Dogs really are man and woman’s best friend

Super weekend here at Casa Moke. No 1 Son arrived last Thursday to be swiftly followed by one of my oldest friends GF – who had made her way to the north from her home in the beautiful city of Exeter – on Friday. Good timing too because I had just received my first delivery of tester products from Sainsburys and needed some (un)willing victims erm … tasters to try a couple out with me.

Glad to say both meals – mild vegetable curry and minestrone soup – were a success. Truth be told the curry mix got top marks with No1 Son and I thoroughly enjoying yomping it down while, due to the fact I need new specs and concentration levels, the minestrone soup mix turned into a wholesome lentil stew as I threw in far more of the mix than I should have done. Nonetheless with the aid of a glass of red and crusty baguette the soup/stew was very tasty and filling and went down nutritiously well.

As you can see it was certainly substantial! It turned out to be the perfect meal after a day in the lakes.

Back in a time when cars were a rarity and we were school girls GF and I used to visit the Lakes to stay with my Aunty May. As eager teenagers we found the best means to get around the amazing landscape of Cumbria was …drumroll please …. the 555 bus. And guess what, it still is!

Yesterday we clambered aboard the 555 bought our Explorer tickets (£12 for a full days travel in the Lakes) and set off for Keswick. At almost two hours door to quirky dog-loving Lakeland town it might seem to some a rather long journey but the bus passes through the most stunning scenery and the trip is an absolute stress free pleasure. Without the worry of driving we could enjoy the glorious views from our top deck seats unabated.

I have visited Keswick many times and talked about it in this here blog including describing a trip to see one of the ‘Herstory’ exhibitions at Keswick’s friendly museum https://itllbereet.com/2018/01/31/bussing-it-two-visit-herstory/. Here is a little reminder of the scenery that surrounds the town.

There is always something new to see. And this time for me it was Max the Miracle Dog.

Keswick is the most dog friendly town I have ever visited so it should be no surprise that they have this wonderful bronze – put up in summer of 2021 – to celebrate a local furry hero.

During lockdown English Springer Spaniel Max and his four legged buddies Paddy and (Prince) Harry brought comfort and hope to people across the world. These wonderful dogs did what dogs do best, enjoy life. Millions followed their outdoor adventures around their home town of Keswick and in recognition of Max’s ability to bring solace to so many animal welfare charity the PDSA awarded Max the Order of Merit, the first time a pet has ever been given this highly esteemed award.

Sadly (I have just discovered) Max died only a few days ago on 6 April. His Instagram obituary reads ‘Our beautiful Max fell asleep in Manesty Woods today with Paddy and Harry, his two adoring brothers overseeing his onward journey.’ I hope he is chasing celestial butterflies on heavenly Lakeland fells.

To find out more about this outstanding dog and his buddies please have a look at Instagram https://www.instagram.com/maxoutinthelakedistrict_/. On that note there is nothing better that I can do but leave you with a dog that gave so many heart when they most needed it. Max may you rest in happiness.

Mx

Speeding up!

I don’t know if it is the first hint of Spring – but oh my didn’t we get a shock when the temperatures dropped last week! – or the post-Covid urge to see folk and enjoy a modicum of travel but the last couple of weekends have found me trotting to Yorkshire to visit my children and their families.

As there is a risk of weeks passing before my next post I thought a few words and photos would keep us in touch.

There was a wonderful high-tea with No 1 Daughter, Peanut and Shrub for Mother’s Day. Poor No 1 Son-in-law missed out as work called, how dare it!

And this weekend a family outing to the fabulous Eureka the National Children‘s Museum in Halifax with No1 Son and Daughter-In-Law and Munchkin.

Eureka is an amazing place for children with learning offered at every corner.

Remember to look after yourself!

You can find out what it’s like to work on the drains, in a motor shop, at a bank or in a post office and other places beside:

Even the loos have something to tell you… did you know ….

Every one is considered with spaces for the under 5s, a good range of dietary requirements being met in the amazingly organised cafe, properly accessible facilities with hoists, and plenty of fun. I mean what could be better than to end the day with a triceratops?!

