fulfillment. Carl Rogers thought that we have an ideal self, the person we would like to be. 
We studied listening, and how it can be exhaustive. 
We studied non verbal behaviour and body language. We tend to judge people on how they look rather than what they say. 
We talked about groups and how they work. Exploring self help groups. I talked about groups I had joined or had started myself. 
Crisis counselling, winding up a counselling relationship, and extra reading was covered.  
When I look back at my notes, things that are happening now click into place. It all makes sense to me. I am glad I took these extra courses.  
Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up later. Toodle pip.  ilona

Thursday 29 September 2022


I am quickly learning how to do hair transplants. Had to strap Gloria to the chair because she wouldn't sit still. I use the pronoun 'she' because that is what she prefers. 😁 George no longer exists. 
I think she might end up with a bald patch at the back. 😏

I'm off to take the dog out, Catch ya later. Toodle pip.   ilona 

Good start to the day

Feeding the cats first thing this morning, Check the Summer House, yes, Mau Mau is there, still in bed. Turn to go back to the house, ooooh look, a complete rainbow. Dash in to get the camera. Dang it, too late, it has split into two. 

Rainbow gone. Interesting cloud formation. Dark clouds scooting across a blue sky. 

Now at 9am a lovely blue sky. Looking like it could be a good day. 
Someone is very disappointed in me. Don't worry, you will get over it. 💋
Brekkie time. Catch ya later. ilona 

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Cat shelter refurb.

It started off a bit cold this morning, then by lunchtime the sun came out and it was warm. I should have gone a walk really but there was a job I wanted to do in the garden. I found my old gardening jacket and put it on, but soon had to take it off as I was too hot. 
The cats lie under this table to sunbathe but the rain gets in and the carpet was stinking and rotten because it had got wet that many times. Time for a refurb. 
The table lifts off the pallet and the top lifts off the sides. I nailed a couple of new pieces of wood onto it to strengthen the structure. I have a role of heavy duty plastic which the garage men left behind, just the job to cover three sides and the top. Chuck out the old carpet and replace with a new piece. The water will not get in now, it should stay dry inside. Oscar has already tried it out. I think it meets with his approval. 
I didn't have time to do the five mile walk, so I did a three mile walk around the village. 
Now I am going to relax and watch a video. Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.   ilona


Good morning. I don't usually post quotes, but I came across this while researching an artist who has an exhibition at the 20 21 Arts centre at the moment. This resonates with me. 
This prompted me to look for more, I think Ralph had a lot of common sense to pass on.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Quotes taken from wealthygorilla
Time for breakfast, Catch ya later.  ilona 

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Out with the old, in with the new.

Hello. It's getting late and Oscar is on the desk beside me. He likes a cuddle in the evening. Mayze is having a drink from the tray under the table, and Mau Mau is in the summerhouse.
The scarecrow is taking shape, it has a head, and some padding on its wooden body. As yet there are no legs. Maybe it won't have any legs. I need a hat for it, maybe I will have to make one. Since this picture was taken it now has a face. Next it needs some hair. It won't be like a traditional scarecrow which is usually filled with straw. I will stuff it with some mesh onion sacks and fruit bags, and old socks. 
Lunch today was steamed vegetables, topped with half a tin of mushy peas. I made two portions of vegetables and have eaten the second portion tonight with pasta and mayo. 

I had a sort out of the wardrobes today, and this pile went to Scope Charity Shop. I needed to make room for the new togs I bought from Go Outdoors. It was good to move on stuff that I haven't worn for ages and would probably never wear again. 
I've been looking everywhere for Coffee Mate, it seems to have disappeared from the shelves. I've looked in all the usual places. Today I looked in Iceland for it. Not a shop I usually go in. Bingo, they had some. 1kg for £4.50, I bought two. That will keep me going for a while. I don't like black coffee. 
A reminder. There are three days left of this month, how is your walking challenge going? I am on target to reach the 750 mile mark. Check in day is on Saturday. 

