Hills

Thanks to our relaxed but relentless attention over the past few days to essential tasks, we’re hoping to get back out in the countryside next week, not to the wilder uplands of the Pennines that I’ve fondly imagined here, but at least we should manage to get out into the more homely farmland around Ossett […]

Winter Gnat

This little insect, shown here 4 or 5 times life size, must have flown into a carrier bag I was carrying as we walked back from town across the park and got squashed. My microscope reveals that it’s a Winter Gnat, a two-winged fly that is conspicuous at this time of year when there are […]

Scrubland

The Runtlings, Ossett; The winter hedgerows are busy with birds: Greenfinch, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit and – probing the leaf-litter beneath trees – a few Redwings. A Kestrel hovers over the rough, grassy mounds on waste-ground around Dewsbury Sewage Works. In my childhood, rough grassland dotted with thorns was a familiar habitat around old collieries, […]

Sycamores

The Hospice makes the most of its leafy surroundings with plenty of windows and several small conservatories, a contrast with the tall, often inaccessible windows in the wards of the old buildings of Pinderfields Hospital just across the road. We’re here visiting my mother-in-law Betty. They’ve done all they can for her medically in the […]

Razor Shells

You can see why the razor shells you find on sandy beaches get their name when you see old cut-throat razors like these; they have the same proportions and gentle curve. Abalone shell has been incorporated into the grapevine decorations on the handles of these razors. The abalone is ear-shaped with a row of perforations – […]

Compost Bin

The main component in this compost bin isn’t the timber or the nails; it’s the sheer intellectual effort involved! Working with recycled timber means that you’re improvising all the time, planning which piece to use where. The only materials we bought at the local builders’ yard were two packets of galvanised nails and one sheet of outdoor […]