Saturday 24 June 2023

67 and my birthday day 23 June 2023

I cant believe I am 67 .Dont laugh, it comes to us all if we are lucky. We are not big birthday people . Sometimes I have thrown a party when it is Jacks, but it is just like have a wake and have a do when the ferret dies - an excuse to have a get together. When I was small my birthday was often postponed as it was "right good" hay making weather and it was more important to get the hay in than it was to do anything for my birthday. And I was so proud to be able to go to school and tell the teacher that . Most children would think I was mad, but born and bred on a farm these things are so important .Nothing stops if the weather is good. My Dad was the cake icer of the family. I had cakes baked by my mother, but iced by my dad - a goldfish one year, a pony another. As those of you who know me well I am far from high maintenance much to Jacks relief .I cut my own hair with the kitchen scissors ,my finger nails dont know what a manicure is. I am sure when I used to lamb a lot of sheep they would have been very pleased I had very short finger nails. They say it takes all sorts to make a world and it is so true. I couldnt think of anything worse than having to glue fake bits and pieces on here and there .Daub lots of stuff on my face to try to make myself look younger when it doesn't kid anyone. May I should be glad I am happy in my own skin. As you can see I have grown over the years some say it is contentment ,I say it is due to me eating too much. I love good food and where better to go than the Star at Harome for a birthday lunch . Who better to go with than with Jack. So my day was completely wonderful . We had a table booked at the Star for 12noon and after seeing all the choices of food on the menu I opted for the market menu so I didnt have to think - how laid back was that. I thought it was very reasonable and good value for £30. 3 courses but then the 3 courses split into more as we got a wonderful bread platter maybe due to Jack eating from the main menu ,a surprise extra pudding. Thento top it off a Happy Birthday plate and a candle .And the hoarder that I am , I blew it out and brought it home . It is a memory and I love making memories. The Star holds so many memories for me and continues to make them . We left home at 11.30am and were back by 2pm to settle down to watch Ascot racing. Talk about a chilled out day, no hassle and feeling very loved by a lot of people, friends, family, Andrew Pern and his Team at the Star and of course Jack, who sees me all the times,day in ,day out when days are not as laid back as this was. I was reading through an old diary back from 1995 today which I came across, when I was looking for something else and seeing what I had written on "this day ' years ago I had written 'Jack is so kind to me, I am very lucky, he always "has my back". So true those words are still today. I am very lucky. And lastly these two little lambs with their mother were born on my birthday -we have finished lambing for thsi year ! —

Tuesday 20 June 2023

A tribute to Henny Garbutt

A lovely lady, who I have known for many years passed away a few months ago .Henriette Imdahl came from Germany and married a local lad Paul Garbutt, known to many as Pip and then became as Henny Garbutt Henny and Paul had a fantastic business which Paul still runs today, as it has for many years just over the bridge in Helmsley just passed the butchers.- Bridge Street Framers. Pip played in a band and when Henny arrived she saw the potential and quickly got them an agent who got the group to play at larger events and they became more famous and so the story goes. When lockdown came Pip would play outside his house ever week and as social media played its part, we all got to hear his music. All the great records we could all sing along to raising our spirits - Maggie May, Brown Eyed Girl and many more. Henny bravely fought cancer and now Paul and the family - Marty and Nina, who are roughly the same age as our Nicholas, and Kate the youngest daughter who is Head of Philanthropy at Edinburgh International Festival bravely carry on. And so they did on this evening. Kate,not only stunning but has a cracking voice singing along with her Dad. Marty - all you can says he is a chip off the old block ,although I had seen him since he left school.The same jet black hair and chisel look that Pip had in his younger days Nina - well Henny lives on here - a stunning girl with her mothers features. I was very touched when Paul invited me to an event they had organised, in Helmsley Arts Centre. There were photos of Henny all around. As the years photos showed the family growing up. What struck me was that Henny didnt ever look much older in any of them . Henny had such a love for life and energy second to non. Songs were sung in her memory and songs that had been written by Pip, we were prividged to hear too. Relations and old friends mixed along with those who had cared for Henny in more recent times. The family had really thought of the people who had touched their lives. It was lovely to see Gay, Pip's older sister. She will be 10 years older than me and I always admired her - she was like a Mary Quant figure to me back then in the 1960s and someone I was quite in awe of as she was "cool". She probably smoked Sobranies too -she was that kind of girl.A trend setter with her long blonde hair, mini skirt and a large bag over her shoulder - she was of the "Marianne Faithful/JaneAsher" of our world It was lovely to catch up with her ,still as gracious and elegant as ever. A "girl" in her mid 70s now she can still stand out in a crowd. I had offered to help with the food but there was no need everything had been sorted. And it was all very scrumptious too. The drink flowed and you could see how Henny's organisation skills have been taken on by the family. Last but not least a mention for Paul and Henny's grandson who will only be around 8 years of age. He sang his heart out. Words that could have made many shed a tear.... This little lad stood up microphone in his hand word /pitch perfect to an audience of around 100 people .Granddad strumming behind him on his guitar giving him quiet reassurance "to carry on -you are doing well" . Need I say it, Henny was, and on that night would have been so proud of her family. Great respect.

