Friday, 24 December 2010

Splashing through the Snow

Well tis so hard trying to ride through the snow and ice and frost and raging dogs that has taken me well over a seven night to reach the post box to send this line out.

Amos is suffering deeply with the lurgy. Still trudged to the Quivering Brethren Candle Lit gathering last Sunday. Nearly lost my wits altogether when Adam did light all the candles with his old blow torch.

Still was a passing good service although nobody's shoes caught fire as they did in the famous gathering of 2004.

Well must go now and get the porridge steaming for the Yuletide special dinner.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Nasty Scents

Our wood be so damp now we got no woodshed the front room smell like mushrooms mouldering.

Hard Times

Amos say he see all the bees cold and dead on the outside of the hives. The old owls hooting in the coal dark woods all around and the melting drips drips drips.

Attack of the Wild

Was out standing by the yard gate in the icy dawn and the front door robin flew right into my face. Twas like a sign that Yuletide cheer will stay far from our hovel this year.
All the pots have been cracked in the frost.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Permafrost Set In

Tis bitter bleak up here and the frost be creeping up. Twill be March now before we see the earth beneath again. Taped up the door today to filter out the icy blast,

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Amos Sees a Sign

Amos done come and told me he seed a sign in the woods. What sign could that be? A word from the Almighty.

No, it be a sign warning that a Harris hawk be on the flight and swooping down and attacking the dogs. The moon shining as orange like a tangerine and the moldywarpses have returned. They done overturn my washbasket.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Skirlie Mirlie - A November Treat

2 teacupfuls cooked turnip
1 tablespoonful margarine
2 teacupfuls cooker potoatoes
one quarter teacupful milk
Fried or toasted bread
Mash vegetables very thoroughly
Melt margarine in pan and add milk
Add vegetables and whisk over fire until light and creamy
Serve in hot vegetable dish with croutons to decorate

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Bonfire Night Eve

Well tis that time of the year when there just be one eve after the other, tis the night tomorrow when all the brethren do come up here to burn sticks. make explosives and quaff soup. Adam been and towed an old trailer on his motorcicle and hefted a load of wood casts offs. Amos has come over all dizzy and dazed. The owl be moved back to the corner.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Allsorts Saints Eve

Well tis that witchy night of the year and the clock did go back. As ever year I tell the tale of Amos great great great forefather who did never change the clock as he did always turn round and say twas the devil's own work to be meddling with the times and the seasons.

We do praise our Maker that we get no trixters up here because we be more scary than they by a very long way. Even more now we have the owl of death passed down to us from the ancestral shack. Effie do want to get shot of it as she does say it give her the screaming nadgers but I just say that she will get used to it in time.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

A Difficult Questions

The bee man come round arter noon today to feed the bees. He tells us that the wasps nesting n the chimbley stack could be bees arter all as the wasps would have perished in the cold by now. So they could be honey dripping down the chimbley all winter.

The pen I did find under the gooseberry bush still writes but I starting to fear that our gosling be a gander.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Harvesting the sheaves

Well tis harvest home time and what produce do we havc to bring forth to the festivities -

- two white strawbs
- six scrappy titchy tomaters
- loads and loads of unripe figgs
-a tree load of tastless scroggins that turn brown afore one can finish eating
-suspect fungals Amos keeps fetching home from the woods
- scabby taters
- a walnut

Best get down to the market and spend our last pennys on some pomygranites.

There be weird drumming noises through the whole woods today.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Misty Seasons

Feeling the winter starting in my fingerbones this day. The apples be rotting on the ground and the badgers be noisy down in the far corner. I be hoping they be going to dig up this new fangled vellydrome they be putting down the lower field. Tis tampering with Nature, thats what I say and no good will come of it mark my words. If the good Lord had meant us to ride our bicycles round and round like horseflies he would have given us straight handlebars.

Two dead squirrels out on the big road yesterday.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Cautious Optismism

Can hardly believe it myself but the agent did come round this week and there was talk of restoration of the shed when George says the time is wright. But when will that time be, I asks.
There is not an answer, only George knows.

But I did find a pen under the gooseberry bushes and it still writes without any fading.

Saturday, 31 July 2010


We be off to shiver in a slimy field in Somerset for seven days. I do not know what I could ever have done do deserve such a fine holiday.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Mysteries Above

Amos keep saying he can hear the paint cracking in our upstairs room, can hardly hear it myself. But we start to wondering whether some bees or such have entered into our loft and be busy there without us knowing. But I dursn't take a peep up there in case I see sommat nasty. After all it go to go somewhere now the woodshed is laid to waste.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Still waiting on the Lord of the Manor to repair our stairs, the treads are cracking and splitting something rotten. Woke up all of a fluster past midnight and stumbled down in the pitch blackness narrowly not falling headlong over a cat. Maybe should open a book on whether the reapairs will happen afore one of the planks crumbles beneath our feet and breaks a femur.

