dear diary :: out and about and little treats

An unexpected blogging break – not because I have had nothing to say but because I couldn’t easily use the computer with my sore middle finger that was as a result of a dog bite at the weekend.

We spent the weekend up in North Yorkshire to look after my mum while sis was away on a short holiday – we had taken mum out for lunch on the Sunday to Northallerton and we were browsing in a shop when it happened; I was helping my mum to choose a card when a couple passed behind us with a dog. As they passed the dog (who was on a lead, thankfully) suddenly went for my hand that was down by my side and bit me – quite an unprovoked attack so something of a surprise for me and luckily I had my leather gloves on or it could have been worse. The owners didn’t have a clue that it had bitten me as they were not particularly looking at the dog at the time but did look to see why I had let out a bit of a sharp cry of pain!

I think the shock for me was worse at the time than the bite as I didn’t see it coming – the couple thought it was highly amusing and said the dog had a habit of biting gloves – but unfortunately my hand was inside mine at the time and afterwards my finger became quite sore and stiff for a few days. Since the incident with the dogs in the park last summer I have been rather wary of them and haven’t as yet been back to the park, but I never thought one would bite me for no reason in a shop. I am only relieved that it didn’t bite my mum or worse still one of the grandchildren.

After the eventful weekend we had quite a slow start to our week – a bit of a potter round unpacking, a supermarket shop to stock up the pantry, a bit of work on the new kitchen design and yesterday while the weather was dry and sunny outside we stopped what we were doing and went for a walk down to the village and around the block – it is really a very small town with a town hall but everyone refers to it as the village – we called at the Co-op to buy a pack of paracetamol (just in case of you no what).

I noticed we have a new sign in the centre of the village – a picture taken by a friend of mine – this is very typical of the towns and villages around here – a true Yorkshire mill town with stone terraced houses and cottages surrounded by hills and moorland.

I picked up a free copy of the Co-op magazine which has some lovely recipes inside – I will certainly be giving the chick pea minestrone a trial. I also added the very last bunch of those cheap and cheerful daffodils to my basket – they brighten up any spot in the home and make it feel like winter might soon be passing.

DH once bought me this unsual and colourful frosted glass vase for my birthday and it is perfect to display the daffodils in. I tried to find some witch hazel or winter jasmine to add to the arrangement but to no avail so had to make do with a couple of meandering honeysuckle branches instead.

I spotted quite a number of daffodils still in bud on the way home, no doubt quite sheltered here by the wall but still reluctant to open and brave this cold weather. I could see the blossom just starting to open on the bare branches of the cherry trees too so surely now spring is just around the corner.

I have been thinking…. planning even……. for when I can get out into the garden and was tempted to buy this book called ‘Veg in One Bed’ by Huw Richards. A perfect book for me as I have very little space to grow vegetables here in our garden in Yorkshire. The author guides you through month by month explaining what to do and how and when to do it. Even though they are more expensive I do love a hard backed book for things that I will keep and refer to….I think it will be money well spent.

Having finished the tablemats I decided I would have another go at making a patchwork quilt whilst the weather is still cold and before I am beckoned into the garden. I have a small heap of rather triangular offcuts from when I made the bunting for my daughter’s wedding. I had saved them with a view to making her a cot quilt for her first baby but as she surprised us with little Freddie the peachy colours and flower prints are a bit too feminine.

I intend to make a quilt anyway either for her or her sister’s two little girls, Little L and Sweetie. I spent a morning cutting out strips with the special ruler and rotary cutter I bought years ago. I love the old fashioned vintage quality of the prints – they are mostly fabrics from the Belleboo range and are a lovely cotton lawn.

The knitting has taken a bit of a back seat this week – it is hard to knit with a sore finger but as you can see from the photo above I have made some progress on the little jumper and now have a front to my back. Hopefully knitting will resume any day soon.

When we saw my mum at the weekend we also took her to Eggleston Hall on the Saturday for lunch. I had a baked potato with cheese and salad and my mum chose the rather delicious looking tomato and red pepper soup.

Sadly, walking around the garden and nursery is not in her capabilities now so she sat and read the local newpaper with another cup of tea while we had a quick wander round. It is by far one of my favourite places; summer or winter there is so much to see. The gardeners working in the nursery looked extremely busy, in and out of the greenhouses and moving tiny plants around getting ready for the gardening season.

My favourite part of the garden is down by the old ruin – the former Chapel of Ease – a private chapel which closed in 1868.

You can walk through the chapel ruin taking the stepping stones that lead you around the old, presumably self seeded, tree growing in the centre and in the absolute quietness here delight at the abundance of birdsong. Like a secret little hideaway there is plenty to discover….

