Friday, 28 December 2007

Comings and Goings

All of a sudden the house is empty. For the past week it has been full of children, grandchildren and dogs - and other nearest and dearest (and in some cases, their nearest and dearest). The recycling bins are full, the fridge is still full (!), the needles are still on the tree but the parcels are all opened and played with or put safely away, the outside lights are twinkling in the rain and the indoor lights are helping to lift a rather flat feeling. Tomorrow I go back to work (well someone has to be there to say "have you tried rebooting?").

Of course Henry and James have been working every day (though with some time off during the day for a couple of days). Today they have brought the last of the stock inside for winter, so every building is full of stock - all to be fed, watered, bedded and mucked out. It's a long time till spring.

But before then there will be another Robinson Gathering - watch this space for The Event Of The Year in February.

Monday, 24 December 2007

It Was The Night Before Christmas. . .

The turkey is stuffed.
The cake is iced.
The mince pies are made.
The wine is chilled.
The vegetables are prepared.
The lights are twinkling inside and out.

The house is full of children, grandchildren and dogs.

Only one more person to come now . . .

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Don't believe everything you see

Strickley Weather Site
Sorry, but there is a problem with the barometric pressure.
I will be looking into it as soon as possible,
but if I need a new part there will be a delay until after Christmas.
The rest of the information is as accurate as it usually is!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Deck the Halls

Less than a week to go!

The holly's in the garden - if it comes in too soon it will be shrivelled up by Christmas.
There's a tree in all the front bedrooms.

And there's a most enormous tree in the hall. It just touches the ceiling and it's about five feet in diameter. Our tiny little lights are almost buried in it's branches but twinkle and reflect off a lifetime's collection of decorations. There are modern rather garish dangly things, elegant glass icicles and etched baubles, spheres with children's photos, bells and bows, unbreakable baubles of red, green and gold, very breakable glass baubles from the Fifties (high up out of the reach of toddlers and dogs' tails), a Father Christmas from the Twenties, and right at the top a fairy that's almost as old as me (a first Christmas present). We used to position her so a light shone up her skirt (cruel but effective), but now the paper skirt is so dry we keep her away from incendiary devices.

Still to go - the outside lights round the porch and along the shippon guttering; the star on the wall (if only we had a ladder tall enough and a cable long enough it could go on top of the feed bin and be seen for miles around);the swags, lights and decorations along the beams in the kitchen (if only I can find them . . . ); candles in all the sconces and candlesticks; baubles from beams upstairs.

Minimalist it is not!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

When Is A New Building Not The New Building?

The stock at Strickley is housed in a variety of buildings including traditional stone built shippons and barns, pre-fabricated cubicle housing, a poly-building, converted and covered yard, a wooden shed and various combinations. The latest addition is now almost complete and already inhabited by three young bulls. The sequence of photos below show the change from unused overgrown corner to airy, well ventilated pens. But what shall we call it? If we talk about The New Building we know exactly what we mean - a secondhand hen hut that we bought from near Preston in 1965.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Almost a Whiteout

This morning we nipped up the motorway to Cranstons at Penrith to stock up on meat for Christmas (large joints of ham and beef etc). As we were going up the rain was a bit "lumpy", and we were glad to be safely cocooned in our heated seats in our climate controlled four wheel drive car. With the boot full of good food we came back over Shap - one of the best (and quietest) roads in the north. As we neared the summit the lumpy rain turned a bit whiter and we set the driving controls to "Snow". We may not have needed to - but we don't get much opportunity. The photo was taken from the comfort of my seat, though the windscreen, between the sweeps of the wipers. By we got home it was back to rain - look to see how much from the link to our Weather page (see left).

Friday, 7 December 2007

An Interestng Astronomical Fact

Now we all know that the shortest day is 21st December don't we. So I have always assumed that on that day the sun rose later than on any other day and set earlier than on any other day.


It is true that there are less daylight hours on 21st December than on any other day - but the day that sun rises latest is TODAY!

There are lots of websites that explain this - some in too much detail for the common man (or woman in this case) - but if you click on This One * * the chart at the beginning explains the phenomena of Analemma simply. (Note - the times are not GMT but the principle's the same).

* * sorry * * that site seems to have disappeared into the ether

PS - what else do we know about 21st December?

Monday, 3 December 2007

Surely We're Not That Old?

I must be feeling brave; brave enough to post some very old photographs. Contrary to popular belief photography - even colour photography, was around when I was even younger than I am now. On Saturday we met up with a group of girls (and their husbands) that I first met in 1967. So after taking a group photo of us all I've been scrabbling in the box room and found some old photos. Not everyone is on the newest, but maybe next time.