Category Archives: Communities

Take a last Pre Christmas trundle with me…….

After all the excitement of the Scarecrow trail Sunday would be a much gentler day to enjoy. No rushing about hiding pebbles, I would just be able to enjoy the promised sunshine. The scarecrows would still be there for their final day so hopefully more big and little people would be out trundling too….

The day dawned clear and bright, showing the promise of a nice day ahead…

I did think of going for an early morning walk, but thought I’d wait until daylight for my first of the day. As I sat having a cuppa watching the morning birds come and see what was on offer for breakfast, my Robin waited in the queue patiently waiting

My first trundle was around 10am. It had a purpose as the couple I bought my house from still live in the village and I often get the odd Christmas card for them. So I headed towards their house, passing the house with the Chinese lanterns still trying to outwit winter

Back along the lane, saying good morning to the horses 

And the morning sun beginning to light up my path

Wally the sheep posed beautifully 

So many families out once more taking in the final day of the Scarecrow trail. Many today with maps and scoresheets, children racing round from one to the other getting lots of exercise as they are so well spread out….

The church looked lovely bathed in sunlight

And remaining seed heads from the summer held a beauty all of their own

Along to the duck pond, stopping every now and then for a chatter and hello, the ducks waiting hopefully for their next feed…..unaware of my arrival

As I threw the seed into the air for the first arrivals, those at the other end of the pond raced to be in on the act

And suddenly it was playtime at the duck pond

Back home for a cuppa, watched a couple of Christmas programmes on my ipad…..but the sun kept shining and looked so enticing for a mid afternoon trundle and hopefully a sighting of Saturn and Jupiter. All the reports said 4.30 pm was about the best time, so maybe I’d catch the sun setting too.

I could feel the air getting cooler as I stepped outside, the light staring to fade already

but I had that feeling of a special sunrise in store. I headed towards Gemma and Stuarts for a cuppa and a chat before heading back outside into the now decidedly cool yet clear air.

More people to smile and chat to on my way, also making the most of the dry weather. I turned the corner at the end of the road, stopped and smiled at the view

I hadn’t been disappointed, the sunset was glorious. I perched on the street sign and simply stared in awe at the beauty nature offers if we just take the time to watch it at work

I turned to my left and there was the moon shining bright in the sky

What could be more perfect on a still clear cold winters day? My body telling me I must move, brought me out of my thoughts and I wondered up the lane, an aeroplane soaring through the dark sky

The horses in the field now shadows in the distance yet here is a lovely viewpoint for the sunset too

It was just a tad too early to find the colliding Saturn and Jupiter, so I walked down the never ending lane accompanied by Tia the dog and her owner Liz. We chatted amiably as Tia investigated hedgerows and puddles left from the overnight rain…I ventured a little further as Tia turned round for home and was greeted by a swooping white owl, surprised by my appearance so too quick for me to snap. I stood still watching for a moment, hoping it would reveal itself once more but it was probably watching me watching it and refused to make itself known..

So I too turned around retracing my steps, one last photo of the fading sunset

If I was going to see the planets at all it would be about now, so I trundled back down to the corner, clouds annoyingly drifting across the sky. I searched the sky for the bright lights in the sky and had almost given up, when a twinkling caught my eye. I zoomed in with my camera, my cold shakes hands refusing to keep still for long enough but I could tell it was them. I must have clicked 20 or 30 times, hoping to get just one shot….and I did….just….

I could get far closer but just couldn’t keep still enough to get the perfect shot, but at least I got one further away at least showing the closeness of the two planets…..

My hands aching, my head buzzing from the excitement and concentration, it was time to turn my back and head home…….another beautiful day from start to finish…..

This time I’ve been hiding Christmas pebbles ……

So after the success of the poppy pebbles, I couldn’t help but do the same for Christmas.

The villagers had gathered safely of course, for the Christmas light switch on around the pond at the end of November so I knew this would all be safely done too.

Weeks ago Rachel from the village Preschool had posted on the village Facebook page how they wondered if anyone was interested in a Christmas Scarecrow trail and whether anyone would be willing to make one to raise funds for the preschool. Well, I replied saying a scarecrow was probably a tad beyond me but I could make pebbles to hide close by the scarecrows on the walk…..the villagers all came to life and within days many household were busy beavering away at Scarecrow making while I was wondering what I’d let myself in for 😂…..