We had a full day and there was so much more we could have explored but the thoughtful folk at Eureka have that problem sorted too because for the price of your first visit, entry is free for the next 12 months.

Last but not least I have a new obsession. On Wednesday 30 March osprey returned to Cumbria, to one of my favourite Cumbria Wildlife Trust nature reserves at Foulshaw Moss! Watching the webcam of their nest is truly addictive, have a look https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam. The nest is empty right now, of course I have checked! As the osprey love to do a bit of fishing I am guessing that they are looking for supper. They have been quite … erm … frisky … since they returned so hopefully there will be Easter osprey eggs soon. Exciting!!!! I mean forget reality human TV give me ospreys any day.

Well must go. House to clean and osprey to watch …

Slow down Saturday (and Sunday) … ribbit!

Happy world frog day! No frog-y visitors today in the back porch, I expect they are busy putting up the water lily bunting and getting ready for an evening of partying … ribbit…

For me it has been a weekend of slowing down after a busy working week. Since the end of Covid lockdowns (fingers crossed) I enjoy sociable Saturdays, a chance to catch up with much missed friends and touch base with family. This week I was delighted my good friend KS could come over – with the beautiful elderly cocker spaniel that is Bagel – for plenty of chatting, food and crafting. Bliss.

Hi folks – remember me?

KS and her husband are spending this year – in addition to their day jobs – fundraising for Cumbria’s children’s hospice, Jigsaw. I am full of awe, they both have incredibly stressful jobs yet they are dedicated in their efforts to support this special charity.

On Friday 15 April KS is organising a coffee and cake morning at Melmerby village hall. Along with refreshments there are stalls including one with woolly makes. I am behind the curve here, I need to get cracking on my crochet baby boots, but KS is of course on this (as well as organising the whole event). She finished a gorgeous baby matinee jacket while she was here along with starting a second knitted baby bootee. So if you live in or are visiting the stunning Eden Valley and the village of Melmerby on Good Friday do drop in on KS at the village hall and bring plenty of cash!

Now a quick crafty round-up from me. I paired chatting, listening and cooking with Lucy at Attic 24’s crochet-along (CAL) Harbour Blanket. I am only just finishing Week 2 of the original CAL but no matter the easy rhythm of the ripple pattern make it the perfect accompaniment to being sociable. I might just get it finished for next Winter. Here’s how it looks today:

In other crafty news: my polar bear panel has now been joined by panda.

Think the bears are enjoying the company.

Counter Intuitively – because the weather is fabulous – I decided to carry Slow Down Saturday into Slow Down Some More Sunday and enjoy tea, leftovers and books. I don’t know about you but I always have a few books on the go. This suits my restless … I mean butterfly mind. Off the shelves this weekend are:

Ed Winters is often known as Earthling Ed and what I love about him is his gentle discursive way of talking to people about veganism. As this book shows he knows his stuff and references all the research he has used. Of course while Ed appears a gentle soul what he talks and writes about is often violent and brutal. I squeamishly read through the section on how meat, milk, eggs and fish get to our plates and confess I am actually relieved to be on the section devoted to the environment! Even though I don’t think that will be an easy ride either.

Pleased to have a little bit of light relief I smiled at the book mark I am using. A much treasured reminder of my friends’ wonderful bookshop, Fireside Bookshop, that has recently relocated to Stroud in Gloucestershire. This is my favourite of favourite bookshops please have look see either online or in person. The selection is superb and contains specialist rarities, many of my books on archaeology and ancient history are from Fireside.

Ooh I hear the gentle whisper of a fritillary’s wings. Book number two:

I have loved Kate Atkinson since reading ‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’ years ago. She has the rare gift of conveying how life changing events occur in a heartbeat. She has certainly given me a few ‘I didn’t see that coming’ moments. Book three:

Inspired by our recent visit to the Quaker Tapestry here in Kendal and sadly by the way of the world – in Ukraine and the many other war-torn parts of the globe – I thought I would again re-visit the ‘religion’ of my English grandmother, Quakerism. This famously pacifist community seemed to me the antidote to the violence of how we humans often speak and act.

