Monday, May 01, 2006

This weekend

On Saturday evening we moved on from cow-herding to the Bishops Castle Rugby Club Dinner. We went with our neighbours Rod and Di and another local couple. Having been to a number of these functions we no longer feel like total strangers though the urge to thunder up and down a muddy pitch remains a mystery. (The effect of the game on the male physique was much in evidence: thunderous thighs, broken and twisted noses, distorted ears and necks too large to button a collar around. This was a tetesterone charged zone.)

Somewhat predictably we were served beef with the usual trimmings; Yorkshires' and horseradish. So far so good. However, it was one of those occasions when the vegetarian option was the better bet - my beef was akin to shoe leather.

Fortunately we didn't have to stay on to the bitter, tearful and vomititious end - we watched the presentation of cups and prizes, listened to rambling match and team reports, applauded appreciatively, and left shortly afterwards. Back at Lower House the sky was clear and black, a-twinkling with stars.

The following morning, having taken the dogs to Kennels, we headed north to Lancashire and Brenda's 50th birthday party in the little village of Chipping in the Trough of Bowland. The Fells that surround Chipping are quite impressive and yesterday were shrouded in mist that brought chilling rain. It's hard to define what makes this part of the northwest and our part of the world different because there are so many similarities- both are essentially agricultural (sheep and cattle), the vernacular buildings are of stone and both landscapes have soaring hills and flat green valleys. I think that of the north west is more rugged, bleaker and dramatic, while here 100 miles south, it's softer, more verdant and well - greener.

A barbecue had been planned but only the hardy stayed outdoors. My toes in my new and twinkly shoes were frozen. No birthday cake.

We woke this morning to a bleak landscape - cloud had blotted out Beacon Fell altogether - and it took several cups of tea and some buttery croissants to get us moving.

Then back home to the end of Long Mountain. There had been a bit of rain - which was needed - and amazingly things could be seen to have grown after only 24 hours absence. Any pheasant seen pecking those nearly sprouted peas is - guess what? - a DEAD pheasant.

And this is a picture of some of the things in the greenhouse. Promising or what?

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