Saturday, 28 January 2012

January Trees and Snowdrops

Well it’s the last weekend in January so I’m doing a quick round up of the month.
At home Chris broke her ankle on the 6th and has it in pot, so I’m doing the housework for her. It’s a good job that it happened at this time of the year, when I’m quite at work.
In fact work wise it’s been terrible although the weather wasn’t that bad for Jan. there’s not much to do even in the bigger gardens and a lot of the smaller ones are still asleep for winter. I’ve been doing a lot of Power Washing and there’s still fallen leafs to be cleared away in some places. That and a couple of hedges still to cut.
We’ve ordered a “Batty” tee-shirt from Gothlings for our grandson, and Chris has been busy knitting something for him but we’re keeping it secret from his mum and dad till we go and see them next month.

I’ve put in two photos of the Wild Snowdrops that grow on a cliff face overlooking the River Washburn in North Yorkshire, they always manage to flower and seem to be hanging on for dear life !
I love the trees at this time of year, with their bare stature set against the low winter sun. It’s also the only time I can look at trees without thinking “There’s all them leafs to come down !”

Ask for more photos

Friday, 20 January 2012

Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure 2012

We met with a few friends for an afternoon out at Stockeld Park’s Christmas adventure. There were a number of activities, we chose only the Enchanted Forest a wonderful walk through the woods which is filled with fairy-tale figures and mythical animals illuminated with thousands of lights

Raine dearTroll

more Dear
The Lake

As darkness begins to fall the lights look better

After the first time around the walk we went back to our car for a warming mug of homemade Vegetable soup, then having been fortified we went around again


Full darkness is the best time, but as we went around for the 2nd time it was beyond me and my camera.I loved this magic mirror ! I must make one

google the title for the Stockeld Park website and better pics

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Brick in Our Wall Appeal

After the sad dearth of Trigger, I thought about buying a bench with a plague on, to be in memory of him and siting it at one of his favourite camping sites most likely Horton in Ribblesdale or Leyburn.
However I decided that rather than spending a lot of money on something that to be honest most people who used it wouldn’t care about I would buy some “Bricks” for Tia’s “Brick in Our Wall Appeal” In which the donations go towards reducing Tia’s mortgage. In return you receive a certificate of thanks and your name is added to Tia’s Brick Wall.
In early December I received my certificate in Memory of Trigger. His name is also added to the actual wall at the kennels and also on their website. To see this go to and follow the links to help us / Brick appeal Donations

Thank You

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Whitby 2011

Chris’s boss had told her that she was going to the Goth weekend at Whitby and to my surprise and great delight Chris had said “She’d always wanted to go” It took me Nano seconds to start getting ready.
We set off Saturday morning and had a good run up the A64 to Malton By-pass. Wanting to avoid Pickering we turned left onto an unclassified road to Thornton le Dale where we stopped for a light lunch.
Onwards to Whitby. The parking was well signed, plentiful and free.

Firstly we walked around the Custom Car Show with Holly, then I took her back to the car so we could go into the Bizarre Bazaar at the leisure centre, a great place to spend money ! But for me the best feeling was in a way been taken back to my “Festival days” and just been in a place full of people who are free thinkers and not “Institutionalized”
We collected Holly and had a walk to the seafront, once more Holly went in the car so we could go into the Spa Pavilion for more stalls. Amongst my purchases was a Sophie "Weirdo, Mosher, Freak" bag, which I had planned to use for camping but Chris has hijacked to use for work.
We then had a cup of tea back at the car and then walked to town. The only disappointment of the day was that the Greedy Pig sandwich shop was closed.
We did the steps up to the Abbey. There seemed to be a lot of photographers there. I like taking photos, but would not photo real people in the street !

Chris and Holly went back to the car park and I detoured to the Whalebones to pay my respects at the Sophie Lancaster Memorial bench. We then headed off towards home. Half way down the A169 we decided to stop for dinner at the Fox and Rarebit. As always a first class meal and bear was had.
A long and tiring day so next spring we’re going to take the ‘van and camp at a nearby 5site for the weekend.
Only 16 weeks now left to WGW Spring 2012

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Holly on her own and Records not for riots October 2011

As those of you who camped at Cononley or Kettlewell will know, now that Holly is on her own she cannot stand been left alone and cries, I sure that had it been me who had died, not Trigger Holly would not of missed me as much. She and Trigger spent thirteen years not just together like a married couple when one or both partner goes out to work for eight hours a day, but they were never more than twelve feet apart. EVER ! Before we got them they had been in the same room (kennel) at Tia for two years, and when with us they were quite happy to be left and seldom made a sound. I now take her to work with me when Chris is working. She has made friends with a lot of my clients and loves the bigger gardens, so the next time Peter is in the Washburn Valley it might be Holly he photos cutting the lawns ! (See Peter’s Walks July 2011)
On a lighter note, there was a young DJ on one of the tea-time quizzes on TV the other day, who failed to know the answer to the question “Who sang My Ding a Ling” His defence was that the song was “Before his time” That may have been true but as I remarked to Chris that was a record he should of known as it is a good one to keep handy to use in a situation where you need to calm things down quickly. Others are Nelly the Elephant or The Chipmunks Jingle Bells. Ones not to use include The Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz, Kaiser Chiefs I
Predict a Riot, The clash’s White Riot, in fact when troubles in the air you’re best avoiding anything by The clash, The’ Pistols or The Damned with the exception of the Damned’s Captain Sensible’s version of Happy Talk - which incidentally is where the idea for the name of this column came from!
Happy, or App’y ? Camping App’y

Trigger 15 August 2011

Trigger. c 1999 -15 August 2011

It is with unbearable sadness that we tell of the death of Trigger, who was laid to sleep at Cross Green Vets today. Trigger came to us from Tia in 2001 and had enjoyed many camping holidays and made lots friends over the years
In May 2010, he was diagnosed with Spondylosis and earlier this year he developed a bone tumur on his front leg, yesterday he began to be in constant pain.

A true friend and soul-mate Trigger will be sorely missed

London riots August 2010

At time of writing this (11th August) there is only one story the riots, firstly I must congratulate Radio two’s Paddy O’Connell for playing The Clash’s White Riot, on Tuesday. Very soothing!
The main debate of the program was why it happening? Well I can’t start to answer that, but all this inner-city trouble makes me want to get out camping even more, not that I think there will be riots near home.

