Archive for April, 2010

Ulverston twixt sea and fells!

April 26, 2010

The footpath to Hoad Hill


The start of the woodland footpath

Twin lambs

Don't look at me, I didn't write on my new coat!

Beady eyed lamb with twin.

Hello, who are you?

Truly English

Ulverston, looking towards Birkrigg Common

Lambs on the Flan

Where's mum?

Ulverston Looking towards Holker across the bay

Ulverston Looking towards Holker across Morecambe Bay

Not due for the chop!

I'm growing into a beautiful lady.


Where's mum and my twin?

Walking Around Ulverston.

A Walk on the Flan footpath and through the bluebell woods

For a pleasant little walk take the Gill footpath and follow it along until reaching Old Hall Road. Cross the road (where we once witnessed a duck, followed by her tiny ducklings, crossing over to the other side) and take the Flan footpath. Here you can witness bonny lambs, guarded by their mums, frolicking in the open fields, Surely one of the most joyful sights that tell us that spring is here. Not all the lambs are alike. Many are part black in differing degrees but all look cute and cuddly. I love the photo here where a lamb’s eyes glow, and especially the one that informs us that both infants are number 43, belonging to sheep 43. It reminded me of being in hospital with my baby tagged Baby Hobson alongside my bed with my Hobson notes hung on the end bedrail. A happy memory indeed.
From the footpath are views towards Morecambe Bay, with a distant view of the Holker estate, home of Lord Cavendish of Furness, (part of the well-known Cavendish family who own Chatsworth in Derbyshire — the home of the Duke of Devonshire).
But you don’t have to look towards distant parts to be impressed by the loveliness surrounding the walker: rich green fields and the approaching deciduous woods are peacefully refreshing,
Having reached the gate at the end of the footpath, you cross the road and enter a gate by a house. A signpost tells you that you are on a path that leads to the Hoad Hill. Soon the woods will be filled with the rich colour and scent of bluebells. At present there are large patches of wood sorrel, shiny-leaved ivy and later-flowering plants covering the ground.
We found the woods utterly delightful when, with clouds drifting, the sun began filtering through branches bearing their young green leaves still damp with morning rain. Twittering of birds and woodland aromas enhanced our vision of nature more than mere words can tell.
At the end of the path a high set of steps takes the walker over a stone wall and on to the path that leads to the Hoad Monument and beyond, with branches off to take the walker back to the main road and town.

For stories — humorous to macabre — set in Ulverston, Furness and Lakeland, with an introduction about each setting, see my book, Still Waters Run Deep, Stories of Hidden Depths. Visit Magpies Nest Publishing for samples and reviews. Can be bought from the publisher, from bookshops in the area, or ordered from anywhere in the UK. (UK post free if bought from MNP.)
For all my books — UK and USA published, visit my author web site.
See also my Writing For Joy blog — stories, articles and photographs.

St George and the Dragon in Ulverston Market Town

April 24, 2010

St George and the Dragon

Still fighting the good fight!

Crowds gather for the fun — St George and the Dragon!

Me Dance, Daddy

Cleaned up and ready to dance

Face painting for the cross of St George — well it's just like lipstick in the wrong place!

Cake stall — lots of other things to eat too!

Victoria School Jazz band — what a treat for St George's day!

In town today there is a Festival of St George going on — brass band, Victoria High School Jazz Band, Morris dancing, entertainers, plus the slaying of a huge dragon — lots of colour, sound and smells. Most of the smells coming from vendors of burgers and such. There are stalls selling just about everything, including cuddly life size toy animals. I saw one small boy struggling to carry a lifelike Collie dog. I wondered what would happen to it. Would it be a hassle-free pet to keep him company and someone to tell his troubles to, or will the novelty quickly pass and it become tossed aside with discarded toys ready for the next table-top sale?
As I write this, people are gathering in town for all the fun and games. Bread is piled high on one stall, cakes on another. There are canopied tables with meat, sausages, sweets, books, handicrafts, toys — you name it, you are bound to find it. Right now, musicians and dancers will be performing with children bobbing around longing to join in — and not only children, oldies like me find it hard to be restrained and ladylike. St George’s Day in Ulverston is mainly for families with fun and treats for the children.
Why celebrate St George? Such strange legends have little meaning today unless we all realise that we have a dragon within us — a mixture of greed, intolerance, envy, hatred — which the St George part of our personality needs to overcome. Surely this is something we should think about as we face hard times ahead.

Visit Magpies Nest Publishing and read chapters from some of my books
Gladys Hobson — Author. See my books and reviews
Writing For Joy — lots of photographs
Ask Gran Hobson for questions about yesteryear.

1980’s — 2010 Fashionable Jeans? Inspires poetry!

