Thursday, 30 October 2014

Mushrooms & the Monarchy! Or Middleton part 2

Well now, where to start?!
After our lovely visit to the Lake District, we decided, next day, to stay in Middleton, (Middelton-in Teesdale, is a small market town, in County Durham. It is situated, on the north side of Teesdale, between Eggleston, and Newbiggin, a few miles, to the north-west of Barnard Castle).

And go for a walk along the gorgeous river Tees. This goes through her Majesty's estate of Strathmore.
The royal family come here, in the shooting season, and there is a tin hut on the moor, where they carry out, for want of a better word "ablutions".... ;-)

At this time of the year, the trees lining the river just drip with gold and red! If one is lucky, one may see a salmon or two, en-route up the river, going home to spawn. And there are usually plenty of different types of ducks, dabblers as well as the odd diver.

Blossom, (who had been rather naughty, and spent all night chatting to the tawny owls), was really tired, so she decided to stay home, and nap in the tent!
Clarice and Penny, who had both been sensible, and had gone to bed, were fresh as daisies, and eager to explore! So, they hopped into my bum-bag, DH & I packed nibbles, juice packs, and our water-proofs, and off we went!

As the clucks had not had any breakfast yet, they stopped for a snack on the drystone wall.... well, for the poor wee bugs, hiding in it, that is! They also feasted on lovely red Hawthorn berries, and pecked around in any rotted wood, for juicy morsels...

Penny rather bravely climbed a tree, and was rewarded by a snack of crispy crunchy spiders...

DH & I just feasted our eyes and souls on all the autumnal splendour... it was just us, the rushing sound of the water, the distant baa of sheep, and the song of the wild birds..... sheer unadulterated bliss.... AHHHHH!

As we walked along, we happened upon a tin hut....(the afore mentioned one). Neither DH nor I said anything. We already know what it was.

But suddenly, a dry, and very Scottish sounding Clarice, piped up and said "well, hen (she has taken to calling any female "hen" irrespective of whether they are one or not, since her trip to Scotland!) that there, is the queen's kludgie".... I kid you not!
Poor Penny, who is a genteel cluck, of a sensitive disposition, nearly choked on the fly she was eating!!! She just stared at Clarice, while trying to get her breath!!! Clarice shrugged, and said, "No  need to take on so, hen, every body poops!!! There's even a book about it".
After that, there was no mention of bodily functions, as the clucks had spied a mushroom, with tasty slugs on it.
As DH & I were starting get really hungry, we decided to pop into a lovely local public house, Strathmore Arms I had never been here before, but DH had! So much so, the owner recognised him! We were given a lovely warm welcome, by Selina and Anthony! And we tucked into yummy stake, chips and mushrooms! Compliments to the chef!

Selina absolutely loved the clucks! She very kindly allowed them to pose for pics in her lovely quaint pub! They perused the pumps, sat on the very seat where the Royal shooting party sits! And had a lovely time, pecking at stuff, and exploring :) DH & I just relaxed, and rested our feet.
After digesting and cogitating, we packed up the clucks, and walked back to the camp site! The clucks feasted on sloe berries, and then had fun, playing on and under some interesting bracket fungi!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Clucks go camping

A few weeks ago, we decided to go camping. In beautiful Middlton Tees Dale. DH & I have been coming here since we first met! As ever, a few woolly clucks decided to accompany us!

Blossom, was not going to come, but decided to, at the last minuet. Little Penelope Peck-a-lot, (my first ever teacup chicken) also graced us with her presence! She has never been away from home, so she was very eggcited (sorry, couldn't resist that one!!!). Clarice came too :)

Middleton is not far from where we live, so we got to the camp-site at lunch time. After having some sandwiches, and juice, we put the tent up! All around us, the birds were singing, sheep were baa-ing, and  the distant moorland beckoned.

Once we had put the tent up, we went for a walk to the village. The clucks stayed behind, and foraged for bugs. They had a chat with the friendly local birds, too! Blossom was regaling them, with tales of her many adventures in the USA.

The next day, we went to Lake District. It was a few hours drive away. All the clucks came with us! Neither Penny, Blossom nor Clarice had ever been to Keswick! Tryistan & Cecily my other woolly clucks have; and highly recommend it!

We all had a lovely time, peeping into all the lovely shops. I got some yarn and a crochet hook (I'd left mine at home, and really wanted to do some evening-crochet). DH got a light for the tent, and a travel-size game of Ludo!

While on out travels, we spied a lovely looking shop :) It was full of lovely brightly coloured sheep-related items, and a few brightly coloured sheep, too :) The name was pretty neat too "Herdy"
After the hardy herdwick sheep, indigenous to the Lake District. I had a lovely chat with the lovely Kat, behind the counter, and introduced her to the clucks!!! She loved all of them, and has requested a pattern for Blossom, so so she can crochet her own wee woolly cluck! I was beyond thrilled!!! She very kindly agreed for a pic, with the clucks, for posterity :)
Lovely Kat, with the clucks!
After looking around Keswic, we started out journey home. We passed through numerous quaint villages, and glorious open countryside. We stopped to stretch our legs at the Whitesyke and Bentyfield mines.
There was an interesting ruin, of an old building, where the miners who were too far from home, to keep coming and going to the mines, used to lodge. The upper potion was the lodging, the lower; the smithy/forge.

Clarice (top), Blossom (next) & little Penny (bottom), on a drystone wall!

The clucks had a jolly good peck around, and found a lovely rotted stump, full of juicy bugs!!! Yum! They love dry stone walls, as the crevices, between the stones are just perfect, to poke their wee woolly beaks into!

After a lovely hot supper of sausages and beans (a must when camping!) DH & I played a game of Ludo with the clucks! They beat us!!!! Enough said.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Clucks on the throne.... Or Scotland; the final part!

Our final and most regal stop, was the beautiful Stirling. A major strategic garrison town. Full to the brim, with the most beautiful ornate and regal buildings!!! It had a unique atmosphere, modern, juxtaposed with medieval.

Brian & the clucks soon found a whisky shop....though thank heavens, they only window shopped! After a wee wander through the town centre (where I stocked up on some yummy craft supplies) and a bite to eat, we climbed the steep path to the magnificent Stirling Castle.

It was well worth the effort. Though the day was cloudy, the view was sill amazing. And to think, people, royalty in fact, actually used to live here.

The whole place has been refurbished in the original style, and it was lovely to see a sumptuous furnishings. Though I found a lot of the carvings to be rather gaudy! Less is definitely more, when it comes to paint!!! The tapestries were however, gorgeous.

Yummy big bug!
Donning head-dresses....

Bloss and Clarice had a lovely time "free-ranging" around the whole area! Everything was subject to scrutiny, via beady eye, and beak! well, woolly or not, they are chickens, and that how chickens investigate! Eye it up, and peck it! They even got to sit on the throne, yes, the throne, in the Queen's bed chamber!!!
By popular request, the lady -in-waiting, allowed them, very graciously, to take a pew!!!! all the other tourists including DH & I cheered! And lots of people too pics too :) I had a lovely chat with her, about sewing and embroidery, and the Clucks chatted to Polly, her tailor's dummy!
Some of the gaudy paint work!

On the royal bed!!!! Or er, missus....
A nice bit of woodwork!
One of the amazing tapestries.
Posing for pics!
Sitting on the queen's throne.....
Fifth Century needle case!
DH & I in the Great Hall, on thrones!!! With Clucks, of course!