Well the first I got from t‘internet and then playmate Gail came up trumps again and made a video with simple designs. I was off…

The weekend was to be the 19th and 20th, so last weekend.  We obviously had to keep it amongst the villagers otherwise we’d have been classed as an ‘event’and got into trouble. There was so much enthusisasm for this simple trail and the excitement was growing as the weekend approached. The day before had been a wash out so we were praying for kinder weather and it didn’t disappoint 

Rachel had sent me a map ahead of everyone else so I knew where to find them all. The plan was for all scarecrows to be in place by 9am and locations to be released to the villagers at 10am, so I had a very short window to hide my pebbles. They were at all ends of the village, and everywhere in between. I’d plotted what looked like a sensible route to capture them all.

I started my trawl at 08.45 hoping the first few would be early birds. The morning was quiet and wet after overnight rain, but somehow I could sense the anticipation….

The first was very easy to find as it was a few doors up from me. So I left my bag of pebbles on my doorstep and took theirs in my hand. They’d just put it out and it looked amazing – legs hanging out of a snowman’s mouth 😂. What a start,  as we chatted about the smiles it would bring

Back to my house to get my very heavy bag of pebbles 🙄💪🏻…and off I went down the hill, another 2 close by, including Scary Mary the Cleaning Fairy having some finishing touches by her owner…

Hiding a pebble close by each one, this was going to be quite a hike but what a lovely one. Mums and children waving at me through the window, people stopping me in their cars to tell me of ones nearby. Such a buzz in the air…

The end of the pond and the house on the corner had done itself proud

A little fairy pebble for that one from my collection…

So much work had gone into each one and all so different. The very edge of the village and the first one people would see as they drove through the traffic lights

Someone opened their upstairs window and waved and thanked me….a permanent smile on my face from scarecrow to scarecrow ……

I went into little cul de sacs I’d never been into before just following my map for each location. Another wave from children through their window as I place a pebble nearby

Up and down the streets, through little short cuts, getting distracted by the sun desperately trying to shine

Past the playing fields and a detour to the actual pre school itself to see their display the children had made of scarecrows heads

The outside morning keep fit people excercising in the basketball area all dressed in Santa hats and exercing to Christmas music all adding to the mood and smiles

Then along the back lane, taking detours every now and then to capture a house down a snicket. Past the church and heading to Abby’s field. She’d even message me the other day to see if I’d like to meet the sheep up close and personal. Apparently Wally is the friendliest, so that will be a pre Christmas treat…..but I digress….Abby had used some hay bales to make a snowman

And the egg house made for a perfect spot for my pebble…..

There must have been about 30 entrants altogether and I was probably two thirds through…..my legs beginning to tire but the smile still on my face as I ventured into more unknown streets of houses, my bag of pebbles thankfully become lighter at each stop…

The final few and close to home. A Star Wars fan at this house

And finally Santa at the end of my road

So many I couldn’t show but each created with love and smiles. My legs might have been protesting as I arrived home over 2 hours later, but my face had not stopped smiling the whole way round. What a wonderful idea, not only to raise money, but to bring a smile on peoples faces through this often dark time……..and I got to sent lots of smiley faced photos of children clutching one of my pebbles in their hands ❤️….what a wonderful village I live in….I’m sooo lucky 

P.S……and the winners were…….2 winners, the first chosen by villagers and the other chosen by the pre school children……🎄

A Merry Christmas Trundle round my village….

I rarely choose to go out in the ever deepening evening dark, the shadows playing tricks with my head, often causing confusion and uncertainty about what’s real and what’s dementia playing cruel tricks in the ever increasing darkness. Strangely the morning darkness doesn’t bother me, probably because the morning light gets lighter whereas the evening is getting darker….strange 🤷‍♀️ However, the prospect of seeing the village all lit up for Christmas was too much to resist. I was going to Stuart and Gemmas anyway to see their big light switch on, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to trundle round some of the streets to see what others had done.

I’d spent the day before doing mine – made my room all twinkly as it’s the lights I love bestHowever this wasn’t going to be a patch on what the village had in store for me….