…..and outside the surrounding graveyard is strewn with a carpet of snowdrops weaving their way amongst the old gravestones. What a wonderful resting place.

Some of the old outbuildings in the garden are now home to one or two resident artists and crafters.

Inside they have a roaring fire (so welcome on these bitterly cold days) and some beautiful cards and gifts by some very talented artists. I bought these little glass coasters from photographer Amanda Hodgson as a gift for next Christmas for a very dear friend of mine who (you guessed it) loves Robins. They came nestled inside a lovely velvet gift bag.

My lovely mum – I caught her unawares when I took this picture in the cafe – she was much brighter for her trip out and a good lunch. Seeing her here you would not think she was 94 nor that she is currently struggling to walk. Her top half looks fine but below the table is a different story with arthritis in both her knees and feet leaving them swollen and deformed now. She would want me to tell you though that her hair colour is only just starting to turn grey – quite an achievemnent.

So that has been my week – a mixture of days – some productive some less so but all of them leaving me with a story to tell.

Hope you are all having a good week and avoiding the lurgy of doom! Take care everyone and of course a warm welcome to my new followers. xx

30 thoughts on “dear diary :: out and about and little treats

  1. Your photos are always so lovely. I think it’s rather awful the dog owners weren’t more sympathetic and apologetic. If they know their dog bites, he should have a soft little muzzle on when they take him out so he doesn’t hurt a child or elderly person … or you!


    1. I agree with you about maybe having a muzzle – I keep thinking the dog could have bitten our youngest grandchildren and they are both too young to tell us so we may not have realised what had happened unless we saw it happening. Children in pushchairs can be easy prey as they are at the same level as a dog. My friends toddler had a dog go for his nose whilst sat in his pushchair one day.


  2. An eventful week beautifully described. You definitely have a way with words and a talent for photography. So enjoyable to share your world, Viv.


  3. I am so sorry about your dog bite, that must have been painful and quite shocking. They were very irresponsible dog owners, and definitely should have had the dog muzzled. Thank goodness it didn’t bite your grandchildren. It is so interesting to see all of your wonderful crafts. You are very talented.
    Enjoy the spring weather.


    1. Thank you Marilyn for your comment. Maybe the bite might make them be more attentive to what their dog is doing now. Outside it is easier to avoid dogs you can give them a wider berth but I find in the shops you are thrown together more down the narrow aisles. I did see a woman fall over one day a while ago – she stepped backwards onto a dog in a shop not knowing it was there – the dog gave out an almighty yelp and then somehow they got tangled together and the dog managed to topple the lady. Again the dog was on a lead but the owners were busy looking at something on a shelf. I am not sure dogs in shops is a good idea but I certainly see a lot more of them whilst out shopping now and you do have to watch your step.
      It looks beautiful outside today. x


  4. The dog’s owners seemed very rude to laugh. I would have been mortified if my dog bit someone. I certainly wouldn’t laugh it off. I’ve been to Eccleston Hall. I think the lady who owns it once did a TV programme about making young girls into ladies. We saw her there when we visited. I used to find it quite funny. I’m well stocked up in case of you know what. I want to avoid going out into crowds if it gets more widespread. I’m still going to have to commute to work though so I can’t avoid being out and about completely.


    1. Yes I believe they did film one of the series of Ladette to Lady there. The hall is not open to visitors to look round other than the group bookings and parties that can stay there for a few thousand a week. I would love the chance to stay there for a nosy round. They stopped doing weddings and hen parties a few years ago as they had trouble with the damage to the hall the guests caused. The gardens and nursery are open to everyone and they have a wonderful cafe and gift shop. My neighbour and friend across the road here is best friends with the mother in law of the current owners, the Gray family, and she would often drive up there to stay with her friend in the coach house where she lived for a time. I think that is the closest I have ever come to knowing someone quite so wealthy! My friend did say though that the main family quarters in the hall itself often had buckets in the rooms to catch the water leaking through the old roof and the whole family wore very thick jumpers in the winter as they could not afford to heat the whole house! A case of asset rich and cash poor.
      I think if I don’t say the word the you know what will leave us alone – but I am prepared for a fight should it dare to descend on our doorstep! x


  5. It’s bad enough a dog bit you but the owners finding it amusing just beggars belief. Your trip out looks wonderful and your Mum looks fantastic for her age. The fabric is very pretty. Do you have a design in mind or will you just make it up as you go along? Have a lovely weekend. xx


    1. I did have a design in mind but then typical of me I keep changing my mind! Plan B is now to see how many squares and strips I can get out of all the fabric as there will be varying amounts for each of the prints and that will determine the overall design I think.
      I am over the dog thing now – will just give them a wide berth for a while and certainly won’t be bending down to pat any no matter how much the owners might say ‘he won’t bite you’!!! xx


  6. Good grief, so sorry to hear about your hand, and furious to hear the attitude of the owners. The next thing that will happen is the dog will bite a “glove” on the end of a child’s hand, and end up Put to Sleep. Something which could probably be avoided with a responsible owner, training, and paying attention.

