What I read in 2017

What I read was an awful lot of books, 134 of them!

See my Goodreads 2017 shelf to see the full list.

My secrets for reading so many books –

  1. reading on my bus journeys to and from work, even if I walk part way I can still read for 15 to 20 minutes each way
  2. reading in my lunch break if I have enough time
  3. read when relaxing on holiday
  4. wind down after the day by reading for a few minutes before bed
  5. choose long series of books with characters that I like so that I get gripped and read book after book as quickly as I can
  6. download books from the public library so reading doesn’t become prohibitively expensive and my house doesn’t become overstuffed with paper books.

For 2018 I need to read some of the backlog of books in the house, I’ll have to give the series of crime books a rest to manage that though.


The Yorkshire Dales walk 1

Away back in September we had a lovely week’s holiday in Richmond, North Yorkshire. We had a couple of days in the town itself to explore the castle and historic streets and also just to relax and read in the cottage. The rest of the week was spent walking of course!

Our first walk started at Jervaulx Abbey, we didn’t spend long here, just a quick wander and few photos

From here we briefly went along the A6108 and then down a farm track to a footpath along the south bank of the River Ure, we headed west. Just before Cover Bridge, the River Cover joins the Ure and the walked switched to the bank of the Cover. We’d had lunch on bench under the trees watching the river race by but still popped into the Cover Bridge Hotel for a drink and to use the loos!

The walk is easy to follow as it goes along the river, however we did go slightly wrong attempting to head away from the river, north to Middleham Low Moor, after completely losing the path we eventually found our way along the edges of a few fields and onto a road at the the edge of the gallops on the moor. We headed uphill for views of the Dale and of Middleham Castle. Sadly we were far too late in the day to see any racehorses on the gallops.

Then it was downhill into Middleham with time for a cup of tea before our bus back to Richmond.

Whilst we enjoyed this walk, we were annoyed at the signage giving out at a crucial point, we were supposed to be following the Three Dales Way but it didn’t seem to be that heavily used. As always we had an Ordnance Survey map but the paths shown on it didn’t quite correspond to the paths on the ground, we were never lost, going in the right direction just not on the path! We also felt the section along the river while very pleasant could have been anywhere, it wasn’t until we got up onto the gallops that we could see typical Dales scenery. Next time we’re in the area we will make sure to have time to visit the castle too, it looks very interesting.

River Tweed Walk

What to with an unexpetedly blank Monday? Well go for a walk of course! The weather forecast was for a cloudy day so we decided to stay low and choose the River Tweed Walk, route 4 from the Paths Around Peebles leaflet we picked up in the Peebles tourist information last year. The walk starts in Hay Lodge Park in Peebles and heads west along the North bank of the river on a mixture of paths and an old railway. It’s all nice easy walking and quite flat. There are some nice views of the river and of Neidpath Castle.

The walk continues on the north bank until Lyne Station where you cross the river on a footbridge and return on the south bank.  This leg starts through the grounds of Barns Tower and Barns House

The next landmark is Manor Bridge and the Old Manor Brig, the walk crosses both of these and then heads uphill to a viewpoint over the valley

From here it’s through the woods back to Peebles

A lovely 7 mile walk and we enjoyed seeing the first signs of autumn

#30DaysWild Conclusion – Back in the Garden

Yes, it’s July and I missed my random acts of wildness for the last few days in June, wet days at work made it hard to finish of.

Today I’ve been in the garden (and yes it did rain again), I’ve cut the grass and the difference between the mown section and the rest is starting to show. I’ve also got both bug houses up properly and I’ve removed the block in the fence I put in to stop the neighbour’s cat from using my lawn as a toilet so that’s a second hedgehog hole.

I still need to find suitable dishes for hedgehog food and water and in the autumn I plan to try to sow some wildflower seeds for next year.

#30DaysWild Day 27 – Reducing Plastic Waste

There’s been so much in the news recently about pollution from plastic waste that I’ve started to look at ways to reduce the amount of single use plastic we buy in product packaging.

To get started I’ve recently had a delivery of some cleaning products from Splosh as this company provides refills for products like washing up liquid, toilet cleaner and fabric softener so there should be no more waste bottles from these things. I just washed today’s dishes with the new washing up liquid, it’s a bit runny and didn’t bubble up much but the dishes seem clean so that’s all that really matters.

Next I plan to try solid shampoo and switch to soap instead of shower gel, I have a stash of both of these to finish first though.

In cleaning products and toiletries I am also trying to avoid palm oil, lots of label reading needed to buy the right product!

Food packaging is proving more troublesome, we only have access to supermarkets where we live and everything seems to be sold in plastic trays. Any tips on more environmentally friendly shopping from supermarkets welcome.

#30DaysWild Day 26 

This evening I took a slightly different route home from work, I spotted this cheeky seagull making the most of waste food in a rather overfull bin, it’s a disgusting mess but at least the seagull is happy 

I am also pleased to see some lovely trees planted at the newly refurbished Bristo Square, looking forward to seeing it finished sometime soon

#30DaysWild Day 25 – In the Park in the Rain

We’ve been busy about the house and garden all weekend and late this afternoon felt the need to get out for a few minutes, luckily we live near a park that’s also a local nature reserve.

We’d only been walking for 5 minures when a really heavy rain shower came on so we took shelter under a tree for a while 

It’s all looking very lush and green on the paths connecting the various sections of the park

Love the sound of the burn (and the sun came out)

Although Mr Lmrlib had seen a kestrel over the park earlier today all we saw on this walk was a squirrel and a warbler on a telephone wire.