My favourite house at Christmas has always been one a few doors up and they never fail to make my eyes glisten…

Then a new family who have lovingly restored the house next door had placed a magnificent star high above their door

Back down the hill, one eye on the time, as I’d said I’d be at Gemmas for a cuppa at 4.30, I decided to go back down to the pond as I hadn’t seen it since the switch on there some weeks back..I could hear the ducks quacking in the darkness, no food for them I’m afraid.

The house behind the pond added to the sparkling affect, all blending as one.

and the sign at the back of the pond which children love to see….

Many others had lights along the outside of the house, one following the shape of the house, so drivers through the village must have had a real treat. Even the pub, no longer allowed to open due to Covid had bravely decked the window – such a hard time for them at what is suppose to be their busiest time of year 😔

Back up the hill towards Abby’s sheep field, I kept meeting so many families out doing the same as me. Excited children dashing from one glowing house to the next. Their screams of excitement the only indication as to their whereabouts. 

Abby’s house looked wonderful, the whole courtyard lit up…my photos failing to capture the magic 🙄

Many houses along the back lane had trees in their windows. Lights on outside trees. Everyone seeming to want more colour in their lives at this strange time.

Down the snicket towards Gemma and Stuarts and I knew the lights would be waiting for me round the corner. I saw a wonderful purple glow surrounding their whole house

With our faithful reindeer high up in the loft window, which the children love to see as they walk past

Their house looked beautiful, all set for my Christmas Eve stay. But cuppa over, I had the remainder of my trundle waiting for me. Once last look back at their house at the smiling snowman waving farewell….

Then back down the hill back towards the Main Street a sign all children will wish to have – Santa Stop Here!

The Main Street is always full of sparkly surprises including these 3 toadstools

And a snowman guarding someone’s window

And further down a Santa trying to make a not so secret escape

Advent candles lit in many windows 

And Merry Christmas signs everywhere

And soooo many more lights that I imagine our village could be seen from space…..but this year we all needed a bit of light and colour to get through the darkness of winter and this unusual world we find ourselves in.

And of course, the last piccie has to be of my favourite feline friend……Billy…who always helps to rearrange the baubles on the tree….😻

A trundle with my daughter….

I’ve not had a very good few weeks one way or another but mostly dementia handcuffed to my wrist and thrown away the key……..but last week Sarah came to see me and we decided to go for a walk…..besides feeding the ducks and ponies, we had another mission – to look for the key that had fallen out of someone’s pocket while running and I’d said I’d keep an eye out for it on my trundles around..

But earlier in the morning I’d woken, climbed out of bed and slipped into my dressing gown, a cold chill in the air, the heating having only just come on. I looked out of the back window and saw it was going to be a lovely sunrise. So headed downstairs, keys in hand, slipped my garden crocs onto my cold bare feet and went out into the cold morning air. Everything was silent, no lights at neighbours windows as I padded up the garden. I stood at the end and stared

And simply watched the sun magically rise up into the sky

Must have been there for 15, maybe 20 minutes when suddenly I became aware of the cold spreading from my feet upwards. One last photo before heading indoors

Sarah arrived around 9am. I didn’t actually recognise her as she had a new coat and I was assuming I’d simply say hello and smiling  at a stranger as they passed. But then I saw the much loved beaming smile.

First stop was the village pond, so we ambled along the high street, eyes peeled to the floor, just in case. It was forecasted to be dull and overcast, but luckily the sun was shining, giving the cold air a bit of heat. The pond looked deserted as we approached, but then I spied 3 ducks staring at us from the far end and I told Sarah to throw some seed up into the air and suddenly the pond came to life and the quacking began.

Sarah threw the seed leaving my hands free for my camera

A lovely puppy dog stood alongside us wondering what on earth the fuss was and wasn’t too sure about the ducks 😍….one of his first of many walks out, so I’m sure he’ll get used to them. Once our bag was empty we ambled up through the estate to the back lane and it was here we took our first detour.

I showed Sarah where I usually take the sunrise pictures. Such a still quiet corner and looked so lovely in the sunshine

We stood in companiable silence just enjoying the silence and the view, then retraced our steps. My lack of energy of recent days exstinguished to some degree because Sarah was with me so I felt safe. But I was slow and methodical, one foot in front of the other, wobbling this way and that.