    Your trip out looks lovely and your Mum looks wonderful. Hope I am in that good shape at 94, should I get that far :).


  7. I cannot believe those dog owners, they should have apologised not laughed at you what a terrible way to behave. Your village look so similar to the one my brother lives in. I hope I look like your mother does when I am 94, she looks amazing.


    1. We are very close to the ‘Last of the summer wine’ country and some of the filming was done in the village but we don’t get the tourists. Al the women on my mum’s side lived well into old age – I hope I have those genes. x


  8. I’m sorry to read about your experience with the dog. As you say, it’s a good job it wasn’t a child or your lovely mum. I’ve been a dog lover all my life but recent bad experiences of my own have served to make me very wary, though I try and remind myself it’s the owners who are at fault and not the dogs themselves. I’m glad you still enjoyed a lovely day out. X


    1. When I grew up we had a dog – an old english sheepdog, but was also attacked when I was only 6 by two Alsatian guard dogs of our neighbours that had got out of their compound so am wary of any I don’t know. However, I didn’t expect to be bitten in a shop!
      I just found it difficult to type and scroll the mouse for a few days – good job I am not still at work!. x


  9. How dreadful of those dog owners not to be more responsible for their pet. I hope your finger is better again soon.
    Those gardens look lovely – as does your mum. She looks like she enjoyed you taking her out for the day.
    Your comment about buying paracetamol was interesting. Yesterday our government announced they were restricting access to the drug as the raw materials come from a currently quarantined factory in China.
    Stay safe and happy 🙂


    1. Paracetamol is not something we use much – I might have need for taking one tablet over a year but DH had a tooth taken out recently and had toothache prior to the extraction so had gone through the packet of 16 that we had and there were only 6 tablets left in the pack so I thought it wise to get a few more in just in case. The paracetamol shelves were almost bare in the shops – there had obviously been a rush on them – so a good job I had thought to do this when we did.


  10. Very irresponsible dog owners! They should either do training with him or muzzle him whilst they are out. I can’t believe they laughed, what a blooming cheek! I love your ‘village’ signpost. What a pity they’re not like that everywhere. I have to say your mum look great for 94 ! 🙂


    1. The picture actually makes our village look quite idyllic but it is not really a tourist spot like others around us, the council don’t spend as much on the upkeep!
      I am sad for mum that she cannot get about it is the worst thing that could have happened to her other than maybe a stroke.


  11. Sorry to bring up the dog subject – but how appalling! I would have taken the matter to the police. What irresponsible owners.
    Your mum does look fantastic for her age. That’s amazing that her hair is only now turning grey. Mine has been totally grey since my early 50s – have to say I really like it and would never resort to dye!
    The architecture in your local area is so different from ours – it’s like a mini holiday to see your pictures.


    1. Re: the dog issue – it was not a good time to make a fuss as we had mum with us and she would not have been able to wait around for me to pursue anything. The dog owners would not have provided a name and address anyway so it could not be investigated. I believe that the police just don’t want to know. When I reported the park incident to the council ast year they said there was nothing they can do either – so if someone or another dog is attacked in a park it is your own lookout and attacks in the park are very frequent apparently.
      My mum’s mum didn’t go grey until she became ill at 85. I have friends with some beautiful grey hair – I am ginger and think it might turn snow white I have a few silver coloured strands here and there now.


  12. Gorgeous placemats, lovely patchwork pieces and some beautiful photos but not good about your poor finger. I’m reading backwards so have already seen about the back – you really are going through it at the moment.
    Sending love and healing vibes!


  13. Beautiful photos yet again. (I’m catching up with blogs backwards.) Hope your finger is healed? I hate selfish, irresponsible dog owners. I find you allow dogs greater freedom than we do here. That dog would probably be looked for and the owner given a restraining order. If it bit again, goodbye. Hard but imagine if it was your little one’s face. Dogs bite. That’s their nature. But it has to be controlled.

    Your mum looks so good. You wouldn’t know she is as old as she is.


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