1 January 2015

Happy New Year

Happy new year to you all.

The picture is of a bowl of Hyacinths I grew for the big house to enjoy over Christmas but for whatever reason they never left the greenhouse.

Sent from my Windows Phone

26 December 2014

I've had a terrible boxing day.

I've had a terrible day today, and you will probably think me stupid when I tell you the reason why.

I have for the most part got used to not having  Tommy around but what I can't seem to get used to is him proving to be irreplaceable. It just breaks my heart to know that I will never have anything like it again. That is what I was reminded of today.

It was during lunch, there was us plus my family and a friend of Vicki's, we had just finished the main course and everyone started pulling Christmas crackers when Vicki announced that she was wearing a 'Next' hat. Next being a department store that we have here and is where the crackers were bought. For a split second after she said it I thought she said she was wearing a neck hat and this straight away reminded me of when Tommy was around I would share my cracker with him. He wasn't very good at pulling it but he would hold it in his mouth and I would help him pull it and then when it was split open we would share the contents, he having the paper hat and me the little gift. Because the paper hat wouldn't fit his head I would slip it over his head and he would wear it as a paper collar, I can see him now as pleased as punch that he was able to join in the fun. This year and for no other year as long as I live there was and will never be a Tommy and this brought such a lump to my throat that I couldn't speak and my eyes filled with tears until they were almost running over. So as not to make a complete fool of myself in front of everyone I rushed my Christmas pudding and cleared off out of the way until I could regain some composure. I couldn't enjoy the rest of the day as I was on the brink the whole time.

My sister noticed there was something wrong and on inquiring all I could say by way of an explanation was, 'It's Tommy' and I had to once again flee the room, I just can't help it, I fight it but it's just to much. Just writing this has taken me so long I'm going to have to back date it. Some of you have asked me to write more posts about my adventures with Tommy and I would love too but every time I start one I just go to pieces. I will keep trying though as I want to write it all down for my own benefit.

Tommy wearing his Christmas cracker paper hat, 

25 December 2014

Chewy Present.

Merry Christmas to you all, have you been having a good time?

We've been enjoying ourselves, we've had plenty to eat and drink, lots of presents and family to visit us.

Below are some pictures of Tess enjoying one of her many presents.

18 December 2014

Tractor ride to the woods.

Hello everyone, how are you today? This past week I have been digging over the vegetable garden, it's a job I like to get done before Christmas if I can so that the weather has time to break down the soil and perhaps do other good stuff as well. 

Anyway before I could start on the digging I needed to clear some things such as old unwanted veg and prunings from Black Currant bushes, also some weeds, basically anything that was in the way of the digging. When the trailer was loaded up and ready for emptying I had the idea of putting my little camera on the tractor somewhere and then inviting you all to come for a ride on the tractor with me to the woods which is where I have to dump my rubbish since the gamekeeper put my compost bins on the bonfire. So anyone who is interested hop on board and hold on tight.

14 December 2014

A bright crisp day with a cold breeze, lots of ice and a little covering of snow.

On Saturday me and Tess took a walk along Derwent Edge. It was a bright crisp day with a cold breeze, lots of ice and a little covering of snow. We walked from Cut Throat Bridge to Back Tor where we stopped for a coffee, sandwiches and dog biscuits. By the time we had finished eating and drinking we were pretty cold so decided to have a game of ball to get warmed up before we retraced our steps back to the car.

Looking up the valley towards the Derwent dam.

The view across the valley to Kinder Scout.

Back Tor, a good place to stop for a coffee.

As it was only still the early afternoon by the time we got back to the car we decided to go and visit my parents who live just a few miles down the valley.

I had a good day and I think Tess did although it's not always easy to tell with her.

9 September 2014

Low Priority Rabbits.

If you grow Lettuce, and indeed various other vegetables it can sometimes be worth leaving them in the garden even after they are past being useful for eating as they can put on a display just as good as any flowering plant. Tell me if I'm wrong but wouldn't the Lettuce in the picture look good in any Herbaceous border? I haven't tried this but one could probably still pick off individual leaves and add them to a salad.

Incidentally the Leeks in front of the lettuce are a failure. People keep on telling me that keeping rabbits out of the garden is not a priority, I hope they are as understanding when I present them with the Leeks in the picture as the two previous sowing's got eaten by the low priority rabbits last spring.

6 September 2014

Strange Cabbage.