Instead of walking straight on towards the church, we decided to go round the wood for me to show Sarah the fungi that Pip had shown me. After hunting around I firstly managed to find the ears, dwindled in number now, but still there

And then, searching for the right log, I wanted to find the rubbery ones, the names of them all vanished since the last time.

Wending our way through the shelter of the trees, the sun shining through every now and then, we followed the path, now piled with a carpet of leaves leaves, giving a drier less muddy walk,

Sarah spotted a beauty. A new one to me so very excited and must ask Pip what it is….the sun was shining a spot light on it for us to see…Pip would be pleased with us. That is of course, unless I’ve forgotten that I’d seen it before 😂

Sarah’s piccie was much better than mine 😂 and Pip did know the answer. It’s a shaggy inkcap. People used to use the ink from these fungi to write with in days gone by 😁

Next stop was the Mother Tree…..it’s enormous stature revealing hundreds of years of life, where others would have stopped and admired it’s strength and beauty. It’s here where the Artists Brackets can be found. Sarah found a feather and we each wrote our names

There were many on the ground that I couldn’t find but we found more than enough to make it worthwhile….we came back into the open of the playing field and made our way our final through the trees to our final destination …the Shetland ponies, one carrot for each.

It had been a very long unexpected walk. But apart from the slopes where I needed a welcome arm for support, and a memento rest every now and then, I managed it. As for the key….well….after leaving Sarah, I got back home, opened my ipad and there was a message on the village Facebook page…

Has anyone lost a key, found this morning on my dog walk”…..I knew the village would come up trumps…

The largest living organism on earth…….

What on earth am I talking about, I can hearing you all thinking…..? Well, what a wonderful trundle I had last week and I didn’t realise this amazing organism existed until I met a lovely person from my village, Pip.

Pip had often liked my photos on the village Facebook page and one day she put up some of her own, of the fungi she’d seen and I was mesmerised by their beauty and wondered why I hadn’t seen them on my trundles. Pip messaged me to ask if I’d like to take a trundle with her for her to reveal this wonderful hidden world to my eyes and I jumped at the chance. What also sold it to me, was the fact that Scooby her Collie Dog would be coming with us 🥰…..😂

Pips mum had Parkinson’s and developed dementia. Her mum was a writer and apparently they came to see a talk I gave about my book and to my surprise Pip produced a lovely photo to prove it

I set off up along the snicket to meet her at the gates. I was a few minutes early so wandered round the churchyard, spying a squirrel watching me, watching him.

I’d never met her before, but as I approach our agreed meeting place , I saw her smiley face and felt immediately comfortable and safe. Her mum died not too long ago and I could see the sadness still naturally there in her eyes even through her smile …and, of course, I immediately fell in love with Scooby 

Pip said we’d start off in the Churchyard…..”I’ve just been round there, and I didn’t see any 😳”……but Pips eyes were tuned into the undergrowth and it only took her a minute to find the first, the second, the third and more …and I’d followed the exact same route, passing them by. Such small individual specimens, camaflaged by the fallen leaves. Some fungi are around all year but Autumn is when most appear, sheltered and hidden by the falling leaves.

It was then I understood I had to look at the surroundings differently, through Pips eyes. We headed along the back lane towards the playing fields, behind which stands a wooden area with amazing ancient trees. It’s often where the children make dens out of branches discarded on the ground

So many different types, 

different shapes

Smokey Bracket

many looking like coral from the sea

Coral Fungi

Pip then stopped at the ‘Mother Tree’….must have been 5-600 years old, but was dying so had the most stunning fungi hugging it’s ancient bark, making it’s demise look beautiful rather than sad….Pip wrote on one particular fungi with the tip of a feather telling me it was called ‘Artist’s Bracket’….the words will eventually fade, for more words to be written..you might be able to make out the faded script of ‘Mi Madre’, where she’d written before…❤️

Artist’s Bracket

All the while Scooby was leading us, turning round occasionally to make sure his herd were following and happy that we threw sticks once in a while for him to chase after..