The last nation-wide serous riots were in 1981, I remember they coincided with the Rock band Rainbow touring and I had tickets for the Leeds date and no-way was I going to miss it despite my mother’s worry I went. That was the night that the riots did spread to Leeds. Chapeltown Road as you’d expect, three mile away from the city centre and I knew nothing about them until I got home and found my parents still up and worked-up.

Rainbow were one of the loudest bands of the eighties, at the end of the drum solo Richie Blackmore turned around and hit a twelve foot Greek Gong with a hammer, the speaker stacks either side of the stage were the size of double-decker buses. I was stood about three-quarters of the way down the hall but as he hit the Gong you could feel the sound waft over your face and as it hit the back wall it rebounded and you felt it hit back of your head! After that night my ears rang for three days, maybe that was the start of my tinnitus?

Although I just said I think we’re save from riots where I live but, apparently we’re not save from the consequences, on Friday I went to the petrol station I was greeted with a sign saying “No fuel will be sold in jerry or petrol cans” I had to go into the shop and plead my case as a Professional Gardener needing the cans filed for use in the mowers etc.

Happy camping App’y

Sutton Park July 2011

Search and Decoy, The Sponsored duck hunt at Sutton Park
Over the weekend of 13th /17th July a lucky few enjoyed the first sponsored duck hunt, held to help raise money for the DA charity Help the Heroes all in all despite the poor turn out over £100.00 was donated.

On Saturday night the parks woodland was transformed into a mini wonderland with more than 120 candles and light sticks for an evening walk, which was enjoyed by all.

Peter’s walks July 2010

The other day I met Peter going on one of his walks, we stopped and talked for a while and we both agreed what a good day it was, not to hot and not to windy. Blue skies with high fluffy clouds. The hills shone in the sunlight, the heather promising to open, the grass was lush with the young lambs running around. And what a beautiful part of the world to be in! In my view the Yorkshire Dales take some beating! It’s really great to be outside on days like that. This is why the Club came up the slogan “Get Rich Quick” with Camping, to encourage people to get out and about. As we parted Peter went on his way I realised that I was SLOWLY getting richer that day…..I was at WORK! And I thought “Yes I am lucky, I am in a beautiful part of the world on a really good day AND I’M GETTING PAID FOR IT! Oh well I don’t need to go camping then! Later when Peter came back he took a photo of me cutting the outside verge, just to prove that I do work.
However whilst at Cherry Tree Farm I took the opportunity to have a good rest and I read a whole paperback book. I know this is not much to most, but it was only the fifth non text book that I have ever read.
On the Monday before we went to Nawton we took Trigger to the Vets; the lump on his front leg is a Bone tumour. We do not know if it is either
benign or malignant.
If you are going to Sutton Forest I am still short of Jam jars or similar for the Candle light Woodland Walk, if you could help and bring some it would be a big help.

Bad things come in 3’s April 2010

As always April is a busy time for me. It’s the year end for work and I have to get my paper work ready for the Accountant. My printer has been playing-up, just when I need it for my spread sheets to become Sales and Purchase Ledgers. Check all the receipts are in order, cross numbered and stapled together in tens.
They say bad things go in threes, most of you will know we had to change Chris’s car. And I must say “Good riddance to bad rubbish” If that’s British workmanship no wonder most of the car industry has gone. I still think we have the best Bear, Cheese and Meat in the world though! Then the Boiler broke down! And (hopefully) finally we had a leak in the caravan bathroom sink tap.
Don’t forget to get your sponsor from for the Search and Decoy Duck Hunt at Sutton Forest in July.
Happy camping App’y

Offside rule & Worried sick March 2010

Firstly on the behalf of the Dogs at TiA Greyhound Rescue, I’d like to thank all who gave and helped with last year’s charity taking the total (with a late donation) to £547.92 THANK YOU.

A sports commentator has been fired for a sexist remark about women not knowing the Offside rule. As we are camping at a number of football grounds this year to save any embarrassment I will try to explain it. (In my way) Firstly pitch your unit with the tow ball over the pitch marker peg. Your awing naturally goes on the side whitch is next to the kerb when travelling THE NEARSIDE. Then your car is parked at the side of the caravan which when travelling is away or off the kerb THE OFFSIDE. There even a footballer could do it.

I’ve often heard the expression “Worried sick” but the other week I saw someone who really was. I have a client, who is half Egyptian. His son, Daughter in law and Grand children were still in Alexandra. When I saw him he looked as if he had really bed flu. He told me that their factory was closed and boarded-up, against looters and that his family were stuck inside their villa with twenty armed men sat outside to protect them. He’s always complaining about our weather, but right now I think he’s glad to be in England’s rain, snow or whatever!

So that’s something to think about the next time a camper-van gets stuck in the mud.
Happy camping

Partridge Breast Normandy February 2010

Here’s one for Ali Ray to put in her Eat local section in the Club Magazine. If you want local and mostly free I bet she can’t beat this meal which I cooked the other Sunday. It was Roast Partridge Normandy I served with roast potatoes, braised red cabbage and mashed Sweede. I had been given a brace of Pheasants and a brace of Partridges - shot at Addingham by one of my clients, and some cooking apples by another client. The Vegetables and potatoes were from our allotment.

Partridge Breast Normandy

4oz butter 2 young Partridges
Salt & pepper 2 rashers rindless bacon
1 ½ lb. apples 4 floz double cream
2 tbsp. Calvados or brandy Chopped parsley to garnish
Shoot, hang for 4-5days, skin and joint the partridges.
Set oven to 180°C/ gas 4. Heat the butter in a casserole, add the partridge breasts and lightly brown them on both sides. Season with salt & pepper. Place a rasher of bacon on each breast. Peel, core & cut the apples into wedges and add to the dish.
Cook in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the cream and brandy, season to taste and replace in oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley before serving.

Technology and a Paradox January 2011

So a “Happy New Year” to all

Technology is a marvellous thing, but when technology fails, try a big hammer!

I nearly got to the big hammer part recently when, during the bad weather I started receiving text messages every day from +447786208896 telling me that “Common Road School” was either open or closed. So I texted back asking them to stop sending me them, no luck! And I did not get an answerer when I rang that number, how can I stop this? Should we all text them and say where we are camping?

