Monday, 27 February 2012

A new role

Yesterday we were a Host Farm for a Soil Association Organic Apprentice Scheme Seminar. It was part of a weekend for Agricultural and Horticultural apprentices. The dairy students (do I call them students?) spent the morning in James' kitchen with their tutor (from Yeo Valley). After a typical Strickley farmhouse dinner (carried across the yard), and more "classroom" work, they went down the yard to see the stock and afternoon feeding and milking. A full day ended with tea and cake, and hopefully an insight into a family dairy farm.

Many many thanks to James and Michelle for giving up their kitchen for the day (and to Robert and Chris for being so tolerant of strangers in their house)

Friday, 24 February 2012


At last it's out turn to get a fine day. Lately, if it hasn't been actually raining it's been damp and miserable with humidity in the high 90's. The porch and back kitchen are very susceptible to to the atmosphere and there's no nipping out without waterproof shoes. But today the sun is shining and the concrete is starting to dry up.

Taking advantage of the sun on their backs are these two men. We've widened the gateway into the Teapot Field (fancy double gates at the ready) to ease access to out new small car park, for the school visits.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Anyone mislaid two beds?

If so, they must have "fallen out of your van" when you backed down our lane to Whitrigg Moss.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

More Strickley Wildlife. . .

. . . this time in wonderful colour. Taken on this glorious sunny Sunday.

All courtesy of young Leon

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Latest wildlife videos

We've got the wildlife camera setup near Saint Sunday's Beck and check it whenever someone is down the wood. These were captured some time last week (not sure when, as the time is wrong on the camera).

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Looking good

Just a couple of photos to show how the new toilet block is coming on. Our builders are doing the real work - but we decided to stone face the front - especially as it is visible from James' garden, though the rest will be rough cast. So, using stone from the wall that we're widening to put in smart new gates, Henry and James have made a very good job of it. And inside is coming on as well. We've had discussions with the plumber on basins/water/heating and taps etc and seem to be on track for our end of March deadline (or should I not have said that?).

Saturday, 11 February 2012

When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now

"Will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out 'til quarter to three, would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm sixty-four?"

Of course we will!

Happy Birthday
Henry and Arthur

Click on here and sing along!

and if you're as old, maybe you'll remember this one

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Latest weather

Now three inches of snow - but maybe easing off

Weather report

Our weather report may say "dry" - but that means it's not raining. It's been gently snowing since mid morning and there's now between one and one and half inches in the yard. (I stepped off the porch and quickly stuck my finger in the snow). Our weather station doesn't record snow - and when this melts will probably show it as rain in the rain gauge. But the depth won't be the same. Someone once told me (I think) that one foot of snow equals one inch of rain? I'm ready to stand corrected!

And good luck to anyone on the roads - especially coming back from Carlisle, where they went for a Birthday treat - to see Carlisle beat Chesterfield 2 - 1.

Friday, 3 February 2012

How cold is it?

. . . . . the truth is out there - but where?

Now that out weather station is sited away from the house and buildings on the hill between Strickley and Over Bleaze, we've been reasonably confident about most of the readings. The wind and rain are are accurate as we can hope for, and when it's warm I'm sure that the temperature is "within acceptable parameters". But, when the temperature drops below freezing, it doesn't always record how cold we are down in the yard. We have a thermometer on the wall in the shippon yard and this morning is was showing two degrees colder. I know that it is just down to positioning - it can only record what it is where it is, but when it gets to the extremes of temperature we always want to know how cold we really are. I'm looking around and costing an extra sensor, but the cost may be prohibitive for the advantages.

So in the meantime we look at three outdoor thermometers -
First thing, we check the one outside out bedroom window (console next to the bed) to decide if it's warm enough to get up (it has to be). This is usually one degree warmer than it really is.
Then we check the console in the kitchen that picks up the main weather station (this is what is uploaded to the web).
Then we check the temperature down the yard - to confirm why we feel so cold.
I also check the indoor temperature in the pantry. Today there was a sort of symmetry - it was plus 4 in the pantry and minus four outside.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

14 today!

This is something to make me feel really old - having a fourteen year old grandson. To me he's still a young boy with a long way to go at school - but it's not so long ago that most children left school at fourteen and went out to work.

Until 1918 there was no "school leaving age", and it was then brought in at fourteen. My parents left school at that age - as did many of that generation. In 1947 it was raised to fifteen, and stayed like that till 1972. In fact Henry left at fifteen (but did go onto college a few years later).

But Elliot has years of opportunity ahead of him. Good luck.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012