Oscar is getting restless, I think he wants to go out. Thanks for popping in. We will catch up soon. Toodle pip.  ilona. 

Monday 26 September 2022

Let's have a look at High Force Waterfall

To conclude this mini series off  'up north' travels, I left Weardale and drove to St Johns Chapel, where I turned right onto a minor road to Langdon Beck. A couple of miles further on is High Force Waterfall. There is a big white hotel on the side of the road, and a large car park, with a map on a board. £3 for 3hours. There is also a small charge of £2.50 payable at the Hotel because it is on private land. The money goes towards the upkeep and repair of the paths. Walk across the road and follow the signs. Off I go.  
First sighting of the Waterfall. You can hear it before you see it. Golly gosh, how spectacular is that.

There is a platform to stand on down some steps. I watched it for a while, there was no one else there. As I made my way back up I stopped to chat to two ladies that were on their way down to the platform. We had a delightful conversation. Such nice people. I might travel alone but I am never far away from some company. 
There is a path alongside the river which goes over a bridge further downstream. I had time to explore the Waterfall from the other side. I like a riverside walk.  

Over the bridge and follow the path on the other side, and here it is. 

Dare I stand on the top and look down? Careful, not too close. 

Can you see me mother. 
I returned the same way back to the car. Time to make tracks. I stopped on the way home to take a few last snaps of the fabulous scenery. Maybe I'll come back another day. 

I made a stop At Wetherby services on the way home. It was heaving. Queues to get in and get out. It was a Friday night so people were on the move for a weekend away. I much prefer going away during the week to miss the crowds. 
I think it will mainly be days out over the winter period. I'll get the maps out and do some studying. Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon. Toodle pip.   ilona

On fire

 Hello and Good Morning. I start the new week with a visit to the dentist. A filling dropped out a week ago, I knew it would, it was loose. Now I am going to get the hole filled. Not a nice thing to have to do, but needs must. At least I didn't have to wait too long for the repair. 

I note this morning that Italy has a new Prime Minister. Mainstream media are slow to pick up this news, they will be having a hard time choking on their cornflakes. Giorgia Meloni is a firecracker, she has fire in her belly. Someone put up a snippet of a speech she made three and a half years ago, on the twiitterattta. I have found the full speech on yooohoootooob, and it is electrifying. What she said then still stands today. If you want to give it a go it's here. I won't post the whole video, it would be too upsetting for the erm, other side, if you see what I mean. 

Daily Mail has a report, without mentioning the fact that she has been elected. Don't bother reading the article, too many mentions of 'far right', which is a load of bollox. The 3500 comments are very enlightening though. 

Giorgia is going to have a hard time ploughing through the woke fraternity. I hope she has the balls to follow through with her plans for a fair and just society. 

Catch ya later. Toodle pip.   ilona.

Oh, before I forget, thanks to the trollies for the fun yesterday.

Sunday 25 September 2022

Scarecrows at Wearhead

Guten Morgen. Wearhead is a small village on the A689. I used to drive a tanker load of chemicals from Derby to the Water Treatment plant at Wearhead. I remember the journey well, with 20 tons of Ferric Sulphate sloshing about in the back along some narrow country lanes. I used to come off the A1 at Scotch Corner, take the long straight B6275 road to Piecebridge, then pick up the A68 through West Auckland, and left onto the A689 near Crook. 
Then I went through several villages. Wolsingham, Frosterley, Stanhope, Eastgate, Westgate, Daddry Shield, St Johns Chapel, Ireshopeburn, and Wearhead, then taking a lane to Burnhope Reservoir. I made a mental note of each village as I went through them, wondering if I was ever going to get there. 
I often timed it that I left Derby at midday, to arrive at around 4pm ish. That meant when I had delivered the load I was out of time and would have to stay the night. Delivery was easy, it was a gravity drop. Dangle the hose over the edge of a big pit in the ground and wait for it to flow out. Sit and enjoy the views. One of my favourite drops. 
On Friday last week I was in Wearhead again, a trip down memory lane. I found lots of scarecrows decorating the village.

