Thursday, 31 May 2012

Thursday client

So my Thursday client has sold his house !
The bad news is he’s not buying anything yet, commuting between France and a friend’s spare house so he won’t need my services for a while.
The good news is the new owners want me so I won’t lose any money and I’ll still spend Thursday s surrounded by the beautiful Gothic Architecture of the Hall

Monday, 28 May 2012

Depressing Monday

I know this sound like the post I did a few Monday s ago but one of my clients…. Sid is really depressing me ! Today he said “I’ve had enough, lives not worth it now” I found it hard to find something to say to cheer him up. Last year his wife was put in a home ‘cause of dementia  he’s recently had to stop driving after a crash, he can hardly walk and isn’t allowed out on his own as his legs keep giving way, he now has back pain right up to his neck and his family never come to see him !

I was going to tell him that I was thinking about buying a Hearse
Ehhh no I won’t

Oh well the garden looks nice in the sun, my Hay fevers getting bad !
Storm Clouds over Otley

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Weekend at Saltersforth

Spent the weekend camping near Saltersforth. Nice and sunny, nothing much else to say.
Some of the ‘Gang’
Coffee morning

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

World Goth Day 2012 Cemetery Picnic ?

Happy World Goth Day

To celebrate World Goth Day I thought I’d Picnic in a local cemetery

Every day I take pack-up to work for lunch and so why not eat it in the village church I pass between two clients. Thus :-
There were a lot of parked cars, but I found a place, and with flask and sarnies under arm I walked up the path. A lot of smart dressed people were hanging about and I thought “A lot of Goths here, this could be good” In my World Goth Day tee shirt I felt a bit underdressed. Then I realized I’d ‘gate crashed a WEDDING !....... Quick exit’

In the end I eat my lunch, sat on my toolbox in the semi-gothic surrounds of Wharfside Manor!

Taken with the camera sat on car bonnet

Monday, 21 May 2012

Stone Heads

A client of mine has a few interesting stones in his garden
A Celtic Stone Head
A Neolithic  Stone Head
 I hope I’ve got these the right way round
An Iron Stone, on a peace of petrified tree

Remember, tomorrow’s World Goth Day

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Morality and Architecture

What a wonderful start to a day. Driving along a deserted road over Askwith Moor in my old faithful Impreza listening to a 1980’s cassette of my all-time favourite band, the sun shimmering on the moors and dry stone walls in the light drizzle. Going to work today at my favourite garden, surrounded by beautiful Gothic architecture of the house and St. Andrew’s Church across the valley, spring lambs running in their fields and birds fill the air with their songs.
St Andrews Church

Mid-morning Howard, the Gamekeeper came. He’s a real Yorkshire character always has a good yarn to till. Today’s tale was that he’d had his Fire Arms licence check, by an inspector who was in Howards words “Still wet behind the ears” and asked all sorts of silly questions like “Why do you have so many guns” “They’re the tools of my trade” Howard answered. “Why do you need a Handgun (Pistol) licence ?” ~ Tony Blair had tried to make ALL Handguns illegal saying “There was no reason why anyone needed a pistol” But forgot about ‘Humane Dispatch’ of animals involved and injured in road accidents ~ Howard is amongst a small number of Keepers who are employed by the Police for that. You cannot use a rifle on or by a public highway, it has to by a Handgun !. Keepers are paid by the Police about £30.00 a time, but Vets charge up to £190.00 a time to inject an animal, and for the likes of Deer, you can’t eat the meat if it’s been killed by injected.

Later in the day. The man from Yorkshire Water came to check the septic tank and filter bed. This might put you off your tea (or coffee) but the outfall from it then goes straight into the River Washburn, which 400 yards later feeds Fewston Reservoir where Leeds gets most of its drinking water from ! Anyway he was telling that at another ‘works a farmer brings 6 sheep to eat the grass ~ last week when he went they had gone, “The farmer said they had been stolen !”

