Tuesday, August 03, 2010
We walked the ancient Millington Pastures and Wood of Lily Dale, starting down the valley with the sun on our backs and a gentle breeze in our faces.
The inquisitive kyloe calves grazing the steep valley sides with their mothers ventured to the fence as we passed, though not quite close enough to be touched, whilst the bull with his magnificent horns kept his beady eye on us from behind the barbed wire topped fence.....he'd have broken it like a piece of ribbon if he'd decided we were a threat!
We crossed the trickling stream looking back up to the small lake surrounded by masses of pinky purple herb robert flowers waving gently in the breeze.
Insects hummed about the water cress plants and a moorhen and her two chicks chittered to each other as they dabbled around the margins.
Passing in to Lily Dale through the rough hewn gate we entered the cool dankness of the wood which covers the valley sides.
The rusty charcoal burner had recently been emptied and the smell pervaded the air mixing with the subtle scent of the dying garlic flowers.
Birds sang, butterflies flitted to and fro and the sunlight filtered through the canopy making soft sunlit pools among the undergrowth and setting the dust motes dancing in it's rays.
It was a gentle stroll along the valley floor at first but we soon began to ascend getting ever steeper as the slopes gave way to wooden steps leading up to the rim of the wooded valley side.
Strategically placed wooden seats greeted us every now and again, each one a welcome respite and a viewing vantage point.
The occasional walkers hove into view, smiling and nodding at us as we passed on the narrow traverse.
The air was damp and cool and the track stoney as we undulated crab like along the sides of the valley to reach the summit where we sat quietly taking in the wonderful views of the countryside spread out before us like a giant patchwork quilt.
Then the long descent down by a different route, undulating gently, descending steeply or step by step down the wooden steps some mysterious miracle workers had installed to bring us ever nearer the valley bottom.
We caught tantalizing glimpses of it through the trees growing ever nearer until at last we were down and a gentle walk brought us back to the track and a short walk to Millington village where the Gait Inn was hosting a fun day and buffet to celebrate Yorkshire Day.
Bunting flapped gently in the breeze, people talked and laughed, ate and drank and we quietly escaped, dropping down the gentle slope of the valley back to where our transport sat patiently awaiting our return to the carpark.
this young kyloe bullock stuck his tongue out at me!!
the pinky purple flowers of Rosebay Willow herb
the rusty charcoal burner
some of the steep wooden steps leading up the valley side
sunlight filters through the trees
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Good morning, some of you were asking about the Scarecrow Festival I went to yesterday so I thought I'd do a little blog with a few pictures for you.
The festival has been running for many years now and is held in Muston, a little village in Yorkshire and is quite famous, attracting visitors from all over Britain and abroad.
The original idea was to raise funds for the village and it seemed to snowball. Since then other villages have latched on to the idea but Muston is still the biggest and best.
During the week long festival the village is covered in scarecrows of all shapes and sizes, all made by the villagers.
It's amazing the work and effort that goes into them, the attention to detail and the ideas for them are wonderous.
Usually life sized, they are well made mostly of papier mache and can be very witty.
The scarecrows are displayed outside the villagers homes, in their gardens, up trees.....you never know where you'll see one!
There are ice creams, drinks and plant stalls around the village, the Church is open, there are flower displays and the village hall serves delicious homemade baking and teas.....yes I had some!!! but I reckon we walked a couple of miles or more!
It's fun and I had a lovely time.
This is just a small selection of pictures that I liked.
The Crow Bar.
Traditional Morris Dancers...see the moles underfoot, they were all around the village green poking up from the soil. The dancers were life size and all had witty names like Morris Minor(a car!), Morris Gibb, Morris Chevalier...
Beatrix Potter characters Peter Rabbit, Miss Moppet and Jeremy Fisher.
The Vicar and his flock...
Mr Bun the Baker.
Peppa Pig and her brother George.
Reading the ewespaper!
Very witty headlines like..... 'Evening Ewes', 'Sheep scientists clone human', 'Sheepdog found guilty at trial', 'Muston Woollen Mill sale now on', 'Lambs flock to see Ben Shepherd perform at Woolpack'.....
Border Control....very topical!! Love the in and out entrances!
Friday, July 23, 2010
This morning got me thinking.....
For almost thirtynine years, on almost every day he's been at work I have kissed my husband goodbye and then waved him off from the front room window..... there's been the odd missed occasion when I've been ill or something similar but this little act means a great deal to me.
But this morning when I was upstairs he just shouted he was going and left!!
It sounds very irrational, and I'm not an irrational person, but I felt devastated...it quite spoiled my morning!