The woodshed is still no more than a pile of bricks and its too hard to store logs within a pile of bricks.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

On St Swithuns Day

Well on St Swithuns Day did rain, wind and sun shine one after the other all day so one could scarcely draw breath before the weather did change again so I do suppose the good saint be undecided as to the next forty days of weather.

Amos did find the half eaten skull of a badger down the bottom and the crows be eating our apples, nasty creatures.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Larking Meeting Just Retribution

Well I be out in the yard yesterday, just bid farewell to the beeman and then what did I hear? A nasty crashing grinding noise like a shed full of nails collapsing. I be worrit case the beeman backed his landrover into the wood so I thought to mysell I'll go and look over the gate and see for myself what be making that terrible noise.

Well there be four young lords out there in an open top and they done drive into the drain cover and rip their exhaust. I never had so much fun since St Lucy's day standing by the gate watching them trying to get their pipes back on. It just goes to show I said to Amos that pride always do come before a fall.

Crows are devasting the redurrants and the gander eats all the cherries.

Friday, 2 July 2010


I be dreading this Weekend. There be a whole round of fairground rides and carnivans settled over the back of the yard. Tis every chance we could be afflicted with the sounds of merriment and joy around the clock.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

For Your Corner Cupboard

Melt one pound pure lard in a saucepan and add as many handfulls of elderflowers as lard will cover. Simmer gently, strain through fine sieve or muslin. Use when cold. Make this face cream every year.


To West Stafford church today for the churchwarden inswearing and a glass in the Wise Man to get over the excitement.

Monday, 21 June 2010


I see the midsummer deer today grazing the graves in the churchyard. And then I did find a man all in black a rifling through the church bins for stuff

Sunday, 13 June 2010


Oh dearie, another day I forgot to buy muslin. The elder is in bloom and Amos is fashioning thresher gaskets out of grain cartons.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Amos took Effie and his Aged Ma out for a spin in the country today while I be toiling away. He come back with a lettus and moaning 'The trouble with Darset is there's nowt there.'

I be awake at first light this day worriting about the drains.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Swarming May

Effie did spy a cloud a bees swarming through the backyard today. I did call the beeman but he say he don't reckon they be his bees. His bees did swarm the other week when I was sick.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

As the Worker said to the Bishop

Amos did return from his daily toil to tell us that he'd been partnered with a Bishop on his shift today, the Diocesan Bishop of Plymouth no less. Well he do go to work today at Bedlam tis true, but this apparent Bishop were another worker not a sad inmate languishing within.

Well I turned round and said to him - we could have started up our own church and call ourselves popes tomorrow if we so mind. This Bishop be just another of that kind. Thee be a bona-fide church warden now and should ha precendence afore self styled dignitaries.

Something Nasty in the Cistern

There be today two titmice drownded in the cistern under the straw shed.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Water Rules

Well where does all the time go, who can say? Seems like months since I could find a moment to so much as sit down.

The other Sabbath we had a little one christened at the meeting. When the party had all cleared off I happened to spy the old verger watering the plant in the porch. He turned round and told me that he had asked the canon what should happen to the rest of the water left after the christening many years ago. The canon had laid down the law that the water must not go outside the church building. So the verger use it to water the church plants now.

Amos be made a churchwarden now and is fuming. But the dead crow in the lane be gone now, only few feathers left to tell the tail.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Busy Week

Well after seeing nary a soul all winter long we are suddenly overcome with visitors all at once. Some young whippersnappers do be making one of they motion pictures down the lane and afore I knew what I was doing, I consented to them keeping a deer in our yard between shots.

And a needlewoman wants to make photographs of her quilting and gardening gloves out the back. The beeman comes and chats away to his old bees. And then to put the cap on it all the Old Gaffer turns up after years and turns around and says 'Is He In'. I take it he means Amos and I turns round and says 'No he be away labouring with the poor folk'

And what does he say? Nothing less than 'I am looking for a spare back wheel if he's got one.'
What termitery! Comes up here begging back wheels from folks like us who barely have two spokes to rub together.

Well he turns round and goes off but this isn't the end because he puts a note through our door asking for a back wheel. Back Wheel, I'd give him back wheel and no mistake!

The Last Teaparty

So last Sabbath to the Quivering Brethren. And one among the neighbours had brought in a cake depicting the Last Supper with the Lord and his disciples portrayed in icing.

