Follow the fortunes of Muddyboots & Family on their East Yorkshire farm which has changed from dairy farm to luxury ice cream manufacture

Monday, 30 April 2007

grumpy old men & other stories

Today l feel has been a grumpy old man day. Firstly whilst checking emails, my father rang. An hour later l was still attached to the telephone yes-ing & no-ing in, what was hopefully, the correct pauses.

My father is, what you would call a bit of a character & l'm sure that he was the origin for Richmal Crompton's Just William. He hasn't improved much in the intervening years. Always up to something despite the fact that his body is no longer that of a young tearaway! From stories that get told, l think he must have run wild as a boy. The 3rd child in a family of four whose busy parents owned & ran the local post office in a small market town on the outskirts of the Forest of Dean. The post office was a large Georgian building full of nooks & crannies with haunted attics filled with the spirits of long dead ancestors whilst the large garden, surrounding fields & rivers were the ideal place to fish & shoot. In fact when he was armed with an air riffle he shot any thing that moved including the weather vane on the church opposite. Talking about the church & church yard the little devil took a chisel and defaced an ancient tombstone that contained the mortal remains of one of his namesakes, thus removing 'his' name as he [my father] wasn't dead yet! More tales recall how he attempted to chop down an apple tree because his big brothers wouldn't let him climb up to join them. Today l suppose he would be given ASBOs or put in care, but then children were allowed to be kids, to play & explore unsupervised despite the fact that there was a war going on.

From teenage years to national service he lived life to the max. Driving along rural lanes he would announce that he had 'jumped' that hedge on a motor bike or skinned his knees on that corner. How he ended up married with children l just don't know. Whenever we went anywhere he would always stride out in front doing the hunter man thing with me racing after trying to catch up. Everything was a competition, who could catch the most fish, jump the most hedges out hunting. It was great fun & a really good practice for life out there. If you see me today, l am always marching out in front, leading the way, ready to fight my way through the outlaws & pirates to save the day.

It is strange that on my evening walk to the sea l was chatting to one of our caravaners who also started on the grumpy old man thing, moaning about much the same things that my father had been hours earlier; what was really scary was that l was agreeing with points raised. Does that make me a grumpy old woman? So as not to boor you too much the conversation drift was concerning the decidedly lack of great in Britain. Both chaps from completely backgrounds & probably politics too, unhappy about how little Britain had become.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Ms B Potter's legacy

After yesterday's rambling amble of jumble, this evening l thought that perhaps l should make a written note of things that aren't perhaps so hunky dory in the Lake District or more accurately what it is like for those fortunate to live there.

Oh, the picture is 'The Howitzer' on Helm Crag. the person sat there is nowt t do wiv me.

Far Sawrey, for those who are not into bunny hugging & all that, was the home to Beatrix Potter, Hill Top. Although it didn't feature in the recent film, which l haven't seen, staring Renee Zilweger & Obi One Kenobi, it is proving to be a tourist hot spot with visitors travelling from all over the world in a hope of meeting R2 D2, no sorry that was cruel. Well they are coming in their hoards, a bit like lemmings l 'spose. Well, the roads into the village, no, it's more a small hamlet, are very narrow with high banks & little space for maneuver. Ok, OK, l am getting to the point now. Coaches. Yes large coaches, the ones with air con & loos are, basically, bunging up the roads to grid lock fever during the peak holiday periods. The wonderful [sic] National Trust have purchased for £1.8million, a small country house hotel [the valuation was £800K] and are now proceeding to use the car parking area of the hotel for coaches, PLUS they want to chop down a group of trees to make yet MORE parking space. What is interesting, & a point that many bureaucratic institutions fall into is that the previous owner had been applying for 17 years to chop down these very same trees because they were sick only to be informed by the NT that this was not a viable option. Needless to say that on this point & that of the traffic the local villagers are not happy bunnies, flopsy or otherwise! On the question of parking l suggested, a point that has already been raised apparently, why not use the very large car park at Hawkshead for a park & ride scheme using small sprinter buses, so you'd have a pick up from Hawkshead then drop of at Hill Top then continue on the the ferry & pick & drop more visitors. Again apparently this was not an option because the coaches are full of Japanese tourists. Why this would upset them l have no idea.
On the theme of food, on our return back through Wensleydale stopped for lunch at the very smart Wensleydale Heifer. Yeap it was rather good. I had maple salad of king prawns, scallops & squid whilst Hubby had a plate of posh fish n chips, giant fat chip cooked in the oh so trendy goose fat. Not too expensive & all very tasty although the staff were a bit dozzee.
Now, where has the 'finished spell check' thingy gone? Ah there its is.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

to the Lakes - adieu

Well, after a fantastic few days l am home, sat in front of the trusty PC, banging away on the keyboard, nothing much has changed ..or has it?

l must confess to having had a great couple of days, honestly, despite getting away from here on Wednesday slightly later than anticipated due to a sudden influx of ice cream orders. it's funny really that as soon as l am packed & in the car, that's it, l am chilled, switched off, g o n e.