It is very difficult to pin down what a Quaker is. I recently heard that if you ask four Quakers what a Quaker is, you will get five different answers. Love a group with a sense of humour! I am agnostic, I just don’t know what (if anything) is ‘out there’. But I do love the idea of a kind way of life where there is good (God if that is your belief) in everyone. I will keep on reading but while I read I must eat, so to my last books;

These two well thumbed cookbooks will help me use up everything in my veg box. It’s looking like that remaining Savoy Cabbage will be roasted with peppercorns … yum.

Please keep safe and be kind,

Mx

Garden recce

My garden has been neglected for most of winter. I am definitely a fair weather gardener. By the by calling myself a gardener is stretching the term. But here in Britain ‘Gardener’s World’ has returned to the Beeb, so it must be time to get back out there.

Not one to rush things I ventured into my back garden this weekend just to reconnoiter the devastation of a very stormy winter and my pure neglect. Nature is blinkin’ marvellous and I found that despite my lack of effort things are growing!

All the bulbs – most of them gifted – are merrily on their way.

And the Christmas Rose still has some life in her.

Most pleasing to me are the hellebores that I planted late-ish last year. They have survived their first winter and have already brought a bit of colour.

I look forward to them popping up in other spots as they spread.

My old friend the chive is going strong and there are happy little clumps cropping up all over. Another new-old friend is the red campion I was given last year which is looking robust. Further south I hear red campion is flowering but I think us northerners may have to wait a while longer, but it will be worth waiting to see this bonny native plant blossom and flower.

Last but not least my good friend Rosemary slowly struggles on. Bless her she is a try-er. She has been happiest sitting at the front of the house – she even flowered last year – but wherever I put her she loses small branches as delivery drivers brush past and worse she lost her whole pot in summer when local children accidentally scored a direct hit during their game of football. I like to think of her as a lesson in tolerance and patience.

Keep on keeping on my lovely.

Mx

Wild wide seascapes – two go to South Walney, Cumbria

It was perfect weather for me and friend JG to carry on the project to visit Cumbria Wildlife Trust nature reserves by public transport and Shanks’ Pony. And on our visit to South Walney yesterday Shanks’ Pony was certainly key!

We started with the 7am X6 Stagecoach bus from Kendal Bus Station (I snuck on a couple of stops later) our first and longest bus journey of the day. It took 1 hour 40 minutes to reach Barrow Town Hall. This used to be my daily journey to work, believe me I was having flashbacks, no surprise that back in those days I finished many a sock, glove and a particularly important baby blanket on my commute to and from the office!

Once at Barrow we crossed over the road and hopped on our next bus, the number 1 to Biggar Bank. We got off at Biggar Bank Biggar Garth (Carr Lane) and then the walking began. As always in this neck of the woods people were tremendously friendly and helpful. I have always loved this about the people of Barrow and Walney. Spotting our walking boots a passerby immediately warned us of flooding on one of the routes to South Walney and pointed us in the safest direction and wished us a good walk.

Off we set to a magical reserve of eerie but beautiful magnitude, home to rare and wonderful wildlife, wide majestic seascapes and the whisper of Piel Castle on nearby Piel Island (if you squint you can just see it).

We thought we had a three mile walk to the reserve but it soon became obvious that we had a little-ways further to go, 5 miles infact. JG has a gizmo that measures such things as well as creating maps of our route.

Cool, eh? The road ahead was flat but there were quite a few vehicles and the occasional horse. At least the cars were slowed by travelling through Biggar village which gave me a break from leaping on to the verges.

Not yet March but I saw my first lamb – looked very young – as we tootled on our way.

Must be hardy sheep here on Walney. We had arrived on a good day but it is known locally as ‘Windy Walney’ because of the ferocious winds that whip in from the Irish Sea. Walney Island is certainly a place that is open to the elements. Interestingly we spotted a Barn Owl on the way (sorry but I am as slow a photographer as I am walker) clutching it’s breakfast. We learned later that they are stalking in daylight because the recent heavy rains have limited their hunting. Wonderful to see this beautiful bird (not such a welcome sight for its prey).