Some have a milky sap appear from their coral like veins. So many are coral like without the colour but with a individual beauty all of their own

Mild Milk Cap

I began to feel worried about treading on them until Pip told me how the fungi were purely the fruits, like apples on a tree. 

The Mycelium is the real living organism. The fungus has a huge network of roots, called mycellia, that permeate below the ground of the forest….… and the ‘fruits’ or fungi sprout up from the veins that lie beneath the ground.. One was found in America that was 4 square miles, bigger than the Blue Whale, earths largest mammal.

I wish the photo of the Puff balls had come out, along with Dead Mans Finger…but sadly they were too blurred🙄…as Pip gently squeezed the Puff Balls, wisps of smoke, almost like your own breathe on a winters morning, appeared….so unexpected.

Some were rubbery in texture, able to cling to their new found home better

Hairy Curtain Crust

Other, orange trumpets, rising from the leaf mulched ground beneath.

Tawny Funnel…

Scooby led us through the brambles and hanging branches where ‘ear like’ fungi sat perched on Elder

Jelly Ear

And fungi growing on fungi…..

I was beginning to flag a tad as we came to the end of the wood….I’d lost all track of time, having forgotten my phone so was quite astonished and a tad confused as the sun was beginning to set

We’d ambled, chatted and laughed for over 2 hours about her mum, memories, anything and everything. I could feel the sadness in her voice, but a contentness as well as she was doing what she loved most and I was sharing that experience with her. 

Wandering amongst the undergrowth, where I’d never thought to look before, a whole new world appeared right beneath my feet, that I’d never taken much notice of before, not because I didn’t like it, I just hadn’t known it was there. Pip told me sooo many things, facts and information about fungi, trees and nature I never knew before, and even though most were quickly forgotten just to know them for a few fleeting moments was enough.

I suddenly came over totally exhausted and sadly had to say I’d had enough

As we said our goodbyes, the sun just beginning to set, we saw the stunning sight of a white barn owl in full flight, soaring high in the sky, the setting sun’s rays lighting up it’s wings …. …and as Pip said in a piece she posted later:

“’That’s Mum‘ I said. ‘Oh most definitely’ Wendy replied.

Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Wendy. I felt more useful and happy today than I have in a long time. ❤️”

I’ve always be of the mind, that when someone close dies and they become a memory, that you should scoop up all the nice thoughts and memories and lock them in a treasure box. Every now and then, open the box and the light will shine will all those lovely thoughts and smiles. But never keep it open for good as the memories float around and the mourning continues unabated. Keep it locked, live your life and when the need arises unlock the key to relive them once more. That way you keep your loved one happy and their memories safe as they will always be with you and want to share your highs and lows and they will always show their presence in some way, some people see them others don’t….for me they manifest in my faithful Robins…..

And I trundled home totally exhausted, but utterly content with the adventure I’d just had….

One last photo before my camera too gave up “battery exhausted” just like mine…

Another cold, crisp morning trundle of autumn…….

Last Wednesday, the weather forecast said it would be cold overnight, with a clear crisp morning….the first one of the autumn (I think!). The perfect morning for an early morning trundle…

I got up at my usual time, 06.45, showered and straight out into the cold morning air.

I could see the moon between the trees refusing to go to bed

And the gentle tinge of pink of the sunrise on the clouds in the opposite direction

It was so still and clear I was surprised there hadn’t been a frost, but I think we must have been on the edge of welcoming Jack Frost for the first time this autumn.

My gloved hands were already starting to feel the cold….must remember to put my hand hotties in my gloves next time..🙄…

On the corner a wood pigeon rested on the Skelton branch, the tree now stripped of it’s leaves.

Up the snicket towards the church and I could see the remnants of the sunrise across the house tops

Passing by Ginger the Shetland pony and his 3 friends waiting by the church fence ready for their first visitor with carrots, I could just see a peak of sunrise through the gap between  the church and gravestones

Heading towards the playing fields, the horse in the field just standing and waiting, for what? Well maybe waking up enough to start munching on the grass…

The final few minutes of the sunrise best viewed from here when it’s almost over…

Saying hello to my morning canine friends along the lane, always happy to be out no matter what the weather….This morning it was Alfie who stopped….or rather his owner did….