Sunday 4 June 2023

The Abbey Inn is open again

The Abbey Inn at Byland Abbey has opened it doors again as it is the Banks family from nearly Oldstead who have taken it over. Tommy Banks you may have heard of is a chef and likes cricket. It is nice to know that it is no longer shut. I went along the other night to eat with a friend who was staying with us. We both opted for the burger as the Banks are farmers and have their own meat. I was interested to see what they had done inside as over the years as it changes hands every new tenant put their own slant on it. The best days for me were in the 70s when Mrs Bush owned it and it was something like no other - she did lock ins and told the policemen to as it was "opening hours" then and the police were keen to stop late night drinking. Opening hours in Mrs Bush's eye were she opened when she wanted to and closed when she had had enough of the drinkers . A character who kept pigs in the back yard. With every round that was bought, you could stay as long as you bought Mrs Bush a drink. She had her own bottle a rare whiskey that no one else was allowed to taste. Probably twice as much in cost as Grouse or Bells. Up to the whiskey optic her glass would go and the unsuspecting person buying the round never knew that what they were paying for was cold tea that filled the whiskey bottle. Of course the locals knew, but that was the price they paid to drink into the early hours. I studied this the first time or two when I went in, but was warned never to question it.If I had I would never have been allowed over the door step again. Why Mrs Bush never ever seemed worse for wear ,not the slightest wobble on when hardened drinkers were rocking about. It was her domain and she ruled it with a rod of iron. She put up with women going in, but she preferred the mens company. I didnt go in until was 21.It wasnt the late night drinking which attracted me, it was the farmers son who lived next door .... Jack lived next door grwoing up there as a lad and it was nearly his second home. There are so many wonderful tales to tell about Mrs Bush. All I could think when I was in there ,was I wonder what Mrs Bush would make of it all now. She would have certainly spoken her mind. The door where the police used to hammer on to try to get in was built up many years ago. I am sure she will come back once in a while to have a look round especially when it is a full moon as it was the night I was there. It wont be through the entrance they use now, but through that side door that is now built up. God Bless you Mrs Bush ,they dont make souls like you any more. It was such a privilege to have known you.

