12 noon: When we arrive at Charlotte’s Ice Cream Parlour, Whitley Lower, there’s a clear view across Mirfield and the Calder Valley to the hills beyond, with patches of sunlight scudding gently across the landscape. On the highest ground in the distance, there’s a white brilliance, which appears to be a powdering of snow. A buzzard circles over […]

After the Floods

Along most of this stretch of the valley the River Calder is kept within its course by flood embankments except after exceptionally heavy rain, such as in last winter’s Boxing Day floods, but once it has overtopped these manmade levees there’s no direct way for the water to make its way back to the river as […]

Mist over Mam Tor

Losehill has its head in the clouds as we walk along Hollowford Road, the old route between Castleton and Edale. The verges are lush of meadow crane’s-bill, yellow vetchling and meadowsweet. A male bullfinch investigates a blackthorn by an old field barn then joins his mate as they make their way along the tall hedgerow. Calf number 500196 takes a passing […]


We’ve had a little round of appointments to catch up with over the last couple of days, not just the dentist’s and doctor’s, where I made the two sketches in the waiting rooms, but also the opticians where I had a fitting for my new glasses (same frames but with new high tech varifocal 100% UV […]


At least a dozen swallows fly low over the pastures alongside the Balk, some of them nesting in the stables. There’s a double yellow line of stonecrop in flower on a sunny, south-facing stretch of the concrete canal bank, one line along the top of the bank, the other on the lower ledge. The green roof of […]