And finally at the playing field where the sunrise it at it’s best when in full flow but the remnants were fine this morning

My fingers and toes were like blocks of ice, so cold they were painful….goodness knows what they’ll be like when it’s really cold…..🙄

My final destination of course was the village pond. Almost at the road and 2 joggers suddenly come round the corner…..I quickly stepped onto the grass not wanting to stop them in their tracks…

Out of the way” laughed a smiley familiar face, as it was Stuart and Gemma out for an early run…..

The ducks waddling towards me before I’d even crossed the road and the 2 Muscovys decided they wanted their own ration this morning and hopped onto the fence

What a lovely way to start a day…….🥰

Autumnal Mist and a beautiful sunrise trundle……….

After my day of confusion, detailed in yesterdays blog, thankfully the following morning dawned and as I sat up in bed, still and quiet, sussing out the state of play between the warring armies, I could sense today was to be much better, thank goodness!

I showered, went downstairs, flicking the kettle on as I passed through to get the ducks breakfast. Shoes, coat and gloves on, with hotties in each for the cold misty morning I spied as I drew the curtains, I set off.

Because it was a lovely misty autumn morning I decided to go the opposite way round the village, turning right out of my path and up the road. I knew, if it was misty here, then the back fields and lanes would be perfect for taking photos.

I wasn’t disappointed. The field where the cows grazed in the summer, now taken in for the winter, were covered in mist, and turning the corner alongside the big mansion walls, a lone rook padded along the damp grass in the field where previously the sheep lived

Following the twisty road, the autumnal mist brought a magical feeling to the village. The long long lane cut short today, it’s secret views hidden beneath a blanket of fog. My ailing brain not able to remember the view beyond 

The moon, once again, had stayed around to see the sunrise. High up in the sky in front of me

And I turned round and there was the sunrise – day and night saying hello to one another….

Passing by the lone horse in the field, oblivious to the beauty around him, concentrating instead on the grass beneath his feet

And again, Turing round, the sunrise still there..

A different view this morning, a different side of the village. So beautiful, so still. The rooks basking in the morning sun high up on the hay stacks

Reaching the Main Street, I crossed and snook through the houses to the back lane, all the better to see the sunrise

Dog walkers now starting to appear and exchanging morning hellos and smiles. 

Bet you’ve got some lovely photos today Wendy”, said one

I hope so!” I smiled, as it’s all a glorious surprise to me when I get home and the photos magically transfer from my camera to ipad…

Along towards the back lane, still a hint of mist as I looked to the right and saw someone in the distance out enjoying the same

Not a breathe of wind today, and it made me think that my head feels the same , not a breathe of chaos, still, peaceful and calm…and I breathed a sigh of relief, my breathe appearing in front of me.

Along the back lane towards the playing fields

Another early morning walker to greet…

Two sparrows surveying the land unaware of my camera zooming in on them…

I carry on, past the playing field and through the narrow track that leads to the open fields for one last look at the mist and sunrise. Just perfect as I stand there for a moment

Before retracing my steps to the short cut through the houses to the duck pond. I was later this morning due to my longer walk. They heard me coming as I could hear the quacking strike up my arrival, and the frantic squabble for food is clear to see

But just like every day….as soon as I leave, they all disappear to preen themselves and tidy up and it’s as though I’ve never been

Mist, moon, sunrise and ducks all in one trundle …..how lucky am I….?

Hiding Poppy pebbles around the village…..

For Halloween, mums in the village organised a pumpkin trail, instead of the usual knocking on doors. People hung packets of sweets on trees for the children to find, inside carved pumpkins, shared ideas and locations on the village Facebook page and that gave me an idea…….

Halloween is swiftly followed by Rememberance Sunday. The black ghostly shadows of village soldiers were hopefully being put up in the graveyard around the war memorial. We were all going to meet there on the Sunday but now we’re in lockdown and I’m not sure if that means we can or can’t meet. 🤔…I’m sure somebody will tell me…(update, yes we did, safely and following the rules)

Anyway…back to my idea. My talented playmate, Gail, from one of my favourite places, Cleveleys near Blackpool, made a video showing us how to decorate pebbles with poppies. I wouldn’t have know where to start if left to my own devices, but her instructions were so simple, so logical and so clear to follow. You can watch it yourself here…

I knew I wouldn’t be able to use a fine paintbrush, my hands aren’t steady enough but at one point she mentioned sharpie pens, and I thought, maybe I could manage them.

