Thursday, 30 July 2015

A Change Is As Good As A Rest!

A couple of weeks ago we packed our bags, loaded up the car, dusted down the road map (I still love maps and loathe Satnavs) and headed for the hills – or to be more specific the Yorkshire Moors.

It was good to take a break from the slow process of renovating the glorified shed and to stay somewhere that had bedroom walls, a decent bathroom and a proper kitchen, even though the accommodation was a (quite grand) static caravan.

At the shed, we’re surrounded by countryside, wildlife, open views and a quiet rural existence. So did we head for a vibrant city location? Or did we choose an exotic beach destination? Or maybe even an all-action holiday complex? Of course we didn’t. We chose a caravan park surrounded by countryside, wildlife (well supposedly, but I saw less than at home), open views and a quiet rural existence (apart from the nearby railway track). It seems that we love our environment so much, that even on holiday we swap it for something very similar, just in a slightly different place.

Of course, we ventured into the City of York, making use of the excellent, great value park and ride system and visited an old favourite place of ours – Whitby. We even had a theme park day, but also enjoyed peaceful countryside picnics and visited a couple of Yorkshire’s abbey ruins. You’ll be able to read more about those visits at over the coming weeks.

But now we’re back, and it’s time to turn our thoughts back to the task in hand. Our progress has been a little hampered by an injury sustained by hubby whilst away (more of that to come on Shoppers’ Joy too) but we are making fresh plans, which we hope will soon bear fruit.

In the meantime, it’s back to ‘shed’ living surrounded by countryside, wildlife, open views and a quiet rural existence... Have we ever been away?

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Going Batty

OK, we’ll get the obvious comments out of the way for a start: “What do you mean going?” “We thought you were already!”

I’m not actually talking about my mental state (although some think I’m mad when I say I can’t stand Prosecco or have no desire to visit America) but wildlife.
I’ve often commented on the varied wildlife that I can watch from the comfort of my little riverside haven and the list seems to be growing. I continue to watch herons, cormorants, egrets, woodpeckers, goldfinches and all manner of birds on the riverbank and in the garden, but recently I’ve been seeing much more.

With the onset of warmer evenings, I’ve taken to sitting out in the garden enjoying the view, armed with a glass of wine (not Prosecco) or gin and tonic, enjoying the tranquillity of it all. It was on one such evening that I had an extra close-up view of the bats. Now I’ve always loved bats (yes, I just keep getting stranger) and have seen a few flitting by in the past, but on this occasion they were circling so low for insects, that they were only about a foot or two above my head! This didn’t faze me (I don’t believe in the old wives' tale about bats in the hair) but fascinated me. To have such a ringside seat was amazing!

But bats aren’t the only creatures that I’m watching on a summer evening. I’ve also discovered water voles! Strange splashing noises from the river alerted me to take a closer look, revealing a dark shape swimming in the water. This shape then made for the riverbank and climbed ashore – a water vole, Ratty himself!
Then to add to the list, I was sitting in the garden reading one afternoon, when I noticed something making its way rapidly through the grass heading towards me. As I looked closer I realised that it was a newt that then dashed past me into some nearby shade. Whether it came from the river or a nearby pond I’m unsure, but it certainly took me by surprise.

I’m always on the lookout for the arrival of another seal, having seen one splashing in the river directly in front of the glorified shed last summer. But I’m still waiting...

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

I’m Only Tweeting With The Birds!

If you’re someone who has been following me on Twitter, I’d like to let you know I’m currently closing my account for reasons that you can read at

It’s been almost a week since I posted my last tweet, and although I will miss chats with some of the lovely people on Twitter, I’m enjoying not to feel the need to rush on to the site to keep up. I’m taking the extra time to  enjoy the river, the garden and the tweeting of the birds!

I hope to still keep in touch via my Blogs and Google Plus page here

Until then, enjoy the beautiful weather everyone!