I forebore to partake of such a cake, deeming that if our Good Lord had wanted us to eat such stuff twould have been the Last Teaparty, not the Last Supper. But the other brethren did eat but none could bring themselves to eat the image of our Lord. I now discover that Hester has retrieved it and is keeping it on her window ledge. The face is shown with notably fairer hair than the disciples.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Unseasonable Weather

We all be near freezing at the toilyard today. And one of the ole tranters come in and turned round and said 'We be getting snow, soon, we will.' Snow in bluebell time, I cannot scarce believe what times we be living in. The old front door be now opened as well. Back tyre be as flat as a dead whippet when I come to ride back home so I did push her all the way home. Reuben has been taxed accidentally.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Venturing Out

Effie found the first bluebells down in the thicket, today she did. So Amos opened the front door as to celebrate this notable event. And Berton has lost all his teeth.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Monday Thirsty

Well I be having to play catch up now, Monday Thursday we did go down to the meal at the Quivering Brethen hut seeing as how its a special day, any meal a Starkadder gets makes it a special day in these hard times. Well we managed to get us there just in time and what does we find?

The visiting elder a leading of worship on his old guitar. We all had to stand and sing afore we got to any feeding. And he do go on and on and on, he even did start singing I could sing unending songs. Well I nearly did reply I canna sing unendingly on a void and empty stomach after a long days toiling away through the mud.

\It be nearly half hour afore the good food did come. And I did note that the little ones were allowed to sit at the table and draw pictures in place of having to stand up and sing. I think that us grown folk should be allowed to do that in meetings as well as the little ones.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010


The old bodger called today to see if we still wants our sink unblocked. Well I done tell him that Amos did manage to clear the way near seven days ago. Course we coulda been sitting here in floods by now if we waited on the old bodger to do our unblocking for us. And the old boy called round as well to see if he'd been and done it yet though how he do know the ins and outs of us plumbing requirements is beyond me. Maybe he do have what they call the sick scents and can sniff out when a drain is clogging up. Or maybe he just be a nosy ole boggart.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Earth Half Hour

Well we did light the three tea lights and there were just enough moon to light our way in the kitchen. Only half the hour be gone when Amos come a'storming in saying he don't want to play and turning every light on. So we want to know, do this count?

And I just find the torch now that I could na find then.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Darkness Again

Tis less than an hour till Earth Hour and all we do have is three tea lights. Twill certainly be blacker than black here in Starkadder Hovel.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Raining Again

Amos be returned with the new thresher - it be only five and a score years old. Does have a nasty rattle in the engineering area.

Took myself to the gathering of the Quivering Brethren yester eve. The head elder has had a vision of mushrooms growing in a pasture in June which he has divined to be a divine message for all the Brethren in Darset to meet at field gathering after Midsummer.

Saturday, 20 March 2010


Seem to be the micing season afoot already. Berton making wierd yowling noises behind the door. Had to send young Reuben out to throw the mouse over the hedge as Amos be gone to the Borders to fetch home the new thresher.

The old waggon broke down afore they got back to Gloucester so still not be back home yet.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Bee Mystery Solved

Bee man came today - must be spring getting closer. He tell us that he solved the mystery substance in the bee frame - it be crystallised ivy. The winter be so hard for the bees they reduced eating the ivy.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Something Nasty in the Pond

Saw something dire and nasty in the great pond this dawning. Thought at first the frogs had been afflicted with a newfangled disease which killed them with orangness.

Dared to go close enough to find it was a dead Doritos pack. How could that have got in our own pond? Us Starkadders never do eat such trivial stuff as Doritos. There must be strangers afoot.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

More Spring

Dearie me, spring be arriving so fast now can barely keep up with it. Trudging to the omnibus noted the fly tippers are back from their winter migratories. Times still be hard as all they could muster to tip be an old kettle and one of they new fangled PC key board thingys.

Never fret, banjo man be here to raise our cheers with Woody Guthrie tunes.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Turning Spring

I sees the wandering gent in the woods this morning so thinks that could be nearly spring if wandering times have started again.

Saturday, 6 March 2010


Snatching a bite of dry crust at noon when alerted to frantic shrieking and howling outdoors. So snatched the Aged P's umbrella and charged into the yard. Nasty little dog worrying at our geese and driving them beserk all across the field. Gave it a right old what for.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Wondering if the banjo man still be coming round. Don't get many folks coming round here. Maybe they be feared of the dark as still no light on the cow shed. Maybe the mud pits put them out.

Maybe tis the fact that we do have no door bell. So even those who do find the way to the back door through the black mud and dirty dark have no means of gaining entry.

Anyone who tries the front door are obviously town folk who have no idea of us country ways and we sneak up on them from behind and give them that wild 'Don't make me reach for me sawn-off' hill billy stare. They soon learns, they do indeed.
The woods be so thick with mud now that riding to work be closer to a battle re-enactment.

