A little holiday post

I’ve been having a couple of days off while my daughter was home from London.

One thing we did was a visit to Skipton Auction Mart (an old haunt where the band I play in, Dales Jam , rehearses) we went to see Flock to Skipton and Art in the Pen

There were a flock of decorated glass fibre sheep (Skipton means “Sheep Town”):

I think this was possibly my favourite:

Or possibly this one:

Or Baa Bones:

Art in the Pen was good too.  I’m thinking of exhibiting there next year.  Nearly bought a new hat, but resisted.

We had a walk round the village before Nim left for London.  I must say things are getting to look a little backendish, as we say round here:

Blackberries already (yum!)

Ash keys.

Hazel nuts. And rather a surprise for the canal bank:

These appear to be wild plums.  I’d seen a lot of blossom there in Spring.

It was a good sunny morning and some people were enjoying the scenery from their canal barge hotel (no, really an hotel!):

So warm the tups were sheltering from the sunshine (just when I was getting used to Summer being cold again!)

It’s that time of year again.

Beetroots are ready as well as windfall apples.  Early morning brewing and making marinated beetroot just go together.

Yesterday we went to  Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield.  There’s an excellent exhibition of David Nash’s sculpture.  It would normally be called a retrospective, except that there was a lot of new work and three massive butts called work in progress. I got really ‘in’ to his work:

First heard of him from Roger Deakin’s book “Wild Wood”  although David has been working since the seventies and there was a vast range of his work from very early work to very recent.  MASSIVE outdoor and indoor columns:

And small cars fit for toys for children.  Some fabulously inspiring work where greenwood works exploit the natural movement of wood as it dries and shrinks rather than fighting it or seeing it as a problem, which I spend a lot of time on at present.

YSP is a great place that we keep on coming back to over the years.  There is a big collection of Yorkshire’s own Henry Moore’s pieces set amidst an open landscape, as well as Antony Gormley, Andy Goldsworthy and many others.  The park is big, so accommodates lots of visitors well, although, it being wet yesterday, not too busy for our visit.  We had a good picnic outdoors between showers (at a rather ordinary PAR picnic bench) and managed a decent walk about too.  Took the bus to the Longside Gallery on the other side of the valley.  In there a lot of Nash’s work is collected, meant to be reminiscent of his Welsh workshop (but a little tidier from some of the photos I’ve seen).

These spoons caught my eye.

This is the Garden Gallery, I like the rolling indoor path and the mixture of wood and stone.  There is also a very muted colour scheme of white and grey that really lets the exhibits speak for themselves.

If you can – GO!

Details here

Boys and girls come out to play

Jane and I were at Bingley Show today. We had a new piece of equipment – a blackboard (used by our children about 20 years ago) on a tripod easel ( three birch rods bound with a figure of eight lashing). We simply advertised the fact that we were doing pole lathe demos and that you could have a go. People have been willing to have a go before and got quite addicted. I like doing have-a-goes as it lets me off for a bit.

We nearly got one boy of about 15 years, who seemed to be itching to have a go, but thought he might make a fool of himself and after about 15 minutes left without having cut any wood.

Later four girls about 9 to 13 years old asked to have a go – even though they didn’t know what they could have a go at. I got them splitting logs safely first, I hold the axe, they hit it with a maul, looking for potential dangers when the log finally splits and axe and log parts move around a lot. Then they all had a go on the shave horse and draw knife. This gives Jane the Willies a bit as the blade is sharp and wide. I have a slab of wood on a necklace that hangs in the firing range of the knife and I watch them like a hawk at very close quarters. They all had a good time and then went off to see the lady doing carving to see about carving their names on the wood they’d worked on.

A bit puzzling the difference in attitude between the boy and the girls. I suppose there’s safety in numbers, and maybe he was at an awkward age, but what the heck, men used to be the providers; hunting, making tools and using them. In the UK I think we need to do more to get people more comfortable with using their hands again (and I don’t mean for jabbing at computer keys). Best place to start is with children.

Swim rabbit swim

No pictures advisory.

This morning, whilst doing my stretches on Milking Hill Bridge on the Leeds Liverpool canal, a head appeared in the water from under the bridge. Was it a mink? No! What then? No ears? … Blimey it was a rabbit. I’ve never seen a rabbit taking a morning dip before.

The canal on the built up side has steel pilings about 2 foot high, this rabbit was not going to be able to get out on that side. I dashed over and shooed it towards the field side where it would have a much better chance of getting out. It swam over a bit and then sank, came up again, swam a bit, breathed, sank, came up again, sank for a long time. Oh well, that’s life … and death.

Then the rabbit surfaced and swam towards me (eh?) I grabbed it and hauled it out of the cut. It was totally exhausted. Normally rabbits (of which there are many in the fields round here (introduced in warrens as food for the nobility, many years ago)) run away from me. This one struggled a bit to escape – right in the direction of the canal. I moved it away into the long grass and left it.

What a strange start to the day. (Wish I’d had a digital recording thingy).

This weekend, not making things but riding through woodland

We had a a bike trip for some members of Dales Jam, the community band I play in, from Gargrave in Yorkshire to Arnside in Cumbia. We rode through the Trough of Bowland, which is a particularly beautiful part of England, very unpopulous and unspoilt:

Here’s Dave with enough time in the King of the Mountains points competition to spare to do a bit of sheep wrangling on Hare Appletree Fell, seen from High Moor Jubilee Tower (Jubilee Tower was built by Hare Appletree resident James Harrison, a rich Liverpool shipbuilder, in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee).

It was very much a social ride (NOT a race!  That’s what I mostly used to do)  So there was plenty of time for this:

Chat, and this:

Studying walls, while waiting for the peloton to regroup after hills, and more especially this:

Jacob’s join supper at the Youth Hostel in Arnside where we stayed overnight.

Also 4 cafe stops over the two days and 100 miles with lots of cakes, including a Chorley cake for me at Crook o Lune with butter and cheese in the Lancashire traditional way and a side order of Eccles cake.

Along the way there was lots to see and enjoy including:

This is a revisited art installation of 1971 by Simon English , quite a find, by accident.  I’d heard Simon on the radio a little while ago talking about this project.

Also found this outside a church installed in 2001:

And this 1739 sign posts (didn’t see any wild boar though.

Thanks for organising the ride Jon and Kate, and for the company, Dave, Sam, Tom and Helen and for the lifts Jane.  A thoroughly enjoyable weekend’s excercise.

NB all my photos are rubbish phone photos in this post.