Recently whilst Chris and I were shopping in a well-known clothes store a chap asked me what colour I would call a pair of trousers he was holding up. I examined them and said “Welsh Slate blue” he thought a second and replied “They be alright for a night on the tiles” … I’d asked for that!

Now is this paradox #
You will have seen the Television advert for a Man’s anti pursuant using the paradox of “You don’t expert power and caring” and shows a powerful Maserati sports car, with a child seat in the rear! But is that a paradox? (Regular readers might guess what’s coming next) I work for someone on Thursdays who has a Maserati and yes in order to carry his two children in safety there are child seats in the back!

Did the advert writers not think it really did happen?

#A paradox; a statement that sounds absurd or seems to contradict itself, but may in fact be true (From the Oxford English Dictionary)

So here’s to a new year

Scorpions and Reporters

October 2010

Something different this time, here is a question.

“What is the difference between a Scorpion and a Reporter ?”

Case one. A Scorpion met a toad by a big river. The scorpion said to the toad “I have to get across this river, will you carry me on your back ?” the toad replied “No way, you are a scorpion you will sting and kill me !” The scorpion explained “If I kill you in the water, then I will also die. I’m a scorpion, I cannot swim ! you will be safe” So the toad let the scorpion on his back and started to swim across the river, they got about half way to the other side when the scorpion brought his tail over his head and stung the toad ! The toad cried “Why have you done that ? I am going to die and so will you” the scorpion replied “I know, but I’M A SCORPION”

Case Two. In 1993 I was working at Quarry House, in Leeds~ the DSS Head Office one day a high profile minister from London came up for a meeting and all the Press were outside. I finished at half past three and was heading home. When I got down to the foyer all the reporters were outside, posed ready to try to get a photo of the minister coming out. It would of easy for me just to walk past them and go on my way, but I wasn’t one to do anything the easy way back then! So for a bit of fun I pulled my coat up over my face, held my head down and made a swift exit. You should have heard all the cameras going off! What a lot of wasted film !

So “What is the difference between a Scorpion and a Reporter ?”

What indeed !

Camperama 2010 Gargrave

Trigger Chill’s out Betty Puts Jane in the Stocks

Richard fires-up the BBQ

Maze and Pull-A-Peg (Jane and Marion )

Decorated Fire Buckets

Chris’s Camperama Raffle board

Peter Auction’s a bag

The Saturday Craft Workshops for the Decorated Fire Buckets was well attended and the games coursed quite a few laughs especially the Wet Sponge Throwing.
We let Richard (our treasurer) build the fire for the Bar-B-Q and Brian (our Rep to Region) Loves doing the cooking! Music thought the night was played by John (CD now available, contact me for a copy)
The Sunday morning Charity Auction for Tia Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue was hosted by Peter. Altogether the weekend raised over one hundred and twenty pounds for Tia, so I’m very pleased with that Alastair

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Never happens on TV. September 2010.

Thanks to those who joined us and a lot of none Spen members for the Camperama Festival week-end. Those who were there all seemed to enjoy it. There should be some pictures in the Club Magazine in a few months’ time. Once again Peter took on the role of auctioneer and managed to rise just short of sixty quid, a similar amount was also made from the games. I think there is a full report elsewhere in here.

Last time I finished with the words “That never happened to Alan Titchmarsh!” Here is something else to go in that folder.
I was at one of my larger gardens just off the A59, having my 10 O’ clock break when I saw out of the corner of my eye a man walking up the drive (there are electric gates which were closed. I jumped out of my car and shouted at him “Who are you?” he replied “POLICE, who are you?” I responded equally “Gardener what’s up?” There were now two of them and I don’t think he was pleased to see me, but he had a lump in his trousers they were from Menwith Hill (ATG) he told me that they were responding to a personal attack alarm going off. This is when things started to go wrong when I started to explain “No alarm has gone off, “I did set an alarm off about three weeks ago” I just managed to stop myself from saying “Have you just got here” Instead I went on “the house is empty he went away in a chauffeur driven car about 8:45. We have cameras and infer-red beams, but I don’t think there are any personal attack alarms” They contacted their HQ who in turn contacted the private security company and they confirmed there was no one inside and it must be a fault. As I said at the beginning that never happens on TV.

TV gardens & Trigger June 2010

Firstly thank you to all who have kept enquiring about Trigger’s health. After Flamborough, we took him to the vets and he has been X-rayed. He has extra calcium growing on his spine that is trapping his nerves. This is called Spondylosis and is similar to sciatica. The vets have changed his tablets and now he is not in as much pain

As a Freelance Private Gardener I sometimes work at some really nice homes, some of the gardens I have created from scratch (One has featured in Yorkshire Life) and some I can only claim to maintain.
Last month I did some work at a house like you see on the tele. It was a “Clearance” job; the grass was two feet high and a Rose bush was about 12 by 12 foot. The Lady brought me out a coffee. Latter I had to go inside for water for the weed killer I then wished I had not had the coffee! The kitchen walls were black with plaster falling off. The floor was full of empty, but not washed milk bottles the whole place was filthy and made me feel sick! TV program yeh ~ Grime busters ~ I could taste the coffee all night. I used Listerine and had a few Whiskies but I could still taste it. That never happened to Alan Titchmarsh!

So another football world cup and England flags abound. As I know next to nothing about football and care even less who wins, I asked someone why they were putting an England flag on their French car? “Cause I support England” came the reply “So if you want to support England, why not buy an English car?” I asked?“ But this is football” enough said.

