Six word Saturday

Playing with shadows in the woods

A nostalgic look at Autumn because I shan’t be here for most of it.  Nice to remember it at its best, in dappled sun and shade (and each with six words, if you run the gallery).  Dawn is sharing Festival of Leaves if you’d like to join in.

Next week I’m off to the Algarve again, for quite a long spell this time.  I won’t be posting for a little while as I shall be without Internet.  Sighs with relief!  I have one more walk for you on Monday.  Have a great weekend, and a wonderful Autumn, and I’ll be back when I can.

Meantime, Debbie is sharing some superb photos of Vietnam.  Join her for Six Word Saturday?

Jo’s Monday walk : Flamboyant Autumn at Easby Abbey


Today’s walk is the reverse of one I took you on a couple of years ago.  Remember the story of the little Drummer Boy?  It really hadn’t been my intention to walk to Easby Abbey, but as the sun burst forth over the Autumn foliage I couldn’t imagine a finer place to be.  Such a contrast with the creeping mist that enshrouded me last time.

This walk starts from The Station at Richmond, now a fine exhibition space with a rather nice eatery, ‘Seasons’.  Have I been neglecting your stomachs lately?  I know there has been a dearth of cream scones on here, but maybe you can make up for it later.  Incentive to get you walking! From the rear of The Station a trail signed for Easby Abbey leads off into the woods.

The gurgle of water accompanies your footsteps, as you are walking above the fast flowing River Swale.  Glimpses of it flaunt themselves through gaps in the trees, along with the wider view to the countryside beyond.  Soon you come to a bridge.  This morning it is rhymed with frost so tread a little carefully.  Recent rain has ensured the boisterous nature of the water.

Once over the bridge the trail bends to the left and you are following the river more closely.  My heart always goes pitter pat at the sight and sound of rushing water.  Autumn finery weaves it’s own spell.



Bathed in sunlight, you can make out a grand looking residence through the trees, and soon you are in sight of the Abbey.  The gatehouse stands silently, beyond a field where grazing horses sport their winter garb.  The woolly sheep don’t seem to feel the same need.


Pastoral England at it’s finest, isn’t it?  Let’s slip through the metal gate into the churchyard.  The hamlet of Easby dates back to the Domesday survey of 1086, and the parish church of St. Agatha predates the Abbey.  It also provides a wonderful vantage point over the Abbey ruins.



Easby Abbey was founded in about 1152, by Roald, a constable of Richmond in North Yorkshire.  It was established as a Premonstratension monastery, whose origin came from Premontre in France.  Most monks follow the 6th century Rule of St. Benedict, renouncing the world for a life of contemplation.  The Easby monks followed the older rule of St. Augustine, meaning they served the community by preaching, teaching and charitable work, and could become parish priests.  They lived communally but did not take monastic vows.  They were ordained as canons (or priests), with the authority to celebrate mass and administer sacraments.

From the earliest times, sheep farming seems to have been a mainstay of Abbey life.  Roald’s descendants continued to hold the constableship of Richmond and its lands throughout the 12th and 13th centuries.  They were variously known as de Burton or de Richmond.  By the 14th century the estates had been sold to the Scrope family, knights based at Bolton in neighbouring Wensleydale.  The Scropes made Easby their burial place and the chancel of the Abbey church was lengthened.  Prosperity seems to have continued until the suppression of the monasteries in 1536. Richmond defended its monks, but in retribution Henry VIII wrote that “St. Agatha and such other places as have made resistance… shall without pity or circumstance… be tied up (hanged) without further delay”.  Destruction followed, but the remaining ruins are hauntingly beautiful.


Turning up the lane, another grandiloquent property looks down on you.  I imagine much doffing of caps went on at St. Agatha’s House.


The field drops down towards the river again, and this time I find I can get really close.  Leaf strewn steps lead down almost to the water’s edge and I am awash in Autumn’s tumultuous hues.  Knotty tree roots protrude and I have to mind my step, but it’s like being in an enchanted forest.


Always before I have taken the higher route.  My reward, a glimpse of a modern day Hansel and Gretel cottage, nestled in the woods.


The path meets the higher route at the Drummer Boy stone, and soon you can see distant Richmond Castle through the trees.  Water trickles and drips down the mossy stone.  It feels almost primeval.


Back at The Station, pause for refreshments, or carry on, as I do.  I can never resist the lure of the falls, and there’s a bonus.  Look who I found!


