Saturday, 25 July 2015

Pear Tree Log - Access Denied....?

Looking for Pear Tree Log or A Woodland Journal?

Apologies to anyone who has tried to read my original Pear Tree Log blogspot and has been hit with a message to the effect that they haven't been invited to the party!;)    This is Blogger's message, not mine.

I don't want to delete the whole blog because the posts are important to me, but neither do I want to lose any more to those pesky scrapers and thieves so I have mothballed it, while I decide what to do.
A Woodland Journal is also mostly mothballed, for the same reason.

Thanks for all your supportive comments on my previous posts, they were all appreciated.


Update:  I have taken my posts out of storage to let some fresh air blow through.  What has gone has gone and can't be undone.  
I have now moved over to and where I continue the saga of life.  I am also exploring some old recipe books and cooking cakes and puddings from Victorian times and earlier.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Progress on Plagiarised Posts

You can probably imagine my surprise/shock when I stumbled across one of my posts, complete with a very old photograph of George and I,  on someone else's blog,  no permission requested, no acknowledgement of where the words and photographs had been taken from.

I began to dig a little deeper and it got worse, much worse.   There are many dozens of my posts which have been used by (to date) six other blogs.   There may be more.    They seem to be part of a ring of approx 30 blogs, connected in some way and which have advertisements linked to them.

It galls me that while I dig and delve through their contents, checking for my original posts,  they are probably raking up a profit!

It is impossible for me to say whether there is any genuine content on the blogs; they may be entirely composed of work stolen from other, genuine, blogspots.

To date I have not seen any of your posts in there, I would immediately inform you if I came across one.

Time-lines have been messed about, events which I posted about sometimes show up in these other blogs as having occurred several years previously - say, 2007, which is before I even thought of having a blog.  

I am attempting to go through formal channels right now, so I won't name and shame at this point.  Should the formal complaints not work, then I will post the blog names here.
Meantime, I may have to republish some of my old posts (currently in draft form) in order to establish that they are you may wish to remove all my blogs from your reading lists, it could get messy if they show up as newly published.

Thanks to all of you for your support and comments through the years.    I have delighted in 'meeting' so many wonderful people.


ps  I posted my first formal complaints yesterday and have already received confirmation that the contents will be removed.   Now to work through the rest.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Blog Post Theft

I was about to do some more work on a post about a former
Belleau resident.
In the course of my research
I found that someone 
had taken several of my old Pear Tree Log posts 
complete with words and pictures 
and had posted them as their own.

I am easy-going
but some things make me cross.
This is one of them.

You (and I) know who you are
please check with me before you take any more posts.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Boy's New Trick

'Boy', in Shanghai, has been in training.

(sorry, any ads which appear are nothing to do with me.
I think the second video is free of them.)

A few days later...

Somehow I don't think that Sparky and Millie would be up for this.

Double trouble!

They'd rather be outside hunting defenceless little critters
they work as a pair
although Sparky gets first choice of which bits to eat...

Thursday, 28 May 2015

A Gate Post

Gates in
Gates out

Harvest gates,
Dog gates,
Hen gates,
Child containment gates
(who are we kidding?)

Gates used rarely,
locked and bolted,
Busy gates

One of my favourite gates is the one near the bird bath (second collage)
 we use it after the barley has been harvested
 the enormous barley field becomes our playground
Harry uses his metal detector, hoping for treasure
while I walk the dog
play ball with him.

The holiday air lasts
 Farmer T the younger comes along
 with the plough.
Then the gate gets locked for another year.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Talking Boots

A couple of months ago I developed a stress fracture in my foot
and was completely unable to do more than hobble a short distance.

As you can imagine, after a couple of months 
I was getting pretty desperate and wondered whether I would
ever get back onto the lanes and tracks which I love so much.

Then I remembered these old boots.

I wondered whether I could support my still painful foot with the boot
and perhaps
get out and about a short way
without causing more damage.

I gave it a try.
The boot were comfortable, supportive, reassuring.
The first few walks were short, scary, and a little painful,
but so exhilarating!  