As the ‘three’ miles stretched out we saw hopeful signs that we were nearing the reserve.

We arrived to be greeted by two kind and friendly volunteers and shown into the cabin where we were offered a hot drink and could have a look at the artefacts and information about the reserve. There is a car park at South Walney so you do not have to walk there and yahoo there is also a toilet!!!!

With my feet holding up reasonably well at this point and JG being a keen walker we opted for the Red Route (3 miles) which covers the whole reserve. There are also the Blue Route (2 miles) and Yellow Route (1 mile). The signage was brilliant and the colour coded posts kept us to the path – this is vitally important to the birds and other wildlife that breed here.

You really feel you are getting the best brine filled fresh air and I still have a healthy glow – i.e. I am red – from the light wind and sun. There were useful information boards to read. I had not realised that there is a working oyster farm on the island, and definitely did not know that the oysters go on little excursions around Morecambe Bay.

The sea is ever present. Cumbria’s only grey seal colony resides on South Walney’s beaches. They can be watched from the hides or from the comfort of your own home via the Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s seal web-cam. Amazing to see. We didn’t manage to glimpse the seals (I really must get some binoculars!) but the views were tremendous.

Several hides pepper the reserve affording shelter and great views of the landscapes and the wildlife. We utilised a couple to watch the wild world go by while enjoying a cuppa and our packed lunches. Happy days.

South Walney is also home to some precious dunescape habitats which are vital living spaces for many species including common lizards and other sand-loving creatures. Dunes should have areas of exposed sand but troublingly they are increasingly being covered by vegetation that drives out the usual sand dune wildlife. I learned dunes are the most threatened habitat in Europe for biodiversity loss. Thankfully at South Walney Cumbria Wildlife Trust have embarked on a project to restore the fixed dunes and are creating and improving the dune ponds.

For our last little lap of the reserve we walked along the newly installed boardwalk, admiring the views and also the fun hide with all it’s peep holes.

With a long walk back to the bus stop (my feet were twinging) it was time to leave but we grabbed a quick chat with the fabulous, friendly volunteers and the South Walney reserve officer, Jake. They were all so knowledgeable and we learned a lot from meeting them. What a super way to end our visit. Thanks Team South Walney.

With spirits still high from our visit to the reserve and spotting what we thought were a curlew and a little egret en route we set off on the walk back to Biggar Bank. Sadly for me it was soon obvious that my poor old feet were suffering and I confess quite a bit of this journey was jolly painful, a bit like walking on sharp red-hot needles.

My comfortable walking distance is around 6 miles and my absolute maximum was 8 miles. On this excursion I had thought I would push that up to 9 miles but when JG’s machine had done it’s calculations we had actually walked …. drum roll please … 13.2 miles. Oh my aching feet. Once I had taken my boots off, peeled off my socks (I thought a bit of my feet would come with them, I was not far wrong) I could see the full horror wrought to my tootsies. OOOOOUCH! All my own fault for not checking the distances more carefully.

Luckily super walker JG was fine, for her this was one of her longer training walks but nothing out of the ordinary. I am now carefully teetering around the house with feet that would not be out of place in ‘The Mummy’ they are so well strapped up with plasters.

None of this sullied the day. South Walney is exceptional and I would recommend a visit without hesitation. But if you want to bus it be prepared for a very long walk to and from the reserve.

Here’s another map of our walking route.

All the best from Madam Sore-toes-a x

Let the winds blow

Before I go and lie down in a darkened room a little catch up post on life here at Casa Moke and the wild British weather.

Since Covid and all the on-off lockdowns we have been conscious of the time missed with family and good friends. This week gave me one of those special windows (it’s half term for Peanut) to enjoy a few days with No 1 Daughter and her two girls as they decided to stay with me in Cumbria for some fun and frolics in the lovely Lakes.