Just another day at the office ?

And just to finish the day off well it finally stopped raining about half past two.

Hall Lane

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tia Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue's Forgotten Athletes Campaign...can you help?

Tia Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue's Forgotten Athletes Campaign...can you help?
I have copied this from Tia
Please follow the link
We went to have a second viewing at New Hall Farm today.  It’s perfect for what we need…more accessible which will mean more dogs rehomed which will free up space to rescue more.  The oldies can have a special kennel with outdoor runs, we can offer catering facilities, the Shires would have a perfec...
Meet Alice, just one of many dogs at Tia
Alice was found as a stray and came into Tia....

Alice now in her forever home

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

More Stonework in Yorkshire

It’s A Goth thing, I pass both these two stones most weeks, but most people will not even notice them
Stone to mark the site of Greenholme Manor, it reads Here stood Greenholme  1820 1923
Boundary stone between Menston  and Burley in Wharfedale

See also “Some Stonework in Yorkshire” on 16th March 2012

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Celebrity product endorsement

Another one I wrote years ago but never used.

As a child there were people in my community to respect. A policeman lived a few doors away; the man who owned the shop was the local counsellor. Nowadays there seem less and less real people to look up to. Television as taken over our lives and with it given us a new set of ideals and role models.
The Ambassadors Party ?

That is why when a celebrity is used to endorse a product; it is a sure way of going straight to the hearts and minds of the target market for that product,
So what does influence us, do we have to ware the same shirts as David Beckham or drive the same car as Jeremy Clarkson?

When I used to work in a Garden Centre people would ask me about a product, I might have said, "Yes its okay, but I use this one." At that point they would almost always go for the one I claimed to use. Now I don't pretend to be a celebrity, but it proves my point. 

To quote a song
"You never listen to a word I say. You only see me for the cloths I ware." 

Today, more than ever this seems to be true. We all seem to be too quick to judge people on our own first impressions of them. To quote another song
“Can you judge a man, by the way he wares his hair? “

It is easy to fall into the lore of someone whose style and personality you like; this is the point at which product endorsement can take place.
A far worse scenario is when these people are taken too serious, like with the Top Gear Caravanning sketch, if Ronan Atkinson, as Mr Bean had done the same sketch no one would have been upset.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Dog Poo, Take Two

Because this is blog number 101 and not much has happened today I thought I’d revisit my first go at writing for public consumption from March 2007 when this was the first column that I wrote for Spen ‘n’ Ink, our camping group’s newsletter. When I started to blog in January this year I archived all that earlier work.
Not many people (2) read the blog so now that I have a few followers and get more page views I thought I’dtry it again.
Thus >
My beloved Trigger, whom we lost last August
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, 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,

(I did).

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

100th Blog

 This is my 100th Blog. So why not join me with some cake.
These are simple biscuit type cakes; I derived the recipe from 3 similar recipes to which I had and added some alcohol
Mr and Mrs Handley of Garside c. 1850,
Bet they didn’t think they’d end-up on Internet.
I first used these cakes at my “2007 Christmas Overcoat Party” and served them with Brandy Cream, but they are nice just eaten on their own, almost like a grown-up breakfast bar. 
Medieval Oaten Cakes

  • 4oz plain Flour
  • 6oz porridge Oats
  • 8oz Margarine
  • 8oz Mixed dried Fruit
  • 2oz  Water
  • 2oz Lemon Juice or Sprite
  • 2oz Sugar
  • ½Doz Juniper Berries
  • ½Doz Cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Mixed Spice
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger

  1. Chop or grind with a mortar and pastel the Juniper Berries and Cloves.
  2. Place in a small pan with the water, Lemon Juice or Spite, Sugar, Fruit, and Spices.
  3. Simmer till almost all the liquid as been absorbed.
  4. Allow to cool
  5. Mix the flour and Oats and rub in the Margarine.
  6. Add the cooled fruit and spices.
  7. Press into a deep baking tin
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 180ÂșC for About 20 minutes
  9. Cut into squares while warm and leave to cool in the tin.
So if you’ve been following me this far, Please stay and If you’re new, welcome and please stay and follow me.
I’m a bit mad and my blogs are very varied.
Hold tight it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Love App’y

Monday, 7 May 2012

Urban Exploration UK

After following the captivating blogs by “Above the Norm” and “Ghost Hunting Theories” on the subject, may I add my own.

