A New Year

Winter Skies
Winter Skies

I’ve told two thousand and fourteen, that it really must pull up its socks
We need to have some warning before opportunity knocks
Two thousand and thirteen did all right – a mixture of good and bad
But looking back, it seems we missed some of the good chances we had
If all the good stuff that’s coming this year can come with a proper label
We’d be in a better position to give it the maximum attention we’re able

So, a happy New Year to all the friends we’ve made through writing this blog
We wish you Better than you Wish for Yourself – from Jackie, David and The Dog

Three Down

Christmas Tree Decoration
Christmas Tree Decoration



The floor’s covered with torn paper, and the odd half-eaten sweet
You’d better watch out where you’re putting your feet.
Mind those bags of small parts, their loss would be tragic,
but the look on their faces – wasn’t that just magic?

“God bless us, every one!”

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

A very happy Christmas to you – if you do Christmas.
(Otherwise, just give those of us who do a little leeway –┬áThank you kindly.)

Compliments of the Season to everyone

The Dog

PS Note that the title came from the same place as “Bah Humbug” and look how that turned out!
PPS If you sent us a card but didn’t get a card back – it’s just that things snook up on us and, like Easter, I think Christmas was early this year.

Give them an Inch

Hog Weed in December
Hog Weed in December

Sometimes you come across the strangest things. Hog weed is not normally part of my sphere of reference. It grows six feet tall and only flowers at the top. Not only that but it normally flowers around May and June – not December.
There I was, nosing around a piece of the verge where I often pick up the most interesting (I won’t say the juiciest, just in case I’m miss-quoted) snippets of news – and thinking of leaving a posting or two myself. When suddenly, there it was, right at eye level, to say nothing of nose level. It must have grown almost overnight, we were down this way the day before last and it wasn’t here then. Perhaps the best thing I can do here is confirm that there was no giant at the top, no magical land, no eggs of any constituency or colour and no geese. Where all that nonsense he dreams up comes from, I’ve no idea.
But it made me wonder about opportunity. Some people seem to go through life somehow managing to be in the right place at the right time, awake and alert – ready to make a grab for a large chunk of their fair share. Then, there’s the rest of us, not even sure if we’re going the right way, never mind having any idea of what the right place would look like if ever we happened to pass it by, going in the opposite direction, on the other side of the road.

That Time Of Year

Christmas Decorations
Christmas Decorations

We’ve been away. I’ve been off to a local rest and recuperation centre. He has been down south visiting relatives. We synchronised our existence again today – and went off for our walk, just as if nothing had happened. I think it’s pretty safe to say, nothing had happened.

I left a few posts in strategic places as we went on our rounds but, from the fragrance of the moment, life seems to have been wandering on, in pretty much the aimless manner it did when I was here to oversee things. I suppose that in winter (or are we still in autumn?) you can’t really expect dramatic developments on a daily basis. The cows have all moved on to greener pastures – or at least a comfortable cowshed with all mod cons to see them through the cold and wet months. The cow I spoke to about this was very emphatic this was an important part of their work ethic, to say nothing of their hooves rotting away in the mud.

The sheep don’t seem to be quite as picky about a little cold and damp. They are out there in their dozens, filling up the fields so recently vacated by their, more delicate, bovine relations. I don’t mind sheep – but I do wish they wouldn’t stand at the gates of the fields and stare at you.

Oh, yes. And did you notice? They’ve put the Christmas decorations up.

Tropical Topic

Log In The Beck
Log In The Beck


Well I’m off on my holidays. See you in a week or so. What? Oh. Don’t worry, he’ll write something for you. Who knows what you’ll get, probably a helicopter. See you later.

As you’ve gathered, The Dog has gone off to play with her playmates at one of those, what you used to call summer camps over in America – or so I believe. So I seized control. Then I remembered why I let her take over. There isn’t actually anything to write about at this time of year.

We fought our way, through the sleet and the howling gale, down to the beck today. Here I must digress and assure you that our gales do really howl. I’m not sure if it is the ground contours or just the gap between the buildings but it makes quite a noise. The trees, on the hill behind the house, tend to roar. I think that the wind excites them, it isn’t a ferocious roar or roar of pain – they’re just shouting at the tops of their voices, because they want to. So, with the noise of the wind and the roar of the trees and the hood of my raincoat pulled over up over my head, I often feel quite isolated – it’s a bit like undergoing solitary confinement – but cold and wet as well.

As The Dog has gone off to Summer Camp I wondered if the beck was at all tropical – sure enough, I found a crocodile lying basking in the hail. Of course it could be an anaconda.

Or an anadile. Or a crocaconda. An alliganda? An anagator?

OK. It’s a log.