Of course the weather – I have lost track of the storms swinging through the UK! – had other plans. The wind blew, the rain and hail fell and despite our best efforts we spent two days very close to home. This happily meant a re-visit for me to one of the Auld Grey Town’s treasures, The Quaker Tapestry. But first of all there had to be food. Right away you will know this is my kind of place:

The Garden Cafe is run by the wonderful Nikki and is all vegan so we could relax knowing we could eat and drink everything on the menu. No 1 and I first found Nikki and her fabulous vegan fayre a few years back when she set up a trailer in her garden (hence the name) and it is wonderful to see her business has blossomed. Her ethos and vegan menu fits perfectly with the Quaker meeting house next door. And the Victoria sponge?! Amazing. As for Shrub … she discovered french fries!

The face says it all!

Suitably refreshed, Baby Shrub strapped into a carrier and Peanut hopping and skipping alongside we turned left and straight into the Meeting House to see the world famous Quaker Tapestry. I have visited many times and yet this beautifully sewn piece of community art never fails to impress. Made up of 77 panels embroidered by groups from 15 countries and involving over 4,000 people in its design and creation it is a warm yet powerful evocation of the good that people can do.

This I think is my favourite panel (I even have the tea-towel):

Underneath the panel was a children’s book for the younger clientele to read and Peanut treated us (and the embroiderer sitting behind a Perspex screen greeting visitors) to a rendition of the tale of the two mules in the picture. Jane the lady who sat so patiently was lovely and made Peanut feel a very special little girl. Thank you Jane.

That summed up the warm welcome and kindness we found at the Tapestry. There is something for everyone and I would highly recommend a visit if you are ever here-about or have chance to see some of the panels when they go on their Summer tour (if that is back on this year).

I confess it had not been our original intention to visit the Tapestry – but we are so glad we did – we had been trying to get to Keswick and three times we failed. Water, water everywhere and the prospect of getting caught on the wrong side of a flooded road home saw us turn back at either Rydal or Grasmere.

Becks were over flowing all along our route and feeding mainly on to the roads.

Eventually we took the hint and decided the weather gods wanted us to go to Grasmere. Our Keswick trip was abandoned and this small but busy village became our destination instead. As always No 1 Daughter had done her research and found us a vegan-friendly cafe so in a pattern that must now be familiar we started with food. Shrub is always a handy ‘excuse’ as she needs her regular feeds … as do we!

Again our chosen eatery, Green’s, did not disappoint.

Cooked vegan breakfast was delicious and certainly set up us for a walk around the village and then up to Allan Bank.

Grasmere is a lovely traditional Lakeland village. It’s only downside is that it can be a victim of it’s own success and can sometimes be very full with visitors. But not on this trip as the weather had reduced numbers and we had chance to admire the beautiful church of St Oswald’s – there has been a Grasmere church since 642AD! St Oswald was a busy chap – see Dorothy and William Wordsworth’s graves, walk around the daffodil garden and swing by the Gingerbread shop (still sobbing cos they have changed their recipe and it is no longer vegan…what?! Why?!).

We finished our visit to Grasmere with a bracing walk up towards Allan Bank, once home to William Wordsworth and Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the three founders of the National Trust. With the high winds the house was closed but as it does not have any exhibits and has been left empty after a fire anyway we were not too disappointed. What makes it truly special are the views and fresh air and we could enjoy both to our hearts’ content. Peanut had a great time clambering on the rocky outcrops and we all gushed over the amazing panorama.

We ended a lovely day with a quick visit to what is becoming one of my favourite Cumbria Wildlife Nature Reserves, Foulshaw Moss, for a bit of birdwatching and an amble around the board walks with Peanut.

We slept soundly that night! Good job too as next day saw us hare off to nearby seaside town Morecambe. With the winds still on the … erm … windy side we attempted a promenade walk …

…. But gave up in favour of … (whispers) … an amusement arcade. Which of course Peanut LOVED!!! Especially as she came first in the Mario carts game and could scream her head off on the simulated roller coaster. Think my ears are still ringing.

