Lovely article in the Times last Saturday - nature notes by Jonathan Tulloch, stranded on Eaglescliffe station on the old Stockton and Darlington line, the first commercial steam railway. Robins and trees, and especially his reflections on the 'brownfield' site that the station has become. Industrial, abandoned and now back to nature, this was the site where 'masse carbon use went into reckless overdrive'. It, along with many other disused industrial sites, is now 'waiting to bloom'.
'There's forgiveness in nature - if we allow ourselves to accept it.'
'What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from'. T. S. Eliot
These are not all the same day, but attractive and interesting. Same old birch tree. You might well ask what am I doing up? Well, going for a pee was one, and just looking out the window, then braving the elements very briefly. Otherwise at breakfast coffee time - currently Taylor's Italian ground.
The moon is crescent shaped, not easily seen on this pic.
Great places that we have visited regularly. Lead mining is legendary and well documented in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. Just below the surface with hushes, along levels and even deep mining in Gunnerside Gill. Old Gang in Hard Level Gill, just up from Surrender Bridge, is a preserved smelt mill. The level in the pic, I seem to remember, goes through to the Charles Bathurst Inn up in Arkengarthdale. I guess there could be a large network of tunnels between the various lead mining sites.
The Kings Arms is known as a pub from All Creatures Great and Small (The Drovers).
The Farmers Arms, Muker.
A refuge, along with Harriet's, a cottage just behind the pub, since the early noughties. We detected a change in the guys running the pub and the clients. The landlord has only been there two years. He thinks up to a half of the population are comers-in, either resident or second homers. Farming is still around, though I'm not sure how strong, given the local landowner, Mr Miller, whilst he does not take rent, is 80. His family may or may not carry on. He still remains the richest man in Yorkshire - dfs is the worldwide duty free network, based in Singapore, and also a furniture business which I think he has sold. The landlord suggested he is the second richest man in the world - not true. Miller's estate runs a grouse shoot which has not been busy in 2018 because of bird illness. £2000 a gun.
We spent New Year's Eve eating and drinking in the pub - disappointing and expensive.
Dr Bahm and The Silver Band conductor, who's name I cannot remember, seem to have been forgotten.
Tan Hill Inn, Mill Gill Force (Askrigg), more New Year's Eve, Harriet's kitchen.
Kisdon Force and Gorge
An easy walk for the retired, especially if you drive up to Keld. The show was here last time we came.
They were once disreputable. Loved for giving us a voice and hated by our parents for being loud and badly behaved. Today, I would say Iggy Pop is not an easy viewing, but Eric Burdon, The Who, The Stones and others are more than acceptable ambassadors for ageing gracefully and disgracefully. "I hope I die before I get old" was, for some, a prophetic line from My Generation. In the 50s and 60s, being elderly was not an aspiration and the black and white images of retired couples sitting in front of their coal fires with knitting, pipe and slippers listening to a valve radio would seem to confirm why. My parents were born in and after WW1 and retired in the 80s by which time the ageing stereotype was changing. For example, the U3A, beginning in the 70s, was flourishing. Retirement came to be seen as an opportunity to carry on what you always did, but more fun, or try something new.
The surviving ageing rockers are doing just that and this is a lovely film. Clic on this link for BBC 4's take on what our rockers are doing in their 60s and 70s - Forever young - ageing rockers.
Clic on the link for Charlie Chaplin's song on Radio 4's Soul Music - Smile
'What is a human being? Objectively, nothing of consequence ... I don't understand it. Nobody does, but it makes me smile.'
'Our existence is a ridiculous affront to common sense ... our civilisation is the combination of seven billion individual affronts. This is what my smiling seems to say ... Our existence is necessarily temporary ... and this makes us all the more precious.' (both Brian Cox, Human Universe) He is referring to Homo sapiens, but I think it also goes with ageing, gracefully in his case (He is only 50).
Hi, I’m Edward Turner, one of the newer recruits to the choir. I began as a boy soprano and joined Honley Male Voice Choir in my late teens. Sport and studying at Huddersfield Technical College unfortunately forced me to give it up.
As I have a captive audience I want to say few words to all you members and your partners. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 55 and would like to make you all aware that it does not just happen to ‘old men’. Any symptoms, however trivial and you really must visit your gp. Early diagnosis is an important factor here and generally a simple blood test can say you definately do not have prostate cancer and even a positive does not necessarily mean that you have it.
I have been fortunate in that I have had excellent treatment both from HRI and Cookridge, though things have kicked in again and hence more treatment. Please, all you do if there is a doubt get checked out, and partners, do nag the men to seek advice.
Prostate cancer is thought by many to be easy to treat and is quite curable. Sadly, I know that is not always the case. I have recently lost my brother-in-law at a young age and he was diagnosed with the same units of cancer in his blood as me. So come on all you men and don’t let it happen to you. The prostate’s not the real problem. It’s the secondary cancer that gets you, if you leave it too late.
Gentlemen, out of nearly 50 men in our choir I am sure there must be others with the problem. Let’s be open about it and encourage as many men as possible to get an early diagnosis.
I’ve recently had to give up my sport because of aches and pains, but I still play tennis twice a week.
(A Cry to Men is also the title of an anonymous 19th century Irish poem, written by a woman, about the dominance of men in everyday life. Now there’s a perspective)
Ed's funeral took place today at lunchtime 21.1.2019
Once you know the number it's up to you to do the math with your food items. It's tedious. Good to know that fibre is getting a great press just at the moment. I like veg with the skin.
Maybe you want to become a vegan. See Janice Turner in the Times last Saturday week. We are biology, straight from hunter-gatherers, so it's difficult to ignore meat-eating. Janice has a go at some of the more pc vegans - '"clean-eaters" with their Instagram pretensions and faux science, including many teenage girls whom gluten and dairy-free fuss-pottery are the nursery slopes of full food disorders'.
She admits nevertheless to reduced personal meat intake and enjoys vegan cook books. She concludes that the market place will decide. Gregg's vegan sausage roll vs McDonald's vegan wrap.
'Vegetarianism is winning: it should lighten up and take a joke'.
Senior physicians say obesity is a disease. It has been in the International Classification of Diseases since 1948, arbitrarily defined by a number (Body Mass Index).
The status of disease may help lift the low self-esteem associated with being overweight and obese. It may also correct perceptions that being overweight is caused by gluttony. It is in fact the accumulation of a small number of calories above the body's daily requirement over a long time.
Obesity can be unhealthy. Type 2 diabetes and the associated cost to the Health Service is the most public of its problems. It is a component of the factors that predict increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Arthritic hips and knees can be more painful and less functional, leading to pain in the lower back. Then there are sleep and snoring problems.
To reverse obesity is hard. A permanent change in calorie intake below the daily requirement is needed. Crucially, it involves taking personal responsibility. It sits with other conditions like back pain, fibromyalgia and ME, where the first step back to health is to recognise and accept the individual has a problem which only they can put right. There is an industry surrounding diet, so there is no shortage of help.
There is also exercise. Something everyone is advised to do. It's not everybody's cup of tea but start doing something and keep doing it. Another permanent lifestyle change.
But is obesity really a disease? I suspect those senior physicians will have their doubts. It does get the issue into the press however and encourages everybody to talk about it. Not that there are a shortage of column inches on this topic, but anything that helps to correct misleading perceptions is to be welcomed.