Ne’er Cast A Clout

Till May be out. Or so the old saying would have us believe. However, it doesn’t refer to the month of May; rather the blossom of the hawthorn tree (also known as May).  In the Yorkshire Wolds May blossom is out and so we cast off our clouts (warm clothes) and walked part of the Yorkshire Wolds and Minster Way, taking in Huggate and Millington.

On this 6.3m circuit we passed scarcely another soul, unless you count the semi-naked rambler. And when I say rambler I mean 70yr old shirtless grumpy bloke (no walking kit). Very odd. Or maybe not, in Huggate. 

I’m very fond of the area around Millington Pastures, especially the road which winds its way along the valley bottom. There’s something especially pleasing about the stark, olive green escarpments of the wolds landscape.   Of course, when we go walking we don’t just walk: we birdwatch and birdtrack; mammal watch and mammaltrack; geocache and count butterflies. There are many (welcome) interruptions. Today we saw skylarks, lapwing and buzzards; startled a hare and avoided a herd of beasts (cows). I have a phobia about being in the same field as cows so when we saw this

I was far from happy. Fortunately the cows and their bull stayed high up on the hill as we (I) cautiously made my way along the valley bottom and up towards Well Dale where we stopped for lunch. Just above Saintofts Plantation, further along the Minster Way, was where we did all our birdwatching, seeing everything in threes. By this time we were only a mile or so from the end. A lovely 2 1/2 hr walk (plus time for lunch) then home for tea and apple cake.


That Forever Friday Feeling…

It hadn’t occurred to me before but Stephen’s retirement is very timely. The end of March signals the start of Spring (weather – hopefully – getting warmer), the clocks go forward (so nights start to get lighter), it’s the end of the financial year and – this year – it’s just before Easter. 

For us, with older children still at home, this means we’ll get to spend a whole four weeks with Harry home from college, and two weeks with Grace. So, the first four weeks of retirement will probably seem like an extended holiday for Stephen.

Of course, that is tempered by all the jobs I have planned for him – some in the garden, some around the house – let alone those he has planned himself, including taking on his mum’s gardening.

Friends, colleagues and neighbours have suggested he might get bored. We’ll see…

We have lots planned: getting (and keeping) fit is top of the list and no doubt you will soon be bored rigid with accounts of cycle rides and walks. We’re both keen film fans and intend to take advantage of cheap matineés at the cinema. And then there’s a list of places and friends we’d like to visit. Watch out… It could be you!

The Yorkshire High Wolds Landscape

Today I watched a pair of skylarks swooping low over beet fields then soaring high to sing. And I felt a tug at the heartstrings because we’re planning to move soon.

I can understand David Hockney’s obsession. We’ve been lucky enough to have this amazing landscape literally on our doorstep for the last 16 years and I feel the need to breathe it in on days like today.