So off I trundled to the shops, bought a red and black one, found some pebbles and here’s the result…..

I told the villagers on Facebook the day before that I would hide them around the village for everyone to find just to gauge people’s interest….but I needn’t have worried, I had lots of messages to say how people loved the idea and would take their children out to find them….😳. …no pressure……it began to feel a tad overwhelming and out of hand as more and more people started to message….I only had about 30 pebbles 😂

So the following morning, early doors, off I went with my poppy bag filled with the pebbles. Where to hide them?

I’d got up and seen a blanket of fog covering the village, which is beautiful, but a tad disorientating for me because if I can’t see ahead I can forget where I am and get in a muddle…so I decided on a small very familiar route.

Out before 7am, it occurred to me to start my trail at the beginning, so I placed a pebble on the yellow stripe at the end of my path. Heading down towards the main road, I crossed over to the snicket that leads up to the ponies

I used to hate the fog as a driver, probably still would, but now I see it as a mystical haze, giving a different view of all my familiar trundles….

I stopped, suddenly remembering the bag of pebbles in my hand and placed one on the fence post

And another further along, before spying the bird house in the wildflower area…..took me a while to lodge it in and prop it up alongside the old birds nest, but finally found a pebble that would fit…

Now for the churchyard….putting my bag on the bench the ponies thought I’d brought them some carrots and looked very solemn when they saw I hadn’t

A pebble propped up against the church door, a couple either side of the war memorial and one propped between the branches of the tree

The fog was doing a good job distracting me from the task in hand

Such a wonderful morning to be out early. I don’t think I actually saw anyone today, unless I missed them in the fog 😂

Walking up to the playing field I could see the sun desperately trying to make it’s mark on the day

But the fog was winning and making it almost look like the moon

Opening the metal yellow gate to the children’s play area, I rested 3 more pebbles, one on the top of the climbing frame, one on the sitting stone and another on the bench under the tree, before heading off for a very special placement…..

I’d had a message from a villager saying it would make  her young daughter’s day if she found one. I’d asked where they live and headed up there, leaving the pebble propped up just inside their gate….

Now for the duck pond…even they were in a haze of mist

I went through the gate, confusing the ducks no end, as my concentration was on where to put the pebbles…they paddled about in the water, looking most put out that I’d put them second today

But after feeding them, having hidden one on the picnic table, another on the bench, my final 3 pebbles clutched in my hand, I walked across the wooden walkway, thinking where to put these final 3. The house opposite the pond is where someone lives who has offered to pick me up should I be lost or in a pickle, not that I know where I put her phone number, but it was kind of her to offer……..so I lay one on her garden post…, the other will go on the bench near the shop and this final one…..mmmm…..as I turned round, I saw the wheel in the little undercover seating area that has the map of Old Walkington…..

A perfect fit…….

Finally I could go home and have a cuppa tea. As I turned the corner to my house, I felt an overwhelming emptiness….maybe I’d left all my love and emotion with each of the pebbles…..time for a cuppa…..

P.s…..as I shared a short socially distanced remembrance service at 11am on the Sunday, it was lovely to spy one of my poppy pebbles still resting on the war memorial….

Halloween around the village…

Usually I don’t celebrate Halloween, I’ve never liked it and the village had a rule whereby children only knocked on the doors of those who displayed a pumpkin outside. It would frighten me to death if I heard knocking when it was dark so I was always grateful for this rule.

But of course, this year, the year our world changed with Covid, there was to be no knocking on doors. Instead all the village mums had got together and decided on a pumpkin trail. Once this had gone onto our village Facebook page, there were lots of ideas being thrown around, spares shared for those that needed extras. It was so lovely to see the community spirit come to life. People promised to hang bags of treats on their trees for tiny hands to find and reach; Pumpkins filled with bags of treats; treats hidden here there and everywhere, windows and doors splashed with streamers…

So on Saturday morning I decided to go off and do my own pumpkin trail before the little ones had started. It was blowing a hooly outside, the trees being stripped of their leaves and all appeared to be falling onto my path and garden 😂

But before that I needed to feed the ducks who came flying towards me as I reached the pond

I’d decided I would weave my way up and down the streets starting off with a tiny secluded cul de sac. If they hadn’t told said on Facebook they were decorating, I would have missed it for sure. But the end 3 little houses had done themselves proud

And 3 happy pumpkins next door…

It was a great start to my pumpkin trundle …

Back down onto the high street and dancing ghouls and skeletons were dancing on the trees

Along with a scary skeleton remains lying abandoned on the grass

At the end of the High street, a lovely collection had been laid out outside one of the bigger houses….