For me the best part of the day came with a walk around Happy Mount Park. We have visited Happy Mount for decades and seen it’s fortunes ebb and flow. At present it seems in a happy place, it looks well cared for and despite everything being shut Peanut had an amazing time with a new found friend: clambering all over the playground equipment, shinning up a tree and even kicking a football about. The wind may still have howled and the sea kept churning but she was as happy as Larry. I am sure Happy Mount will become a firm favourite with her just as it was with her mother and uncle.

Bet you are ready for a lie down in a darkened room too after reading through this. But I hope the fresh air, view and happy faces give you a boost, they certainly did me.

Mx

Lovely Leeds

Leeds has been close to my heart for several years since both my children migrated to Yorkshire following career opportunities and then settled there following their hearts. Now between them they are raising the Tribe of Doris my gorgeous trio of granddaughters who are all Yorkshire lasses.

Last weekend I had a mini-visit to one of my favourite cities to visit No 1 son and his family. I started out as always with the bus and then the train from Carnforth.

Where’s Postman Sam and his black and white cat?

I may have mentioned this before but I am sad that this famous little station didn’t have the best of years in which to celebrate it’s 75th anniversary.

2020? Not the World’s greatest year ….

But I am soon off to Leeds and a small – but beautifully formed – family gathering. It was so lovely to see R and Munchkin waiting to meet me off the train. News flash: the train was early!

We spent a happy Saturday exploring things metropolitan. I have become quite a country mouse and have forgotten how amazing graffiti can be.

Confession time. I am not the biggest fan of graffiti, sad little scrawls with spray paint do nothing for me but when it is done right: it is art.

My son thought I had wandered off while having a senior moment to take this photo! Anyhow I was soon rounded up and we toddled – Munchkin is only two – into town.

Loving the mix of old and new!

Arriving at my Elderado, a museum.

We headed to the top and visited the world of the ancients with Munchkin enjoying building her very own temple.

Next I reminisced about the good old bad old days in the temporary exhibition ‘Money Talks’. Decimalisation is a really vivid memory to me. I was away on a school trip at the time and came home to a whole new currency. I still have a soft spot for half-a-crowns. They seemed like a fortune at the time but must have been about 25 pence in ‘new’ money.

No 1 was particularly shocked by the restaurant prices … think I visited this particular eatery as a child with my father around this time. I was partial to a prawn cocktail at eight, spoilt only child that I was. Now I look at the menu as a vegan and wince.

We had only ‘done’ one floor of the museum so we have plenty to return to. The ‘Money Talks’ exhibition was a great discussion starter and if you happen to be in Leeds I would recommend a visit to see it.

After all this looking at menus what else to do but go to lunch and finish with a hot chocolate at the Everyman cinema before boarding the train back to the woolly wilds of Cumbria.

Perfect end to a perfect visit. Thanks and love to D, R and Munchkin for a super visit.

Mx

Christmas Bear Quilt No.1 – Polar Bear

Hi All

It’s a very breezy day here in the Auld Grey Town so a good one to keep away from tree branches, roof tiles, signage … etc …. and hunker down to finish the Polar Bear panel for Peanut’s Christmas quilt. You might remember me mentioning Christmas 2022 back at the beginning of January. Oh the madness. But I have at least twelve bear panels to make so never to early to start, right?

This is a quick post to keep you up to date on Christmas Bear Quilt stage No. 1 the polar bear.

I had a scale drawing and an idea of the colours I would use.

If you look back to the first post and the drawing I did then you can see a dramatic change of style!

With the help of good old Bondaweb – which allows you to cut out pieces and then stick them to another fabric – it was really a task of cutting, sticking, zig-zag stitching and layering.

And hey presto! One finished (bar the quilting) polar bear panel.

Okay, okay my zig zag went a little wild at times but I like that it suits the bear and gives a fuzzy furry-ness to her.

One down, eleven and extras to go … I am thinking the Peruvian Spectacled Bear will be next in honour of the Paddington Bear exhibition that has been held at Tullie House Museum in Carlisle.

Mx

PS where are the marmalade sandwiches?!

