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.