Thursday, 31 August 2017

Oh dear

This is Gordon, he usually lives in our car (bizarre I know but we bought it from a dealer called Gordon Lamb and so when the car arrived so did Gordon Lamb). I didn't want Gordon to go back when the car was serviced today so he came and sat indoors instead, but when I came to take his photo (as you do) I noticed he ONLY HAD ONE EYE. Dave regularly hoovers the car so I think the original is probably long gone and I'll have to make Gordon a new one.

Sewing projects

Today I had my first Christmas present! My sister sent me a 'stitchalong' project where you create a new square each week until Christmas! Below it is a photo of my effort so far from our Gathering Threads summer school, we created fabric postcards and although you could incorporate a stamp I used this one from Malawi to inspire my colour scheme. This is still a work in progress as I didn't quite finish it on the day itself! (There are getting to be quite a number of W'sIP now as they have to compete with gardening time).

The generous gardener

My rose 'The Generous Gardener' is fanning out well on its supporting wires at the end of the dairy building. Picked it lasts for a while and then suddenly drops all its petals in one fell swoop.

Autumn in the garden

Along with the mists we certainly have 'mellow fruitfulness'. The squash are doing really well and this is definitely our best year for all the fruit including our apples. Each day now we are enjoying the bright red Discovery's, flushed red all through the flesh.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Getting in on the hat

I went to photograph our sunflower which is just starting to open, it was planted for a competition organised by Retherm who installed our ground source heat pump (we knew we wouldn't win the tallest so I put it behind Mr Scarecrow hoping we could devise a caption to submit for the funniest comment). The robin obviously felt that I must have been coming to photograph him and duly took up his position centre hat!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Tackling the downpipes

Dave looks anything but at ease as he paints the downpipes (again). They were carefully primed and painted with a very expensive product before we put them up, so to be re-doing them in under four years is rather frustrating, and this time of course it means climbing a very long way up the ladder!

Monday, 28 August 2017

Evening skies

The setting sun looked spectacular tonight. It has been that rare thing, a glorious sunny bank holiday, made all the more special for coming at the end of August.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Job done

After two days of work the combining is complete and the field neatly baled. A real August sight and sadly yet more evidence that the summer is drawing to its end.

Butterfly man

In a garden full of butterflies I laughed to spot this one sunning himself on Mr Scarecrow. Briefly he appeared like a broach but I wasn't quick enough with the camera!

Friday, 25 August 2017

A slip of moon

This was our view of the moon from the big bathroom tonight. So many simple things make up life's pleasures living here.

Hare raising

Just as we were sitting out admiring the sight of others working and enjoying the relative peace as the combine team moved to more distant fields we saw ... could it be ... yes the hare was darting from bale to bale (when he could have had all our lush grass to enjoy in safety).

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Midnight mowing!

It's dark when I see the combine harvester enter the field nearest to us. Trying to make use of the dry weather they work late into the evening.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Dovedale Sheepdog Trials

A day out today and we drove to just outside Dovedale for the Sheepdog Trials. Unfortunately it was incredibly misty and the start was much delayed with dogs eventually working a shortened course, despite this some couldn't find the sheep and returned to base. Eventually the weather improved a bit and we could finally appreciate the wonderful scenery of the Peak District that surrounded us.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Unwelcome guests

Not all guests are welcome at Hill Farm: last year there was plenty of mole activity out in the big field but in the last couple of weeks we've sighted mole hills in our garden ... this is not good news for us or them, if only they'd choose somewhere else to be on our land they could dig away in peace. Maybe puss could add 'mole' to her usual 'vole' diet.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Dog heads

The clouds tonight were lit pink by the setting sun and they formed and re-formed into a series of animal shapes, the top one looked very dog like but by the time I'd grabbed the camera it was already re-forming into something else!

Dropping in for breakfast

This morning our guests wanted a lie in and so I had a lazy start, taking my cup of tea outside I noticed that we had two hot air balloons getting ever closer. They eventually landed just the other side of the hill, if only they'd pre-booked they could have had the 'Full Derbyshire'!

Friday, 18 August 2017

Sunset glory

We've had some very stormy looking weather, although have had little actual rain to go with the odd rumble of thunder. The clouds though have looked amazing and really were this incredible colour.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Autumn not too far away

Despite it only being the middle of August there are already heavy early morning dews and we watch the combine making its way up and down the fields opposite. I heard geese calling as they flew over and already the hawthorn berries have turned red.

Monday, 14 August 2017


We see a lot of buzzards here but this I think is a young sparrowhawk on the electricity pole over by the far hedge, he has just landed after causing a great deal of commotion amongst the circling house martins. I know that sparrowhawks have been taking little birds from our neighbours bird feeder.


I went into the dairy building (which we use like a garden shed) to retrieve a marker pen and found to my amazement that also up on the shelf my amaryllis was fully in flower. I put the bulb in there to dry off after Christmas and its had no water and little light for the last eight months but despite that has produced two beautiful flowers.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Relative guests!

Happiness is sitting in the sunshine and enjoying our wonderful views with a glass of wine! A few days spent with my brother and his wife who came to visit us with Harry (who comes complete with his own camper van to stay in!)

House martins

The house martins baffle us, unlike the swallows they don't nest here but for a few days each summer they gather at Hill Farm in huge numbers, flying around the buildings and sitting, chattering on the roof. They have white undersides but generally it is their chattering and large numbers that distinguish them from the swallows. Tonight it's sunny and we sit out and watch the thrilling aerial display.

Friday, 11 August 2017


We were just saying it would be a perfect night for hot air ballooning when these two appeared ... and then they were going down!


I've purple hands from blackberry-ing but have collected several pounds of them for use in crumbles, some now and some safely stored in the freezer. This is the best year for them that we've seen here at the farm. The earlier ones were rather pippy but these are much nicer.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Evening time

Tonight was the first time in ages that it was nice enough to sit outside late into the evening. We lit a fire and watched the sunset.


I am pleased that my agapanthus have survived for another year and are now in flower. I love their airy structure but actually they seem surprisingly robust. I have had fun including them in various embroidery projects this year.

And more butterflies

It amazes me that the butterflies get so much nectar from such insignificant flowers as these, although I guess there are an awful lot of them! Look carefully and you'll see that although their colouring is similar we've three species here: red admiral, small tortoiseshell and peacock.