Cat’s Tale

Hello all – I am about to relate the story of a small stray cat. Some of the pictures may be a little upsetting (just to warn you) but there is a very happy outcome. Do not be afraid …. read on …

My daughter and her family live in a large village in Yorkshire. The front of their house is on to the main street and quite busy. But to the back they have a small pretty garden which they can look on to when they are washing up at the kitchen sink.

Along the outside of the kitchen window runs a wide ledge. A few weeks ago my daughter realised she had company. Sitting on the ledge was a small, scrawny bundle of black and white fur which was plaintively ‘meow-ing’ at her. And so Pearl came into their lives – although the name and the happy ending are a little ways off.

My daughter went out to investigate the little scrap of a being that had come to her back door but couldn’t get close enough to check how she was. The window ledge visits and meowing continued for several days without No1 Daughter being able to get close but she could see the kitten-cat that was this furry bundle was getting weaker. Thankfully No1’s partner R was the hero of the hour and managed to gently corral the cat and bring her into the house. Then they could really see how poorly and injured she was.

Their hairy visitor was oh-so friendly but just skin and bone with a badly injured eye. She was incredibly weak yet obviously glad to have been taken in and cared for. No1 D and R took their new little friend to the local vet. Admittedly they went in trepidation in case there was nothing that could be done to help the little mite who had come to them for help.

No1 phoned the vets’ surgery every day to check on the kitten’s progress and thankfully the vets worked their magic and although they could not save the cat’s eye they could save her. After almost two weeks with the vet and being fed by drip and carefully reintroduced to food she was ready to leave. She was not micro-chipped and no one in their small-ish community had posted her missing.

I know I look sad but really I am on the mend.

Where could she go? No1 D already has two dogs – one of whom is an anxious rescue. What to do? After much discussion and consultation with the vets about their circumstances …. Guess what? She came back to No1 D’s! None of them could bear the thought that she might never be re-homed and after all it was as if she had originally come to them because she knew they would help her.

No1 Granddaughter Peanut and her father vied for who should name the new kitty. Peanut came up with the best name ever (sorry R), Pearl. And so Pearl has joined the slightly chaotic household loosely presided over by my daughter and her partner.

Really getting better and loving my new safe haven.

She has taken up residence underneath Peanut’s bed – although she does have an all singing all dancing cat bed of her own. And loves nothing better than greeting anyone that comes upstairs with purrs and leg cat-rubs.

Peanut has risen to the challenge of caring for her room-mate. Perfect timing for P – there is a fairly new baby in the house (I did say it was slightly chaotic) – to have a fur-friend to look after.

I love my best buddy.

Pearl has really taken to her new domain. She eats well and is continually gaining in strength. She is coping with the dogs by avoiding them but gradually I think an entente cordiale is being reached. To be honest the older dog a feisty chihuahua called George takes no notice of her (we always suspected that he was part cat!) while their anxious rescue Buddy is more bemused by the meowing than agitated.

I think those …. eeek …. Dogs….aaargh …. are friendly but I am keeping my one eye on them just in case.

It now seems as if Pearl has always been a member of the family.

Think I will stay!

I asked No1 D for a new photo but she hasn’t been able to oblige as Pearl is busy being a kitten and always on the move or asleep in her bolt hole under P’s bed.

In the (almost) words of the famous Ellie Brooks’ song: Pearls a Winner!

Mx

Hello Dear!

A quick post to cheer up a rather cold, winter’s Monday. Yesterday I was surprised to see a large sculpture has been put up close to Oxenholme railway station. A rather spectacular stag.

On closer inspection I could see it is made from old flattened oil cans and scrap metal. Ironic as it stands at the entrance to a car park, n’est-ce pas?

After a quick search on t’internet I have discovered it is the work of artist Stewart Williams and was one of four sculptures used in last year’s Kendal Torchlight Parade. Apparently the stag and other sculptures (including another of Stewart’s) were lit up for the annual night time procession . It must have looked incredible.

Before I go here’s one last look at Stewart’s wonderful sculpture.

Have a happy Monday.

Mx