You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

birth ropes may09

Yes, it looks a little strange. But this is a birth rope, ably demonstrated by one of the midwives at Huddersfield Family Birth Centre.

It’s one of those things that, when you’re not pregnant, you think is a stupid idea. But, once thoughts of labour start to crowd into your mind, you take another look and think “actually, I’d quite like to try that.”


A while ago I posted about a copse which hides the ruins of a farmhouse: of course, I now can’t find the original photo but I do have some old pictures, taken in the 1950s, kindly sent to me by Janet whose family used to live there.


It’s a pretty typical Yorkshire farmhouse.


I love the small outbuildings you find scattered around farmyards – there’s no knowing what you’ll find inside. Also, the rickety gate providing a theoretical barrier to livestock wandering off.


See the stones in the building wall? If this pic was in colour, you’d see they were identical to the stones making up Howley Hall. I am also very envious of the girl’s waspie waist!

I haven’t posted for a week because I’ve been both busy and tired after the frantic wedding week. I did finally get around to going up to see the new pair of foals – offspring of Tinker and Doris – however I don’t have pics to post as yet. My baby brother borrowed my camera to take on his honeymoon, and I was supposed to be getting his camera from m’sister as a temporary replacement, but I haven’t managed to see her when she’s had it with her. So, the only pics I have  are on my phone and I don’t know how to transfer them to the computer without m’husband to help me.

Here’s a picture of Fox at the Dales Show earlier this month, being trotted up by Gordon in the three-year-old (I think!) class.

foxy may09

She was placed but it wasn’t a large entry. I like her, however, because a) she looks like she’s going to be tall and b) she’s a lovely bay.

The best thing about weddings (and funerals), to my family’s mind, is the chance to get together. At yesterday’s event at the Botanic Gardens in Sheffield the bride and groom were almost incidental to the fun. I really should spend more time with my aunties, Joan and Margaret, because they are so much FUN. Here they are, relaxing on a bench outside the conservatory after the ceremony, with Joan’s daughter Natalie:

wedding3 may09

The benches which lined the main path down through the gardens were very popular with our party, with myself and m’sister joining the auntie party:

wedding4 may09

Aunties with their big brother, m’father:

wedding5 may09

No aunties on this one, from left, SIL Liv, cousin Nat, m’sister Lal, Liv’s little boy (who brought his own buffet) and me:

wedding6 may09

Not a Wrigglesworth auntie on this one, but an Asquith auntie – m’mother with her sister, Jean:

wedding7 may09

And now onto brothers on benches: Third-and-final son, Son-in-the-middle, Cute nephew and my other brother, Jimbob, who is father of cute nephew:

wedding8 may09

Then Firstborn Son (on the right) grabbed my camera for this shot of me, m’sister and son-in-the-middle:

wedding9 may09

I suppose, despite all our fun, we can’t ignore the bride and groom. Here they are, emerging from the atrium as man and wife. Lizzie wanted to get married in a garden and, as open air weddings are not legal in the UK, this was the next best thing:

wedding10 may09

Heading for their Rolls Royce and the reception:

wedding11 may09

We waved them into their car, then joined the queue at the ice cream van at the gates:

wedding12 may09

My baby brother, Matty Mumpo, is getting married today. I have been in a positive frenzy for work for the the past couple of weeks, driving so much I have burnt a personal hole in the ozone layer, on top of which I have been finding shirts and shoes for my boys, a hat, shoes and a bag for myself, picking up hire suits and making an extra wedding cake.

Cake is a cream cheese pound cake, covered in cream cheese frosting and trimmed with little sugar flowers (as suggested by my beautiful, marvellous, Auntie Joan in the supermarket when I was having a minor breakdown):

wedding1 may09

Hat as created by Gales Milliners in Dewsbury, employing a small navy straw base, big red flower found by me in Debenhams sale, and the shop’s blue feathers:

wedding2 may09

Yes, it is modelled here by a football. More will follow.

I am not normally a fan of driving around Halifax. I have to do it for work, but the valleys are very steep, and the roads wind narrowly along the valley sides, and if I miss a turn – which I frequently do in the winter gloom – I have to go about five miles out of my way before I can turn round.

It’s significantly higher up in the Pennines than my home in the foothills, so the valleys are deeper, the hills higher, and the roads low down in the valley rather than on the tops of the hills. Hebden Bridge, which nestles in a valley bottom around the River Calder and the canal,  is a particular bete noire of mine as it feels so dark and claustrophobic – I want to run screaming for the top of the hills no matter how many people tell me it’s a fabulous town.

But this week I encountered a couple of things which have changed my views slightly. First, early one evening I drove to my teaching venue along a new (to me) and slightly longer route which follows the Calder most of the way. I was running slightly late and had little time for contemplation, but as I hammered along with the window down I kept catching glimpses of bluebell blue among the trees which line the valley, followed by the scent of wild garlic drifting along on the breeze. Heaven.

Secondly, at the weekend I had to head out to a class reunion near Hebden Bridge. Lovely people and great to see them all with their babies, but at the back of my mind the major thought was “bugger, I hate driving to bloody Hebden”. I went there on the main road but, seeing as it’s now light til nearly 9pm, on my way back I headed up the valley side and followed the lanes. I didn’t make it to the top of the hill, but I did get high enough to enjoy views like this:

midgely may09

I can feel a return trip coming on with husband and dog.

How come no one spends as much time as me looking out for the hawthorn coming into bloom?

hawthorn1 may09

When I have a field of my own, I shall fill the hedgerows with hawthorn.

hawthorn2 may09

The polytunnel is cleaned, weeded and planted:

allotment1 may09

We have tomatoes, aubergines and basil in here, and broad beans, parsnips, potatoes (three varieties), onions, shallots, garlic, asparagus, rhubarb and various soft fruits coming through outside.

I washed the polytunnel with third-and-final son, while SarahP did the rest of the work in there. I’ve been feeling rather run down and hormonally conflicted so not contributing as much labour as I had planned. However Sarah is very kind and professes to be very happy that I do my share by keeping an eye on Little Fish, therefore giving her free hands to get on with things. 

Here he is, airing his bottom and doing a bit of pilates on the allotment on a sunny spring day:

allotment2 may09

My friend Jackie is stuck out in Basra, with the RAF, for another month or so. As she’s missing the glory of an English spring here are some nice green shots for her:

green1 may09

A well built wall near Barnard Castle.

green2 may09

Sparky scampers between the trees. We were at the Dales Pony Society spring show and previous experience has taught us that, no matter how sunny it looks, there is usually a bracing breeze blowing across the showground, so Sparky is wearing her hoody.

green3 may09

When Sparks is forced to hang around at the side of the ring watching showing classes she quickly becomes morose and whines piteously at any hint of a chill. However, once she is taken up into the copse away from the horses and allowed to run around she warms up very quickly, at which point I have to take her jumper off and carry it around – just like having an extra child!

I was trying to find a theme to tie these together and write a witty post, but the only common thread is that they are all things I love dearly.

phone sparkywillis

Out with Sparky and Willis on the hillside.

phone band

A brass band playing in Meadowhall shopping centre on the run up to Christmas last year. I love brass bands – the music they make seems to summarise Yorkshire emotions – and hearing the strains of Christmas carols drifting towards me as I walked down the mall was simply magnificent.

phone boys

And, to finish, one of my favourite pictures ever. My boys, plus dog, ready for a rampage round the woods at Oakwell Hall on Christmas Eve, 2008.