Silver lining May 2010

Thanks to the Icelandic volcano and it’s dust cloud it as been nice and peaceful up here near the airport, one of my clients who lives in Menstone said on a morning it was so quiet without the planes that they could hear the birds singing. “Every cloud as a silver lining” ~ Yeah, but I don’t know it meant volcanic ash !
A couple of weeks ago Jon, the Club PR Manager invited me down to HQ for a training day. It was very interesting especially the Media Workshop, which showed us how to deal with the press and how to best portray our selves (and the Club) in a TV interview. The only drawback to that is now when I watch the news I can see how badly (or well) the person is responding to been interviewed.
As I hinted at in the last Spen ‘n’ Ink Chris and I are doing another Summer Camping Festival it will be in July at Gargrave, Home Farm, on the 23rd to 25th. We are calling it Camperama 2010 and it will be a “Celebration of all things Camp” We are planning to have the Festival Games as before but with some new ideas including :- simulated Caravan Leg winding Racing and Tent Peg Skittles. there will be a Camp Supper Bar Be Que.
On Saturday we will have a Craft Workshop for people to decorate their Fire Buckets ready for a Grand Parade of Decorated Fire Buckets on Sunday morning, after coffee, Peter will host an Auction of Used Camping gear and (If I can get any) signed Photos donated by Celebrities. As always we will need some more volunteers to help over the weekend.
I hope you all will come and join the fun,

Orange Coats and begging letter. January 2010

Trigger and Holly with Orange Coat

We all saw the resent floods in Cumbria and the great devastation that they coursed, especially to the bridges ! A couple of days later the news showed two vans driving over a bridge that was allegedly closed ! A witness claimed in their defence that the workmen on the bridge had “Waved them through” maybe because the vans had the words “Maintenance” written on them. This seems to be a perfectly good and realistic expiration.
My point been that, the day before, when it had been raining on and off all morning I was going to my next call (still wearing my rain coat, which happens to be bright orange) There were road works all along the street with traffic cones all over the place, so I just indicated that I was going to pull-in and a work-man waved me in to park in-between them !
However in the interests of fairness ~Not that Spen ‘n’ Ink is the BBC~ the other side of the coin is that at the weekend my darling wife ~She who must be obeyed~ etc. Without the use of any High Vis Safety gear drove straight though a “Road Closed” sign !
It could only happen to me ! The other day I received a “begging letter” from the RSPCA, their latest campaign is “The big feed for Christmas” and they were asking for thirty-four pounds to feed all the dogs in one home for one day. Now I’m quiet happy to feed the dogs, but I know that if I were to send a cheque for £34.00 to a big charity most of it would be swallowed up by administration expenses and huge salaries for accountants etc. with only a small portion actually getting to the animals. So rather than doing that I decided to buy a couple of 15 kilo bags the next time we went to a wholesaler and take it straight to the RSPCA in Leeds. So far, so good ! The trouble was, having got the two big bags of dog food we set off through the back streets of Leeds to where I had last seen the RSPCA, only to find it had been demolished years ago. After searching the Internet I found that the nearest RSPCA is now in Manchester or Halifax ! We ended up taking the food to the Dog Trust on York road instead !

Esholt In The Dark 2009

I always plan to cut most of the hedges in late October and early November so that I can take the wood down to Esholt for Spen’s annual group Bonfire. Three years ago there must have been two hundred people around the fire at one point, last year there were less and this year I don’t think we had twenty.
After taking another load of wood down on Thursday night I was disappointed to find that the bar in the club was not open. At least I could get an early start on Friday; so by Friday lunchtime Chris and I were back with the sixth load. Richard, Eric and Brian had been working all morning building the fire, but by now it was not just the skies that were looking glum, we had only got a few ‘vans on site.
All afternoon it rained, Chris went home to dry off whilst I took the seventh load to Richard and co. half past four and only fourteen units on site yet ! It was now pitch black.
Saturday, starts with a trip to my allotment to gather any thing to burn, and a tidy-up in our own garden. The final load is topped up with help from Jenny, next door.
Six thirty PM, whist I report for duty to Richard, Chris goes upstairs to help Marion and the others with the kitchen and raffle. After checking with the DA Chairman (Brian) a small child is selected to Ceremoniously Light the fire.
One of the provisos of having the fire at the sports club is that there are to be no nails in any wood we burn, which in effect means all the wood is green thus does not burn well!
A lot of “Fire management” was crafted by Richard, Eric and myself to ensure a safe yet good show was maintained, although as I said at the beginning with such a poor turn out I really wondered why we bothered
Latter Brian and Judith did the firework display, once again a brilliant, well-timed show! And from were I was, back at the fire I had a good view?
When the fire had burned down to a safe level we adjourned to the bar. The “Girls” had prepared the Pie and Peas and the raffle was called.
All in all a good night, but a lot of work for so few to watch. So why has the attendance dropped ? Are we wasting our time ? May be “The winds of Change” are ready to blow and it is time to find another venue for the Group’s bonfire ? It would be a shame to move when there are willing stewards and helpers. Is it really just A SHOT IN THE DARK ?

Spen Valley’s Summer Solstice Festival 2009

The 2009 celebration was held at Brenk House Farm, Coxwold by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Burn. Situated on the south west corner of the North York Moors National Park just one mile from the beautiful village of Coxwold. As with many working farms we expected to see cattle, sheep, and tractors depending on the season. But most likely we met Muffin, the Old English sheepdog
As with last year the fun began with Fair ground type games such as tests of strength in Nail Hammering, agility in Pea in a Bottle and Splat the Rat. Quizzes and a giant Buzzer game. We were also kindly loaned by our hosts, Gill and Keith their “Labyrinth” game. Although now a days played in fun most of these games have their origin in the day-to-day lives of our ancient descendants. Though out the evening music was provided by John Clarke

Most people participated in the games and for every time they played they were given a token, representing part of the meal: - A wild Hog, Vegetables and A wheat sheaf. Those who colleted 3 tokens then received, their free supper, which was Bar-Be-Cued Local Pork Sausage, 3 Bean Casserole and Crusty Bread. Chosen to be part of the Mid summer celebrations over the years.The Local Pork Sausage representing The Wild Boar, symbolic of the ancient mans hunted meals.
The Crusty Bread symbolic of later meals gathered or foraged and cooked on an open fire.
The 3 Bean Casserole can also be as the above, but also pays homage to the 1980’s “Bean Feast” Festival, which tragically ended in unprovoked violence

After the revellers had eaten their supper most changed into costume for the next part of the evening. The Bonfire Ceremony, which started with Ian reading the Prayer for the Benediction of the Midsummer Bonfire. Then the Master of Ceremonies (That’s me) gave Instructions and then the Head “Lady of the flowers” lead The Casting of the flowers. The “Wizard of Spen” (Richard) then lit the fire, once again held in a Fire-Pit. Then the rain came down and it was touch and go to if the Torch Light Parade could continue, but in the end it did go ahead.

The Parade was lead by the Wizard and MC around the farm and camping field, and blessed the field and crops and the caravans,

The Burning of the Wicker man was meant to single the end of the evening but most people had had enough of the now quiet heavy rain and this was cancelled, returning instead to the dry barn to dance the night away till eleven o clock.