April 21, 2010

In the 1980’s my teenage son was offered £10 (a lot of money in those days) for his tattered old jeans. I had patched them many times but they had got beyond further repair. They were washed out, fraying on all the seams and mainly held together by good will and adoration. He himself had hand-stitched huge godets (upside-down V shaped panels) into the legs to give each hem the width of a skirt, and the weight alone required a firm belt to keep them up! He still treasures those heavy leather belts with their metal buckles. So, long hair, beads, and godets swinging as he walked, with knees pushing through frayed patches, he was a sight to behold. Did he take the £10? Certainly not. They were worth more than money — they were part of his credibility as an up and coming young man to be reckoned with! Fashion (scruffy or not) was part of that credibility.
Nothing has changed.

So, What’s New In Fashion? (poem by Gladys Hobson)

Torn at the knee and frayed at the bum
Zip barely fastened and stuck up with gum
Hems that sag and drag on the ground
Just enough fabric to cover your mound
Studded belt with buckle of steel
To hold up those rags with little revealed.
You think it erotic to bare scruffy knees
Show off your crotch held tight in your jeans
Just leaving enough to catch the eye
While making out you’re incredibly shy?
I’ll tell you, young folks — there’s nothing new
Your parents wore jeans long before you
Back in the eighties when flares were the rage
When drainpipes were out and jeans came of age
All tattered and torn and bleached by the sun
Looking as though shot by a two-barrelled gun.
Yes, and torn off legs for the short-shorts tool
The shorter the better, the golden rule.
Birds to be lured and bucks to snare
With pots of honey in jean-covered ware.

Visit Magpies Nest Publishing
My author site
Writing For Joy
Ask Gran Hobson

Of Pigs In Muck and Vacuum Gardening!

April 14, 2010

Of pigs in muck, and vacuuming bushes!

It has been a rather odd sort of day. My neighbours must think dementia has truly set in. I could be seen vacuuming one of my large camellia bushes. I was using a battery hand-held mobile vacuum cleaner in the hope of removing a hard black coating that has infested almost the whole bush. (The black stuff is called sooty something or other.) It did not work. I knew it would scrape off because I spent ten minutes scraping leaves on Sunday. But I wanted a quicker solution. So, after the battery ran down in the cleaner, I brought out a stiff-haired hand-held carpet brush. Pretty good. I removed a few buds in the process but with quite a few leaves de-sooted the sun can now get to work. Last year I vacuumed dandelion clocks. Excellent! Best thing to stop the seeds flying away.
This afternoon I took a walk along Gill Banks and photographed little pigs in the field the other side of a wall. Amazing how they can turn rocks over and dig out holes with their snouts, and snuffle stuff to eat. It is not a large enclosure and the whole patch must have been turned over many times. I can quite see why some mystery writers use pigs to dispose of bodies!
I also photographed the footpath and stream. It is a grand place for a quiet stroll. A bubbling stream, wild flowers and, if you are at the right end, a whiff of little pigs doing their own thing!

Lindal-in-Furness 1969-83 — with poem

April 9, 2010

After spending our early years of marriage in Beeston, Nottingham, followed by thirteen years of family life in Loughborough, Leicestershire, we moved north to South Cumbria (to what was then part of Lancashire). People were awed that we would move to near Barrow-in-Furness. It was considered to be the end of a cul-de-sac, if not the end of the world. And yet, the first time we drove up here, the scenery we passed through lifted my spirit and I knew that we were doing the right thing. True, the roads then were poor and the children were constantly sick as we drove in and out of the area. But things improved and the new roads give spectacular views of sea, mountains and fells. The air is fresh and clean, the pace gentle and the ‘natives’, in the village where we first settled, friendly. As indeed are the people where we now live – just a few miles away. We never thought when we were young that we would live in such a wonderful place as Cumbria, with its magical walks and drives throughout the English Lake District. Fells, mountains, lakes, rivers and streams, not to mention the culture embracing literature and art.
I wrote the following poem when we were about to leave our first home up here.

Our Time in Lindal 1969-1983

Sixteen years of village life,
So many changes we have seen
In brick and stone, and mortal flesh:
Time for a boy to become a man,
For a youth to grow in wisdom
And strong men change to weak.
Time for many friendly souls
To take their leave of earthly things
Having left their mark in village lore.

Sixteen years since first we came —
Townies in a rural place:
“Takes thirty years to be accepted.”
Half that time has passed away,
But villagers with roots going deep
Into Lindal soil and Furness ore,
Faithful members of the church,
Keepers of the rural scene,
Have not withdrawn a hand of friendship.

Sixteen years, now we move on —
With sadness yes, but thankful too
For all that Lindal’s given us.
Thankful for the friendships made,
The cheerful smiles, acknowledging waves,
And nods of recognition.
Thankful for the time and space
To move and grow, explore and be,
Thankful for acceptance.