Meet Charlotte, Emily and Anne

Such a busy week last week, for all the right reasons! More to blog about later. But a highlight was definitely the arrivals of our new girls:


This is Charlotte, Emily and Anne, at home in their new run in Roger Field behind the vegetable garden. They spent their first 24 hours getting used to the house while Mr W dug in the run. Then yesterday they got to go out. We’ll start letting them have a wander around the field and copse next week.

We were both working in the garden yesterday and it was great listening to them clucking and scratching away. The cats were largely uninterested, although Heathcliffe liked the run for a bit of climbing practice. Millie stalked them for a while, but suspect that when they’re outside she’ll be less keen because they’re bigger than she is.

And the best thing:


I was a bit giddy collecting the first eggs and Miss M was shaking her head wearily and muttering about adults being weird in that i’m-more-mature-than-you-and-i’m-sixteen way teenagers have. But I had boiled eggs and soldiers for my breakfast yesterday and it was fab!


Thorium Bob and the Powercut

Mr W and I went to see Professor Bob Cywinski talk about Thorium last night.

It was a great lecture, although i must admit that nuclear fission isn’t really my strong point and i got a bit lost with all the uranium 2somethings. There was also a big whoosh as the whole concept of proton generation flew over my head. I didn’t even do O level Physics, more a History and English type of girl. But the basic argument he gave – that nuclear fuel has to be one of the sources of power going forward, and that Thorium is relatively easy to control, safe, efficient and produces little waste – made a lot of sense.

The talk was held at Cafe Scientifique at Dean Clough, a wonderful converted mill building in the centre of Halifax (well done Sir Ernest Hall: Dean Clough AND a complete works of Chopin). We enjoyed The Cooking School two course meal as well.

The last Cafe Scientifique was on Birds. The next one is about the difference between the male and female brain. Good stuff. And Vic Allen is a scream.

The really great thing is that all the lights went out at the beginning of the q&a session. Power cut in North Halifax.

It’s great talking about the future of energy in candlelight.

Really brings the problem home.

Singing on the Motorway


I work part-time over in the city 20 miles away. I love my job when I feel I’m achieving something, Getting Stuff Done. Yesterday was not a loving-the-job day. It was frustrating and full of people moaning about how much they’re not paid. Dealing with emails like that all day does not give you the best feelings about your fellow man. Or woman.

So I left the office just after 7 having sat at my desk for 10 hours, completely whacked-out and dreading the drive home.

But then – novelty. The clocks only changed at the weekend, so the fact that it was still light was a surprise. And not just light, but a beautiful soft violet light. The sky was perfectly clear and the birds were singing. It felt like winter was finally going.

Even the motorway was beautiful. I was driving towards the hills and the setting sun, with a huge bank of blue cloud softening the pylons. Work finished for the week. The traffic was moving, and the satnav said I would be home in 25mins. Back to this place full of things that I love.

So I started singing.

I couldn’t take a photo because that would have been bad. So the above is a fave picture of sunset taken by Mr W instead. Rather more beautiful than the Leeds-Bradford conurbation but you get the gist.

But I was singing, at the top of my voice, on the motorway. In the middle of the ubiquitous roadworks on the M62. So it wasn’t even a speed-queen moment.

Guess this is what being in love in the Spring does to you.

Daffodils make me happy

Usually we’d be gardening today. Not planting much yet because we’re still in danger of frosts here until May. But the potatoes can go in, digging can be done, fertiliser spread. This year there is still snow, and the ground is frozen. But at least the outhouses are getting a good clear-out!
And the spring flowers in the house make everywhere look really jolly.



Dhafer Youssef

Last night Mr W and I went to see Dhafer Youssef at the Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds.

Everything about it was eclectic. Audience: Hebden Bridge to the Music School and back to North Leeds. Instruments: piano, drums, double base, electric guitar, electric oud and north African vocals. Band nationalities: Tunisian, Estonian, Norwegian, French (?) and …. the double base player was from Sunderland. Dhafer didn’t quite get it when the audience had a little laugh at that. Although Sunderland does sounds v exotic when pronounced with soft Tunisian-French overtones.

I didn’t know what an Oud was before I went to this concert. Yep, I admit I thought of the Doctor Who alien with the globes in their hands and tentacle faces – which is amazing in itself because I don’t even watch Doctor Who. (No3 step-daughter’s constant lectures on her future-husband-Matt-Smith must be seeping in. Worrying). The Instrument looks like a giant lute, reminiscent of a giant halved pear. For a split second you have culture shock thinking of Elizabethan part songs. But it makes a completely different sound, echoed and sad and to me evocative of the great sweeping landscape shots in Lawrence of Arabia, or the old walled towns I saw on holidays to Tunisia with my parents when I was a teenager. And yes, I know Lawrence isn’t North Africa but I have limited terms of personal reference for desert…

I love to see folks enjoy themselves on stage too, and all of the guys obviously did. I didn’t catch the name of the pianist, but he was wonderful. It was good when we were told what the songs were – pity he only introduced two. Apparently one was about wine, completely unguessable.

It was really enjoyable, and a great addition to the interesting range of concerts Mr W has taken me too. I see Dhafer has done some stuff with Tigran Hamasyan. Now that would be a great concert…

Dhafer Youssef at Howard Assembly Rooms