Tangled up. Sometimes in blue

‘You’re keeping busy’, someone said to me to me this week, as if I were a retired person going on serial coach trips.

Not that there’s anything wrong with coach trips. Especially if they involve drinking illicit alcohol on the back seat. And singing silly songs like ‘One man went to mow,’ with custom lines:

‘… three men, two men, one man and his dog, a sausage roll and a bottle of pop, went to mow a meadow.’

Yes, it’s been a while since my school trips to the seaside.


It keeps changing, but I will never retire. In fact I’m about to set up a new [groan, why do I do this?] small business. Very small. So small it barely exists.

I can’t imagine a day spent without thinking, planning, plotting, hoping – occasionally despairing, then moving on – and writing.

This year, so far, has been busy, busy, busy. Not always happily so.

Too many thoughts. Too many experiences. Too much to see, to do, to live.

Better that way, I suppose, than feeling empty. Bored. Or depressed. Though the black dog can still sneak through busy-ness, hiding amid the assault on the senses that is the Western world. Well, the assault that is the Western world if you keep your mind and eyes open. AKA engaging with Twitter 😦

I’ve been in limbo, awaiting a response to writing sent out. Writing requested, not foisted on an unwilling agent hemmed in by Alpine-scale slush-piles.

I dread hearing the verdict: ‘Your baby is ugly! Take her away!’

But I carry on as usual. Except for the blogging which is my release. So …

I’m shedding some tangled thoughts. And pictures.

Please, bear with this bitty post. It reflects my state of mind.

Worlds in miniature

One day I noticed rain drops clinging to tiny green fingers, growing up from the wall between us and next door.

If you’ve ever seen the film Men in Black II you may understand where I’m coming from if I say I instantly heard:

‘All hail, Jay!’

If not, do watch this. In fact, just watch it:

I’m fascinated by the tiny.

I’d like to create imaginary worlds where wee creatures mingle with mosses, live in lichen, frolic under ferns, not knowing another gigantic order of life rumbles around above them. But right now, I don’t have time.


In praise of cossetting

 ‘Wonderful, relaxing break in an old fashioned, comfortable hotel. They’d better not bare-floorboard and boutique the place or I’ll cry.’

Husk,  February 2018

On the staircase Top left is the white Yorkshire rose, the red Lancashire rose is on a window to the right side, impossible to get both into view with my camera

Chaucer looking thoughtful (possibly trying to understand what he’s written)


The imp is a copy of the Lincoln Imp from Lincoln Cathedral. I wrote about that long ago but to be honest can’t be bothered finding the link….

William Morris windows, ornate plaster ceilings, a carved stone fireplace with an imp to keep out the devil, what more could you want?

Well, how about a proper four poster bed (not a flimsy modern one) and carpet. Carpet, carpet everywhere.

Stripped floorboards and mismatching old school furniture have their place. But they can’t do what this does. Wrap us around in a hug of comfort.

A dining room. Solid, old furniture, white tablecloths laid for dinner with knives and forks in place settings and plates and glasses and flowers. Real flowers.

Large linen napkins, unfolded on our laps by the waitress.

A fabulous meal. Even though only two other tables were occupied. A proper chef, a proper hotel, a proper restaurant.

Those are baked apples with the ham hock terrine (mmm). Described on the menu as small apples. I have never had such things. But then I don’t live in London where no doubt they are already passe

We had an ample gables suite in the old wool merchant’s mansion.

In the misty moisty morning, a view over the valley to the last remaining industrial chimneys and the mill owned by famous thermal underwear brand, Damart.

Zoomed view – it was actually way down the hill. So quiet and peaceful. Can’t wait to go back.


Wide open Brontë-world spaces, hanging onto winter

Walking on the Pennine moors? No. Hasty ventures out to snap wintry panoramas.

Quick stop at the hill’s top for oval-framed views through the Panopticon. Then back to the comfort of heated seats in our pearly white automobile.

The Panopticon above Wycoller has stunning views. If you are five years old or quite small for other reasons you don’t have to crouch down to see them

Trees shaped by the winds and territory edged by stones that look like gravestones.

My beloved Pendle snow-capped in the distance

After a weekend of free floating thought, a decision

To print up the Little Match Girl story I blogged two years ago.

The People’s History Museum in Manchester said long ago they would stock it, but it’s still an ethereal thing – and they can’t stock ethereal.

Seven months ago I approached an illustrator to help make it real.

She has done nothing.

So, I found a letterpress printer, fairly local – and discovered a wonderful story, a wonderful place, a wonderful … source of more work!

Brian of Rufford Printing Co, Mawdesley, Lancashire, sits by the same kind of Linotype hot-metal typesetting machine you can see being used in that ace film, The Post

And here is the hot metal – lead and tin

So, as the tangles become further entwined. I take a walk on a sunny day

… to the kitchen designer who will wreck the old, install the new

It’s a nuisance, an expense we could do without and it’s not done lightly. But the kitchen is close on 30 years old and so much needed replacing it was cheaper to rip it out and start again (I know, Dale, but honestly, it was the most practical option).

The sky was such a dense blue I could hardly believe it. Skeleton trees were clumping with life, waiting to burst into leaf.

Yes, we’ve gone past the point where my heart still pines for midwinter. I’m OK with the end of darkness now.

And so, to spring

When a young man’s fancy, old men’s fancies, many men’s fancies – turn to…

Can we be serious, now?

