Tuesday 26 January 2010

Winter Walk

The view across our paddock the other morning (from the half-landing window). It shows that curious yellow light that we often get before a storm or heavy rain . . . or snow!

Below, which shows the same view across the paddock, only in freezing mist.

We've just got back from a brisk walk up to the junction and back, with the river keeping us company of course. The river is different every time I walk by it and I love it in its many moods. I hope that we will be near a river again when we relocate - preferably the Dart in Devon. We saw a pair of Dippers on the way down, before they saw us. They were bobbing up and down on one of the river boulders, but fled upstream, flying low over the water as they always do, when they spotted us. On the way back we walked very quietly and didn't talk, but they were more aware and saw us first and flew away before I could get a picture of them. They flew to their usual spot by an overhang on the riverbank. I'm not sure if they nest there - it would be too low to the water if levels rose. Mind you, they do pick some dodgy places, as on Springwatch there were a pair who had built their nest behind the bars across a big stream culvert, but when the babies fledged, they had to try and get downstream safely. A couple made it, but I know at least one was drowned when it couldn't get back out of the water in time, having missed the ideal rock to clamber onto.

It is almost impossible to get a picture of the river without a TWIG or branch in it somewhere!

Nature soon colonizes dead tree stumps.

The tree which overhangs the road and threatens to fall further with every storm is still there, hanging on. When it does come down it will block the road and take out our phone line . . . I'm surprized that the Council haven't ordered it felled, though it would need more than just a chainsaw and something like a bod in a JCB bucket, chopping it off a bit at a time!

The "favourite" view of the river, which must be very familiar to readers of this blog by now.

This tree was carried down by the last spate and jammed against a riverbank Ash.

I spent a good hour this morning sorting through 5 old tins of sewing things which had accumulated whilst my cantilever sewing box (below) was waiting for OH to mend it. . . a good many years I might add! My late m-in-law had a big tin full of old needles, packs of darning wool and 2nd hand suspenders. The latter are now keeping company in the bin as they are definitely one thing I have no need for . . .

Below is the little walnut sewing box we found at the car boot sale at the weekend for £2.50 (empty bar for a chess set). Now I've stocked it up for T, who does a lot of sewing. G will have one of the prettier tins with some essentials in, as she is more of a sew-a-button-on-if-I-have-to sort of sewer, but then so was I until my late 20s . . .


  1. I love old sewing boxes. Even my daughter who refuses to sew enjoys old tins of buttons.
    I think I would walk your lane happily in almost any weather--I hope our move will give me a better place to "get out" most every day.

  2. Lovely photos, especially the yellow light one that is so exactly true and bought back vivid memories

  3. What gorgeous photographs.... and I so adore your cantilever sewing boxes.. your daughter will be so pleased with her cantilever....
    I am afraid (hangs head in shame) I do not have a sewing bone in my body (much like your other lovely daughter). My Mum despaired of me as she adored sewing and my grandmother was a tailoress... but it skipped a generation as my daughter as a great sewing talent! I only sew when I really have to and that usually turns out to be a disaster! My sewing teacher when I was a young girl (many years ago) at school was a complete ogre and made me hate sewing even more as she was hateful towards me because of my sewing clumsiness! So all I have for a sewing box is an old fisherman's tackle box which pulls out into various compartments and does the trick.. but its not used very often and so has to have the dust blown off it when I do need it!! lol!!

  4. I'm sure it will - you deserve it - and perhaps you have a bit more choice this time if it's to be a stay-put home rather than a selling-on one. I was filling the button box as I worked this morning, as plenty of loose ones in the bottoms of those sewing tins.

  5. Aromatic - it skipped a generation in my mum too! Her mother made all their clothes, as well as being a whiz in the kitchen. My mum was clueless in both areas! I have a friend who can barely sew on a button, but her husband's mother is a wonderful needlewoman and this has come out in my friend's daughter. I hated sewing at school as we had a horrid teacher too - I remember taking two YEARS (most of it unpicking!) to make a sleeveless, collarless, everythingless blouse which by the time it was finally finished, didn't fit me any more!

    Val - you should have seen the speed I shot down the stairs for my camera when I saw that colour!

  6. Good Morning BB,

    You have a good eye for a camera shot and your photographs often deliver a quiet sense of time and place thats very relaxing.

    It's therapeautic to have favourite places on your walks by rivers I find. Places for stopping and contemplations or places where the chance of spotting something interesting going on is more likely.

    I often find myself wondering how many other generations of souls stopped at the same place to ruminate on the problems or wonders of life amd got the same sense of peace that I find at my favourite spots which are often at rivers or hilly vantage points. It possibly explains why early religions were so focussed on wells, waterways and sacred spots in the landscape as these places can speak very clearly and make us more aware of the universe around us and our own small and insignificant part in it.

    If places can have that kind of effect on our modern minds it must have been so much more so on minds linked more closely with nature and the turning of seasons in the past.

    The photo of your precarious tree made me think about the old joke of an Irishman and 'tree fellers wanted' sign and made me smile.

    Sewing {like ironing properly} is a mystery that I am prepared to let remain. I do appreciate the skill involved in making the cantilever boxes though.

    Every time you post I look forward to the next.

    kind regards.......Al.

  7. I just read your posts from this week and must say I thoroughly enjoyed them. I was never one to snow, but I used to do a lot of knitting. I loved your story, by the way. Wish you had more visitors.

  8. P.S. Sorry that was meant to be 'sew'. But this gives me a chance to add that I too had a horrid sewing teacher, and I hated sewing in school.