Wednesday 17 May 2023

A week in my life

It is surprising how fast a week goes. Things come up that you dont imagine. Not like when we were at school 50 years ago now since I left and that is one thing that is so different .We used to know we did French every day at some point and had double lessons in PE and cooking -they were the best bits of school apart from holidays and play time which were called breaks when we got to big school . I was busy putting posts up with clothes and old pillowcases on to scare the crows off the corn that was coming out this week. Worzel Gummidge and Aunt Sally would have been horrified. Rena is helping with the paintingand is battling through getting windows painted. We have been moving things about and clearing space to put tomoto plants in the old greenhouse at the farm.With the rain we have had and that the rhubarb is looking very healthy and in fact I must say a good looking crop . I have joined Helmsley Gardening Club but nothing was as good as been able to ask my Dad what to grow and how to grow it but now I cant so I have to look to take different measures . The heated open air swimming pool at Helmsley opens this weekend but think I will wait a week or two to let it warm up .Although saying that I was repotting some plants outside and there was some water stood in pots in the sun and it was surprising how warm it was. It was Rena's birthday the other day so we had a ride up over the Moors - they dont have anything like that in Japan and she was really amazed and took lots of photos I will take her again when the heather is out as even after all these years we marvel at the purple carpet that stretch for miles. Excited to hear Adam Jackson is on the move again and thsi time to the Rattle Owl on Micklegate in York so this is my place to go for my birthday .Nearer to home Tommy Banks has taken over the Abbey Inn at Byland Abbey and we have been watching workmen busily working away getting it ready for opening very shortly. It will be a success I am sure as those Banks brothers have vision and we wish them well as it is good for the whole area. The competition at the last WI meeting was something old and these were the entries which took my eye

Sunday 30 April 2023

The Songwriter and the Star

There is so much going on I hardly know where to start and as today is the first day of May I have a diary quite full already with things to do and places to go ,people to see and weeds to pull out of the garden. But what is very exciting is that recently we had a lady stay who is talented who together we hope we will be offering some new and amazing to the area. Her forte are music but there is much more as not only does she write music, she sings and plays too. As well as something else but just for now we are working to bring it together. It is very exciting and my head spins with the possibilities of what lie ahead.We celebrated the Best of North Yorkshire at the Star in Harome - well there isnt any other place I would rather go. This lady was bowled over so I knew it was a good choice of place to take hereby the food,staff and surroundings. Well done Andrew Pern and thank you for creating this amazing place - The phoenix has certainly risen from the ashes. But there was something,not food, in there that touched me to the soles of my feet .Thank you Andrew I am not one to burst into tears but it certainly brought a lump to my throat.

Sunday 19 February 2023

A little bit more than Spring clean ...

I used to write blogs all the time for years before there was "bloggers" "influencers" and the like, they were probably at juniors school when I used to write them a lot. Things you put off for a day turns into a week and then longer. And hey ho a year has nearly gone by. Life this last 6 months has been so packed that I do a job and then move quickly on to the next.Another off the tick list My father was 100 in September and died peacefully in October. It had been long decided when the time came we would move back 'home' to Wass Grange. Home was built in 1881, a solid stone farmhouse with high ceilings a beautiful oak staircase which my Father years ago painted bright orange 'to cheer" the place up. Not only did the staircase get painted but the panelling too,7 doors and skirting boards on ground level and similar on the first floor. They will stay and I see from colour palettes that it is quite an "in" colour for 2023 so it must have been 40 pls years ago when Father had an idea and my Mother would have a dicky fit . As we find fashion goes round in 40+ years cycle. The dining room was where I first started on and a living room where we will spend most of our time. It was a good job I like scrapping wallpapper off, as each room if papered takes between 14-16 rolls so you can tell how big the rooms are. My uncle always called Carr House here I do my Bed and breakfast - the dolls house as even though we have quite a few rooms here they are quite small. I am lucky that we are only 2 fields apart so I can nip over as and when The doors in the living room were a maroonish colour so have got them brightened up with going shades lighter and Heritage paint of Poison Apple which are certainly no shrinking violet colour. But as those of you who know me I am no beige/magnolia person I cant abide such non descript colours when there issuch a world of colour waiting to be used. And do you like the wallpaper on the dining room as it was a big treat, it is only on one wall but if I managed to find the cast iron fireplace which was put in an outbuilding for safe keeping and have yet to find there is enough wallper to patch the renovation up. It is a nod to my father who had many ornamental pheasants and exotic birds in his lifetime and Mulberry has created this one Game Birds which was very apt. I am starting to get some curtains up but it all takes time and as soon as I hung them up I knew they had to be let down ,I will get there !