Actually, no, I don’t think I’ll tackle that stuff, yet.

I’ll leave dogs, cages, women, porn, prostitution, freedom of speech and gender self-identification (Reader: ‘say what?’ Me: ‘Do keep up’) for another time.

Watch this space for the next exciting rant from one whom some might call… never mind what. It may be some time.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with yesterday’s view from the back of the house.

This entry was posted in Art, jaunts & going out, Britain now & then, Lancashire & the golf coast, Nature notes, Thinking, or ranting, or both, Yorkshire and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Tangled up. Sometimes in blue

  1. Liz says:

    Glad to hear you once more ! Keep going ! Liz

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed that, thank you. Did you make it from the Panopticon to Wycoller? Now I’m getting all nostalgic-like about coach trips – didn’t we have a loverly time… I bet they’re not what they used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thel says:

    Mary, You are tangled up in great ideas and kitchen remodeling! I think a coach trip is just what you need. Seriously, Your pictures of the countryside are stunning! Best of luck with The Match Girl. It’s one of my favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. seer1969 says:

    Keep on keeping on Mary, your writing is always a perfect portion of cultural gems and observations that never fail to add value to my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Peter and thanks for this! Can always guarantee a riproaring comment from you! Nice of you to say what you say at the end. I don’t reeeaaallly think engaging with Twitter is the same as engaging with the world but it is engaging with a bit of the crazy bit of it – I hate it really as it brings out such narcissistic tendencies but it is also useful sometimes… for finding out about the madness. x


  5. Glad to catch up with you and the sundry thoughts.
    Particularly about comfort….who wants a restaurant where the tables and chairs resemble school furniture…..or hotels where you ckack over the floorboards only to be ambushed by an unexpected ethic rug

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ardys says:

    So glad to see someone else’s life is a bit tangled and multi-themed as well. I think it must be that you are very good at showing and describing how the unedited life really works. Looking forward to the announcement of the nature of the new business, barely there or not.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. jilldennison says:

    I adored the MIB clip!!! Never saw that movie, but the clip is enticing. And I loved the photos and your words … you always make places come to life for me. The scenery … gorgeous. The blue sky threw me for a moment, for it has been many years since I have seen one so blue. But, my dear friend, you seem melancholy. Are you okay? I’ve been largely incommunicado due to my visual problems, so I haven’t kept up with you (or anybody else, for that matter). I hope all is well. I am struggling to get back in the saddle, and hope to soon be back to emailing. I hope you and the Prof are both okay. Take heart … winter will soon be over and the flowers will pop their colourful heads out of the ground, the bees will come buzzing back, and all those other things that come with spring (I am not as poetic as you!)

    Many hugs, sweet Mary! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you watched the clip – I absolutely LOVE it! No-one else seems to have watched/liked/commented on it… but it is so funny and thought provoking too – if you let it sink in. Melancholy? Yes,a tad. Life has been a bit of strain – on a very minor ‘1st world problems’ kind of level – I hate being in limbo, can’t do anything serious – well, not true, I can do washing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, worrying… Sigh. But I have my eyes and am truly grateful for that, please get well soon! I hope the op/s work/s well for you. Don’t worry, I understand as do all your loyal followers about your limited resources – keep up your good work! I know there’s no point telling you not to overdo it…

      Liked by 1 person

      • jilldennison says:

        I find that when I post a clip, very few watch it … except for music … most will listen to the music. But I did love the MIB clip! I understand about being in limbo … it must be especially draining waiting to hear about your book! Keep me posted … my fingers are crossed that they will like your baby! The eye that had the surgery is clearing nicely and each day I am able to notice things I hadn’t seen before … some good, some not so much, such as the stains on the carpet. It’s a bit offputting to have one eye clear and the other nearly blind, but that will be fixed soon enough … March 5th. D & I have been fighting for a month, which does NOT help! But, this too shall pass. Hang in … one of these days we will sit on your deck and kill a bottle or two of wine while we talk about anything and everything! Hugs! ❤


  8. I don’t need to watch the clip… I’m a fan of MiB, all the films, have watched them numerous times with a less then enthusiastic but generous G.O. I’d like to believe those touted imaginary worlds of wee, weird and wonderful creatures are real and benevolent, a badly kept secret.
    As for the rest, where do I start… other than with a tinge of envy at the lovely, interesting places you take yourself off to, and which you so kindly share, enabling my armchair recreation.
    I’m here, I read, enjoy but sometimes weeks pass before I have the opportunity to craft the quality response you deserve. Today I’m actually sitting at a proper keyboard, in the hope of less if not no typos.
    I appreciate your kitchen disclaimer for my benefit but not necessary… out with the old, in with new is often efficacious. And I do have a soft spot for efficient kitchens. I wish our kitchen was original to the house but the G.O. assures me he ripped it out because it was unusable & unfixable. What we have is cobbled together, suited to the house, serviceable enough for our use. However, I assure you if I had the need and opportunity for another kitchen it would be as new and state of the art as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hooray – an MiB fan! I love those creatures in disguise too. The Post Office scene with the alien under the sorting machine ! Ha! Do you like Galaxy Quest? I loved Alan Rickman’s performance and character – RIP.
      I can’t say I really want this new kitchen and the prep is driving me nuts but… needs must! Thanks for coming along on my new walks and sharing my new charms 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

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