Paloma Faith and Dalby Forest

Well, when I finished up last weekend we were just off to Pickering and Paloma Faith in Dalby Forest. Really looking forward to it. It was a great gig only slightly spoiled by the very tight security on the way in. They searched EVERYBODY’S BAGS. Several thousand people were queuing up to get in, and we started to have a sense of humour failure. It took about an hour of queuing to get in.

But once we were in it didn’t seem to matter much, especially as we managed to smuggle some vodka and pimms in!

We stayed in a small hotel just outside Pickering and shared a cab with a young couple going there, and had to rely on the hotel owner to pick us up at the end, bless you Liz. The venue is deep into the forest, about 4 miles from Pickering. No public transport, no help from the forestry people. Lovely setting but crap security and bad access. Probably wont be going there again.
We went for a short walk up on to the town trail, mostly to try out my new walking boots and came across this sight. Probably the horse with the best view ever, in a meadow of  wild flowers.
It was my birthday on the 4th July,I got some lovely presents including this rather natty waistcoat from Judith. She has also booked me in with the local blacksmith to have my own Rams head fire iron made. Sally came up for the day and the 3 of us went off to Carlisle and back on the train. What a journey, you go over numerous viaducts, including ribblehead, the big one, and as the line skirts the dales to your right as you travel north, you get fantastic views of the 3 peaks, Whernside, Pen-Y-Ghent and Ingleborough. Have to admit that Carlisle wasn’t really that lovely, we only had about an hour there and somebody tried to sell me their dog whilst sitting on a man-bench in the town centre.
For the journey Judith had made a lovely picnic, complete with gingham tablecloth, Champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries. This is the sort of thing we are planning to offer our guests as a packed lunch.

I know, Ozzy Osbourne look a like!
Model for the fire Iron

Only slightly blurred view from train of Whernside

On the following Friday we went on a sojourn south to see Judith’s father who is recovering well in hospital, then on to stay with good friends Dan and Robert in Kent (thanks boys),
before going to Laurence’s prize giving day at St Edmunds in Canterbury. This is him in the middle with mates Tom on the right and William, left. They were off to the leavers ball and are soon off to Greece island hopping together.

Laurence actually agreed to pose for this one , taken at Tom’s parents house near Canterbury where we stayed the night after the prize giving. Many thanks to Julia and Peter for their wonderful hospitality and looking after Laurence like second parents.

Then it was a race back up the motorways ahead of the arrival of Judith’s other son Alexander and his lovely girlfriend Meg. Alex hasn’t been here before and seemed suitably impressed until Monday morning when a full compliment of plasterers, electricians, plumbers and bathroom fitters arrived to shatter the rural idyl. We have had a few set backs with the building, not least the discovery that some of the plumbing in the existing 1st floor bedroom runs uphill aways. This and extra plastering means we are just about double our original estimate for the work. Ho Hum.
To escape we took the kids (kids! he’s 6ft 9in!) on our fave walk from Austwick to Feizor and back again , a circular walk of about 4 miles with a stop at Elaine’s Café in Feizor for thunder and lightning ice cream.
It was the hottest day so far this year, a bit warm for a hike. Alex took this one of us meandering back through the corn fields towards the (closed on Mondays, dam it) Game Cock in Austwick.
I have spared you so far this blog, but the house moves on apace, the Amtico blokes arrive on the 20th July (its the 10th today) so most of the work has to be completed in the next 10 days. Then there is a small matter of decorating, which we reckon may be 4-6 weeks and me and Judith are going to do the bulk of this.
This is the existing 1st floor bathroom with re-aligned doorway and new plaster.
We have had a few problems with hairy arsed men using our bathroom, so John put up a quick sign, which was promptly ignored. The locksmith arrives today, that should sort the problem out.

And the small en-suite is nearly done.

So its been a full and interesting 10 days since the last blog update, and I cant see it getting any quieter any time soon. My role in Calamity Jane has been changed to ‘Wizened old prospector/cowboy’ and I have speaking (drawling) parts. I have lines to learn!
See you in a bit…..





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