Now I am almost back to normal
the pace is a little slower to accommodate the damaged foot,
but each walk is a cause for celebration.

My boots led me past the watermill and through the lanes to Belleau
(fields are off limits at the moment)
as I walked through the farmyard I could see some sheep had
been penned up and were about to be sheared.
They looked very hot and a bit stressed
so I didn't stop to photograph them
but continued on my way.

The reason they were hot is admirably demonstrated by this big girl.

Ming Ming, I know how much you love the sight of these flowers growing wild and free
so specially for you...

I called in for Arnold, met Old John, and had a chat.
He is busy with his bee keeping
and has just taken delivery of a new honey extractor.
He is, perhaps, a little frailer
feeling the heat a bit more,
but what a man!
Ninety-eight and still going strong and showing an interest in so many things.

Arnold was nowhere to be seen.
I checked his paddock,
the stable - no sign of him.

Finally I noticed a slight movement in the small barn
across from his stable.

He was taking shelter from those pesky flies which make life so difficult in the warm weather.
He wouldn't budge,
so I went to him
and got the loveliest surprise
as a big and beautiful Barn Owl flew past me and out the other door.

Arnold enjoyed his treats and a bit of a fuss,
then I went to chat with John again and tell him about the owl.
He was every bit as excited as I was
and hadn't realised that it was 
living in the little barn.

A red letter day.

The reason I called this post 'Talking Boots' is because
no matter how well they are polished with dubbin 
these boots creak and seem to keep up
a running commentary.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Signs of the Times

In the last few months our small village has acquired several new signs.
Two decorative name signs,
one at either end of the village.
They are immense and impressive.
Brick and cobble bases, surrounding a very chunky post,
which is topped with decorative wrought iron work.

This is farming land, so agriculture is represented
by the horse and plough.
The train is there because we used to have our own railway station,
just down the road, until it was closed, thanks to Dr Beeching.
The other horse and man is a reminder that until very recently
we had a working village smithy.

The second sign is a cautionary one 
stating that the road under the old railway bridge
is liable to flooding.
Of course it warns you about this at exactly the spot which floods,
no advance warning!

The third was brought about after a long campaign by George.
He succeeded in getting the 30mph stretch altered to include the lane
outside our property.
The parish council had tried and failed.
George persisted.
It took a lot of patience
but we got there in the end 
 and most people comply.

Harry has been taking his driving test this weekend.
His little electric car has a top speed of 5mph 
Grandpa insisted on a written test,
a sight test
and a practical test...
much to Harry's delight,
before he was allowed to drive it around the Owl Wood.

He passed with flying colours
and even had a short drive around the little woodland.

The two younger cousins were both thrilled to have the opportunity to sit in the car.

Ming Ming, I'll email you some more photographs.

Friday, 22 May 2015

.A Wild Man

Dear old Arnold lives just across from Owl Wood. 
I try to visit him most days.
I could walk over there in just a couple of minutes
but I take the long route
of a little under 3 miles, this way he gets his apple
and I get my exercise.

The walk takes in two hamlets and a village.   
The prettiest one, Belleau,  nestles in the lower folds of the Lincolnshire Wolds.
It has about a dozen houses and a pretty little church.

Belleau is also home to the source of the Great Eau, 
a chalk stream
There are just over two hundred chalk streams in the world,  
so they are very special,
 internationally rare habitats.
However,  that's not the reason I love this place so much.

The early 16th century dovecote is octagonal in shape
and built of red brick.
Inside is filled from floor to ceiling with brick
nesting boxes.

The next leg of the journey takes me down a farm track,
past the right-hand side of the dovecote,
and through the middle of a working farm yard.
Sometimes the yard is busy,
littered with machinery and men.

On those days when all is quiet I take the opportunity to have a look
at the 1904 stable block.
That marvellous arch is 16th century, taken from the former gatehouse
to the mansion which once stood here and which belonged to
the Willoughby d'Eresby family.
The "Wild Man" was one of their symbols,
possibly one of fertility.

