Thrid week o’ Mudmonth

More songs I recall from my infancy.
There was Abdul abulbul Amir:

The sons of the prophet were hardy and bold,
And quite unaccustomed to fear,
But the bravest of these was a man, I am told
Named Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Abdul had an enemy:

There are heroes aplenty and men known to fame
In the troops that were led by the Czar;
But the bravest of these was a man by the name
Of Ivan Skavinsky Skivar.

Rather like the Two Cats of Kilkenny,* the pair fought and both died. See here for the whole thing.

*There once were two cats of Kilkenny,
Each thought there was one cat too many,
So they fought and they fit,
And they scratched and they bit,
Till, excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails,
Instead of two cats, there weren’t any.

15th Feb

Walk 4.2 miles

Just to town & back, apparently. The fence post is leaning at about 45° I like how the growth rings have altered the licheny/mossy stuff.
The two cygnets (swans?) have seemingly decided to take up long term residence on our pond.

Sunday 16th

Up to Stubbing Lane And back to town: 3.2 miles
Mum’s songs continue:

List to me, while I tell you, of the Spaniard that blighted my life
List to me, while I tell you, of the man who stole my future wife
Twas at the bull fight that we met him
He was doing his daring display
And then while I went out for some nuts and a programme
The dirty dog stole her away
Ah yes, Ah no, for tonight there shall be dirty work

As well as being a “hit” for Al Jolson the song was a music hall staple in the UK. The chorus was particularly bloodthirsty:

When I catch Alfonso Spigoni the Toreador, tralala boom boom, tralala boom boom
With one mighty swipe I will dislocate his bally jaw, tralala etc
When I catch that bull fighter the blighter I’ll kill
He shall die, he shall die, he shall die tidlyee itie tie tie tie tie tie tie
He shall die, he shall die….ie
For I’ll raise a bunion on his Spanish onion when I catch him bending tonight, tonight, tonight, tonight, tonight!

Here it is by Al with Bing.warning: autorun video

It was, if memory serves, bloody cold & we thought that the grebes might have abandoned their eggs but all seems OK.
Believe it or not but Archy would prefer a bigger stick. He must have the jaws and neck muscles of a bull mastiff. Goldfinches are becoming a bit common. For a bird I’d never knowingly seen before, I’m growing a bit blasé about them.
Redwings are a fairly new bird to me – there were a load of them on the rugby field at Stubbing Lane. They’re members of the thrush family and are purely winter migrants.

Tuesday 18th

(Apparently didn’t take any pics on Monday (?) despite walking up to the Docs)


On Mother Kelly’s doorstep,
Down Paradise Row.
I sit along a Nellie,
She sits along a Joe.
She’s got a little hole in her frock,
Hole in her shoe,
Hole in her sock
Where her toe peeps through,
But Nellie was the smartest down our alley.

Although I remember it as:  “… the finest down our alley.
I think that most of these songs were heavily London – even cockney – based. The dominance of the South East over the UK has always been oppressive.


Did the Lindrick Dale walk. Must find a new route up that way soonish.

Round the pond and up to Cinderhill on the canal. There’s three robins in that picture, presumably a pair and a would-be adulterer. I used to think that it was only the males that had the red breasts -WRONG.
Trouble with kestrels is that they are rarely near enough to get a decent picture. Without using a tripod I can’t get a blurrless pic.
Think the bird on the wire is thrush but …


The new path around the field at Cinderhill is a great improvement on the mudpit that it was.
I love the miniature landscapes that moss creates. Looks like something from prehistory sometimes.
Cow parsley umbrells* look so architectural.
The snowdrops were in the orchard at Brancliffe farm: possibly the biggest patch I’ve seen.
The walk to Lindrick includes a path across an almost sheer drop of some fifty or so feet that puts the fear of everything up my acrophobic self. I always swear that I’ll never do it again but always succumb to temptation.
*If I want to invent a word on my own blog, who can say me nay?

Back down home:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stonier field in cultivation.
The footpath signs seem to say: “go anyway you want” – there are arrows on the other sides as well.
Turnerwood’s male swan is notoriously (over)protective of his mate. When she’s siting on the nest he’ll attack anything and anyone coming near.
Why people go up in these tiny microloghts and paragliders, or whatever they’re called, defeats me!
Those numbers stapled to trees are beginning to annoy me.
Mallards really do fly as if they were plaster plaques on Stan & Hilda’s wall.

Wednesday 19th Feb

Just the shopping walk:3.1 miles
Then there were the monologues, I think these were on t’ radio (didn’t we call it “wireless” back then?) rather than mum or dad.
Stanley Holloway was the one I remember best:

‘Sam, Sam, pick Oop tha’ musket,’
The Sergeant exclaimed with a roar.
Sam said Tha’ knocked it doon, Reet!
then tha’ll pick it oop, or it stays where it is, on’t floor.’

