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

Sunday, 29 July 2007

5 day weather forecast

As l turn to the BBC 5 day weather forecast, hubby races into the office as whoops of excitement radiate around the house. 'look' l shout, wildly jabbing finger at screen then grabbing the print out of the 5 day forecast... 'look'' l gasp again, 'no rain for at least 5 days! look! sunny symbols for EVERY day! Look! 25'C!!'

OK this is a wee bit sad, but to be quite frank with you, this will be the first forecast in months that has not had black clouds with rain drops coming out the bottom. A quick finger count & l reckon it could be April since the forecast looked this sunny. oohh.

Boy have we had some rain in the past months. This is the part of the UK forgotten about by the press & politicians. Our floods happened 4 weeks ago but to show the fear that still prevails around the the words 'heavy rain', a neighboring village, which had been under 4 feet of water, last night had its villagers barricading themselves in their homes with sand bags because heavy rain was forecast. We had none............

So with any luck it looks as though August will be a return to summer, or perhaps l should say the start of summer? Hopefully the flood, [pictured left] standing in a long drained kettlehole lake, should soon recede or perhaps even evaporate, tram lines in the wheat 'side oupp' & combines be able to roll without being tugged & pushed by tractors. What a flipping year.............

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

fish and chip supper

l feel that l had a deprived childhood. My mother just wouldn't let me have fish and chips. Well, we did live inland so her argument of the fish not 'being fresh' may have had some grounding, but l think she was just being a bit of a snob.....

It was therefore a revelation to me on my move north, to find that fish and chips were the staple diet of all Yorkshire folk. People would & still do travel miles to their favourite chippy for a good old fashioned fish n chips supper. There is something wonderful about sitting in your car with the windows open, eating freshly cooked fish n chips, in yesterday's Yorkshire Post, liberally doused in salt & vinegar whilst being stared at by the resident ducks....

Every village seems to have its own chippy & if there isn't a 'fixed' one there is usually a weekly mobile one. Unfortunately our village chip shop closed some years ago & is now a nice comfortable house, but we do have fantastic fish n chips at our nearest caravan park plus another excellent one in Brandesburton.

What is amazing it that many of the chippys have their own 'supper rooms'. Here you can sit in comfort with a pot of tooth staining tea, few slices of bread & marg, whilst your fish n chips are served on a plate so you eat in style. There are, however, a few specialist fish n chip restaurants along this part of the coast. Here the prices are noticeably higher & the decor moves from anaglypta to leatherette seats or interesting art work. Whitby has 2 of these spots. Each has its own supporters. We like the Magpie & we are prepared to queue for as long as it takes to get a table. Other people prefer the plush interior of Trenchers, which is a bit more show bizey, with leather banquette seats & plastic palms.

To me fish n chips are, well fish n chips. But, & here is the big but, what fish is the fish & what fish do you want? Well, surely either a large one or a small one. No. Is that a cod, haddock, woof, skate, sole, plaice.......? Then there's the Yorkshire delicacy which l can't get my taste buds round. That green mush that is mushy peas, or as you see in gastro pubs 'braised peas'. YUK. This culinary nightmare is on a par with that other vegetable delicacy, the brussel sprout. l DON'T do either.

That only leaves the humble chip. The really best chips are double cooked to give that extra gastronomic something...and..they must of course be cooked in that artery hardening substance, good old beef dripping.

Monday, 23 July 2007

days out inland a bit

So what do you do with the kids when you have all had enough of playing on East Yorkshire's wonderful beaches. l mean to say there is only so much sand you can shift in an afternoon, armed with a plastic bucket and spade, besides by the time you have created your masterpieces, the sea comes in with no thought to the time & effort taken, and sets about destroying the towers, turrets, moat & drawbridge as it rushes quietly in to claim the day's spoils.

Most small people really do not appreciate being dragged around shops, especially when all they can see clearly is a world of knees & bums. So, avoid the towns. Driving away from the coast, the Yorkshire Wolds can be explored in a series of small country lanes crisscrossing the landscape, taking the driver through small picturesque villages, ancient churches and marvelous picnic spots. Picnic spots with adventure playground in. Picnic spots in Elizabethan Manors that have magical mazes & giant board games set in the old walled gardens. None of this catches small person fancy?

