Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Updated pictures

The blog people have caused me headaches by changing their format so I found I had lost some photos and chopped some in half so I am starting again.
 I hope the whole of the bedroom now shows!
 Our  grand daughter and her Mum managed lots of winter rides - rather them than me- I prefer sheep- more manageable!
We have has some amazing sunsets recently

Winter into Spring 2016

 What an amazing winter we have had - rain, rain and more rain so that our fields were bog-like and the sheep were drenched but only 2 days of snow.
 The children in Cherry Tree Cottage- now long let to give us a bit less work- had a marvelous time.

I think this fat chap deserves a prize- well done girls. Pity about the Manchester City scarf though!
 And then just as suddenly the crocuses were over and the daffodils have appeared together with my prized camellia- a 70th birthday present.
If you look very carefully in the foreground you will see the fading snowdrops. Last year, in a fit of madness, I decided to order 1,500 snowdrops to carpet the area below the Old House.

What a backbreaking job!!- but I have been rewarded by quite a few appearing- next year should be even better according to the snowdrop experts.

 This is the stumpery! A fatal visit to Prince Charles' Highgrove House and gardens 2 years ago made me have delusions of grandeur and the mini-stumpery is the result. The hens loved it so I have had to put chicken netting over the bulbs to protect them but they seem to find their way through.
 I love our misty early mornings when all you can hear are the birds and then the sun breaks through.
The rockery planted in 2000 has really matured nicely and gives colour all winter.
We do sit in the gazebo in coats when there is a nice, sunny winters day.
 Spring cleaning chaos!
 Our  loyal, regular guests will enjoy, I hope, the new Sandersons Vintage curtains in the bedroom- Nic says I always have to have flowers- and I suppose he is right- but he found these after we had trawled through hundreds of samples so it was a joint decision this time.
 We have been extra busy this winter and oil-fired central heating has been installed in our house and through into the Old house to give extra heat .
We have also had state of the art WiFi put in as our reception in the Old House fluctuated frustratingly. It is still slow when everyone else is using it but a huge improvement. I see they are improving connection in the South East - wish they remembered us here in the hills!
I took this view while cleaning the windows as the garden is just starting to come alive.
And in a few days time the lambs are due, so Spring really is here.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Spring at last - March 2015

 Cracken Edge with Chinley below and the farm just off to the left.
The sky and spring light has been so beautiful as the first daffodils have started to appear in the farm lane.
We celebrated  the 45th anniversary of the day we met in South Africa on Friday 13th March at our favourite Hassop Hall Hotel near Bakewell. It was lucky 13th for us certainly!
 On the way back from our delicious meal we came up the eerily atmospheric Winnat's Pass from Castleton- a view that always makes us glad we live here in the glorious Peak District.

 The sunsets have been stunning- this was taken by our friend Keith and is looking from our farm lane towards the hills of the Goyt Valley.
Another Keith special taken as he strolled up to the farm last week.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

An overdue catch up for 2015!

First of all may we at Cote Bank wish all our "followers" a very happy new year and apologies for the long lapse in postings.
  A farming year follows the seasons with almost monotonous regularity so there is often nothing new to blog about but I am sure you'd like to see a few new photos.

Cracken Edge above Chinley

This was taken  in early January and then this happened!

I love the look of newly fallen snow and the beautiful silence
- but it means extra work for poor old Farmer Nic - here he is on his invaluable quadbike delivering hay to 
some of his heavily pregnant sheep.
These are his little "tup" lambs waiting hopefully for their food .
These snow photos were taken by our local historian and amateur photographer Keith on a walk along our footpath - I was busy inside our cosy farmhouse making jam!
This is the main road in Chinley impassable for a day except by the intrepid.
My poor little birds needed extra food
  And suddenly it was all gone and my newly planted camellia flowered outside the Old House window along with the usual carpet of crocuses- can Spring be far behind?
Winter work! Taking down the enormous horse chestnut by the side of our house -sadly full of canker
I feel dizzy 5 foot off the ground so found this intrepid local tree feller amazing- plenty of cups of tea went out to keep him warm!

An overview of 2014
Nic's hens are the best we have ever had but are so cheeky- take over my garden as you can see, "help" me when I am gardening and make dust baths inbetween all my best plants- but the eggs are delicious!
We had some amazing sunsets in autumn
And the 2 Nics removed a few branches from the oak tree outside the Old House to make it lighter in the front rooms.
 Our views never change, luckily
  And are enjoyed by our visitors and their dogs.

We changed the double bed in Cherry tree Cottage for a beautifully comfortable John Lewis special with Yorkshire sheep wool as padding.
  It was so popular that we bought the same make for the Old House only upgraded to a 6 foot super-kingsize with new linen to go with both beds.
Spring 2014 outside the Old House back door
New seating and curtains in the Old house sitting room

Chinley and Cote Bank(middle left in the trees) from Eccles Pike
Our oak in summer
 the Crocosmia Lucifer in our garden is always a lovely cheery sight
July 4th was Wells Dressing time at St James' Buxworth- 2014 was one of our best to commemorate the outbreak of the 1st World War.
 The church displayed local memorabilia from both World wars.
2015 we will have the famous knitted village in the church with displays by local societies and the primary schools- June 25th to 4th July - don't miss it!
The 1st weekend in September was the wonderful Chatsworth Country Fair- a fabulous day out.

    It was a good year for hydrangeas
We took our grandchildren to the most moving Staffordshire National Arboretum
 Suddenly it was autumn again and we saw that our dear old 18 year old collie, Jess, was not happy- sleeping the days away, very unsteady on her feet and with other nasty ailments.
With a heavy heart we said goodbye to her.
Jess will not be replaced- at 70 we feel we would not be good companions for a lively puppy but we give extra affection to our surrogate dog-Lola- our son's family Puggle.
Early December fun in the snow

 Our helicopter pilots doing restoration on the moors came and went from the cottages which is always exciting.
 Now we are looking forward to spring 2015! This was taken last spring from the gazebo in our garden looking over to the Goyt Valley and the hills of Macclesfield.