A client of mine, who is moving had a shed at the bottom of her garden that had become totally overgrown over the last 20 or so years. She wanted to make sure that there was nothing in it before she left, and asked me to find a way in.

I took this pic after clearing a lot of ivy, there was no point taking
one before this.

The door would not open from the side; I had to take it off its hinges.
Just full of more ivy.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

When did you become a Goth?

St Andrews Church.
I received an email from my Auntie, no doubt after reading my blogs or Facebook page, asking
“Have I missed something for the past 30 odd years ? When did you become a Goth????”
So I of course replied and then thought the answer could be used as a base for today’s blog…….. Thus >>>
Hi Auntie
Yes, about 1980 or so, well before the music was called Goth and I hadn’t then yet met Chris.
Although I was regularly going to the ‘F Club’ in Leeds as the music was progressing though “Punk”, “Post Punk”, ”Positive Punk” “Electric”, “New Romantic”  etc. until it finally became “Goth”. There then was a side wards step on the Leeds music scene as Acid house appeared not my thing at all. I was by then going out with Chris who was in no way Goth, and so other things took over my life. And I suppose musically I had become a radio 2 ‘TOGG’.
However On August 11th 2007 news of the horrific murder of Sophie Lancaster in Bacup by a gang of teenagers for nothing more than her looking different filled me with a sense of grief, anger and a genuine feeling of  “Loss of one of my own” that I realized that I was still Goth deep down. Also due to me working at a grade 1 listed building I had become more and more into Gothic Architecture, especially of Edward Buckton Lamb ‘The True Gothic Revivalist’,  and old stone work of the Yorkshire Dales and Moors in general.
Running parallel to all this I had become the PRO for our local camping group. As such I’d devised, promoted and run the two Summer Solstices, Camperama and the Search and Decoy Duck Hunt events with Chris. People were by now beginning to ask “Are you a Goth” and I hadn’t quite realized that yes I am. Then last November, when Chris’s boss told her she was going to Whitby Weekend and Chris said she’d always wanted to go, we did.
But let’s face it Auntie I’ve ALWAYS been on the outside, Here (in Goth) I’m not.
One final point, been 52 years old, I am referred to as an “Eldergoth”  I really LOVE that

Friday, 4 May 2012

Dream car a hearse?

On the wonderful blog of Amy’s I read that one way to tell if you are a 'repressed Goth'. Is if secretly, your dream car is a hearse.
Image from the National Association of Funeral Directors
Well I’ve been giving this some thought and a hearse could be very suitable in my work as a gardener.
1.     I could get all my mowers and tools in easily
2.  The insurance is lower than for a van
3.   If I ever did have to move waste, it would have to be a very brave policeman who asks “What is in the Coffin?”
4.  It certainly would be an interesting trip to the tip
Image from the National Association of Funeral Directors
The only drawback I can see is that some of my elderly clients might think “It’s not the garden I’ve come for”

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Whitby Goth Weekend a nearby Church

All Saints church at Hawsker, just south of Whitby
Whitby Goth Weekend nearby Church
 Whilst my head is still full of Whitby Goth Weekend.
This was the Church was near where we camped.
All Saints church at Hawsker
  I love the doorway
All Saints church at Hawsker
  I have to get some hinges like that !
All Saints church at Hawsker

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

An Eldergoth in Whitby

Our delights started at the Fox and Rarebit where we lunched on excellent Steak, Mushroom and Black Sheep Ale Pies washed down with Black Sheep Ale. We were then only about fifteen miles to our camp ~Long Leas Farm, Hawsker, Whitby. Unfortunately the owners had had to close the field due to all the rain and so sited us on the hard-core access road. This was a bit of a shame as I was hoping there may have been more Goths on site!

