I saw this tree as we were walking up to the moors today, and was intrigued by the knobbly, almost spikey texture, and the fungi which are like folds of dark coloured flesh.

It was a relief to get up to the moors.  I needed to find a bit of height, fresh air and perspective, and the moors give you that.  There is a standing stone on the Calderdale Way where traditionally people leave coins in the top.  I usually give it a hug instead.  There is something very stable, grounding and timeless about stone.  Which is what I needed after a whole day yesterday spent trying to set up a wireless router. 

No writing done yesterday (apart from endless entering of technical stuff which definitely doesn’t count), so today I shall find out where I’ve put my ink cartridges, refill my pen and write.

Oh, the views …

Today is clear, sunny and very cold.  The canal has frozen and there has been frost on the dark side of the valley all day.  We went for a walk into Hebden Bridge the high route today – past a smallholding with solar panels all along the barn roof, hens and geese roaming about and neat little wooden hen-houses with a ladder up to them.  The path took us up onto a track that runs along the side of the hill, giving us some beautiful views but still easy enough walking to take some of our friends with children along.  I did promise some photos, so here they are.  They don’t really do the place justice though.

View 1   view 2   Frozen stream

Connected – at last

We finally got a stable connection yesterday.  Broadband arrived on Wednesday, but then we found that our crackly phone line did mean that we would keep dropping the connection.  We managed to persuade BT to send out an engineer, who fiddled about with the junction box and managed to fix us.  So, I’m back online. 

Today, the sun is out, the sky is blue (apart from the contrails) and the light is like permanent early morning (because of the hills I guess).  We went for a walk this morning – up a steep narrow walled track carpeted with leaves and smelling of stone and wood.  Up and up and up (I am going to get fit here) until we reached the moor.  A sheep sat on a rocky outcrop above us, silhouetted against the blue sky.  She had curved horns and a pretty face, and I wished I’d brought my camera up.  Would it be a ‘she’ with horns? 

There is a standing stone at the junction of footpaths where reputedly people leave an offering of loose change on the top.  Kids used to run a marathon up there (hardy little critters) and nick the money from the top.  There are views of Hebden Bridge and across to Studley Pike, and along Cragg Vale valley and along the Calderdale valley towards Halifax.  The air is clear and washed-clean smelling, and the moors are quiet apart from the occasional grouse panicking. 

This is home.  It is in my blood and in my bones.  

There’s just so much to write.  I’ll catch up in bite-size chunks.  And next time I go out, I will take the camera.

Here we go again …

Well, this will be my last post before we move.  The removal team arrive tomorrow, and today we’ll be busy dismantling, tidying up and packing.  We stay in a hotel tomorrow night and move in on Friday.  It’s not as traumatic as last time, given that we’ve only been here a year and half.  But I think I will feel a pang when we leave dear old Fenny – it’s been good to us, and people have made us feel welcome here.

Cheerio for now!

Happy New Year!

Welcome (rather belatedly) to 2007.

As we are imminently moving house, things have been rather hectic but I’ve finally managed to squeeze in a drawing.  The EDM challenge (one of them) was to draw a gift.  This is a candle holder, and was a gift from my sister and brother (not)-in-law.  I’ve drawn it using my new Staedtler Mars Pencils (a gift from my Gran) and they are comfortingly smooth and silky to use.  They hold their point too.  I shall enjoy using them.


Today the letting agent confirmed that all our paperwork is in order, so we are definitely moving on the 19th.  Things may go a little quiet round here.


Returned home last night to find that Santa had been.  He’d dropped a couple of starlings down the chimney.  They seemed very excited to see us when we came into the living room. 

It took ages to find the keys to the windows, but we finally managed to hussle them outside.  Of course, they left us lots of presents.  It looked like it had been snowing. 

Question is: can I be bothered to put all the christmas cards back up again?

Home Sweet Home

It’s drizzling.  My chest is heaving from walking up the steepest, slipperiest steps I’ve ever encountered.  Even when we get to the road, I have to hold Rick’s hand as I feel vertigous.  This is Stephen Street where we are meeting the agent to view our first property.  The rain is dripping off my hood.  We walk past a part-boarded up window of a house with a rabbit hutch outside, and another with a For Sale board up.  I already know I don’t want to live here.

We walk back down to the agent’s office and he drives us to another property in Todmorden.  I’ve never been there, but I can’t see out of the car windows as they are steamed up.  The house is cold and smells of gas – but the only gas it uses is the gas fire.  It has storage heaters (the first models ever invented) and an electric hob.  And no shower.

Through the drizzle, we viewed endless houses that were beautifully painted in magnolia, with laminate floors or cream carpets and smart new kitchens.  All the cupboard doors hid white goods (which we don’t need) so that there was no storage space for food.  The paint hid (badly) the damp patches.  The beauty of these places was skin deep.  And the stairs – how does anyone get furniture up there?

There was just one house that we had seen details for that might do.  We phoned to view.  They had to contact the tenants.  The tenants didn’t phone back.  We drove round to look at the outside.  It was perfect – a quiet neighbourhood, up a gentle hill, views across both sides of the Calderdale Valley.  Meanwhile another agent phoned to cancel a viewing for a property that had been applied for.  Rented places get snapped up fast.  So we drove through the rain to the agent and started the application process anyway.  I practically begged them to hold it until we’d seen it.  The agent looked at me pityingly.  We finally got a viewing – and it was perfect.  Big, warm, comfy.  Not at all stylish, but we don’t care.  It has a garden, a shed, a greenhouse, compost bin and water butt.  Bliss. front

It all begins here …

I’m feeling rather strange this week.  Yesterday was my last day at work, and I spent it surrounded by balloons and good wishes.  I feel very sad to be leaving my work colleagues as I’ve enjoyed their company over the last two years.

However, we are moving on.  Today, we booked to view seven properties to rent in Calderdale.  We are travelling up to Hebden Bridge next Monday and staying for a week to view places.  There may be more that come up between now and then, so we are hopeful of securing somewhere suitable.  I also plan to visit Todmorden College to see if I can transfer my art and design studies to them.

I have also taken on a piece of careers writing work for AGCAS.  I need to find three ceramicists/pottery designers to interview.  Anyone know any potters or ceramicists?