The journey over to Far Sawrey was fairly uneventful, the route took us via Skipton & Kirby Lonsdale & although the countryside is pretty the traffic in all honesty isn't, so it was with some relief that we arrived at the Windermere ferry to cross to Far Sawrey, only it wasn't. FERRY CLOSED, was the sign that greeted us as we rolled down towards the boat. Nah, surely not? But it was. The ferryman kindly informed us that today was the day to change the cable, but due to the windy conditions the barge had floated off & everything was behind so the Boss had said to go home. After 3 hours of driving & looking forward to a cup of tea this was somewhat deflating. So, it was round the lake through Bowness & Ambleside then on via Hawkshead to the hotel. There seemed to be loads of traffic plus floods. Yes floods, so this was where all the rain had got too!
For the few days we were there, the weather was fantastic, so good was it that l had to head to the shops to invest in T shirts & short longs! The hotel as usual was great, great food, great views , great service & no noise bar that of nature, lambs, cockerels, birds & a woodpecker.
This year l armed myself with maps & managed to complete a couple of walks, the first being around Loughrigg Fell, which was fairly sedate with carefully manicured tracks with no boulders sticking out or other nasties. The views through out the walk were stunning, with the blue, clear sky you could see for miles. The trail went through bluebell filled woods, along narrow packhorse tracks with primrose strewn banks, alongside dark mysterious tarns surrounded by lush vivid green fields full of bouncy herdwick lambs. All in all a very nice perambulation, with not too much strenuous exertion. However, next day. using the tact that got Hubby on all the aerobatic rides at Euro Disney, l suggested the walk along the craigs above Grasmere. Only 7 odd miles or so! l had studied the OS map, he hadn't. Big mistake! l really enjoyed the hike, note the word 'hike'. The route took us away from Grasmere, up a steep[ish] packhorse track, then.... up a steep zig zag incline up to the top of White Crag, standing at 1299ft. The views down over Grasmere were amazing, you could imagine yourself in AW's boots. From here on the paths took us up & over Helm Crag, Gibson Knott [1379ft] on to Calf Crag[1762ft]. Continuing along these ridges until we reached the head of Far Easedale, then descending alongside the fast flowing tumbling stream crossing the Far Easedale Gill by a rickety bridge then following a walled lane that passed through a wood of beech & larch, ending up eventually back in Grasmere in time for a cup of tea!
You will note that l ramble on with the description. Mere words! The views were breathtaking, the path was interesting. Hubby used to nice farm tracks, was seriously unnerved. He tends to be a bit of a risk assessment freak at best of times, always looking for danger. Well, the path required careful placing of feet, some scrambling up rocks, squelching through boggy bottoms, climbing peak after peak - a carefully placing a stone on each cairn - then finally splashing through streams that thought they were paths. OK, l concede it was a long way, no, I'll correct that a very long walk to the head of the dale but it wasn't dangerous, apart from the horrid black mozzies, the views, well shall l just say pretty AMAZING. to be honest l think that Hubby was concerned that the path was rough, there were few people about & what would he do if he had a heart attach. l had a mobile with me what more can you ask for. l love a challenge & enjoyed all of it. A+++!

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

a smelly afternoon

I start this blog with a picture of a slurry tanker. A nice full slurry tanker in fact.

Hubby has just gone to find somewhere to spread it as the contents are very strong! The smell made me realise how true to life the aroma in Yorvik Viking Centre is. Pooooooooo.

On a more serious note, the septic tank was bursting out all over, not nice, so, & this is one of the advantages of being married to a farmer, is that they are used to nasty smells & doing unspeakable things with their hands. Only problem as in afore mentioned paragraph, the stuff is too strong for grasses so....any suggestions?

Today the colours have been really vivid. spring seems to be racing ahead with no looking back. Any rain promised last night & this morning came to nothing, more of a rain tease of overcast skies, damp atmosphere & that was it. No puddles, no slicked down dust, no wetness. OK out there, who has got the rain & does anyone know a really good rain dance?