Along the back lane, each time there was a gust of wind, a shower of leaves would fall like rain. I was being blown from one side of the lane to the other, it was so strong

Outside the lovely Wally the sheep’s house, Abby had decorated the egg shelter and their gate, and with a dancing skeleton if you noticed the switch…..

It was then I decided to take a turning into some houses that I’d never taken before. After all how could I possibly get lost in my own village 🙄. I was stood looking at the churchyard from a new angle and wondering where on earth I was when a couple came up behind me.

Are you coming our way today Wendy?”

I didn’t recognise them but said yes and asked where I would come out at the other end as I knew the streets would appear like a maze to my unfamiliar eyes…

Don’t worry, just carry on trundling and you’ll come out near the pond”

Oh 😳 I thought….how come I didn’t know that…and so I did…seeing houses I’d never seen before and feeling utterly lost but confident in the knowledge that if I did as they’d said, I’d come out near the pond.

More ghoulish goings on greeted me round corners

Skeletons imprisoned and chained to the tree

And pumpkins on doorsteps and in windows

I’m sure I didn’t find them all but it was so lovely to have a different reason to trundle and to see the splashes of colour that would surely light up the eyes of the children when they went to do the same.

Sure enough, just as the couple said, I could see a familiar sight in the distance.

As I headed towards the village pond, my camera now switched off as I was sure I’d captured everything, the ducks suddenly started quacking very loudly😂 obviously they thought their luck was truly in today and I’d come back to give them more food🤣. Their quacking soon stopped as they saw me holding my hands up signalling no food. It was then a flash of orange caught my eye, right their at the back of the pond on the tree stump where the ducks often sleep…..my camera set for action again as it appeared the ducks had been very busy since I left them this morning…has to be my favourite of the day

Grateful to see the sight of my road ahead, exhausted from fighting the wind, a elderly woman stopped me and asked if I was the camera lady from Facebook….I smiled and said yes…

Well thank you for brightening all our days” and with a smile she went on her way.

I stood for a second, grateful to the woman for having said such a kind thing as that had brightened my day too…..

My Little friend the lone duck…….

All the ducks on the village pond are lovely, but one in particular just tugs at my heart, you see, we have a few things in common…..

She has beautiful yellow eyes and a gentle solitary nature – ok, so no, I don’t have yellow eyes….🤪

I learnt from Peter the duck man that she has been there for 23 years but has no mate. The other ducks can be quite cruel to her as she’s the smallest of all the ducks. They chase her if she gets anywhere near the others. She must love it when ducklings are around as then at least she’s bigger than them 😂

It took me a while to realise just how resilient she is…..because when I throw the seed into the water, the other ducks will chase her away if she tries to muscle in on the surface. So instead she dodges them and dives down to get the seed floating to the bottom….she waits to see where I throw it, then dives under the ducks all squabbling over the seed floating on top….

We now have a silent agreement when I’m throwing the seed onto the grass. She’ll waddle up after the rest of them and wait….

It’s as though she instinctively knows I won’t let her miss out on her share…she can’t get anywhere near the hungry mob, they’ll peck at her if she tries. But I throw some down, distracting the rest, then throw some her way, so she has her own supply. And if the others try and go for her share, I’ll throw some in the opposite direction so they go that way instead. We play this game until she sees me edging towards the water, knowing my last handfuls will be thrown there, so she’ll waddle back to the water..

And dive back under as soon as she sees me throw the seed…..

She’ll then swim off alone and preen her feathers after all the diving and maybe then have a nap….

Despite the others animosity towards her, she’s survived 23 years alone. She seems happy and likes it that way, just like I do…….