Chris by Whale Bones Whitby Goth Weekend 2012
Thursday night was the start of the Fringe events in town and we went to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation Charity Night at Raw. The £5.00 entry fee I thought was reasonable and the bar prices weren’t too bad either. But it is a long time since I were in a proper Night Club and although the DJs played a lot of new Goth music I was treated to some classic sounds from my time, noticeably Temple of Love by The sisters of Mercy, The Cure’s A forest, and Joy Division’s She’s Lost Control.  I loved it and was back in… well, my youth. But I have responsibilities and we had to leave early to get back for Holly. A good night’s sleep followed.
Whitby Goth Weekend 2012
Friday morning after breakfast and walking Holly we headed down for the Bizarre Bazaar held in the Leisure Centre and the Spa Theatre. Purchases included some more ear rings a ring for Chris and I got a dress coat. We also got some Mead and Wine from English Heritage. Then back to base for lunch before we had a drive around the country side, and later we had a drive up to the Abbey car park but we could not gain access at night. Chris had already decided that we weren’t going out at night, so a few cans of larger were consumed as I started to write this. There is no internet access at the farm.
Whitby  Abbey, Whitby Goth Weekend 2012
Saturday, as for Friday; - breakfast and Holly walk, and then back to town for more shopping. First stop The Bring and Buy held upstairs at The Resolution Hotel, Chris found a nice Top and bag. Then we headed down hill to my favourite sandwich shop the Greedy Pig for hot roast pork sandwiches. Had a look in a few more shops and then up to the Sophie Lancaster memorial bench to leave the Posey of black roses we’d made earlier at home. Two of the many things that seem to make Whitby SO SPECIAL are a) the number of multi generation groups you see i.e. parents with their kids and b) the way the whole town seems to join in like the charity shops are full of “Goth appropriate” ware. That left plenty of time to call back at the leisure centre market I’d decided to buy a Top Hat with the money I’d saved not going out on Friday night. Walked Holy and chilled out ready for the night.
Sophie Lancaster memorial bench Whitby Goth Weekend 2012
Saturday Night it was going to be either Darklands at the Resolution or Guilty Pleasures at the Shambles Bar. We chose Guilty Pleasures and were surprised that the admission fee was dropped. We managed to find seats although the club was packed with a whole host of interesting genre of people from Goth though Steam Punk to Pirates and Bikers. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. The bar had a never-ending variety of Ales and Larger on tap. To the unindicted you could be forgiven for thinking you were in either Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean or Gallows’ Law, but to those of us who better we knew we were in Whitby. Once again the music was my thing with a mix of new and old reflecting the people in the club. I would say ten out of ten for the night and worth the wait
    Sunday morning and woke surprisingly fresh i.e. NO hangover and my ears not ringing, this is good for me any day with my Tinnitus, usual morning routine just before it started raining, wrote a bit more of this while waiting for Steven, Olga and Luka to join us for lunch at the Fox and Hounds, a pub in the village, which was great. But it still kept on raining.
My family came to visit
Sunday Night Still raining hard, but I’m not going to let that stop me having a good time!  One last night of indolence so back to the Shambles Bar for more “Guilty Pleasures” tonight the music was more commercial although totally excerptable, and more to Chris’s liking. Sadly time came to return back to our ‘van for the last night and Monday morning meant home.
One last night of indolence at Whitby Goth Weekend 2012
I have never enjoyed myself so much for years and not wanted to go home.
As we drove home the sun shone more and more, but I felt more and more depressed.

178 days to October !


Got my appointment for a Gastroscopy at LGI Friday 4.00pm Chris is away, so cannot have a general. Can`t eat/drink from 8.00 am. Ha...