Brenk House Farm
For more on DA camping and Spen Valley DA

‘Bin strike, Imagine No Processions November 2009

For me the real issue in the news at the moment is the Leeds ‘Bin strike. My working life is at best dominated by finding legal ways to dispose of waste. To add to that now for whatever pig-headed reasons on both sides Leeds is getting ever-deeper covered in rubbish ! No side can win in a situation like this, there are only losers and I seem to be one of them ! Usually I loosely fill the brown bins in an average garden each fortnight, so when I return they have been empted, but if they haven’t been I can still usually get more in especially as it will have naturally decomposed a bit. But with no plans to collect the brown bins they are just getting heavier, or will no longer go down anymore. Which also means that they are now so heavier that no one will be able to move them.
I’m glad it’s soon Bonfire night and I can take woody stuff down to Esholt.
Whilst on the subject of wheelie-bins I’ve had an article called "Imagine No Processions" in the App’y Talking archive for a while and I think this is a good time to bring it out and publish it.

"Imagine NoProcessions"

John Lennon died before we had wheelie bins. If you look at your wheelie bin it will have endorsed on it "Property of Leeds City Council", or Bradford etc. It is provided by the local authority, for the use of collecting rubbish. It is not the householder’s property.
I always have to laugh at the people, who wait for the dustbin lorry to move to next door, and almost run out to collect their bin and take it safely away around the back of their house. Worse still are the Hardware stores selling numbers, for people to label the things with.
Had John Lennon lived to see wheelie bins, when he wrote the words "Imagine No Processions" I wonder if he would of been referring to the people who think they are theirs, or the Council, who seem to have lost them.

So when we’re camping if anyone from “out of Leeds” would like to take MY rubbish home ?

Better Giving September 2009

When I went to school many years ago, there was only one religion taught, that was Christian. So when we were told “It is better to give, than to receive” as a six or seven year old I was not convinced, I wanted a Fire Engine or something ! But as the years pass and you fall in love with someone, you want to buy them lots of things, and you then do think that it is better it give, than to receive. Love can go further than this, there is unconditional love, again at six or seven we don’t understand this. This is how I feel for Greyhounds not just mine but the many thousand that are badly treated by the racing industry every year. That is why for my fiftieth birthday, instead of personal presents I asked for donations for my charity, Tia Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue. In all honesty I did not expect to receive the amount that we did ! I never thought that there was so much love in the people I knew!
The tremendous pleasure that I have in passing this on to Tia gives me the TRUE feeling of love, and shows how it IS so much better it TO GIVE. So to those of you who showed their love a big thank you
The amount raised was £325.00

Lets all feel that love, App’y

Ways to get in the news September 2009

One of the hardest things I do as Spen Valley’s PR Officer is trying to find new ways to get Spen in the news. There are of coarse tried and tested ways of generating mass media interest, but some of these are a bit drastic and can only be used once by any individual. I make the point of a black singer, who apparently died and his record company have re-released all his old records, which have all gone straight to the top of the charts ! So if anyone out there is not feeling to good, then could they give me a ring and as much notice, as possible and I’ll see what I can do, it may help to draw campers in to the meets and THS’s. There again that might be a bit drastic !

Traffic Lights July 2009

Well, we had good weather for a few weekends. Although in May at Bury it was so wet that for the first time that I know of even Richards’s car came unstuck ! Or should that be stuck.
Mind you now we have the Sun, I’ve started with my Hay Fever! And I think I was out in it to long the other day, I came home feeling a bit sick

We all know the one about the pile of stones in the park with a light on top and when a small boy asked the park keeper what the light was for was told “It was there so people did not fall over the stones in the dark” So the small boy then asked Why are the stones there and the park keeper replied “To hold the light up” But I’ve now seen it for real The other day I queued at traffic lights, when it came to my turn to go I drove past the now obligatory six feet high cage-like fencing, not around any hole or works but just the controller for the traffic lights !

We are always hearing tales of tyre garages having not heard of Tyron Bands in wheels, but I was talking to one whom as, and he seemed to be up on the gem about changing tyres on caravans every 4 or 5 years even through they appear not to be worn. I don’t know if we can print his name, but if you ask me I will tell you. His garage is in Otley.

If you had noticed the small article the Club Magazine did on Volunteers i.e. me and if you want to know what I REALLY said, I will email you a copy of the interview or if you catch me on site I’ll show you a copy

Crying wolf May 2009

Here’s a modern twist on an ancient parable. I have a mate whose name I shall not mention who keeps sending me jokes by text. So many in fact, that when my phone bleeps an incoming text massage and it’s from him I have a quick look and think “I’ll read that later” Now here comes the crunch, one day it bleeped, I looked, saw it was from him, thought “It’s a joke” and ignored it. When it kept on bleeping I still ignored it. That night I found out that my mate had been on a roof and his ladder had fallen, knowing I was quiet close by he was ringing me for help. Crying wolf anyone ?

Did you see on Calendar the other week that some students in York had done a 30 second film, which was a remake of Forest Gump? Now it appears that some of you missed this years AGM. So here in Forest Gump style is a 30 second remake of it.


Someone had died ~ we stood up.
Brian’s no Kitchen ~ He’s living in his ‘van.
Neil’s Happy ~ He’s doing another year.
Richard spent some money ~ He’s Sad.
I’m doing another Solstice Festival ~ Hope you’ll come.
Region wants us to buy gas in smaller Bottles ~ But it costs more.
Spen ‘n’ Ink lost money ~ Price will go up
Last years sites were ~ Lovely, Wet & Lovely or Cancelled & Lovely.
More “Thank yous” ~ than at the Oscars.
We ate a sandwich; Neil played YMCA type songs,
We went home.

Old photos March 2009

Once again the email gremlins seem to have stuck between me and Neil, and the last edition of App’y Talking never reached the Spen ‘n’ Ink deck. So (Hopefully) this time you’ll get two for the price of one. Which is a timely reminder Spen ‘n’ Ink subs are now due (March/ April)

During the recent bad weather I’ve spent a lot of time scanning old photos into the computer, and on to discs. It’s interesting to look back on the past. Most photos are taken at happy events and are full of good memories. But some of those haircuts and clothes ! Photos from twenty to thirty years ago take me back to a completely different world. To a time when Fords were cool, they must have been back then. The Sweeny used Ford Consul GTs Bodie and Doyle drove Capri 2.8is in The Professionals as did Dennis waterman in Minder, Oh and I drove an Escort Ghia then a Sierra. Broth these cars served me well and will not have anything said bad about them. That was then and this is now, The top-flight TV Cop’ers use Lexus, Audis and “Scubis” now a days and nothing less than a Ferrari or an Aston Martin will do for the “A” list celebrities and we have better haircuts !