This has given me an idea. I need a scarecrow to sit in my garden, so I am making one. 

As I was wandering along, snapping away, I came across a dog that was barking at the gate. I stopped to say hello. It continued to bark so the lady came over to say hello. I had a lovely conversation with her. She told me that they were going to buy a house in Lincolnshire, but it fell through, and was pleased that she had found this one, because it is in the area she was brought up in. Some of these scarecrows are what she has made for the Village Fair, which was scheduled to take place the next day.
A lot of land came with the house so they made some changes. New fencing to contain the animals. They are pets, not for eating. The three alpacas are funny. They have ducks, geese, and hens, and a veg garden. For the first year of being here they have made it how they want it, and have more plans for self sufficiency. 
Time to leave Wearhead. I turned down a narrow minor road at St Johns Chappel to go and have a look at a Waterfall I saw marked on the map. A couple of pics of the cloud shadows drifting over the hills. 

I'll see you later with the last of the pics. Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday 24 September 2022

Hello Alston

Good morning, a week later and I am still at it. Sorting the photos I mean. It is difficult to stop snapping when you are in a beautiful part of the country. The hand automatically goes for the camera when something stunning comes into view. I just have to get that, and the numbers mount up. 202 whittled down to a few dozen. 
I found a free car park in Alston next to the children's playground. No restrictions I could have stayed there all night. I went walkabout. Alston is very hilly with cobbled streets. You need a good set of calf muscles to tackle the inclines. It is thought to be the highest market town in England. 
I am not sure what this building is, but it is unoccupied and looks neglected. Possibly a church I think.   
Some quirky little shops. This is Mellow Yellow gift shop on Front Street. I am in this picture, can you see me mother. The shop has a small frontage but stretches way back into a second room. It is jam packed with unusual gifts and clothing. The lady is charming, so helpful, and her prices are very reasonable. I bought a small gift for my cat sitting friend. 

See the Post Box topper. There are a lot about. 

I went to the Railway Station. It is the start of the South Tynedale Railway. There is further information on their web site. No trains running today. 

There is a tinder track alongside the railway line so I took a walk along there. 

Lovely views to enjoy on a sunny day. 

I walked along the track for about an hour then walked back into Alston. Then I went in the opposite direction and followed the river south. I still hadn't thought about where I would stay that night. I hadn't found a B & B so it might have to be the car again. That's ok, I still have some food left. 

Turning around to go back to Alston I remember I had seen a sign for the Youth Hostel. I will have a look at that. I wasn't sure if it was still open because there have been a lot of changes within the YHA. Some of the hostels have been sold off to private enterprises. 

There was a picnic bench in the hostel grounds so I took advantage of that and had a bite to eat. The notice on the door said it was open at 4.30pm. Luckily while I was sitting there a man came out, he asked if I was booked in. I said no but I wondered if he had any vacancies. He went back inside and his wife came out. She said she could give me a room to myself because they were very quiet. Just the job. 

I had another walkaround in Alston, and fetched my car. B & B was £32. It is a lovely clean hostel with friendly people running it. Might be a good idea to book in advance if you are thinking of staying there. They told me that they would have to close some of the time during the winter months because the cost of heating the place was not going to be possible with so few customers. Check here. 

I left at 9.30 in the morning and chose the A689 towards Crook. I wanted to go to Weardale. I have memories of driving a tanker from Derby to the Water Treatment plant there. 

I stopped a couple of times on the way there to take photo's. This is Killhope Leadmining Centre. No time to stop and take a look. 

My brain is scrambled I have to stop now. I will be back with pics of Wearhead. We will catch up soon. Toodle pip.   ilona