From my brief blog of excitement this morning, you will have gathered that l am off until Saturday for a few days rest spite from the asylum. We have stopped in the same small hotel before, the views are to die for, the food great & it's totally isolated being on the far side of lake Windemere, not far from Beatrix Potter's house so no noise apart from lambs, the birds & hubby snoring!
When our main business enterprise was dairy farming any breaks or holidays had to fall round the farming calender of turn out, silaging, harvest & drilling now it revolves around the tourist season as well. We have for the past few years managed to escape in January or February & again in September for jolly little jaunts far enough away that we can't be called back to change a fuse. Hubby is very choosy where he actually goes. The destination will not do if it has any of the following criteria; more than 10 rooms, all inclusive, evening entertainment, holiday reps. We do Trip Advisor & internet. The same thing applies here, though we have another add too no ties required.
ps: this may sound really corny, but thanks for the comments about the site, l am getting my head round it all now so l might be able to help on easy set up problems for blogs.
pps: that magazine article [remember from the dark side] has come out today, without [praise the lord] any pictures of little old me, phew, all that face pulling really paid off. Stephen is the replacement sitting with his heifers holding a tub of ice cream.

Hurray, l'm off tomorrow..

a very quick update on lake disrict stuff. Success, the nagging has worked & we're off for 3 nights at West Vale, Far Sawrey. Brilliant.

Must nip to the bank now.

Catch up later!

Monday, 23 April 2007

Can 1 have too much coffee?

This morning, bright & early the sun was shinning, blue sky, birds
singing , well that was until about 10.00 when it clouded over. The forecast has said rain but as yet l would say there's been about 3 spits, & small ones at that. I saw from Milkmaid's blogg there has been rain further inland, OK send some this way please!

I have spent rather a lot of time on the computer today as have rather a lot of other purplecoo'ers. Have we nothing better to do? I tease Harry about being on MSN for hours, well, um, it would appear that this computer stuff is rather addictive. Is there a rehab clinic somewhere out there?

On a more serious note, for those out there who are keen to support people like me, hic, please follow this link It is about supporting local food producers, there are pamphlets available [l have some] plus really cool badges which everyone here has been wearing with the slogan 'try a local'. ok ok no jokes thank you very much. But yes, have a look & think road miles & lovely, wonderful local food.

Hubby has disappeared again, must be another woman, this time heading south after contact from new potential customer. Keep you fingers crossed. There is quite a lot to do in the next few days as I NEED TIME OFF, l have set the staff rota & am now nagging Hubby that l would really like to go to the Lake District for a few days, just to visit Lakeland Plastics of course. There is a really lovely guest house the other side of Lake Windemere that has 2 AA rosettes for food, it's wonderfully quiet with fantastic scenery. l had never been to the Lake District, in fact l had never been north of Birmingham till l move to Yorkshire, as kids we used to go to France or south west Ireland for holidays, but l just love the mountains, lakes & trees. Er, l haven't booked anything yet but, well nothing may come of the planning. hmmmm.

You may have noticed that l am writing this a bit earlier, well actually, a lot earlier than normal, you see l am rather full of caffeine, too many double cappuccinos. This morning was a bit heavy, l was somewhat dopey after a busy weekend & my brain was meant to be concentrating on this current year's cash flow, hence the caffeine, well l am awake now and just can 't stop fidgeting. I have taken Lucy-Piglet & Gordon for 2 walks, the last being just as the 3 spits of rain fell, l've done some invoices, printed out some rude letters to late payers & am now looking for some other mischief to create. My god, can one have too many coffees?

Masoud today, well, l ask you, poor chap. As you may know he has purchased a 'new' car. Apparently he had baulked at opening his purse, so Hubby said, anyway, today he is having second thoughts. 'The insurance has gone up, the road tax, the petrol, OOOOOh'. This moaning went on for about an hour, until Hubby, sensible Yorkshire chap, worked out that it would cost an extra £5.00 per month to run. 'Oh', said Masoud. l tell you what Iranians are not much different from Yorkshire farmers when to comes to money. Oh, yes did l not tell you he was Iranian? A religious refugee & he desperately would like to meet a nice young lady, not too fat, not too thin, not too short, not too tall......hmmmm.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

So the list grows ever longer.

Isn't it amazing how many people are become purplecoos, is it something to do with the water or could it be some sort of computer virus?

Photo uploading: my camera um, had a what you could possibly call a slight accident last night so l borrowed Harry's, which incidentally has more pixels than mine, anyway, l couldn't upload straight from file but with his help & by uploading the pictures to the website photobucket all should be hunky dory, so to speak...hopefully, the pics are still up loading HARRY!!