What about museums. Not the dull, stuffy ones with miles of glass with cabinets filled with badly stuffed dead things, but wonderful, exciting museums where you can pretend your Tony Robinson & find things in trays of spoils from real, live archaeological sites. Here l'm thinking York, OK, l know this is a city with shops, but, it also has the most amazing museums. One of our favorites can be found here whilst for good nose holding smells this is the place to go. Another museum, that if there is any energy left in those small legs, is this one & if your offspring Together with any males in the family just love the smell of steam, coal & dear Thomas then you might want to leave them HERE all day whilst you partake of tea & fat rascals at Bettys in either Stonegate or St Helen's Square.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

heat wave hits the East Coast

where has the sun gone now? l ask myself as l peer out from behind the curtains. Nothing but heavy grey skies chasing off into the distance to where the sea meets the sky. Grey sky. Grey sea. White horses crashing onto the beach. Surely, l think this IS July. Mid-july to be exact. Summer? Blue cloudless skies, miles of pristine sandy beaches, blue calm seas pepered with terns diving for sand eels, harbour porpoises performing their 'floor show spectacular'. Er well July it is but blue sky, souring temperatures?

Global warming or climate change, for the past few years has been flagged up as 'hotter drier summers', we all liked that now didn't we? So where has it gone wrong this year? Wet wet wet. & that's not just a pretty boy pop band.

The late winter & spring were wonderful. Mild & dry. From May onwards it has been downhill all the way. Rain, floods, tornadoes. Were does it all end? OK, so it DID rain on St Swithin's day but it had rained for the previous 40 days as well. Are we going to be able to put on our garish shorts & expose the old cellulite to the unsuspecting? Will we be able to get the bar-b-q out of the garage to burn the odd sausage or two? l really don't know. Marching about the fields today, the landscape looks more autumnal than high summer.

Well perhaps we should look on the bright side, at least there will be no hosepipe ban THIS summer.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

the day of the show

Yesterday saw a at one of the largest one day agricultural shows in England.

The Driffield Show.

For the past few days we've been nipping backwards & forwards checking forecasts trying to decide what on earth the weather would be throwing at us. One internet weather report stating severe weather warnings with tornadoes, then another with sunny intervals. As it was we were very, very lucky with the odd light shower & warm sunshine. The going in places was a little sticky, & we had taken the 'tardis' as opposed to the hand cart just in case of flash flooding plus waders, oilskins & diving gear as listed in our risk assessment.

By tuesday evening we decided that perhaps the best course of action might perhaps be a recky of the site. How wet was wet & where exactly were the electrics in the Enterprise Village? Important stuff especially when everything just has to be in place by 9.00am sharp! The area for the village bit was larger this year, normally we sit right on the corner of the main walk way. This year we were -- no where? No pitch, no name spikes, nothing. Ok, who was the joker in the pack then? Had a rival ice creamer pulled the plug? After a flurry of telephone calls Mr G turns up, all in a fluster l might add, pointing us up the hill a little bit waving his hands in an 'over there somewhere' sort of way. Fine, thought l in case of flooding, but how do the punters find us?? Hubby retorted that 'it'll be fine'....

Decided that evening not to watch weather forecast, then if the actual day dawned blue sky n sunny l would be pleasantly surprised.

Urggh, 6.30 up. Leave at 7.30. wrong Hubby was off at 7.30, Haz & 'meself 'were off just a little bit latter....

Traffic on show day is pretty dammed awful. Tyrannical traffic wardens who seem to relish the traffic queues. Perhaps they have an in house competition to see who has the longest queue? Ev..en..tu..all..y we gained access to the showground, 30 minutes to drive a few hundred yards....

Arghh, what the **** has hubby done parking THERE!! instead of being slap bang in the middle visible to all, we were 'shoved ' to the back behind a string of classic motor cars. 'Might as well go home now', H stated. OK, pull in stomach, make the most of it. Decorated our pitch with some straggly plant pots, put up picnic umbrella set out seats, waited for first customer... would they be able to find us...placed two a boards complete with arrows...customers began to trickle in...then a few lunch time we had a queue.

They found us. We served up the ice cream. We laughed & joked with the customers. There were 3 of us working in a 3 metre square van, working in shifts, as soon as one collapsed the next one shot in...once more unto the breach dear friends [sic].

By the end of the day, we had survived. We had served up ice cream cones by the hundreds. drunk water by the gallon & by closing time were well & truly knackerd....

Will we do it again next year?

You Bet!!

Sunday, 15 July 2007

mature cheddar or stinking bishop?

How old is old, l ask myself? l don't feel that old. l'm careful not to look like mutton dressed as lamb, but l would not class myself as old. Old is in excess of 70 perhaps? l don' t wear twin sets with tweed skirts. if l did would that make me old?

