Monday 16 January 2012


Track to the hamlet of Yarnbury
      For some days now the temperature hasn't risen above freezing in the Dales. Skies have been blue and cloudless with hardly a breath of wind. Days have been sandwiched between spectacular morning sunrises and gorgeous sunsets. Up on the moor bankings are festooned with icicles, the ground iron hard and pock-marked with frozen puddles.  On lower ground, in icy fields and frost-bound gardens, bushes and shrubs are stooped under grey rime, like hoary old men. But not this old man! 
Earth was hard as iron.....
     Thankfully, energy levels have risen slightly since my last posting, partly I suspect on account of all the delicious culinary delights my wonderful partner and I have been treated to by kind friends who must have thought our winter bodies looked a bit under nourished!  In fact, I'd been thinking along similar lines too, so much so that after a mounting urge for some proper chips, as opposed to those horrid oven thingies, I purchased a deep fat frier to give my old body some occasional treats. Next on the list could well be a bread-making machine to further boost the carbohydrate intake. I've yet to find a decent unsliced loaf of bread in Sainsbury's, where I do most of my shopping, so rarely eat more than one slice a day of the essential 'staff of life'. This deficit is about to be remedied.
......water like a stone
     Over the past week I've run another 21 miles, split into four runs, at a slightly faster speed and without the ignominy of having to walk the last hill back into the village. Most enjoyable was a relaxed run on Saturday afternoon with my wonderful partner who was sussing out an eleven mile route along which she's scheduled to take a party of Skipton & District U3A walkers this Thursday. We only ran a seven mile section of it to re-acquaint ourselves with the lie of the land in the remoter parts and to note any possible hazards.
Frosty landscape near Bare House
     The weather was crisp and clear with hardly a breeze as we set off from Yarnbury to run by the long wall and up onto Grassington Moor where only an occasional startled grouse exploding from the heather broke the ice-bound silence with it's 'Go-bak' cries. The only unpleasant bit occurred when once again my left foot was caught in one of our local gamekeeper's numerous fox snares, almost bringing me to earth. Fortunately, it was in an area around a stink pit where I expected snares to be, so was deliberately treading carefully. We hope none of the ageing U3A members will be so unlucky on their forthcoming walk. 
     We arrived back in Yarnbury as the sun was setting behind distant hills, colouring the evening sky with raging fire on the horizon and deepening pastel pinks extending overhead. A perfect end to a perfect day.


  1. I'm glad you're okay after the foot in the fox trap! So you've had some bad luck before, that was very good luck to not be seriously injured from that. As usual, love the photos and details.

    :-) Marion

  2. We have had a bit of a cold snap here. Are you usually frozen in winter?
    I made a sourdough starter and it is ready for baking. Funny we are thinking on the same lines there. I make mine from a no-knead recipe though. I found I can double the recipe, refrigerate the dough and bake whenever I want that way. Happy baking!

  3. Beautiful pictures!! We have a bread machine and use it all the time. Nothing beats the smell of home-baked bread.
    My Running Shortz

  4. You might have the frost, we've got saura conditions here, this whole week the sweat has been running off me like a river!!!

    Fox traps are made to catch old running foxes, so be careful out there...