l have taken several pictures of the beach, l has meant to do this yesterday evening but the light was very grey & made the place look cold. Well, l was prompted by the dirty beach article on the Today programme? As you can see the rubbish is in a 2m2 area & is mostly fishermens trash, ropes, crab pot markers, line [no hooks], a bit further down it was plastics. The beach here runs down from Bridlington in the north down to Spurn Point which sticks out into the mouth of the Humber, l would imagine that this sort of detritus is common all down the coast. Oh, that's Gordon
snuffling in the background.
As you can see, the upload via photobucket has worked, thank you Harry!
The caravan rally people have all gone now which gave Hubby the chance to play on his big boys toy, industrial lawn mower, [no jokes], its rather large, opps, you know the ones that the council use? Anyway, bless him, he has got all caravan site, road side & footpath grasses cut AND he has picked up the rubbish that just seems to escape from peoples cars neatly ties up in plastic bags or abstractly hurled with gay abandon at the hedgerows.
I have noticed that there are a few waitresses out there, l tell you what, l could have done with some help today, god it's been bloody mad. We were 3 men down because harry & Jess were at the driving competition with Young farmers, & they didn't win or should l say the club didn't, plus another was away then another youngster was suffering from a broken heart, l did offer her a band aid but she just slunked off quietly to die alone & unloved....until next week. So by 5pm we were worn right down to our knees which certainly made the last stragglers do a double take.
Thank you boy - l have just been handed by son his assessment booklet thingy and as his employer l'm supposed to fill it in , hmmm, ok,ok sorry folks l'll have to stop & catch up with you all later. Bye for now!
PS: Spell checks - if you click on ABC on the tool bar, incorrect spelling are highlighted in yellow, if you left click on the word a drop down appears offering a choice of correct spellings. You need to click on the green text 'done spelling check' once you've finished.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Saturday - a new day & new dawn...

.......well actually it's now evening in real money! I had a quick look at the purplecoo this am & was amazed at how many friends are appearing & joining the rebels, it's quiet fantastic to think that only a few days ago we were all plodding on with that awfully s - l - o - w cl site, waiting for a single picture to upload, & now, well loads of pictures, & certainly for me, writing away is much less constricting!

Harry thinks that I'm mad, well OK l know that but did he have to point it out quiet so clearly, 'mother blogging whatever next? Utube next week is it?'. As for hubby, he just wonders what he married all those years ago. But what is most important to me, is that it gets me away from the busy lifestyle & really helps me to switch off from the work load, besides there is nought on the telly like.

The ice cream parlour today, see l can be more open, [have you checked the web site link?] has been real busy. i must have done 60+ lunches today, loads of giant butter beans [greek style], pitta & somerset brie on the orders. A manic 2 hours! Today was the turn of another potential summer worker to go through the ordeal of interview by working. Well, you'll be pleased to note that he passed the test with flying colours, extremely polite & well spoken though Masoud, who works in the ice cream parlour on saturdays, was a bit put out by his [the hew guy] hair, ok a bit raster, but what dreads between friends. A clean tidy, presentable young chap who will go far!

Harry has nipped off to a bar b q with friends after finishing with his girlfriend of all of 2 weeks last night, apparently she was just too lazy??? He has a lot to learn about girls me thinks. Well tomorrow he is off to do tractor handling & landrover driving representing his young farmers club while one of his mates, who was last in the practice on Wednesday, will be dressing up as a dog to take part in '1 man & his dog' as l understand it, she will be blindfold & have to follow instructions by whistle! should be fun.

If anyone wants to ask any questions regarding whats happening in the field of agriculture [dairy] please ask away & I will try to answer your questions in a totally uinbiased [hic] way.

bye for now!! keep in touch folks!

Friday, 20 April 2007

back to the normal routine

Normally at this time of day, after supper, l sit down at my PC & start bashing at keys watching the words appear describing what has happened in this part of the world or anything that has really annoyed me of late. Now that l have changed my blog site stuff, l am continuing with the tradition.

Today has been a real flurry of excitement with blogs flying hither & thither as people have picked up westerwhitch's lead & followed bravely into the unknown. Country dwellers unite against the injustices of glossy magazines. wow.

Hubby & harry have both been delivering ice cream today with hubby travelling up to Danby with small pots again, this also enabled Masoud to collect his 'new' car. Apart from the lads being off out, life has been rather dull, until lunch time when after a quick email check, l discovered things were happening a fast pace of knots. After about an hour figuring out how to set up this blogg & sending messages to those rebels who had found their way to westerwhitch's den of intrigue life has exploded into new possibilities.

Tonight i have had to light the woodburner as the temperature is not very warm, but tomorrow, hey presto, it's going to be 19C, wow, we'll be busy tomorrow me thinks. The caravan rally people are all here. They're a strange lot, parked all in rows, with pennants flying not exactly singing round the campfire like.

well too much excitement for one day so back to the old glass or vin de pays d'oc, hic

The first day

I am fairly new to this blogging stuff, but had really enjoyed churning out rubbish on the Country Living web blog, however all was not as it seem, there were rumblings in the milking parlour, grumblings on the village green, the bloggers writing compeition was not as it seemed. A countryside revolt was to be carried out, and those rebels find themselves here in various guises. Beware the glossy magazine showing luxury kitchens, fancy recipes & country show houses. Keep to your wellies, your dog that eats anything dead, forget the fired earth tiles be true to your roots. We may be country folk but we aren't not a daft as you think, hic
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