This engraving is said to be of the remains of Belleau Manor, 
many years ago.
There is nothing like that now,
but there is an incredibly beautiful old barn,
brick built and with a patchwork face which shows the alterations
undertaken through the centuries.

This is another early 16th century building,
the Great Hall,
now a barn, listed
and (I hope) protected.

One of the elders from our village
was brought up on this farm.
Home was a late 17th century manor house
with medieval features.
Unfortunately, it was demolished in 1978.
She simply remembers it as a large and uncomfortable,
cold and damp house...

The whole of this site is surrounded by a moat
which extends approximately 140m x 95m.
This moat measures 14m in width,
so in effect it is all on an island,
or it would be, were it not almost completely silted.

The track leads me along the bank of the Great Eau
over a wooden footbridge and
up through this field

although some days I take a detour through our village cemetery
and past the pub
before turning off the lane to Arnold's paddock.

The story doesn't end with the buildings,
I have so much more to share with you
about one of the former inhabitants.
That's the trouble with blogging,
it turns me into a digger and delver,
a chatterbox.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Owl Wood on a Quiet Day

If this works you should get a glimpse of Owl Wood and the frothing sea of cow parsley.    Ming Ming, you always see it when the cow parsley has finished flowering, this is what it really looks like - beautiful!

 What I was also trying to capture was the 'quiet' of the countryside.

The second clip was filmed down by the swing area, you may be able to hear some of the noises made by the geese and the sheep and you can see the water of the fish pond through the trees.

I am having great fun exploring all the functions of your camera Jonny.   I know it takes me a while, but I get there in the end!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Dusting Down the Cogs

OK, so here I go again.    Ming Ming has missed my blog and, truth be told, some small part of me has missed writing about life around this place.      

Over the years I have found many 'treasures' around this place.   These two large lumps of metal were buried deep underground, I still recall my excitement as I carefully dug them out.  They now grace the foot of the old Rowan tree which marks the end of the garden and the beginning of the woodland.

May is such a special month as everything begins to celebrate the warmer days and suddenly the woodland is filled with a froth of cow parsley and a marvellous and ever-increasing array of wild flowers.

The cow parsley reaches a height of almost six feet in some places and grows so quickly that if tracks and pathways are not used for a few days they become difficult to follow.   Toby Too used to love having a game of 'fetch' in here - nowadays we keep losing the balls.  I suppose we shall find them all come autumn.

We also lose the hens, but they are easier to find as they come running as soon as we call them.   Here we have Do-Do in the lead with (left to right) Queen Mab, Shaggy, Frankie, Suzie and Dusty.     

I love having this motley crew around.   It definitely makes it easier to learn about individual hens - for instance - Shaggy (the white one in the background) is always the first one to go to bed in the evenings, way before the others even think about it.

The bluebells are incredibly beautiful and somehow we also have a single white one this year, stuck all by itself on one of the tracks.

Some pathways are strewn with small yellow flowers, golden pathways which fill me with delight.    The wild garlic has definitely taken hold and is in full flower right now.   I harvested some of the leaves and used them in salads and as a garnish, I also whizzed a lot up and froze them in small cubes ready for cooking through the year.

Meanwhile, the gardener has been busy, though there is still so much more to be done.

The gardens are filled with flowers and burgeoning foliage.   This is my small white patch, tulips, Solomon's Seal, and hidden below are my longed-for lily of the valley flowers.   Each year I hold my breath as I anxiously check to see whether they have survived (the woodland ones all died) and I am happy to say that they are flourishing.   My mother would have loved them, they were her favourite flower.

Despite being pruned the old Bramley Apple tree is covered in plenty of blossom, fingers crossed for another decent crop later in the year.   

So, there you have it.  A whistle-stop tour of the place, Ming Ming.    

I have lots more to show you, but I have a sewing project which I hope to finish later today.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Don't Forget to Feed the Parrot

I have really enjoyed your company and comments over the years as I have rambled through my various blogs.

Spare time is at a premium right now and any I do get is spent on other hobbies.

I hate protracted farewells, so I shall simply say  "Don't forget to feed the parrot."