I rang his mobile and asked 'Why?'.
He said 'I thought you were busy so I just went, I didn't mean anything by it, I thought it would save you coming back downstairs'.
We ended up laughing and I'm fine now but it got me thinking about life's little gifts to us.
It seems to me a lot of life's most precious treasures are free.
Personal treasures like a smile, a hug, a kiss, a caress, a wave, a kind word, a little kindness to someone else.
These gifts can give such happiness to others as well as ourselves.
And then there are beautiful, miraculous, God given happenings like the golden sun rising and setting with it's wonderful colour palette, a blue or cloudy sky, a green field, a pretty flower, a gentle breeze.....
Birds, butterflies, insects, animals in all their varied and colourful forms.....
We take a lot of our treasures for granted and it takes something like this morning's little episode to give us a reality check.
I'm reminded of my favourite hymn, O Lord my God.
Ruth, our Chapel organist, always plays this one to welcome the congregation in for worship and it couldn't be more fitting.....
O Lord my God when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hand has made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee.
How great though art.
How great thought art.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee.
How great thou art.
How great thou art.
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing softly in the trees.
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.'
.....Just a part of the hymn but it's beautiful isn't it and aren't we just the most blessed!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I'm in awe of how our bodies work.
They put up with abuse, neglect and general disrespect but they don't take offence, they bounce right back, they even repair themselves, it might take years but it does get there in the end. It might not be quite what it was before but it'll do its very best to replicate it.
Three and a half years ago I had to take early retirement from work due to bad earache and pain in my neck and shoulder. It made me deaf, not just in the ear that hurt but both of them.
When I began treatment it was found that one ear had had limited hearing for quite a while due to impacted wax and when the other one started hurting it showed up the deafness in it that I already had so after three 'hoover' treatments one ear was cleared and I could hear again.
The other ear was diagnosed with an infection of the middle ear which was treated with antibiotics. It cleared up slowly but it didn't last, the pain was still there, the infection recurred three times over the next few months and I still couldn't hear.
Whilst all this was going on I began getting a lot of pain in my right side and was referred to hospital where I was diagnosed with uterine polyps.
After two were removed I still had a lot of pain so went in to hospital for an internal scan, this revealed my right fallopian tube was enlarged which meant an exploratory operation.
They found a large grapefruit sized mass which was removed and sent for examination. They also did a scrape of my uterus as the lining was thickened.
The results for both came back as cancer so next I had a hysterectomy, double salpingectomy, and double oophorectomy plus removal of my cervix and cervix cuff. Luckily it seemed to be enclosed and hadn't spread further so I only needed radiotherapy which they let me self medicate in the form of tablets.
When I awoke from the operation I couldn't sit, stand, turn over without awful pain, mostly in my lower back and buttocks. I practically laid on my side for almost five weeks and struggled to walk and sit. They decided I'd trapped my sciatic nerve where it crosses my back. It runs through two large muscles called the piriformis and they'd swelled and trapped the nerve. The pain was across my back, down my right leg and under my foot, right to the end of my toes and it was agony! You Americans quite rightly call this syndrome 'a pain in the butt' and believe me it sums it up exactly.....it felt like I was sitting on two boulders!
I had three intense courses of physiotherapy and was told it could take two years to disappear but eventually it would.....it didn't feel like it would at the time!
Anyway after a few weeks treatment when I was beginning to hobble around I went back to see my ear specialist who discovered I'd a tumour on my eardrum so I went in for a little operation to remove it.
I was terrified of the operation, not of what it was but because it was the operating table which had caused my bad back and I didn't want it getting any worse when it was just beginning to feel a little easier.
The operation was a success.
While other ailments came and went, a sprained knee ligament, a broken toe, a burst eardrum due to infection and another small operation to remove some scar tissue which was causing pain, other ailments appeared and have stayed, Psoriasis, Gilbert's Syndrome, Morton's Foot and osteoarthritis in my right knee and ankle.
But now..... three and a half years later I've finished with all my treatments and most of the medication, I've got the cancer all clear and though I still have the Psoriasis, Gilberts, arthritis and occasional liver tests to contend with everything has settled down and repaired itself very nicely.
I feel fit and well, I'm walking regularly again, exercising to my limits and after three and a half years of wandering around in the night sixteen nights ago I began sleeping straight through the night again, eight hours of unbroken sleep without even bathroom breaks!
Why.....I don't know but I do know sleep has made me feel so much better than I have for a long, long time.
And I'm happy.
Our bodies are amazing.
Their capacity for misuse but also for healing are phenomenal and I, for one, am in awe of it.
Are you in awe of yours?
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