Have you ever wondered where the TV writers get their ideas from, well I think I know where Matt Groening got his idea for one scene in the Simpsons from, you know the one, where Marg shouts “Homer You’re dropping grass everywhere”---Can you guess ? ---- I think that came from one of us at Carnforth !

The new season is nearly upon us now, lets hope for good weather. We certainly don’t want the snow at Leyburn like last year ! I can hardly wait for Brian’s Bacon sandwiches, but there again I never can resist a bacon sandwich

Talking of snow whilst I’ve been writing this (in February) an other inch of the dam stuff as fallen. You might not see much of me camping, if I don’t soon start earning some money

My kettle IMPLODED, October 2007

This month’s talking is more like a ramble, but here goes anyway

After a somewhat interesting journey to Goathland we had a double warm welcome firstly from Ivan, the site owner and then from Richard and Marion who were stewarding, This welcome latter turned into a party and continued right up to the eleven “O” clock curfew. Unfortunately there were not many Spen member’s there. But many new friends were made from other D.A.s. We also had a lot of enquires for future years THSs with Spen

A rather strange thing happened to me. My kettle IMPLODED! I’d just boiled it and filled the teapot, when Betty and Judith called so I put the hot kettle under the tap and refilled it with cold water ~WOW~ a loud POP! And the top and bottom of the kettle were sucked in. It now only holds about two thirds as much as before!

Another disappointing turnout at Bolton Abby, and then I had to go back to work after I’d dropped Chris off. However sometimes small is beautiful and a good time was had by all.

Well done and thank you to Peter, June for winning the Feast of Lenten’s. Hopefully I won’t get so much stick now! I think Brian and Judith’s show is worthy of special mention. I certainly loved it, although toilet humour can be taken too far. I’ve heard that Wilf as gone into hiding and he may even have to change his mode of camping.

As this goes to print I’ll be starting to take wood down to Esholt for the bonfire. So don’t forget to order you pie and peas. Let’s hope for good weather for it

Have a good and safe bonfire and
Happy camping, App’y

Pork Pies and Greyhounds January 2009

Well that was Christmas, I hope you all had a good one and Santa brought you all you had wished for. I’d like to wish everyone a happy New Year, with lots of good weather for camping!

Top Gear continues to get funnier, but at other peoples expense usually Caravanners; I usually just let it go straight over my head. However a Top Gear presenter as really upset me, and this time it is Richard Hammond. In his advert for Morrisons, he clearly states the in-house butchers will prepare meet just the way he likes it! But you ask for anything a bit out of the norm and its different story!

I like to make my own Pork Pies for Christmas. I usually buy the meat from my local butcher, but since as I was already in Morrisons I thought I would use the butchery counter. I asked for “A pound of coarsely minced Gammon and two pound of Shoulder Pork, also coarsely minced please” The butchers face dropped! “ We don’t do Minced Gammon” I quickly replied “Well that’s not what your advert implies according to Richard Hammond you’ll cut meat just the way we like it!” A red face appears “You would have to buy ten pound in weight and I’ll mince it, but our mincer is so big it takes ten pounds before anything comes out” I just walked away… back to my usual butcher.

Whist on the subject of TV and Celebrity food have you noticed how they all seem to copy me. Last Christmas I had Betty round and I made her some Cream of Chestnut Soup. This year I made it again for her. Now all of a sudden every TV Chef is doing their version of it!

Once again I have taken this from the Tia Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue Newsletter

If you want someone who will eat whatever you make and will never say it’s not good as his mothers – adopt a Greyhound

If you want someone always willing to go out at any hour, wherever you want – adopt a Greyhound

If you want someone who doesn’t care about football and will sit next to you and watch romantic movies – adopt a Greyhound

If you want someone who never criticises you, doesn’t care if you are fat or thin, ugly or pretty, old or young, who acts as if every word you say is especially worthy of listening to and loves you unconditionally – adopt a Greyhound

If on the other hand you want someone who will never come when you call, ignores you totally when you come home, leaves hair all over the place, walks all over you, stays out all night coming home only to eat and sleep and acts as if your entire existence is solely to ensure their happiness – adopt a cat.

Now be honest – you thought I was going to say……………..Marry a man didn’t you?

By the way the pies were lovely

Happy camping App’y

Daze Of Summer Laze October 2008

Not everyone wanted the hustle and bustle of the national, so with this in mind we had the “Daze Of Summer Laze” meet as a quite alternative as a THS at Carnforth. Marsh House Farm was a new site to Spen and it had a mixed reaction ( See Carnforth Holiday Site Report) The weather was good for this anyway.

What had originally been planed as a follow on meet for the National Feast of Lenten’s, turned out to be a pre meet to the Motor caravan show at Pickering. Hutton-le-Hole must be one of Briton’s most enchanting villages, and one of my favourite sites that we use

Did you hear on the news that two new types of mushroom have been discovered in England this year, they think that the spores have always been here but the extra wet August made it the ideal conditions for them to grow. Pity the same could not be said for camping!

This edition of Spen `n` Ink will take us up to the end of the year, but before then we still have some great meets to go. Get dressed up for The Autumn Ball at Copley, the theme is
Gypsy’s, Tramps & Thieves. Then there is Halloween at Rufforth, Bonfire at Esholt and Last Meet at Skipton.

Every time we go to Skipton we always buy a new bed for Holly or Trigger! The man on the stall even give us discount now. Also we refill our freezer with meet, from that big van on the market on Saturday

If you use a lot of Toilet Fluid, or 2 or 3 of you want to get together then why not go round to Laycocks at the back of the market and buy a 25-kilo keg of Formaldehyde. That amount will cost less than two litres at a caravan shop, but it is not blue and as no perfume in it. I did, and it lasted me about 5 years so far.

