Love supreme

Ranch: A reprieve at last from the incessant soggy wet, wet, wet. At least for us in The North. Down south, [...]

Cracking hazel nuts

Ranch: Scudding clouds. Warm winds. Lots of sunny spells. A few showers. That's been the weather recipe this week here in [...]

Where are the sparrows and WWTD?

Ranch: We get back from Beatherder late on Monday and it's still searingly hot. Helen has watered the greenhouse, and apart [...]

The Chattering of Sparrows

The heady, exotic, musky, smutty scent of valerian flowering from mid-May heralds summer full-steam-ahead. The plants grow as tall as 8 [...]

Springtime

Nothing compares to the shimmering light bright green of spring as it rapidly coats the bare brown branches of the hedges. [...]

A triumphant February beginning

Ranch: In the grey midwinter, a tawdry clinging cold pervades, yet spring heralds in the shape of brand new electric-green hawthorn [...]

Everything is Energy and Plan C

The Ranch: ...Is dismal in its cold clinging greyness and seemingly endless slutchy muddy wet. As I walk round, jobs beckon [...]

Walking common ground and the totality of evidence.

A freezing Sunday: Dawn - Sunday 28th November 2021 From my window, I watch a thin streak of crystal light powder [...]

Intellectual curiosity and the spirit of critical thinking

Ranch: For the benefit of my new readers, 'The Ranch' is the name I jokingly gave to my allotment many years [...]

Back to Rossendale

Ranch: The weather broke into our characteristic Northern blustery drizzle, and I psychologically hunkered down for winter but then it broke [...]

Unsubscribing and a new beginning

The Ranch: I’m on the ranch in demi-shed A. It’s raining. The long late run of balmy September sunshine has come [...]

Northward bound

We’ve come on holiday by mistake. Past the old toll house on the right. Past the caravan park where they used [...]

Sagefest 2

The Ranch: I’m on the ranch, living a dream come true. I’m sitting at the bar of demi-shed-A, writing at my [...]

Duties of a Doctor?

The Ranch: It’s raining. It started around 3am and is now just fizzling out at 6am. It wasn’t much, but exciting [...]

Repair and the Car Boot

The Ranch: There is nothing sweet and tender about these hooligans. They are merciless. Stealthily, the patriarch eyes track me silently. [...]

odmorden and the gin terrace.

The Ranch ... is a scruffy field and a scruffy allotment above the arsehole corner of an arsehole Northern town. Once [...]

Starry night

The Ranch: High gardening season has crept up quietly. Now, with a few exceptions (beans and squashes) it's time to plant, [...]

Down the rabbit hole again

The Ranch: 12 days of snow and ice, with temperatures as low as minus 8. Then a thaw and heavy rain. [...]

Revolution of the reasonable

  The Ranch: A freeze serendipitously embraces the New Year period. A raw, bruised, brutal beauty embraces the ranch. A blanket [...]

Ergot of rye, blues and Rock & Roll.

  Ranch: The mild, muggy, rainy, northern summery weather is breaking into autumnal gales and horizontal rain and the harvest is [...]

Sick of being normal? I failed my A-levels

  Ranch: A spell of sultry, clinging, steamy heat punctuates an otherwise mediocre summer. Hot, hot, sleepily hot. Then come the [...]

Farter’s day

  The Ranch - is a routine of comfort in a sea of madness and rising darkness. Planting; weeding; tidying; concrete [...]

Pendle Punk and Mad friday

Sun 22nd December 2019: 3:14pm I'm just back from the ranch. It's mild grey. I spotted a small flock of long-tailed [...]

Friday the 13th – mud mud mud

Ranch: Fri 13th December 2019: I'm just back from the ranch and I'm soaked. Really soaked. I had four days without [...]

Letterpress and woodblock printing

Louise read me a Ted Hughes poem last night - Stubbing Wharfe. He's talking about his time with Sylvia Plath and it [...]

More floods and family & friends

Ranch: More floods - Hebden last week then South Yorkshire & Venice plus catastrophic fires overseas. Here, the weather is pretty [...]

Back on the road

Ranch: The beginning of November is the arbitrary time when I start pruning the hedge. Fencing is a big consideration when [...]

Fig fiend, potato blight, emergency medicine and science.

Ranch: Summer has tumbled into autumn, with a brief late-summer hot and sunny reprieve which has given way to North-west lashing [...]

In which the bees arrive and Sagefest finally happens

Ranch: Summer has catapulted along and August is here. North-west English weather remains my favourite: blustery; often grey; patchy rain and [...]

Talking to the bees

Ranch: 7 am. Friday 10th May - computer at home. I have that Friday feeling for a very good reason. I'm [...]

Me and the trees

Ranch: Whenever I arrive at the ranch, I wander round, having a look at everything. I jokingly call it a ward [...]

Transcending the apocalypse

Ranch: I’m cold and wet. I’ve just walked through the park and the blustery March gales delivered a dose of HHWDR [...]

A ‘piece of work’ and frozen ground

Ranch: The ground has been frozen hard for a week. Fortunately, I got all the tree planting done before the cold [...]

A new chapter and relinquishing control.

Ranch Christmas, New Year, Winter, Summer and so on. Do the trees celebrate? Do the foxes and tawny owls have an [...]

Triple Mad Friday, stray cats and settling into the right groove.

Ranch I nearly didn't bother going up today - I'm knackered from trips to the Dirty old Town. I'm glad that I [...]

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