The tumult of the falls is breathtaking.  As I walk back towards The Station, another little guy is watching me from the safety of a branch.

I hope you enjoyed sharing these last moments of Autumn.  English Heritage provide a comprehensive history of the Abbey on their website, plus details of how to get there.  I’d rather like to share this walk with Jude too. Her November theme for the Garden Challenge is Trees, and I think I’ve managed to find one or two.  Let’s put the kettle on and settle in for a read now, shall we?

walking logo

Huge thanks to all of you for the support I receive on here.  Yet again I have a wonderful selection of walks to share. Please visit as many as you can. And if you happen to have a walk you’d like to share, well, what are you waiting for? Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page, or you can click on the logo above.


I have so many Gaudi favourites!  How about you?  Lady Lee showcases this one beautifully :

Casa Batllo 

Woolly’s strolling from the shopping centre this week :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk- Barwon Heads

Jude tries her hand at landscapes in Constable country, and makes a lovely job of it :

Walking in an artist’s footsteps

Kingston, Jamaica it’s not, but Stephanie makes her current home look very appealing :

A Walk through Downtown Kingston, WA

Jackie, meanwhile, is on the trail of more history in Virginia :

October 2016- Williamsburg, VA

While Liesbet explores California, with a very cute canine friend :

Sunny Sacramento

Yvette is never shy about sharing her views, but she shares a lot of love too :

Our Lady of Victory Basilica Lackawanna, NY

Another of those dreams I haven’t yet made come true.  Thanks, BiTi!

Big Sur

Much more intimate, but no less delightful, Drake’s childhood home :

Big, big small world

Stamina or coffee!  Which do I need to walk in Badfish’s footsteps?  Don’t miss it!

One long road to Bratislava : Part II

I’m considering myself invited to the south coast so I can do this walk with Gilly.  Any offers?

A South West Coast Path Walk

And finally, anyone up for a little skateboarding?  Or you can just stroll, with Kathrin :

Skateboarding in Huntingdon Beach

Fantastic, aren’t they?  That’s it for Autumn posts from me.  Not sure where I’ll take you next week, but I hope you can come along.  In the meantime, have a great week, and to all my US friends, Happy Thanksgiving!

Six Word Saturday


Is it hug a tree week?


I always feel a little sorry for trees at this time of year.  All summer long they share luxuriant green shade.  Come the Autumn they dazzle and glow, radiating joy.  Then, slowly, one by one, their leaves drift away.  Frail and naked, they are left to shiver forlornly, and tremble in the breeze.

But there’s still a little colour around, so let’s enjoy it while we can.  To quote Verena, it’s a Festival of Leaves, isn’t it?


Jude is embracing Trees this November.  Why not join her Garden Challenge?  I’m off out to set those leaves whirling one more time.  Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to share six words, will you?


Six word Saturday


Through Autumn’s golden gown we used….


…to kick our way.  You always loved this time of year.”  Was ever there a more haunting Autumn anthem?  The Moody Blues song always echoes in my head as the season draws to its close.  Don’t you love the gleeful expression of the guy hoovering up the leaves, and that little intent group by the pond?  There’s so much to love about this life.

I’m putting the miseries firmly behind me and having one more flurry with Verena’s Festival of Leaves.  It’s a little drab and grey here today but there’s always joy to be found.  This afternoon I shall be celebrating a 70th with a rather special gent. (no, not mine!)  Make the most of your weekend, won’t you, and don’t forget to share six words.


Six word Saturday


Trick or treat,  in Autumn glory



I had no real intention to post today but I couldn’t resist sharing a little of this joy.  I managed to escape for a few hours to Thorp Perrow Arboretum yesterday.  I made it the subject of a Monday walk around this time last year, so I remarked to my husband that the camera would probably stay tucked in my pocket.  He didn’t believe me, and nor should you.


The leaves were wonderfully crispy.  Just perfect for hurling in the air, or over poor Dad.  I couldn’t help but smile, the youngsters were so gleeful.

From in amongst the glorious foliage, squeals and screams emerged, accompanied by rapidly clapping hands.  The applause, correctly performed, caused the eyes of the witches and skeletons to gleam- a source of great entertainment for young and old alike.

Surprising how much one Autumn can differ from another.  The sky was bluer when I was here last, but the trees in this 100 acres of woodland seemed less vivid.  This year the assault on my senses was overwhelming.