Happy camping, App’y

Carnforth Holiday Site Report 2008

I don’t want a holiday in the Sun,
I want to go to the new Morecombe,
‘Cos I want to see some History,
Now I’ve got a reason of Marine Ecology. (Sorry Johnny)

After leaving the A6 thoughts turned to Belper as we squeezed our way through the narrow back streets of Carnforth, dodging parked cars and falling bricks until we were back in open countryside again. Around a bend the reassuring sight of the Spen arrow told us we were almost there, but as I turned into the farm lane memories of Goathland’s drive came flooding back.

Did I say FLOOD! It’s not often we have a field with a water feature! The top half was well drained, firm and punctuated with sheep droppings we pitched and sat down to a nice cup of tea. Chris had a lovely view of the tide coming in and across the bay to Morecombe; I looked out on to the sewerage works

Holly and Trigger were keen to explore the foreshore so we donned welly boots and picked our way over what seemed to be the farmer’s tip, witch amongst the other rubbish contained corrugated (brown) asbestos. The path leads on to a squeeze gate and stile, straggling the out fall from the sewerage works~ no wonder there were so many cockles in Morecombe Bay.

The next day we met a couple that had only come from Fleetwood.

A short car away was Leapers Rock Orchard. A “pick your own” Fruit farm, the plums were fantastic

Sunday morning and we were treated to the sounds, if not sights of the local Stock car racing track from just over the river

The whole idea of our holiday was to rest and with no evening activates planned we managed to do that

Other campers may have different views on this holiday; hopefully they will also submit them to Spen ‘n’ Ink

Friday, 13 January 2012

A Case of loyalty, July 2008

Emailing problems aside, App’y Talk is back this month. I hope you readers have stayed loyal through the gap.

Loyalty can be a matter of choice, are we European? British? Or just simply Yorkshire men and women?

It as been hinted at that, as a (Spen) committee member I should support the Yorkshire region hosting the National Feast of Lanterns at Pickering. However as a Spen committee member, should I support the DA and go to Carnforth? Well it’s simple for me with my two dogs they don’t like big meets and the meets don’t come any bigger than the National Feast of Lanterns.

Part of me still longs for the festival feel that a big meet like the National Feast of Lanterns would bring once you’re done the big festivals it’s in your blood! And I have. I’ve been there, I’ve done that and I’ve even sold the tee shirts (and books and badges) When back in the Eighties I worked in the Music Industry, doing a bit of this and a bit of that, up to the point of been Assistant Production Manager at a two day festival. Nothing gives you the buzz like been on stage in front of ten thousand people, even if five or six trouble makers are throwing cans at the band. My job was directing the security staff to evict them, not easy when you can’t see a thing with all the lights in your eyes!

A lot of fun, but I don’t want to go back there. Everything’s much more friendly now, or is it just the “Club’s” way of lifestyle?

Happy camping, App’y

Snow at Easter,April 2008

 Members, past and present had lent us lots of pennons, and having sent out over seventy emails to the local Press, all we needed now was good weather! AH.. Doeh! It rained, it blow and then it snowed !

Middleham looked great in the snow, the camp field, not so great, I saw one motorhomest fitting snow chains !

The pennon display show went ahead, more-or-less as planned, but in and around my new marquee. Yorkshire Region Council helped to boost the number of pennons on display up to 809. Look out for the photos on our web site and in the album. It is a pity that none of the local press turned up, but in that weather maybe it’s not a surprise. I am emailing them with a press report and photos! We did get a mention on Radio York, and it will hopefully be in the Club Mag.

My freezer is getting low on meat, so it must soon time for a trip to Bury. Thorn Topp at Affetside, to be exact. I love Bury Market, but the best reason to go is to buy the fresh local meat straight from the Farm Shop. It’s just around the corner from the camp. Last year when I was walking Holly and Trigger through the fields where the sheep were grazing I couldn’t help but to notice how many different types of wild flowers were growing amongst the grasses. It is this wide variety of plants that give the meat such a sweet taste. Now before I start to sound too much like our Club President, I’ll be going in a 4X4, ‘cos we all know it can rain in Lancashire!

Have you realised that the longest day is in the lifetime of this edition of Spen `n` Ink? We are camping at Horton in Ribblesdale, that weekend the 20th June. Who fancies a “Mid Summer’s Night Party” If the midges aren’t too bad. Get out your Laurel swags, straw-hat and flaming torches.

Happy camping, App’y

Missing Drains February 2008

A New Year, and fortunately Spen “n” Ink, as found new editors. Once again a big “thank you” to Mike for all those years and also thank you to Debbie and the girls, for keeping this part of our DA alive.

Now the bad news, if you were at the AGM you’ll know that Guinness are not interested in our Camping Pennons Record attempt, and how disappointed I was.

However, as I have had such a positive response from all other quarters, I feel that the show must go on! It’s just not going to be a Guinness Record. If you are coming Please bring any pennons you have, or can borrow for the weekend. If you can help, please give me a ring.

The Pennon Display is only one of the many activities planed for Easter, there are the BBQ Bacon Butties, the Handy Craft Competition, the Children’s Bunny Hunting and not forgetting the Egg Throwing.

Of coarse Easter is not Spen’s first meet of the year; we start at Lockside on Friday the 14th March

So with a new season nearly upon us it’s time to start checking the ‘van. Do we really need to take seventeen cups? and don’t forget the can opener ect.

I know most sensible campers always try to look after their tyres. However I came across something quiet frightening the other day as I was driving over Askwith Moor. The week before I had noticed cones on the roadside over the drains, only now that the wind had moved some of them I could see that the actual metal grates were missing. These had apparently been stolen, for scrap. Imaging if a caravan wheel where to go down that!

By now our web site should be up and running try it at

Happy surfing, and camping. App’y

My kettle IMPLODED, October 2007

This month’s talking is more like a ramble, but here goes anyway

After a somewhat interesting journey to Goathland we had a double warm welcome firstly from Ivan, the site owner and then from Richard and Marion who were stewarding, This welcome latter turned into a party and continued right up to the eleven “O” clock curfew. Unfortunately there were not many Spen member’s there. But many new friends were made from other D.A.s. We also had a lot of enquires for future years THSs with Spen

A rather strange thing happened to me. My kettle IMPLODED! I’d just boiled it and filled the teapot, when Betty and Judith called so I put the hot kettle under the tap and refilled it with cold water ~WOW~ a loud POP! And the top and bottom of the kettle were sucked in. It now only holds about two thirds as much as before!

