A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Stopping to smell the roses (UK trip 5/9)

Yorkshire Dales
Under a tree in Hawes, Thursday 29 June 2006

Here I am, doing something I haven't in years - sitting under a tree. Barefoot.
Today has been a beautiful sunny day! We decided to stay here for the day and just relax and enjoy the quiet life. It's a bit warmer, perhaps in the 70s. A soft breeze is rustling the trees and tangling my hair, and since there are no sheep in the immediate vicinity the air smells fresh. Church in HawesI'm looking out over the dale, wide swaths of green dotted by the occasional collection of houses, a stone barn, or grey lines of stone fences. Directly to my front is an overgrown field, streaked with the yellow of buttercups and the muted reds and purples of grasses gone to seed. I'm sitting under a young oak tree, and the grass beneath my feet is soft and cool, sprinkled liberally with clover. An exposed root provides a handy place to rest my teacup. It is quiet here, save for the twitter of birds and the occasional bleating of sheep. Once in a while, we've been hearing the roar of aircraft at mach 1, courtesy of RAF Leeming.

There is a lot of small wildlife. We've seen rather a lot of rabbits and various birds, and I saw a hedgehog Say hello to my leetle friend!when I stepped outside near midnight last night. I'd stepped outside to view the sky because it was not fully dark even at so late an hour, and there are no large cities to artificially illuminate the atmosphere.

This morning, J, BA, DD and I went into the town to have a 'ladies morning out'. We did a little shopping and had breakfast at a lovely little tea shop. Hawes is a small market town, and besides the shops there are many small cottages with beautiful little gardens in front. I'm impressed with how efficiently the folks over here use their limited space to beautify their homes.

This down day has been a good opportunity to stop and savor the beauty around me. It's also provided a chance for DH to recover! The price paid for the loveliness around me has been a hard toll exacted on him in allergy-eyes.

Later that day...
Earlier this evening I went for a walk and saw a pair of pheasants in the field.
The outing for the evening was to a nearby farm for a sheepdog demonstration. The shepherd talked a bit about sheep farming, the breeds of sheep, and why the sheep were pastured in the various areas. He then demonstrated herding with several of his dogs. He used both whistle and voice commands, and we were rather impressed with the dogs - border collies all. Border collies are very intelligent, sheep are dumb, and as the saying goes, "You can always tell a Yorkshireman, but you can't tell him much". Several times we heard "they call it (x) but we call it (y) and we're in Yorkshire so we're right." All in all, it was an enjoyable demo.
I've been wearing my pedometer on outings, and so far I've walked 20 miles on this trip.

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