En Route

There it was: Sunshine.

On a Monday morning.

And I was heading to work. A long shift.

I stopped. There was time enough to rest a moment and to breathe in the cold morning air. To see the light bringing to life all that it touched.

Sometimes, we have to stop and wonder. Otherwise we may not see the proverbial forest for the trees.

Or the beauty for the busy-ness.

Remember to pause and soak things in; blessings might need a moment of noticing to enter your heart as the gifts they are.

Peace,

Herdygirl

In a Georgian Kitchen

This time, an ornamented pie lid made by noted food historian Ivan Day, using a pattern from Edward Kidder’s Receipts of Pastry and Cookery (London: ca.1720).

Wordsworth House 18 July 2017 pastry

Posh white flour being more of an upperclass thing in the Georgian world, and time spent creating it being precious, this pastry lid would have been an item of value to the household.

A lid to be lifted and reused, not consumed!

Sort of like the salt pastry Christmas ornament of my youth. Do children still make those? I hope so.

Peace,
Herdygirl

Isel on a Sunday Afternoon

One of the benefits of looking for a property to buy is that we visit places we’ve never had cause to visit before.

One Sunday afternoon, Best Beloved and I tootled along the western edge of the Lake District National Park, seeing what we could see.

There were lovely views across West Cumbria toward the Irish Sea, the Solway Firth and Scotland.  Along the feet of the fells were hidden hamlets, quiet rural views, and winding waterways.

Our northernmost stop for the day was the Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Isel. The sign states that the present church dates from c1130, and is built on a Pre-Norman site.

It isn’t a grand building, but it is a welcoming one.

Settled into the curving bank of the River Derwent, the church is surrounded by impressive sandstone monuments and gravestones.

A beautiful resting place for generations of local families.

Swallows nest in the porch and swoop about catching insects.  The body of believers at St. Michael & All Angels have kindly provided benches for resting and reflecting, and watching the swallows.

Just to the north and a little further downriver, Isel Hall dominates the ridge above.

Known for its c1400 Pele Tower and sunken gardens, the hall is a private home and has very limited opening times.

Victorian renovations didn’t destroy the clean Norman simplicity of Isel’s church.  Nor have recent floods caused irreparable damage.

We’ll have to plan a second visit to Isel, in the spring.

Rumour is that the graveyard will be covered in bright, twirling daffodils. A sight to see.

Peace,

Herdy Girl

 

 

Table for one, Madam?

I looked up from my work yesterday and saw something unexpected in the back garden.

A herdwick sheep, munching at the lawn. Enjoying a garden buffet for one.

She was as surprised as I was, to see someone watching her through the window.

So, I put on suitable clothes and headed outside.  My plan was to open the three gates and shoo her back into the wide open park. It’s worked before!

Forty minutes later, I returned indoors.

She’s still here this morning.

Sheep 1, Human 0.

Off to put on my wellies. If at first you don’t succeed…

Peace,

Herdy Girl

Focusing on…

Life.

Beautiful, exhausting, endearing, numbing, wonderous, uncertain, inspiring, ugly, finite.

And so much more.

We can walk in the midst of loveliness, and forget to enjoy it. Not see it. Or not even bother to walk.

How foolish. Wasteful even.

One Herdy Girl, and a faithful, happy dog – just taking a brisk morning walk.

Refocusing, recalculating, recalibrating.

I remember my dad teaching me that when riding a bicycle, we tend to drive toward where we’re focusing.  Same with a life.

This Herdy Girl needed nudging, needed to stop navel-gazing, needed to mind where she was steering.

As paraphrased by E. Peterson, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”

My focus today? Gratefulness, companionship, faith, health.

What have you been focusing on?

Peace,

Herdy Girl