The Halloween activities finish this weekend, but the Autumn colour may last a little while yet.  If you’re in the area, Thorp Perrow is a beautiful place to be, as was Jude’s Bolfrack’s Garden this month.  I’m squeezing in at the very last minute but there’ll be a new theme for the Garden Challenge on Sunday.

I’m also running out of time for Verena’s Festival of Leaves.  Oh dear!  Such a lot happening in my six words.  Can’t argue with Cate’s six words this week!  Let’s get out there and kick some leaves.  See you on Monday!


Saying goodbye to Autumn


My last post, about Lumiere 2015 at Durham, is a hard act to follow.  I was tempted to just let it ride until I come back to the blog in December, but the Christmas ‘rush’ will be well and truly here by then.  There’ll be no opportunity to bid farewell to Autumn.  It’s been kind to us this year and I’m quite reluctant to let it go.  Just a week or two ago I was wandering through Durham.

On a bright Autumn day the shadows can be as beautiful as the blue sky.  I loved playing with them on my walk at Auckland Castle this week.  IMG_0777


It must have been about the same time last year that I was here, because there’s a poster advertising the Christmas Food and Craft Market on 20th November.  I well remember my ginger wine and mince pie, whilst looking at the palatial dining room, shared with you on this walk.  This year they’re going a step further, with an outdoor skating rink until 3rd January.  I might just have to come back for that.


Of course, it’s no good having a great view without a bench to admire it from.  And one bench invariably leads to another.  Let’s leave the Deer House and go looking for some more shadows, shall we?  I’d better catch up to those walkers too.


I think I’ve just about got Autumn out of my system.  And managed to share a few more benches for Jude.  It’s the last week of Festival of Leaves too and Verena has done a wonderful job.

If you do get the chance to visit Auckland Castle in the near future, don’t hesitate. It’s a beautiful setting and there are plans afoot to make it even more interesting.

That’s all from me for a week or two.  Take care of each other, please.



I suppose this could be a Monday walk, but I really just wanted to share my experience of Glenridding with you, before it fades like the leaves.  It’s many a long year since I spent a night in the Lake District, and I wanted to savour every moment.

If you walked with me this week you’ll know that after my visit to Aira Force the rain hit hard, and I was ‘forced’ to eat cream scones and bide my time.  I should maybe apologise if you were sitting in the Orangery.  Once the scones had disappeared I took to pacing up and down, waiting, not so patiently.  Lake Ullswater needed filling and was supremely disinterested in my desire to be out exploring, so I had to contain myself until morning. Very early morning, so it was really no surprise that I had Glenridding all to myself.

I was staying in a guest house immediately across the road from the lake

I was staying in a guest house immediately across the road from the lake

You may have observed that it was rather misty!

You may have observed that it was rather misty!

But I was optimistic!

But I was optimistic!

And I could see the boats moored at the landing stage, beyond the trees.  Enough incentive to venture further.

I crossed the stream

I crossed the stream

Ad looked back at the sleepy village

And looked back at the sleepy village

And there was the lake! Not much mountain though...

And there was the lake! Not much mountain to see though…

There's the steamer

But there’s the steamer

And two wonderfully curious swans

And two wonderfully curious swans

I imagined it to be brightening a little, and turned from the water’s edge to head back into the village.  I tucked my camera into the comfort of my pocket.  Mistake!  At just that moment the swans decided I was a tad boring and, with a graceful flurry of wing, lifted off from the lake’s surface and glided away to the distant shore.  I gazed after them, bereft!

Back to the village, which was just waking up

Back to the village, which was just waking up

I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere with so many options for walking.  I saw at least 4 signs pointing out different routes, including one for Helvellyn.  Curiosity prevailed and I had to follow the latter a little way, finding a couple of pretty little cafes and a fine letterbox as I did.

I continued a little way along the trail, upsetting a little black dog in the privacy of his morning walk.  My shoes were totally inadequate for the task, and breakfast was calling.  Enough adventure for an early morning.  The rain began in earnest soon after I reached the guest house.

Back via the village 'green'

Back via the village ‘green’

I never did manage that steamer ride to Howtown and the walk back to Glenridding.  I guess that means I’ll have to go back another day.  Let’s look on the bright side- I did find a couple of Autumn benches for Jude.