Friday, 19 February 2010


Out pruning the shrubbery when ice grains the size of lentils started falling from the sky. Noted another dead frog in the pond, Amos must have overlooked it or it has just ascended from the murky shallows.

Fire hardly burning in the grate, fear it has been iced out.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Ashy Wednesday

Amos heroically removed all the decaying amphibians from the pond - seven all told - and placed them on the bonfire pile. It being Ash Wednesday attempted to ignite the heap of brushwood and consign the remnants of our pond life to the flames. It having rained extensively on Shrove Tuesday, failed to get the whole heap aflame, just a tired smoulder on the windward side.

Eventually resorted to covering over the tiny remains with more rubbish. RIP.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Darkness Visitable

The light outside the old cowshed has failed. Amos attempted to power up the wind up torch and broke the wind up handle in two, too windy to use candlelight.

Discovered debodied mouse on the hearth this morning. Amos scooped up remnant and flung it over the hedge. Avoided hitting any passing dog walkers, unfortunately.

Effie has spied a single snowdrop.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Saturday Night - not what it used to be.

Morning spend smothering the weedy soil with dead holly chippings.

Amos preaching on Sodom and Gomorrah tomorrow. Off to pay a visit to the sick in hospital now before catching up with the ironing.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Bleakness Abounds

My hands were so frozen yesterday when I eventually arrived at the place of toil that I could barely detach them from the handlebars.

Passed my lunch time today at a funeral. Gander getting exceptionally hissy and can only get him to enter the night hut by resorting to the Aged P's umbrella. As she is confined to her bed she has now further use for the umbrella.

Have resorted to burning pine logs. Think that all the geraniums have perished through the coldness.

Monday, 1 February 2010

The Duck Remaineth

The dead golden duck still stays suspended in its metal frame in the woods. Perhaps it has some mystical shield to protect its carcass from the ravenous beasts of the darkness.

Two dead amphibians now under the ice in the great pond and the gander is coughing.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Death in the Form of a Gold Mallard

I am suffering with the screaming nadgers and can barely stop myself shaking. As I trudged through the piney woods to call upon the Aged P a horrific sight met my unwary gaze.

A duck! A mallard Duck! As dead as a door knocker and sprayed gold! Suspended in a metal frame between the trees! I cannot bring myself to think upon this further..

Saturday, 30 January 2010

The Iron in the Sole

The iron failed this week. As cold as the dead frog in the pond. Family pretended not to notice that their clothing was as wrinkled and creased as the skin on a deceased amphibian.

Attempted to heat iron in the way of the ancestors on top of the wood stove. But the heat didn't retain enough to smoothen the cloth. Eventually gave in and had to purchase a new one, failing even to find a second hand model in the BHF shop.

Back light fell of my bike again. Slippers come unstuck. Must stop now and mend young Effies only school skirt before it splits to unacceptable level.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Back to the Blackness

Back from the Black Country yesteday to discover Berry the Black has slaughtered a wren. Young Reuben wandering without wit through the house after midnight with his bedding.

Return from the grind through the dark woods with eerie noises echoing among the gloomy pines. Early in the season for the vixens to yowl.

News is that the old boy has been banned from pottering about the woodland on his four wheeled contraption as he trespassed on anothers' garden.

Monday, 18 January 2010

A Word of Wisdom from the Woods

'If you don't want sawdust on the floor then don' t saw up logs outside the door.'

Lucy tried to catch a mouse in the dark, without success.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

To visit the Aged Parent this afternoon. She questioned me as to the health of my husbands' mother-in-law.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

So this morning went on tidying the goose pen. Noted two dead frogs in the little pond under the hedge. Another sign of nature's futility and waste.

Then to Emma's bridal at noon in the Church of All Saints. Rained thoroughly and the vicar advised the congregation before the match that the churche's facilities comprised a chemical toilet in a garden shed behind the bell tower. Our nuptials may have occured in a plain non-conformist church but we were blessed with adequate sanitation. Noted a white egret in a field near the farm.

The ringers tolled the bell for the wedding and it all passed without a hitch. Took the opportunity on the journey back to purchase some glue to repair my slippers.

The master be afflicted with cramp and young Effie is daubing her face with apple cider vinegar again.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Was nearly midnight when I did recall that the sole of my slipper is hanging loose. Hard to bear the thought of awakening without my slipper to shield me from the chilled floor. Ventured out into the old cowshed to search for glue to repair footwear but failed to find any among the old pots, pans, oil cans, and Suzukis. What to do? May have to hop down stairs in the cold morning light of dawn. God preserve us all.