My wild week

Back to a full week at work but some small wild highlights to warm the soul along the way.

Enjoying the walks home.

Bucolic beauty on the doorstep. I am lucky. But there is one unwelcome visitor on the verge …. Grrrrr….

How did I get planted across the ‘path’? Answer: some people are thoughtless!

Never fear I skirted the obstacle – bit too close to the road for my liking – and carried along my (slightly less) merry way.

Yesterday saw me back in the wonderful city of Leeds. The bus and train journeys to and fro are a delight in themselves and I spotted what looked like lapwings and a fallow deer doe with her fawn as we chugged along the Bentham Line across the Yorkshire Dales. It is a super train ride.

My Leeds visit started with a family lunch with No 1 son and daughter-in-law and Munchkin. We re-visited Bundobust a veggie/vegan restaurant that specialises in Yorkshire-Asian food and also creates it’s own speciality beers. We were not disappointed in our recollections of how great the food was, it was delicious. Munchkin – who is almost two and a half – joined us in sampling everything and loved it all. We were hungry when we arrived and tucked in so quickly that I didn’t even stop to take a photo, here’s a pic of our earlier visit to give you a flavour.

Oh my those okra fries!

After such a wonderful lunch we needed to walk it off. We trotted over to nearby Leeds City Museum to look for wild things. Thanks to the Victorian collectors there was of course a rather sad reminder of how our recent ancestors killed off many wonderful animals to feed their collections. Leeds has taken these poor ‘phantom’ creatures to illustrate how we are now damaging habitats and seeing the loss and decimation of countless more.

It reminded me of the poignant, heart wrenching poem Pastor Martin Niemoller wrote a generation ago in response to the Holocaust of World War II:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

If we watch the destruction of the natural world and do not act how long will it be until nature and the wild world no longer cares for us? Gone a bit heavy there. Think it’s my concern not for my world (I am long in the tooth) but that of our children and their children. Ok, ok here’s what we saw.

With a reminder of the times we are living in.

So much to contemplate on the journey home. Lucky I had a super book to escape with.

Set in a world almost parallel to Cumbria our anxious heroine Ivy must leave the sanctuary of her home to find her brother Callum in the strange world of Underfell. A real page turner – aimed at I am guessing 8 to 13 year olds – that finds this 64 year old avidly reading on to find out if Ivy succeeds.

Back to my staging post, Carnforth, there was one last Platinum Jubilee mini-celebration I wanted to share. I love the lengths the indie shopkeepers of Carnforth go to to jolly up their high street. There is one shop I always find particularly pleasing, Moore’n’Wife. They certainly excelled themselves for the Queen’s Jubilee. I couldn’t help but smile at their window display, I hope you can’t either.

Moke x

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