Sunday, 23 September 2012

Kathryn Tickell;Northumbrian Voices, Thriving Puppies, Exmoor Holiday

Last evening the Farmer & I went to a wonderful gig at Theatr  Mwldan in Cardigan given by the acclaimed Northumbrian small pipe player Kathryn Tickell and her band. It was fabulous...wonderful music, great words & feeling. The show was called Northumbrian Voices and featured Mike Tickell, Kathryn's father speaking the words of the farmers & shepherds of the Northumbrian moorlands. It was a telling of stories & singing of songs celebrating traditions & a way of life that are under threat and are yet still living on in the lives of  farmers and the country people, particularly in the remoter parts of the British Isles...much that was spoken of resonated with those of us farming in the Welsh hills & how we are bedevilled by government environmentalists & the needs of modern people; how young women will no longer accept a life of isolation on a hill farm, how environmental scientists come along and disturb habitats & centuries old ways of living on the land with particular reference to hefted sheep (and although it was not mentioned, hefted people) and how removing them from their traditional lands the knowledge of how to live there dies and can never be brought back.
It was evening of joyous music-making and deep thought. If you get chance to see Kathryn Tickell in concert do go.

The puppies are now just over 5 weeks old and very jolly. They are thriving and I have got good homes for all but one sweet little black bitch & one sturdy chocolate dog. I have problems downloading pictures from my camera at present so you will just have to imagine how lovely they are and what fun.

The Farmer & I had four days away (!) last week down on Exmoor. We had a lovely quiet time walking & reading mainly & visiting the lovely antiquarian bookshop & several galleries in the pretty village of Dulverton.
 It was a much needed break after a very busy summer but as the Farmer said on our return on Friday evening he has 'hit the ground running' and has been kept fully occupied with various things from the moment we got home.
I had expected to get back to welcome guests to the holiday cottage from New Zealand but had a message to say they had cancelled their trip, so I have week empty which I should turn to my advantage and use to do some decorating in the cottage. It gets well worn over the summer season and paintwork needs touching up so I am now off armed with paint-brush and a tin of white gloss to paint window frames...what joy!

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