I have these Cabbages in the garden at work which I have grown in a ring of wire netting for protection, I think there are four plants the one you see being the biggest. I planted them such a long time ago that I can't even remember what they are but by the look of them I think they may be Savoy cabbages planted for last winter but were a bit late so never developed when they should but have done so now. The other interesting thing is that because of the wire netting around them they have grown on long stalks of about eighteen inches long presumably so they can escape the chicken wire around them. Until you examine it closely the four plants seem to be one plant with four cabbage heads which looks sort of unusual.

2 September 2014


Okay - so who's looking at who?

1 September 2014

A Girls Best Friend.

Tommy on an afternoon out to Clumber Park.

1 August 2014

An Introduction to Tommy.

The 6th of June 2005 was a bight sunny morning. Me and Tippy had already been round and checked the cows and were off up to Moor Farm to check some sheep we had there. As I whizzed down the lane on the quad bike, Tippy riding behind me as usual out of the corner of my eye I noticed a big black dog lying under the barrier to the forestry entrance. My first thought was that it belonged to a dog walker but I was wary of the fact that there was no car to be seen which was a little unusual as we weren't really in walking distance of anywhere. So I thought the matter worthy of more investigation and braked to a halt very aggressively. Tippy crashed in to the back of me but didn't fall off the bike, she was well used to all kinds of erratic maneuvers being involved in all manner of hot pursuits after various cows, sheep and people on an almost daily basis.

Fallon on the quad bike, Tippy usually rode behind the driver.

I reversed as fast as the bike would allow back up the lane to the pull in where the dog was still lying, it didn't move so I switched off the bike and dismounted on the opposite to the dog and circled round behind the bike all the time talking to the dog. As I moved in closer it suddenly jumped up and flew at the bike barking, Tippy stood her ground, the bike was her domain, raging cows had tried many times to dislodge her from that perch and failed so this dog was on a hiding to nothing before he even started and I think he knew it because he turned round and went back and laid down under the wooden rail again.

This is where Tommy was found. It's a made up picture as I didn't have one from the day but it's more or less as he was when I first saw him.

There was obviously no point in trying to do anything while I had the bike and Tippy so I got back on the bike, turned it round and headed off back to the farm which was just a short way back down the lane. I put Tippy in the house, grabbed some dried dog food and a horses lead rope that was hanging up in the dairy and set off at a good pace on foot across the fields.

The lane heading back to the farm which can just be made out through the trees.

I arrived back at the entrance to the forest to find the dog where I had left it. Remembering what had happened a few minutes earlier I approach very cautiously, I had kept my heavy parka coat and leather bike gloves on for a little protection should things get out of hand. The dog never moved though so I sat down on the rail by the side of him and introduced myself and inquired as to what he was doing there but he didn't reply.

The scene as I returned, I sat on the rail just in front of him and had a little talk before offering food.

I removed a glove and reached in to my pocket and brought out a hand full of the dog food and reached down with my gloved hand to offer him some of the food, he looked at me now and snarled, I dropped it on the ground in front of him and he took it. He looked at me for more so again I offered him some in my gloved hand and he showed his teeth but before I had chance to drop it he put his teeth away and took it ever so gently from my hand. It must have been about five times I offered him the food before he took it without showing his teeth. By now we were getting on much better so I tried to put the horse rope around him but he wasn't ready for that and so not wanting to undo all the good work I decided to see if he would just follow me back to the farm. At first although he was happy to get up and follow me a short way he was reluctant to leave the entrance to the forest but after a certain amount of coaxing he did come with me and we made it back to the farm without further ado.

His defensive look and the look he gave me when I first tried to coax him with food.
There I offered him more food and some water and he even let me put the rope on him, he didn't have a collar so I did a makeshift one with a bit of string. I fussed him a bit and introduced him to my workmate and then fastened him to a hook in the yard while I went and got a drink of tea. I looked out of the kitchen window to see if the dog was settled but all that was there was half the rope fastened to the hook, there was no sign of the other half or the dog so I quickly rushed out to see where he was, I needn't have worried because he was only outside the back door waiting for me, the cut through the rope was so clean it could have been cut with a sharp knife. I drank my tea with him out in the yard. Because it was obvious that he wasn't going to be tied up I shut him in a shed while Tippy and I went to check the sheep at Moor Farm, before leaving I instructed my workmate to not go in the shed where the dog was because I wasn't sure if he could be trusted not to bite. Even though he had been friendly enough while in the yard I thought the had made a lung at me when shutting him in the shed. I left him barking behind the shed door.