His sergeant knocked his rifle down & told him to pick it up – hilarity ensued (or not). Holloway had several about Sam and quite a few about Albert who had “a stick with an ‘orse’s ‘ead ‘andle” and was variously eaten by and regurgitated by, a lion, half drowned to save ‘thrupence’ on a ferry trip and many other adventures.


Only robins and a grebe so no surprises there.


Epiphany above MorseLock

Epiphany above MorseLock

Through Stret Lock

Through Stret Lock

About to moor at the Lock Keeper

About to moor at the Lock Keeper

Narrowboat “Epiphany” came up. She was expected as we’d seen on Fiona’sTwitterLink blogBlogLink that they were approaching.
She even had the temerity to put me in (complete with daft hat!*) They went on to the top of the canal.
*If you can’t fight wear a big daft hat – I can’t fight.


A boring old goldfinch. Who’d have ever thought that boring and goldfinch could be connected.
The crow family are fascinating.
Didn’t know these were catkins but I’m assured they are. I always thought that catkins were only the dangly things on hazel and alder and such. Dunno what I thought these furry little things were called. Ho hum!
A couple of sparrows to end the day.

Thursday 20th Feb

Up to Shireoaks via the tip (“Woodland”) 6.7 miles

You might gather that I remember my mum singing a lot and listening to the radio with her. With hindsight this is possibly a tad overegged.
I had rickets when a wee bairn and have dim, very dim, memories of wearing calipers from knee to ankle – I recall staggering across the basement at number 38 which opened onto the back garden. There was an air raid shelter and some very tall trees (birch or poplar? formed part of the hedge at the bottom. There were elder trees/shrubs too; I never associated elderberry bushes with elder trees until I tweeted pictures of an elder-preferring fungus Auricularia auricula-judae or Jew’s ear and looked it up. On a similar tangent I’d not known what an alder was until I was told that waxwings were on them at Shireoaks last year (I’d never seen a waxwing either).


A few more piccies:

The grebe, of course, on the nest.
The ladybird is there mainly ’cause it’s early – look at the date!
Alder trees are weird: some have male flowers (catkins) high and female flowers (cones) low; some the reverse; some with sex divided between branches; a few one gender only, but a very few have an equal mix evenly distributed.
Teasels go without saying.
Coach Road bridge has wire mesh that chequers the view of the station.
Have I told you this before: my “O” level German exam had a piece of text to translate. It was about someone hunting. Hunting kaninchen to be exact. Now I’d never heard of these beasties before so I guessed: kanin – sounds like canine – ergo “dog”; chen diminutive suffix. The whole then: small dogs. So I merrily wrote my translation as being about hunting small dogs. Kaninchen are, in fact, rabbits. I still passed the exam but I’ve always had a soft spot for rabbits. (Just looking round the web I find that it comes from Latin cuniculus which word is not unrelated to canine.)
The cat was evidently hoping for a tweetypie to come within range.
Long tailed tits are CUTE.
Don’t see many kites around nowadays.

Friday 21st Feb

Wander round, then up to the Docs’ 7.1 miles
I’ve always liked music but never been musical. I think my abilities in that direction rather make Jeremy Hardy look like Mozart.
BUT I’ve played instruments quite successfully: a bodhran at folk does (doos? dose? doose?) (where I’ve also sung on stage – never again! :-); and wouldja believe a trombone at trad jazz? Note: a bodhran’s a handheld drummy thing that you wallop with a double ended sticky thing. A trombone you can find the note without knowing where it is beforehand by moving the slide in and/or out.
The thought of having a pair of mini ‘phones stuck in my ears with music flooding my senses while walking fills me with horror. I see folk out and about totally insulated from their surroundings. They must be mad. I’ve recently seen a Bose(?)Bosch(?) ad for ‘phones being sold on the premise that they eliminated external sound: Horrid!

The three crows seemed to be doing a square dance.
The solo crow is possibly a rook – it’s got a pale beak.
The big cotton reel in the new Brunton Shaw building on Sandy Lane has been put into a machine since this pic was taken.
The bridges at Manton are the old railway viaduct and the new link to the sewage farm. More pics in a while.

We’ll leave it for a while now.

2 thoughts on “Thrid week o’ Mudmonth

  1. I remember that anything could trigger a line or two of song. They did it all the time. Often duets. I thought the furry “catkins” were called “Pussy Willow”.
    I’ve now seen hazel flowers, using the long yellow catkins as markers.
    But when I look at the self-seeded (Squirrel) hazel growing into the wall of my shed there’s something different – photo on the way.
    It’s shed week in Tideswell – the prising open of swollen doors and dusting off of garden furniture. I have now spent more time oiling my chair than I will sitting on it.
    Don’t leave it too long a while


    • They are pussy willow but still technically catkins (apparently).

      Aren’t (female) hazel flowers tiny?
      Is your hazel a Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick one? (google is your friend)

      Suppose I ought to do something with my “garden” – it’s just a miniature jungle at the moment. Last year’s Hollyhocks are beginning to grow already aqnd will take over son if previous is any guide. Not really a gardener!



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