Restrictions are easing a bit here in England so sometime last week my husband Nathan made a plan for us to meet up with our friend Bob from The Haunted Generation. I wasn’t involved with the making of said plan, it was simply one of those ‘this is happening, are you up for it’ things. A walk up on the North York Moors? Well my default answer to that is always going to be a yes, but there was a potential problem.

Last weekend I had done a five mile walk on the flat and come back in a bad way. Existing issues on top of a year of not moving around very much at all, just about finished me off! I couldn’t move when we got home and two days later I could still only manage a short walk with a stick. I didn’t fancy my chances hiking up hill and down dale so I made the decision not to go. I really couldn’t face the thought of holding everyone else back or ruining the trip in some way. And then I changed my mind. Several times over the course of the week in fact. At the eleventh hour I made the decision to go and frantically threw some supplies into a backpack.

Dosed up on painkillers, I laced up my boots, grabbed my walking stick and we headed for the hills, my mentioning of the yellow snow warning seemingly falling on deaf ears.

On the drive over I could see that the tops of the hills had a covering of snow and briefly thought of that yellow warning. Oh well, I thought, can’t cancel now, I’m in too deep and besides the sun was actually shining and this trip was important. The first flakes started to fall as we parked up.

Bob, Nathan, myself and Megan the Border Collie set off, our destination clearly visible high up on the moor. We had begun our sacred pilgrimage to worship the god of all pre-digital broadcasting in the North East, the Bilsdale Transmitter.

Our outbound walk went okay considering I almost gave up on the ascent. The mast seemed further away every time I looked at it but at least the weather was now behaving itself. I looked at 14 year old Megan, an old lady by comparison and I thought, if she can do it then I can, ignoring the fact that four legs and a daily walk probably puts her at an advantage over me. We picked up pace a bit once we were up on the top and it was soon time for the flasks and sausage rolls to come out which meant I was suddenly Megan’s best friend!

We hung about by the mast for a bit and talked about ’70s dinner sets and ’70s sitcoms while I admired Bob’s unmistakably ’70s Thermos flask.

To give you an idea of scale, those are buildings you can see at the base of the mast where we sat for our picnic. It’s so tall, it has become an iconic landmark, it’s red beacon light hovering eerily above the dark hills at night.

The walk back was when things started to go less smoothly. It began with me leaving my stick where we’d stopped and Nathan went back for it while Bob and I stood waiting on the track. In hindsight, I should have gone back for it myself and kept my circulation going because a few hundred yards on, I got a Raynaud’s attack in both hands. It was about the same time we realised there was some serious weather heading straight for us so it was no bad thing that my solution to the circulation problem was to move faster! My hands came back to life and we made good progress, arriving at the top of the route down just as the snow started falling.

As we made our way down, the flakes seemed to get bigger and bigger until they were settling on everything, including us. By the time we got back to the cars it was a white out, the Bilsdale Transmitter lost in another world.

Blackthorn Blossom
Honeypot Wood – Stockton-on-Tees

There aren’t really any words I can add to this post. I think nature says it all. I wish I’d taken more photographs but it was only a short walk so I just snapped the flowers. Spring has sprung, the sun is out, it’s Easter weekend and I have chocolate so all is well.

I hope you’re all having a lovely bank holiday weekend!

It’s been weeks since my last post. It doesn’t feel like weeks, but looking back over photographs I suppose it must be. Since my last post I have managed to get out of the house a bit more. My Covid anxiety has lessened a bit and I seem to have had a reason to get out to the post box most days in the last couple of weeks thanks to a flurry of Etsy sales. One day last week I extended my walk beyond the post box and ended up meandering through the gravestones in our local cemetery. It’s a peaceful place to walk. I like to study the names on the stones if they are still legible and the different carvings and engraving styles.

On this particular day, I was disturbed by a flapping and fluttering above me so, I looked up to see a sizeable flock of bright green birds taking flight. If you live in certain parts of the UK, like London for example, you are probably not a stranger to seeing these things but to a northerner who thinks a Goldfinch looks exotic, it’s quite a thing to see a flock of such brightly coloured birds in the sky. I came home and did a bit of Googling and discovered they were very likely Ring Necked Parakeets. I was lucky enough to find a feather to take home!

This week I extended one of my post box trips into the park instead. It was busy and at times a challenge for me but I managed to loop round the lake which is something I have been unable to do since before lockdown because the path narrows in places and the thought of someone coming the other way panicked me too much. I’m glad I made myself do it. I wouldn’t have caught sight of this late brood if I hadn’t. You will have to excuse the slightly blurry photograph, but they just wouldn’t keep still even though I asked nicely! Lovely though it was to see the fluffy babies, I think I’ll stick to the cemetery for now as it’s so much quieter. I imagine these little ducklings will have grown a lot next time I see them.

On weekends when my husband is home we travel further afield, we seem to have made a habit of it. A flask of coffee and a small picnic to share wherever our travels take us. The weekend before last it was Rosedale in the North York Moors, last weekend it was a spot on the Durham Heritage coast. We don’t usually walk long or far. I’m not in the greatest of health at the moment and the inactivity of lockdown has made things even more of a struggle but I’m hoping I can build myself back up to whole hiking days!

Found on a beach.
Rosedale, North York Moors.

I’ve managed to stitch a few new cards over the past few weeks but mostly I have been sourcing more vintage clothing for the shop. I’m finding that selling a mixture of handmade and vintage is working for me. Sometimes I have creative blockages and sewing and stitching becomes a chore whilst at other times I find photographing and preparing items of clothing for sale a chore. Usually if I’m not in the mood for one I am able to focus on the other so in that sense I no longer have the periods of inactivity that sometimes caused my old shop to stagnate. Currently I am focused on the vintage but it’s a slow process trying to juggle family commitments and the shop so I am only able to list a couple of items at a time. I’m hoping I will be able to put more time in once the summer break is over.

Vintage dresses
Set of 3 hand stitched patchwork cards