Tomorrow’s Stir Up Sunday. Get cooking

Food & Cooking

I blame the Church of England. Tomorrow is Stir Up Sunday, the day when all right-thinking people in Britain will dig out their dried fruits and candied peels, their sticky, treacly dark sugars, eggs, butter, spices, zesty lemons, brandy, weigh them out and mix them all together. They’ll bring the family into the kitchen, get everyone to stir the mixture, making a wish as they do so.

And why? Because as they kneel at their devotions in church at Morning Service, those Good Ladies of the Parish will hear the priest intone the Collect for the Sunday Next Before Advent ….

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people….

‘Stir up? Stir up? I haven’t made the pudding yet! Best go home and make the Christmas pudding’

You might not be a Good Lady of the Parish. You might not even be a Good Lady. But you’d better get on with making that pudding tomorrow. I’m telling you today so you can nip out and buy anything you might not have to hand. Go to. Stir Up Sunday is the day. Your Christmas depends on it.

For Debbie at Travel with Intent’s Six Word Saturday

A walk in the grey dawn

North Yorkshire, Walking, Weather

Since clock change, I’ve been unable to wake up later than 5 o’clock. So inspired by Becky’s walk at sunrise, and by the clear sky last night, I was out by 6.00 to catch the sun’s first rays. But it was cloudy – thick cross-patch grey. And my phone doesn’t do low light levels. But here’s my early morning photo-diary. With not a sunrise in sight.

These images may be grey and black enough for Jude’s Life in Colour. And can multi-task for Jo’s Monday Walk too. AND Six Word Saturday as well

The world looks blue and green

Blogging challenges, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire Dales

If like me you live in the country, the world does look blue and green. To fulfil Tina’s Lens-Artist Challenge, looking at the cool palette of blue and green, today I’ve rarely looked further than a few miles round our house. All I’m doing today is presenting a gallery of quiet images from the natural world. Most are from the gardens of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, and from the Yorkshire Dales. I’ve ventured to the North Sea, and to the Aquarium of the Horniman Museum. That’s about it. I think I qualify for Debbie’s Six Word Saturday too.

Attention! Climate Crisis Emergency Response Vehicle

Blogging challenges

This is what I saw as I was walked through West Tanfield, the day before Earth Day.

Drawn to this bright and cheery vardo, a traditional Romani caravan, I stopped to chat. No, they weren’t going to Appleby Horse Fair. It’s been postponed. Instead, one man, one woman and their horse were spending the next months travelling simply, exploring as the mood took them, always one of them walking, leading their horse as the other rode in the wagon. They’d travelled fewer than fifteen miles that day, on side roads and country lanes. The slogan on the back had attracted anger and rebellion from many passers by. But others, like me, had liked the clear distinct message.

Six Word Saturday

Bright Square

‘B’ is for Bold Black-Headed Gull

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire, Wildlife

I was one of those ignorant types who thought ‘gull’ and ‘seagull’ were interchangeable terms. In fact ‘seagull’ is a fairly meaningless word, though often used to describe herring gulls. But not, definitely not black headed gulls. These birds we so commonly see round here, some fifty miles from the sea, are quite at home here in the fields. They’re sociable: they’re quarrelsome: they’re noisy. And they’re happiest snatching a meal when tractors are out and about, sowing seeds or harvesting and generally making free food available. As you can see. These scenes are from exactly this time last year, from a farmer’s field just up the road.

I thought a ditty, a bit of doggerel was called for, helped along by memories of a Harvest Festival hymn.

They plough the fields and scatter
the good seed on the land.
Black-headed gulls will follow -
rapacious thieving band!

‘All good gifts around us come from the farmers’ fields
We’ll scoff the lot, not care a jot and decimate your yields.’

We’ve had some snow in winter.
The gulls have had it rough.
Now seeds and rain and sunshine
mean life’s no longer tough.

‘All good gifts around us come from the farmers’ fields.
We’ll scoff the lot, not care a jot and decimate your yields.’

Six Word Saturday