When l was a teenager, my parents seemed old, yet l am now at that time of life, waiting for gravity to take effect. They liked boring music & my mum wore boring clothes. l like loud rock music, l enjoy the company of our young staff. we all laugh at the same things. Perhaps l am senile, reverting back to my second childhood? l still feel the same as l did years ago, l don't exactly look the same, the hair is still uncontrollable, there is more character to my face [well would you admit to wrinkles], l don't have varicous veins but l have gained a little weight going from a size 10 to a 12. But l am not old. Yet. That is for the future.

So why am l muttering like this? This is why, my fellow blogger from God's own county, the good old Yorkshire Pudding, has invented a new blogging awards, for, well, being mature. Ha! That's a joke. l do drink, l don't pray EVER, & well l'm not an old cheese, though l do enjoy a slice of Stinking Bishop whenever l pass the Balloon Treee.

So what does mature actually mean then? Am l mature? according to the OED it means the folowing, & l quote....
adjctive... fully grown or developed: adult... like an adult in mental & emotianal developement... full flavoured...ready for payment...

So what am l then? Perhaps l shall take the title 'mature' as meaning a a good, matured red, malbec preferablely. Oh, did l say that the preseident of this new award to the blogging world was one Homer Simpsons? No? Well friends, that, says it all!!

Thursday, 12 July 2007

beside the seaside beside the sea.......

The school summer holidays are now rapidly approaching. The private schools broke up last week & the state schools at the end of next. In laymen's terms, this means that that all roads for the next 6 weeks will lead to the coast.

Quickly scanning through the caravan bookings for the season, it is interesting how most of our visitors are from, south & west Yorkshire, Derbyshire a few from Lancashire. Very few in fact from the south or west of England. Both rail & road access to the East Yorkshire coast are good, but it seems to be an area overlooked by many.

The east Yorkshire coast is the ideal spot for the good old bucket & spade holiday. We must have one of the longest beaches anywhere. The sands stretch from Bridlington in the north to Spurn Point in the south, jutting out into the Humber Estuary. All along the coast are small seaside towns, such as Withersea & Hornsea, offering the good old fashioned family holiday. Nothing too fancy just plenty of sand and a safe beach. Accommodation along the coastal area can be found in a variety of smart B & Bs to holiday parks suitable for all pockets. Some have seriously smart mobile homes, most sites come complete with swimming pools, restaurants entertainments. They want for nothing.

I must say that l am so lucky to live here by the sea in Holderness. Moving north from Gloucestershire all those years[hic] ago l have been amazed at the diversity of landscape that abounds here. From the long golden beaches to the undulating Yorkshire Wolds, the white cliffs of Flamborough to the rugged landscapes of the North York Moors. There is something here for everyone.

Oh, the headless man is my mate Mr J Fisher with one of his freshly caught sea trout. He also catches sea bass, mackerel, dab, lemon sole & cucumber fish to name but a few!

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

2 weeks ago.....

It is now 2 weeks since the Great Flood.

We are still on the receiving end of very heavy showers & the land is totally saturated. It can take no more. One of hubby's cousins still has 100 acres under water. Low lying areas of farm land are still lakes. The pumps have not been turned on. How the water will drain away l have no idea as the fields are well below the level of the drainage dykes. The ancient lake around the motte has drained away, leaving the most awful smell of rotting vegetation & sludgy, brown earth. Grass destroyed, wheat drowned. The area around Frodingham bridge, the water level is as high as ever, & unless the drainage pumps are turned on then it will remain a lake for the foreseeable future.

As you drive through towns & villages, house after house has skips pilled high with a lifetimes possessions, destroyed by 24 hours of continuous rain which caused flood water to back up drainage dykes causing widespread devastation. Drainage dykes that had not been cleaned & adequately maintained by the Environment Agency, despite the warnings from the local Drainage Boards. The sluice gates were not opened or pumps turned on. The flood waters had no where to go.

It's the 10th of July today. Where has the month gone to? I seem to have blinked & missed something important. This is the month of agricultural shows. Last week the Royal, this week the Great Yorkshire at Harrogate, next week our own local 1 day show, Driffield. Didn't get to the Royal, will give the Yorkshire a miss as 2 of the main car parks are under water, & organizers are asking visitors to use public transport to get to the show ground. Now that could be interesting if you live in some isolated dale on the North York Moors or Wensleydale. In fact it would be difficult from here too, come think of it?

Saturday, 7 July 2007

tagged, l reveal some secrets?

thanks to inthemud for the tagging bit, muddyboots are definitely something to help when you are in the mud! So, the name of the tag is - '5 things to help keep you +ve when your down in the dolrums'. I feel a bit like being back at school writing 1o things l did in my summer hols.

firstly, l do feel a bit of a fraud really, because, well, l rarely get down in the dumps, so to speak. Either l'm very lucky, fibbbing or one of those horriblely annoying happy clappies that are permanently grinning even when they're cracking inside. Actual l'm none of these you'll be please to know, just me, take it or leave it, that's it.