Another disappointing turnout at Bolton Abby, and then I had to go back to work after I’d dropped Chris off. However sometimes small is beautiful and a good time was had by all.

Well done and thank you to Peter, June for winning the Feast of Lantons. Hopefully I won’t get so much stick now! I think Brian and Judith’s show is worthy of special mention. I certainly loved it, although toilet humour can be taken too far. I’ve heard that Wilf as gone into hiding and he may even have to change his mode of camping.

As this goes to print I’ll be starting to take wood down to Esholt for the bonfire. So don’t forget to order you pie and peas. Let’s hope for good weather for it

Have a good and safe bonfire and

Happy camping, App’y

A New Year (2008)

That’s another camping season over so don’t forget to drain off your van’s water systems just in case we do get any hard frosts this winter.

Our ‘vans Security should never be far from our minds, the other day I noticed a group of “Travellers” had moved into a derelict factory site near me, luckily they were soon moved on.

On a happier note it’s also time to be thinking about next year’s camping, let’s hope for good weather. I’m trying to get something a bit special lined up for our Leyburn meet this Easter, but more about that at the AGM, and in the next edition of Spen ‘n’ Ink, or on our soon to be up and running web site.

Apart from Spen ‘n’ Ink, I also receive a newsletter from Tia Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue (Where Holly and Trigger came from) From which I have copied this: -

“For the ladies… the more I see of men the more I love my dog…
Ÿ You won’t have to meet your dog’s mother before you move in together
Ÿ Dogs don’t mind when put on weight
Ÿ Dogs think with their stomachs - we all know what men think with
Ÿ Dogs know that you are always right
Ÿ Dogs understand the meaning of the word NO
Ÿ Dogs can be housetrained
Ÿ Dogs don’t go bald in their senior years
Ÿ Your dog won’t run off with your best friend “

Of cause I have my own reasons for loving my dogs, but that will have to keep till another time.

One finial thought

“Always remember for 2008…life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.”

Happy New Year App’y

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Driving on wet turf, August 2007

Firstly I’d like to thank everyone who braved the wet and a last minute change of venue to come to my do. I had not met Brain, who did the music for us before, but thanks. I’m sure everybody enjoyed themselves.

So with all this wet weather, the ground conditions have suffered and this may be a timely (or a bit too late) reminder for a few tips on driving on wet turf.

Firstly please remember that the landowner may rely on the land as an income.

If the ground is very wet and already rutted, then it is wise to treat the situation as “Full off road” So before leaving the tarmac, get out of your car and look on foot. Plan your route around the worst dangers.

If you think it is going to be too bad for your unit, ask for help BEFORE you get stuck. Remember we are the friendly club.

Chose a gear, which will provide enough power, so’s not to stall the engine at a low speed but without causing wheel spin.

Never turn sharply, this can cause the front wheels to “Cross plane” ~skimming of the grass top off or even “Aqua plane” in with case you may not turn! And Never ever turn the wheels when stationary.

Try to do everything more gently and slowly, e.g. No sudden or hard braking.

Even regular field campers will only drive less than one percent of their total mileage off road, and even 4x4’s will almost certainly be fitted with road tyres. These are designed to grip tarmac and dispel water whilst cruising quietly at high speeds. The treads are not “cut” to empty out mud at low speeds. As soon as they have done a couple of rotations they will be caked up and have little grip.

Happy and safe camping App’y

© August 2007

Second Issue. Resignation, May 2007

So as we started to read the last edition of Spen 'n' Ink, on the 10th of May 2007 Tony Blair announced his resignation as prime minister as of June 28th
I do not do Politics, Religion or Football. Whatever you think of him is up to you.
Will a new prime minister make that much difference to us, sat here in a field? It will either rain or the sun will shine!
A far more important resignation (and an even longer good bye) is that of Richard, as our treasurer. This post really does affect us and our ability to sit here in a field although; it will still either rain or be sunny!
Richard's legacy is that Spen Valley is a better, stronger, better equipped and happier Group For that I would like to thank Him.
I do not know if Richard is to stay on, on the committee, I do hope so.
I also hope we do find someone to take over from Richard. It is an office we cannot do without, as a committee
However Blair is remembered in fifty years’ time; let’s hope Richard is not remembered as the man whose resignation killed Spen.
To who ever does become the new treasurer, I will give my full support.
I already have to prepare one set of books, for the Inland Revenue, I do not wish to do any more.
If on the other hand we fold, then geographically we would be absorbed by YDA. but how would it work "in the field”? Would ex Spen members be at one side, in a click and YDA at the other side ?
One more resignation will happen on 21st July. I will be leaving the 47 year olds club and joining the 48 year olds club. Now that's a party to be in ! It's at Shipley Glen. (For more details see Site information & Directions ) Please come, Bring your own chair and booze!

Happy camping App’y

©13th May 2007

1st Edition. March 2007 Dog Poo.

It's my first go at this, so let’s do the yucky stuff first. Dog poo, as a Gardener I know the horror only to well of running a mower, or worse a strimmer though Dog poo. So my golden rule is, “If the grass is cut, then pick it up” I try to do this anywhere, not just on campsites. But out in the wilds in unkept moorland I leave it for the wildlife because it can be of greater value to the environment,

Dogs which are regularly wormed and have their boosters and are checked by a vet yearly are very unlikely to have the Toxocara canis virus in its poo.
However it will contain all the usual array of common bacteria e.g. Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Escherichia coli and also a similar number of good bacteria, which play an important role in the environment.
When we pick up our Dog's poo, we usually use plastic bags. Some types of plastic are believed to take up to 400 years to bio-degrade, and this has the effect of insulating the useful bacteria from the rest of the materials in the landfill site, or elsewhere.
Remember that a discarded carrier bag, if eaten by a cow, can strangle the cow’s intestines, killing it! If, however it's left out to the weather the component elements will be leached away into the soil, were micro -organisms and worms will make use of the vitamins and minerals.
Plants will also take up nitrogen etc. enabling the plant to grow, providing food for animals. At this point we will remember the poor cow, which choked on the plastic bag.

I hope to have a more pleasant subject next time,

Happy and clean camping App’y

© March 2007

Grooving In Green + October Burns Black + Auger at Carpe Noctum, Leeds

I had looking forward to this gig ever since I knew about it, but on Saturday morning I didn`t feel up to it especially with having to wor...