So what keeps me compus mentus then? Well, basically l'm happy in my own skin, l don't hancker after being someone else or living another lifestyle & l don't care what people think of me. l have the annoying habit of being able to size a person up within minutes of meeting them, and l'm rarely wrong, oh, & l don't tolerate idiots. Perhaps then l am a horriblely annoying person?

My first suggestion is, yes be happy with yourself, take opportunities as they come, live life to the full. We only get one crack at this life so you've really got to go for it, never put off things for tomorrow, do it NOW & leave the past to the past, you can't do anything about yesterday. l think l'm what you would call an adrenaline junky?

Next, solitude. Long walks on the beach with dogs. Sitting on the rocks gazing out to sea, focusing on nothing.........

Holidays: an absolute must. A place to relax & renew the soul. My photos are here on my computer with screen saver set to slide show, always reminding me of place visited.

Laughter. Always see the funny side of things & be able to laugh at yourself! As human beings we do & say the most silliest of things!

And finally, what else keeps me on the right side of the doldrums? Having a bloody good stomp about when feeling cross or in a foul temper.

l know that these points don't really answer the question & not having suffered from depression l find it difficult to imagine what l would do in that situation. l do hope that this isn't too much of a disappointment, but well that's me, sorry.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

labradors & their stomachs

Gordon has been sick. Violently sick. Everywhere. In his kennel. In the veranda. On the drive. This morning, you see, Gordon caught a rabbit. Not a huge bunny, but just the right size for a quick snack. Gordon, l should tell you, is definitely not the best connie catcher. If the truth were know, he is very amateur in his rabbit snuffling exercises. He shows great enthusiasm but doesn't exactly race after the little blighters. Too much effort most likely. Well, this morning, b*** h**, whilst casing out a clump of particularly thick, tall grasses, what should literally leap into his mouth but a rabbit.

Poor Gordon, was just so shocked! Lucy-Piglet is an expert rabbit snaffler, dispatching fluffy bunnies with consummate ease. l would go as far as to say, an expert in the field of the one dog rabbit extermination team. Gordon on the other hand, is, well, a bit of a wet blanket. 'Ooo Ooo, l have a rabbit, what do l do next?'. And so it was this morning. He, ever so gently, marched about with rapidly expiring rabbit, unable to decide what to do next. Lucy-Piglet had definite ideas about that, but Gordon hung on to his prize, just keeping far enough ahead to prevent Lucy-Piglet snatching his new found friend from him.

OK, l am coming to the sickee bit.

l managed to persuade Gordon that it might, perhaps, be a sensible idea to leave the booty rabbit behind for some hungry predator to finish off for breakfast. Thankfully, Gordon agreed to this, leaving the stiff lying on the farm track.

That was a close call, as there is nothing quite as bad as prising dead things from labradors mouths.

Unfortunately, my well laid plans went out the window. This afternoon we had a group of younger employees, who incidentally love it here so much that they come on their days off, kindly volunteering to take said dogs down for a walk to the beach. To avoid the poop n scoop footpath, they opted for the farm track. Yes. The rabbit. It was still there. Gordon gleefully ran straight to the corpse of his new best friend & decided to show him the farm, the beach, the sea, then the inside of his stomach the contents of which have now been spewed up just about everywhere!

And now for something completely different.

This photo was taken today looking across one of the new lakes in the east riding towards St Elgins church in North Frodingham.

Under the water is a field of wheat.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

severe weather warning

Ah, July is now upon us. Summer is here, long hot sunny days sipping pimms & balmy evenings burning sausages on the barbie. If only!

I started today's blog with the full intention of not mentioning..the WEATHER... argh, l've done it... Sorry guys, we still have rain. Rain showers [heavy], thunder storms, sunny intervals, torrential rain, heavy downpours, sunny intervals, sharp showers, hail, thunder & lightening. When are those horsemen due?

Flood water recedes then hey presto up it comes again with the next batch of precipitation. Dykes & drains are not draining away excess water. This is truly scary. This is summer. We are supposed to be sitting on the beach eating fish & chips. Forget that pretty summer frock or must have open toed sandals. Nope. Wellington boots, macs, umbrellas & waterproof mascara are the items essential for this summer!

I am so glad that l saw SUNSHINE in France a few weeks ago & even more thankful that l had had a week in the sun in January. This July l think it's a case of get out the fake tan & lets go a streaky orange!
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